“We can see that at work, the speed with which he’s writing, the ferment of ideas coming out from his pen.”
Said Thomas Venning of auction house Christie’s about Sir Isaac Newton’s handwritten notes, which are expected to sell for as much as $1.6 million. Never chuck out your doodle pad…
OSAKA SHINES A LIGHT ON MENTAL HEALTH
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open after she was fined for her decision to bypass the press has elevated the issues of promoting good mental health in sport. The world #2 ranked player and self-confessed introvert said she’s dealt with “long bouts of depression” since her US Open win in 2018 and that she was feeling anxious coming into the French Open. Since her statement yesterday, many high profile sporting types have said it’s a watershed moment that could lead to a better understanding of the pressure elite sports put on their participants.
SO, WHAT’S BEEN SAID?
A whole lot. Head of the French Tennis Federation Gilles Moretton fronted the media yesterday and called Osaka’s withdrawal “unfortunate”, but wished her the “best and quickest possible recovery” – and then refused to take questions… Japan, her sponsors and many athletes expressed their support for Osaka. But tennis icon Billie Jean King said while the media needs to respect boundaries, Osaka wouldn’t be the world’s best-paid female athlete without her media profile. Note: the 23yo earned more than $55 million last year – nearly all of it from sponsorship deals.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Many hope that what’s happened is a catalyst for positive change in professional sport. Grand slam organisers have committed to “continually reviewing and discussing opportunities” for players – including with the media. “But we consider this is only ever achieved through respectful and constructive discussions,” it said. For Osaka’s part, she’s taking some time away from tennis but said “when the time is right”, she wants to work with officials to discuss how to make things “better for the players, press and fans”. And as for her return, Wimbledon starts in 4 weeks, and the Tokyo Olympics – where she is set to headline – is 7 weeks off. Whether Osaka plays or not – that’ll be a wait and see…
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“FLEETING” ENCOUNTERS NOT AS ROMANTIC AS IT SOUNDS...
Victorian officials are considering extending their lockdown past the end of tomorrow over concerns about how fast the coronavirus is spreading. The state recorded 3 new locally acquired cases yesterday, bringing the outbreak’s total to 54 cases. None were linked to aged care homes, and one man is yet to be linked to other cases. In a new twist, COVID Response Commander Jeroen Weimar said several infections have occurred through “fleeting” contact, and 4 to 5 recent cases resulted from transmission between strangers. “With previous variants, we are more used to transmission really occurring in the home, in the workplace … or those big social settings,” he said. As for a lockdown extension, officials are still weighing up options. Don’t put those trackie dacks away just yet…
THAT’S A BIT STEEP…
If you’re trying to crack the housing market, look away… Property prices continued their upward trajectory in May, with every capital city posting gains. Hobart (3.2%), Sydney (3%) and Darwin (2.7%) led the pack, with 97% of Australia’s local government areas recording “extraordinary” growth over the past 3 months, according to CoreLogic’s Eliza Owen. Why? It’s thanks to a ‘perfect storm’ of booming consumer confidence, record-low interest rates (which was again held at 0.1% yesterday), improving economic conditions and strong demand. That’s seen first-home buyers increasingly priced out of the market as investors muscle their way in. Economists reckon things could ease up as more properties come onto the market in the coming months. But at this rate, median prices for a home in Sydney will crack the $1 million mark in the next month or 2…
CALLS TO FIND MORE MASS GRAVES
Canadian Indigenous groups are calling for a nationwide search for more mass graves after the remains of 215 children were found last week on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, which closed in 1978. From the 1880s to the mid-1990s, nearly 150,000 Indigenous children in Canada were forcibly separated from their families and sent to church-run schools. Like Australia’s Stolen Generations, many faced physical and sexual abuse. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission unearthed shocking cases of neglect and abuse, including the deaths of 4,100 students at schools like the one in Kamloops. Following the grim discovery, PM Justin Trudeau said the search for more mass graves was “an important part of discovering the truth”, but he stopped short of making a commitment for a broader search.
DYING FROM THE HEAT
Umm derr, because of extreme weather events, right? Yes, but here are some facts. According to a big new international study, between 1991 and 2018, more than a third of the world’s 30 million heat-related deaths have been directly caused by climate change. That number includes 3,000 deaths in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The worst affected: parts of Asia and Central/South America. But scientists say many more people have died from other extreme weather events linked to global warming, such as storms, floods and droughts. “These findings ratify statements of the scientific community that climate change is affecting human health already, it is not a matter of future generations only,” lead researcher Dr Ana Vicedo-Cabrera said. Just in time for a warm winter…
NIGHTTIME IS THE RIGHT TIME
We all have that mate who is evangelical about the benefits of their early morning run, but a new Aussie study flips that idea on its head. Following a group of 24 overweight, stationary men eating high-fat diets, researchers found that those who exercised later in the day had better health outcomes than those who got physical in the morning. After 5 workouts, late-day exercisers showed lower cholesterol levels and better blood-sugar control. But the study warned against concluding morning exercise isn’t beneficial. “I know people know this, but any exercise is better than not exercising,” lead researcher Dr Trine Moholdt said. Sounds like a good excuse to walk to the pizza shop rather than get home delivery…
APROPOS OF NOTHING
Most Americans think they can spot fake news. This study says nah-ah…
We’re all for extra legroom on a flight, so we’d be ok if airlines adopted this solution. Shotgun top bunk…
We’re willing to try the most adventurous delicacies, but this one has us squirming. And they’re not fooling anyone by calling it pasta…
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12.30pm (AEST) – The Healing Foundation CEO Fiona Cornforth addresses the National Press Club – Canberra
Foundation of the Republic Day – Italy
Start of the United Nations special session on corruption (on until 4 June) – New York
ABS Data Release – Australian National Accounts, March
A birthday for Steve Smith, former Aussie cricket captain (1989)
• Alexander Graham Bell making first sound transmission (1875)
• Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in Westminster Abbey (1953)
• Timothy McVeigh being found guilty of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 (1997)
• the birthdays of explorer William Lawson (1774) and Thomas Hardy (1840)
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