Why is your fave show on so late?

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 28 Februari 2015 | 20.01

Will Stewart and Steve Flood from My Kitchen Rules talk tears and tantrums in the kitchen.

More advertising revenue ... The Block, among other reality TV shows are running later for a reason. Picture: Nine. Source: Supplied

WINTER, House Of Hancock, Gallipoli. These hotly anticipated dramas were expected to set ratings records when they debuted.

Yet when each show launched at 9pm, rather than the traditional 8.30pm timeslot, not only did they get softer-than-expected numbers upon launch, but ratings continued to drop throughout each show's run.

Viewers complained the blockbusters were on too late. But according to media expert Nathan Cook, it looks like the 9pm timeslot is here to stay as networks reap financial benefits from the time change.

With big reality franchises such as My Kitchen Rules and The Block drawing huge ratings from 7.30pm onwards, Cook says extending them by another half an hour makes sense from a commercial perspective.

"Reality programs film in the vicinity of 50 hours a week and only put about five hours to air," he explains.

"Finding half an hour per night off the cutting room floor doesn't cost anything to program in and you maximise your ratings."

NINE'S FLOP: The show that was supposed to be a rating hit

Serving up longer episodes ... My Kitchen Rules has no plans to trim the fat from the hti program. Picture: Seven. Source: Supplied

Not only that, but networks can cash in on extra advertising revenue.

"Advertising rate cards are generally divided into 30 minute blocks but once you get past 7.30 it is hourly," Cook says. "And 7.30 to 8.30 is the most expensive area followed by 8.30 to 9.30. After 9.30 it starts to decrease."

By extending higher-rating programs by half an hour, networks can then schedule more ad breaks. "And you're always going to charge the higher rate position of when the program started, which means you'll actually get more revenue," says Cook.

But while the networks may be laughing all the way to the bank with this approach, Cook warns it's a double edged sword for prime-time dramas.

"Their key programming will perform but the follow up program won't perform in the same way it would have done previously as a result," he says.

Star power dimmed ... A later start has hurt ratings for critically lauded drama Winter. Picture: Seven. Source: Supplied

Social researcher Mark McCrindle adds there's another reason a 9pm start time will hurt.

"Australians still significantly have their evening meal with a screen in the background and that evening meal is still a connection point for the family," he says.

However once that meal is over, fragmentation begins.

"People pick up their own screens, whether it's to watch time shifted viewing, to social network, to study," McCrindle explains.

"By the time 9pm has rolled around you don't sit down and watch that blockbuster program together in the way you would in times past."

So why aren't the reality shows hurting?

Ironically, McCrindle says having a multitude of individual screens in the house helps those franchises to maintain on-air dominance.

As viewers interact with MKR, The Block or I'm A Celebrity through Twitter and Facebook or watch unique website content as it's on air, the audience is engaged in a way traditional dramas fail to harness.

"We've got shorter attention spans and the new reality of having a screen in hand has changed our TV engagement from passive to active," says McCrindle.

Getting involved ... Social media interaction has helped I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here succeed in winning engagement. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

"In the old days watching TV was a 'lean back' activity. Now it's 'lean forward,' and 'how can I get involved?'."

But while these reality franchises may have networks seeing dollar signs locally, Cook warn syndicating internationally could become a problem.

"We're the only developed market that does (extend the hourlong format)," he says. "If you're not actually packaging yourself into what should be a 45 minute program that they can put 15 minutes of ads into, it won't fit into other territories programming schedules."

"At the end of the day, nobody wins."

20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Wellness Warrior’ Jess dies from cancer

Jessica Ainscough, founder of the Wellness Warrior blog, has died at the age of 30. Photo: Peter Wallis. Source: News Limited

A POPULAR Australian 'wellness' blogger has died at the age of 30 after a long battle with cancer.

Jessica Ainscough, known as the 'Wellness Warrior' to her thousands of social media followers, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at age 22.

Called epithelioid sarcoma, the cancer spread through her entire left arm and shoulder.

She underwent chemotherapy which was initially successful, but within a year the cancer had returned. Doctors told Jessica her best hope of beating the disease was to have her arm amputated. She refused.

She told her doctors she was declining all further conventional medical treatment to follow the Gerson therapy of 'radical detoxification'.

"They were unimpressed," she told The Australianin 2012. "They said I would die, basically. They used the phrase 'nail in your coffin'."

Jessica Ainscough declined traditional cancer treatments in lieu of drinking raw juices and sticking to a strict vegan diet. Photo: Jamie Hanson. Source: News Limited

Instead of chemotherapy, Jessica followed the Gerson regimen of drinking 10 raw juices and undergoing five coffee enemas daily, as well as mineral supplements and sticking to a strict vegan diet.

"I didn't chop off my arm. I didn't go into aggressive, full-body chemotherapy. I didn't accept that my doctor's 'solution' was the only course of action," Jessica wrote on her blog.

"I decided that I would do everything in my power to thrive in life, despite the looming expiration date I'd been given. I learned how to treat myself with absolute kindness & self-respect.

"I radicalised my diet. I systematically detoxified my body — and mind. I discovered that wellness isn't a destination, but a loving (and unconditionally forgiving) relationship with your own body."

Jessica died on Thursday last week, according to her website.

"On February 26th, 2015, the world lost one of its brightest sparks," her site now reads.

"After 30 years, seven of which were spent thriving with cancer, Jess Ainscough peacefully passed away."

A message on Jessica's website. Photo: jessainscough.com. Source: Supplied

Jessica's friends and family have expressed their sadness on social media.

Australia's leading cancer organisations do not endorse Gerson therapy as a means of treating cancer.

The National Cancer Institute says: "Because no prospective, controlled study of the use of the Gerson therapy in cancer patients has been reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, no level of evidence analysis is possible for this approach.

"The data that are available are not sufficient to warrant claims that the Gerson therapy is effective as an adjuvant to other cancer therapies or as a cure. At this time, the use of the Gerson therapy in the treatment of cancer patients cannot be recommended outside the context of well-designed clinical trials.

Cancer Australia says there is "little evidence" that alternative therapies are effective in cancer treatment.

"Most have not been assessed for efficacy in randomised clinical trials, though some have been examined and found to be ineffective."

If you'd like to know more about cancer treatment in Australia, visit cancer.org.au or call 13 11 20.

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A year on, where on earth is MH370?

The disappearance of MH370 is still a mystery which has sparked may theories, one of them a possible hijacking.

Emotional ... College students light candles to pray for the passengers onboard MH370. Source: AFP

AT 85, Irene Burrows is hoping she lives long enough to find out what happened to MH370.

The mother and mother-in-law of Australian passengers Rodney and Mary Burrows, Irene has long accepted she will never see her son and his wife again.

But she has not given up hope the Malaysia Airlines' Boeing 777 will be found and an explanation provided for its mysterious disappearance on March 8 last year.

"I was hoping before Christmas (it would be found) and then before Rodney's 60th," says Irene from her central Queensland home at Biloela.

"You're always hoping you'll hear something.

"For the first week, we thought they'd find it.

"Now I hope that it happens in our lifetime. My husband (George) is 87, and I'm 85.

"That's probably the only thing that keeps us going. I'd love to know before I go."

MISSING PLANE: MH370 unlikely to have decayed

COMPO LINK: MH370 declared an 'accident'

SECRET WEAPON: Being used in MH370 search

Still missing ... MH370 passengers Mary and Rodney Burrows of Brisbane. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

Incredibly in an age of sophisticated technology, where satellite dishes can reportedly spot a cricket ball in a desert, there are more questions than answers about MH370's fate.

Hard facts about the aircraft's disappearance are so few they barely fill a page.

We know the Malaysia Airlines' flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing took off at 12.41am local time.

We know the weather conditions were good, and the pilot and copilot were well respected with 40-years' flying experience between them.

We know that the first 38-minutes of the flight were unremarkable, at least as far as those on the ground were concerned.

We know that after the aircraft's final transmission to Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control — "Goodnight Malaysian three-seven-zero" — the Boeing 777 was never heard from again other than a series of satellite pings.

Beyond that, piecing together the fate of MH370 has been an exercise bogged down in confusion and contradictions, wild speculation and for the next-of-kin, enormous grief and frustration.

For the first week after the flight's disappearance it was thought the plane had crashed into the South China Sea or Gulf of Thailand.

MH370 probe ... a towed vehicle which has been searching the seabed for signs of the missing plane. Source: Supplied

It took the release of military radar data followed by satellite information for the search focus to shift to a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean.

Now after extensive air searches and a costly and ongoing underwater search, nothing of the Boeing 777 has been found. Not so much as a lifejacket, a seat or an oil slick.

Detailed drift modelling forecast wreckage would start washing up on the shores of western Indonesia late last year. Nothing appeared.

Last week Australian Transport Safety Bureau chief Martin Dolan said they were reviewing the drift modelling to try to work out where something might materialise.

But he admitted it was more likely any surface debris had now sunk.

The question of the absent wreckage is just one of many facing searchers who are the first to point out they are working with estimates and probabilities — not certainties in relation to the missing aircraft.

Search boss ... Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan. Picture: News Corp Australia Source: News Limited

To put the size of the challenge into context, Commissioner Dolan points out that in the 2009 case of Air France Flight 447 they knew where the A330 crashed in the Atlantic Ocean but it still took two years to find it.

Even with 40 per cent of the 60,000 square kilometre priority search zone now explored without result, Dolan is maintaining a positive outlook.

"The search equipment and the search in terms of the area being covered is all meeting and in some cases exceeding our expectations," Dolan says.

"If all goes in accordance to plan as we expect it will, we'll have completed our search by the end of May."

The exercise has not been cheap.

Australia's government allocated $89.9 million towards the search, being jointly funded by Malaysia's government.

What happens when the money runs out and the plane still hasn't been found, is one of the multitude of questions hanging over MH370.

Captain's call? ... Zaharie Ahmad Shah is at the centre of the missing plane's investigation. Picture: Supplied Source: NewsComAu

First and foremost — why did the plane divert so dramatically from its path in the first place?

Was it in some strife?

Was it a deliberate act by the pilot or first officer?

Was it under control by someone other than the pilots?

They are not the only questions that have gone unanswered in the last year.

Why didn't Malaysia send up fighter jets to escort the plane — when it stopped communicating with ATC and diverted from its course?

Why did it take four-hours for the plane's disappearance to be referred by Air Traffic Control to Malaysian search and rescue authorities?

And the most confounding — how could an aircraft as sophisticated as a Boeing 777-200ER carrying 239 people simply disappear without a trace?

So baffling is the mystery of MH370, no-one has been able to come up with an explanation considered plausible.

What searchers saw ... underwater search vessels have found nothing of interest on the ocean floor to date. Picture: Australian Transport Safety Bureau Source: Supplied

A detailed theory centring on pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah as masterminding a dastardly murder-suicide plot was dismissed as fanciful and full of holes.

Had he managed to lock out his copilot and depressurise the cabin without being challenged by flight crew, why were no attempts made to send text messages, if other aircraft communications were cut?

Other theories — such as hijacking, on board fire, mechanical malfunction, missile strike, cabin depressurisation and sabotage have also failed to satisfy.

US aviation safety expert Captain John Cox is not one to subscribe to crazy theories.

But he does believe the aircraft's disappearance was no accident — rather a deliberate act by someone on board the plane.

"MH370 is already one of aviation's great mysteries," says Captain Cox.

"Never in history has a jet airliner with passengers provided so few clues after so long.

"Until MH370 every jet airliner with passengers aboard has been located and the cause of the accident determined."

Hi-tech ... the Boeing-777 is considered one of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

He has reached his own theory based on the very limited evidence available, and his extensive knowledge of aircraft operations.

"We can deduce that someone with specific knowledge interacted with two complex computer systems on the aeroplane — Flight Management Computer and ACARS," says the Captain.

"This level and specificity of knowledge is not common and significantly limits the potential candidates.

"We can deduce that this was a deliberate act based on the precise track along the airspace border of Malaysia," he says referring to the aircraft's path across the Strait of Malacca after going off course.

"We can deduce that no outside influence caused the course change, transponder secession or ACARS data termination as there has never been such a case in the history of aviation.

"Therefore the commands were internal."

Encouragingly, he does believe the mystery will be solved because "we know where the aeroplane isn't".

The search area ... where investigators have been looking for MH370. Source: Supplied

Irene Burrows shares his optimism and faith in the Australian-led search effort.

"I'm quite convinced there was human intervention," she says.

"I don't know how or why or whom. Somehow one plane with 239 people just disappeared and here we are 12-months later and still we don't know."

Boeing declined requests for an interview, citing the aircraft manufacturer's involvement in the official investigation into MH370's disappearance.

A spokesman told News Corp, Boeing had "provided technical input, such as how far the aircraft could have flown at that weight and amount of fuel".

"This accident is exceptional in a number of ways — not the least that nothing from the flight has been sighted. Not even a seat cushion," said the spokesman.

In many ways the mystery surrounding the flight has overshadowed the human tragedy of MH370, which in terms of loss of life, is in the top 20 worst air crashes in history.

Still not found ... Brisbane's Bob and Cathy Lawton were on MH370. Picture: Supplied. Source: News Corp Australia

Rodney and Mary Burrows were among the six Australians on board. They were travelling with their long-time Brisbane friends, Bob and Cathy Lawton. Both couples have three adult children, and the Burrows were looking forward to becoming first-time grandparents — to daughter Karla's son, born a month after the flight's disappearance.

Sydney couple Naijun Gu, 31 and Yuan Li, 33, were thought to be on their way to see their young children in Beijing.

The Malaysian husband of Melbourne's Jennifer Chong was on a business trip to Beijing, as she made preparations to move into their new home in the up-market suburb of Kew.

She says the search for MH370 is critically important to the next of kin, but perhaps even more important to aviation safety in general.

"A year after one of the most widely flown aeroplanes in the world disappeared, we still don't know what happened," says Jennifer.

"Meanwhile the same aeroplanes are departing daily from airports all over the world.

"It is vitally important to the safety of the crews and passengers of those aeroplanes to determine what happened to MH370 and for that aeroplane to be found."

Grieving ... MH370 widow Jennifer Chong with a picture of her husband of 23-years, Chong Ling Tan. Picture: David Caird/News Corp Australia Source: News Corp Australia

Jeanette Maguire, whose sister Cathy was on board, has seen her Brisbane home become a gathering place for relatives since the fateful flight.

Cathy, and husband Bob were travelling with the Burrows on a much anticipated trip to China.

Jeanette says the grief and anxiety experienced by all of the family had brought them closer together.

"It's very difficult for everybody, still a lot of anxiety," she says, of the looming anniversary.

"It's the last anniversary of the first as I call it, in terms of we've had the birthdays where you don't have Bob and Cath around, anniversaries, Christmas.

"So this is a different type of first but one that we didn't expect."

Malaysia Airlines has avoided the day to day debate about the aircraft's fate but maintains twice-weekly contact with families and is in the process of negotiating compensation payments.

Paying tribute ... a performer poses in front of messages expresses prayers and well-wishes for passengers onboard MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Although there were predictions the twin tragedies of MH370 and MH17 which was shot down over the Ukraine in July, would sink the financially-troubled airline, it has struggled on.

Next Sunday a group of families bereaved by MH370 will gather in Kuala Lumpur to mark the heartbreaking anniversary, and launch a video of memories of their loved ones.

The group known as Voice370, will also mount a hashtag campaign "Today it's us, tomorrow it could be you #breakthecycle".

"To me, the most important focus right now is keeping the search going," Jennifer says.

"I will advocate for the search to be intensified and diversified.

"If I fail to see him (Chong Ling Tan) home in my lifetime, I want my ashes to be scattered in the southern Indian Ocean, if he really is there."

Her views resonate with Captain Cox.

"As we pass the one year point in the search, we need to pause in memory of those aboard and those families," he says.

"We need to reinforce our commitment to find the wreckage and to focus on the evidence and leave the conspiracy theorists to writing novels."

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Oh, to be a mum again at 51

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 27 Februari 2015 | 20.01

Tracey Kahn used IVF to conceive both her children. Source: News Corp Australia

Tracey Kahn, the single Manhattan career mum who got pregnant at the advanced age of 51, has safely delivered a bouncing baby daughter named Eloise Becket Kahn.

"I'm beyond thrilled, the happiest I've been in my life," says the go-getting publicist who had her first child, Scarlett, now 2, after IVF treatment when she was 49. "I have this great, perfect family!

"I'm feeling super healthy, and the baby is beautiful," she told the New York Post.

The successful Upper East Side businesswoman announced her controversial pregnancy in The Post in September 2014 in a two-page, first-person article. She revealed that, like Scarlett, the baby was the product of a donor egg and donor sperm (both from anonymous donors) and would be Scarlett's full biological sister.

Eloise was conceived via IVF at Kahn's fertility clinic, Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, which regularly treats wannabe mums over 50.

She was born weighing a robust 7 pounds, 6 ounces at New York-Presbyterian Hospital at 10:37am on February 18.

Tracey Kahn just gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Eloise Becket Kahn. Source: Supplied

"I was excited and anxious to give birth because she was full term, but everything went smoothly," says Kahn, who had a planned C-section and stayed in the hospital for five nights.

"Towards the end of the pregnancy, I was getting a little uncomfortable because of the extra weight, but otherwise it was pretty good," she says.

Scarlett met her little sister the following day, presenting the newborn with a card decorated with hearts and kisses.

"At first she was a deer caught in headlights, but now she absolutely adores her," adds Kahn. "I'm so glad I was able to give her a sibling who'll be with her for the rest of her life."

Meanwhile, the petite mum, who is breastfeeding, has employed a $350-a-day baby nurse for at least the next three months who will join the full-time nanny watching Scarlett.

"I've worked very hard my whole life to afford this situation, so why not?" says Kahn, dismissing any claims she won't be a hands-on mum. Employed by a high-profile jeweller, she even worked Oscars night from her hospital bed, just four days after giving birth.

Now, looking to the future, she is confident that, despite her age, the children will enjoy a loving, comfortable childhood and adulthood.

"There are so many positive things to having a baby this late in life," adds Kahn. "Yes, I'm older, but I'm in great shape. I have a great head on my shoulders, with a great system of friends.

"It's about quality and how you raise your children and the decisions you make."

Next up on her to-do list? Meeting a husband.

"Would I love to get married and give my daughters a father one day? Absolutely. That's next on my bucket list!" she says, with a laugh before adding, "My two children are extremely lucky and so am I. If anybody asked me whether I'd do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing."

This story originally appeared on the New York Post.

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This is how you become a genius

Genius: Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in a scene from The Theory of Everything. Picture: AP Photo/Focus Features, Liam Daniel Source: AP

THEY have the ability to shape the world and change people's lives but what is it that sets a genius apart from someone who is just extremely intelligent?

Professor Allan Snyder, director of The Centre for the Mind at University of Sydney, said that the term "genius" was often misused and hard to define.

"It is very rare," Prof Snyder said.

"To me it's the creation itself and not a person's potential that defines genius. It's certainly not a score on an IQ test.

"For me it's especially someone who allows us to view the world in a new light - and that holds for any field."

Scientists have long tried to link genius and high intelligence without success, including one study that started in 1925.

According to neuropsychologist at the University of New Mexico, Rex Jung, genius is notoriously difficult to predict and does not necessarily require extremely high levels of intelligence.

In an article for Slate, Professor Jung points to a study by Lewis Terman which followed more than 1,500 children with extremely high IQs (above 140) to see if genius would eventually emerge.

While many grew up to be successful, his study missed two Nobel Laureates who did not make the IQ cut: William Shockley, who co-invented the transistor, and physicist Luis Alvarez. Neither of them had high enough IQs to make it into Terman's study but it was their original thinking that eventually set them apart from their more intelligent peers.

While intelligence may not be the defining factor, what genius does seem to require is unusually high levels of creativity and perseverance.

Physicist Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) developed the world's most famous equation. Picture: Fred Stein Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

This can be seen in Australia's own genius, Barry Marshall, who won the Nobel prize in Medicine in 2005 for discovering that stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria and not stress.

Marshall and hospital pathologist Robin Warren believed ulcers were linked to bacteria but could not prove this as lab mice were not impacted, and they were not allowed to experiment on people. At the time scientists believed there was a link between ulcers, stress and acid.

In desperation, Prof Marshall mixed up some of the bacteria in a broth and drank it. After a few days he was proved correct - he had given himself an ulcer, and proved that antibiotics could be used to cure the condition.

Prof Barry Marshall gave himself an ulcer to prove his own theory. Source: News Corp Australia

"Ultimately creativity is an act of rebellion," Prof Snyder told news.com.au.

"You have to be downright subversive to be creative and you must have the courage to broadcast your ideas to a resistant world."

Prof Snyder is interested in the study of creativity and the qualities that make someone a champion.

"In the most general sense, what distinguishes a "champion" from the rest is not the desire to be the best, or a fear of failure, rather it's an unconscious abhorrence of being just average," Prof Snyder said. "It's wanting to pour something uniquely you into your work."

Creativity and genius have been linked ever since the "cult of genius" first emerged in 18th century Europe and America, says Professor McMahon, author of Divine Fury: A History of Genius.

As commercial society evolved, the concept of being a "genius" dramatised the power of uniqueness and innovation in science, enterprise and the arts, he suggests in an opinion piece for Slate.

Companies such as Apple have used this idea of being "unique" to brand its products in the aura of genius, for example as part of its Think Different advertising campaign, aimed at the "crazy ones, the misfits, rebels and troublemakers, the round pegs in square holes" who have "no respect for the status quo".

Apple's think different ad, narrated by Steve Jobs.

But Prof McMahon argues that perhaps more than any other virtue, the one that quality that genius possess, was an ability to work and never let a problem go.

He points to a scene in The Theory of Everything that seems to illustrate this quality, when physicist Stephen Hawking is depicted attempting to pull his deadweight body up the stairs of his house, showing his capacity for "tenaciously pursuing something over the long term".

He refused to give up: Physicist Stephen Hawking. Picture: Guillermo Granja Source: AFP

While this quality can appear sometimes to be stubbornness or obsession, it is what can separate genius from intelligence, Prof McMahon writes.

As Thomas Edison, the man who invented the light bulb, famously said: "Genius is 1 per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration".

"Sweating, it turns out, is the first virtue of genius," Prof McMahon concludes.

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Harry to quit Army after Aussie posting

Two tours ... Prince Harry during his time as a Lieutenant in the British army. Picture: AAP Source: AAP

PRINCE Harry is set to leave the armed forced later this year after a stint stationed in Australia later this year.

The Evening Standard reports that Harry feels that two tours on the front line in Afghanistan is enough and wants to pursue other interests in conservation and wildlife.

Military man ... Britain's Prince Harry in 2009. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

The paper reports that Captain Harry Wales, as he is known in the military, will moves to Australia for "several weeks" to serve with local units.

He is also expected to fulfil several non-military public duties while Down Under.

In action ... Prince Harry briefs his men on a forthcoming manoeuvre with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

"The Prince thought long and hard about his decision to leave active military service but, having served his country on two tours of duty, he felt the time was right to leave. He has loved his time serving," a senior source told the Evening Standard. "Officials are still working on the precise timings but he will leave the military this year after serving Down Under. Before that he will travel to both countries and be based there and is very much looking forward to that.

Born soldier ... Britain's Prince Harry during a visit to the barracks of Britain's Light Dragoons in Hanover, Germany, in 1993. Picture: AP Source: AP

"The exact timings have not been finalised yet, but are expected to be announced officially very soon," the source said.

Kensington Palace would not comment on news that he was set to quit the Army.

Another source said Harry, 30, was keen to follow his father Prince Charles's lead and dedicate more of his time to conservation and the environment.

Both servicemen ... Prince Harry with his father, the Prince of Wales, standing in front of an Apache Helicopter. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

"Harry just felt it was time for a new chapter in his life. One of his plans is to spend a significant period in Africa working on areas to do with conservation and wildlife," the source said. "He will also focus on his charities and maintain his interests in highlighting the plight of injured service staff."

Harry joined the Army in 2005. He served in Afghanistan in 2007 and again in 2012 and early 2013 as an Apache pilot, a job which he stood down from in January for a desk job.

Ended service at 30 ... Britain's Prince William, left, and Prince Harry, right, during a photo call at RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, England in 2009. Picture: AP Source: News Limited

Prince William left his full-time active armed forces job as an RAF Search and Rescue Pilot at around the same age as Harry.

Prince Charles finished his active career in the Royal Navy aged 28.

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The terrifying weapon of the future

Written By komlim puldel on Kamis, 26 Februari 2015 | 20.01

Okay, so it might not look quite like this, but its damage will be similar. Source: News Limited

IT SOUNDS more like something from a Matthew Reilly book than real life. But programmable bioweapons are coming and scientists are warning that they could be just as, if not more deadly than nuclear weapons.

The weapons use something known as synthetic biology, which is a bit like genetic engineering on steroids. Basically, it involves reprogramming genes to do specific things. Already scientists are working to use synthetic biology to create plants that can sniff out drugs at airports.

But a panel of academic experts at the New America Future of War conference overnight have warned that weapons made using synthetic biology could be as big of a problem as nuclear weapons were in the past.

"The biologically-based conflicts of the future would be wild by comparison: I'll wipe out your food supply, I'll wipe out your water, I'll wipe out your ability to reproduce, I'll wipe out your ability for your gene line to advance." said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University.

"We have to figure out some way to rethink this stuff before we can no longer think about it," he said.

The United States' equivalent of Australia's defence technology research agency DSTO, DARPA has been researching the possibility to use synthetic biology for warfare for years, and even started a dedicated division in 2014 called the Biological Technologies Office.

Their research has been nothing less than terrifying.

In 2011, DARPA began investing money into a project called BioDesign. Its goal was to create a "synthetic organism" that can live forever, or if need be, killed off with the flick of a molecular switch. These organisms can then be used to do whatever their creators want them to, or as DARPA puts it, "produce the intended biological effect."

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IS militant ‘Jihadi John’ named

Peter Stefanovic interviews an alleged IS member known as 'Jihadi John' in the UK back in 2011. Courtesy: Channel Nine News

'Jihadi John' has been named as Mohammed Emwazi. Source: Supplied

"JIHADI John", the masked Islamic State militant apparently responsible for the beheading of western hostages, has been named as London man Mohammed Emwazi by the Washington Post and the BBC.

Britain's Metropolitan Police would not confirm Thursday's reports, which identified the suspect as Kuwaiti-born Emwazi, who grew up in west London.

"We are not going to confirm the identity of anyone at this stage or give an update on the progress of this live counter-terrorism investigation," said Richard Walton from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command.

Contacted by AFP, the interior ministry could not immediately comment on the reports.

The Guardian and the BBC both reported the identity, without citing their sources.

British media had previously suggested "Jihadi John" could be a different British jihadist.

"Jihadi John", the masked Islamic State militant apparently responsible for the beheading of western hostages including journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, was on February 26, 2015 named as London man Mohammed Emwazi by the Washington Post and the BBC. Source: AFP

Emwazi, in his mid-20s, was identified to the Washington Post by friends and others familiar with the case, with one close acquaintance telling the paper: "I have no doubt that Mohammed is Jihadi John".

The suspect is from a middle class family and earned a degree in computer programming before travelling to Syria around 2012, according to the report.

He apparently became radicalised after being detained by authorities following a flight to Tanzania and being accused by British intelligence officers of trying to make his way to Somalia.

"Jihadi John", named after Beatle John Lennon due to his British accent, is believed to be responsible for the murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, British aid workers David Haines and Allan Henning and American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig.

He also appeared in a video with the Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, shortly before they were killed.

Jihadi John stands beside a hostage. Source: Supplied

In the videos posted online, he appears dressed all in black with only his eyes exposed, and wields a knife while launching tirades against the West.

Following the appearance of the report online, UK-based terror expert Shiraz Maher tweeted "Well, that's it. The name is out. Jihadi John has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi."

British intelligence officers estimate that there are around 500 homegrown militants fighting for IS in Syria and Iraq.

The BBC reports he is believed to be Mohammed Emwazi, from West London, who was previously known to British security services.

London's Metropolitan Police declined to confirm the reported identity, CNN said.

The Washington Post has also identifed the killer as Emwazi. "I have no doubt that Mohammed is Jihadi John," said one of Emwazi's close friends who identified him in an interview with The Washington Post. "He was like a brother to me. . . . I am sure it is him."

The Post described Emwazi as being from a "well-to-do" family in London, who graduated college with a computer programming degree.

Emwazi first appeared in a video last August, when he allegedly killed American journalist James Foley. In the videos, Emwazi speaks English with a British accent.

He holds a long knife and appears to begin cutting the victims.

He was later thought to have been pictured in the videos of the beheadings of US journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines, British taxi driver Alan Henning, and American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter.

Only last month, he turned up in a video with Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, just before they were executed.

Reuters reports Emwazi is believed to be an associate of an ex-UK control order suspect, who travelled to Somalia in 2006 and is allegedly linked to a "facilitation and funding network for Somali militant group al-Shabab".

Last year, IS created a "caliphate"across Syria and Iraq.

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The annoying things Celebs do in the jungle

Tyson Mayr: Astounded he's still there. Source: Channel 10

EVERYBODY'S roles are becoming patently clear on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

It's Anna's job to be thin and beautiful, and after the whole camp participates in a game called 'Tower Of Treats', which is actually 'Pantry Staples Jenga', it is Anna's job to present the camp with a basket brimming with treats.

Or, y'know. A basket rattling around with the sachets of pepper, butter and sauce that someone scraped from under the booth cushions at a motel cafeteria.

It's Maureen's job to mispronounce things, misunderstand things, fly the cougar flag and be a total champion when it comes to sharing sneaky cheesy garlic bread with selected campmates, unbeknownst to the others.

The weirdest secret challenges are those in which people pretend not to eat luxury items by hiding under blankets or, in Chrissie's case, just brazenly walking around with her cheeks full. This is a weird world, people.

Freddie's job is to not let his son participate in maypole dancing, because maypole dancing is for

girls. Freddie's job is therefore to raise the trigger-alerted eyebrows of most reasonable Australians.

Freddie Flintoff: Brow raiser. Source: Channel 10

Maureen McCormick: The mispronouncer. Source: Channel 10

Barry's job is to fold his blankets and clothes neatly and place them neatly and secure his bandanna neatly and build the fire neatly and pile his pillows neatly and sit neatly and do all of this completely punctually and on time. I suspect that he's not bald, he just considers head hair untidy.

Please note that it is NOT Barry's job to get the acronym for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder right.

Chrissie's job is to whittle a line into a log for every day that has passed (27, for those of you without your own log at home), and to come up with the best home- bedding concept of all time.

She tells a story of how her kids always end up in hers and her partner's king size bed, so they just pushed a double bed up against it to make one giant, room-filling bed. I'm happy for you to stop reading this for a sec while you go and set up exactly the same deal in your own bedroom. Go on. I'll wait.

Chrissie Swan: Bedding expert. Source: Channel 10

Barry Hall: Neat freak. Source: Channel 10

Joel's job, in the Tucker Trial challenge, is to get as many Hollywood celebrity questions right as

possible in order to avoid being dunked suddenly into a vat of extremely revolting-looking water.

Joel is very, very terrible at his job.

Julie's job title is Senior Vice President In Charge Of Nauseated Retching.

By contrast, she is spectacularly good at her job. Today's Tucker Trial, of which she is undoubtedly the champion, involves her spending as much time as Joel's woeful question-answering will allow in five different triangular triangles of terrible things.

She must crawl around in snakes, ants, rats, crocodiles, awful celebrity name puns and what looks like an entire suburb's week-old exploded turduckens in order to claim much fresher tasty treats for her fellow campers.

She handles four of the disturbing triangles with gallant aplomb (although I'm fairly sure she smiles at a crocodile, which we all know is against the law), but the guts and poo triangle — not so much. Making noises like a blocked toilet in the noisiest part of Hell, she gags and hoiks in a way that would make a cat with a peach-sized furball blush. Weirdly, being elbow-deep in entrails and excrement puts her off her dinner.

Merv's job in this episode is the same as in every episode — to pinpoint whatever annoys other

people and then embrace that thing with uncommon gusto. He realises, with keen sleuthing skills

and sharp intuition, that Andrew Daddy Daddo is a little bit into crafts, and notices that he doesn't like being given whittling advice.

Putting two and two together, he proceeds to give Daddy Daddo as much whittling advice as he can possibly muster. Everybody has a friend like Merv. Nobody knows why.

Aside from being Chief Whittler, it's Daddy Daddo's job to consult the 'Spirit Guide' about all manner of things, thanks to some psychic skills that he picked up from a program he was on in the past.

Unfortunately for his predictive skills, he only manages to get in contact with the work-experience Spirit Guide who can't even find the tearoom and accidentally sets off the fire alarm. My faith in psychics remains as sturdy as it has always been.

Andrew Daddo: Psychic. Source: Channel 10

Merv Hughes: Troublemaker. Source: Channel 10

Tyson's job is to make me literally astounded that he's still there.

And Dr Chris & Julia's job is to completely and blatantly rig the voting, getting Barry and Frair-ie Flin-off the viewer vote to be the next Tucker Trial participants.

My job is to think that's really quite self-referential and postmodern. But then, I'm a bit of a wanker.

Jo Thornely doesn't get enough attention at her day job, so she writes for various outlets, takes up way too much bandwidth on the internet, and loves it when you explain her jokes back to her on Twitter. Follow her on Twitter @JoThornely

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Welcome to Lake WTF

Written By komlim puldel on Rabu, 25 Februari 2015 | 20.01

A massive sinkhole at Darwin River NT becomes an overflowing billabong during the wet season.

HOW long does it take about 100 million litres of water to fill a massive sinkhole?

This hole at Darwin River was overflowing after about five hours last Friday.

A timelapse video shows the sinkhole - which opened up in July 2014 - filling in a matter of seconds.

Lance Hart owns the property and said the sinkhole was still underwater after almost a week.

"It's subsiding at the moment I can't see the sinkhole it's just a billabong now with an exceptionally deep water hole," Mr Lance said.



"It'll be interesting to see how long the water stays in the sinkhole."

Lance Hart with his backyard sinkhole when it first opened up in July 2014. Picture: Helen Orr Source: News Corp Australia

Affectionately named Lake WTF, Mr Lance has accepted the lake into the family.

"Once it became obvious that it was stable we went swimming in it."

"I've kayaked in it, swam in it," he said.

Mr Lance and his family regularly mount a camera on a tree to record the sinkhole to capture any changes.

He said there had been no change following the few weeks after it formed in July.

He mounted the camera on Friday predicting storms and rain due to the cyclone up north.

Mr Lance said he noticed the rain get heavy from around 4am with the timelapse footage showing the hole rapidly fill up from 4am to 9am.

After heavy rain the sinkhole has become an overflowing billabong, affectionately named Lake WTF. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Mr Lance said his rain gauge recorded over 130ml during a 3 hour period from 4am.

"It's like the whole thing filled up in around five hours."

He said he was curious to see if the rain had changed the sinkhole.

"I'm expecting it to have changed a little," he said.

It is estimated that around 50,000 cubic metres of dirt was sucked into the sinkhole when it formed.

Mr Lance said he thinks that there is currently around 75-100 million litres of water in the sinkhole and the billabong bed it sits in.

A giant sinkhole opens up in Darwin River, Northern Territory

Originally published as Welcome to Lake WTF
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Tessa James’ post-chemo party

Nate Myles and Tessa James at the Dally M Awards in happier times. Picture Gregg Porteous Source: News Limited

FORMER Home and Away star Tessa James and her family have celebrated her last treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma by dressing up in costumes.

The wife of Titans captain Nate Myles posted a photo on Instagram this morning showing her sitting in a hospital chair dressed as Wonder Woman complete with a crown.

Myles was donning a Where's Wally outfit while James' mother Charis was dressed as Minnie Mouse.

Tessa James (centre) with her husband Nate Myles (left) and family. Source: Supplied

They are surrounding her chair which had also been decorated to celebrate the occasion with the words "done and dusted" stuck on the wall behind her and surrounded by balloons and streamers.

James captioned the photo by saying "often fear is the same emotion as excitement, it means you are breaking new ground."

James revealed in September that she was undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, a blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

Tessa James (left) with her mother Charis James (centre) and sister Candy celebrating the end of her cancer treatment Source: Supplied

At the time she was pursuing her acting career in Hollywood but returned to the Gold Coast soon after being diagnosed to start treatment.

Myles also shared a photo congratulating his wife of just over three years for completing treatment.

"Tough times create tough people," he wrote.

"Well done little lady."

Originally published as Tessa James' post-chemo party

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Our big gripe with I’m A Celebrity

On I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Andrew Daddo VS Russell Crowe. Courtesy: Channel Ten

On I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Chrissie Swan And Joel Creasey Camp Firestarters. Courtesy: Channel Ten

AS WE have all come to realise by now, mild torture is one of the main sources of entertainment on this program.

I understand that; I get it. Hell, occasionally I even enjoy it.

But there are two people over there in Africa who every night have to undergo the most inhumane form of torture ever to have been devised by the mind of a sociopath. Which is why I must now beg, nay not beg, but plead (I think plead is stronger) in the name of all that is decent and human: Please stop making Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown do those god-awful puns every time they run down the list of possible victims to be chosen for the next Tucker Trial.

Seriously, she is a loved comedian and he's a vet, for heaven's sake.

In fact he's the Bondi Vet - what has he ever done wrong, except maybe overcharge an eastern suburbs matriarch for a poodle neutering? Enough already with the puns. They - and we - have suffered enough.

It's Tucker time. Source: Channel 10

And speaking of suffering, let's talk Freddie Flintoff. He's cute, he's charming, he's witty, he has never had an unexpressed thought in his life. Even with his head sealed off and surrounded by locusts, Freddie refused to shut up even for one second. Better to inhale a mouth full of insects than miss the opportunity to say something mildly cutting to Dr Chris.

Did I mention that he's a vet by the way? He occasionally does.

Mind you though, Freddie's "cheeky chappie" persona got him into a bit of trouble later in the show. Look, I'm certain that health and safety would have taken each of the campers away for a bit of a drill before shooting started. You know the usual stuff, how to apply a tourniquet if bitten by a snake, what to do if a baboon gets a bit too close, and of course the most important safety tip of all ... whatever you do, DO NOT pi** off Barry Hall!

Freddie goes too far Source: Channel 10

Freddie pushed the big man a bit too far and when Barry quietly suggested that if he did it again, he would ask the girls to leave camp so he could sort Freddie out. Hell, even I got worried and I'm not that fond of Freddie.

Having said that, Freddie did make a great stab at the Tucker Trial which involved not only locusts, but frogs and ... hey, hang on a minute is it just me or is this show slowly turning into a parade of Old Testament plagues? Ah, yes the Old Testament. I should have seen this coming, that's what's going to happen. Maureen will arise one day, turn to camera (which shouldn't be a problem seeing she has already scoped just where each and every "hidden" camera on camp actually is (the old pro that she is) and loudly proclaim "Let My People GO".

At which point the camp will follow out into 40 years in the wilderness or until Channel Ten schedule a reunion special in a few weeks from now.

The animals were up there, two by two, huzzah! Source: Channel 10

Oh and another thought crossed my mind this evening just as Freddie stuck his head into yet another bucket of elephant dung. Actually two thoughts, my first was: "that is genuinely funny" and my next was just what is the elephant dung budget on this program? It does feature heavily, and I know just how large an elephant is, I've seen them at the zoo. But how are they keeping up supply, is there a stall at the local market or is there one particular Jumbo with a reputation for providing poo for reality programs that they keep on a retainer?

I bet he's also the bugger that's writing those puns.

Mikey Robins spent seven years behind the microphone as host of Triple J's National breakfast show before becoming a team leader on the iconic Channel Ten series, Good News Week. He recently added stand up comedy to his long list of achievements. He performed at the Melbourne and Sydney Comedy festivals and in 2011 Mikey went to Afghanistan to entertain the troops. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeyRobins

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Warne: ‘Can we go to the bedroom?’

Written By komlim puldel on Selasa, 24 Februari 2015 | 20.01

In a friendly chat with mate, Karl Stefanovic, Shane Warne has denied rumours of a fling with Michelle Mone. Courtesy Today/ Channel Nine

It had to end ... Shane Warne and Liz Hurley at Healesville Sanctuary enjoying a day out at the zoo with their kids. Source: News Limited

"CAN we go next door to the bedroom?"

That was Shane Warne's question to the Ultimo bra tycoon Michelle Mone in her suite in London's five-star Dorchester Hotel on February 15 last year.

Mone told Daily Mail that she was "fixed up" with Warne, now 45, through a mutual friend, cricket commentator and former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan.

She also shares details in her soon-to-be published memoir My Fight To The Top,

"Since Shane was in Australia and I was in the UK, we couldn't meet straight away and spent two months constantly texting and chatting over the phone," 43-year-old Mone, who is stepping down as CEO of MJM International, writes in the extracts published in the Daily Mail.

"He was good fun, and although I felt the odd text message from him was a bit too explicit, I was excited about seeing him when he flew to London in February 2014."

"Not that kind of girl" ... Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone rejected Shane Warne's bedroom question. Picture: Tristan Fewings / Getty Images Source: Supplied

Loves the ladies ... Former cricketing great Shane Warne. Source: HeraldSun

FIRST REPORT: Shane Warne leaves Liz Hurley for hotel room of bra tycoon

WARNE AND MONE: Is this the greatest headline ever?

LOVE LIFE: Warne confirms Hurley split but denies Mone romance

Mone, who had just ended her 22-year marriage to Michael, said she received a text message from Warne that he had arrived a day early to "sort some things out" with former fiancee Liz Hurley.

"That happened to be Valentine's Day, so my mind raced as I wondered whether he was two-timing me," writes Mone.

"The following evening, I got all dressed up in my suite at the Dorchester Hotel, before receiving a text at 7.45pm, 15 minutes after he was supposed to meet me, saying he couldn't make it."

Engaged for a while ... Shane Warne and Liz Hurley in Melbourne in November 2013. Picture: Scott Barbour / Getty Images Source: Supplied

Married had ended after 22 years ... Ultimo bra founder Michelle Mone posing in her own underwear in 2010. Source: Supplied

Mone said she was furious and her anger only increased when she saw pictures of Warne and Hurley in the morning newspapers.

"Later that day, when he asked if he could come and see me, I almost said no, but he insisted so vehemently that nothing was going on between them that I gave him the benefit of the doubt."

Mone agreed to meet Warne in her suite in the hotel.

"Finally, after all that build-up, he walked in. We opened a bottle of champagne and talked, but it wasn't the sort of conversation I'd expected. He chain-smoked about 35 cigarettes — and I hate smoking — and after about an hour he got restless."

"Can we go next door to the bedroom?" he asked suggestively.

"I made it clear that I was not that kind of girl and, besides, though he's a nice, fun guy, he wasn't my type in the end. He was a bit too wild for me."

Mone said the Warne episode taught her something.

"Never again will I start texting a guy without meeting him first because, quite frankly, Shane wasted two months of my life."

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‘You just ate someone’s face’

Jonathon Moran attempts I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here tucker trial.

I'M not going to lie – I love the absolute guinea fowl gizzards out of a food challenge, and tonight was no HRRRRRRGGGHHHxception.

Except for that thing where I'm desperately, pit-sweatingly afraid of vomiting, the sound of vomiting, the idea of vomiting, and anything even vaguely upchuck-esque.

So thank you, I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here producers, for showing – both into AND out of the ad break – Chrissie Swan tossing her cookies in a bucket. Remind me to return the favour sometime, by what, I don't know – sewing live hedgehogs into your underpants or something.

Don't examine it, just eat it. Source: Channel 10

Gurge-purge notwithstanding, this episode must have been the most quote-worthy of the series so far. In fact, if anyone wants to name their new band, look no further. For example:


Frair-ie Flin-off laments his slipping hygiene standards, and makes amends by adopting a side part and a makeshift cravat, which is really just a bandana with a custom Daddo-brand cub scout woggle.


In part one of a multi-episode, three-part "challenge" Maureen gets to secretly pick another celebrity to sneakily drink coffee with. She picks Joel, who sips his surreptitiously behind a tree, but chooses the toilet for her own caffeinated hideout. She tells the camera she was "gulping it in the long drop", which I'm pretty sure is the title of Clandestine Coffee's sophomore album.


I need my thesaurus open at the 'vomit' entry just to describe this hot mess. Today's food challenge Tucker Trial, met with varying degrees of success by Merv 'straight down like undies at a foam party' Hughes and Chrissie 'stop trying to make retch happen' Swan, is extreme.

Go on, take a bite ... Source: Channel 10

Not believing in starting slowly, Chrissie takes the first of five turns by chewing tentatively on a third of a preserved, salted fish, bouncing it on a trampoline located somewhere south of her ribcage, and depositing it without hesitation into a bucket by her foot.

To follow, Merv (after, it must be admitted, being extremely sweet and supportive to the clearly distressed and two-tenths inside-out Chrissie), inhales a chunk of guinea-fowl gut sausage like it's the last piece of cake at a fat kid convention. It's like Merv and Chrissie are a vacuum cleaner on two different settings.

Om, nom, nom. Source: Channel 10

Chrissie's next dish is a thing. With another thing on top. And with an ostrich anus on top of that.


"That's someone's bum" says Chrissie.

"Who's bum is that?" she continues, and we realise that nobody asked the ostrich's name before... y'know. Before cutting off its anus. Come on now. If you're going to have your anus cut off and served on top of a curry, I think the world deserves to know your name.

Chrissie is ultimately unable to eat Sebastian's anus (I took a guess).

By contrast, Merv pounces on his goat offal and caul fat dumpling like it's the last scented candle at a single girl's garage sale.

The final course is shared, and it's a chicken foot and a chicken head, giving us possibly the best quote-slash-Fall-Out-Boy song title ever:

"You Just Ate Someone's Face and You're My Hero".

That's the kind of thing you save for the encore.


As Anna mildly uncomfortably finds out: If you want a kiss on the lips from Maureen McCormick, give her a quick brow-tidy. The closest we'll ever get to a pash on this show comes directly after one person yanks body hair from another person's face. It's not un-amazing.


Australia must not ever let Maureen go, because Maureen has amazing stories about men at the airport winking at her. You're ours now, Maureen. We'll never let you go to an airport again, because you might leave.


Hugs all 'round. Source: Channel 10

Finally it's time for television's greatest regular eight minutes of watching beige paint dry, the Celebrity Chest. This time Joel and Frair-ie Flin-off must get a key out of a tree by stacking and climbing milk crates, which is everything you'd dreamt a milk-crate stacking and climbing challenge could be. If it wasn't for one or two instances of Joel falling and wedging his nuggets in a harness, I'd barely know I was alive.

The chocolate bikkie prize, donated by Carrie Bickmore, was not forthcoming after the celebrities get a question wrong.




Jo Thornely doesn't get enough attention at her day job, so she writes for various outlets, takes up way too much bandwidth on the internet, and loves it when you explain her jokes back to her on Twitter. Follow her on Twitter @JoThornely

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The secret to getting on Survivor

Survivor host Jeff Probst with his best catchphrases.

New contestants ... the cast of Survivor: World's Apart. Source: Channel 9

FIFTEEN years and 30 seasons after it helped spark the worldwide reality TV obsession, Survivor is still going strong. While it may never again see viewing figures like the 52 million who tuned in to watch soon-to-be-tax-cheat Richard Hatch win the season one finale, it remains a favourite among reality TV aficionados.

Host and executive producer Jeff Probst has been there from the beginning, dispatching hopes and dreams with his immortal catchphrase: "The tribe has spoken. It's time for you to go."

New series Survivor: World's Apart delves deep into class warfare, pitting tribes of blue collar workers against white collar — and "no collar" workers (coconut vendors, YouTube sensations and the like).

REVEALED: Survivor host's 10 best travel destinations

MORE: How Survivor has outlasted other reality TV fads

New series ... it's class warfare on Survivor: World's Apart. Source: Channel 9

Concepts aside, the four time Emmy winner says the show lives or dies on the strength of its casting.

"I'm always amazed at how much time we spend on casting," he says. "We have a full team and they're working almost year round on Survivor."

They're already casting for seasons 31 and 32 and as usual, there's a shortage of suitable women. "We can find lippy loud mouth weird guys all day ever day, but finding a woman who wants to do it … and has the personality is tough," he says.

Jonny Fairplay's fake dead grandmother aside, heartbreaking stories don't play well on Survivor. Probst recalls the casting team were "bored" when one woman came in with tragic story about the emotional impact of losing her husband. The next hopeful came in with a funny story about eating potato chips. "We're on the floor laughing," he says. "Which guy got on the show? The potato chip guy."

Honest ... Jeff Probst, host and executive producer, says he wouldn't last a week. Source: Channel 9

Probst, who will give brutally honest feedback on audition vids if you tweet him a link, knows he wouldn't last a week on the show.

"My closest friends said: 'Probst, you'd be out so fast' and I was shocked," he says. "The thing I thought was my asset — words, verbal — are not nearly as charming as I think they are. And they said: 'Oh no, you would piss somebody off pretty quick and they'd vote you out'."

"I now know that to be true."

Deserpate times ... Survivor: World's Apart features the usual dramatic scenery. Source: Channel 9

Probst says Australia is too expensive to film in at present, but the country's had a big impact on the show. It picked up a large proportion of its crew in 2001, when the production doubled in size filming Survivor Australia.
"They (Australian) took over and what took over was: 'Relax!' And it wasn't, 'Relax, don't work hard'. It was like, 'We're working hard but I can have a beer. Life's going to be OK'.

"You're guys have a different way of looking at the world, and Americans are really uptight, so thank you for that!"

Survivor: World's Apart, GO! Thursday, 9.30pm

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Bali Nine death island transfer looms

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 22 Februari 2015 | 20.01

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran's delayed Indonesian execution has inspired two social media campaigns.

Four Indonesian air force Sukhoi jets at Denpasar International Airport. Source: Supplied

FOUR Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi fighters jets have arrived in Bali for what is believed to be a mission to fly in protective support when Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are transferred to the prison island of Nusakambangan.

Details are not clear, but is understood that the condemned Australians could be shifted in a matter of days.

Ominous ... The Sukhoi jets could be used for protective support in the transfer. Source: Supplied

It is thought Chan and Sukumaran will be flown from Denpasar under guard on two long-range helicopters direct to the prison island on the south coast Java, or by a fixed-wing aircraft to Jogjakarta or Cilacap, the mainland city right alongside Nusakambangan.

Four Indonesian air force Sukhoi jets at Denpasar International Airport. Source: Supplied

The Russian-made Su-30 jets touched down in Bali after 10am yesterday, having been preceded by support crews. They are expected to fly in flanking support when Chan and Sukumaran are shifted.

Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 & Su-27 Flanker aircraft in action in Darwin in 2012. Picture: ADF. Source: Supplied

Their presence is part of a display of intent by the Indonesian authorities who have stated that they will not tolerate any outside interference in the executions.

Indonesia's supreme army boss General Moeldoko said on Friday that he was ordering special forces and weapons systems to be in place for the transfer, because "the military deeply understands the possibilities of threats".

General Moeldoko claimed he was not talking about any specific country, but relations between Indonesia and Australia have deteriorated badly over the planned executions.

LOVE AND RESPECT: Chan and Sukumaran on their adopted home

DEATH WATCH: The burden of executions

Relations between Indonesia and Australia have deteriorated badly over the planned executions. Source: Supplied

In Cilacap yesterday morning, hundreds of Indonesian infantry with assault rifles, dummy weapons and Avon inflatable boats staged a major exercise on the beach, just a short distance from Nusakambangan.

The Indonesian infantry trained on a beach opposite the island slated for Chan and Sukumaran's executions. Source: Supplied

Indonesian authorities have stated that they will not tolerate any outside interference in the executions. Source: Supplied

Indonesia's military 'deeply understands the possibilities of threats' over the impending executions. Source: Supplied

It is not known whether the exercise is related to the coming executions but General Moeldoko has said it was Indonesia's intention to secure the execution island by air, land and sea.

Indonesia intends to secure the execution island by air, land and sea. Source: Supplied

Minor protests have been held across Indonesia with people piling up small change in a symbolic message to Prime Minister Tony Abbott — who asked Indonesia to remember the $1bn Australia gave in aid after the 2004 tsunami — that he can have the money back.

Jakarta's turn ... the 'Coins for Australia' campaign gathers momentum in the capital. Picture: Nadira. Source: Supplied

In Jakarta yesterday, campaigners made the most of the city's car free day to collect money at a central roundabout.

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Better than ‘The Best Job In The World’?

Chris and Jess Bray 'at work'. Source: Supplied

CHRIS Bray was a finalist for Queensland Tourism's famous 'Best job in the world' campaign back in 2009. But thankfully he didn't get the job, because what he gets to do now is even cooler. Prepare for job envy:

Imagine getting to travel to the world's most wonderful places including Africa, the Amazon, Alaska and the Galápagos Islands every year for 'work' — which involves staying in extravagant accommodation, eating gourmet local seafood and chartering private helicopters, planes, safari vehicles and even luxury ships to photograph wildlife.

Amazingly, that's the role my wife Jess and I have found ourselves in: running one day photography courses around Australia and small-group photo safaris around the world — and we even get to take three or more months off each year to go sailing in the Arctic on-board our sailboat!

Here are the seven most unforgettable experiences I've been lucky enough to witness:

You call this a job Chris? Source: Supplied

Photographing bears catching salmon so close they splashed me

While sailing Alaska, we happened upon this bay filled with brown bears gorging themselves on salmon.

Unlike the overly popular 'Brooks Falls' where tourists get allocated a short timeslot on a crowded viewing platform, here we spent days on end sitting beside the river watching as dozens of bears practise their own fishing styles, completely ignoring us, sometimes pouncing on fish so close that they splashed us. We now run photo safaris to this bay in Alaska — it's the most incredible photography experience I've ever had.

Sorry salmon. Source: Supplied

Lion cubs playing with my GoPro mounted on a remote controlled toy car

A video I shot of a lion cub playing with my GoPro was so adorable that it went viral the same day I uploaded it while I was still running one of our safaris in Kenya.

Not the GoPro! Source: Supplied

It was on TV in the United States that night, and GoPro even bought it and made a TV commercial from it. I've also sold similar footage of lions to National Geographic Channel and even had polar bears chew on one camera.

Cheetah jumping on top of our safari vehicle

Our two safari vehicles were parked near a wild cheetah in the Maasai Mara in Kenya when it suddenly decided to leap up on top of the roof of Jess's car!

It sniffed around, peered inside at our guests and just lazed on the roof for some ten minutes enjoying the vantage point before hopping off and sauntering away.

An extremely close call. Source: Supplied

Photographing Hummingbirds

Before visiting the cloud forests in The Andes, I'd never seen a hummingbird before. Suddenly, they were buzzing everywhere!

Beautiful hummingbird. Source: Supplied

As stunningly swift as they are beautiful, photographing them using natural light is a wonderful challenge and we now take guests to the Galapagos to take pictures of Hummingbirds each November.

Witnessing a genuine tribal fire-dance in Papua New Guinea

It was the first time Australian Geographic ever sent a photographer overseas and I got to spend two amazing weeks exploring PNG.

Barefoot fire dancer in the middle of flames. Source: Supplied

The tribes around Rabaul sometimes perform a 'fire-dance' for tourists, but a contact took me and the Australian Geographic writer travelling with me deep into hills one night to see the real thing. Dazed on some forest drug, these naked, barefooted men first danced around, then through and then up and down inside this huge fire.

Some passed out and fell into the flames, others carried giant pythons and later even screaming toddlers through the fire, all to rhythmic chanting and drumming from the women. It was incomprehensible.

Fire dancer engulfed in flames. Source: Supplied

Iceberg Sailing

While sailing our little 29-foot, wooden sailboat 'Teleport' up the coast of Greenland and through the infamous Northwest Passage over the top of Canada and Alaska (the first junk-rigged sailboat ever to do so), we found a beautiful arched iceberg.

Chris and Jess's yearly 'holiday'. Source: Supplied

I hopped in the blow-up dingy with my camera, and Jess sailed around the other side to get the perfect photo. I missed her first pass though, as a huge iceberg beside me suddenly broke apart and rolled over sending a wave of icy water towards me.

Jess and my secret adventure wedding

At the edge of the abyss. Source: Supplied

And of course I couldn't leave out our adventurous wedding.

If it looks cold, that's because it was! Source: Supplied

No one knew where we were taking them — the invite just said to be at the airport dressed for the cold and we'd bring them back four days later. It turned out to be in the snow, half way up Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, in the middle of winter. It was awesome!

Our groomsman was not impressed with the pash. Source: Supplied

If you aren't already jealous enough you can follow Chris Bray on Instagram, join him on one of his one-day photography courses, or on a photo safari.

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Real Housewives: ‘What does this b*tch have?’

The birds are back: Gamble Breaux, Chyka Keebaugh, Jackie Gillies, Gina Liano, Lydia Schiavello, Janet Roach, Pettifleur Berenger. Source: News Corp Australia

REAL Housewives of Melbourne is back, with ribbon-twirling, terrified housekeepers and a love triangle involving a pig, all in the first episode. But is new Housewife Gamble hiding a scandalous secret?

Strap yourselves in, folks: the second season of Real Housewives of Melbourne is off and away.

But before we get stuck in, we need to pour one out for a dearly departed homie. Yes, we're talking about Andrea, the nanny-terrorising, list-making aspiring self-help mogul who, after being crucified for her shady antics last season, wisely decided not to return for another round of Real Housewives.

Every show needs a villain and truth be told, Andrea played the role perfectly. Joni Mitchell was right: you don't know what you've got til it's gone. Andrea, we hope you're in a better place (Actually, we know you are — you're in Toorak).

Both new Housewives have successfully completed the mandatory pre-season short course on sassy hand-on-hip posing. Source: Supplied

Housewifekeeping out of the way, on to season two … And the Housewives each have a cringe-worthy new opening title catchphrase!

The most perplexing of the lot has to be Gina's "I deal in fact … NOT friction," which makes us wonder if she's gunning for a lucrative personal lubricant sponsorship.

We get our first glimpse of the two new improbably-monikered Housewives, who both use their opening credit sequences to dabble in wordplay worthy of Shakespeare himself:

Gamble Breaux: "Gamble on me, and you're SURE to win." BECAUSE HER NAME IS GAMBLE DO YOU SEE?!?!

Pettifleur Berenger: "THIS little flower is NO shrinking violet." BECAUSE HER NAME IS FLEUR DO YOU SEE?!?!

Housewives introduced, the season starts with a catch-up lunch for Jackie, Chyka and Jackie — whose crimped hair is giving us a real J-Lo vibe.

You just KNOW there's a bottle or two of La Mascara secreted in her handbag. Source: Supplied

Jackie's stunned that the other two ladies are looking so svelte, complimenting them both on their between-season weight loss.

What's their secret? Lydia says she's refined her eating habits lately but she still averages "eight coffees a day". For a woman who — and you'll forgive us for making this assumption — probably has no real need to get out of bed before about 2pm, that's an awful lot of caffeine.

Before long, Lydia's on to her trademark sex talk (YASSSS). Chyka says eight coffees a day would make her heart pound, to which Lydia responds "My heart's used to getting pounded." (You're definitely doing sex wrong, Lydia).

When Jackie suggests they start their meal off with a tequila shot — it being, ooh, I don't know, 10am — Lydia has another drink in mind:

We're barely two minutes into the new season and Lydia's already working blue. How long until she mounts a helicopter? Source: Supplied

Oh Lydia, we've missed that razzed-up spirit of yours. You make Fifty Shades of Grey look like a Mother and Son marathon.

Janet soon phones in to the lunch from her Porsche, telling the girls she's been spending some time with a man named Carlos, who Chyka imagines is probably "Italian, suave, naughty, a bit of fun — right up Janet's alley." Without friction, we hope.

Janet's called in to tell the girls she's having a birthday party, and while she's inviting the rest of the Housewives, she's reticent about inviting Gina given their 'frenemy' status. AND WE'RE OFF. They'll be throwing around pearlers like 'lower your testosterone' and 'insignificant arse hair' before the episode is out, mark my words.

An aside: Janet's been set up weirdly in her first chat-to-camera of the season — rather than talking to an unseen interviewer just off camera, she looks right down the barrel of the lens. It's a little disconcerting — like watching a RealDoll in a hostage video.

"Pls send help". Source: Supplied

Janet's off to meet up with the Carlos over lunch. Is he an improvement on the leather necklace-wearing dude she hooked up with last season? We'll let you be the judge.

We swear we tried to take a flattering screenshot. Source: Supplied

Turns out Carlos and Janet aren't dating — yet. He's actually helping her organise her birthday party, but he's got some bad news: they're going to have to change the venue. She's not happy, but Carlos diffuses the situation by complimenting the eternally up-for-it Janet on her "beauty, depth and intelligence." She may have a bit of a thing for this younger man, but don't worry guys — she totally plays it cool in the face of his flirting.

*jaw unhinges* Source: Supplied

Back at lunch with the girls, Lydia hops on the phone to make sure her personal assistant is managing her big assignment for the day: buying shampoo.

"Go and buy your own bloody shampoo!" Jackie From The Block barks.

"I don't have time," Lydia shrugs, as her weekday lunch approaches its fourth hour.

To be fair, Lydia's got a busy day ahead of her: She's got to take her dog Figaro — the most pampered yet miserable soul this side of Britney Spears — to an appointment.

"What, to buy him a dress?" Jackie says.

"EWW, dress? He's not gay," Lydia scoffs, alienating approximately 99 per cent of the Real Housewives fanbase in an instant.

"I mean, I LOVE gay," she corrects herself, "but he's not."

"I love gay" is probably our favourite syntax-free Lydia-ism since "Are they pant?" Great save, Lydia — you'll have your own Mardi Gras float before you know it.

Continuing her preparty prep, Janet visits her hairdresser, Patrick, who's looking a little … different to last season. Like, 'Growing out my Posh Spice bob, don't wanna talk about it' different.

Would you trust this man to cut your hair? Source: Supplied

While Patrick attends to her hair, ignoring his own, Janet calls Gina to invite her to the party.

Ah, Gina. Our first glimpse of this olive-skinned lioness, some 16 minutes into the episode, is a classic. It appears the producers have dropped her off somewhere in Melbourne's outer suburbs solely so they can film her while she struts her stuff next to a shop awning emblazoned with a sign saying 'The bitch is back.' #symbolism #miseenscene

For this shot alone, give Real Housewives ALL THE LOGIES. Source: Supplied

Gina's catching up with her sister Bettina, having just got back from Los Angeles where she's been visiting her Geographically Impossible Partner, Dean. She drops a bombshell: she's planning on moving to LA (at this very moment, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills feel a collective chill down their avian spines).

Chatting to her sister, Gina makes an off-the-cuff joke about Janet's upcoming birthday being her 85th. We know how this show works now, so let us make a little season two finale prediction: Janet and Gina will argue at length about whether Gina really called Janet old in episode one, as the other Housewives watch on disinterestedly, waiting for their respective book deals to be finalised. In the car park outside, Andrea will loiter with intent before being moved on by security.

As her party preparations continue, Janet pops into a cake shop. Surrounded by dozens upon dozens of cakes, she informs the owner that she's planning a birthday party. His sincere response is perhaps the best line of the episode:

"DON'T TELL ME! You need a cake."

Watch out Jackie Gillies, your position as RHOM's resident psychic may be under threat.

"I'm sorry Janet, we don't sell cakes here … TRICK! Oh, I crack me up. What's it like outside? I've never left this shop." Source: Supplied

Sitting down to discuss what sort cake Janet should order for her birthday, the baker uses all his best upselling techniques to flog Janet the most expensive creation he possibly can, literally scoffing in her face when she meekly asks how much it will all cost.

Her response to this heavy-handed salesmanship? A slightly desperate, "Would YOU like to come to my party?"

Janet, you're breaking our hearts.

It's party time, and the Housewives travel in pairs to the big event. In Jackie and Chyka's car, the mood is buoyant, with the pair caught up in a cacophony of girl-talk and clinking champagne glasses. Over in Gina and Lydia's car, the atmosphere is … frostier.

*tumbleweed* **but, like, a really fancy tumbleweed with rhinestones and a fake tan** Source: Supplied

After what feels like about three years of increasingly tense silence, these two old friends break the ice.

Gina: "How's [husband] Andrew?"

Lydia: "He's goo-"

Gina: "WELL I heard you two separated. From two different sources. Independently. THREE, actually."

Lydia: "NUP."

We would have no qualms about jumping from this moving vehicle and rolling under the nearest bus. Sweet relief.

At the party, Janet announces that a new Housewife, Gamble, will be joining the fun.

"Her real name is Gamble, she's had it since birth, she IS a real person," Janet insists, helpfully nipping any scurrilous 'Gamble-is-actually-a-Roomba-in-a-wig' gossip in the bud before it even starts.

So, here's how we're introduced to Gamble Breaux. She lives in Mount Eliza, where she spends her days:

a) Sprawled on a rug in front of her fireplace grooming her teacup Pomeranian:

DREAM LYF Source: Supplied

b) Practicing her ribbon-twirling (it's a real sport, haters back off) by the pool:

DREAM. GODDAMN. LYF Source: Supplied

c) Chilling on her yacht with the elderly eye surgeon squeeze she met on E-Harmony:

She bagged a surgeon with a yacht? Last time we met a guy off the internet we had our own episode of Catfish Source: Supplied

During this intro package — the fabulousness of which will only truly be understood by future generations studying the greatest achievements of the 21st century — Gamble reveals she used to be a model in Singapore. As mysterious backstories go, this is up there with Regina George's "I hear she does car commercials in Japan".

Back to reality. Gamble rocks up at the party and immediately puts her foot in it with Jackie when she asks how long she's been working as a psychic: "Twelve years? Oh, I thought you were just mucking around!"

Jackie takes the dis well, mind you.

"Some of the other ladies might not like her straightforwardness, but you know … life's one big Gamble." Season two drinking game: Do a shot every time somebody awkwardly shoehorns a 'Gamble' pun into a sentence. Be sure to pre-book your ambulance.

Next, Janet heralds Gina's arrival at the party with the following announcement: "Ohhhh, attention everyone! Stage right! Drag queen has entered the building!"

Gamble's response suggests she's got a lot to learn about this show.

Yeah that's the point, babes. Source: Supplied

Gamble and Gina start chatting, and — surprise, surprise — they instantly get on.

"Gina is so gorgeous! If I was gay I'd turn for her," Gamble gushes. Wait, so if you were a lesbian you'd turn straight for her? This is confusing.

We're then introduced to the second new housewife, Pettifleur, who's depicted in her introduction package standing on her balcony high above Melbourne, sipping from an antique teacup and plotting world domination like some sort of campy Batman villain.

"One day, all this will be mine. First against the wall: anyone who doesn't like my snakeskin coat." Source: Supplied

Pettifleur was born in Sri Lanka and came to Australia as a teenager, carving out a successful career in property development. She lives in a swanky Collins Street penthouse with her partner, her sons, and — wait a minute! Could this be?

Who'd going to launch the Kickstarter to free Leah from Pettifleur's penthouse? Source: Supplied


The part of 'put-upon housekeeper' in Real Housewives season two will apparently be played by Pettifleur's harangued houseslave, Leah. Or, as Pettifleur calls her, as if summoning a disobedient pet: "LE-ARRR! LE-ARRR! LE-ARRR!"

Back at Janet's party, Pettifleur makes quite the entrance — and she knows it. Here's how she sizes up the other Housewives:

"I know they're all thinking: What does this fabulous bitch have?"

Making small talk with her new pals, Pettifleur fills Jackie and Gina in on her background: While Sri-Lankan born, she's also got Swiss, Dutch and Portuguese heritage.

"So, what language do you actually speak?" Jackie asks the woman she's been speaking English to all evening.

Pettifleur, stony-faced: "English."

Jackie appears confused.

"Don't say Zimbabwe, don't say Zimbabwe" Source: Supplied

Party over, the episode finishes with a scene that seems more suited to Twin Peaks than Real Housewives. The next day, Janet meets Carlos for a little day-date in the park, where he's walking his … dog? Guess again.

Carlos tenderly caresses Janet's competition. Source: Supplied

Carlos is the proud owner of a giant pet pig, who he's dressed rather saucily in a feathered, flapper-style headband. Ignoring horrified looks from passers by who just don't understand their love, Carlos whispers tender words in his companion-swine's ear.

"Gorgeous girl … you're looking like a real lady today."

Carlos just got a LOT more interesting.

Janet tries not to look shocked that her date with Carlos comes with a big side of bacon, but her resolve is tested when he casually drops into the conversation that he and his four-legged lady friend usually sleep in the same bed.

But Janet doesn't have time to contemplate a polyamorous relationship involving a 1920s jazz-pig — she's got bigger issues on her mind. Namely, she's finding it hard to move past some "not very nice gossip" she's heard about Gamble's mysterious past.

"Mmm, I've heard many stories about Gamble," Carlos confirms.

The words 'Singapore modelling career' suddenly sound rather sinister …

Next week: Janet confronts Gamble about the 'many stories' she's heard.

Gina, Jackie, Chyka, Janet, Lydia, Gamble and Petit Fleur in Sydney. Source: News Corp Australia

Real Housewives of Melbourne airs every Sunday, 8.30pm on Arena. Check back as soon as episodes air each week for our full recap.

In the meantime, join our recapper Nick Bond on Twitter (@bondnickbond) to workshop how we can emancipate Pettifleur's poor housekeeper. #freeleah

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Marcia’s devastation from the air

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 21 Februari 2015 | 20.01

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says now

A damaged house remains standing after Tropical Cyclone Marcia hit the coastal town of Yeppoon. Source: AFP

* Cyclone Marcia has been downgraded to a tropical low but many residents endured a damp and dark night with thousands left without electricity.

* Power is expected to be cut for several days and emergency services are calling on residents to use water only when absolutely necessary.

* The severe tropical cyclone made landfall as a category 5 cyclone and has left a trail of destruction over Yeppoon and Rockhampton.

*The cyclone was at category 5 when it grazed Yeppoon battering the coastal town with 285km/h winds. It was downgraded to category 3 when it hit Rockhampton in the afternoon.

* Marcia's destructive core with gusts to 155km/h continued southward towards Biloela.

* In the Northern Territory, Cyclone Lam made landfall as a category 4 system and has now been downgraded to a tropical low.


THE clean-up is beginning across Queensland in the wake of Cyclone Marcia. And boy, is there a lot of work to do.

Making matters worse is the news that looting has followed the cyclone's path of destruction.

Flooding hit the Biloela area. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

Two boys aged 14 and 16 and a young man aged 17 have been charged after allegedly breaking into a Yeppoon bottleshop overnight, The Courier Mail have reported.

Police allege that officers patroling the streets found the three males in possession of 11 bottles of alcohol, allegedly obtained from a bottleshop on Rockhampton Rd in Yeppoon.

All three have been charged with one count of entering a premise to commit an indictable offence, while the 14-year-old was also charged with stealing.

Additional police resources have been brought into Yeppoon and Rockhampton for security reasons following the cyclone. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also announced earleir today that army troops were on their way to Rockhampton and Yeppoon to begin the clean-up effort.

"Once again I ask the communities to please be patient with us," Ms Palaszczuk told media this afternoon.

"The Ergon crews are out there and working as hard as they possibly can - already they've cleared the dangerous power lines from the streets but now the real work is to restore that power and over the coming days and weeks power will be restored - but patience is needed.

"We've been in contact with the (Australian Defence Force) and a deployment will be coming from Townsville to the area where troops will be distributed between Rockhampton and Yeppoon," the Premier said.

These photos, taken by The Courier-Mail, show the extent of the devastation.

The town of Jambin, which has suffered bad flooding. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

Flooding in the Biloela area. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

That's a lonely tractor. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

Another photo from the Biloela area. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

Meawhile, a new weather threat is emerging.

The weather bureau has issued warnings for severe thunderstorms from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast while another thunderstorm developed near Caloundra.

There has already been one waterspout seen on the Sunshine Coast and more were likely throughout southeast Queensland later today.

Residents of Brisbane and the Gold Coast have been bracing for more bad weather today with winds as high as 90km/h possible and heavy rain.

The brollies are out in Brisbane. Pic Mark Calleja Source: News Corp Australia

Late this morning, the weather bureau revised down the amount of rainfall expected in the southeast from 300mm to 125mm.

The rain warnings stretch as far south as the north coast of NSW, where there is a chance of flash flooding.

More than 60 SES teams remain on standby and are handing out sandbags with further rain and damaging winds expected to hit mid north-coast today, Sky News reported.

At least 60,000 homes are without power.

Debris from homes is scattered along the streets of Gladstone. Photo: Natalia Muszkat Source: Supplied

There are flood fears as the clean up from Cyclone Marcia continues. Source: News Corp Australia

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Matthew Bass told a press conference this morning that there was potential for water tornadoes in southeast Queensland.

There has already been one report of a waterspout on the Sunshine Coast.

"We could see a couple more of these events as this system moves south along the coast they will be very localised," Mr Bass said.

Several dams in Queensland were already overflowing however there were no fears the Wivenhoe Dam upstream of Brisbane would overflow.

On the Sunshine Coast, 42 people have been evacuated amid fears of flash flooding although authorities insist it is just a precautionary measure.

Winds could still reach 90km/h in southeast Queensland today — but that is far below what residents in central Queensland faced yesterday.

One Yeppoon resident told Sky News the damage was "like a bomb going off".

Winds ripped off roofs, blew out windows and sent large trees crashing through walls. Some homes in Yeppoon were completely destroyed.

Cyclone Marcia Destroyed houses in Yeppoon. Picture: Jack Tran Source: Supplied

A boy walks past a fence brought down by Tropical Cyclone Marcia along a road in Yeppoon. Source: AFP

Tony and Vicki Harris saw their neighbour's home on the corner of John and Vaughan streets in Yeppoon lift up and slam into their home, smashing apart the veranda.

A large section of the Harris's' roof was also torn off and rain soaked their lounge room.

"We heard all these bangs, the neighbour lost his roof and the next minute I could see the sky through mine," Mr Harris told the Courier Mail.

The local Mayor, Bill Ludwig, said the damage would be in the "multi-millions".

Today an army of volunteers were helping their friends and neighbours clean up in Yeppoon, which is without power.

Leanne Smith, whose daughter and two grandchildren, aged 7 and 11, were evacuated from their home, told AAP she couldn't believe what was left when she returned to survey the damage.

"I was actually really emotionally affected by it," Ms Smith said.

"It's just not something you can really explain to people, it's actually quite devastating."

A charity mobile laundry service, Orange Sky Laundry, also pulled up to help the family wash clothes for free.

Co-founder Lucas Patchett said the service, which usually helps homeless people, was also used in disaster situations.

"We drove around a bit, saw some news crews up here and thought it must be a badly affected area, so just turned up and offered to wash and dry people's clothes," he said

Two Queensland towns have been cut off after a "wall of water" from the first cyclone to hit in 40 years wrecked havoc.

Residents in northeastern NSW are bracing for heavy rains and flooding in the wake of Cyclone Marcia.

Residents of Biloela and the nearby village of Jambin are cut off this morning, with flood levels rising in the wake of Cyclone Marica.

Gates at Callide Dam opened Friday night and spilt a "wall of water" downstream to Jambin, causing urgent evacuations of outlying properties.

Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige said: "I've never seen anything like it before."

Police have renewed their warning for motorists not to ignore road closure signs as they could be protecting travellers from washouts, craters and other hazards, and not to attempt to cross flooded roads, causeways or water courses.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said authorities would have a better picture of the impact today.

Clean up to begin after Queensland faced the full brunt of tropical Cyclone Marcia.

"We'll have helicopters in the area and also there is a request in with the Australian Defence Force and they will also be carrying out an assessment of the damage in the areas around Rockhampton and Yeppoon."

State Emergency Services Assistant Commissioner Peter Jeffrey warned about being complacent this morning.

"Don't be lulled into a false sense of security ... We need to be vigilant and prepared."

Mr Jeffrey said a full assessment of the damage would begin as crews moved into the worst damaged area, mainly around Yeppoon and Rockhampton.

There had already been 4500 calls to SES for help.

In Rockhampton though it appears people don't just have fuelling their cars on their minds.

Important sites and numbers

—Bureau of Meteorology website bom.gov.au for up to date weather information, including up-coming forecasts and warnings;

—The Traffic and Travel information line on 13 19 40 or http://www.131940.qld.gov.au

—RACQ road closure site on 1300 130 595 or —http://www.racq.com.au/travel/maps_and_Directions/road_conditions

—Monitor local councils and local radio stations for local information and updates

QPS facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/QueenslandPolice

—with AAP

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