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Pondering quiet quitting? Why (and how) to talk to your boss first

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The Conversation

Don’t rush into quiet quitting (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Quiet quitting is a catchy name, popularised on social media, for something we’ve all probably done.

Its popularity is probably down to the inevitable and much-needed pushback against ‘hustle culture’, where younger workers are encouraged to over-function and engage in unsustainable ‘performative productivity’ – looking like you are working harder than you are – to get ahead in their careers.

This comes at the expense of their wellbeing and capacity to engage meaningfully with their work.

Hesitance to perform duties outside of what your role requires can be a symptom of low engagement, which can be connected to how you are managed. According to Gallup’s 2022 ‘state of the global workplace’ report, only 21% of people are engaged at work. Engagement is crucial for retention and productivity more generally.

Research by management expert Emma Soane reveals that people’s engagement with work stems from three factors: how meaningful they find it, their perceptions of managers, and opportunities to have two-way conversations with said managers.

So, if you’re feeling burned out and disengaged, what’s the best way to communicate with your manager about it?

Setting boundaries and asking questions

Simply quiet quitting without warning is a risky strategy. If you have a reputation for going the extra mile, it’s a bad idea to abruptly switch off that part of your workplace persona.

Transparency is important, and good managers will be supportive when workers raise concerns about burnout and lack of engagement.

A conversation with your boss could be the start of reform in your workplace that leads to a better environment for everyone, by helping workers set boundaries that managers respect.

Be clear about your reasons for quiet quitting, and where your employer might be able to play a role in supporting your boundaries.

Ellen Ernst Kossek, an expert in work-life balance, identified three fundamental styles of boundary management.

When you’re feeling disengaged, it’s tempting to just switch off (Picture: Getty Images)

Employees seeking healthier boundaries tend to either separate work from the rest of their life entirely, integrate work into their life, or operate in cycles that combine both approaches. All are legitimate.

Decide which approach works best for your specific circumstances before having the conversation. And enter the dialogue with solutions in mind, not just complaints.

Even if you have a reasonably emotionally intelligent line manager, it is important to ask the right questions of your boss to get more involved and feel more valued. No point beating around the bush. Find a time when your boss is not stressed and is likely to be more open to dialogue, and let them know that you’re not very happy, and why. People who are quiet quitting may feel undervalued, overworked, exploited and want a better balance in their lives.

Here are some questions you could ask to get the conversation flowing:

  • What do you really think of the quality of my work?
  • What do you think about the hours I am working?
  • How do you feel about my relationship with other members of the team?
  • Do you think you and I have a good working relationship?

Based on their response, you have the opportunity to let the boss know just how you feel. There is always a risk in doing this, depending on their openness, but it’s better to speak up than to stay unhappy and operating at half throttle.

Better engagement at work

Organisations depend on having an engaged workforce. Engagement is a fragile and precious resource. It can decay for a variety of reasons, including avoidable and trivial frustrations. In a 2022 survey of IT workers, a whopping 84% of study participants reported being unhappy because of the software they were using.

It’s easy to see how low-level departmental gripes can deplete morale and engagement over time, leading to the sort of burnout that causes people to quit, quietly or otherwise.

Dominic Ashley-Timms, CEO of management performance consultancy Notion, is coauthoring a book on helping managers improve engagement – ultimately minimising the negative effect of quiet quitting.

He believes the key to improving engagement is for managers to ask better quality (and better timed) questions of their employees. If managers understand themselves in terms of the effect they have on their staff, they will better understand how to keep their employees engaged.

This is consistent with the concerns of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing at Work (a body of over 40 global employers), which has been advocating that managers need to improve their social and interpersonal skills so that employees feel more valued. Such engagement will lead to higher levels of productivity at work and less inclination towards quiet quitting.

By Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, University of Manchester

Read the original version of this article on The Conversation.


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Steri Stumpie announces Cape Town steri-bration sites

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Two years ago, the brand had to put a big celebration back in the fridge and now, to celebrate its 50th birthday.

The brand says that it is bringing spontaneous, colourful and fun to South Africans around the country because let’s face it — lately, life has been a little colour-less, fun-less and flavour-less thanks to ‘you know what’.

Steri Stumpie will be hosting an array of Steri-brations at popular locations around Cape Town over the next few weeks, and call on all Capetonian fans of the brand to join in on the celebration.

According to the brand, over the next few weeks, the Steri-mobile will be visiting hotspots around the city and adding a little colour and flavour to fans of the popular drink, while celebrating everything this iconic brand stands for.

These activations will see Steri Stumpie throwing the celebration with music, selfie walls and product giveaways.

Individuals can catch the Steri-mobile in Cape Town on:

  • Friday, 16 September: Camps Bay and Clifton Beach
  • Saturday, 17 September: Green Point Park
  • Sunday, 18 September: Strand and Gordon’s Bay
  • Friday, 23 September: Muizenburg Beach
  • Saturday, 24 September: Sea Point Promenade
  • Sunday, 25 September: Eden on the Bay, Melkbosstrand, Bloubergstrand Beach and Blaauwberg Beach
  • Friday, 30 September: Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens and Die Boord
  • Saturday, 1 October: Hout Bay Beach, Bay Harbour Market and Chapman’s Peak Drive
  • Sunday, 2 October: Simon’s Town, and
  • Saturday, 8 October: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

According to the brand, South Africans around the country will also get the chance to interact with the brand on social media and win their share of R100 000.

For more information, visit www.lactalis.co.za.

Steri Stumpie Steri-mobile Steri-bration Steri Stumpie celebrates its 50th birthday Steri Stumpie flavours what is a Steri Stumpie Steri-brations Steri-mobile flavoured milk SA Flavoured milk Steri Stumpie campaign #MilktheMoment Milk the Moment

Biden says U.S. would defend Taiwan against Chinese invasion : NPR

President Biden waves as first lady Jill Biden watches standing at the top of the steps of Air Force One before boarding at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on Saturday.

Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP


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Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP


President Biden waves as first lady Jill Biden watches standing at the top of the steps of Air Force One before boarding at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on Saturday.

Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP

President Joe Biden says the U.S. will defend Taiwan if China stages an “unprecedented attack” on the island, his latest in a string of remarks over the past year that have been unusually explicit about America’s intentions in the face of growing pressure from Beijing.

In an interview with the CBS news show 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday, Biden was asked if U.S. forces would defend Taiwan — a self-ruled democracy that sits roughly 100 miles off the Chinese coast and is claimed by Beijing as part of China.

“Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden replied.

Asked again if, unlike in Ukraine, U.S. forces would get involved in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden replied: “Yes.”

On three previous occasions since mid-2021 Biden has made similar public comments suggesting that the U.S. would get involved in a conflict over Taiwan.

Some observers say the remarks contradict a long-standing preference from U.S. administrations for ambiguity on the issue of defending Taiwan, as a way to deter both China and Taiwan from taking steps that could alter the status quo.

The White House has said the remarks do not represent a change in U.S. policy.

After the 60 Minutes interview aired, a White House spokesperson said: “The president has said this before… He also made clear then that our Taiwan policy hasn’t changed. That remains true.”

Still, the interview is sure to anger Beijing, which has accused U.S. politicians of sending “wrong signals” to those in Taiwan who favor formal independence.

China’s ruling Communist Party sees Taiwan as unfinished business from the civil war, which ended in 1949 with the defeated Nationalist Party fleeing to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan back into the fold – ideally by peaceful means, it says, but by force if necessary.

Polls show, however, that a large majority of Taiwan’s 23 million people prefer the status quo, and oppose unification with China.

Biden said the U.S. was not encouraging Taiwan’s independence — a red line for Beijing — but he added: “Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence…that’s their decision.”

By law, the U.S. has a commitment to provide Taiwan with means to defend itself. Debate about what that should look like has intensified in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China has also tipped the balance of power across the Taiwan Strait with a sweeping, multi-year modernization of its armed forces.

While U.S. officials insist that America’s policy toward Taiwan has not changed, informal relations between Washington and Taipei have warmed as tensions between the U.S. and China have worsened in recent years.

In a phone call in July, Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned Biden against American meddling on the Taiwan issue, saying “those who play with fire eventually get burned.”

Last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, becoming the most senior U.S. official to set foot on the island since Newt Gingrich traveled to the island as House Speaker in 1997.

China was livid over the visit, and in the weeks since it has conducted military drills near Taiwan and flown warplanes across the median line down the center of the Taiwan Strait that separates Taiwan from the mainland.

GTA 6 To Be Set In Vice City, Massive Leak Containing 90 Videos Confirms

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Many clips of GTA 6 gameplay have been leaked, with GTAForums member “teapotuberhacker” taking the credit. The footage, shows a game which is still under progress, includes clips of complex animations, potential storylines, and more. The leak also validates a number of important game elements, such as the protagonists, tone, and Vice City as the game’s location.

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Despite initial skepticism, several reports are now claiming that the leaks are indeed real, and Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games, has started to file requests for takedowns of videos that have surfaced on YouTube and other social media. It’s safe to say that this matter has taken precedence for Rockstar over other tasks that may have been at hand. The ‘leaker’ is also holding more information ransom and is looking forward to come to an agreement with Rockstar games.

It would be an understatement to call this leak massive considering leaks of such scale occur once in a blue moon. With more than 90 videos and screenshots, a lot seems to have come into the clear surrounding GTA 6. Firstly, it is now confirmed that the game will indeed feature a playable female protagonist, Lucia, alongside a male character. In one of the leaked segments, we see Lucia robbing a store, showing complex gameplay animations, gunplay and NPC dialog.

Several key details, including ‘V.C.P.D.,’ Vice City Police Department number plates and the leaked video showing ‘Vice City Metro Train’ more or less confirms that the game will indeed be set in Vice City, the video game version of Miami, Florida. In one of the leaked clips, we also see both the protagonists visit a nightclub, complete with character dialogue and set-pieces that trigger as the character goes deeper inside the club.

Visually, the game for now looks okay. Of course, the leaks are low-resolution, but notably, the game is seen running on a PS4 Development Kit in one of the clips. If the game does indeed launch on PS4, the player base will be massive from the get-go. Moreover, the does look refined in some segments, including one where the male protagonist is seen near a water body, receiving slurs from the NPCs nearby. The lighting, in particular, looks impressive upon pixel-peeping, wind seems to affect the myriad palm trees and weather effects like rain look good for a game that is probably in its pre-alpha phase.

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In all likelihood, the game is at least a couple of years (if not more) away. We do have key confirmations surrounding the character switching between male and female protagonists and a story that will be presented in a satirical tone. It is safe to say that GTA VI will be the biggest video game launch ever whenever it comes out. If anything, Rockstar might just release an official trailer now that so much has leaked out already.

Read all the Latest Tech News and Breaking News here

Tiny premature baby who weighed just over 1lb and was swamped by babygrow now fills it out

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‘At points, we thought he might not make it but he’s so strong-willed and has proved any worries wrong every step of the way’ (Credit: SWNS)

George Kirwan, who is now six months old, was delivered at just 28 weeks on January 31, 2022.

The tiny tot weighed a minuscule 1lbs 7oz and was so small it took doctors over half an hour to determine his gender.

Baby George’s parents had tried for more than three years for a child and the pregnancy had been fraught with worry after mum Chloe, 33, suffered a bleed at just 18 weeks and then caught Covid.

A 28-week scan revealed that George had stopped growing and doctors told mum Chloe that he would need delivered early.

Medics also found a potential blockage in George’s bowels that could have resulted in cerebral palsy, so made the decision to deliver him that week – much to the shock of Chloe and her husband, Nicholas, 36.

After spending two months on the neonatal ward in Great Western Hospital, Swindon, Wiltshire, and nearly 10 weeks in hospital, George has finally been allowed home with his parents.

‘I clutched my bump the whole time as my husband drove to the hospital’ (Credits: Chloe Kirwan / SWNS)

George – who his mum describes as a ‘happy boy’ – now weighs a healthy 11lbs 5oz.

The tiny England rugby babygrow which once swamped him now fits perfectly – it was originally bought by Nicolas’ brother, Paul, 33, as the whole family are huge rugby fans.

Chloe, a marine engineer, from Swindon, Wiltshire, said: ‘We named him George as it was the strong name that represents the journey he went on the first two months of his little life and boy does he live up to it.

‘At points, we thought he might not make it but he’s so strong-willed and has proved any worries wrong every step of the way.

Chloe and Nicholas spent the next two months in the hospital in order as they hoped George would become strong enough to go home (Credits: Chloe Kirwan / SWNS)

‘We’re so proud of how far he’s come after a few really scary months in hospital.

‘It’s amazing to see his playful personality developing and how much he fills the babygrow that once swamped him.’

Chloe and Nicholas, a social enterprise manager, underwent three years of NHS fertility treatment before becoming pregnant with miracle baby George – including laparoscopic ovarian drilling, a surgical technique of puncturing the membranes surrounding the ovary with a laser beam or a surgical needle.

With no success from the procedures, the couple were planning to embark on IVF treatment, first under the NHS for one free egg collection.

If unsuccessful, the pair may have required further IVF from Swindon Fertility Clinic, where treatment would’ve cost them anything between £10k – £14k per round.

However, much to their delight and relief, Chloe found out that she had became pregnant naturally in August 2021.

​She said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when I found out I was actually pregnant.

‘Because we were actively trying, we did monthly tests and so I was getting ready for work one morning and remembered that I needed to do a test for August.

‘I put it on the bathroom side, continued to get ready, and saw the two lines appear.

‘I had to check it twice.

‘When we were able to see him, he was given to us in plastic wrap to keep him warm’ (Credits: Chloe Kirwan / SWNS)

‘Nicholas was still asleep so when I went crying into our room waving the test, it took him a minute to understand what was happening but, of course, he was thrilled.

‘To be honest, I still wasn’t convinced because of the disappointment we had faced from trying for so long.

‘When I went into work, I immediately told my boss, and she encouraged me to go to the local Boots and buy some more tests.

‘When all nine came back positive, then I believed it.’

Despite the exciting news – like many first-time parents – Chloe and Nicholas were very anxious about the pregnancy.

‘We had four private scans before the first trimester,’ Chloe explained.

‘After the 12-week scan came back OK, I settled down a bit and was able to tell the family.

‘It was amazing to be able to tell them the news we’d always hoped for.’

However, while pregnant at 18 weeks and on holiday in Poole, Dorset, Chloe suffered a bleed.

‘Having a baby prematurely means that many women are not on the maternity pay’ (Credits: Chloe Kirwan / SWNS)

‘We were both incredibly panicked as I’d been classed as high risk at seven weeks when diagnosed with high blood pressure,’ she said.

‘We called 111 and they urgently sent us to Poole Maternity Unit and luckily the bleeding stopped when we made it to the hospital, where they advised me to rest as much as possible.’

And then at 20 weeks, on December 30, 2021, Chloe contracted coronavirus.

She said: ‘I had a persistent cough and things felt too weird for them to be just pregnancy symptoms.

‘I clutched my bump the whole time as my husband drove to the hospital.

‘Doctors were pretty worried after examining me as they couldn’t get my blood pressure under control.

‘They told me my baby would have to be delivered before 32 weeks, which was terrifying.’

Although Chloe had initially being allowed home to recover, at the end of January 2022, her symptoms went from bad to worse.

At 28 weeks, she was admitted back into Great Western Hospital, Swindon, Wiltshire and on Monday January 31, 2022, George was born via C-section at 7.10pm.

‘When George was delivered and we heard that little cry, we felt relief,’ she said.

‘It took the team half an hour to identify his gender just because of how premature he was.

‘When we were able to see him, he was given to us in plastic wrap to keep him warm.

‘Thriving’ six-month-old George Kirwan today (Credits: Chloe Kirwan / SWNS)

‘He was so tiny, he had to be placed on my chest and I gave him a kiss on his head before he was put in an incubator.’

Chloe and Nicholas spent the next two months in the hospital in order as they hoped George would become strong enough to go home.

In the first five days of George’s life, he was put on a CPAP – a machine that blows air through a mask to ensure that he could breathe continuously.

After that, he was put onto Optiflow – a humidified oxygen that assists breathing – for six weeks and then an oxygen tube when his lungs gained strength.

During their time there, Chloe decided that she wanted to do something to help other parents who were in the same situation.

The mum-of-one said: ‘When you’re in hospital there is only the canteen and cafes to rely on, we were spending £300 monthly on coffee alone which was crazy.

‘Having a baby prematurely means that many women are not on the maternity pay.

‘When faced with the extra expenses that come with staying in hospital, it makes things even more challenging.

‘We were both so drained as you forget to eat properly as you’re so focused on baby.

‘After the first month, George started to get better, and I thought of creating bundles for parents in the same situation and started to collect some donations.’

As George turned six months old, Chloe marked the milestone by donating the first 20 ‘Tiny But Mighty’ care packages to Great Western Hospital and has since then has donated eight emergency overnight bags and fully stocked the parents’ pantry – a kitchen area in the hospital where parents on the neonatal ward can get hot drinks.

‘The packages aren’t a magic wand, but they do offer parents that little support in a time when they need it most,” she said.

‘The progress we make with the packages reminds me of our own little bundle and how amazing George is.

‘He’s so smiley, just how a little one is supposed to be.

‘He loves books, turning the pages, listening to us read to him and looking at the pictures.​

‘Even though our journey started off rocky, I’m so grateful for the NHS treatment we received.

‘It won’t be long until George will be out of that baby grow and kicking a rugby ball around.

‘We met in our local rugby club in Swindon, now we have our own little star.’

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


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Coronation Street’s Mikey North on Gary’s future after Kelly’s exit | Soaps

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The Rick Neelan storyline reaches a conclusion (Pictures: ITV)

With Kelly Neelan (Millie Gibson) finally discovering that her dad was killed by Gary Windass (Mikey North) in Coronation Street, the stage is set for huge drama as she sets her sights on revenge against her dad’s killer.

Over the course of the week, Kelly puts a plan into action against Gary that ends up putting both of them in serious danger – and ultimately leads to Kelly’s departure from the show. But, assuming Gary survives, what could be next for his character?

‘I think it’s about trying to redeem Gary for what he’s done,’ Mikey North says, aware that it’s an unwritten law of soaps that bad people don’t go unpunished.

‘Deep down he doesn’t intend to do wrong,’ he maintains. ‘He is a good, kind-hearted family man deep down, but he does have that temper. I just hope that we’ve found a way to redeem him.’

Is the ‘family man’ aspect of Gary one we could be seeing more of? ‘Me and Samia [Longchambon] were saying how it’s been a real family unit these last few weeks,’ Mikey says.

‘There’s five of us in that house now. Jake Windass, little Bobby [Bradshaw], he’s moved back in with us. I know we’re losing Millie but Bobby is one to watch for the future – he’s a real little star in the making. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of him as well.’

This is all assuming that Gary makes it to the end of the week, as Mikey points out. ‘Let’s see what’s next – if this isn’t the end.’

Buckingham Palace release unseen portrait of Queen on eve of funeral

The Queen beams at the camera in the newly released portrait (Picture: PA)

An unseen portrait of the Queen smiling with joy has been released by Buckingham Palace.

Taken in May – ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations – the photo shows the monarch beaming brightly while at home in Windsor Castle.

Dressed in a dusky dove blue dress with her hair neatly curled, the portrait has been released on the eve of the late monarch’s state funeral.

The Queen is pictured in her favourite three-strand pearl necklace, pearl earrings and her aquamarine and diamond clip brooches. The brooches were an 18th birthday present from her father George VI in 1944.

The two art deco-style pieces, worn one below the other, were made by Boucheron from baguette, oval and round diamonds and aquamarines.

The Queen wore the brooches when she addressed the nation on the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020 and for her Diamond Jubilee televised speech in 2012.

The image was taken by photographer Ranald Mackechnie, who also took the jubilee portrait of the Queen released to mark the start of national festivities of her milestone 70-year reign.

The picture was taken in Windsor Castle (Picture: PA)

The Queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee with the nation just three months before she died.

In a televised tribute to her mother-in-law earlier this evening, the Queen Consort recalled the Queen’s ‘wonderful blue eyes’ and said: ‘I will always remember her smile.’

Camilla also recalled how the Queen used her ‘good sense of humour’ to put her at ease on her wedding day as she paid tribute to her 17 years on.

A shoe-related wardrobe malfunction nearly had caused chaos.

Camilla said: ‘I remember coming from here, Clarence House, (to) go to Windsor the day I got married when I probably wasn’t firing on all cylinders, quite nervous and, for some unknown reason, I put on a pair of shoes and one had an inch heel and one had a two-inch heel.

‘So, I mean talk about hop-a-long and there’s nothing I could do. I was halfway down in the car before I realised and you know, she – she could see and laughed about it and said, ‘look I’m terribly sorry’ and she did, you know, she had a good sense of humour.’

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

Got a story? Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk. Or you can submit your videos and pictures here.

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Korean Bangs Are Currently In Fashion, Know How To Go About Them

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Last Updated: September 19, 2022, 09:16 IST

Why don't you try out this cool hairstyle this festive season? (Image: Shutterstock)

Why don’t you try out this cool hairstyle this festive season? (Image: Shutterstock)

Another fashion trend is up for grabs and you must hop on it too, do not worry, we have got your back!

This season, it’s all about soft waves and air-bangs for a natural-looking style that will leave you turning heads.

Heralded by Vogue as “one of Korea’s top hairstylists”, Sunwoo Kim is the co-founder/owner of Cheongdam-based salon, Woosun, and hairstylist to some of Korea’s biggest names, such as Blackpink, Irene Kim, Go-eun Kim, Min-young Park, Ye-Ji Seo.

Soo Joo Park walks us through the six simple steps to effortlessly create this look at home, using the next-generation DysonAirwrap multi-styler.

Achieve this look:

  • Start with towel-dried hair. Apply your favourite styling product and comb your hair with a Detangling comb.
  • Blow dry hair using the multi-styler and the Coanda Smoothing Dryer attachment. Select the drying mode, by simply turning the switch on the attachment in the direction of the arrow. Choose low heat and high airflow settings, and to pre-dry hair until it is about 80% dry.
  • Add voluminous curls and waves by switching the attachment to the 40mm Airwrap barrel. Using high heat and high airflow setting, hold the middle of a hair tress and let the enhanced Coanda airflow automatically attract and wrap hair on the barrel. Hold in place until dry. Set the style with a cold shot for 5 to 10 seconds, before slowly releasing the curl.
  • Twist the cool tip on the barrel to change the direction of the airflow and repeat on the next hair tress, to create a more natural look. Repeat around the head, alternating the airflow direction each time.
  • To create the air bangs, switch to the Airwrap Soft Smoothing Brush to create volume from the roots of the hair. Choose a high heat and high airflow setting and place the brush under the fringe to lift the hair. The higher the lift, the rounder, and the more natural the shape of the fringe will be. Use the 30mm barrel to create the air bangs and comb through them again with the Soft Smoothing Brush.
  • Lastly, use the smoothing mode of the Coanda Smoothing Dryer on medium speed and low heat to hide flyaways and finish off the look. Start at the front left of the parting and smooth over the top section, leaving out the ends.

Pro-tips:

  • When styling, the first stage of styling is to break the ‘temporary’ bonds in the hair so that it can be reshaped. This can typically be achieved by either wetting the hair or by heat.
  • For frizz-prone hair, try the Firm Smoothing Brush to achieve your voluminous air bangs.

Read all the Latest Lifestyle News and Breaking News here

Frozen Planet II: Viewers in tears as seal pup abandoned at 12 days old

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Frozen Planet II continued with its stunning and at some points distressing content on Sunday, after making a welcome return to screens last weekend.

The Sir David Attenborough-narrated series brought viewers on a journey to the North Pole this episode and countries including Norway and Russia as it took in polar bears making friends, orcas hunting other whales, majestic narwhals – and one very sweet seal pup.

Following last week’s bizarre walrus mating ritual, the programme homed in on the story of a mother seal looking after her new baby, who was of course all types of white, fluffy and adorable.

Viewers were lulled with gorgeous footage of the parent and baby bonding as the mother fed her baby and taught him how to swim.

A particularly important lesson for the newborn harp seal pup, as Sir David revealed they were vulnerable to pneumonia while developing the thick layer of insulating fat needed to brave the freezing temperatures.

He also revealed the quite stunning fact that female seals only produce milk for 12 days, the shortest-known nursing period in mammals, and one that sees them lose a third of their body weight as they help pups put on the necessary fat.

The seal pup was entirely dependent on its mother to teach him what hr needed to know in a very short span of time (Picture: BBC)
While he remained fluffy and lacking in fat, the pup was limited in the amount of time he could spend in the water (Picture: BBC)
The seal pup and mother were the perfect illustation of the species’ all-too-short childhood (Picture: BBC)
The pup got milk from his mother for just 12 days (Picture: BBC)

However, Frozen Planet II fans were not ready for what would come next as renowned conservationist and broadcaster Sir David explained: ‘After producing milk for 12 days, she has lost a third of her body weight.

‘Now she must return to her feeding grounds. She will never see her pup again.’

If that wasn’t the killer blow, more followed as it transpired that seal pups spend the next four weeks alone on the packed ice, hoping to survive before they are ready to go hunting in the water on their own.

The last time the pup saw his mother (Picture: BBC)
… And the last glance the mother took at her pup (Picture: BBC)

‘Anyone else bawling at the harp seal?’ asked one viewer, while another lamented: ‘The baby seal and it’s [sic] mother have just broken my heart.’

One particularly shaken fan commented: ‘No human has ever hurt me as bad as that seal and pup did.’

Viewers were also noticing Frozen Planet II’s stunning music as one wrote: ‘Oh nooooo, little pup is on his own! Poor little pup. (Btw the emotional manipulation music as his mother slipped from view was Bambi-worthy)’

The seal pup’s sniffles and wails he made were also testing resolve, but it was just another lesson in the (often) brutal circle of life – especially as the final few moments of the show gave insight into the filming process for the seals and revealed a storm was closing in on the seal pup after his mother left.

Frozen Planet II returns next Sunday at 8pm on BBC One.

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Examining dietary phosphorus intake

Examining dietary phosphorus intake
Process of calculating values of added phosphorus in foods and beverages. Credit: Nutrients (2021). DOI: 10.3390/nu13072249

The International Food Additives Council (IFAC), a global association representing manufacturers and end-users of food ingredients, has released its findings on a study that examined dietary phosphorus intake over time and correlations with health and physiology.

The two-part study was conducted by researchers Kristin Fulgoni, Victor Fulgoni and Taylor Wallace and found between 1988-1994 and 2015-2016, Americans’ daily intake of natural phosphorus increased by 12% while their daily intake of added phosphorus decreased by 13%.

The study also found a higher total of phosphorus intake is associated with increased bone mineral content and bone density, a decreased risk of high blood pressure by 3%, and an increased risk of lowering levels of HDL-cholesterol (or “good” cholesterol) by 21% for every 100 milligrams of added phosphorus consumed.

Phosphorus is an essential mineral that’s naturally present in many foods. The body uses this mineral to build strong bones and teeth, maintain a normal pH balance, deliver oxygen to tissues, convert food into energy, and much more. The top five food sources of natural phosphorus include cheese, pizza, chicken, reduced-fat milk and eggs.

Currently, the average total dietary phosphorus intake for adult Americans is 1,400 milligrams per day, which is well below the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of 3,000—4,000 milligrams per day. Added phosphorus accounts for about 11.6% of total phosphorus intake among American adults ages 19 and over. The main contributors for added phosphorus are cheese, soft drinks, cakes, pies, cookies, and brownies.

The research was published as two studies in Nutrients.


Plant growth stimulation by high CO2 depends on phosphorus homeostasis in chloroplasts


More information:
Kristin Fulgoni et al, Trends in Total, Added, and Natural Phosphorus Intake in Adult Americans, NHANES 1988–1994 to NHANES 2015–2016, Nutrients (2021). DOI: 10.3390/nu13072249

Kristin Fulgoni et al, Association of Total, Added, and Natural Phosphorus Intakes with Biomarkers of Health Status and Mortality in Healthy Adults in the United States, Nutrients (2022). DOI: 10.3390/nu14091738

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Examining dietary phosphorus intake (2022, September 16)
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