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Rooney keen to end league drought against Liverpool

“I am very happy and grateful, but I go back to Manchester, get back into training and start focussing on Liverpool.

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Hopefully getting two goals in the last two games will mean I continue scoring,” Rooney said.

“There’s no better game to go into than Liverpool at home after losing our last game (2-1 at Swansea City). It is a game we have to win and it’s something I’m looking forward to,” the former Everton striker added.

“To achieve what I have (by becoming England’s top scorer), I would be lying if I said it didn’t put a spring in my step and make you want to carry on scoring,” Rooney, who also scored in the 6-0 win over San Marino that booked England’s place in the Euro 2016 finals in France, said.

Meanwhile, Ander Herrera has said United’s midfield needs to start chipping in with goals to take some of the pressure off both Rooney and new signing Anthony Martial.

The Red Devils have struggled for goals in the early part of the season and have just three in their four league games so far, including the own goal by Kyle Walker in the 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the season opener.

“We don’t have to give all the responsibility on scoring to Wayne or Anthony Martial. We have to help. It is very important as a midfielder to score. We all have to help,” the Spanish midfielder said.

“Wayne is very important to us. Most of the time he will score but when he doesn’t, he is helping the team and he is always fighting for the team.

“He runs for the rest of the team and he likes to provide assists. We are very lucky to have him,” the 26-year-old added.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)

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Debate over Iraq-Syria fight timeframe

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews says Australian forces involved in Syria and Iraq could pull out after two to three years, but a former military chief believes it’s more likely to be a decade.

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Mr Andrews is the first cabinet minister to put a timeline on the fight against Islamic State, which military strategists believe will take a decade or more.

Asked to define how many years the fight would take, he told the Nine Network: “Two, three years. I can’t say for exact terms.”

Former defence force chief Peter Gration said the prospect of sorting it out in two to three years was remote.

“We are in for a longer haul – I’d be thinking in terms of a decade,” he told the ABC.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who on Wednesday announced RAAF military aircraft would be allowed to cross from Iraq into Syria to target IS fighters, said personnel would return when the job is done.

His comment was backed up by Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss who said in response to a Labor question in parliament on the military pullout: “I cannot give you a date as to when that will be. We all hope that it will be soon but we will not be leaving until the job’s done.”

Labor has thrown its support behind the government in extending the mission into Syria.

Australia’s representatives to the United Nations wrote to the president of the security council on Thursday morning giving notice of the expansion.

The legal basis is Article 51 of the United Nations charter which states all member nations have a right to individual or collective self defence against armed attack.

However, Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said the ultimate solution lay in finding a political resolution in Syria, as well as defeating Islamic State.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke overnight with US Secretary of State John Kerry about how to disrupt IS bases and supply lines in eastern Syria.

Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs warned that bombing IS targets in Syria would create more refugees.

Australia’s policy of accepting 12,000 people fleeing the conflict and conducting air strikes was “contradictory”, she said.

“I think it’s inevitable that will increase the refugee flow and it will almost certainly lead to the deaths of more civilians.”

Mr Andrews likened the Iraq-Syria border to something closer to home.

It made sense to be able to go over the border because it was a bit like the border between NSW and the ACT.

“We know where it is on a map but most people wouldn’t know where it is and Daesh (IS) certainly doesn’t respect it.”

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Perrett closing in on new Canterbury deal

An elusive premiership ring is the sole reason why Canterbury veteran Sam Perrett is close to re-signing with the club on an multi-year deal.

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In an added boost ahead of Saturday night’s elimination final with St George-Illawarra, the self-managed Perrett revealed he is on the verge of a contract extension at Belmore.

“It’s not official yet, but everything’s looking good to stay here,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of putting it all on a formal contract.”

Perrett, 30, said he was comfortable looking after his own contractual affairs because, at this stage of his career, his priorities aren’t about extracting the most dollars.

“For me, there’s a lot of other things that hold value for me – comfort, momentum, opportunity, and a good, healthy environment,” he said.

“That’s really important for me and my family.”

However, the former Sydney Rooster said he had been in the game long enough to know other players had differing demands when it came to taking a seat at the negotiating table.

“They don’t really want to focus on that. They want to focus on their football and they’re not too interested in that side of it,” he said.

“In that instance, it’s good to have someone else working for you.”

Having lost three grand finals over his 12 seasons in the NRL so far, Perrett said winning that elusive premiership ring was his sole motivation at this stage of his career.

The former Kiwis representative gets another chance when he begins his fifth finals campaign in his past six years this weekend.

“It’s another shot for me personally that I’ve been looking forward to, and another opportunity to get that ring. It’s something that I’m pretty hungry for,” he said.

“To fall short just one step, it’s heartbreaking.

“But they are always opportunities to learn from, so long as you can the lessons and apply them.

“Hopefully the last couple of GFs that we’ve missed out on, we can fill in the missing pieces to the puzzle.”

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‘Jihadi junior’ gran devastated by video

The grandmother of a British boy thought to feature in the latest Islamic State (IS) video says it is “really devastating” he has been taken away from her.

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Victoria Dare said she recognised Isa – thought to be aged under five – by his eyelashes and mouth, but that she was not looking at him as if he was her grandson.

Speaking on the BBC’s The One Show, Ms Dare said she had not seen Isa, or her daughter Grace “Khadijah” Dare, a Muslim-convert extremist from south-east London, since 2012.

She said: “I am not taking it as he is my grandson to be in that situation. That is the way I can deal with the situation.

“Naturally it is my grandson, but this is not what God gave me.”

Ms Dare added that she still called her daughter Grace, and said she missed them a lot because the “joy” had been taken away from her.

“That joy is taken away from me which is very devastating. I need my grandchildren, my daughter, I need them back.”

Isa’s grandfather, Henry Dare, has said that he believes the youngster is being used as a “shield” by the terrorists.

Police are working to determine whether the boy is one of Grace Dare’s sons.

Mr Dare told Channel 4 News: “He’s (used) for propaganda. He doesn’t know anything. They (IS) are just using him as a shield.

The majority of the footage, which has yet to be independently verified, features a masked man who insults UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The masked man then kills a prisoner. Four other men then kill one prisoner each.

The man speaks in a British accent and appears to mimic the style of the British man known as Jihadi John – real name Mohammed Emwazi – who was killed in a US drone strike in Syria in November.

The boy makes a fleeting appearance at the end of the 10-minute video.

Wearing camouflage clothing and a black headband, he says: “We are going to go kill the kaffir (non-believers) over there.”

Grace Dare was brought up as a Christian but converted to Islam and started using the first name Khadijah, her family said.

She travelled to Syria in 2012 and married Swedish Islamic fighter Abu Bakr, who is believed to have been killed since.

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US anti-govt militia continue stand-off

A standoff at a remote US wildlife centre in Oregon has rolled into a fourth day with self-styled militiamen vowing to press on with the protest against the US government even as local officials told the group to go home.

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Saturday’s takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside the town of Burns, Oregon, was spurred by the imprisonment of two ranchers for setting fires that spread to federal land.

The occupation marked the latest protest over federal management of public land in the West, long seen by political conservatives in the region as an intrusion on individual freedom and property rights.

Protest leader Ammon Bundy, whose father’s ranch in Nevada was the scene of an armed standoff against federal land managers in 2014, said his group was defending the Constitution and personal liberty against the federal government.

The protesters say they aim to protect the rights of ranchers and start a national debate about states’ rights and federal land-use policy that they hope will force the federal government to release tracts of Western land.

Many residents in Burns, a town of some 3000 people about 451km southeast of Portland, viewed the occupation as the work of outside agitators.

“It is time for you to leave our community, go home to your families, and end this peacefully,” Harney County Sheriff David Ward said.

The FBI said it was working with state and local law enforcement for a peaceful resolution.

The ranchers whose cause Bundy’s group has embraced – Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son, Steven – surrendered to federal authorities in California on Monday after being resentenced to longer prison terms for arson.

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New TV tech promises sharper colours

For years, TV makers have focused on making pictures sharper by squeezing more pixels onto screens.

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Now, their attention is shifting to improving the way sets display colour, with a newish technology called HDR taking centre stage.

HDR, or high dynamic range, promises brighter whites, darker blacks, and a richer range of colours – at least when you’re watching the few select movie titles that get released in the format. Trouble is, there aren’t all that many of those yet, and other HDR viewing options are likely to remain scarce for the immediate future.

Even worse, there are likely to be several different flavours of HDR, just to keep TV buyers on their toes.

HDR represents the latest effort by the world’s television makers to fuel demand for new sets. Global television shipments are expected to flatline this year, says research firm IHS – and that’s an improvement over 2015, when shipments fell 4 per cent.

TV makers are still touting the previous new new thing – 4K, or ultra high-definition, sets, which have four times the pixels of current high-definition screens. While 4K has stopped the bleeding, it hasn’t jolted the TV industry back to life, not least because such high resolution only makes sense if you sit up close and get a very large screen.

HDR faces some similar challenges. As with 4K, studios have to release movies and shows in the new format for owners to get the most out of new HDR sets. To date, there have been only a handful of releases, including The Martian and Amazon’s original series Mozart in the Jungle. More are coming, and Netflix aims to join Amazon this year in streaming some HDR titles, but getting an HDR-ready set still mostly means preparing for the future.

Beyond that, there’s the complicated issue of choosing between different versions of HDR. For starters, your version of HDR may look better or worse depending on the kind of set you get.

Basically, only two types of TV screens can display HDR: those using organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), now built only by LG; and liquid crystal display (LCD) panels that use quantum dots, which are being made by everyone else.

OLEDs are more expensive but provide higher contrast, with truer blacks made possible by pixels that turn all the way off. LCDs, by contrast, will give you a brighter image than OLEDs, but require a backlight that limits just how black its screen can get.

Then comes the next wrinkle: a new proliferation of HDR-related marketing labels. For instance, there are actually two ways of defining “premium” HDR technology – one for OLED sets and one for LCDs.

Confused yet? You probably won’t be alone. “People can understand that more pixels is better than fewer,” says IHS’s TV analyst Paul Gagnon. “When you start talking about colour gamut and HDR, people’s eyes start to glaze over.”

LG’s director of new product development for home entertainment, Tim Alessi, acknowledges the challenge: “We definitely need to do a good job on educating the consumer on what HDR is all about.”

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Deliberate acts cause more airline deaths

There were more airline deaths worldwide due to deliberate acts in 2015 than to accidental air crashes for the second year in a row, according to an industry tally.

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There were only eight accidental airline crashes last year accounting for 161 passenger and crew deaths – the fewest crashes and deaths since at least 1946.

The tally by Flightglobal, an aviation news and industry data company, excludes a German airliner that was deliberately flown into a mountainside in the French Alps last March, and a Russian airliner packed with tourist that exploded over Egypt in October. The toll for those two incidents was 374 killed.

In 2014, the toll from a Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared and another that was shot down over Ukraine was 537 deaths compared to 436 accident deaths that year.

“In recent years, airline safety has improved very considerably to the point where, typically, there are now very few fatal accidents and fatalities in a year,” said Paul Hayes, Flightglobal’s director of air safety and insurance.

“However, flight security remains a concern.”

The global fatal accident rate for all types of airline operations in 2015 was one per 5 million flights – eclipsing 2014, which had a fatal accident rate of 1 per 2.5 million flights, as the best year ever.

A big reason for the improving record is better engineering: Today’s airliners and aircraft engines are far safer than earlier generations of planes and common pilot errors have been greatly reduced.

But more needs to be done to weed out disturbed pilots and guard against acts of terrorism, experts said.

The Germanwings case is especially perplexing, said John Cox, a former airline pilot and aviation safety consultant.

Pilot Andreas Lubitz managed to conceal his problems even though airlines are continually evaluating pilots for signs of trouble. Pilots evaluate each other as well.

It’s not known what caused Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to disappear while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

But many aviation safety experts theorise that it was mostly likely the result of deliberate acts, probably by one of the two pilots.

“Pilots from day one are so ingrained with protecting the passengers, with learning skills to deal with unanticipated events … and evaluated on how well you deal with stress,” Cox said.

“Those who don’t do well with it don’t survive as professional pilots.”

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New VR headsets sign of growing demand

Virtual reality, which has long promised to allow users to immerse themselves in virtual worlds, is at last ready for the big time.

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After years of development, rival VR headsets will be hitting the shops in the coming months. Then it will become clear whether VR is ready for everyday life.

The term virtual reality has been around since the 80s and repeated attempts have been made to try to achieve its potential. However, the idea was ahead of its time. The early devices were not powerful enough, were costly and felt clunky when worn.

The upcoming headsets such as the Oculus VR from Facebook or the Playstation VR from Sony are still to be worn on the head, but are much lighter than their predecessors.

But size and computing power were just two of the hurdles the technology faced. Until recently, many people complained that visiting virtual worlds was nauseating.

The high cost of a mass-market headset may also be dizzying. But now it’s believed that many gamers, having waited for years for the technology to develop, are ready to put down real money to get into VR.

What the first VR customers can expect is still unclear. Sony demonstrated the impressive capabilities of the technology last (northern) autumn, when some guests at the premiere of the movie The Walk were able to don headsets and feel what it is like to walk by tightrope between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Centre.

If one uses the rise of the mobile phone market as a comparison, today’s VR is still at the “brick phone” stage, Ted Schilowitz, a researcher into the future with the movie studio 20th Century Fox, told the New York Times recently.

The technology certainly works, but before mass adoption we cannot say where it is headed for. Market researchers at Juniper Research estimated that 3 million VR headsets will be sold this year – with the figure to jump to around 30 million by 2020.

The race to produce suitable content is already under way. Facebook, which paid around $US2 billion ($A2.80 billion) for VR pioneer Oculus, made two short films for VR headsets in its own studio.

“To tell stories in virtual reality is much more complex,” says the studio’s creative director, Saschka Unseld.

At the same time the creative opportunities are greater because the viewer is right in the heart of the action and can react to it. The headset has sensors that can detect movement and adjust the picture accordingly.

Besides computer games, music concerts are also seen as an exciting possibility for VR. In September, Disney, the pay-TV provider Sky and others invested $US65 million in VR start-up Jaunt. The company has demonstrated its technology with a VR recording of a concert by Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.

The next step is cameras that can record 360-degree videos of the real world. Google and the action-cam specialist GoPro are selling such a filming and processing system for $US15,000.

In contrast Nokia and the US start-up Lytro want to serve the professional market with VR. The Finnish company charges $US60,000 for its Ozo camera whereas Lytro’s system including camera, server and software will cost several hundred thousand dollars.

However, the technology will be affordable for consumers within three years, Lytro chief Jason Rosenthal told the US magazine Fast Company.

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Dear Body: A love letter

My daughter is just shy of 5, but already I worry about the pressures she will feel to conform to a certain physical ideal, to be thin, and to be our culture’s perception of pretty.

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Like all parents, I hope to teach her many things in her childhood years, including that her body is strong even when it might feel weak, magical in what it can perform, constantly changing, and worth loving no matter what.

And as my boys enter a chapter where they aspire to build muscle, bulk up and match a certain male athletic ideal, and as they use their bodies for more competitive sports and their minds for more intellectual challenges, I want them to absorb this same message.

So to kick off the New Year in a healthy, positive way, I have written a letter to their bodies that perhaps they are still too young to deliver themselves, but someday I certainly hope they do.

Dear Body,

Thank you for being my home. For loving me no matter what I do. For keeping me in one piece and recovering quickly even when I challenge you with trips, slips, falls, collisions, tackles, concussions, late nights of studying, too much sugar, and the germs that I encounter everywhere.

Thank you for protecting me from the many harsh and damaging chemicals, pollutants and substances in our world. For ditching the bad stuff you are given, and employing the good.

Thank you for helping me to grow and get stronger every year. Thank you for balancing and righting me when I become sad, scared or discouraged. You never ask questions, you are always there for me.

So to say thank you this New Year I will try my hardest to make more choices that benefit you.

I will try to sleep well so that you can rebuild the pieces that get broken or weary during a typical day. I will stretch and I will exercise so you can obtain blood to all parts of you. I will eat lots of vegetables so you don’t have to work so hard to filter the pollution in the air I breathe or the chemicals in the candy I eat. I will drink many glasses of water so my spine and joints stay hydrated, my blood travels efficiently, and my nerves function usefully. I will eat protein to give me long-lasting energy, and healthful fats to help my brain function at its highest capacity. I will take lots of deep breaths so all of my cells receive the oxygen they need to do their jobs.

I will try to listen when you talk to me. When I yawn, I will recognize that you want me to sleep. When I ache, I will stop pushing you so vigorously. When I feel anxious, I will deep-breathe and slow down. When I feel angry, I will pause, acknowledge and respect my feelings. When I lack energy, I will drink water, eat healthful food and get some fresh air.

And since you love and take care of me no matter what, perhaps this year I could decide to love you back no matter what shape, size or colour you are, no matter how much muscle or fat or bone you build, no matter how coordinated you are or are not, no matter how many pimples you produce, or how many bad hair days you have. I will love you and take care of you as much as you love and take care of me.

Casey Seidenberg is co-founder of Nourish Schools, a D.C.-based nutrition education company, and author of ‘The Super Food Cards,’ a collection of healthful recipes and advice.

 

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Tight shoes don’t hurt kids: experts

Wearing shoes that are a bit too tight won’t permanently harm kids, say experts on proper footwear for children, adults and the elderly, but crowding the toes will damage adult feet.

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Women who regularly wear high heels, and older people who walk around in slippers, are putting their health at risk, warned Robert Roedl, head of the Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics, Deformity Reconstruction and Foot Surgery at Germany’s Muenster University Hospital.

Most children wear ill-fitting shoes much of the time, yet they manage to play and romp around with both too much and too little toe room.

“About two-thirds of children’s shoes are the wrong size, the majority being too small,” said Dr Roedl.

Kids generally wear a pair of shoes for one season. Parents would need to replace the footwear more often to ensure the fast-growing feet are always in properly fitting shoes, Roedl said.

“In effect, kids’ footwear is too small half the time.”

Parents who buy children’s shoes annually needn’t worry, though. Roedl said there were no complications from slightly tight children’s shoes.

But in the case of adults, while pointed-toe shoes and high heels may look great, they’re unhealthy for the feet.

“If you constantly walk on your toes, you’ll end up with deformed feet, warned Dr Karl-Dieter Heller, vice president of the Berlin-based Professional Association of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery.

According to a 2012 study by the Orthopaedics Department of Germany’s Tuebingen University Hospital, up to 23 per cent of people aged 18 to 65 have a hallux valgus deformity, or bunion.

It is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe, which ends up leaning towards the second toe rather than pointing straight ahead. This often crowds the other toes in the shoe’s toe box, making them bend upwards and rub against the shoe, causing pain.

The condition is most common in women who regularly wear high heels. The reason is that the Achilles tendons of some high-heel wearers thicken and lose flexibility, scientists from the universities of Manchester and Vienna have found.

Meanwhile, improper footwear on the elderly can be life-threatening. While slippers are comfortable and easy to put on, they provide no support and facilitate falls.

“You can definitely assume a heightened risk (of falling),” said Dr Kilian Rapp, a senior physician in the Geriatric Rehabilitation Clinic at Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart.

In 2014, he and his colleagues analysed more than 70,000 falls in some 530 nursing homes in Bavaria. One finding: “Falls in slippers resulted more frequently in serious injuries.”

“Falls are one of the biggest problems in old age,” Rapp said.

Broken bones are especially serious for the elderly. According to the North Rhine Medical Association, about a third of very elderly patients die within a year of having in-patient treatment for a hip fracture, and about half never regain their prior mobility.

A European Commission-funded initiative called the Prevention of Falls Network for Dissemination warns older people against walking around in socks, high shoes or poorly fitting slippers without heel support.

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Samsung launches fashion smarwatches

Samsung has widened its smartwatch collection with two new premium versions of the Gear S2, one in 18-carat rose gold, the other in platinum.

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At the Korean technology giant’s press conference before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the firm announced the two new versions of the wearable, as well as a new hybrid tablet that runs Windows 10.

Smartwatches have exploded in popularity since 2013, when Samsung launched their first Galaxy Gear version. The current generation Gear S2 was launched last year.

Samsung’s Younghee Lee said: “In 2015, we set a new standard with the Gear S2 in smart wearable category. We broke barriers to introduce one of Samsung’s most progressive wearable devices to date.

“In 2016, we will continue to raise the bar, so that we can deliver products that our customers want most.”

Many smartwatch manufacturers, including Apple, LG, Motorola and Huawei, have made greater attempts to create fashion-driven wearables. Rose gold has been a popular material choice as a result.

The two new watches are joined by a range of new straps and watch faces for the fashion-conscious devices.

Samsung also announced the Galaxy TabPro S, a tablet that comes with a keyboard – similar to hybrid products such as the Microsoft Surface and iPad Pro.

As is tradition at CES, Samsung also updated its high-end TV line-up too, at the top of which is a new bezel-less curved SUHD. Bezels refer to the frame that sits around a television and have been reducing in size in recent years.

A series of home appliances, including a new smart fridge and two washing machines were also confirmed.

The technology manufacturer also confirmed during the event that the Gear S2 would add compatibility for Apple’s iOS “later this year”.

The move would enable iPhone users to connect a Gear S2 with their device in order to use it.

Other manufacturers, including Huawei and Pebble already have their smartwatches operate across multiple platforms, however the Apple Watch is only compatible with its native iOS.

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Twitter CEO responds to 10K character limit rumours

Micro-blogging social media site, Twitter, is rumoured to extend its character limit from 140 to 10,000.

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Technology website, Re/code, reported Twitter could be building a new feature to allow tweets to carry text of up to 10,000 characters.

Re/code claims the new feature will roll out by the end of first quarter, however no official date has been set by Twitter.

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey took to the site itself to confront the circulating stories.

Dorsey explains that the rationale behind the new feature, if there were to be one, is that many users already take screen shots of text and attach them to a tweet as images to circumvent the character limit.

 

pic.twitter韩国半永久纹眉会所,/bc5RwqPcAX

— Jack (@jack) January 5, 2016

 

In his post, Dorsey explains that Twitter’s character limit was originally created so the site could be compatible with a single SMS text message, which is typically 160 characters in length.

However Twitter’s character limit has become key to its brand – a fast, sharp way to send thoughts and information.

“It’s become a beautiful constraint, and I love it!” writes Dorsey.

An inside source has disclosed to SBS that the Re/code report is “not too far from the truth” but should be taken with “a grain of salt”.

If the character limit is extended, he says it won’t change the look of Twitter site or mobile app.

“Tweets won’t look any different at all.”

Public reactions on Twitter have ranged from tepid to panic stricken.

WHAT IS THIS? GAME OF THRONES? Because that show has TOO MANY CHARACTERS. 韩国半永久纹眉,韩国半永久纹眉,/QNOyYG82so

— mat whitehead (@matwhi) January 5, 2016Can’t believe Twitter is considering introducing a 10,000 character limit, I’m sure if they actually spoke to their users they’d find (1/87)

— Eddie Robson (@EddieRobson) January 5, 2016Twitter isn’t raising the 140-character limit. It’s building a wall: 韩国半永久纹眉,韩国半永久纹眉,/zH21u6GX7Jpic.twitter韩国半永久纹眉会所,/TJjnQ3VMzk

— Slate (@Slate) January 5, 2016Would gladly join a schismatic movement of Twitter traditionalists who treat the 140-character limitation like the Latin Mass.

— a. o. scott (@aoscott) January 5, 2016

 

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Don’t ‘Get over it’ – How accepting hard times can help you triumph over them

How many times have you heard someone say, “I just need to get over it so I can get on with my life?” Or maybe it’s something you also do yourself.

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When we’re frustrated or hurt or angry, sometimes we just want an instant solution. We think if we say the words ‘Get over it,’ then we can move past it. But is that true?

For me, I’d chide myself to ‘Get over it,’ expecting my emotions to follow, then get annoyed that I still felt the same feeling, thinking ‘Geeze, shouldn’t I be over this by now?’ I failed to see that “I need to get over it” in most cases really meant not dealing with a breakup, issues at work or with family and friends.

My expectation that I should be able to move on quickly from difficult situations made me resist what was actually happening. And that lack of acceptance made it impossible to work through the reality of things. “When we resist change and loss, we bring more pain onto ourselves. We become hardened, angry, resentful,”says Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of Omega Institute, a non-profit that focuses on human well-being and development, and the author of ‘Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow.’

So what’s the alternative then? How do we learn to live with frustrating and painful situations?

“It’s only by facing things directly that we can learn from them and make plans about how to proceed,” says author and positive psychology expert Caroline Adams Miller. “When we ignore situations instead of facing them head-on, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to grow from it, and potentially keep it alive by failing to come to a mental conclusion about its significance.”

Facing a situation takes time, it means training our attention gently on whatever it is that’s happening. And instead of trying to “get over it,” which is a form of resistance, we want to observe the difficulty directly, acknowledge it and the emotions we feel, and from there work to incorporate the reality in a way that spurs personal growth. We want to lean into the situation to see what it can teach us, instead of pointlessly obsessing or attempting to skip past it.

Here’s how:

1. Observe

When upset about a situation, I used to obsess about it. I’d replay it in my mind and share it with others. I’d ruminate, wondering about the other person’s motivations, the significance of what happened, and what I’d done to deserve such a bad thing. “Rumination, dwelling in a circular, passive way, can be very compelling,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside and the author of ‘The How of Happiness.’ “When you’re in its tangle, it pulls and pushes you. You feel that you absolutely need to continue, that you need to figure things out. But as we have learned, when a person is distraught or stressed or nervous or insecure, no insight is gained from overthinking. To the contrary, rumination makes things only worse.”

If we obsess about a situation, we’re likely to despair that there’s no way out. “When we rehash the stories of our loss or how we were wronged over and over, we’re choosing victimhood over growth and liberation,” says Lesser. So to really move on we need to focus on and acknowledge the circumstances for what they are, and then make a conscious decision not to ruminate. The situation happened, we can’t make it un-happen by obsessing and resisting.

2. Feel

For a long time I disliked feeling sad or upset so much that I’d pretend I wasn’t. A boyfriend cheated on me, I was fine; a friend forgot my birthday, not a problem. While I tried to convince myself I was past certain situations, it was clear by my passive aggressive tone and the constant overthinking that I wasn’t. I was pushing away so much hurt and sadness that all that would come out was anger.

I had to learn to allow my feelings to be there, to be open to whatever was coming up for me. When I let myself experience all of my emotions, the overwhelm dissipated. Suddenly, what before seemed impossible to overcome seemed easier to work through. “In many traditions,” Miller says, “giving something a name is how we neutralise its power over us because it’s no longer a vague, undefined emotion, for example – it’s ‘loneliness’ or ‘envy.’ Once we identify what we are dealing with, we are then free to come up with ways to handle it.” As you acknowledge your feelings, be careful not to drift into unconscious rumination. The key is to be attentive to yourself.

By letting our feelings be as they are, we give to ourselves an opportunity to work through what pains us instead of denying it as a part of us.

3. Grow

When my best friend passed away unexpectedly, I went through all of what I’ve been talking about here. I obsessed over how and why it happened, thinking if only this or that had been different. I asked questions that didn’t have answers and I got stuck in the story. Unable to handle what I didn’t know, I broke down. I let the emotion out and found it soothed me, but then I reached a moment where I knew I would have to choose a path. Either I died along with him or I lived again. By letting our feelings in we learn from them what we need to feel better. “There have been times in my own life” says Lesser, “when a loss or a change overwhelmed me and I wanted to run from my feelings, my behaviours, my sense of shame or blame, but instead I turned to them and asked what they had come to teach me. And in that turning, the difficulties helped me re-evaluate who I was, what I wanted, where I was going on my life journey.”

If I were to have resisted what was happening I would have stayed in the story that life was unfair, that there wasn’t any point to it and ended up bitter and cynical. But by asking what I can learn, I found I could survive it. The worst possible thing happened and I was okay. “Enormous personal power is unleashed when we relax into life just as it is,” says Lesser. “And by personal power, I don’t mean power over other people – I mean being your most authentic self, which is where the best kind of power comes from: the power to live a happy, contributive, purposeful life.”

Allowing things to be as they are, meaning we move in the direction that things are already moving, helps us work through events in a way that heals. “When we go in the direction that the river is flowing,” Lesser says, “we deliver new joy and wisdom into our life every day.”

We either “move with life, or swim against it,” she says. “Neither is easy, but only one way leads to freedom.”