Usain Bolt worth marquee status: Kerr

Usain Bolt isn’t sponsored by Nike, but he’s got Sam Kerr’s tick of approval.

The first woman to claim marquee status in believes the Jamaican sprint king is worth similar money after his historic two-goal brace on Friday.

Kerr and Japanese star Keisuke Honda will headline the respective W-League and A-League launches in Sydney on Monday.

But missing will be the league’s most famous trialist in Bolt, who has captured the imagination of the world with his audacious code switch with Central Coast.

“If I wasn’t a Nike athlete, I definitely would be rocking a Central Coast jersey with (number) 95 on it,” Kerr told AAP.

“I’m not going to lie: I turned on the Central Coast game the other day just to watch him. So if it’s appealing to people like me, I’m sure it is to other people.”

Bolt declared Friday’s trial against a select Macarthur South West United team could make or break his professional soccer career.

And the 32-year-old delivered with a two-goal performance, instantly raising hope of turning his trial into a full-time contract.

But while the A-League has recognised its need for more marquee players, it is believed Bolt wouldn’t come close to meeting the criteria.

Instead, A-League officials insist they could assist the Mariners by way of a marketing arrangement, as well as enabling third party sponsorships.

Bolt also has a number of personal sponsorships that could count against him.

Kerr, who would have been a glaring omission this year if it wasn’t for marquee funding, conceded Bolt had brought unprecedented attention to the league.

“I’ve seen the Central Coast badge all over the world over the last few days, and that was never going to happen (without him),” Kerr said.

“He brings star power. He’s amazing to watch.

“He’s an amazing athlete, so hopefully he can make it. It’d be so good for the rest of the world to be talking about the A-League and n football.”

Mariners star signing Tommy Oar said the playing group had been left stunned by Bolt’s determination to make the switch a reality.

And he predicts the n public would make the extra money worth it.

“When it comes to performing on the big stage – that was his first professional game the other day – he bagged a brace,” Oar said.

“It shows that he’s able to step up on under the pressure. And if he keeps improving at his current rate, I can’t see why he can’t be an asset for us.

“Obviously commercially, he adds huge benefits. But I think people are forget how much of a phenomenal athlete he is and how quickly he can develop new skills.”

Terrico White has been a useful addition for the PErth Wildcats.The Perth Wildcats have displayed greater firepower at both ends of the court in their perfect start to the new NBL season.

The Cats are already seeing the benefits of adding Nick Kay from Illawarra and luring Tom Jervis back from the Brisbane Bullets.

The pair have been instrumental in the Cats’ first two wins to start the season, with big man Angus Brandt working to regain fitness after injuring his ankle during the pre-season.

The Cats were impressive in beating Adelaide by eight points and Illawarra by 40.

Brandt played only seven minutes against the 36ers and 13 minutes against the Hawks, but Perth managed to take the rebounding honours in both games.

Coach Trevor Gleeson seems particularly pleased with how Kay has started.

“Nick Kay does a tremendous amount of work under the rim; that’s why we recruited him, to do the hard work and he is always there,” he said.

“There’s a saying, ‘all the action is in the kitchen, so be in the kitchen, not out on the porch’.

“Nick seems to be in the action all of the time.

“It’s something we take pride in, that work on that glass.”

It’s the addition of US import Terrico White that is likely to have the biggest impact on the Cats qualifying for their record 33rd consecutive NBL finals series though.

He has added the extra scoring power that the Cats lacked last season.

Perth were led by MVP Bryce Cotton in 2017-18, with an average of almost 20 points and three assists per game. But there weren’t many other hitting the scoreboard consistently.

White has scored 20 points in each of the Cats’ two wins to start the season and doesn’t mind shooting from long range.

With Kay, Brandt and another new-comer Mitch Norton also hitting the scoreboard regularly, the Cats have managed 99 points and 101 points in their two outings.

The bench has added 24 points and 48 points respectively in those wins.

Laws protecting gay teachers from discrimination at religious schools will have to wait despite pressure from Labor and some Liberals to bring them in now.

Instead, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the government is immediately focused on protecting gay students from any religious school discrimination.

The federal parliament will this week remove the power of faith-based schools to discriminate against children on the basis of their sexuality.

Labor leader Bill Shorten wants to extend this further by scrapping the ability of religious schools to hire and fire staff based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status.

But Mr Morrison said the teachers would have to wait.

“They are important issues, but the issues we need to address right here and now relate to the children and ensuring we protect them against discrimination,” he told parliament on Monday.

“There are many other issues that will be addressed as a result of the religious freedoms review, and there will be a time and a place to address those issues.”

The review, led by former attorney-general Philip Ruddock, recommended laws should be changed so religious schools could discriminate against gay teachers and students.

Religious schools in most states have been able to exclude LGBTI students since 2013, but have not been using the powers.

Mr Shorten said religious educators had told him they don’t need the exemption.

“These laws are no longer appropriate, if indeed they ever were appropriate. It’s time our laws reflected the values we teach our children,” Mr Shorten told AAP.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also thinks the laws need to change.

“I don’t think there’s any room for discrimination, be it a student or against a teacher,” he told the ABC.

“I do think we need to ensure that there is no discrimination in either our workplaces or in our schools.”

Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma, who is facing a crucial by-election on Saturday, said schools should “absolutely not” have the right to discriminate against gay teachers.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott said he was mystified by the debate, saying there was no evidence gay kids had been discriminated against.

“By all means let’s protect people against discrimination,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB.

“But let’s be very careful that anti-discrimination laws designed as shields are not converted by activists into swords.”

The n Christian Lobby said freedom of religion required church bodies and organisations to “be able to select members who share their faith or ethos”.

Motorsport: Charlotte Poynting changes gears again and again SPEED: Charlotte Poynting, who turns 20 on Thursday, at last year’s Newcastle 500. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebook Charlotte PoyntingPictures from Newcastle Herald archivesCharlotte Poynting isn’t sure which way she will go eventually, but for now the Novocastrian driver is happy switching between disciplines.

The Warners Bay teenager, who turns 20 on Thursday, will compete in herthird different car in as many weeks when she hits the track at the Gold Coast 600.

Poynting will finish the Aussie Racing Cars season this weekend before changing back toSuperUtesat the Newcastle 500 next month, but it comes fresh on the back of claiming a scholarship for the 2018-19 SsangYong Racing Seriesin New Zealand.

SUPERCARS:Whincup, McLaughlin back in Newcastle after last year’s epic title race

She contested the opening round just south of Auckland on the weekend, less than seven days after sealing the ute spot across the Tasman.

Trials were inPukekohe, New Zealand, onSunday, October 7, andonly 24 hoursprior Poynting was making her SuperUtes debut at iconic n course Bathurst.

There isaround 2300 kilometres between the two venues.

“It’s been pretty hectic,” Poynting said.

“The scholarship just popped up on Facebook four days before Bathurst and I was like this could be a good opportunity.

“Being in the ute all weekend in Bathurst definitely helped me over the other girls who tried out for the scholarship in New Zealand.”

READ MORE:Daytona-bound Simona De Silvestro set for Newcastle 500 return

The female-driver scholarship covers most of the costs to participate in thefive-round SsangYong Racing Series, which continues in New Zealand in December, races twice in February and wraps up in March.

Poynting finished12thoverall on the weekend after four races.“The racing is awesome and it’s going to teach me so much because it’sjust door-to-door the whole time,” she said.

For now Poynting changes gears.She said all three vehicleshave their own “challenges”, especially the drastic contrast between the small Aussie Racing Cars and the larger SuperUtes.The SsangYong Racing Series utes ratein between.

As for 2019, Poynting said: “at this stage it’ll be a full season in Aussie cars and hopefully a couple of ute rounds”.

Poynting drove the historic first lap of the new track at the inaugural Newcastle 500last year as part ofAussie Racing Cars practice.

Meanwhile, 27-year-old Woodrising resident Aaren Russell will have his third and final Supercars race for 2018 at the Gold Coast on the weekend.

RELATED:Supercars knock back Russell for second drive at home

AFL premiership player Liam Ryan has had another run-in with the law, this time over an alleged family violence incident following a local football match in Western .

Police were called to an incident in Kalbarri just before 4.30am on Sunday, following a football match between Kalbarri and Shark Bay, and spoke to a 20-year-old woman.

Officers later issued the West Coast forward with a 72-hour police order to stay away from her, although no complaint was made.

A police order gives a person temporary protection against the risk of domestic violence while they decide whether they want to apply for a family violence restraining order in court.

In a statement, West Coast said Ryan obeyed a move on notice issued by police and the club would work with the 22-year-old to establish the details.

“The club will at all times keep the AFL fully informed of all relevant details,” the statement read.

“The club remains cognisant of Liam’s health and wellbeing, and will work closely with him to ensure those considerations are prioritised.

“Once the club has established the facts around the allegations it will release further information.”

Many Eagles players are on leave following their premiership win.

Last week, Ryan was banned from driving for 18 months and fined $1700, plus court costs of $205, after he was caught drink-driving on July 2.

Ryan crashed his car into a tree in Armadale and was caught at a nearby park, with a blood alcohol sample revealing he had a reading of 0.138g.

The Eagles suspended Ryan for two AFL games at the time of that incident.

Ryan told AAP last month he had since turned his life around, saying the crash had straightened him up.

The times are a changing when it comes to strawshttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd成都夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/324VkdtvqnBSp7aYw6KyqmM/1a3cecbf-6dab-4ee4-a28c-c4e550c2e98b.jpg/r0_69_5071_2934_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgDo you think plastic sucks? Consider your optionsnews, national, 2018-10-15T19:00:00+11:00https://players.brightcove成都夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5847909561001https://players.brightcove成都夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5847909561001In the past few months, many Newcastle businesses have started addressing single-use plastic straws, and I couldn’t be more invested.

I have conflicting opinions on straws.

I surge with rage when watching the viral video of the sea turtle hissing and bleeding when having a plastic straw removed from its nose, yet I regularly crave bubble tea, which needsenormous straws to slurp up the chewy black tapioca balls.

Read more: The Hunter restaurants that held onto their hats at the Good Food Guide Awards

My morals and desires have never sparred so regularly since the bubble tea shop opened next to my home in Newcastle West. It’s not really possible to enjoy this drink without a fat straw.

But plastic is bad and it doesn’t go away. One estimate says ns use 10 million straws every day, or 3.5 billion a year.

TASTES RIGHTEOUS: Alex Morris conducts stringent testing on a bamboo straw at MoneyPenny. Picture: Simon McCarthy

Straw concerns are growing faster than the recently discovered isle of plastic, between Hawaii and California. Evidently this island isthree times the size of France. The popular documentary series War on Waste helped generate awareness on all of plastic’s problems. The recent Coles and Woolworths plastic bag showdown proved that, like single-use-plastic, the environmental morals of big businesses can be flimsy.

Straws are necessary for people with certain disabilities. Sadly the anti-straw movement has not always been inclusive. Surely there’s a way to reduce mainstream plastic straw use without affecting those who need straws?I don’t have all the answers, but I think about it a lot. What is the best way to reduce reuse and recycle? Should it be down to the individual? The business? The government? Should charities lead the way?

McDonald’s has announced it willphase out plastic straws across by 2020.

I started asking around town about various establishments’straw policies.

Paul Davies, owner, MoneyPennyWar on Waste. Under this policy, self-service straws were removed and members were notified that staff would supply a straw with a drink only when requested, to accommodate for community members who need a straw for accessibility purposes.

“As a sailing club, located on the water, we’re very conscious of seeking out strategies that can reduce our environmental impact. This is just one of many sustainability practices we have implemented here at the club over the years,” Belmont 16s CEO Scott Williams says.

Line in the sand: Murrie Harris at The Press Bookhouse says, “Those kids gotta learn” when it comes to straws.

In the two months since the implementation of the policy the club has reduced its straw usage from 10,000 units a month to 3000 units. This saves$50 amonth. While the financial benefit is minimal, the long-term environmental impact is significant.

Ethan Ortlipp is the co-owner of the Coal and Cedar cocktail bar in Newcastle and the Royal Crown Hotel in Dudley. About two years ago they removed single use straws and napkins, he says.

The Family Hotel in Newcastle West also decided to ditch straws in collaboration with The Last Straw,a campaign to reduce the use of the plastic straws in n venues.

“They suck,” their marketing manager, Zack Hearn, says of straws.

“As a business (we) didn’t want to negatively impact the environment where we could meaningfully avoid it, so (we) decided to take steps to mitigate some of the potential effects by ditching straws,” Hearn says. “Our philosophy is that you wouldn’t use a straw to have a drink in your living room while watching television, so why do you need one sitting at the bar?”

Looking for solutions: Taiyo Namba of Nagisa and Susuru.

Overall, most have been receptive to it, he says.

“Straws cost very little as is, but we’d go through hundreds a week, so the fact we now go through none is significant. We have biodegradable paper straws available for use if you donate to our monthly charity and really don’t want to drink directly out of a glass, so there are options for those who crave a straw no matter what,” he says.

The Hop Factory, in Darby Street, uses paper straws, and in Cooks Hill, the Cricketers Arms Hotel is moving towards a paperstrawpolicy after they get rid the of the last of their plastic. Four or five months ago, Papa’s Bagel Bar in Hunter Street switched to paperstraws, and their chef, John Du’Bery, says they are struggling to keep up demand.

Read more: The beast of a sandwich fast becominglegendary

Mark Conway is the manager of the Happy Wombat, a Hunter Street gastropub. He’s aware of how wasteful straw usage can be, for example when people order drink after drink. He says one person doesn’t need 10 straws for 10 drinks. He’s noticed more awareness about straw usage.

“We have existing biodegradable plasticstraws, but once they run out we’ll move to paper biodegradable,” Conway says. “We will always have some for use, but a biodegradable option. I (also) tell staff to minimisestrawuse.”

Sprocket Roasters at the Newcastle Museum recently started using a biodegradable straw derived from corn starch that looks just like the original plastic straw.

Comitment: Stainless steel straws at Estabar.

Screamin’ Veemis, on Darby Street, uses a biodegradable paper straw sourced by manager Elise Glanz. She said her staff help educate her on these issues.

“We’re always looking to improve what we can,” Glanz says. “Last year we made the change. We’re doing something good for our town, if not the country as well.”

Taiyo Namba is a manager at Nagisa on Honeysuckle and Susuru on King Street. He says they are looking into metal straws. The problems are that the straws get stolen, they don’t come cheap andare hard to clean. They’ve tried paper, but they don’t last long enough.

Recipe: Try this honey miso green salad at home

“All in all, I think it’s important for us businesses to change, as we consume the most of these disposable products. Straws are just the beginning; we were able to change all the take-away containers to biodegradable at Susuru and are looking to change Nagisa as well,” Namba says. “I think choices are still low and costs are higher, which for a business is detrimental with ever rising expenses.”

Davies, from MoneyPenny, also commented on the prohibitive cost of stainless steel straws, particularly for venues who don’t offer table service.

“At least 50 per cent of them get stolen and that’s being generous,” Davies adds.

I bought my first stainless steel straw from Estabar café in the East End over a year ago. If my memory serves me right, I paid $7 for it, and I enjoyed it righteously at happy hours around town until I forgot about it and it sat in my purse for a few months. I tend to be more of a wine drinker, especially during winter.

In 2016 the town of Blackheath in the Blue Mountains went straw free; all the shopfront businesses agreed to phase out plastic straws. Newcastle is on its way, but I did talk to a couple of businesses who were quite happy leaving the straws up to the individual. But perhaps if each individual Novocastrian saw how unnecessary straws were for able-bodied people, we could substantially reduce plastic in this town without even needing a policy or government intervention.

The authory: Alex Morris at Money Penny on Honeysuckle. Photo: Simon McCarthy

Food porn: These stunning photos from the kitchen at Circa 1876 are straight from the alchemist’s workshop

Imagine a future where everyone everywhere will be able to ethically and affordably enjoy beverages of all kinds, with neither fear, nor guilt, nor association with a political party.

I’ve figured out how to deal with my straw guilt regarding the bubble tea. Bubble tea straws are really easy to clean because they’re so big. I just put them in the dishwasher and use them again and again. I don’t have a bubble-tea keep-cup though, so my plastic guilt has not completely washed away.

The Newcastle Herald

HARBOUR VIEW: Artist and writer Gavin Fry at lunch in his “home port” with Scott Bevan. Picture: Simone De PeakGAVIN Fry gazes through the forest of masts at the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club’s marina, surveyingthe harbour.

The 72-year-old writer, publisher and artist is looking at not just the water but something that flows through his paintings.

Fry finds inspiration in harbour life, in the buildings around its edges, and in the vessels that glide across it.His paintings are currently being exhibited at Cooks Hill Galleries.

For Newcastle viewers, the subjects are close to home.

The harbour landmarks, from Nobbys to the grain terminal, feature in Fry’s boldand geometric compositions, in an exhibition titled Home Port.

“There is a very basic rule, and that is ‘paint what you know’,” he explains while eating pumpkin risotto at The Wickham Boatshed.

Gavin Fry’s painting, “The Fort and the River”, on exhibition at Cooks Hill Galleries. Picture: Courtesy, Gavin Fry

“And I know about the harbour, I know about the sea, I know a bit about ships. It’s the thing I see all the time, I’m familiar with it. I love the forms, you could look at the [grain] silo from every different angle and it’s totally different.

“When you see something across the water, you’re able to get a perspective and a clarity you don’t get purely on the land.”

In the past few years, Fry has gained a new perspective and clarity in his own working life.

Duringhis long career in ’s cultural landscape, he has written books about art and artists,and he’sheld senior positions in galleries and museums, including about 12 years as the director of Newcastle Museum.

But by picking up the brushes and making marks on canvas to depict the harbour, Fry has returned to his own creative home port. He has re-engaged with what led him to a career in the arts in the first place.

Writer, publisher and artist Gavin Fry. Picture: Simone De Peak

GAVIN Fry was born in 1946 in Melbourne, the youngest of three children of a police detective father and a mother who loved art.

For young Gavin, being surrounded by pictures was part of everyday life. His mother and maternal grandmother knew local artists who were making a name for themselves, such as Danila Vassilieff and Adrian Lawlor, and their paintingsended up in the Fry home.

“The paintings we had at home weren’t like the pictures other people had at home, if they had pictures in any way at all,” he recalls, adding that their presence taught him “art is a nice thing to have around, and it made your life more interesting”.

It also provided source material for later inFry’s life. Forhis Master of Arts, Frywrote athesis on Adrian Lawlor.

When he was at school, Fry says,“I really wanted to be an artist, but I have to say I knew that being an artist was a fairly precarious occupation”.

He enrolled in courses to become an art teacher. But once he was working in high schoolsin regional Victoria, Fry was unfulfilled.

“I liked teaching, but I didn’t like schools very much,” he says. “They were just dull. I’d look at the principal or senior master and say, ‘Do I aspire to that?Is that what I really want to do with my life?’.I knew I wanted more. I wasn’t quite sure what ‘more’ was.”

While he was doing a little painting in his spare time, the demands of the job meant his creative energy was going into being a teacher. Painting drifted further away, but the study of it came closer.

Fry and his new wife, Colleen, a fellow teacher, moved to Melbourne. He landed a job as an art lecturer at the State College of Victoria and headed to university for further study.Fryhad answeredthe “more” question. He wanted to work in galleries and museums, “and it all bowled on from there”.

WAR ART: Gavin Fry, with Gallipoli paintings by Sidney Nolan, in 1980.

In 1980, Fry received two job offers on the same day. He had a choice. Director of Bendigo Art Gallery. Or the curator of art at the n War Memorial.

“I had no idea what a bloody curator did!,” he recalls.

But Fry did know about n war art. As a boy, he wouldflick through his father’s collection of armed services Christmas books, which were illustrated by war artists, so“I knew all those pictures off by heart”.

Fry opted for the Memorial job. He was aged 34:“So I’mstarting behind most of my peers, andI knew I had to get ahead more quickly. I thought I’d learn more and pick up more in a big institution than I would in a small one.”

Through the Memorial, Frycame to knowsome of ’s best-known artists, such as Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker and William Dargie.

He learnt more about the power of war art, how a paintersuch as Ivor Hele could portray abattlefield burial of three soldiers and say so much without words.

Gavin Fry at lunch with Scott Bevan. Picture: Simone De Peak

Frybegan telling the stories of artists and their place in n life, through writing. He has written more than 20 books.

“With the art books, I don’t go into great detail about apicture,” he says, addinghe avoids art theory.“If I write a book, I want to answer the questions ordinary people ask.If you can tell the stories of why something is so –and there is always a story there,and I like to tell the stories – then people can better understand what the picture is, and why it’s like it is.”

By the mid 1980s, Fry felt the urge to “kick things along”. So he, Colleen and their two sons spent a year in England. He did a Master of Philosophy at the University of Leicester, studying the architecture of recent British museums,“which was a good excuse to go around the countryside”.

But there was a deeper reason for doing the course.

With ’s bicentennial year approaching, Fryfigured the nation’s growing desire to look back would lead to new museums. He was right. In 1987, he becameinvolved in creating the n National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, as its deputy director.

While he relished the opportunity to work at a new museum, Fry doesn’t have salt water in his veins. He is not obsessed with ships(he much prefers cars), although he did own a small sailboat for a while in the 1990s:“One of the things I knew from the museum was … how much boats cost. Intimately how much they cost!And that would scare the pants off anyone!”

Gavin Fry, when he was the deputy director of the n National Maritime Museum.

By the early 1990s, Fry was exhausted from helping establish the maritime museum, and his marriage had ended. He headed to Canberra for a while, “playing being a publicservant”, before returning to Sydney to run a small museum at Fairfield.

Then in 1999, the director’s job at Newcastle Museum came up. Fry was interested:“I’d done the big museum. I’d done the really small one. And this was Goldilocks, this was the one in the middle. I thought it was big enough to do stuff, but not too big that you’d have to play politics all day long.”

Fryhad been to Newcastle before, in 1988. He’d been invited by a Navy friend to sail out of the harbour on HMASCanberra.

As he recalls that visit,Fry looks across to the Carrington wharves, where theWilliam the Fourthpaddle steamerreplica is berthed.

“I can still remember the bloodyWilliam the Fourthcoming alongside,” he says, wincing, of his day on the warship. “If I’d known then I was going to be responsible for that thing, I would have got in and sunk it!”

Gavin Fry, as the director of Newcastle Museum, photographed in 2009 in a former railway workshop at Honeysuckle, which now houses the museum. Picture: Simone De Peak

As museum director, Fry had to navigate the financial and logistical storms besetting the ship. But he had otherhuge challenges, including moving the museum from Newcastle West to the former railway workshops at Honeysuckle.

“Being immodest, it was my idea,” Fry says of the move. “I was riding my bike around there one day and looking in through the windows and thinking, ‘Great big spaces, look at the location’. The buildings were perfect.”

From the moment he peered through the windows to the official opening, a decade of planning, negotiations andcontroversies passed by: “I still think it was the right thing at the right time in the right place.”

Newcastle Museum opened in the new location in August 2011. Fry retired two months later.

“I was 65. I had so many things I wanted to do,” he explains. “I had a number of writing projects I was doing.”

Gavin Fry’s painting, “Leaving Newcastle”, on exhibition at Cooks Hill Galleries. Picture: Courtesy, Gavin Fry

However, Fry had learnt that when he immersed himself in telling the story of an artist’s life, it was counter-productive to him pursuing his own art: “You’re head is so full of what they do …you’re going to end up being influenced by them, even if it’s unconscious.”

But soon after he retired, Fry was in Victoria, and hismother and a friend encouraged himto start painting again.

He did a “trite little landscape”, but it was enough for him to think, “Yeah, maybe there is something for me to do here”. After a four-decade break, he was back to hisbrushes.

Now Fryis painting his “home port”. He has stayed in Newcastle primarily because of “true love”. He met his partner of about 13 years, Rebecca Gresham, at the art gallery.

But he also likes the “personality” of Newcastle and, as a place to paint, it offers “an infinite variety of subjects and textures”.

Gavin Fry. Picture: Simone De Peak

He will keep writing, but Fry is relishinghisrediscovered joy oftelling stories through painting.

“There’s nothing more satisfying than someone saying, ‘I really like that, and I’ll buy it’,” he says. “It’s not about the money, it’s that somebody wants it enough that they want to live with it.”

Five planets align in the night sky

After sunset around , the five bright planets can be seen in the western sky this week. Picture: Museums Victoria/Stellarium

For the second time this year, the five brightest planets can be seen at the same time. You can catch them by looking towards the western sky after sunset. The planets will form a line rising up from the horizon.

Mercury and Venus are low to the west, with bright Jupiter shining just above. Higher up in the northwestern sky is Saturn, and completing the set of five is the red planet Mars, high overhead.

OnOctober 12 a beautiful crescent Moon sat just to the right of Jupiter.

As the Moon zips around Earth each month, its apparent motion in the sky is much faster than the more leisurely motion of the planets in their orbits around the Sun.

By Monday night, the moon will have moved higher in the sky to sit near Saturn, and a few days later, on October 18, the moon will partner with Mars.

That will also be a perfect evening to see the planets, as Venus and Mercury will be sitting side by side. Of all the five planets, Mercury is the faintest and therefore hardest to see, so having bright Venus as a signpost to Mercury is always an advantage.

Later this week, Venus, which has been the brightevening starfor most of this year, will move into the glare of the Sun and out of the night sky.

The five planets were last seen together in the western sky, August 2016. Picture: Alex Cherney

Five planets, two groupsThe planets have been doing a merry dance in the night sky over the past few months.

Back in July, they also came together in the evening sky, but on that occasion they were stretched right across the sky. Mercury and Venus could be found in the west, while Jupiter, Saturn and Mars were rising in the east.

As Mercury and Venus are the inner planets, orbiting closer to the Sun than Earth does, we only ever see these two low to the west after sunset, or low to the east before sunrise. They are the planets either following or leading the Sun.

In contrast, the outer planets of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can drift right across the sky, which is exactly what they have been doing since July. The trio has moved from east to west, and now they join Mercury and Venus to put on the five-planet show.

There’s more in storeIt may seem like a common occurrence, since the five planets have come together again in the space of just a few months. But it’s only possible because Jupiter and Saturn are currently on the same side of the Sun and therefore near each other, relatively speaking.

The five planets have come together twice this year and twice in 2016, but before that there was a decade when it just wasn’t possible. The two gas giants were too far apart.

As Jupiter and Saturn pair up in the sky, it’s only a matter of time before the other planets fall into the right configuration to bring them all together.

The next time this occurs will be in July 2020, but it will be harder to see compared to this week. The planets will be stretched across the sky rather than all clustered together in the west as they are right now.

So it’s still special to spot the five planets coming together. There’s great satisfaction in being able to tick off all five planets in a single viewing.

Up for a challenge?Not only are the five easy-to-see planets visible in the evening sky, but they are joined by Uranus and Neptune to complete the planetary set.

Voyager 2 flew by Uranus in 1986 and Neptune in 1989 capturing stunning close-up images. Picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech (Uranus) and NASA (Neptune)

These two ice giants that orbit beyond Saturn are modern-day planets. They were not known in ancient times because their discovery needed theaid of a telescopeand anunderstanding of gravityto know how the Solar System works.

But while they may not be seen with the naked eye, Uranus is low in the east at sunset and Neptune is higher up, about midway to Mars.

Practised observers, viewing the sky from a dark country site, have been able to see Uranus with the naked eye by knowing exactly where to look. Through binoculars, Uranus appears like a faint star but a good telescope will show its slightly bluish disc.

It is best to wait until later in the evening, when Uranus has risen higher, to try to observe it. But now is an ideal time, as the planet is approachingopposition on October 24, when it will be at its best.

Neptune is about the same size as Uranus but much further away, making it harder to see. Even with a modest telescope it appears as a bluish star, while the right observing conditions and a high-quality telescope are needed to reveal Neptune’s disc.

Lastly, and not to be left out, even the dwarf planet Pluto joins the crowd. It’s much too small and distant to be seen but currently sits about midway between Saturn and Mars.

Even with a high-quality telescope Pluto only ever appears as a faint star-like object, and it will be a challenge for most (myself included) to find it in its current position among all the stars near the bright Milky Way.

If you are up for the challenge, a free astronomy program such asStellariumis ideal to help locate the planets. But it’s just as rewarding to enjoy the five bright planets, observed since ancient times, briefly coming together in the western sky.

Tanya Hill is anHonorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne and Senior Curator (Astronomy), Museums Victoria.

This article first appeared on The Conversation. Read the original article here.

President Donald Trump says he doesn’t know if climate change is man made.US President Donald Trump has backed off his claim that climate change is a hoax but says he doesn’t know if it is man made.

In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, Trump said he did not want to put the US at a disadvantage in responding to climate change.

“I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man made. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”

Trump called climate change a hoax in November 2012 when he sent a tweet stating, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

He later said he was joking about the Chinese connection, but in years since has continued to call global warming a hoax.

“I’m not denying climate change,” he said in the interview. “But it could very well go back. You know, we’re talking about over a … millions of years.”

Temperature records kept by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that the world has not had a cooler-than-average year since 1976 or a cooler-than-normal month since the end of 1985.

Trump, who is scheduled on Monday to visit areas of Georgia and Florida damaged by Hurricane Michael, also expressed doubt over scientists’ findings linking the changing climate to more powerful hurricanes.

“They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael,” said Mr Trump, who identified “they” as “people” after being pressed by 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl.

She asked, “What about the scientists who say it’s worse than ever?”

The president replied, “You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda.”

Trump’s comments came just days after a Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a warning that global warming would increase climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth.

Focus: NewPsych clinical psychology registrar Louis Silberberg said parents should remind teens the HSC does not define them, “their worth is not measured by a piece of paper” and they’re loved regardless. Picture: Simone De PeakHUNTER students who are feeling stressed about sitting the upcoming Higher School Certificate exams should remember no test is worth damaging their mental health – and tryingto prevent anxiety is better than cure.

NewPsych clinical psychologyregistrarLouis Silberberg said he had been seeing many teenagers who were feeling “burned out” in the lead up to the exam period, which starts on Thursday.

“It’s their first real exposure to quite intense academic pressure, and that’s coming both from themselves and from external sources like their parents and teachers,” Mr Silberberg said.

Related: Hunter students sprint to finish after Personal Development, Health and Physical Education examRelated:Hunter Higher School Certificate students say maths exam adds upRelated:Hunter students relegate content heavy exam paper to ancient historyRelated:Hunter students praised HSC English Paper 2 as “fair and kind to us”Related:Hunter Higher School Certificate students share verdict on English Paper 1Related:Hunter students out of the blocks for first Higher School Certificate exam“Often by the time the HSC comes around they’re feeling quite burned out and there can be feelings of resentment towards their schools for not preparing them better.

“There’s a fear of failure and the two most common responses are perfectionism, or not trying so they can’t be disappointed in themselves.

“We’re hoping to foster through therapy a balance between being brave enoughto not be perfect, but also courageous enough to do your best, be happy with your best and know that your best is enough.”

Mr Silberberg said symptoms of stress and anxiety could include sleep disruption, headaches, overthinking, tiredness, dry mouth, nausea, sweating, a racing mind, increasing heart rate and a loss of appetite.

“When this happens you’reoperating out of a primitive area of the brain, the reptilian brain, and it can be hard to make good decisions,” he said.

“Managing that distress is really important.

“Figure outa way to identifythe early signs of your anxiety –prevention is better than cure rather than getting intoa full blown meltdown.

“Have relaxation strategies. Take a break, do some exercise, take deep breaths, practice mindfulness.

“If you’re having unhelpful thoughts you can challenge them.

“If you’re thinking ‘My life is over’, ask yourself ‘Well is it really over? It’s just an exam’.”

Mr Silberberg said before exams, students should get enough sleep, eatwell and stayactive.

If possible, they should surround themselves with people they are comfortable with and who are comfortable about the paper.

“There’s contagious calm but there is also contagiousanxiety.

“If you surround yourself with people who are extremely stressed you can start to second guess yourself and think ‘Maybe I should be too’.”

He said it was important for students to continue making time for things they enjoy, such as reading, socialising with friends and hobbies, and tokeep the HSC in perspective.

“There are lots of other educational pathways such as TAFE, Open Foundation and apprenticeships.

“Yes, it’s the biggest exam of your life but it’s not the end of your life.”

NSW Education Standards Authority chief executive David de Carvalho recorded a video for students wishing them success with their exams.

“You’ve spent many months preparing for this point and the most important thing that you can do now is to stay positive. Positive that all your hard work will pay off,” he said.

“The exams will be challenging, the HSC wouldn’t be such a highly respected credential here and overseas if it wasn’t. That’s why attaining it is something you can always be proud of no matter what you do after school.

“Some of you may be starting to feel a little overwhelmed, it’s natural to feel that way when you’re facing life’s big challenges. A little bit of stress can actually help you focus.

“But if it starts to get too much during your exams, reach out and speak to someone about it. Speak to your principal or your teacher or your older siblings, friends or your parents.

“You need to be in good shape physically mentally and emotionally to be able to do your best.

“Here’s three things that should help:

“Make sure you get enough sleep –eight hours is recommended so you’re physically rested and your memory is fresh.

“Eating well will help you do your best. Eat a high-protein breakfast like eggs before each exam. Drink lots of water as it helps lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

“Finally, exercise helps your mind, body and soul, especially during times of stress. Try to get in a 30-minute walk, jog, gym or swim three or four times a week.

“So stay calm and do your best, that’s all anyone can expect of you and all you should expect of yourself.”

Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800

Shield batsmen to draw on Dubai drama

Usman Khawaja’s innings during ‘s draw against Pakistan is inspiring Shield players.’s desperation in Dubai will be on the minds of batsmen around the country on Tuesday, when the Sheffield Shield season starts in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Defending champions Queensland host Tasmania at the Gabba, where Joe Burns and Jackson Bird are among the former Test players seeking to impress national selectors.

South face NSW at Adelaide Oval, while Western and Victoria square off at the WACA.

Last week’s dramatic draw between and Pakistan, when the tourists batted for a record-breaking 139.5 overs in the final innings, has been the talk of cricket teams around the country.

That includes state squads, gearing up for six consecutive Shield games before the season is put on hold for the Big Bash League.

No Shield team wants to be in a position where they are batting for a draw this week.

But when it comes to putting a high price on your wicket and showing the sort of character that will earn national coach Justin Langer’s approval, there were good lessons in the salvage job completed thanks largely to Queensland captain Usman Khawaja spending almost nine hours at the crease.

“Our group is quite close … it’s really pleasing for them to see one of their peers leading the charge,” Queensland coach Wade Seccombe said.

“They’ll feed off that draw … hopefully it reinforces to our guys the type of spirit required.”

South captain Travis Head, who followed up his first innings duck with a knock of 72 on Test debut, is also motivating teammates back home.

“I messaged him after the game, saying how amazing it was to watch,” SA opener Jake Weatherald said.

“We’ve got to be a lot harder as a cricketing group and that innings showed how hard you have to be. That was good inspiration.

“We were all messaging each other (on day five of the Test) then we had a talk about it as a group.”

NSW coach Phil Jaques described ‘s stonewall as the perfect example of “fighting for your team”, noting it was something his charges can draw on.

The Blues’ previous Shield campaign, in which they failed to win a game after the opening three rounds, led to Jaques’ predecessor Trent Johnston being sacked.

“There’s a really good vibe around the squad. Everyone’s really challenging each other and trying to help each other get better,” Jaques said.

“There’s a greater awareness about what needs to happen in the four-day game … we’re a more intelligent group.”

WA, seeking their first Shield title in 20 years, will be captained by Ashton Turner in the absence of Mitch Marsh.

Victoria will be without Glenn Maxwell, who headlines the list of players missing the Shield opener as they travel to the UAE for ‘s Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

Batsmen seeking to bang down the door to the Test squad with a mountain of Shield runs have rarely had such a good opportunity, with Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all banned.

A wealthy NSW spiritual healer has suffered a significant defeat in his defamation case against a blogger after a jury found many of her posts were true, including that he’s the leader of a socially harmful cult.

Former tennis coach Serge Benhayon, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci, sued ex-acupuncturist Esther Mary Rockett in the NSW Supreme Court over her 2014 blog and tweets.

But the four-person jury on Monday completed answers to 58 pages of questions, primarily in Ms Rockett’s favour and against Mr Benhayon, the founder of Universal Medicine (UM), based near Lismore in northern NSW.

The “substantially true” findings included that he “has an indecent interest in young girls as young as 10 whom he causes to stay at his house unaccompanied”, preys on cancer patients and “is a charlatan who makes fraudulent medical claims”.

Other truth findings were he intentionally indecently touched Ms Rockett during a consultation, “engages in bizarre sexual manipulation to make money for his business”, vilified people with disabilities, is dishonest and guilty of exploitative behaviour.

A jubilant Ms Rockett, who had run the defences of truth and honest opinion, flashed the peace sign as she left the court complex with her junior barrister Louise Goodchild.

But 54-year-old Mr Benhayon and his many supporters, who regularly attended the hearing that began on September 4, were not present for the outcome.

He told the jury about the “modalities” or healing practices used at UM’s seminars, healing courses and retreats that included “esoteric healing” and came from a tradition of “ageless wisdom” going back to Hermes, Plato and Pythagoras.

“Everything is energy and therefore everything is because of energy,” he testified when describing his gentle touching of fully clothed clients.

His barrister Kieran Snark SC said the treatment was set up to restore their energy, “not for the improper purpose of groping people”, and his client could be seen as a person of sincere religious beliefs rather than a fraud or crazy.

But Ms Rockett told the jury he had subjected her to a “sleazy ovarian reading” at his clinic during a February 2005 healing session.

Her blog flowed from seeing a newspaper article titled “The Da Vinci mode”, referring to 15,000 people having attended his retreats and presentations in the past decade.

Under cross-examination from her lawyer Tom Molomby SC, Mr Benhayon had referred to spirits – which he could sense rather than see – being in the courtroom as he gave his evidence.

However, he refused the barrister’s repeated requests for him to count the spirits, saying he could not break the rule of his soul.

The jury also found substantially true that Mr Benhayon had exploited children by having them vouch for UM’s dishonest healing practices and “exploits cancer patients by targeting them to leave him bequests in their wills”.

Help get your pet back on their feet

The best in care: Between 8 veterinarians and 15 nurses and support staff, Cessnock Veterinary Hospital has the knowledge and experience to help treat your sick or injured animal with the best treatments and advice available. Photo: Supplied.Cessnock Veterinary Centre and Hospital prides itself on providing a high standard of care both medical and surgical to the much loved pets of their clients. Being a busy hospital with a high case load and a lot of veterinarians, it allowsthe practice to develop areas of special interest. While there is a strong focus on treatments,there are many other things that important for a safe and healthy pet including micro-chipping, behavioural training, dietary and nutritional counselling, along with pet food and other supplies.

Dr David Barton especially enjoys complex soft tissue surgery and orthopaedic surgery and said that the most common orthopaedic problem hesees is ruptures of the cruciate ligament. “When left untreated there is is a large amount ofresulting pain and possible lameness. Surgical correction allows for return of function and minimises ongoing arthritis,” he said.

Full Checkup: From video endoscopy’s to ultrasounds, diagnostics are a major service that Cessnock Veterinary Hospital is able to provide. Photo: Supplied.

When you hear the words cruciate ligament, you automaticallyenvision athletes pulling up lame or footballers going down clasping at the knee.These vital ligaments are just as important, and susceptible to injury, for dogs. If yourdoggoes lame in one of their hind legs, theymay have torn or ruptured theircranialcruciate ligament (CCL) which is similar to the ACL in humans. Thisligament connects the back of the femur, which is the bone above the knee, tothe front of the tibia, the bone below the knee. Practice manager, Renae Bentley, said that up to date techniques such as the Modified Maquet Procedure (MMP) allows the veterinarian surgeonsto provide better solutions to clients and reduce recovery times for there pets.

Dr Robert Boyd has a special interest in video endoscopy which is putting tiny cameras in unusual places. He said being able to look on the inside allows surgeonsto actually visualise disease where previously more invasive surgery was required.”Only recently, we were able to use our equipment toretrieve a Lego brick from inside a cats stomach without surgery,”he said.

Ultrasonography,a method of viewing the bodies organs using sound waves,is another interest at Cessnock Veterinary Centre and Hospital withDr Damian Burke explainingithelpedtheteam to make non invasive diagnosis and wasespecially useful for heart disease, along with disease of the pancreas, liver, kidneysand bladder.

Small but important, the eyeis a special interest of Dr Andy Robins, with disease of thecomplex organ capturing hisattention. “We’re able to usereally sophisticated equipment to visualise the back of an eyeand even measure the pressure within the eye.Sometimes the most difficult aspect is keepingourfurry patientsstill for the procedure,” he said.