September 25, 2017 by
My photos of Tuly, the Bengali girl with green eyes, have been popular with people all over the world. She has appeared in photography magazines such as Digital Camera World, Photo Review Australia, and is on display and for purchase in book and postcard form at the Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition and shop in Kent, London. I thought I’d share the story behind meeting her and taking her portrait. I only wanted a quiet moment to sit down and rest after a day of exploring and meeting people in a small rural town in Bangladesh. I had been answering the same questions all day: what is my home country, am I travelling as one, and what is my opinion of Bangladesh. I sat down on a grassy hill which overlooked a group of small houses, where the neighbours were outdoors talking and playing games together. It might have only been about 30 seconds until I started to attract a crowd – but this was really no surprise. I was travelling around Bangladesh for four weeks in December to January 2012. I was travelling as one, but one is never alone in Bangladesh. It’s the people that make this country a great place to visit – I found them to be the most hospitable, curious, outgoing, and open-hearted people I’ve yet to meet. So when I realised that I was going to be the new centre of attention I got up and started to interact, and joined in a ball game that was going on. People were unafraid to use their broken English and ask me lots of questions.  The sun had set and the light was getting low, so I knew that photos would be out of the question. But I saw a girl in the group who really caught my eye – she was wearing a bright green t-shirt with a large red circle on it (the Bangladeshi flag), and she had strong green eyes that matched her shirt. I knew she’d make a great subject for a portrait photo, and I had always wanted to  capture  a close up portrait of a person with striking green eyes. I introduced myself to her and complimented her on her beautiful eyes. I asked her if I could come back the next day in the afternoon to take her photo. She agreed. Day 1 – meeting Tuly I came back the following afternoon and her older sister Duly, who spoke some English, could act as a translator. I was invited into their house to meet the family, and was brought tea as well as a present in the form of a notepad. Tuly took me on a tour to see her bedroom, which was well decorated and filled with artworks that she had created – she had told me she wanted to be an artist. Sisters Duly and Tuly When we went to take some photos, I decided to take them on the front steps of their house. I noticed that while it was fairly dark under the awning, the cloudy sky was providing a nice even, natural light through the gap in the roof which would result in a concentrated, directional light source. The even light from the sky worked well with the subject who was in a reasonably dark space and the natural light formed smooth shadows on her face. The background was therefore rendered to be dark and non-distracting, which is important in a close up portrait if you want the attention focused on the subject’s face. I knew that having Tuly sitting down and leaning on her knee would create a more relaxed and natural posture rather than a rigid standing pose. I also wanted to try some shots with a headscarf, as framing the face with material or an object can help bring focus to a person’s eyes. I asked if she had a green scarf or veil in the house, but she did not, so instead someone brought out a red scarf which had green patterns etched onto it. We then did some photos with her face wrapped in this scarf. Day 2 – after taking Tuly’s photos Post processing: Here is one of the original photos compared with the final edited version. Before and after editing The first thing I notice with the original photo is that it’s a bit dull, and there is room to boost the brightness in the photo. In Photoshop I do that by creating an adjustment layer and going to levels, and sliding the far right white triangle on the graph to the left to bring more whiteness into the photo.   As soon as the bridge of her nose becomes over-exposed I stop.   I repeat this process again by making another adjustment layer on top of the previous one and make the photo brighter, but by using a layer mask I can have more control and paint in the brightness effect – so I’m choosing which parts of her skin become brighter by painting the effect in with a brush.  I make sure the layer mask is filled in with black (control + I  will invert the mask from white to black) and by using a white paint brush I reveal that layer again but just in the parts that I want to brighten.  I also keep changing the opacity of the brush to control the strength and how much brightness is being added. The next thing I notice is a blue tinge to the photo which I often see in portraits from my Nikon D700 taken under cloudy sky lighting. I want whites to be white and not have a blue cast, and that’s easy to desaturate out.  I make an adjustment layer and choose saturation and choose the Blues and Cyans and pull the saturation sliders right down to something like -70.  However this removes blue from every part of the photo, and I don’t want to change the shades of green in the scarf and her eyes, so again using the layer mask I’ll make sure those parts of the photo aren’t effected, by leaving the mask white and choosing a black paint brush and painting on the eyes and scarf (so the blues are not desaturated from these parts of the photo). As well as making the highlights on her skin a bit brighter, I also make the shadows on her face a bit darker.   I have boosted the brightness in her eyes, but did not change the colour of the irises.  I’ve brought out the colours in her scarf to make them a bit stronger and richer, and I have cropped in slightly for a tighter composition using the crop tool set to 4 inches by 6 inches to keep the normal photograph dimension ratio. I also like to sharpen the fine lines on the face such as eyelashes, irises and the lips.  I usually use a high pass filter on a new flattened layer, set the blending mode to overlay, and paint in over the parts of the photo I want to be sharper.  I always make use of layers and layer masks in Photoshop so I can ‘paint in’ the effects and choose exactly which parts of the photo gets treated, no matter what the treatment (lighting, colours, sharpness etc).  A lot of subtle changes lead to an overall look that fits my aesthetic vision which is to have natural looking photos that are sharp and perfectly lit, and also have a colour scheme with complementary colours working together throughout the photo.   Photo Review Australia on sale When Photo Review Australia magazine approached me and asked if they could do a feature on my travel photography, they said they wanted to use one of my Bangladeshi girl portraits on the cover. As a result, Tuly has appeared in shops across Australia, and I would hope that she would be excited to learn that our little interaction in her village has led to people admiring her beauty and elegance throughout Australia, and the world. I took a trip to my local newsagent to take a photo of her picture on display (above), and bought an extra copy of the magazine to take with me when I return to Bangladesh and retrace my steps to find Tuly again, and give her the copies of her photos and prints in publication. Find below some other mediums the photos have been printed in. Inside the Travel Photographer of the Year (2012) book UK Metro newspaper (December 2012) – on display in a London café   Source: davidlazarphoto

September 10, 2017 by
© Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK)The number of people shunning long haul destinations for a staycation at some of the beautiful places around the UK has risen by 10% in 2017. So now that more of us are looking for getaways closer to home we've enlisted some help to put together 10 best in the UK for visit on holiday. New research from has compiled a ranking of 40 of the UK's top seaside towns with Southwold in Suffolk coming in at number 1. This small town on the English North Sea coast in the Waveney district of Suffolk boasts a high number of pubs and and this combined with it's beautiful scenery lead to it ranking higher than the likes of Brighton and Blackpool. New Brighton in Merseyside offers families the cheapest prices, while Shanklin on the Isle of Wight sees more sun, on average, than its rivals. The study from Marbles also examined the prices of taxis, number of attractions, and even a beach rating score to locate the best option for seaside staycations this year. The top 10 seaside towns, in order, are below: Southwold Bamburgh Woolacombe Tenby Padstow Folkestone Beaumaris Skegness Salcombe Weymouth This handy infographic breaks down exactly why each town ranked – we'll see yo   x © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) Related: 9 Easy Ways to Beat Those Post-Vacation Blues (Provided by Reader's Digest) 9 Easy Ways to Beat Those Post-Vacation Blues   source: HB 

September 10, 2017 by
  The category five hurricane is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane on record. It destroyed nearly all buildings on the island of Barbuda on Wednesday, before continuing on to the French territories of St Martin and St Barts, leaving at least seven dead. French President Emmanuel Macron said he expects that victims and heavy damage will be discovered on both islands. Nearby Antigua, managed to escape relatively unscathed. British tourists there were urged to comply with evacuation orders on Tuesday as British Airways sent an empty aircraft to bring back a full flight, of 326 passengers, early. Anguilla's tourist board too said that its major resorts had survived the storm, although many private homes had been damaged. There were no reports of any deaths. © Provided by The TelegraphTourists were stranded in the Caribbean and others were having to rebook their holidays as Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across the Caribbean. The Bahamas is braced for impact, with several airports closed. There has been very little air traffic traveling through the Caribbean airspace over the last 24 hours, with planes generally avoiding the area. Where exactly is the hurricane headed? "Irma will bring life-threatening wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards to Puerto Rico tonight (Wednesday night), the northern coast of Hispaniola Thursday and the Turks and Caicos and southeastern and central Bahamas Thursday and Friday. "Hurrican watches are in effect for the northwestern Bahamas and much of Cuba. Irma is likely to bring dangerous wind, storm surge and rainfall to portions of these areas on Friday and Saturday. "The threat of direct hurricane impacts in Florida over the weekend and early next week has increased. Hurricane watches will likely be issued for portions of the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula on Thursday." Will my flight be affected? Airlines have announced over 1,800 cancellations to/from airports in the Caribbean and Florida. The number is expected to rise as Irma continues its way to Florida.  Miami International Airport (MIA) is among the busiest airports in the world, serviced by over 80 airlines with routes to approximately 150 destinations. "More than 1,200 flights travel to/from MIA on a typical weekday," a spokesman for FlightAware said. "If MIA is forced to close, the impact will likely be intensified since the airlines are still recouping their operations from Harvey."  © Provided by The TelegraphAirports in the Bahamas are closed until September 9. On Wednesday authorities in Antigua and St Kitts closed their airports and flights, including two from BA and their return services, were cancelled. A flight to Antigua on September 7 was cancelled by Virgin Atlanticl. A spokeswoman asked passengers to check the status of their flights in case of any changes at  virginatlantic.com  before travelling to the airport. Thomson is encouraging customers due to travel to Dominican Republic, Cuba and Florida in the coming days to check its website regularly for updates.   © Provided by The Telegraph Many cruise lines have changed their itineraries to avoid the hurricane's path. For advice on flights and cruises to destinations that might be affected by the hurricane  see our updated advice here . What is the advice for holidaymakers? A BA spokesman said: “We are in contact with travellers in the region and laid on a special flight from Antigua yesterday to get as many customers home as possible before the hurricane arrived on the island. “We have offered all customers due to travel to the Caribbean and Florida in the coming days a range of re-booking options and are keeping our flights to the entire region under review.​” Virgin Atlantic has also given its customers who are currently on holiday in Antigua, Havana and Miami, the opportunity of coming home early. They are asked to call either their travel agent or Virgin Atlantic directly on 0344 209 8711 for more information. © Provided by The TelegraphVirgin is also allowing travellers to some affected destinations the chance to rebook. “The safety and comfort of our customers is our top priority," a spokeswoman said, "and any customers booked to travel to, from or through Antigua, Havana and Miami between today and September 11 may rebook their flights to an alternative date or alternative destination travelling on or before October 14 (subject to availability), or receive a full refund.” Thomson is advising its customers to “closely follow instructions from the holiday reps and the hotel management in the resort at all times, and should customers have any questions, they speak to their holiday rep in the hotel or call us on our 24/7 holiday line on +44 3333 365 147 (or +353 1 5133401 for Irish customers). "Alternatively customers can e-mail or text us as follows: e-mail:   24-7@thomson.co.uk, text 8234.” Thomas Cook said it has 4,803 customers in Cuba, 1,501 in the Dominican Republic and 8 in Antigua, currently. It has sent members of its "special assistence team" to each of these destinations to assist holidaymakers. "We are offering free amendments or cancellations for customers travelling to these destinations up to and including Sunday September 10," a spokeswoman said. "If you are due to travel during this time please contact us on 01733 224536 to discuss your travel arrangements." Foreign Office advice for Britons warned of hazardous sea and weather conditions to a number of popular destinations and advised that holidaymakers follow the advice of the local authorities and any evacuation orders. It also suggested that travellers monitor the progress of approaching storms via the US National Hurricane Centre . In the Bahamas, prime minister Hubert Minnis ordered a mandatory evacuation of islands in the southern part of the island chain. Related: Hurricane Irma's Current Projected Path Through Caribbean (Provided by Wochit News)

September 10, 2017 by
Have you ever clocked someone yawning in the office and soon followed suit? How about 'catching' a yawn on public transport? Well, now a new study from the University of Nottingham has revealed the part of our brain that triggers the yawning response.  According the research, it's the part of the brain that deals with motor function – the primary motor cortex, which also plays a part in conditions such as Tourette's syndrome. Stephen Jackson, a professor of cognitive neuroscience and lead author, told Medical News Today why he thinks yawning is contagious: ""[...] there are many theories for why we yawn (e.g., lack of oxygen, to cool the brain, because we are tired, etc., etc.) but the evidence for these is lacking. The popular theory for contagious yawning is that it is linked with empathy for others, mimicry, and social bonding. Again the evidence for this is weak. I still think that much more research is required to understand the function and biology of yawning. "…when I teach about yawning, I can get most of the class yawning. (Note, this doesn't happen for my other lectures)." For the study, the researchers monitored 36 participants while they watched other people yawning. Some were told to stifle the urge. The urge was due to the "excitability" of the volunteer's primary motor cortex. Using a non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) procedure it was also possible to increase this excitability and, as a result, more yawning.  Interestingly, the scientists believe that knowing about yawns and this part of the brain may offer some insight in to other disorders and unrelated conditions, such as echophenomena (also known as echo phenomenon that cause automatic imitations that occur without awareness), which is seen in Tourettes, epilepsy and autism. Prof. Jackson adds: "We suggest that these findings may be particularly important in understanding further the association between motor excitability and the occurrence of echophenomena in a wide range of clinical conditions that have been linked to increased cortical excitability and/or decreased physiological inhibition such as epilepsy, dementia, autism, and Tourette's syndrome." He added the team are looking for potential non-drug, personalised treatments.  The research was published in the journal Current Biology. Related: Introducing floating yoga, this summer's hottest fitness trend (provided by TODAY)

September 10, 2017 by
Few people love their feet, and yet really, we should – those little guys carry us round day in day out, and they deserve a bit of TLC.  Unfortunately, our hard-working feet are prone to problems which many people delay treating due to embarrassment or because they're just too plain busy. Issues including bunions, calluses and corns, verrucas, toenail problems, athletes foot and flat feet are extremely common, and yet few of us know what to do when they occur. That's why we spoke to podiatrist Dina Gohil to find out the most common complaints her clients have, how to prevent them and what you should do if you're a sufferer yourself. 1. Bunions "A bunion is a bony growth or misaligned bone at the base of the big toe, or sometimes on the small toe (which is known as a Tailor's bunion). "The main sign of a bunion is the big toe pointing towards the other toes on the same foot, forcing the foot bone attached to it (aka the first metatarsal) to stick outwards. "Anyone can develop a bunion, but the exact cause is unknown. Research shows that it tends to run in families and is more common in women than men, suggesting a link to ill-fitting shoes. In fact, bunions are rarely found in populations that don't wear shoes.  "Non-surgical treatments can help to reduce pain of bunions including painkillers, insoles and bunion pads. Surgery should only be considered if symptoms are so severe that non-surgical treatments are failing to relieve pain, and should be discussed with your podiatrist. "To prevent bunions, wear shoes that fit properly by making sure your shoes are the correct size, have midfoot support and that there's plenty of room to move your toes freely. "Shoes with pointy toes or high heels can force your toes together, putting pressure on the first metatarsal joint (where the bunion is)."  2. Calluses and corns "Corns and calluses are areas of hard, thickened skin that develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction. They commonly occur on the feet and can cause pain and discomfort when you walk.  "Often caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes that place excessive pressure on an area of the foot, or where there is a little protective cushioning on the bony parts of the feet. It is then no surprise that they are often found as a symptom of a bunion or hammer toe. "Repetitive activities such as running or walking can cause rubbing of the feet within shoes or barefoot, and make athletes particularly susceptible to corns and calluses. "If you have a corn or callus on your foot its best to see a podiatrist, who can advise treatment. They won't get better on their own unless the cause of the friction is removed. "Speak to a pharmacist before trying over-the-counter treatments, as these won't treat the root cause and may affect the surrounding skin" © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) 3. Verrucas "Verrucas are warts caused by a virus that invades the skin through tiny cuts or scrapes. The pressure from normal standing and walking can force the warts into the skin and can even make them more painful.  "Verrucas are contagious and most commonly spread in communal areas such as gyms, swimming pools, showers or even your own home. The virus often takes a few weeks to present as a verruca and so when or where you caught it won't be obvious. "It's best to take precautions to prevent catching it by wearing flip-flops in communal areas, paying keen attention to foot hygiene and not sharing socks or shoes with others. "There are treatments available over the counter and most involve removing the dead skin. But there is danger of spreading the verruca for those less experienced, as often scratching or itching may spread the infection to other areas of the body. Therefore, it is best to see your podiatrist, who will be able to treat the area effectively." 4. Toenail problems "One of the most common complaints I see are issues related to the toenail, especially ingrown toenails and toenail fungus.  "Ingrown toenails happen when the toenail grows into the sides of the surrounding skin, where the nail curves and often ends up digging into the skin, causing the area to become inflamed and tender to the touch.  "Consult your GP or podiatrist if you experience severe inflammation, bleeding or pus, which can all be a sign of infection. This is especially important for those with diabetes, as this could affect the healing process. "Ingrown toenails can be prevented by cutting toenails straight across and not too short, wearing shoes with plenty of room for the toes to move freely and allowing your feet to breath, preventing them becoming too sweaty. "The symptoms of fungal nail on the other hand, include yellow, brittle or crumbling nails. The infection can often spread through contact with a sufferer; even the cleanest places in the home have some traces of fungus, including the washing machine, bath mat, bedsheets and even clean laundry that has not been washed at 60 degrees. Shockingly, these items have the potential to spread the infection to other healthy nails and even family members. "The best way to prevent a fungal nail infection is to ensure a high level of foot hygiene, by washing feet regularly and ensuring that you are drying your feet properly. Wear clean socks daily that have been washed at no less than 60 degrees and wear shoes in communal areas to avoid picking up the infection from others. "A fungal nail infection won't go away on its own and will need to be treated. There are over the counter treatments available, such as Canespro Fungal Nail Treatment Set, that can get to work in as fast as 2-3 weeks. Treatments should be used in conjunction with an antifungal and you'll need to ensure that all items that have come into contact with your feet are thoroughly cleaned to prevent a recurrent infection." © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) 5. Athletes foot "Symptoms of athlete's foot include dry, scaly and itchy small blisters that is mostly found to affect the skin between the toes and the bottoms of the feet. If left untreated, the fungus can progress to a fungal toenail infection, which is more difficult to treat and so best caught early.  "The fungus that causes athlete's foot thrives in moist and warm environments, making communal areas such as swimming pools and gyms prime breeding grounds (hence the name 'athlete's foot'). "To prevent catching the fungus, you need to avoid coming into contact with infected surfaces, so wear flip-flops in communal areas such as swimming pools. Keep feet as clean and dry as possible by wearing shoes and socks that allow them to breathe and don't share towels, socks or shoes with others. "It's unlikely to get better on its own and so it's best to talk to a pharmacist who can recommend the best antifungal treatment, which works by stopping the growth of fungus."  6. Flat feet "Fallen arches, more commonly known as flat feet is where the arches of the feet are very low meaning the foot is pressed almost flat on the ground. Most often this will have an effect on someone's gait, meaning that their shoes will wear down quicker than normal. "Most people inherit fallen arches from their parents, but on occasion this can be caused by joint hypermobility, loose connective tissue or even due to unsupportive footwear, an injury, increasing age, rheumatoid arthritis or obesity. "Having flat feet is not something to worry about, unless it is causing unbearable pain that's having an impact on your quality of life. Those with flat feet can often experience pain in their back, hips, lower limbs, knees, ankles and feet. If you experience any of these issues, it's best to speak to a podiatrist who can assess your feet and the movement of your body, to recommend the most suitable treatment. "Non-surgical treatments include wearing supportive shoes, bespoke-made insoles, painkillers for pain, a weight-loss programme if you are overweight and stretching exercises for the muscles and connective tissues in the lower legs. Should none of these treatments work, you will be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon to discuss options for surgery." Related: Six Things That Might Be Causing That Headache (provided by HuffPost UK)

September 10, 2017 by
The alcohol industry is misleading consumers with distorted and distracting health messages that downplay any related risk of cancer, researchers claim. The industry is using “denying, distortion and distraction” strategies to minimise evidence in activities that have parallels with those of the tobacco industry, according to a study led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) with Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet. Researchers analysed information relating to cancer on the websites and documents of almost 30 alcohol industry organisations between September and December last year, finding that most showed “some sort of distortion or misrepresentation” of evidence. The industry most commonly presented the relationship between alcohol and cancer as highly complex, implying there was no evidence of a consistent or independent link, the study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, found. Other tactics included denying that any relationship existed or claiming that there was no risk for light or moderate drinking, as well as presenting alcohol as just one risk among many. The researchers said one of their most important findings was that the industry appeared to specifically omit or misrepresent evidence on breast and colorectal cancer, possibly because they were among the most common cancers. They urged policymakers and public health bodies to reconsider their relationship with the industry, which is involved in developing alcohol policy and disseminating health messages to the public in many countries, in light of the findings.   Alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for a range of cancers, including oral cavity, liver, breast and colorectal cancers, and accounts for about 4% of new cancer cases annually in the UK. There is limited evidence that alcohol consumption protects against some cancers, such as renal and ovarian cancers, but in 2016 the UK’s Committee on Carcinogenicity concluded that the evidence is inconsistent, and the increased risk of other cancers as a result of drinking alcohol outweighs any possible decreased risk. The authors said it was important to highlight that those who drink within the recommended guidelines – not more than 14 units a week for both men and women – “shouldn’t be too concerned when it comes to cancer”. Mark Petticrew, Professor of Public Health at the LSHTM and the study’s lead author, said: “The weight of scientific evidence is clear – drinking alcohol increases the risk of some of the most common forms of cancer, including several common cancers. “Public awareness of this risk is low, and it has been argued that greater public awareness, particularly of the risk of breast cancer, poses a significant threat to the alcohol industry. “Our analysis suggests that the major global alcohol producers may attempt to mitigate this by disseminating misleading information about cancer through their ‘responsible drinking’ bodies.” He added: “Existing evidence of strategies employed by the alcohol industry suggests that this may not be a matter of simple error. “This has obvious parallels with the global tobacco industry’s decades-long campaign to mislead the public about the risk of cancer, which also used front organisations and corporate social activities.” Institute of Alcohol Studies chief executive Katherine Brown said: “This report shows that, like the tobacco industry before them, alcohol companies are misleading consumers about the evidence linking their products to cancer. “We cannot rely on a profit-driven industry to promote public health. Consumers have a right to know the truth about alcohol and cancer, so they can make fully informed decisions about their drinking.”   source: press asosciation

September 10, 2017 by
A new study shows people are making an extra £40,000, simply with the advice of a financial professional. The report by the International Longevity Centre-UK* shows how much more money you could have in your pocket if you speak with a financial adviser. And people who take advice are £40,000 better off on average than people who don’t. The study was done on two groups: The ‘Affluent’ And the ‘Just Getting By’ Essentially, wealthier families and the average UK person. The wealthier group were over £43,000 richer, and the average group almost £40,000 richer. Despite these two groups being very different, they still made a similar amount. And simply by speaking with a financial adviser. Wealthier Families Vs. The Average Brit In the report, the two groups were identified by certain polarising factors: Wealthier Families More likely to be… Married or part of a couple Homeowners Higher incomes Degree-educated The Average Brit More likely to be… Single, divorced, or widowed Renting Lower incomes Educated, but lower than degree level If you’re any of the following, you could be £40k richer by getting financial advice. Click one of the icons that best represents you, to see how a financial adviser can increase your wealth. Homeowners Renting Married or part of a couple Single (inc. divorced or widowed) Extra cash in their pocket People improved their wealth by up to £43,000! Figures show the wealthier, advised people made on average an extra £12,636 cash (or liquid assets) than people who didn’t take advice. And they gained an extra £30,882 in their pension pots. That’s £43,245 more money – just from seeking financial advice. And the average brit saw their cash increased by an extra £14,036 in cash and liquid assets. Plus an extra £25,869 in their pensions with the help of advice. A total added value of £39,895. Get your free meeting with an IFA. Take control of your money today. Advice is for everyone While most people think financial advice is unaffordable or ‘not for them’, these figures show that’s rarely the case. It isn’t just the wealthiest in society benefiting from financial advice. In fact, with just a £3,350 difference between the two categories in the study, being an average earner makes financial advice just as lucrative. With people making an extra £40k – especially in their pension pots – it sets them up for a more financially stable retirement. That additional £40,000 could be extremely beneficial later in life. Home improvements, extra holidays, even more money to treat and help out younger family members. And if people start early enough, investing over a longer period, even more than £40k could be pocketed. “Financial advice can make a real difference to the quality of life in retirement of people on lower incomes. Financial advice needn’t be the preserve of the better off.” Steve Webb, former Pensions Minister   *Figures based on 2014 assets of those receiving formal financial advice between 2001 and 2007.

September 10, 2017 by
The cave systems underneath the Antarctic ice could be home to an “exciting new world” of plants and animals.   After analyzing DNA retrieved from a cave system underneath the Ross Island volcano Mount Erebus, scientists at the Australia National University found samples that could not be fully identified—pointing to the presence of unidentified species living in the subglacial terrains. The caves around Mount Erebus are surprisingly hot—geothermal heat from the volcano has led to the formation of vents, with the volcanic steam hollowing out extensive and interconnected cave systems. "It can be really warm inside the caves—up to 25 degrees Celsius (77F) in some caves,” Ceidwen Fraser, lead researcher on the project, said in a statement. “You could wear a T-shirt in there and be pretty comfortable. There's light near the cave mouths, and light filters deeper into some caves where the overlying ice is thin." © Provided by IBT Media In the study, published in the journal Polar Biology, the team collected soil samples from three volcanoes in the Victoria Land region of Antarctica, and from the subglacial caves of Mount Erebus. Their findings showed many types of moss, algae, arthropods and nematodes at all the sites, supporting the idea that geothermal areas, including caves hidden beneath the ice, can be havens for biodiversity. At the Mount Erebus site, however, the team also found DNA in the soil that could not be fully identified. "The results from this study give us a tantalising glimpse of what might live beneath the ice in Antarctica—there might even be new species of animals and plants," Fraser said. © Provided by IBT MediaConcluding, the scientists said subglacial caves have been found around other Antarctic volcanoes, and subglacial volcanoes continue to be discovered. “Despite recent advances in our broad understanding of Antarctic biodiversity, we still know little about life in the continent’s subglacial cave systems, which may harbor diverse and complex communities,” they wrote. The evidence they found suggests these cave systems need to be investigated in greater detail because the “true biological diversity” in these environments is “almost certainly” underestimated. The researchers note the findings are not proof of new species, but allow for the possibility of undiscovered ecosystems in the unexplored terrains. "The next steps will be to take a closer look at the caves and search for living organisms. If they exist, it opens the door to an exciting new world," said Laurie Connell, a co-researcher on the project.   slource: news week