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Present society is experiencing an epidemic of loneliness.

 With all the social media tools available to connect with each other, why are we feeling even lonelier?

Loneliness has been described as social pain — a psychological mechanism meant to alert an individual of isolation and motivate him/her to seek social connections.

Loneliness depends entirely on the subjective quality of your relationships on whether you feel emotionally or socially disconnected from those around you.

Loneliness does not depend on how many friends or relationships you have.

What makes a person lonely is the fact that they need more intimate social interaction that is not currently available to them.

While social media seems to be an obvious choice to reach out to other people when lonely, research demonstrates that instead of decreasing loneliness it may make people even lonelier.

A survey carried out in 2010 by the Mental Health Foundation found that 18-to 35-year-olds were more likely to feel lonely than the over-55s with more than a third saying they have less interaction with people they know than they did five years ago.

The more time people invest in building expansive social networks online, the quality of their offline networks and relationships diminishes.

Sherry Turkle, a professor of computer culture at MIT The problem with digital intimacy is that it is ultimately incomplete: “The ties we form through the Internet are not, in the end, the ties that bind. “

This is particularly pertinent for young or socially inexperienced individuals where online friendships may become too important, at the expense of deeper and stronger ties with friends and family in real life.

In an experiment, Cacioppo looked for a connection between the loneliness of subjects and the relative frequency of their interactions via Facebook, chat rooms, online games, dating sites, and face-to- face contact.

The results were unequivocal. “The greater the proportion of face-to- face interactions, the less lonely you are,” he says. “The greater the proportion of online interactions, the lonelier you are.”

Social intimacy is based on exposing the real self, exposing vulnerabilities and failings, openly sharing feelings without fear of judgement.

Social media encourages usersonly post content which shows their life in the best light and tend to report positive events rather than negative events that make us human.

Social media leads to a false pretence,  that we should be happy all the time, often making us feel emptier by comparison.

This can have an alienating impact, particularly on young users that feel that their lives do not live up to social norms.

Social media is merely a tool, and like any tool, its effectiveness will depend on its user. The depth of one’s social network off line is what determines the depth of one’s social network online, not the other way around.



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Professors’ demand for a debate on a law change to the legal age limit to be raised to 21 following similar calls from the Australian Medical Association, Ita Buttrose, and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.


 Pictured: Col Millar

Crown prosecutors are awaiting expert medical reports into the alleged one-punch death of Brisbane athlete Cole Miller before the case can proceed in court.

Daniel Maxwell and Armstrong Renata, both 21, remain in custody, charged over the alleged coward punch death of the young water polo player in early January.

Incidents of alcohol fuelled violence and one-punch deaths have outraged the community and have compelled governments to take action leading to new legislation introducing a range of measures, including new lock-out laws in New South Wales and Queensland.

Not surprisingly, the alcohol and entertainment lobbies oppose these restrictions of their industries.

Other members of the community say new lock-out laws have badly impacted business and restricted the rights on individuals to enjoy a night out.

Doctors at Sydney’s busy St Vincent’s Hospital say the past year has been their best in a long time, with a huge reduction in the extreme drug and alcohol related injuries they’ve seen.

Contrarily, there are many critics of the government’s approach saying it does not go far enough to address the real cultural problems associated with alcohol in Australia especially in adolescence.

They believe that increasing the legal drinking age to 21 would significantly reduce alcohol related violence, domestic violence, car accidents and other significant health related issues.

A recent program on SBS discussed the issue with some younger Australians that have experienced alcohol fuelled violence, questioning whether present changes to laws would make a difference. https://youtu.be/3Bp7705aHx4

They believed it was more of a cultural issue that needs changing but said it was a difficult, because it often comes down to stupidity.

Many adolescent perpetrators of the violence regret what they have done and don’t understand why they acted in that way.

Research has demonstrated that this may have more to do with the adolescent brain that has not neurological developed at the age of 18, the legal drinking age.

Recent research demonstrates that the human brain does not fully develop until around the age of 25.

The combination of alcohol on a developing brain can lead to long term health problems and effects adolescent behaviour which is already predisposed to “risk-taking.”


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Karate World Championships Postponed by Earthquake

May 13, 2016. 12:34 pm.

Duncan Bigg

The Chito-ryu Karate World Championships (Soke Cup) has been postponed as a result of the recent earthquakes in Kumamoto, Japan.


Pictured: The devastation caused by the April, 2016 earthquakes in Japan.

Kumamoto, Japan, is the home or Chito-ryu Karate with it International headquarters (Sohonbu) based there.

The Kumamoto earthquake struck on April 16, beneath Kumamoto city, in the Kyushu Region, Japan. It was preceded by a foreshock earthquake on April 14, 2016.

The earthquakes killed at least 49 people and injured around 3,000 others.

Severe damage occurred in Kumamoto will numerous structures collapsing and catching fire.

More than 44,000 people had been evacuated from their homes due to the disaster, many won’t return until their homes are reconstructed.

The Chito- ryu World champions (Soke Cup) are held every three years in different countries around the world. This year it was to be held in Kumamoto, in mid- August. It is expected that the tournament will be postponed to a time to be determined next year.

A lot of other permanent Karate schools (dojos) in the region have also been damaged, and Japanese competitors have few places to train as many of the community centres are now being used to accommodate the homeless.

There are concerns that the headquarters (Sohonbu) of Chito-ryu Karate, which was damaged in the earthquake, will never be rebuilt.

Sensei Martin Phillips, who operates Sunshine Coast Karate, said “the news was devastating, and very sad for the Chito-ryu community as a whole, with many International students having visited and trained at the home of Chito-ryu karate in Kumamoto.”


Pictured: Matt Stevenson, Jim Morehead, Deb Woodhouse and Sensei Martin Phillips discussing the Kumamoto earthquake.

Sensei Martin Phillips said it is personally very devastating as he had visited and trained in Kumamoto many times in last 20 years.

“I have friends that have been left homeless, at least in the short term, fortunately all are safe and none were not injured in the disaster,” he said.

“While I have experienced many tremors while living in that region of Japan, you never expect a major earthquake to happen,” he said.

“It is unfortunate for the Australian competitors who were in the process of making final preparations for the tournament, and who have trained so hard for the last 18 months,” he said.

“Local competitors have not just lost an opportunity to represent their country this year, there are also associated financial costs for Karate families,” he said.

“Most competitors quickly got over their initial disappointment, with their hearts going out to those impacted in Japan,” he said.

Unfortunately some Australian representatives will miss out on this once in a life time opportunity, as a result of an expected minimum 12 month postponement of the tournament.

“ While there is some disappointment, most competitors are still training hard and have readjusting their goals and many feel that it is a great opportunity for them to improve and be more competitive next year,” he said.

He believes it will bring the International Chito-ryu community even closer together and stronger for the future.


Pictured: Australia Chito-ryu Karate representatives (Bailey Keefe, Sam Hurt, Renee Saunders and Jack Graeme) back at training for the postponed World championships to be held in Kumamoto, Japan, in 2017.

Deb Woodhouse, (featuring in the video below), who was chosen to represent Australia in the over 60 women’s division, said the earthquake changes nothing with regard to her personal goals to represent her country.

“I feel devastated for the people of Kumamoto and the Chito-ryu family in general, particularly, that the Headquarters (Sohonbu) is damaged and may never to be repaired,” she said.

“That’s the home of our style of karate, all that history, and I may never get to see it, now.” she said.

“While tragic, I also feel it is test, it won’t stop Chito-ryu Karate, if anything, it has inspired me to train even harder,” she said

“The club will do some fundraising to rebuild the Sohonbu [Headquarters], but just the fact that we continue to do Chito-ryu is a great support for our Karate family in Japan,” she said.

Deb Woodhouse’s story is featured in the following video as she prepares to compete at the Chito-ryu Karate World championships that was to be held in Kumamoto, Japan in August 2016.


Highlights from the previous Chito-ryu Karate world champions (Soke Cup) in Hong Kong in 2013.


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How can I use emotional intelligence or Mindsight to manage a bully boss? That’s what a Brainpower webinar participant asked me and my friend and colleague Dan Siegel during a recent webcast. I’d like

Source: Don’t Let a Bully Boss Affect Your Mental Health

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To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep.


At the end of the day everything comes down to  a choice and asking Shakespeare’s  ultimate question. “To be or not to be.”

A review of ethics, codes, laws, philosophy, religion,…it all comes down to that question. Where do you stand.Do you accept the “slings and arrows or outrageous fortune” or do you make a stand “take up arms against a sea of troubles.”

Do you accept what is wrong and acquiesce to a  “they are too powerful” system or do you fight for what is right.  Do you become a victim of bullying, do you submit to the threats of sycophants that protect the serial bully with their weak minded protectionist attitudes, their systematic loyalty, their  isolationist attitude to any threat outside of the norm-it is convenient. It is also weak and cowardly. If you know what is right but you acquiesce to a system, it erodes your own sense of humanity. If you know what is right and wrong and then not act, you are complicit to evil.

Bullying is based on; “the intention to hurt or  do harm to others for the benefit of the bully.”- that is evil by any philosophical definition. Those that are complicit or cover up fall on the side of evil. Likeable people as individuals, but ethically and morally weak, complicit to the actions of a serial bully-they give the bully the power and the strength to continue on,  unquestioned and unchecked. The serial bully has power and knows how to use it. They are drawn to positions of power where can not be challenged or questioned. Behind every bully there is an aura of competence/unconditional power,the threat of consequences, an element of fear. ” I have spies everywhere, you know?”

It all comes down to the question of “To be or not to be.”










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