- Port Stephens surfers, surf life savers rescue five swimmers from near drowning at Birubi Beach on New Year’s Day
- A-League: Topor-Stanley focused on Jets win rather than 250 milestone
- Soft start to 2018 for ASX
- Double trouble: Brumbies twins to add backyard battle spice to selection
- The pub with no roof: storm rips through north coast
Monthly Archives: June 2019
Sixers tweaker Steve O’Keefe has been cleared of a fractured left leg, but will not play in Wednesday’s clash against the Melbourne Renegades in Geelong.
O’Keefe had an X-ray following Monday night’s loss to the Perth Scorchers after he landed awkwardly while fielding a ball at short fine leg, and did not fly with the team to Melbourne on Tuesday.
Instead he travelled to Sydney for an MRI scan, which will determine the extent of his injury and whether it rules him out of the Big Bash season.
The injury was a further blow to the Sixers’ horror season which now sits at four losses from as many starts, meaning the tricky Renegades’ clash has become a must-win fixture.
Veteran O’Keefe went down in the sixth over when his left leg seemed to catch in the ground under his body as the Sixers unsuccessfully attempted to defend 6-147. He eventually limped from the field with a lower leg injury.
“It almost looked like he’d blown his Achilles or something like that, it looked like someone had basically shot him,” teammate Jordan Silk said.
“It’s hard to know the full extent of it, it’s good that he’s been cleared of any breaks.
“You lose a lot of experience [without O’Keefe in the team]. He’s a high quality bowler and a great lower order batter for us as well and he’s been really effective in that part this year.
“It’s super disappointing for the Sixers and also for SOK himself, bit of a cruel blow. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious and we can get him back for the back end of this tournament.”
Daniel Hughes is in doubt for the Renegades clash after missing the Scorchers game with a quad complaint, while captain Moises Henriques remains on the sidelines indefinitely for personal reasons.
The Sixers have brought in young spinner Soumil Chhibber from their academy as cover for O’Keefe.
“He’s been around in the Sixers Academy for the last three or four seasons and he’s played in a lot of our practice matches and has performed quite well,” Silk said of Chhibber.
“He gives us a different sort of option, maybe an option we haven’t really seen at the Sixers, being a leg spinner. It’s really exciting for him and if he gets the opportunity at Geelong I’m sure he’ll do well, it seems to be the theme of that leg spinners this tournament are doing really well.”
Monday’s loss to Perth marked a remarkable fall from grace for the Sixers, who just 11 months earlier travelled to the WACA to contest the Big Bash final.
Their batting has been particularly disappointing, with Silk the only played to have crafted a half century for the Sixers in four matches this season.
“We’re really close [to a win],” Silk said.
“We’ve bowled really well this year, our batting’s been a bit of a disappointment just losing too many wickets early. I thought the way we batted yesterday was a step in the right direction for our team.
“I’m sure that if we keep playing like that and we’re able to string consistent performances with bat and ball then that’ll help us register our first win.
“At the moment it’s pretty disheartening but we’ve got to turn it around quickly for the Renegades tomorrow night.”
Dose creep: It started with back pain, but eventually university student Emma felt like she was leading a “double life” trying to hide her codeine addiction from her family and friends. She would often take a packet of 30 in one go while out on a “walk”, sometimes three times a day.EMMAwas studyinga science degree at the University of Newcastle when she began to suffer from severe back pain.
She found some relief for it when she took Nurofen Plus –a combination of ibuprofen and codeine – and at first, she stuck to the recommended dose.
“But I started to take an extra one or two because, quite simply, it made me feel happy,” Emma, not her real name,said.
“I felt like I was a nicer person, I could cope with the stress of study better, I felt warm and fuzzywhen I took more than I should. It was fun, like a little getawayor pick me up in the middle of the day. Like a treat, almost. I really liked the way it mademe feel.”
Read more: Pharmacology professor labels codeine changes a ‘silly solution’
Within a year, her friends would roll their eyes or make a joke when she popped twotablets before a lecture.
But as her body adapted to the dose, sheneeded more forthe same effect.
She was takingNurofen Plus, Panafen Plus, or the Chemist’s Own brand of ibuprofen and codeine –anything she could that had codeine in it.
Soon, her family members voiced their concerns.
She tried to stop, several times, but each time –within days – she would start vomiting, and endure bouts of severe diarrhoea.
She could not stay still.
She was agitated, “ache-y.”
“I couldn’t get comfortable unless I was in the shower or a bath,” she said.
One GP gave her a prescription forClonidinetoease the symptoms of withdrawal. But amonth later, she was back to taking at least the same dose as before, but often more.
“At the peak of my addiction, I was taking up to 90 tablets a day on a bad day, but usually 60.
“There is 30 tablets in a packet andI would take a whole packet in one go, sometimes more because my tolerance got up so high. I would often do this twice and even threetimesa day.It was an extremely lonely andisolating time.”
Somehow, she was still doing “amazingly well” at university, getting “fantastic” marks.
“Ithink because I could stillfunction quite normally –I wasn’t passed out in a ditch or really out of it oranything like that. I looked andacted quite normally, I just had this huge secret.”
Emma’s main source of stress was always making sure she had enough tablets, and worrying that a pharmacist would question why she was buying so many.
“I had to travel to different chemists so they didn’t become suspicious,” she said.
“When this first started in 2007, you could still buy a huge packet of Panafen Plus, I think there were 72 tablets in a packet, soit was very easy to come by. After the rule change in 2009, you couldn’t just get them off the shelf, you had to go to the prescription counter and speak to a pharmacist about whatkind of pain you were having.
“Every time I went out somewhere I would be looking for a pharmacy.
“It was like I was leading a double life because I was also trying desperately to hide this from my family and my partner. I would sneak around, saying I was going for a walk andthen I’d buy tablets andtake them all before going back home.”
Read more:Codeine rescheduling will put pressure on Hunter drug and alcohol services
Emma’s addictioneventually ruined her previous relationship, and had an impact on her performance in a former job.
She found there was a stigma associated with codeine addiction, even in the medical community, having experiencedjudgment from severalGPs before getting Suboxone treatment as a codeine replacement through Dr David Outridge.
“I have been ‘clean’since January 1, 2015. Three years,” she said.
“Drug addicts aren’t all homeless andunemployed ‘bums’. They areeducated people with normal lives, supportive families, good jobs –human beingswho have made a mistake andneed help, not judgement from the very people they turn to in their hour of need.”
Emma said the new legislation coming into effect in February, when codeine would become a prescription-only medicine, was unfair on the people who used it responsibly.
“But if they were available only on prescription sevenyears ago, I don’t think Iwould ever have become addicted to them,” she said.
“I worry that Dr Outridgewill beinundated with new referrals, because GPs won’t want to prescribe these drugs, and they don’t know how to properly manage patients who present with an addiction like mine.
“If these changes can stop even one person from going down the path that I did, then it is probablyfor the best.”
Comedian Dave Chappelle has controversially weighed in on Hollywood’s sexual misconduct crisis in his new Netflix special, calling the allegations against friend Louis CK “funny”.
“I shouldn’t say this but f— it, Louis’s allegations were the only ones that made me laugh,” he says in his special The Bird Revelation, released on Sunday.
“I know it’s terrible, I’m sorry ladies… At the same time, Jesus Christ, I don’t know, they took everything from Louis, it might be disproportionate, I can’t tell.”
A New York Times expose published in November saw five women accuse CK of sexual misconduct, including exposing himself and masturbating in front of them.
CK admitted to the claims in a much derided public apology, and saw a planned release of his indie film I Love You Daddy shelved by distribution company The Orchard. FX, the network who aired his hit series Louie, severed ties with the comedian’s production company Pig Newton, and Netflix announced it had canned his upcoming comedy special.
In his set, Chappelle – who was reportedly paid $US20 million by the streaming giant for the 40-odd minute special – uncomfortably mocks the comedian’s victims.
“One lady said, ‘Louis CK masturbated in front of me, ruined my comedy dreams.’ Word? Well then I dare say madam, you may have never had a dream,” Chappelle quips.
“Come on man, that’s a brittle spirit. This is a grown-ass woman… I hate to say it, [these women] all sound weak,” he adds, before imagining Dr Martin Luther King’s response to CK’s advances.
“One of these women was like, ‘Louis CK was masturbating while I was on the phone with him’,” he continues.
“Bitch, you don’t know how to hang up a phone? How the f— are you going to survive in show business if this is an actual obstacle to your dreams?”
The set, recorded at Los Angeles’ intimate Comedy Store in November, also takes aim at Harvey Weinstein (“The first person that I ever looked at a photograph of and was like, ‘Yeah, he rapes,'” says Chappelle) and his accusers.
“This could have happened to any of us. It could have happened to me,” Chappelle says at one point, before re-enacting a 3am hotel meeting with Weinstein and a 4.30am “wardrobe fitting” at Brett Ratner’s house.
“Everybody gets mad because I say these jokes, but you gotta understand, this is the best time to say them,” the comedian adds by way of disclaimer.
“Now more than ever, we have a responsibility to speak recklessly.”
In a more sober turn, Chappelle – who also courted controversy last year after his Netflix comeback special Spin was accused of being transphobic – brushes away naming-and-shaming culprits as an effective way of instilling cultural change in the industry.
“Ben Affleck tried to help… ‘Oh, you grabbed a titty in ’95!’ ‘Alright fellas, I’m out’,” he says, re-enacting the actor’s very public withdrawal from the issue after speaking out against his former mentor Weinstein.
“Fear does not make a lasting peace… If you keep going after individuals, the system is going to stay intact,” Chappelle says in the set.
“You have to have men on your side. And I’m telling you, you’re gonna have a lot of imperfect allies.”
n Reptile Park’s General Manager, Tim Faulkner attempts to free a Lace Monitor from a yabbie trap.n Reptile Park’s General Manager, Tim Faulkner received an unexpected New Year’s Day package yesterday morning from a concerned local who brought in aLaceMonitorthat was stuck in a yabbie trap.
The goanna had wandered in through a hole at the end of the trap but became entangled but luckily for the lizard, he was brought to the right place!
Upon receiving the goanna at The n Reptile Park, Faulkner identified the lizard as ’s second-largestmonitorspecies (thelacemonitor) and jumped into action by removing the animal from the yabbie trap and releasing the goanna back to the wild.
Read more: Giant python bites keeper at n Reptile Park
“Lacemonitors are scavenger feeders,” Faulkner said.
“This is a natural behaviour that has been occurring for thousands of years but now humans are sharing their habitat at an increased capacity, more potentially harmful items start appearing and the goannas try to take advantage of what appears to be a free meal.”
“Luckily for thislacemonitorthere was a happy ending. However, more and more frequently animals are being brought in with human waste obstructing parts of their body.
“These yabbie traps are notorious for drowning platypus, but I must say, this is the first time I have seen alacemonitorstuck in one.
“We as ns need to take more care of throwing away rubbish and taking anything we have away with us like traps, trash etc – not only for the benefit of the animals, but for humankind as well.”
Read more: George the wombat is just too cute
Lacemonitors grow to between 1.5 and 2 metres in length and inhabit eastern n forests and coastal tablelands.
Much of its time is spent up fairly large trees, although they usually come down to the ground to forage for food. They will readily feed on carrion, including road kills, gorging themselves when the opportunity arises. After a large feed they are able to go for many weeks without feeding again.
DOSE OF REALITY: Maddy Lardner plays Libby Tucker in I Ought to Be in Pictures, the first Neil Simon play to explore serious social issues.AMERICAN playwright Neil Simon wasn’t sure how audiences would respond to his comedy I Ought to Be in Pictures when it premiered in 1979. People had laughed uproariously since the early 1960s at works such as Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple, but he changed his style in that show.
I Ought to Be in Pictures is set in a rundown Hollywood cottage, opening with a 19-year-old girl knocking on the door and asking the woman who opens it, Steffy, if screenwriter Herb Tucker is at home. Steffy, who is having a troubled one-night-a-week affair with Herb, learns that the visitor is Herb’s daughter Libby, whom he hasn’t seen since she was three, when he left his family in New York to head to Hollywood to become a screenwriter.
Libby wants her father to help her get work as a film actress, despite having done little stage work. Herb, however, is increasingly finding it hard to get his own work, and it is Libby that provesthe most helpful person when she stays with her father.
I Ought to Be in Pictures was Neil Simon’s first play to use comedy to look at serious issues, and it has been a crowd-pleaser since its inaugural production. In recent years it has become one of his most-staged works, and Newcastle audiences will have a chance to enjoy the play when Newcastle Theatre Company presents it for three weeks from January 20.
The play has just three characters, putting pressure on the actors who play them. But the trio in NTC’s production – Maddy Lardner as Libby, Mark Lidbury as Herb, and Renee Thomas as Steffy – are enjoying their roles.
Maddy Lardner says that she finds it easy to sympathise with Libby, given the issues she faces.
“She has lots of artistic talent, but she’s choosing the wrong way to express it,” she said.
“And she has had to be strong-willed while growing up, having to care for her little brother. She’s come to see her father because she has been unable to express her feelings to her mother.”
Maddy also sees her as very determined and brave, because she trekked across the United States from New York to Hollywood, not knowing how she would travel each day or where she would stay each night.
Director David Murray views the three characters as very real.
“A lot of Simon’s comedies don’t have the same reality,” he said.
“And it has funny lines that come up unexpectedly.”
I Ought to Be in Pictures opens on Saturday, January 20, at 8pm, followed by a 2pm Sunday matinee, then has shows on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, at 8pm, until February 3, plus a 2pm matinee on Saturday, January 27. Tickets: $30, concession $24; bookings 4952 4958 and newcastletheatrecompany苏州夜总会招聘.