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Look, we don't need some high-falutin' scientists to tell us that our dogs know exactly what we're saying to them on any given day, but it does give our argument a little more substance when we're hashing it out with a non-believer.

Saying hello to your dog when it walks into the room is standard practice while mumbling sweet nothings in its ear during chill-time is legit, but now those in the know have established that our pooches are totally in tune with us.

Research conducted by scientists in Hungary has confirmed that dogs are not only capable of understanding the words we say, but even acknowledge the way in which we say them.

By recording the brain activity of a group of dogs, researchers led by Attila Andics, a research fellow at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, firstly ascertained that the animals have the ability to distinguish between certain words.

Further to this, they established that words which were said in a positive tone of voice garnered the strongest reaction from the group of dogs included in the research.

The study, which has been published in the journal Science, makes us feel so much better about those hour-long conversations we have with the family dog after a night in the local.

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As an adult, Halloween is a pretty good excuse to make a holy show of yourself and get away with it, but as a kid, Halloween was life's saving grace between summer and Christmas.

Just when you thought you were going to burst with the boredom of the new school year, Halloween reared its head, and suddenly life was worth living again.

Black bin liners were unrolled, spiders with pipe cleaner legs were hung up, and your mam began ranting about the dangers of bangers for the guts of a month.

And once the big night rolled around, we all went through the same nine stages with military precision.

1. The parents' rules

Your parents will have laid a few ground rules when it came to sticking with your siblings while roaming the estate, but God love them if they thought you were listening.

"I'll keep an eye… but I can't promise anything, Mam."

2. The real rules

Once far enough from your driveway, you and your siblings immediately split up for fear of being seen with each other.

"Go on! You'll be grand, just don't go near that house with the broken gate. I heard your man hasn't left it in 54 years."

3. The costume

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but wandering the estate in nothing more than a bin liner over your vest and pants was your mother's biggest parenting fail.

"Can you see my knickers? They've puppies on them."

4. The explanation for your costume

No matter how much effort your mother put into that bad boy, you were still forced to tell every neighbour what you were.

"I'm a mutant from Outer… oh whatever, I'm a binliner."

5. The estates you weren’t allowed to visit

If the sibling rule was important, the 'not going further than your own estate' was an absolute deal breaker.

"If I hear you went further than the front green, there'll be absolute war, do you hear me?"

6. The neighbours who gave good stuff

Every year you made a beeline for the house that gave out full size chocolate bars, cans of Coke and share-size crisps.

"Ring again. She's only pretending she can't hear us."

7. The neighbours who gave apples

Every year you knocked in because you thought they might have come to their senses this time around.

"Ah Jaysus, seven monkey nuts?! I'm putting them back through her letterbox."

8. The bold kids

If you thought you were pretty schlick for going past the green, you had nothing on these kids who didn't even bother to dress up and waited for eejits like you to show up so they could banger the bejaysus out of you.

"Pretend you haven't seen them, but don't turn your back. That's right, let's all reverse up the road,"

9. The triumphant return for the second bag

The years you have to return to your own home for a second carrier bag such was the extent of your haul is one for the memory books.

"Only the first two roads, Mam. Better give me a few if this keeps up… no, I'm not done!"

 

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Do you know what your first memory is?

I know mine was on my parents wedding day – I'm being lifted off a white bench outside by someone  and I can see my little white sandals on my feet as I look down at them. That's it. A three-second lightning-quick snapshot. I was a few weeks away from my second birthday.

I can still see my shoes as I get picked up off the bench – but did it ever actually happen?

A study in the journal Psychological Science says that more than likely it's a fabrication. Spooky, right? 

Researchers from the UK asked more than 6,600 people about their first childhood memory.

According to Science Alert, they found that 2,500 of participants – almost 40 percent – said that they had formed memories before the age of two-years-old. More than 890 of those people said that their their first memory takes place before they turned one.

The scientists now say though that those memories are completely imagined…they're not real memories.

So why are we convinced that they are? 

The study explained that our brains seem to be simply incapable of retaining information from before the age of three.

However, the thing is, the scientists found that people's memories were age-appropriate. 

This means that they're not memories that got muddled in time because they mention prams, cribs or wanting to communicate before knowing how to talk.

Now this is the interesting bit.

The research suggests that these recollections are actually being pieced together from photographs people have seen and stories they may have been told etc. 

"We suggest that what a rememberer has in mind when recalling fictional improbably early memories is an episodic-memory-like mental representation consisting of remembered fragments of early experience and some facts or knowledge about their own infancy/childhood," explained psychologist Shazia Akhtar. 

So do you think that you've created events in your mind that never took place?

We all know that memory isn't the most reliable of things and this study certainly gives weight to that.

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Ed Sheeran has announced his semi-retirement at the tender age of 28 in order to spend time with his wife and childhood sweetheart; Cherry Seaborn.

The Beautiful People singer has made a fortune from his music and tour dates, and has appeared at number 17 of the UK's richest musicians in 2019.

The singer told fans at the last gig of his Divide tour that he'll be stepping away from the spotlight to build a life with his new wife.

While on stage at Chantry Park in Ipswitch on Monday, an emotional Sheeran said to the crowd that he had an announcement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"As you may or not know, I've been on the Divide tour for over two years now and this is the last day of the whole thing.

"There is something very bittersweet about it. I love that you guys are here and we are ending it in Ipswich. This is my last gig for probably 18 months," he continued.

"We've played all around the world. Glastonbury, Wembley Stadium. All these amazing venues, America, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, South America – it's been a wild one."

He went on: "I was told before I came on that now at the end of this tour I've played to nine million people around the world. It is the biggest tour ever."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"It's been an emotional day for a lot of people backstage. It kind of feels like, in a weird way, that you're breaking up with a girlfriend that you've been with for years," he joked.

"It sounds odd but it has been a long tour." Monday's concert may as well be his final loop pedal tour gig, as he'll have a band behind him next time.

Fighting back tears, Ed changed out of his Ipswich Town football shirt and put on another one symbolising his home; Framlingham Town.

"This is a Framlingham Town football shirt. I am from Framlingham. Suffolk is my home. I am so happy to be ending this mammoth tour here," he added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"I want to say thank you to everyone on this tour. Thank you to everyone who has given me a chance. This is my last song. I wrote this when I was 15 years old. See you in a few years' time. Thank you."

Ed low-key married his childhood sweetheart Cherry last December, and recently revealed that they're planning to start a family; "I'm starting a life with Cherry. I can't spend the next 20 years on the road."

"Kids would be the different thing. I wouldn't mind sacrificing for them. If someone told me you can't tour again for the next ten years if you have kids that is fine, because that is what I have signed up for.

"I've already achieved more than I thought I would, so now I'm just trying to have fun."

Feature image: Instagram/@teddysphotos

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Gardaí are seeking help to find a 40-year-old man who is missing from the Kilworth Road area of Drimnagh in Dublin 12.

James Doyle was last seen on Friday, June 21, at around 2.30pm.

He is described as being six foot, four inches tall with a slim build and brown hair. 

He also wears glasses and has stubble on his face. 

He was last seen wearing a black Nike baseball cap, grey Diesel hoodie with black writing of ‘Diesel’ across the front, blue jeans and navy runners.

James's family and Gardaí are concerned for him and anyone with information should contact Sundrive Garda Station on (01) 666 6600, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station. 

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Gardaí in Co Cork are appealing for help in finding a missing teenager. 

Alaa Mohammed Al Naser has been missing from his home in Kanturk and was last seen on Sunday, June 23. 

The 17-year-old is described as being 6ft in height, clean shaven with short dark gelled back hair, and has brown eyes.

Alaa Mohammed Al Naser was last seen on 23 June
Credit: Garda Press Office

According to gardaí, he was wearing a green rain jacket and had a black backpack with him. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact gardaí in Kanturk or at any garda station. 

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Gardaí in Navan are investigating an alleged suspicious approach by a motorist to two children yesterday.

The incident took place around 4.25pm at Possextown near Nobber in Co Meath.

An aunt of the children posted to Facebook, warning other parent of the incident.

She wrote, ''Some old guy with longer, white beard and in a blueish vintage car,” had stopped his car, then opened the door of it and “tried to abduct my niece and nephew walking to my house from theirs. They started running away so he drove off.”

A spokesperson for the Gardaí confirmed that, ''Gardaí in Navan are investigating a report of an alleged suspicious approach on the 10/04/19 at approximately 5pm in Possextown, Nobbeer.''

They continued, ''A male described as being in his 50s is reported to have stopped and gestured two children to get in a car. No injuries and car reportedly drove off."

This incident comes just days after another alleged abduction in Co Kerry.

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You couldn't make this stuff up.

Joey Gaydos Jr,is best known for playing insanely talented guitarist  Zack Mooneyham in the now-iconic 2003 Jack Black flick, School of Rock. And it seems that the 27-year-old is now living out the real rock 'n' roll lifestyle.

Joey has been arrested for allegedly stealing guitars and selling them in pawn shops in Florida.

Sticking it to the man or what?

According to TMZ, police said he would walk into shops and ask to test a guitar, before sauntering out without paying.

He is supposed to have nicked a Gibson Les Paul worth a cool $1900 (£1,440) and a Fender Stratocaster worth $699 (£530).

But perhaps the most far-fetched part of all is that he also stole guitar amps, including ONE FROM HIS OWN DAD. 

Like, how does that even happen? 

Joking aside, hes now he's facing felonies for larceny and grand theft.

Joey reportedly blamed the theft on his drug problem and later entered a not guilty plea in court.

The child star hasn't acted since his School of Rock heyday and is apparently unemployed at present.

Oh and btw – there is actual footage of him walking out of a store with a Buddy Guy Fender Stratocaster…so you're kinda busted Joey.

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Aer Lingus has finally copped on to the fact that it's 2019 and ditched some outdated rules.

The airline has announced that their cabin crew are no longer required to wear make-up at work.

Yes, the ''trolly dolly'' standards that they're known for (and that belong in the 1950s) have been banished. 

The company confirmed to The Times that until now all its female staff had no choice but to wear slap as part of their work uniform.

We feel for them, the actual EFFORT of it . 

We're doing well if we throw on some foundation for the office. 

However, now Aer Lingus said that new guidelines would not include mandatory use for the first time EVER.

Not a moment too soon, huh? 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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As well as make-up, female employees will soon be allowed to wear trousers, instead of the previously obligatory skirts. 

Yeah you read that right, obligatory skirts. 

Aer Lingus are following in the footsteps of Virgin Atlantic, who announced this week it was allowing female members of the  cabin crew to scrap the make-up if they wanted.

We're delighted for those women, who are surely chuffed that they'll get an extra few minutes in bed now. 

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A video-tape allegedly showing notorious R&B singer R. Kelly engaging in sexual activity with an underage girl has been discovered.

Attorney Michael Avenatti has released a statement declaring that the footage shows Kelly "engaging in multiple sexual assaults of an underage girl." According to Avenatti, the tape is "clear" and is 45 minutes long.

He said in his statement; "Our work has been painstaking, detailed, expensive, and time consuming. Mr Kelly is a predator and a criminal who has preyed on young, vulnerable girls for far too long. ‘The time has come for him to finally be held accountable for his actions."

American news publication CNN say they have viewed the tape, and claim the girl appears makes references to her "14-year-old p***y".

The man in the video reportedly asks her to urinate, and then afterwards he urinates on her.

Avenatti also claims that the new tape is NOT "in connection with the prior criminal matter in which Mr Kelly was charged nor does it depict the same instances of sexual assault".

The prosecutor’s office would neither confirm nor deny that an investigation was underway, a spokesman said.

Steve Greenberg , R. Kelly’s lawyer, wrote a statement saying: "This morning I woke up to reports that a video had surfaced showing R Kelly allegedly with an underage girl. The reports were prompted from a tweet by Michael Avenatti, who himself was the subject of unfavourable news articles just yesterday."

The statement continued; "Timing is everything. ‘The calls and emails I received were the first I’ve heard of these allegations. I understand that CNN says that they have seen this video."

"If the video were what it is claimed to be, by sharing it with CNN Mr. Avenatti would be committing a felony, as would the reporter who viewed it. I doubt if either would put themselves in that position. That combined with the other facts that I know lead me to question the reports."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Greenberg said; "I have not been contacted by anyone connected with law enforcement, nor has R Kelly. Mr. Kelly denies that he has engaged in any illegal conduct, of any kind whatsoever. He would like to be able to continue to write and sing and produce and perform."

He also mentioned the infamous Surviving R Kelly documentary on Lifetime, which shocked the world with dozens of sexual abuse allegations spanning 30 years.

"Unfortunately, as a result of a documentary that regurgitated long ago rejected claims, he has been adjudged guilty in the public eye. In this age of hashtags we are too quick to rush to judgement simply because something is associated with a hashtag."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It continued; "A hashtag does not make claims credible. All of the claims by these women were brought forth years ago, rejected by the police, and/or rejected by the courts, but now for their own gain they have rehashed them."

"Each of the women in that documentary are out for money, whether they have suddenly filed a lawsuit, they have all of a sudden released their own song, or they have written a book," he wrote, saying the woman who have accused Kelly are simply in it to capitalise.

"In this country people are entitled to presumption of innocence. Absent conclusive evidence, proof beyond reasonable doubt, I would ask that people follow the principles that make this country great. We will have no further comment," said the lawyer.

"Thanks to all his fans and their support. He will continue to work on his album," it concluded.

The singer only just announced a 2019 tour of New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka, after the documentary was released. He has been accused of having sex with girls as young as 14, and holding women hostage in a sex cult.

Kelly has continuously denied the allegations against him. Time will tell what this new evidence will bring to the shocking story.

Feature image: variety.com

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Singer Ryan Adams has been hit with claims of emotional abuse, sexual misconduct and harassment.

The claims surfaced in a New York Times report where seven women came forward to say that the singer-songwriter had offered them help with their music careers before things became sexual and then abusive – both emotional and verbally.

The published report said that a 20-year-old female musician, going by her middle name Ava, had inappropriate conversations with Adam while she was 15 and 16 – he was 40.

Ava also claimed that Ryan had exposed himself in a video call.

The report said that Ryan had pet names for her body parts and messaged her that, ''If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol.''

Andrew B. Brettler, Adam’s lawyer said that, ''Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.''

Adams’ ex-wife, actor and singer Mandy Moore, also said that he was psychologically abusive towards her during their marriage.

In light of the report, Ryan took to Twitter to address the allegations.

The 44-year-old said, ''I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes. To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly.''

He continued, ''But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate. Some of its details are misrepresented; some are exaggerated; some are outright false. I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I thought was underage. Period.''

The singers Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Jaye also alleged that Ryan behaved inappropriately during their relationships.

The article claims that Ryan became obsessed with Phoebe and, ''He began barraging her with texts, insisting that she prove her whereabouts, or leave social situations to have phone sex, and threatening suicide if she didn’t reply immediately.''

Ryan is a seven-times Grammy winner and is set to play two sold out concerts in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on March 30 and 31.

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 A 'Rats Out of the HSE' protest took place today outside the Department of Health's office in Dublin, following a leak of patient information.

The woman had legally obtained an abortion, but was then phoned and harassed by anti-abortion groups, according to TheJournal.ie

The protesters were calling for better protection of confidential patient information and for an external investigation to be launched after last week's data breaches.

Roughly 12 people took part in the protest at lunchtime, carrying placards and holding cut-out rat masks at Miesian Plaza.

A number of investigations were launched last week into the shocking claims.

A woman had an abortion at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, otherwise known as Holles Street, and was later verbally abused over the phone by a man who had somehow obtained her personal information.

On Friday, anti-abortion protesters stated that they were given information on when abortions were scheduled to occur at Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Councillor Éilis Ryan of The Workers’ Party has said the HSE needed to clearly explain the steps it had taken to ensure that staff were providing abortion services in a trustworthy, fair and transparent manner.

"It doesn’t seem that any thought was put into how to change the culture of our hospitals to ensure people who might have anti-choice feelings themselves are not biased in how they carry out their healthcare provision”.

Her worry regarding the ability of our healthcare services to adapt without bias is felt by many.

Health Minister Simon Harris has admitted that an internal probe will take place, but “given the scale of scandals linking to the HSE in recent years we don’t feel that an internal investigation can be trusted or is sufficient”, according to Ryan.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She feels that Gabriel Scally is trustworthy, after he carried out the Cervical Check screening programme review.

Simon Harris said on Friday  that it was “extraordinarily concerning and disturbing” that a patient’s details of her own abortion could possibly become public.

"The idea that anybody might leak a woman’s confidential information is reprehensible, it is grotesque, it’s disgusting and that is why I asked the HSE yesterday to investigate the matter and report back."

The HSE, the Dublin Well Woman Clinic, the National Maternity Hospital and the Data Protection Commissioner are apparently making inquiries regarding the apparent incident. 

Cover image: Twitter/@michelledevane

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