A story of twins separated at birth

A story of twins separated at birth

1. The early years

33-year-old Lin Backlund and Emelie Falk tick all of the boxes when it comes to mysterious, unique and heartwarming circumstances.

After all, it’s not everyday you meet twins who were separated at birth, only to be reunited as adults 29 years later. It’s also somewhat of a rare occurrence to discover that both sisters grew up to be school teachers, got married on the same day and even danced to the same wedding song – You and Me by Lifehouse.

In 1983, the non-identical twins were born to a large family in the northern city of Semarang, Indonesia. Eight months later, they were taken to an orphanage where they were both separately adopted to two loving couples. Strangely enough, both families lived in Sweden and raised the girls in adjoining towns.

The only catch was that neither twin knew about the other, and that wasn’t going to change any time soon.

“I knew I had a lot of siblings in Indonesia because we read the adoption papers a few times when I was young,” Lin said. “But I never felt like anything was missing. My younger sisters in Sweden were, and are, my real sisters.”

Emelie expressed similar feelings, but admitted that sometimes she did feel like something was missing.

“I guess in my heart I knew I had a twin sister, but I had everything you could ask for: two loving parents and a little brother. I had a really happy life,” she revealed. “When I was a little girl, my mum used to tell me I was born in her heart instead of her belly.”

Both girls grew up to be beautiful, kind hearted and smart young women with loving husbands and children of their own. They already had everything they wanted and needed, so why waste time digging up the past?

But when Emelie started planning her wedding in 2009, she began wondering about the circumstances surrounding her adoption. Eventually, she thought that perhaps it was worth some investigating. And just like an itch that wouldn’t go away, the curiosity eventually consumed her.

Which is when everything started to unravel…

2. suspicions


“When you were a small girl, a woman called to ask if her daughter could maybe be your biological sister,” were the words Emelie’s mother used when she was questioned about the adoption.

According to her, when Lin’s parents left the orphanage with their new baby all those years ago, their taxi driver – confused – turned to them and asked:

“What about the other one, the sister?”

Assumedly, he’d seen the babies around and knew a thing or two about them. He even happily jotted the girls’ Indonesian names down on a piece of paper – Nur Hidayah (now Lin) and Nur Kasanah (now Emelie) so that the Backlunds could decide what to do with the information.

And without further adieu, the family took Lin home to Sweden and vowed to one day uncover the truth.

3. When nothing added up


Two years later, the Backlunds were finally able to track down Emelie and her family. To their astonishment, the Falks also lived in southern Sweden, which was a huge coincidence considering the twins were both born in Indonesia.

Eventually, the families arranged a meeting and sat down with one common goal in mind: to figure everything out once and for all.


But when the Backlunds and the Falks compared their daughters’ birth certificates, a few confusing discrepancies were found. Lin’s certificate said she had more siblings than Emelie’s, and both documents listed different addresses for their biological parents. The only thing the birth certificates did have in common were their parents’ names, which wasn’t enough to convince anyone.

In light of this new information, the Backlunds and Falks concluded their daughters weren’t sisters, let alone twins. DNA tests hadn’t been invented back then, so there was very little anyone could do.

“We weren’t similar at all,” Emelie said. “And they were all just happy being a family. My parents has been longing for children for more than ten years.”

All connections were soon forgotten and subsequent contact was lost. However, both girls were raised in stable and loving homes. Lin was blessed with two younger sisters, while Emelie grew up with a brother three years her junior. To their parents’ credit, neither twin ever felt out of place or like they didn’t belong in their own homes.

“There was no difference between us growing up,” Lin said when questioned about her siblings. “Once my mother told the doctor, a few seconds before she could think it through, that she couldn’t understand why I was allergic to a lot of stuff, since neither she or my father had any allergies. She worked as a nurse and she’s usually educated, but just in that small second – that’s how natural she thought it was that we should have the same genes.”


Fast forward 29 years and both women were still living in Sweden. They had moved out of their childhood homes, but they still had very positive relationships with their parents and siblings. 

But after learning of her adoption story, then 29-year-old Emelie began to think that maybe there was more to the story than her parents originally suspected. And now that technology was so advanced and information was more easily accessible, she could take matters into her own hands.

“When all of this information came to me, I decided to search for Lin, and I found her on Facebook,” Emelie said. “I was really nervous to send her a message, but I wrote ‘Hi, my name is Emelie. I don’t know if you’re the person I’m looking for, but…’ and then I told her the whole story my mum told me.”

According to Emelie, Lin was very sceptical at first and gave “quite short” replies, such as “Hi. Hm, this sounds weird.” But after Lin spoke with her own mother who confirmed Emelie’s story, she became more enthusiastic and the two soon became fast friends.

“We decided to meet for the first time in Lund at Lin’s place,” Emelie said. “When I saw her, the first thing I thought was that she was really pretty and had long legs. We sat in her living room and talked about everything and nothing. It felt really nice and relaxed.”

However, even though both women felt an instant connection, Lin said the meeting wasn’t particularly overwhelming or exciting, as neither twin knew whether they were actually sisters.

“We met because we at least had the same background, and we were probably born in the same village, or at least we had been in the same orphanage,” she admitted.



After getting to know each other a bit more and keeping in constant contact, Lin and Emelie both eventually agreed to undertake a DNA test to find out once and for all if their feelings were warranted.

“It (the test) said we were 99.98% sisters,” Emelie said. “That made us both laugh and cry. It felt really nice, although we could already feel in our hearts that we were sisters and twins before the results came back.”

“I knew it was something good and special,” Lin agreed. “When we got the DNA results, it was a relief. It was an ‘okay’ that we were allowed to feel what we were feeling. We felt like we had been friends all our lives.”

5. The similarities and differences

Although Lin and Emelie are fraternal twins with many different interests, it’s blatantly obvious they also have plenty in common – and not only their teaching professions, wedding dates and wedding song selections.

“We’re both sensitive and sometimes we act on a feeling,” Lin said. “We have a hard time letting things go, and we care a lot about the wellbeing of others, which can be both good and bad.  We both also like home decorating and being creative. Emelie is good at writing, making birthday cards, scrapbooking and so on, and I have my sewing and gardening. We both also like music and singing, but Emelie’s so much better.”

But just like any other siblings, the twins also have their differences. For example, while Lin appears more calm and reserved, Emelie comes across louder and more outgoing.

“I like to talk and laugh out loud,” Emelie said. “I like to do things very fast and get them done quickly, while Lin’s the opposite.”

Lin, who agreed, said that Emelie is more comfortable being the centre of attention.

“She’s more social than me. I like to be in the background, except for when I teach,” she said. “People sometimes say I’m like the older sister and she’s the younger one, but I think that’s because she’s more lively and outgoing.

We’re both teachers, so we both like education. However, Emelie’s more patient with younger kids because I educate 17-19 year olds,” Lin laughed. “For me, they’re too much effort – even my own!”


Lin then admitted that she’s calmer and more of a thinker than Emelie, but that Emelie tends to share more personal stories than she does.

“I’m happy to do that as well, but with people I know,” she said. “I don’t know why, because I trust people too, but I guess I just don’t like being in the centre as much. Emelie’s more sensitive and knows the right thing to say. I went to high school with just guys, so I guess sometimes I communicate as a typical male. No prejudice there, but I’m just more straight forward with what I think and I don’t take the time to read feelings.”

And although they are two independent, strong women with their own lives and responsibilities, at the end of the day they have the twin thing down pat.

“We can both sense how the other is feeling,” Emelie said. “Sometimes we text the other one in the middle of the night with “I know you’re awake. What’s up? How are you feeling?”

6. Nature vs nurture

“I think the environment plays the absolute biggest part of who we become. I also think it’s dangerous to think it’s all in our genes, like ‘blood is thicker than water’ because honestly, sometimes it’s not. You’re not done or finished when you’re born, you are made and change during your lifetime. The choices you make affect who you are. It’s not all in your genes. You are able to change who you are.” – Lin Backlund.

Lin and Emelie might be fraternal twins, but the nature vs nurture debate is always an interesting concept when it comes to twins or siblings who were separated at birth and raised apart.


The debate is one of the oldest arguments in the history of psychology. There are many good and relevant points for both sides, so it’s been difficult for researchers to determine whether a person’s development is predisposed by his or her DNA, or whether it’s influenced by his or her experiences and environment.

There has always been fascination surrounding twins and siblings raised separately. Identical twins, in particular, share the same amount of DNA because they originate from the same egg. Fraternal twins, like Lin and Emelie, come from separate eggs and share only 50% of their DNA, just like normal siblings.

According to Personality Research, fraternal twins are far less likely to be as similar as identical twins, but there are still possibilities that they – like any normal siblings – could grow up to have the same interests, tastes in food, fashion style, friends and more.

Personality is a good example of a trait that has been studied in both identical and fraternal twins. Identical twins reared apart are much more similar in personality than fraternal twins in the same situation. According to researchers, this suggests that personality is heritable.

Dr Nancy Segal, Professor of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and Director of the Twin Studies Centre, has authored approximately 120 scientific articles regarding twins. She has also published four books, and is currently working on a fifth one titled ‘Twin Mythconceptions: Facts Or Fiction?’

 According to Dr Segal, identical twins reared apart are just as alike as identical twins reared together. To rule out identical appearance, she even studied personality in unrelated look alikes who turned out to be quite different. However, this wasn’t surprising as she very much expected that to be the case.

Dr Segal revealed that nature and nurture both play roles in shaping a person, but genes have a greater influence on some things, such as personality, rather than other things like job satisfaction.

She also said that separated twins are generally more alike than different later in life. One example she provided was a set of identical twins she studied in her book: ‘Invisible by two: lives of extraordinary twins.’ These twin brothers were part of a landmark Minnesota twin study that Dr Segal was heavily involved with, and which took place from the late 1980s until the early 2000s.

 Jack Yufe and Oskar Stohr were born in 1993 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to a German Catholic mother and a Romanian Jewish father. However, Yufe grew up as Jewish in Trinidad and became part of the Israeli navy. His identical twin brother, Oskar Stohr was raised as a Catholic in Nazi Germany and eventually joined the Hitler Youth.

According to Dr Segal, the men were “very similar in most aspects, except for their political and historical views.”


When the brothers first met, they didn’t get along at all. In fact, they refused to acknowledge each other as fellow human beings – let alone twins. They said goodbye on bad terms, and it wasn’t until 25 years later during the Minnesota Twin Study that they were reunited.

When Yufe and Stohr met at the airport, coincidently they were both wearing the exact same outfit: a white sports jacket, a shirt and glasses. Additionally, both twins enjoyed reading books from back to front, wrapped rubber bands around their wrists, wore tight swimsuits, sneezed loudly in lifts and always flushed the toilet before and after using it.

In Dr Segal’s book, she said most of these traits could be explained by genetics. The toilet flushing, for example, was most likely a result of the brothers’ aversion to germs.

The only things the men didn’t have in common were their political views and beliefs, including who they thought was responsible for World War II. Obviously, the twins had extremely different upbringings and it was difficult for their genes to overcome such prominent and strong environmentally shaped beliefs.

The Minnesota Twin Study ran for over 20 years. The researchers studied 137 pairs of separated twins – 81 identical and 56 fraternal. The study was revolutionary in the respect that scientists discovered the environment didn’t play a role as significant as they originally suspected. For example, religiosity and social attitudes showed a genetic influence, rather than an environmental one.

Another study, which was commissioned by the Journal Science, researched intelligence in relation to genetics. They found that 70 percent of IQ variation across the twin population was caused by genetic differences, and 30 percent was due to environmental differences.

Among identical twins, 80 percent of those surveyed said they felt closer to their new twin than they currently did with their oldest and closest friends. According to researchers, this suggested a very strong genetic component in the bond between identical twins.

Twin studies have evolved significantly over the last few decades. New research has given scientists an entirely innovative understanding of the roles that both genes and the environment play in human development. Now and in the future, researchers are aiming to link specific genes to certain behaviours. They’re also hoping to discover a lot more about genetic and environmental crossovers and their relationships to both identical and fraternal twins.

7. Where are Lin and Emelie now?

It’s now been five years since Lin and Emelie met for the first time, but according to them it feels much longer.

“It was like suddenly having a new best friend that you don’t really know, but it feels like you do,” Lin said. “We have known each other for just five years, but it feels like a life time. I also feel safe with her. I know she will be there for me and I for her no matter what.

We send text messages every other day, and talk almost every week. We both work as teachers and have small children, so we have a lot to discuss. However, we both have very busy lives, so we don’t see each other that often. It’s also hard because we have different families, so all holidays and special occasions are with different families and friends.”

And although Emelie said sometimes she feels sad that she and Lin missed out on so much of each other’s lives, she wouldn’t change anything, as they both have very good lives.


“Now we have kids, and they have the opportunity to get to know each other and be a part of each other’s lives,” Emelie said. “That makes me happy.”

Lin currently lives with her husband and two young sons, while Emelie lives with her husband and two infant daughters.

Emelie teaches Swedish to immigrants, and also teaches English and Swedish to young children. When she gets the time, she enjoys writing, singing and hanging out with her family and friends.

Lin leads a very busy life teaching high school students, but she also runs a small company where she sells and sews clothes. Some of her hobbies also include running, cycling and gardening.

8. More reunions


Due to the success of their own reunion, the twins have even travelled back to Indonesia a few times to meet their biological family. According to Emelie, their first meeting was “magical,” but she couldn’t have done it without Lin by her side.

During one of their trips to Indonesia, Lin and Emelie were shocked to discover that they also had biological twin brothers who were separated at birth, adopted and raised separately – only a few years prior to their own adoptions.

After reaching out to the Internet, the women were eventually able to locate their twin brothers, Heru and Hero. One of the brothers was presumed dead, so they only searched for Heru. However, it was a very pleasant surprise when both Heru and Hero responded to the search.




The male twins were raised in different countries, and according to Lin, they have many differences. The men still have difficulties speaking with each other, as they both experienced “sad and hard” childhoods which affected them greatly.

As for their other biological siblings, they have 13 in total. 11 of them are still in Indonesia, and Lin and Emelie have even been introduced to some of them.

Emelie said that she’d always believed her personality was similar to her Swedish family’s, but upon meeting her Indonesian family, she realised that she and Lin also inherited a number of traits from them.

“I don’t like being alone,” she said. “And I believe it’s because we have a lot of family members and it’s somehow in my blood to feel safe with a lot of people around me. I’m also sensitive, just like my sisters and biological mum.”

9. But the story isn’t over yet…

There are still some remaining mysteries regarding Lin and Emelie’s story…

Firstly, why was that taxi driver so familiar with the babies’ names all those years ago? Nobody knows for sure, but some people have speculated that he was actually their biological father.

And secondly, are Lin and Emelie’s similarities and differences due to their near identical upbringings or were they caused by DNA?

“We both had good, safe childhoods with everything we ever needed,” Lin said. “We both have the same culture and same typical Swedish family life, so it’s hard to see any differences there. Perhaps it would have been easier if one of us were brought up in a totally different culture or country. We were even brought up in the same part of Sweden.”

10. Their advice

While many can’t relate to Lin and Emelie’s situation, it’s never certain what life has in store. And if you’ve been separated from a loved one, or if you were adopted, one day you might want to find out more.

Here’s Emelie’s advice:

“It’s so different for every person, but I know that for many people this means everything. My advice is to be as calm as possible and take your time to get to know the person you were separated from. It’s very emotional, and it’s not always easy to handle.

Lin and I were lucky that we had each other when we were searching for our biological parents. We’re also in the same country, speak the same language and have people around us who make us feel safe. I think it’s important that you have someone to talk to. Family members, friends, or even someone you don’t know. There are a lot of different adoption groups on Facebook, for example – people to talk to and share experiences with.”

If you have any questions regarding adoption, you can anonymously call the adoption hotline on 1-800-923-6602, or you can visit their website.

Fitness myths you shouldn’t believe

Fitness myths you shouldn’t believe

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

If you’ve spent even 20 minutes in a gym with other people, you’ll know that suddenly everyone in the vicinity becomes a health and fitness expert. Whether they’re criticising you for eating non-fat yoghurt for breakfast or trying to convince you how important it is to take a million different supplements a day, they think their word is gospel.

But let’s be honest – most of these people have absolutely no freaking clue what they’re talking about. To clear things up, I’ve done a bit of research and have discovered some of the top fitness myths out there. And let me tell you, there are plenty.

Strength training makes women bulky

According to certified fitness and nutrition experts, this is one of the biggest lies out there. While lifting weights does build muscle, it takes a hell of a lot more than three kilo dumbbell curls to transform you into the Hulk. You might be thinking of all those female bodybuilding pics you see on Insta, but let me tell you, those women pretty much devote their entire lives to gaining muscle and looking buff AF. They also complement their training with super high protein diets and a really, really strict fitness regime. Trust me, you’re not going to turn into a superhero just by performing two to three sets of light weights a few times a week.

Squats are bad for your knees

Again, this is complete BS. In fact, experts say squats are actually good for your knees. Squats are among some of the greatest moves for performance enhancing and core-building strength. Not only do they develop all of your major muscle groups around the knees and hips, but they also help other muscle groups, such as the glutes, calf muscles, quads and hamstrings. Once you strengthen these muscles, the pressure is eliminated from the knee joints and onto the muscles that are designed to stabilise those joints. Unfortunately, no matter how much research is done about squats, many personal trainers and media personalities are still spouting off incorrect facts.

The more you sweat, the better your workout was

Not always. Some people naturally sweat more than others, and that definitely doesn’t mean they’re working out any harder. The amount you sweat also depends on your fitness level, body type and genetic history. Experts believe that the best way to measure your workout is by intensity, not sweat. If you did an intense workout, but didn’t produce any sweat, it’s definitely not something to worry about. As long as you completed your fitness regime properly and gave it all your all, chances are you totally killed it.


Sit-ups and ab exercises will give you a six-pack

Sorry to burst your bubble, but your six pack isn’t making an appearance any time soon if you live by this rule. According to research, “you can do sit-ups for days, but if you have a high percentage of body fat, your abs will stay in hiding.” Abs will only appear when you eliminate the belly fat that covers them. To achieve a toned stomach, you should try high intensity training. However, the simplest way is to just cut out artificially sweetened drinks and sugar from your diet.

The sorer you feel after a workout, the better your workout was

Soreness is usually just a sign that you haven’t performed a particular move before, or for a while at least. While stiffness and pain can be signs that you absolutely nailed your workout, it’s also possible to exercise without feeling like you’ve been kicked in the shins, thighs and buttocks with giant arse heels the next day. Everyone is also different, and some people experience delayed muscle soreness. Experts say that pain is not a suitable indicator of effectiveness, and that you shouldn’t worry if you’re not feeling as sore as your expert resident gym buddies.

Burberry has released a trailer for a movie that doesn’t actually exist

Burberry has released a trailer for a movie that doesn’t actually exist

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

A love affair, an adventurer, an innovator and a betrayal – the gripping new campaign video for Burberry’s The Tale of Thomas Burberry pretty much has it all.

Put simply, the three minute feature is something truly spectacular. It’s basically a blockbuster trailer promoting a movie that centres around the life of the company’s founder, Thomas Burberry. And considering the man created the most well-known British clothing brand ever, there’s no doubt the film would have many, many interesting stories to explore…

Too bad it doesn’t actually exist. Here’s the deal: to celebrate Burberry’s 160th anniversary, the fashion company created a super quick Thomas Burberry biopic. And quite frankly, it’s a real shame because the movie looks crazy good.

The trailer’s faux cast includes actor, Domhnall Glesson, who plays leading man, Mr Burberry, as well as Sienna Miller – Burberry’s fictional first love. Dominic West plays Ernest Shakleton – an explorer who supported Burberry from day dot. And finally, Lily James, who stars as a character loosely based on famous pilot, Betty Kirby-Green, who once broke a world record for flying from Croydon, England to Cape Town, South Africa while being decked head to toe in Burberry.

The would-be-film focuses on Winston Churchill’s battle against Hitler’s army during World War II, and has a kind of Downton Abbey feel to it.

Burberry’s chief creative and chief executive officer, Christopher Bailey, revealed they wanted to tell the story in their own words, while also paying tribute to the brand’s 160th anniversary.

“The film we have made is a brief glimpse inspired by his full and extraordinary life, which threaded its way through the history of the 20th century in all its tumultuous highs and lows,” he said.

Sounds exciting, right? Well, apparently we’re not the only ones who think so.

“I want there to be a full movie,” Lily James said in an interview. “And with the amount of footage we shot, I’m sure they could have made a film. We invested in the characters, and it was shot like a normal film.”

The mini movie also sheds light on the founder’s main innovations and accomplishments. Whether it was designing uniforms for British soldiers, perfecting the art of the trench coat or even helping people develop their own fashion dreams, Burberry’s done it.

If only we could figure out a way to turn this trailer into a full-length movie.

Apple has been granted a patent to develop foldable iPhones

Apple has been granted a patent to develop foldable iPhones

Originally posted by me on AustraliaBusinessNews.com.au.

Apple has just announced they’ve been granted a patent that will allow them to develop a high-tech foldable iPhone.

The tech giant revealed yesterday that they applied for the grant three years ago, but kept it under heavy wraps by lodging the application under the names of individual designers instead of the company.

The patent application states that the iPhones could be made from glass, aluminium, ceramic or even plastic to create its bendable screen. The application’s  sketches also show an iPhone with a fold in the middle of the screen, along with carbon nanotubes that give strength to its structure. Additionally, the patent says the future device “may have a hinge or other bendable joint.”


Apple is granted about 2,000 patents per year, but these ideas don’t always come to fruition. Apple, however, believes the foldable iPhone is a revolutionary development and that its introduction is a very strong possibility.

Although its release might be several years down the track, the idea is not completely unheard of. In fact, Samsung has also been pursuing similar designs for many years. They have patented a number of foldable phone designs, but so far they have been unsuccessful.

In the meantime, Apple has a number of other projects under its belt, including the major iPhone revamp that is expected to happen next year.

Mila Kunis was told she wouldn’t work again for refusing to pose nude

Mila Kunis was told she wouldn’t work again for refusing to pose nude

Originally published by me on AussieGossip.com.au.

“You’ll never work in this town again,” were the words Mila Kunis was told by a big shot producer when she refused to pose semi-naked on a men’s magazine cover.

Understandably, the 33-year-old actress was left feeling “objectified” and “livid.” She even took to A Plus Magazine, an online publication founded by her husband, Ashton Kutcher to give Hollywood a piece of her mind.

“I will work in this town again,” she wrote, “but I will not work with you.”

The Bad Moms star then added that throughout her career, she has been “insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored and otherwise diminished” based on her gender.

“And always, I tried to give people the benefit of the doubt; maybe they knew more, maybe they had more experience, maybe there was something I was missing,” she said. “I taught myself that to succeed as a woman in this industry I had to play by the rules of the boy’s club. But the older I got and the longer I worked in this industry, the more I realised that it’s bullshit! And, worse, that I was complicit in allowing it to happen.”



And in effort to stick up for ladies everywhere, Mila has vowed to stand up against gender discrimination once and for all.

“So from this point forward, when I am confronted with one of these comments, subtle or overt, I will address them head on; I will stop in the moment and do my best to educate,” she said. “I cannot guarantee that my objections will be taken to heart, but at least now I am part of creating an environment where there is the opportunity for growth. And if my comments fall on deaf ears, I will choose to walk away.”

Because according to Mila, if these things are happening to her, they’re happening to women all over the world.

“I am fortunate that I have the platform to talk about this experience in the hope of bringing one more voice to the conversation so that women in the workplace feel a little less alone and more able to push back for themselves,” she concluded.

You go girl! We’re so proud of you for sticking it to Hollywood and for defending females everywhere.



Astronomers say flashes from stars are signs of alien civilisation

Astronomers say flashes from stars are signs of alien civilisation

Originally published by me on AustraliaBusinessNews.com.au.

Two French-Canadian astronomers have recently discovered odd colours flashing from the stars, which they believe are signs of alien civilisation.

According to their study, 234 of 2.5 million stars showed signs of ‘spectral modulation’, which means tiny but rapid changes in colours. The biggest and most exciting revelation was that these changes followed a certain pattern, and these patterns were identical across the majority of stars. Researchers argued this was unlikely caused by natural forces, and that it could be evidence of aliens attempting to communicate with us via an unknown type of morse code.

“We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an ETI signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis,” the study said. “The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centred near the spectral type of the sun is also in agreement with the ETI hypothesis.”


Additionally, the communications are coming from places near big stars, such as the sun. Research has found it’s more likely that aliens and other life forms could survive in these areas.

However, not everyone is on board. Other astronomers have raised a number of red flags and have admitted they’re not impressed with the findings.

“The researchers claim to see the same tiny pattern appearing in hundreds of stars, which is more likely to be the same mistake in their analysis, not a sign that all aliens are communicating the same way,” said Dr Alan Duffy, a Swinburne University astrophysicist. “A detection of alien life would be so extraordinary that to claim it requires extraordinary evidence and several teams and telescopes confirming it. This work doesn’t even come close to being able to make that claim.”

Stephen Hawking accepted the research’s accuracy, but he also expressed anxiousness. “One day we might receive a signal from a planet like this, but we should be wary of answering back,” he said. “Meeting an advanced civilisation could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn’t turn out so well.”

Customers’ private iPhone photos stolen and rated by Apple staff

Customers’ private iPhone photos stolen and rated by Apple staff

Originally published by me on AustraliaBusinessNews.com.au.

According to The Courier Mail, four male members at Carindale Apple Store in Brisbane have just been fired for stealing and rating female customers’ iPhone photos on a scale of one to ten. Some staff members also took explicit photos of their female colleagues’ bodies without their knowledge and then shared these images with other colleagues as part of a photo-sharing ring.

These issues came to light after a Carindale staff member caught one colleague searching through a customer’s phone in the repair room. Following the reveal, hundreds of photos were lifted from female customers’ and colleagues’ phones, and police still expect to find more.


One Apple staff member called the act “disgusting” and admitted they were worried it was also occurring at other branches.

Trevor Long, expert and technology commentator said the scandal was a huge breach of privacy.

“The taking photos of people, whether employees or customers with mobile phones, is one thing, and that could be happening anywhere,” he said. “If they’re looking at photos on your phone or even taking copies of those, that is a breach of privacy. You’re handing your phone for them to fix it or repair it. You don’t expect that to be happening.

I would be very cautious about what you put on that phone wherever you hand it over to, just in the same way you are careful how much cash is in your car when you go to a car wash,” he added.

Apple has not yet informed customers of the breach, but they have confirmed the Carindale store is currently under police investigation.

“Apple believes in treating everyone equally and with respect, and we do not ­tolerate behaviour that goes against our values,” Apple said in a statement. “We are investigating a ­violation of Apple’s business conduct policy at our store in Carindale, where several employees have already been terminated as a result of our findings.”