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Cult businesses you need to know

Written By kom limapulan on Jumat, 22 Agustus 2014 | 23.46

Gelato Messina today serves 30,000 customers per week. Source: News Corp Australia

Many business owners are too busy to create a personal financial plan, but that can be a mistake. MarketWatch's Robert Powell talks with three financial advisers about how business owners can manage their personal investments.

YOU know that one shop that's so good, you tell all your friends about it?

In marketing jargon it's called "word-of-mouth", and for most companies it's the holy grail. As the old adage goes, the worse your product is, the more you have to spend on advertising.

According to Declan Lee of Gelato Messina, the ice cream chain fast becoming a national phenomenon, all the clever tricks in the world are no good if the product doesn't stack up.

"If you get a referral from a friend, someone whose taste you trust implicitly, if they endorse something — that is better than any marketing you can put in front of their face," he said.

Mr Lee has been running Messina's brand development for the past four years alongside founder Nick Palumbo, his brother Danny Palumbo and chef Donato Toce.

The Shark-Lado cone. Source: Supplied

From somewhat shaky beginnings in Sydney's Darlinghurst in 2002, Messina has today expanded to six stores nationally and serves more than 30,000 customers per week.

He says the decision was made early on to not spend a single cent on traditional advertising. Instead, Messina relies on mouth-watering updates on its Facebook page to get people talking.

It also engages in "creative collaborations" — basically, anything that takes the team's fancy. That can range from creating custom gelato flavours for a wedding, to a blood-filled "heart" to promote HBO's True Blood, to a Sharknado-themed gelato cone.

"The early thing that contributed to our success was simply using social media," Mr Lee said. "It sounds ridiculous to say now, but when we started our Facebook page, people in this space weren't really using it very well. We used it as a signpost for us, as a point for conversing with our customers."

Sharyn Smith, founder of marketing company Social Soup, said as long as you can make your product remarkable, it will get talked about. "Just as word-of-mouth is the best kind of advertising, it's also the worst way for a bad product to advertise," she said. "It's killed many bad products."

SMALL BUSINESSES WITH BIG CULT FOLLOWINGS

GELATO MESSINA

Famous for absurd ice cream concoctions, on some nights queues at Gelato Messina's Surry Hills store run around the block. Messina has now expanded to six stores nationally.

BLACK MILK CLOTHING

Based out of a small design studio in Brisbane, Black Milk Clothing is the fastest-growing company you've never heard of, and it has a rabid Facebook following.

Black Milk Clothing's Cameron Parker showing off the new 3D interactive website. Source: News Limited

DEJOUR JEANS

The only place to go for cheap, tailored jeans — but be prepared to wait in line. Founded by denim specialist Nam Huynh in 1989, Brunswick's Dejour Jeans has become a Melbourne institution.

THE GROUNDS

Sydney cafe The Grounds of Alexandria hit the headlines late last year when resident pig Kevin Bacon was abducted, but even before then the converted warehouse was drawing visitors from all over.

The super-trendy Grounds of Alexandria. Source: Supplied

PULP FICTION COMICS

Just around the corner from Rundle Mall in the centre of Adelaide's CBD, Pulp Fiction Comics is the place to go for hardcore comic geeks and casual pop-culture fans alike.

Peter Moore, owner of Pulp Fiction Comics in Adelaide. Source: News Limited

BLACK STAR PASTRY

Suburbanites wait patiently in lines stretching up the street for Black Star Pastry's famous strawberry watermelon cake. Black Star operates out of a hole in the wall in Newtown, in Sydney's Inner West.

The famous strawberry and watermelon cake. Source: News Limited

LUNE CROISSANTERIE

Some customers have queued for an hour to buy six pastries — the maximum per person — from Melbourne patisserie Lune Croissanterie, run by former aeronautical engineer Kate Reid.

AQUABUMPS

Based out of Bondi, surf photographer Eugene Tan's website and print store, Aquabumps, dedicated to all things early morning beach life, has a massive Facebook following.

Eugene Tan shoots daily at sunrise. Source: Supplied

OOBI

From a tiny market stall to a booming children's clothing label, Oobi has developed a loyal community of mothers — fans have even been known to throw Oobi-themed parties.

BASS & FLINDERS DISTILLERY

Located an hour's drive south of Melbourne on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, Wayne Klintworth and Bob Laing's boutique distillery has been generating buzz in the bar scene.

Wayne Klintworth (left) and Bob Laing of Bass & Flinders Distillery. Source: News Corp Australia

RAW CLOTH

For those in the know, Raw Cloth is a must visit for any visitor to Darwin. The tiny store in Nightcliff specialises in dresses and fabrics handpainted by indigenous artists from Maningrida and Merrepen.

Raw Cloth owner Rhonda Dunne (right) and work partner Kerrie Horgan. Source: News Limited

OISHI-M

Based in Torquay in Victoria, Oishi-M is another kids' clothing brand with a serious following. As the name suggests, Oishi-M mixes Japanese, vintage and retro fabrics to create a unique look.

Which business do you recommend to all your friends? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.


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‘Dog used to kidnap Amish girls’

Accused ... couple Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey used a dog to lure two Amish girls into their car. Picture: AP Source: AP

A COUPLE used a dog to lure two Amish sisters from their family farm stand with a plan to turn them into slaves, an investigator said.

Nicole Vaisey admitted she and her boyfriend, Stephen Howells Jr., got the sisters, seven and 12, to their car with an offer to pat the dog before pushing them in, St. Lawrence County Sherriff's Sgt. Brooks Bigwarfe said.

Bigwarfe said she told him they shackled the girls and intended to turn them into slaves.

He said the northern New York released the girls about 24 hours later, frightened by news reports.

Fowler Justice Paul Lamson ruled Thursday there's reasonable cause to believe Vaisey committed felony kidnapping. He ordered her held without bail.

Examination ... investigators search the Hermon, New York, home of Stephen Howells II and Nicole F. Vaisey. Picture: AP/Watertown Daily Times Source: AP

District Attorney Mary Rain said the children were sexually abused by the "sexual predators."

Defence attorney Bradford Riendeau said Vaisey was Howells' slave.

"She was in a master-slave relationship," Riendeau said. "I believe she's not as culpable as he is."

Howells, who also is jailed, waived his right to a hearing.

The girls' kidnappings touched off a massive search in the Amish family's remote farming community.

Searchers scoured the community of about 4,000 people but were hampered by a lack of photos of the girls.

Arrest ... deputies from the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department escort Nicole F. Vaisey and Stephen M. Howells II to their arraignment on first-degree kidnapping charges at Fowler Town Court in Fowler, New York. Picture: AP/Watertown Daily Times Source: AP

The Amish typically avoid modern technology, and the family had to work with an artist who spoke their language, a German dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch, to produce a sketch of the older girl.

The parents, who have 14 children, did not express anger toward the suspects.

The girls' father said at his farm that they seemed to be doing well.

The family's farm stand was open again.


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Bieber when he was adorable

TBT ... Justin Bieber thinks this snap makes him look like Jim Carey from Dumb and Dumber. Picture: Justin Bieber via Instagram Source: Supplied

HE'S given up growing a 'stache' and shaved it off.

But the baby-faced snaps Justin Bieber shared on Instagram aren't current.

The 20-year-old Baby singer indulged his fans on Throwback Thursday with three cute photos of him as a tot.

One image features the pop sensation as a baby sucking his bottom lip as he looks at the camera with adorable eyes.

The cutie's light hair is swept back from his face and he's wearing a striped T-shirt.

The second shows the Canadian star a few years later playing a sport his country is known for — hockey.

"Why did my mom get my haircut like the guy from dumb and dumber #tbt [sic]," Bieber wrote with the picture, complaining about his bowl haircut.

After paying out his mother Pattie, the pop star paid tribute to his father Jeremy.

Posting a picture of them together play-boxing, he wrote said: "Me and my dad #tbt love u faja."

The Biebs was recently mocked online for sharing two attempts at the ice bucket challenge — both without ice.


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Don’t hate the ice bucket challenge

Anthony Carbajal takes part in the ALS ice bucket challenge, but also shows the shocking reality of living with ALS. Courtesy: YouTube/Anthony Carbajal

Why it matters ... Anthony Carbajal is the reason the ice bucket challenge is important. Source: Supplied

Take a look at some of the hilarious fails from the Ice Bucket Challenge, raising funds and awareness for ALS/Motor Neurone Disease.

YOU may be tired of watching celebrities tip ice water on their heads but Anthony Carbajal tells us why it is making a difference in a moving video.

The 26-year-old's video starts out with him dressed in a bikini top and some pink briefs with "Kiss My ALS" written on them.

He washes a car while getting doused with buckets of ice water.

ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE: The truth about ALS/motor neurone disease

PAMELA ANDERSON: Why I will not do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Why it matters ... Anthony Carbajal is the reason the ice bucket challenge is important. Source: Supplied

After the comedic performance he explains why he has decided to do the Ice Bucket Challenge, which has been designed to raise awareness of ALS or motor neurone disease.

"I have been so terrified of ALS my entire life because it runs in my family," he said. "My grandmother had it, she was a second mother to me. My mother was diagnosed with it when I was in high school, and five months ago, I was diagnosed at 26 years old."

"ALS is so so f***ing scary you have no idea," Mr Carbajal says in the video as it cuts to footage of him caring for his mother. "That's probably why nobody talks about it, because it's so challenging to watch, it's so challenging to see, to talk about. Nobody wants to see a depressing person that's dying and has two to five years to live. They don't want to talk about it, they don't want their day ruined."

Overcome ... Anthony Carbajal has motor neurone disease. Picture: Anthony Carbajal / YouTube Source: YouTube

He then addresses those who have criticised the Ice Bucket Challenge videos as nothing more than a self-promoting publicity stunt, saying he is grateful for each and every video.

"I promise your newsfeed will go back to cat videos and Let It Go covers, but right now, the ALS community has the main spotlight, and for once in my entire life, I've seen it in the forefront," he said.

The ALS Association has received more than $41.8 million in donations compared to the $2.1 million raised within the same time period in 2013. There have been more than 739,275 new donors,

For Mr Carbajal the reality of living with motor neurone disease is one he can't escape.

"Eventually, I won't be able to use my arms or hands at all," he says. "I won't be able to walk. Talk. And breathe on my own. It's devastating."

If you've used the internet in the last two weeks, chances are you've heard of the 'Ice Bucket Challenge', the latest pass-it-on fad to go viral in a big way.

To find out more go to http://www.mndaust.asn.au/Home.aspx


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McEvoy serves it up to sprint kings

Cameron McEvoy (left) and James Magnussen after the 100m final. Source: AFP

CAMERON McEvoy became swimming's new giant-killer on Friday night when he smashed the sport's greatest swimmer of all-time, an Olympic champion and a two-times world champion in a stunning 100m freestyle upset at the Pan Pacs.

The 20-year-old hometown hero stunned everybody with a comprehensive start-to-finish 100m victory in a time of 47.82sec ahead of Olympic champion Nathan Adrian (48.30), reigning world champion James Magnussen (48.36) and 18-times Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps (48.51).

Just three weeks after he was beaten by Magnussen at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, McEvoy turned the ­tables with a win that will ­resonate around the world and stamp the baby-faced assassin as a major gold medal threat for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"To me it felt pretty perfect," McEvoy said. "I was just happy to be there with such great company in the race. Going out, I just wanted to enjoy it because when is the next time I will be in a race with people like that?

"You always have to have in the back of your mind you have the possibility of winning. In saying that, I would not have been disappointed if I didn't win.

"It was just an honour to be in a race with such great men and what those guys have ­accomplished.

"I worked out today between those three there are 28 Olympic medals so it's something and just great to be in their company."

Cate Campbell (right) and sister Bronte celebrate after the women's 100m final. Cate won and Bronte came second. Source: AP

Magnussen revealed afterwards he had been in hospital a week ago with severe back problems, but wanted to take nothing away from his teammate for a superb victory.

Instead, the 22-year-old will turn defeat into motivation for 2015, just as he did after the London Olympics and when McEvoy upset him at the ­selection trials in April.

"I always seem to be able to get real good motivation out of these things (defeats)," Magnussen said.

"Cam just swam a really good tactical race tonight and I'm not disappointed with my performance at all. You've just got to be happy for Cam.

"This time a week ago I had all but ruled myself out.

"I was in hospital getting an epidural and a couple of cortisones so I wasn't in a good way."

World champion Cate Campbell reclaimed her world No.1 ranking for 2014 with a 52.62sec heat swim in the 100m freestyle yesterday, then backed it up with a 52.72sec ­finals victory over younger sister Bronte (53.45).

Campbell is now the world, Commonwealth and Pan Pacs champion, with only an Olympic title left to add to her remarkable resume.

"Absolutely I'm so excited, I almost don't want to have a break," Campbell said.

"I will definitely be taking a bit of time off. We've got two years to go (until Rio) and it's looking very good."

Originally published as McEvoy serves it up to sprint kings
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Whitney reveals how he lost 25kg

Sydney Weekender takes us back to where it all began for the show with hosts such as Mike Whitney, Michael Slater and Tony 'Plugger' Lockett.

Shed 25 kilos ... Sydney Weekender host Mike Whitney at Channel 7's Redfern offices. Picture: Adam Taylor Source: News Corp Australia

HE was always one of the fittest men in the Australian Test cricket locker room in the late eighties and early nineties.

But 20 years of wining and dining his way around NSW as host of Channel 7's lifestyle series, Sydney Weekender, could be measured by Mike Whitney's bulging waistline.

A reunion with his former first grade cricketing mates three years ago, where he was shamed about his growing girth — which tipped the scales at 120 kilograms — was enough to inspire a new attack from the one-time Australian test fast bowler.

Now balancing his diet with the optimum 80 per cent alkaline and 20 per cent acidic foods, Whitney has shed 25 kgs and returned to his playing weight of 95 kgs, visibly fitter and brighter for it.

BODY+SOUL: The acid-alkaline diet

ALKALINE DIET: Why celebrities love it

Not an inch of fat ... Michael Whitney's famous innings in the 1987 Boxing Day Test against New Zealand at the MCG. Source: News Corp Australia

Enjoying the fruits of his job too much ... Mike Whitney at White Ribbon Day in November 2011. Source: News Limited

"I adjusted my diet and the weight has fallen off with very little extra exercise. This is how our bodies are meant to be, but what we tend to eat now is 80 per acidic and 20 per cent alkaline," Whitney said.

Adding fresh fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, leafy greens and avoiding processed foods and refined sugars, were key to his weight loss.

The old remedy of squeezing lemon into a glass of water to start the day was also essential, Whitney said.

Back to his test cricket playing weight ... Sydney Weekender host Mike Whitney. Source: Supplied

Healthy chef Teresa Cutter praised Whitney for his lifestyle change, which shows what a simple shift to eating fresh fruit and vegetables can do to improve overall health.

"The lemon in water every morning is a great idea, I do it too and it helps support and cleanse your liver and eliminate toxins," she said.

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RiRi shows baby how to take selfie

Making faces ... Rihanna and her cousin Majesty work it for the camera. Source: Supplied

A DAY after her ex Chris Brown said he wanted a baby, Rihanna has shown her maternal side teaching her baby cousin how to take the perfect selfie.

Her baby cousin Majesty already looks like she can match it with her 26-year-old celebrity relative.

Rihanna posted a series of pictures to Twitter showing the two hanging out, making faces and watching cartoons.

"Teaching her Majesty selfie faces," she captioned the pictures.

The child, who is the daughter of Rihanna's cousin Noella Alstrom, is often shown on her social media accounts.

Only a day ago, Rihanna's ex, Chris Brown, posted that he wanted to have a baby with on-again, off-again girlfriend Karrueche Tran.

"Damn near 5 years and this woman still putting up with my sh*t. Need to have this baby and stop playing! Lol!" her wrote.

Meanwhile Rihanna seems to have patched things up with her ex, Drake, attending his concert on Tuesday night in New York City.


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‘You don’t think it can happen’

JED Lamb cried when he was drafted by the Swans.

There were more tears when his family drove him from their home in country Victoria to Melbourne airport for a flight to Sydney which may as well have been to Mars.

It was not the first time the family had cried together. When Lamb was six, his father was murdered with an axe by a family friend, "Mad Mick", after an argument, leaving his mum Kerrie to bring up eight children. Jed is number seven.

"You see this sort of thing on the news and hear it on the radio but you don't think it can happen to you," recalled Lamb, who is now with the GWS Giants after three years at the Swans.

"Even looking back now it's hard to get my head around it. If it was going to happen I guess it's good that it happened when I was so young. I reckon if it had been when I was 13 to 16 it would have been a lot different and had a bigger impact on my life.

"It had a big impact obviously with mum raising eight kids. That's why we're all so close. There's no doubt that I wouldn't be playing AFL footy today if it wasn't for mum.

"It had a bigger impact on my elder brothers and sisters. When it happened they had to go into the police station and answer questions. I was too young for that.

"They were at an age when they knew everything that had happened so it would have been really tough for them. It's brought us a lot closer together."

It was that closeness which accounted for so many tears when the homesick teenager first arrived in Sydney.

"She'd gone out of her way all her life to look after us and do things for us. She sacrificed so much for us and I wanted to be closer to home to keep looking after her," Lamb said.

"One of the hardest things growing up was going to local footy and you're watching all your mates rocking up with their dads, who are always in the huddle giving advice. Mum's been my father figure as well. During my junior footy days she ran the water for us, she was team manager, she's definitely been my hero and my father figure growing up through sport. She drove me everywhere."

Lamb's mum is made of tough stuff. There was wild celebration at the local pub in Yarram when Jed was drafted by Sydney, but Kerrie noticed that he had disappeared when the Swans announced on national television that they were taking her third son.

"Leading up to the draft my manager told me Hawthorn and the Swans were pretty keen," Lamb said.

"I went to bed the night before the draft hoping Hawthorn would pick me up so I could stay close to the family. Obviously, as one of eight, I'm very close to my brothers and sisters and I've got 12 ­nieces and nephews.

"I was over the moon to be picked up (in the draft) but it hit me pretty hard that I was going to be leaving home.

"I snuck out the back door of the pub and went home and was sobbing. Mum came home and told me to get back down the pub, that I'd be right, so I sucked it, went back down the pub and had a few more beers.

"Mum's been amazing to us."

So amazing that during Lamb's primary school years Kerrie worked at the local abattoirs in the tiny South Gippsland town of Poowong.

"I think all my family apart from my younger sister worked at the abs at some stage," Lamb said.

"I used to go back and stay with my sister when I was 14 or 15. Her husband Nick was boss of the kill floor so he always put us on, which was good.

"Mum worked there for years before we moved to Yarram."

As a result of the family predicament Lamb was the only one of eight children to finish high school.

"They all dropped out of school pretty early and got a job," Lamb said.

"They all wanted to help out mum and fend for themselves."

Through the Giants' links with the University of Western Sydney Lamb has started a business commerce degree part time.

"I'm so grateful just to be playing football. Obviously this year hasn't gone to plan but even so I'm still getting paid to play the game I love," he said.

"There are people out there, as I was, working at jobs like the Poowong Abs.

"It's really hard work and they definitely don't enjoy their job as much as I enjoy mine."

Originally published as Axe murder changed his life
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Terrible toll of army email scandal

A message from the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, following the announcement of investigations into allegations of unacceptable behaviour by Army members. Courtesy: AustralianArmyHQ

Unhappy at treatment ... This soldier was kicked out of the army for replying to unsavoury emails. Picture: Luke Fuda Source: News Corp Australia

EXCLUSIVE: Two soldiers tried to kill themselves after they were summarily sacked for their role responding to emails in the so-called 'Jedi Council' affair.

The pair was among six men dismissed from the Australian Army for 'contrary' conduct, but News Corp Australia can reveal their dealings were not synchronised or even organised.

Tried to kill himself ... One of the sacked soldiers linked to the Jedi Council affair. Picture: Luke Fuda Source: News Corp Australia

The Knights of the Jedi Council was in fact a "one member club" — exclusively owned by the ringleader of the email ring.

Most of the other men were dragged in, as they received and replied to emails from former Commando Hastings Frederickson, who pleaded guilty to three charges of using a carriage to cause offence.

The men, who do not want to be named as they are trying to rebuild their shattered lives, say they were scapegoats used by Army Chief Lieutenant General David Morrison as part of his very public campaign to stamp out sexist behaviour in the ranks.

DISCRIMINATION: Morrison to battle sexism in the ranks

MEET THE MAN: Lieutenant General David Morrison

The general has even shared a stage at the United Nations summit to end sexual violence with Hollywood star and UN ambassador Angelina Jolie.

Vowed to stamp out sexism in the Army ... Army Chief, Lieutenant General David Morrison. Source: News Corp Australia

Appeared alongside David Morrison ... Angelina Jolie spoke at the UN summit to end sexual violence. Picture: Supplied Source: News Limited

His 'angry ant' YouTube clip in response to the 'Jedi Council' revelations went viral and was applauded by all sides of the gender equity debate.

However the men at the centre of the furore say they were not given due process and they are livid that the general did not even bother speaking to them personally let alone offer any counselling or re-education.

They say they have done nothing worse than thousands of other soldiers who have used email to express sexist or ribald sentiments.

The general's transgender former speech writer, Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor, received a warning and counselling when she published comments on a blog strongly criticising a fellow officer and his family.

Warned and counselled ... Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor, formerly Malcolm McGregor, was General Morrison's speech writer. Picture: ABC-TV Source: Supplied

"He [Morrison] was quick to end our careers and ruin our lives, but he didn't have the decency to eyeball us," one ex-soldier said.

"I take full responsibility for the stupid comments on my emails, but I should have got a kick in the pants not the loss of my career."

A defence spokesman said the offences were too serious for remediation.

"The scale of the transgression against Defence policy and Army values …. was such that remedial counselling was not an appropriate or proportional response," the spokerperson said.


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Military plane made from ‘human skin’

Aircraft of the future could be set to become more human with a smart skin that will let them feel damage and surrounding environment just like our squidgy selves. Source: BAE Systems Source: Supplied

A BRITISH defence company is working on a military plane of the future that is covered by a 'human skin'.

Okay, sorry. If you're imagining a big, fleshy aircraft flapping through the sky, thankfully you'd be wrong. This 'human skin' is actually tens of thousands of micro-sensors on the exterior of the plane, which work in a similar way to our own skin to feel when it suffers damage.

SPACECRAFT'S SPECTACULAR FIERY RETURN TO EARTH

The smart skin, which could be the size of dust particles and sprayed over the entire plane, is being developed by BAE Systems and will have the ability to sense temperature, wind speed, movement and any physical strain that could result in damage or pre-empt problems before they prove too late.

According to the company's statement the eureka moment came to scientist Lydia Hyde when she noticed her tumble dryer employed sensors to prevent overheating.

"Observing how a simple sensor can be used to stop a domestic appliance overheating got me thinking about how this could be applied to my work and how we could replace bulky, expensive sensors with cheap, miniature, multifunctional ones," she said in the article.

"This in turn led to the idea that aircraft, or indeed cars and ships, could be covered by thousands of these motes creating a 'smart skin' that can sense the world around them and monitor their condition by detecting stress, heat or damage."

The smart skin sensors have been designed to house their own power source and would be able to communicate much like our own receptors do with our brains. The idea of applying the technology outside of just vehicles is also intriguing scientists as being able to sense slight variations such as minute cracks could be used as a pre-warning system for natural disasters to earthquakes or floods.


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