The Daily Bite, October 2011

By Lizzy Wood

Find out what we're all talking about in this month's Daily Bite.


Oscar-wining actor Michael Douglas has spoken out about the moment he was first told he had late-stage throat cancer in 2010.

Despite learning in January this year that the tumour had disappeared following radiation treatment and chemotherapy, Douglas has revealed the trauma he went through just five months earlier.

“I’ll never forget that moment when he (the doctor) looked up at me and looked back down. I knew, and he said ‘Well, I guess we’re going to have to take a biopsy, see there’s a polyp here,’ it was on my tongue. Two days later, he called me back and said ‘you’ve got cancer,'” Douglas told Alec Baldwin in an interview posted earlier this week for New York public radio station WNYC.

Having made a full recovery after just seven weeks of treatment, Douglas is aware how lucky he was given his diagnosis at such a late stage.

“The thing with cancer is that you want to get it as early as you can,” he says in the interview with Baldwin.


Australia’s leading lady, Prime Minister Julia Gillard is under fire for her choice of greeting when meeting the Queen upon her arrival in Canberra yesterday. Gillard chose a polite bow of the head rather than the more traditional curtsey, which June Dally-Watkins has described as a “kind of wobble.”

“I didn’t know what she was doing. I just laughed,” Dally-Watkins told the ABC. “I was laughing out loud because I thought it was really hilarious and of course very rude. But I just couldn’t understand what that movement was. What was she doing?”

In defense of her actions, Gillard said she felt comfortable bowing her head.

“The advice to me was very clear – that you can make a choice with what you feel most comfortable with,” she said.

“That’s what I felt most comfortable with. The Queen extended her hand, and I shook her hand.”

Dally-Watkins, who is often referred to as Australia’s very own ‘etiquette queen’ is known for her discontent with the nation’s manners, telling earlier this year “I am concerned the human race is slipping back to the heathen era and it disappoints me.”

Dally-Watkins is currently in the midst of writing her book, Manner for Moderns: Be The Best You Can Be – In Every Way.


Susan Sarandon is known for her activism, but she’s courted controversy with her latest move, reportedly calling Pope Benedict a Nazi during a public discussion at the Hamptons Film Festival in New York.

Referring to the book upon which her movie Dead Man Walking was based, Sarandon mentioned she’d sent a copy to the Pope.

“The last one. Not this Nazi one we have now,” New York newspaper Newsday reports Oscar-winning Sarandon as saying during her interview with fellow actor Bob Balaban.

Although the Vatican confirms that German-born Pope Benedict was a member of the Hitler Youth in the early 1940s, his parents rejected Nazi ideology and Ratzinger deserted the military during World War Two.

Sarandon and her former husband Tim Robbins are known for their involvement in a number of social and political campaigns and Sarandon has most recently spoken out over the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York.


If you’ve ever taken part it a marathon, it may well have crossed your mind to take the easy way out, and jump on a bus towards the end of the race.

For one man, fantasy became reality as he withdrew 20 miles into a marathon in Northumberland, only to catch a spectator bus to the end of the course. Rob Sloan then went on to cross the finish line in third place.

Sloan, who picked up a personal best time thanks to his bus-ride, has been stripped of his third place medal, having originally dismissed claims that he had cheated as “Laughable.” Spurred on by witnesses organisers investigated the claims, however, and Sloan later admitted his mistake.


As Gerard Depardieu recently demonstrated, there’s nothing pleasant about getting caught short, especially when travelling on public transport. It should come as good news, therefore, that Dutch national rail operator, NS, revealed their plans for passengers to have access to urinal bags on trains without toilets – something Depardieu would no doubt have benefitted from.

“This is for emergency planning, not casual use,” NS Spokesman Edwin van Scherrenburg said in a statement.

The news, however, has not been well received by everyone, with members of the public upset about the lack of toilet facilities.

“This measure may be for emergencies but every train has to have a toilet,” said Chris Vonk, a representative of the Dutch association of public transport passengers, despite only 16 per cent of NS’s trains lacking toilet facilities.

NS confirmed that passengers would have a private space to use the absorbative bags which, once used would be disposed of on board.


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