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Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan for Wednesday 25 July 2018

Short Story Club

On Thursday 26 July we will discuss  Sia Figiel's 'Freelove', which was extracted to work as a short story in the 2017 anthology Black Marks on the White Page, but is actually a part of her new novel Freelove, published last month by Little Island Press, NZ, which is a New Zealand-based community publisher and social enterprise focused on Pasifika works.

A copy of Freelove goes to the writer of the best email about the short story -

1:10 First song: The Easy Leaves perform live

The Easy Leaves are a San Francisco country band and have performed on stage with some of the best country artists in the US. They are currently touring New Zealand and stop in to our Auckland studio for a chat and a song. 

The Easy Leaves

The Easy Leaves Photo: supplied

1:15 Could grass-fed cattle help to save the environment?

Yesterday we spoke to Professor Ralph Sims about rising global meat consumption and the harm it could be doing both to the environment and to the humans who're eating it.

A Waikato beef farmer who reckons this discussion is a bit more nuanced than that wrote to us asking for a few minutes to talk about how cows can actually help the environment.

So today Colin Brown joins the programme to chat about modern farming practices, and how beef cattle, farmed the right way, can contain emissions and stave off desertification.

Cattle Central North Island

Cattle Central North Island Photo: courtesy Beef and Lamb NZ

1:25 Fun for all ages: the Wairarapa Intergenerational Playgroup

While living in Perth a couple of years ago, Lucy Adlam hit on an unusual idea to help counter loneliness among elderly people in local rest homes: by bringing fun - and memories - to them.

Now she's brought the idea across the Tasman, and it's already starting to build momentum.

1:35 Sound archives: UFOs and Close Encounters

Supposed UFO, New Jersey 1952

Supposed UFO, New Jersey 1952 Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 40 years ago in December 1978, New Zealand’s most famous UFO sighting took place when strange lights were reported in the sky above Kaikoura by pilots and air traffic controllers.

What made the Kaikoura sightings so unusual was that not only were the lights spotted by various credible eye witnesses, but at the same time they were being tracked by air traffic controllers in Wellington and at Woodbourne Aerodrome in Blenheim. 

Then a week or so later, they were also filmed by a television crew.

Today in our visit to the sound archives of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision we will hear recordings about that  - and other New Zealand UFO sightings.

1:40 Great album: Best of M People

2:20 Bookmarks: Dark Tourist - David Farrier

The creator of the Tickled documentary David Farrier has very recently returned to New Zealand after experiencing the gross, grotesque and plain macabre as he sought out weird tourist attractions for his Dark Tourist series. He reveals where his interest in the dark side comes from as well has his favourite books and things.

3:10 The Science of Happiness

Dr Emiliana Simon-Thomas

Dr Emiliana Simon-Thomas Photo: Supplied/UC Berkley

Happiness doesn't just happen, not the meaningful kind of happiness that goes beyond a laugh and a smile says Dr Emiliana Simon-Thomas. She's the science director at  The Greater Good Science Centre at the University of California-Berkeley and teaches  an online course called the Science of Happiness.

The Centre does groundbreaking research into compassion, resilience and altruism as well as happiness.

You can check out some of her Greater Good Quizzes here

No caption

Photo: pixnio free image

3:35 Science and environment stories

Stories from Our Changing World.

3:45 The Pre-Panel Story of the Day and One Quick Question

4:05 The Panel with Andrew Hoggard and Alexia Russell


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Photo: RNZ/Liminal/DoC


NZ is full of amazing native creatures, and many of them are not cute and pretty! We are celebrating those less loved critters with some limited edition t-shirts illustrated by the amazing @giselledraws.

She was assisted by science advisor Mike Dickison and DoC's Threatened Species Ambassador, Nicola Toki.

To order a t-shirt please click here.


We have set aside 5 dollars from every t-shirt sale and plan to donate it to a community volunteer group that is working on local habitat protection or critter conservation. To apply please email us details of what your group does and what you would do with the money.

Terms and Conditions

- The producers of the show will select the group or groups, their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to

- We may request additional or supporting information

- You must also disclose if any of your members are employed by RNZ or DoC



Music played in this show

1:10pm - FIRST SONG:
Artist: Easy Leaves
Song:  Engine Break
Album: unreleased live recording  

Artist: Easy Leaves
Song:  Eleven Hours:
Album: unreleased live recording  

1:45pm - GREAT ALBUM:

Artist: M People
Song:  Search for the Hero
Comp: Pickering, Heard
Album: Best of M people
Label:  M People Records

Artist: M People
Song:   One Night in Heaven
Comp: Pickering, Heard
Album: Best of M people
Label:  M People Records


Artist:  Neil Young
Song:  Tonight's the Night
Comp: Neil Young
Album:  Roxy: Tonight's the Night Live
Label:  Reprise

Artist:  Neil Young
Song:  Albuquerque
Comp:  Neil Young
Album:  Roxy: Tonight's the Night Live
Label: Reprise