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Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan for Tuesday 5 November 2019

You can find the latest After Afternoons podcast here

1:10 First song: Pluto

Auckland based rock band Pluto burst onto the NZ music radar when they opened for Neil Finn in 2001. They've also supported big acts such as Duran Duran, Crowded House, Muse, Gomez and The Dandy Warhols. Over the years they've made regular appearances at The Big Day Out and performed twice at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.

In 2009 they disbanded but ten years later reunited to complete an unfinished project - their 4th album, simply called Pluto IV. The band is also playing two album release shows - at San Fran, in Wellington on 15 November and the Hollywood Cinema in Auckland on 23 November. Ticket details are here.

Today they're playing an acoustic duo in our Auckland Studio for First Song. 

Pluto: First Song RNZ

Pluto: First Song RNZ Photo: Andre Upston


1:17 Transit of Mercury to happen next Tuesday

Next Tuesday something very cool is going to happen.

You probably won't notice, unless you possess a very powerful and expensive telescope.

It's called a Transit of Mercury. And it just so happens to be occurring at a very special and appropriate time ... 250 years, almost to the day, since James Cook spotted a transit from Mercury Bay.

Dr Ian Griffin from Otago Museum joins us to explain what this is, why it's interesting, and how you can learn more about astronomy.

Mercury is only just visible against the sun as a small dark dot on the bottom left of the image.

Photo: AFP

1:25 Kia Aroha College creates its own school lunch scheme

The government recently announced a school lunch scheme, where children in 30 primary and intermediate schools around the country receive a free lunch every day from term one next year.

But some schools miss out on the offer - like Kia Aroha College in Auckland.

It's a secondary school, so it doesn't qualify for the pilot scheme - but more than 90 percent of the school's students only regularly eat one meal per day.

So the school set up its own free lunch scheme - and it needs your help.

Principal Haley Milne joins us to discuss.

Lunch box from decile 10 school

Photo: RNZ / Brad White

1:30 Predator Free Wellington

Down in the Capital, our pals over at Predator Free Wellington are busy activating their stoat and weasel traps.

This follows an extraordinarily successful rat-trapping and bait-station campaign over the past few months.

And it's important to acknowledge good news when it happens!

So we've got James Willcocks from Predator Free Wellington on the line to give us a bit of an update

1:35 The Spinoff launches its first book

Since launching as an independent TV-and-pop-culture website five years ago, The Spinoff website has changed the face of New Zealand media, nurturing the distinct voices of some of our most exciting young writers, and developing a distinctive business model to survive and thrive in a harsh landscape.

Now it's curated some of the very best writing and illustrations from the past half a decade for a new book, released today.

Site editor Toby Manhire joins Jesse to talk the website, the book, and past, present and future of The Spinoff.

No caption

Photo: supplied

1:50 He Kākano Ahau: Takatāpui: Decolonising sexuality and gender in the city

Before moving to the city Kahu Kutia typically thought of Māori in the city as disconnected. But she learned that for some Māori, the city is the reason they are able to be their most authentic selves.

All episodes in the He Kākano Ahau series are here

Kayla Riarn with the famous mural on Marion Street, Te Whanganui-ā-Tara.

Kayla Riarn with the famous mural on Marion Street, Te Whanganui-ā-Tara. Photo: UGP / Dianna Thomson


2:10 Book Critic: Pip Adam

Pip looks ahead to The City Gallery Wellington Book Club this Thursday 7 November as part of Tuatara Open Late which sees the gallery open after hours for music, food, drink and discussions about art.

During the session, a panel of readers talk about three or four books chosen because of their connection to an exhibition or its themes.The Book Club will be convening to talk about four books in the context of the Eavesdropping Exhibition. Tuatara Open Late is 5-10pm, Book Club is at 6pm. 

2:20 The history of New Zealand's Stebbing Recording studio

A book has just been released charting the history of one of the country's first and most prolific recording studios, Stebbing. 

Wired for Sound: The Stebbing History of New Zealand Music​ has been written by Grant Gillanders and Robyn Welsh. 

Grant's in studio to talk about the story which started back in 1946. 

Wired for Sound book cover

Wired for Sound book cover Photo: supplied

3:10  Irwin Winkler​'s 50 years in Hollywood

52 Oscars nominations, 12 wins, legendary producer,  Irwin Winkler is responsible for films ranging from Elvis Presley Rom-Coms to the Rocky film franchise to Raging Bull and The Wolf of Wall Street. As a producer, he found himself time and again in choosing to fight for films that would be important and choosing ones that would break the box office. He shares his insights won over half a century in the film industry in his new book, A Life in Movies: Stories From 50 Years in Hollywood.

Irwin Winkler

Irwin Winkler Photo: Supplied

3:30 Spoken Feature: ElementalOsmium

RNZ's Elemental podcast is celebrating one hundred and fifty years of the periodic table of elements. Science producer Alison Ballance and chemistry professor Allan Blackman look today at Osmium.

Osmium is the heavyweight champion of the elements. It is extremely rare and is the densest chemical element, says Prof Allan Blackman from AUT in Elemental.

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

4:05 The Panel with Paula Penfold and Mike Rehu