Guest details for Saturday Morning 31 January 2009

8:15 Michael Stuermer

German historian Professor Michael Stuermer is chief correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, and has written and edited books on Germany, Europe and the Middle East. His new book is Putin and the Rise of Russia (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN: 978-0-297-85510-1).

8:40 Hilary Pearse

Hilary Pearse lectures in Comparative Politics at the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington. Her doctoral dissertation at the University of British Columbia examined party adaptation to coalition and/or minority government in parliamentary systems where single party majority government has been the norm.

9:05 Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal takes play seriously. She is the director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California, and is currently writing a book about how games can save the real world (Reality is Broken, Penguin Press, 2010). She is also an award-winning game designer, best known for directing and designing alternate reality games such as The Lost Ring (created for the Olympics) and Cruel 2 B Kind (a game of "benevolent assassination"), and future forecasting games like World Without Oil and Superstruct, which asked players to imagine the biggest challenges we will face in 2019 and how we might solve them together. Her current project is Top Secret Dance Off. Jane has a PhD. in performance studies from the University of California at Berkeley and blogs at She is a keynote speaker at the 2009 Webstock conference in Wellington from 16-20 February. During the interview, Kim and Jane talked about the Akoha game, and about The Lost Sport which involves the Wellington Labyrinth Running Team.

9.40 Anna Gsell

Swiss-born scientist Anna Gsell is a biology researcher at Massey University's Institute for Natural Sciences in Albany. Her work involves investigating the area of the brain related to smell. Continuing her work on kakapo feather scent and how it affects mating and breeding, she is lead researcher on the team who will be the first in the world to dissect the brain of the endangered native parrot (a 100-year-old kakapo which died of natural causes at Auckland Zoo late last year).

10.05 David Byrne

David Byrne has worked in a variety of media, including music, film, art, design, photography, opera and Internet projects. Probably best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the band Talking Heads (1974-1991), he has released a number of his own solo projects, and his achievements have been recognised by Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe awards. David Byrne recently resumed his collaboration with Brian Eno (they recorded My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in 1981; it was re-released in remixed form in 2006), for the 2008 album, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (Pod/Intertia). David Byrne, his band and dancers visit New Zealand for two concerts: at the Michael Fowler Centre (Wellington) on 13 February and the ASB Theatre (Auckland) on 14 February.

11.05 Alice Russell

English soul singer Alice Russell has collaborated with a huge range of artists since 1998, including Quantic Soul Orchestra and Fat Freddys Drop, and now fronts the five-piece Alice Russell Live band. Her third album, after 2004's Under the Munka Moon and 2006's Under the Munka Moon II is the 2009 release Pot of Gold (Little Poppet Records). This month, Alice Russell and her band visit New Zealand for the third time, playing at Sandwiches (Wellington) on Friday 30 January, and Sale Street (Auckland) on Saturday 31 January.

11:45 Children's Books with Kate De Goldi

Kate De Goldi discusses the work of American science fiction and fantasy writer Madeleine L'Engle; her 1962 Newbery Medal-winning book A Wrinkle in Time and 1978's A Swiftly Tilting Planet (both part of The Time Quartet), The Arm of the Starfish (from 1965, one of the Poly O'Keefe series), and The Young Unicorns (from 1968, one of the Austin family series). Her books are being republished in new editions by Square Fish.

Music played on the programme

Leonard Cohen: Alexandra Leaving
From the 2001 album: Ten New Songs
Played at around 9.35am

John Martyn: Couldn't Love You More
From the 1977 album: One World
Played at around 9.05am

James Yorkston: Tortoise Regrets Hare
From the 2008 album: When the Haar Rolls In
Played at around 9:40am

David Byrne and Brian Eno: Home
From the 2008 album: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Played at around 10:10am

Young at Heart Chorus: Road to Nowhere
From the 2007 soundtrack to the movie: Young at Heart
Played at around 10:15am

David Byrne and Brian Eno: Help Me Somebody
From the 2006 reissue of 1981 album: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Played at around 10:20am

Talking Heads: Love -> Building on Fire
The 1977 single
Played at around 10:40am

Talking Heads: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
From the 2004 reissue of the 1982 live album: The Name of this Band is Talking Heads
Played at around 10:50am

Alice Russell: Crazy
From the 2009 album: Pot of Gold
(Little Poppet)
Played at around 11:10am

Fat Freddy's Drop, featuring Alice Russell: The Camel
The 2008 single
Played at around 11:30am

Studio operators

Wellington engineer: Carol Jones
Auckland engineer: Jeremy Ansell