Charlotte Graham

Charlotte Graham Photo: supplied

On Saturday Morning this week, Charlotte Graham's standing in for Kim Hill. She starts the morning with a chat to Christy Goldfuss, who oversaw the Obama administration's environmental regime - she reflects on new priorities under Trump; Dan Schultz, a US programmer, on a new website he's developed that allows people to scramble, and ultimately hide, their computer browsing habits; author Ian Rankin talks about his world-famous Rebus series of books and we spin a few of his favourite music tracks; Christchurch woman Quin Tang tells us about her triumph over years of adversity, recorded in her book Half a Walnut Tree, Scottish comedian Susan Calman on 'the funny thing about depression'; to honour a re-issue and upcoming film adaptation of Margaret Mahy's young adult thriller The Changeover, Charlotte talks to Margaret's daughter Bridget Mahy - her first audience for the acclaimed book, and the film co-director Miranda Harcourt, and finally, a chat about all things cheese-related                                                                       with the editor of the Oxford Companion to Cheese, Vermont's Professor Catherine Donnelly.   



812  Christy Goldfuss - Science in the time of Trump

Christy Goldfuss

Christy Goldfuss Photo: Supplied

Christy Goldfuss with Obama

Christy Goldfuss with Obama Photo: supplied

Christy Goldfuss is the vice president for energy and environment policy at the progressive policy think-tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP). Prior to this, Goldfuss was managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Barack Obama. In that role, Goldfuss helped develop and implement the Obama administration's environmental and energy policies, including the Climate Action Plan, and was a key player in the implementation of President Obama's climate and ocean action plans. Those plans saw Christy work alongside scientists, policy makers and NGOs like the The Pew Charitable Trusts to secure large marine protection declarations across the United States EEZ. 



Images from the Kermadec Sanctuary (courtesy Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy | The Pew Charitable Trusts)





8:35 Dan Schultz - Throwing data hunters off the scent

Internet Noise - Dan Schultz

Internet Noise - Dan Schultz Photo: supplied

Recently, the US House of Representatives voted to allow internet service providers sell browsing data on the open market, angering many.  One who decided he would protest the move was 30-year-old programmer Dan Schultz who lives north of Philadelphia.  Schultz created website Internet Noise, which auto-opens tabs based on random Google searches and makes it impossible for IPs to accurately profile internet users. He envisages users running the application while sleeping, scrambling their internet histories en masse. Schultz studied information systems at Carnegie Mellon and then received an M.A at the M.I.T Media Lab.



9:05  Ian Rankin - Rebus at retirement 

Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin Photo: supplied

Ian Rankin is a Scottish author and TV writer who has been granted dozens of top awards for his writing over almost three decades.  he is mostly known to the international audience for his Rebus series, which have been translated into 22 languages and are top sellers around the world, although he's penned many other series and stand-alone novels as well. His first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987; Rather Be The Devil, his latest, was published at the end of 2016. Rankin has received four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005; won the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and Germany's Deutscher Krimipreis, and received an OBE for services to literature, among numerous other awards and fellowships.  Ian Rankin will be appearing at the Auckland's Writers Festival in May, as well as at  the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival  and WORD Christchurch.  



10:05 Quin Tang - Half a walnut tree

Quin Tang

Quin Tang Photo: supplied

Quin Tang lives in Christchurch.  She is originally from China. At three years of age, her mother was shot in front of her and her father taken away to work in a labour camp. After moving to Christchurch 25 years ago, she walked out of an abusive marriage with two young children with no money and speaking little English. Tang then attended Canterbury University, teaching herself to read English from the text books there.  She attained four degrees with an A+ average, and began working as a psychiatrist and counsellor. Quin was working in the CTV building when it collapsed.  She took two weeks off work to recover, then came back and began counselling other victims of the Christchurch earthquakes. She has written and self-published the story of her life, called Half a Walnut Tree, which is being sold at Scorpio Books, Wheelers, and the Canterbury University Bookshop.



10:35  Susan Calman - The funny thing about depression

Susan Calman

Susan Calman Photo: supplied

Scottish comedian and writer Susan Calman is known to international audiences for her regular appearances on the BBC Radio 4 News Quiz, as well as a number of other panel shows, including QI. Since quitting a career in corporate law in 2006, Susan has taken numerous successful stand-up shows to the Edinburgh Fringe. Her memoir, Cheer Up Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate, chronicles her life-long struggle with mental health. She's in the middle of her second UK Tour with her show "The Calman Before The Storm."




11:05 Miranda Harcourt and Bridget Mahy - Margaret Mahy's The Changeover 

Miranda Harcourt

Miranda Harcourt Photo: supplied

The Changeover is a work of young adult fiction by the late, celebrated New Zealand writer Margaret Mahy (1936-2012). Mahy authored  more than 120 titles, which have been translated into 15 different languages,and was awarded the Order of New Zealand in 1993. The Changeover won the Carnegie Medal in 1984, the year it was first published, and has been repackaged in 2017 with a new foreward by author Elizabeth Knox.  The story is also being made into a movie, starring ex-pat New Zealand actresses Melanie Lynskey and Lucy Lawless, as well as UK actor Timothy Spall, to be released in late 2017.  Charlotte talks to Margaret's daughter Bridget Mahy, who was her mother's test audience for The Changeover when it was first written, and Miranda Harcourt, who has co-directed the film adaptation with her husband Stuart McKenzie.       



11:40  Professor Catherine Donnelly - Cheese through history

Catherine Donnelly

Catherine Donnelly Photo: supplied

Three years ago, Professor Catherine Donnelly, a University of Vermont nutrition and food science expert, was contacted by the Oxford University Press to compile and edit the first-ever Oxford Companion to Cheese.  Donnelly accepted the challenge and spent a year looking into around 1400 global cheeses and their histories and traditions, before a further two years spent working with over 300 writers in 35 countries to compile the world's most definitive cheese glossary. At almost 900 pages, the Oxford Companion to Cheese hit shelves in time to inform the perfect Christmas cheese platter at the end of  2016. Besides being a cheese fanatic, Donnelly has also spoken out about 'cheese politics' - particularly onerous health and safety legislation that she says threatens Vermont's artisan cheese industry. 


Books mentioned in this episode:


The Rebus series (various)  

Ian Rankin 


Half a Walnut Tree

Quin Quing Tang  

ISBN 9780473370312 

Trade Paperback (available from Wheelers, Scorpio Books and Uni of Canterbury bookshop)


Cheer Up Love: adventures in depressions with the crab of hate

Susan Calman 

ISBN 1473632048,

Two Roads


The Changeover

Margaret Mahy

ISBN 0140365990

Hachette NZ


The Oxford Companion to Cheese

edited by Catherine Donnelly,

ISBN 0199330883

Oxford University Press