Richard Easther

8:10 Richard Easther- what can a new interstellar comet tell us?

A new interstellar comet some 20 kilometres wide and trailing gas has recently been spotted entering our solar system.

It’s got the catchy name of C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) as it was first viewed by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov in Russia at the end of August. Since then, its path and its shape have been closely watched by telescopes all over the world. So how has this interstellar visitor arrived here? Where does it come from? And what could its makeup tell us about the origins of our own solar system?

Cosmologist Richard Easther of the University of Auckland is looking to this comet for answers.

And the Name a Planet website Kim mentioned is here


Newly discovered interstellar comet C/2019 Q4

Newly discovered interstellar comet C/2019 Q4 Photo: NASA/JPL


Nick Wareham

Nick Wareham Photo: Luke Pilkinton-Ching University of Otago Wellington

8:30 Nick Wareham- how to tackle New Zealand's diabetes epidemic

Professor Nicholas Wareham is a British epidemiologist from the University of Cambridge who researches obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.

He’s here in New Zealand to speak at a University of Otago symposium in Wellington called  From Evidence to Everyday: translating nutrition research for a healthy Aotearoa. He’s particularly interested in public health measures targeted at tackling the country’s obesity and diabetes epidemic.

And he’s been weighing up the benefits of UK policies like screening and testing for type 2 diabetes, investments in cycling infrastructure, restrictions on the number of takeaways allowed in disadvantaged areas, and a sugar levy. At issue? The fact that about 10 percent of the National Health Service’s total budget is spent on caring for people with diabetes.

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Photo: Supplied


9:05 Lloyd Cole- Eighties pop icon tours New Zealand

The English singer-songwriter Lloyd Cole came to fame in the 1980s with his band The Commotions, releasing a string of catchy, crafted hits like Perfect Skin, Rattlesnakes and Lost Weekend.

Since the Commotions split up in 1989 he’s been touring the world as a solo musician. He’s also moved to the US, embraced family life, and become far fonder of synthesisers.

And he’s delicately damning about his own success, and some of his pop peers. He arrives in New Zealand in November to play six concerts on the From Rattlesnakes to Guesswork tour. 

Lloyd Cole

Lloyd Cole Photo: Doug Seymour


9:40 Sarah Moss- ‘Ghost Wall’ author’s Brexit parable

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Novelist, travel writer and academic, Sarah Moss is earning rave reviews for her latest novel Ghost Wall. It’s been described as a Brexit-inspired parable, populated by characters plotting a path through a present resounding to the echoes of history.

A Professor in the University of Warwick’s Creative Writing programme, the novel is Moss’ sixth, following The Tidal Zone (2016), Signs for Lost Children (2015), Bodies of Light (2014), Night Waking (2011) and Cold Earth (2009). She’s also lived in Iceland, idolises Janet Frame, and is very scared of dogs!

She will be appearing at four events during the Verb festival in Wellington in early November.


10:05 Valter Longo- Intermittent fasting: can it help us live longer!?

He’s become the academic poster boy of the intermittent fasting movement. Professor Valter Longo’s work on how the human body behaves when we deprive it of energy has inspired a range of diet books (including his own).

But this is more than just a publishing phenomenon. Cancer patients and oncologists are intrigued in fasting’s potential to improve treatment outcomes, and possibly impede the disease’s spread.

Studies have also shown its apparent ability to allow yeast and other organisms to live longer: so could it one day even be used to extend human life? 

Valter Longo's book The Longevity Diet is published by Penguin (ISBN: 1405933941).

Valter Longo

Valter Longo Photo: Supplied


11.04 Tim Flannery says his 20 years of climate activism is a colossal failure

The Australian scientist, writer, explorer and environmental activist Tim Flannery is passionate about climate change, and how to stop it. But he’s fed up of the disconnect between the politicians’ words, and the realities of greater greenhouse gas emissions.

As he writes in an article published in The Conversation this week “No climate report or warning, no political agreement nor technological innovation has altered the ever-upward trajectory of the pollution. This simple fact forces me to look back on my 20 years of climate activism as a colossal failure”.

So why has he written the article now, and what does he hope to achieve with it?

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Photo: Supplied


11:35 Pete Bossley - A NZ architect’s unique OE

Like many young New Zealanders, aspiring architect Pete Bossley jumped on a plane and headed off for a year or two of travel.

But this wasn’t any ordinary OE! Travelling solo, he embarked on a architectural Grand Tour of the US, Europe and Japan, filling 10 sketchbooks with designs, plans and drawings.

And in an analog, pre-internet age of film cameras, letters, rubbers and pencils these sketches offer a nostalgia-tinged glance at a bygone era, and insight into Bossley’s work as an architect today.

Pete Bossley

Pete Bossley Photo: supplied

One Year Drawn cover

One Year Drawn cover Photo: Supplied






Books mentioned in this show

Ghost Wall
Sarah Moss
ISBN: 1783784458
Publisher: Granta Books

The Longevity Diet
Valter Longo
ISBN: 1405933941
Publisher: Penguin

One Year Drawn
Pete Bossley
ISBN: 0473482592
Publisher: Point Publishing

Music played in this show

Song: Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?
Artist: Lloyd Cole and The Commotions
Played at: 09:05

Song: The Loudness Wars
Artist: Lloyd Cole
Played at: 09:35

Song: Perfect Skin
Artist: Lloyd Cole and The Commotions
Played at: 11:05

Song: Brand New Friend
Artist: Lloyd Cole and The Commotions
Played at: 11:30