8:10 Andy Mitchell: an insider's guide to psychedelics

British clinical neuropsychologist Andy Mitchell was curious about the renewed attention psychedelics were getting in his field, so set out to do some first-person research.

He took ten different drugs in ten different settings, from ketamine in a London kitchen to wachuma in the Colombian Amazon. The result is his new book Ten Trips - The New Reality of Psychedelics.

In it Mitchell argues that a medical, therapeutic view of psychedelics neglects what is so unusual and valuable about them: the psychedelic experience itself.

Photo: Dave Adair / Penguin Books

9:05 Linda Bryder: the best country to give birth? 

Photo: Auckland University Press

In The Best Country to Give Birth? medical historian Linda Bryder explores how New Zealand came to develop its unique approach to the role of midwives in childbirth.

The 1990 Nurses Amendment Act allowed midwives to practise autonomously in the community without oversight by, or reference to, other health professionals and to set up training schemes separate from nursing. 

The College of Midwives celebrated this freedom as a win for women, but others expressed concerns about the unpreparedness of newly trained midwives to deal with emergencies.

Linda Bryder is a Professor of History at Auckland University,  a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te  Apārangi, and is currently President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine. 


9:45 Danyl McLauchlan: an argument for eco-terrorism 

Danyl Mclauchlan

Danyl McLauchlan Photo: supplied

Writer Danyl McLauchlan joins Susie to tackle life's big questions, ideas and thinkers.

Today he's looking at Swedish academic and environmental activist Andreas Malm, author of the book How to Blow Up a Pipeline.

Malm argues that climate change activists need to become more radical if they want to get results.

Climate activists protesting in Newcastle, Australia.

Photo: BBC

10:05 Greg Sestero: star of "The Room" on why it's so bad it's great

Greg Sestero Photo: X

Plot sinkholes, disappearing characters, bizarre dialogue, wooden performances - all features of the 2003 film The Room.

Described by one reviewer as "like getting stabbed in the head," the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office when it first opened.

Despite it's disastrous debut the independent film starring and written, produced, and directed by mysterious misfit Tommy Wiseau has gone on to cult status and continues to play to sell-out crowds. 

Screenings are often raucous with audiences throwing American footballs around and hurling plastic spoons at the screen.

Greg Sestero played Mark in the film and co-wrote The Disaster Artist, a memoir about the experience of making the film, which became a 2018 movie starring and directed by James Franco.

He's in New Zealand for a screening and Q&A at Wellington's Roxy cinema.

10:40 Richard Jackson: does NZ really need its defence force? 

Photo: supplied

As wars continue in Gaza and Ukraine, and other parts of the world, a new book questions whether New Zealand ought to have a military force at all.

Professor Richard Jackson, Griffin Leonard and Joseph Llwellyn of The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, at the University of Otago, are co-authors of Abolishing the Military - Arguments and Alternatives.

So how could New Zealand ensure its security and promote international peace in alternative, non-violent ways?


Professor Richard Jackson Photo: supplied

11:05 Elinor Karlsson: Darwin’s Dogs and DNA

What can mammals genome reveal about how the human genome works?

Professor Elinor Karlsson co-leads the Zoonomia Project, which uses comparative genomics to shed light on how certain species achieve extraordinary feats, and to better understand parts of the human genome.

Prof Karlsson is also well known for her Darwin's dogs citizen science genetics project- a collaboration between scientists and dog owners looking at the relationship between genetics and behaviour. She was in New Zealand for the Annual Meeting of Genomics Aotearoa.

Elinor Karlsson

Professor Elinor Karlsson Photo: supplied

11:40 Sam and Ellie Studd: how to love cheese

Photo: MacMillan

Brother and sister duo Sam and Ellie Studd's new book The Best Things In Life Are Cheese, aims to help us understand and appreciate cheese in all its many forms.

They're about as close to cheese royalty as you get, their father is legendary expert Will Studd.

As cheese guides they cover basics like how to pick a good one,  tips for Christmas platters, plus recipes for cheesy treats.

Close up of three adult sisters snacking from cheese board (Photo by Deborah Kolb / Image Source / Image Source via AFP)


Books featured on the show:

Ten Trips - The New Reality of Psychedelics
By Andy Mitchell
Published by Bodley Head
ISBN: 9781847926982

The Best Country to Give Birth? Midwifery, Homebirth and the Politics of Maternity in Aotearoa New Zealand, 1970-2022 
By Linda Bryder
Published by: Auckland University Press
ISBN: 9781776711086

How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire
By Andreas Malm
Published by Verso Books
ISBN: 9781839760259

Abolishing the Military - Arguments and Alternatives
By Griffin Leonard, Joseph Llewellyn and Richard Jackson
Published by Bridget Williams Books
ISBN: 9781991033529

The Best Things In Life Are Cheese
By Sam and Ellie Studd
ISBN: 9781761260308
Publisher: MacMillan


Music played in this show

Song: Acid Tongue
Artist: Jenny Lewis 

Song: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt.1
​Artist: The Flaming Lips