Navigation for Sunday Morning

7:10 'Polar vortex' could put paid to NZ's golden summer 

We've been hearing about an unseasonably warm and humid summer for weeks now, but there could be a spanner in the works with news that Australia might be in for a wet and wild summer thanks to a "polar vortex" in Antarctica and the seasonal La Nina weather pattern. Head Weather Analyst of Philip Duncan explains how this could impact on our summer. 

motion car rain big puddle of water spray from the wheels


7:18 How 'motivation decline' affects us as we age

As people age they can often be affected by 'motivation decline', that is the loss of motivation to learn new things or even engage in everyday activities. A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has now identified the brain circuit in mice that is critical for maintaining this kind of motivation. Professor John Reynolds, a neuroscientist from the University of Otago, joins the show to discuss.

MRI Image Of Head Showing Brain

Photo: 123RF

7:45 Calling Home: Will Barton in Norstrand, Norway

Will Barton moved to Norway 13 years ago, and now lives with his wife and two children in the idyllic borough of Nordstrand, south of Oslo. There he works for a company called Jottacloud, a cloud-based storage system that runs in competition to the likes of Google and Dropbox. He's Calling Home this morning. 

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Photo: Supplied

8:10 Men doing hard physical labour at higher risk of dementia

New research from the University of Copenhagen has found that men in jobs with hard physical work have a 55% higher risk of developing dementia compared to those doing sedentary work. While the general view has been that physical activity normally reduces the risk of dementia, people doing hard physical work are working not only their muscles and joints, but their brain and heart suffer too. Associate professor Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen joins the show to explain.

Associate professor Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen from the University of Copenhagen.

Associate professor Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen from the University of Copenhagen. Photo: Iben Gad

8:25 Teen paying her way through uni by naming 900,000 Chinese babies 

Beau Jessup is not your typical British teen. The 19-year-old is making hundreds of thousands of dollars and funding her way through a B.Sc. Social Anthropology at London School of Economics by coming up with 'culturally appropriate' English names for Chinese children via her website Special Name. 

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Photo: Supplied

8:41 The Weekend Panel with Bill Ralston and Lavina Good 

Our weekend panellists, Bill Ralston and Lavina Good, look at some of the week's big news stories, including the latest Covid case in Auckland, whether we need certified Covid leave, the Napier floods, the fruit picking crisis in this country, bi-lingual road signs and the new vaping laws that have taken effect. 

Covid-19 testing at Wynyard Quarter in Auckland on 13/11/2020.

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

9:06 Mediawatch

The US election is over but the fact-free claims of the outgoing President and his people keep coming.  How are the media handling statements designed to mislead people - and even undermine US democracy? Also: reports of looming fruit and vege shortages are only half the story - and strange scrutiny of the Opposition’s new front bench.

9:37 Kiwi world motocross champ shares her secrets to success 

The successful defence of her FIM Women's Motocross world title took Dunedin motocross rider Courtney Duncan to the brink physically and mentally. With restrictions imposed by Covid-19 turning the season on its head, the 24-year-old pulled off the ride of her life in the penultimate race to snatch the crown from her No 1 rival, Dutch rider Nancy van de Ven, by the skin of her teeth. 

New Zealand motocross rider Courtney Duncan has claimed a second successive world title.

New Zealand motocross rider Courtney Duncan has claimed a second successive world title. Photo: Supplied

10:04 Jodi Picoult: 'I don't know how we get America back together'

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult admits she was initially terrified about publishing her new novel, The Book of Two Ways, during a pandemic. But this book -- her 27th novel -- has rejigged itself in her mind to become what she believes is the perfect pandemic read. She joins the show to discuss the new book and the troubles facing America. 

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Photo: Supplied / Rainer Hosch

10:35 The new world of fake music

Artificial intelligence is now being used to create 'deepfake' songs by deceased artists such as Elvis, Frank Sinatra and 2Pac using data scraped from the internet. Music reviewer Graham Reid joins the show to discuss the emerging world of fake singers, singing songs the real singers never did.

Frank Sinatra - Strangers in the Night, cover image

Frank Sinatra - Strangers in the Night, cover image Photo: Reprise Records

10:50 From Family Lockdown Boogie to panto Prince Charming 

Most people know Wellingtonian Jack Buchanan from the viral videos he has produced this year, especially Family Lockdown Boogie, which has now been viewed over 3.5 million times. But he's also an accomplished stage actor who last night made his pantomime debut as Prince Charming in Cinderella at Circa Theatre in Wellington. 

Wellington actor Jack Buchanan (left) is starring as Prince Charming in the Cinderella pantomime.

Wellington actor Jack Buchanan (left) is starring as Prince Charming in the Cinderella pantomime. Photo: Stephen A'Court

11:05 Trump leaving Biden a 'deadly' economic poison pill 

President-elect Joe Biden is going to have his work cut out for him when Donald Trump eventually leaves the White House, with the incoming president facing one heck of an economic challenge. The Guardian's economics editor Larry Elliott is expecting Biden to clamp down hard on Covid and try and sugar that poison pill with a big fiscal package. 

(File photo) Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event in Florida on 13 October.

Photo: AFP

11:21 Professor Michael Baker: 'We need rules around the use of masks' 

Having Covid-19 managed isolation and quarantine facilities in hotels in our largest cities is an ongoing concern, according to Public Health Expert Michael Baker, who says it opens the door for people who want to escape. He also believes having clear rules around the use of masks will help dampen down the threat of community transmission and avoid another lockdown. Professor Baker joins the show for a Covid-19 update.

Professor Michael Baker

Professor Michael Baker Photo: Supplied

11:27 Sir Paul Nurse: What Is Life? 

Nobel prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse's latest book, What Is Life?, explores the question of what we as humans share with all other living things on this planet. By identifying the five great ideas of biology that characterise living things, and turning them into principles that define life, he takes up the challenge of describing what it means to be alive in a way that every reader can understand. 

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Photo: Supplied