Navigation for Sunday Morning

7:11 Why are more shipping containers falling overboard? 

Ikea furniture, vacuum cleaners, $150,000 of frozen shrimp, and an awful lot of children's clothes. Those are just some of the items now sitting at the bottom of the ocean, or floating at seas and a danger to traffic. The World Shipping Council reports at least 2,980 containers have fallen off cargo ships in the Pacific since November. Maritime journalist Dave MacIntyre discusses how this happens and what can be done about it.

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Photo: Creative Commons

7:18 Is any amount of coffee safe for baby during pregnancy? 

Too much coffee during pregnancy could lead to kids having behavioural issues later in life. That's the key takeaway from a new study that examined 9,000 brain scans from 9- and 10-year-olds and found that caffeine consumed during pregnancy can change important brain pathways in baby. Study author John Foxe is the director of the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Rochester.  

instant coffee, coffee, freeze-dried coffee,

Photo: 123rf

7.32 The House

MPs keep it local in a special debate about their home constituencies which includes topics about the travel time to Wellington airport, funding for churches in Levin, and ambulance arrival times in rural areas. 

Wellington, New Zealand - January 04, 2019: Aeroplane at the Wellington terminal gate ready for takeoff during sunset on Wellington, New Zealand.

Photo: 123RF

7:45 How H&M was deleted from the Chinese digital landscape 

An extraordinary move against the Swedish clothing company H&M took place in China this week because of its refusal to use cotton from Xinjiang due to suspicions of forced labour. H&M's 500+ outlets in China were subsequently deleted from the local digital landscape. Joining us is our China correspondent Nathan van der Klippe from Canada's Globe & Mail.

An H & M store

An H & M store Photo: 123RF

8:10 Calling Home: Rachel Kirby in Santa Ana, Costa Rica 

Wellington native Rachel Kirby has lived in Santa Ana, Costa Rica for the past six years, having arrived in the small Central American country after stints in London, Vancouver, Wellington, Surbaya and Hiroshima. She teaches Visual Arts and Knowledge at the local international school and is calling home from the first Spanish settlement in Costa Rica's Central Valley. 

New Zealander Rachel Kirby and Costa Rican partner Oscar live in Santa Ana, 20 minutes out of the capital, San Jose.

New Zealander Rachel Kirby and Costa Rican partner Oscar live in Santa Ana, 20 minutes out of the capital, San Jose. Photo: Supplied

8:41 The Weekend Panel with Bernard Hickey and Ali Jones 

On the Weekend Panel this morning, looking back on the last seven days, we have Ali Jones, with Red PR in Christchurch, and economic commentator Bernard Hickey. They'll be looking at the Government vaccine rollout, the housing crisis, the happiest countries the world, and Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon's claim -- which he later took back - that the police are racist. 

New Zealand's new Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon

New Zealand's new Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon Photo: supplied

9:06 Mediawatch

This week Colin Peacock asks if there will be even more public money put into journalism than recent reports would have you believe - and he looks at coverage of the government's big housing announcement this week. But first  - the clamour to cancel a popular cop show on TV.

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Photo: Screenshot/TVNZ

9:37 How 'microbreaks' can boost your work day 

Feeling sluggish in the office environment? Take a break. In fact, take a 'microbreak' and you'll be much better for it. New research shows that taking microbreaks can help employees bounce back from their morning fatigue and engage with their work better over the course of the day. Study co-author Dr Sooyeol Kim explains. 

Office space generic

Photo: Unsplash / Kate Sade

9:46 Do you find ending conversations hard? You're not alone

How often do you find yourself struggling to get out of conversations with people? A new study looking at 932 conversations between pairs of people has found that -- perhaps unsurprisingly -- most conversations don't end when the participants want them to. Study lead Adam Mastroianni from the Harvard Psychology Department explains the uncoordinated nature of conversation. 

Robert Muldoon talking with Mi-Sex

Robert Muldoon talking with Mi-Sex Photo: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

10:10 The incredible impact our minds can have on our physical health 

We all want to be happier, more successful and less stressed, but how do we get there? In her new book, This Book Could Fix Your Life: The Science of Self Help, science journalist and author Helen Thomson debunks the fads and explores the real science of self-help to discover how we can ultimately make our own lives better. She joins the show to discuss the new book and how putting a pencil between your teeth can make you feel instantly happier. 

Science journalist and author Helen Thomson.

Science journalist and author Helen Thomson. Photo: Supplied

10:40 My Current Song: Love Square, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy  

My Current Song this morning comes from the saxophonist Nick Atkinson, whose name will be familiar to RNZ listeners from his time on Music 101 and lovers of funk will also be very familiar with his collaborations with Finn Scholes. Now they have a new collaboration with drummer Karen Hu - called Love Square 

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11:05 New book sheds light on Earth's other humans 

If you're going to read one book on human origins, Oxford professor and former Dunedinite Tom Higham's new book, The World Before Us: How Science is Revealing a New Story of Our Human Origins, should be that book. Professor Higham joins the show to discuss his new book and our lost human cousins who are yet to be discovered archaeologically. 

Oxford professor Tom Higham

Oxford professor Tom Higham Photo: Supplied

11:45 'Pope Francis is still the biggest ally of the gay people' 

In his new documentary, 'Francesco', openly-gay, non-Catholic filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky had unprecedented access to Pope Francis and was allowed to tackle many pressing issues, from race and gender inequality, the climate crisis, xenophobia, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as sexual abuse (including in the Catholic church). He joins the show to discuss documentary (which screens tomorrow night on Choice at 8:30pm) and why he believes Pope Francis is the biggest ally of the gay community.

Pope Francis is the subject of a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky.

Pope Francis is the subject of a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky. Photo: Supplied