Christmas cakes

Xmas cake Te Papa
Christmas cake decoration, circa 1950, Hamburg, by Hugo Cordts. Gift of Annette Baier, 1996. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH004855/82).

They're full of spice with loads of white ice – Helen Leach has studied the history and evolution of the Christmas cake in New Zealand.

Birds: oystercatcher

We're on the hunt for the oystercatcher with bird expert Hugh Robertson. It's a cheeky shorebird that pretends to be injured just to lead you away from its nest!

2011 tech highlights and 2012 predictions

Some of the technology highlights of last year and a gaze forward into 2012 with our regular tech head Peter Griffin.

UK news: dummies vs models

We're off to the UK where fashion models wearing a well-known brand of clothing have been found to be dummies! And plans to conquer London's pollution problems using a sticky road surface. Chris Parkin reports.

Penny-farthing rider David Wilson

David Wilson's trying to become the first person to cycle from Stewart Island to Cape Reinga....on a penny farthing and dressed from head to toe in Victorian costume!


Peter Freer's the inventor of the BodyWave, a device about the size of an MP3 player that sits on your skin and can measure your brain activity. He reckons it can help people reach peak performance in all sorts of ways and in all sorts of places...even in space!