30 Nov 2018

Best of 2018: the top ten feature stories

2:51 pm on 12 December 2018

Our ten most popular features this year are a mixed bunch – child literacy, gut health, India's call centres and an LSD advocate.

The Indian women paying for a New Zealand education with their freedom

Indian families are marrying their drug-addicted sons to young women and paying for the women's study here as a pathway to residency for their sons. These women often become trapped in violent relationships and cut off from family at home, according to organisations working with ethnic communities in New Zealand. Lynda Chanwai-Earle investigates.

An anonymous survivor speaks out.

An anonymous survivor speaks out. Photo: RNZ Lynda Chanwai-Earle

When should a child learn to write?

There's no rush to learn to write, and it shouldn't be formally taught until the age of seven, educator Nathan Mikaere-Wallis tells Kathryn Ryan.

Asian girl writing on wall

Photo: 123RF

Is Anne Dredge 'the first New Zealander to come back from end-stage Alzheimer's'?

Peter Dredge's wife Anne was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at the age of 60. Over the last year, she has been treated with a programme developed by American neurologist Dale Bredesen and there have been huge improvements to her condition, Peter tells Jesse Mulligan.

Peter and Anne Dredge in 1985

Peter and Anne Dredge in 1985 Photo: Peter Dredge / Facebook

The desperation of India's scammers

Those call centre workers trying to convince you that your computer has a problem may well have been conned themselves, Delhi journalist Snigdha Poonam tells Simon Morton.

Call centre workers in Kashmir

Call centre workers in Kashmir Photo: ROUF BHAT / AFP

Marine heatwave: 'It's never been that hot before'

Between November 2017 and January 2018, the Tasman Sea has been more than 2°C warmer than average due to an unprecedented marine heatwave. Simon Morton speaks to climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger.

File photo

Photo: rafaelbenari/123RF

Dr Michael Mosley on gut health

An "internal forest garden" of microbes deep in our bowel has an undeniable effect on our lifetime health – and its foundations are laid at the very moment of our birth, according to English author and TV presenter Michael Mosley. He takes Jesse Mulligan inside the gut.

Michael Mosley

Photo: (Joe Sarah)

David Nutt: 'It's irrational to deny people access to LSD'

Outspoken UK drug expert David Nutt argues for regulated access to any drug less harmful than alcohol, including cannabis and Ecstasy. Wallace Chapman finds out more.

Professor David Nutt: 'Any drug which is less harmful than alcohol ... should be available as an alternative to alcohol.'

Photo: YouTube screenshot

Inflammation and the link to depression

University of Cambridge Professor of Psychiatry Edward Bullmore has found new evidence that points to inflammation in the body as one cause of depression – with radical implications for how we might treat the disease. He talks to Jesse Mulligan.

No caption

Photo: Pixabay

'Your bank account was your history of generosity'

We now live in a world of strangers, which leads to us feeling a void inside, which then drives all kinds of overconsumption, says author and activist Charles Eisenstein. He talks to Wallace Chapman about his idea for a new economic system which encourages a sense of community.

Charles Eisenstein

Photo: Vika Grigoryan

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