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“Stash some canned food under your bed. Fashion your garden implements into makeshift weapons. Sprinkle the blood of a lamb or goat over your home’s threshold. For behold; the seven seals have been broken. A blood moon rises in the black night sky. Mike Hosking and Mark Richardson have both made great points on the same day.”
From the Big Save lady, to ASB’s Goldstein, to a very young Taika Waititi selling sweets – these are the TV ads that made James Mustapic the man he is today.
Madeleine Chapman: A special episode of The Block NZ: Kiwibuild edition
The first of a promised 100,000 Kiwibuild homes was unveiled today. Madeleine Chapman donned her safety glasses and gave the Auckland property a definitive review.
Red Nicholson: Why MPs playing wheelchair dress-ups is such a terrible idea
Yesterday, Labour ministers Carmel Sepuloni and Iain Lees-Galloway were invited by the Spinal Trust to spend the day in wheelchairs, in order to highlight the challenges a wheelchair user might face getting around parliament. A well-intentioned PR stunt that no politician, particularly given the fortnight Labour has had, could easily turn down. After all, how could anyone resist the temptation to make a gag about “sitting by his statements”, eh minister? That said, as a veteran wheelchair user myself, I reckon there is only one context in which it is OK to “have a go” in a wheelchair, and it is this:
- You are a curious nine-year-old.
Josh Drummond: No Man’s Sky is finally, finally great
“We’ve stood at the foot of trees hundreds of feet tall, flown the void of space, built bases, and experienced some of the wildest and most hilarious bugs ever to grace a video game (at one stage, each of us was attacking an enemy freighter that appeared in a different location for each player, making it look like teammates were exacting a vicious vendetta on an innocent asteroid field.) We’ve gone on Stargate tours of the known universe, seen wonders built by algorithms or by other players. I even finished the storyline. The gaming world’s biggest sandbox is now filled with toys, instead of just sand and the occasional cat turd.”
Charlie O’Mannin: I read all 54 Animorphs books in five days and it almost killed me
“At the end of Day Four I took a long cold shower. I thought about how the painful cold was nothing compared to the Animorphs’ pain. About how nothing in my experience, nothing I could conceive, compares to the horrors of war. About the cage of trauma and the smothering blanket of guilt. Today was not a good day.
Book 33 is officially the most fucked book so far. The whole book is literally just Tobias in a tiny cage getting graphically tortured. He’s hooked up to a machine that controls the parts of the brain that induce pain and pleasure and almost goes insane/dies after receiving heightened, alternating doses of painful and pleasant sensations and memories.
The thing is, Tobias doesn’t get over his torture.”
“‘There’s Giovanni Tiso,’ said an author. ‘He blocked me on Twitter,’ said an audience member. ‘Me too,’ said the author. ‘But then he unblocked me,’ said the audience member. ‘Yeah,’ said the author, ‘me too.’
I mistook publisher Kevin Chapman for crime writer Paul Cleave, who was elsewhere in the bar, telling anyone who came within earshot that he has thrown a frisbee in 32 countries and is desperate to throw one in India, where he’s appearing at a literary festival later this month. Paula Morris told funny stories about how she’s often mistaken for Charlotte Grimshaw; an audience member came over and said how much she enjoyed the time Paula spoke at a Canterbury University class as a guest of lecturer Patrick Evans, but it turned out she had mistaken Paula for Rachael King.”
“The year was 2003: t.A.Tu were making Russian pop cool, ‘Where is the Love?’ was second in the NZ Top 40 only to Scribe’s ‘Not Many’, and in West Auckland a bunch of bogans were charting at 14 with a reggae-infused departure from their metal origins in ‘Phlex – probably the most polarising song in the New Zealand canon.
Now, fifteen years and almost as many public fallouts later, Blindspott are back. Get out your DCs and chuck on some speed dealers – it’s bourbon season.”
Geraldine Ramirez: My baby might not survive
“The amnio was scary. I couldn’t look at the needle but Michael held my hand, kissed my head and watched for me. I closed my eyes and focussed on counting slowly till it was over. The doctor said she hadn’t seen any abnormalities, a very positive sign, planting seeds of hope that the blood test might have been wrong.
Four days later I was waiting for another phone call, unsure how I felt. When the midwife rang and said that the amnio test came back positive, it was like I was being told for the first time again. I felt like our baby had received a death sentence.
By this time we’d already decided how we wanted to move forward, but the decision to get there had been painstakingly hard.”
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.