A simple solution for daylight savings
Thirty minutes is all it would take. Plus, the best of Pet Week, why Taika's new show is ratings its beard off, and we put a nice big bow around the week's best headlines...
Kia ora and welcome to The Spinoff Weekend. Lately, I’ve needed some fun in my life. Pet Week has given me that, with seven days dedicated to celebrating the joy that cats, dogs, fish, birds and even rats bring to our lives. So this week’s newsletter is being delivered in that spirit. We’ve covered just the fun stuff, like why Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby’s TV love story ignited the internet, the joy of an unplanned hike, and the passion that exists for Jonah Lomu’s Rugby 25 years on. We’ll wrap up the best of Pet Week, plus, we’re doing daylight saving again tomorrow — but must we? I have a suggestion.
Pour yourself a fresh cup of Coffee Supreme. You made it. Welcome to the weekend.
-Chris Schulz, senior writer
Do you wake up the day after the clocks go back feeling wobbly, woozy and jet-lagged? The problems with daylight saving, in which we tinker with our clocks twice a year to make the most of the summer sunshine, are well documented, with car crashes, heart attacks and strokes all rising over succeeding days. So why do do it? America has just started voting on a bill that, if passed, would outlaw federally mandated daylight saving, and Britain and Canada are looking at doing the same thing. New Zealand can too, but perhaps there’s an easier answer to the problem, one that would leave everyone happy, would stop the drowsiness and make sure we never have to put our clocks back for the winter ever again. Find out what it is here.
Seen a few oodles out there lately? So has Alex Casey. “The adorable teddy bear faces of ‘oodle’ cross-breed dogs have appeared to take over the designer dog world, popping up everywhere from Lisa Carrington’s Instagram to Kim Dotcom’s wedding party,” writes Alex as part of Pet Week. “The growing popularity has also spawned countless Frankenstinian combinations. You probably know labradoodles, cavoodles and schnoodles, but what about bassetdoodles? Bernedoodles? Maltipoos? Shih-poos?” To find out why oodles are so popular, and cost so much, Alex traces their origins all the way back to 1980s Hawaii. You can get oodling here.
Uniforms, rosters, bosses and wages. Some dogs have jobs, and that’s exactly how they like it. We met some of the big boss dogs of Aotearoa.
Why are our planes full of bees? How did pet-sitting became a lucrative side hustle? Why can’t Stanley ride the bus? Read more Pet Week content here.
From our friends at Coffee Supreme: It feels like we’re all spending more time at home at the moment. Naturally, this means keeping your mug topped up and rocking your slippers during those online meetings (yeah, we see you). Having your favourite oat milk, peanut butter or chocolate within reach can be a real day-maker. Not only do Supreme have your coffee needs taken care of, they’ve also made keeping your pantry shelves stocked super easy with their free shipping and next day delivery. Grab your favourite pantry bits here.
Halfway up Roy’s Peak, Don Rowe didn’t understand hiking. “Hikers are frauds,” he thought as he struggled up the 1250m peak. “Nobody honestly enjoys this.” Scanning the panoramic vistas, something clicked, and Don has become hooked on the joys of an unplanned hike. “The potential for the difficulty of a hike to evaporate always exists around the next bend, when the sun reflects perfectly off the lake or the mist rolls over the hills like an ocean in the sky,” he writes. “After the almost 16 kilometre slog up Roy’s Peak, I was hooked. Over the next few weeks I hiked again, and again, and again. And every time it felt better … if I saw that iconic green and yellow DOC sign, I was pulling over.” Read Don’s piece, part of his Electric Highway series, here.
Everyone agrees the first few episodes of Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby’s new comedy show Our Flag Means Death weren’t great. The pirate comedy, based on a true story about a British aristocrat who tried his hand at pirating, played like an offbeat workplace comedy. As Stewart Sowman-Lund reports, everything changes in episode four. “Taika Waititi’s Blackbeard was introduced and what had started off a bit like The Office on a pirate ship soon became a romantic comedy,” Stewart says. “People seem to love how the show subverts what you’d expect a sitcom set in the 18th century to do.” It’s led to a massive boom in popularity for the show, even ranking above hits like Euphoria on HBO’s streaming service. You can find out more, including where to stream it, in Stewart’s story.
Remember Spot, Wilson, Rolly and Toby? Tara Ward took a look back at all the best pets from TV ads of old, and ranks them in a top 10 list.
A quick word from RUBY who just joined us as an organisation member: RUBY is an eminent fashion label based in Aotearoa. We are best known and loved for the mutually nourishing relationship we have with our community and these values are stitched into each of our collections. Our community of Rubettes are inclusive, multi-dimensional and progressive. They have an eagerness to learn, reflect and grow and The Spinoff is our go to for independent journalism here in New Zealand. Please support us by supporting RUBY. Find out more about our members programme here.
Twenty-five years ago, the pinnacle of video game rugby was released. So why, asks Jamie Wall, has no other rugby game managed to recapture the magic of Jonah Lomu Rugby? “Jonah Lomu Rugby stood the test of time [because] it made a complex sport easy to understand and play,” writes Jamie in his anniversary piece on the Playstation 1 classic. “It embodied what the vast majority of rugby fans want to see in the game in real life ... The old adage of rugby being 14 players trying to make space for the 15th to score is the key to success.” The bright side? Video game development is booming across Aotearoa. A worthy successor could happen. “There’s no question that New Zealand has the talent and the skill necessary to build a high quality rugby game,” one expert says. That means more weird commentaries like “demented moles” could be returning to a console near you soon. Read Jamie’s interviews with Jeff Wilson and Brad Weber here.
From our mates at Pickle's Pawtraits: We get it, you're obsessed with your furbabies, and luckily so are the team at Pickle's Pawtraits! They want to help immortalise your best friends with one-of-a-kind artworks made just for you. Pickle's Pawtraits know how much people's pets mean to them. The small team of Harley, Abbey and sausage doggo CEO Pickle love to be a part of creating memories. Whether you're wanting something special to remember a lost pet, or just a daily reminder of how much you love your animal sidekick, they'd love to help. Offering digital portraits, prints, mugs and sticker sheets the Pickle's Pawtraits team will work with you to capture your pet's unique personality.
Everything else we loved reading this week…
It was the slap that echoed around Hollywood, then the world. For the New Yorker (paywalled), Michael Schulman explains what it was like being in the room when Will Smith “slapped the shit” out of Chris Rock over a GI Jane joke.
William White is making a boat load of money lip syncing to ‘80s songs on TikTok. Now, fan feuds are getting ugly, reports Input magazine.
What can we learn from the MAFS Australia nude photo scandal? Alex Casey dives into the story fuelling many gossip column pages across the ditch.
Ever wondered what it’s like living in a high-rise apartment building when the elevators stop working? New York Times (paywalled) covers the ongoing saga of a “high-rise hell” in Manhattan.
If you’re addicted to the Apple TV+ series WeCrashed, The Atlantic’s newsletter Humans Being reports that it was even crazier than it’s being portrayed. Plus, after confirming plans in 2020, WeWork has cancelled plans to move into New Zealand’s co-working marketplace.
Isle of Wight duo Wet Leg are coming to Aotearoa for their first show after blowing up super quick. The New York Times (paywalled) interviewed them ahead of their debut album.
Finally, if you’re wondering what to watch, it’s a very big month for major TV releases! Atlanta, Better Call Saul, Slow Horses and Russian Doll should all be on your list. Sam Brooks has your essential streaming guide here.