#1440 The Future is Now

All the Best producer Joel Carnegie got strapped into a bionic ear, which, to be honest, we thought was still part of the future instead of part of the present.
That got us thinking – what else seems to be firmly in the future, with flying cars and space highways? What stuff exists that makes the present feel like history?
In this episode of All the Best, the future is now.
We watch robots fight it out on a battlefield, and take sides. We delve into the world of bionics, and we go out on a canoe with people who are already being affected by climate change.
Benevolent Robots 
Pip visited Macquarie University with a friend to watch a robot competition. At first she thought it was going to be like that old tv show where robots would fight in a ring. But turns out these robots weren’t made for miniature battles with stabbing arms and flame throwers. No no, they were much more important – robots to plant and sow seeds for farms.
Produced by Pip Rasmussen
Bionic Ear
There’s a place in Melbourne called The Bionics Institute. They’ve researched the brain and found that hearing loss is plays a huge role in cognitive decline, meaning, memory and ability to pay attention and multitask. so they decided to fix it. Joel Carnegie got hooked up to some machines in the name of radio and science to bring us this story of the bionic ear.
Produced by Joel Carnegie

Rising tides
While we debate whether climate change is happening, whether it’s our fault, and what we should do about it, for some people climate change isn’t a theory, or even part of a theoretical future. It’s real and now and part of their lives. Josie Wright spent a weekend in Newcastle with the Pacific Warriors, for whom a climate change affected future is all too..present.
Produced by Josie Wright and Selena Shannon

Presenters:  Pip Rasmussen & Michael Brydon

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Image Credit: 350.org

#1434 Up With The Birds

This is what we want you to do. We want you to google ‘Bird jizz’. Make sure you include the word ‘bird’.

Turns out bird watchers, twitchers, breeders, and birders can be in such a separate world to the rest of us that they use the word jizz to describe ‘the overall impression of a bird garnered from such features as shape, posture and flying style’. They use it all the time, without giggling.

This week on All the Best, we learn a whole lot more about people who love birds. We love them, a bit. We love our overall impression of them. We love their style.

Canaries with bowl cuts

Produced by Michaela Morgan

The Vulnerability of the Superb Fairywren

Dr Michelle Hall says Superb Fairywrens are sometimes considered to be “Australia’s favourite birds”. As part of a research team at Melbourne University, Michelle is investigating the personalities of a population of fairy wrens living at Serendip Sanctuary, near Geelong in Victoria. Not only cute, with bright plumage and sweet-sounding songs, fairy wrens are fiercely loyal. Superb Fairywrens, “marry” partners, with low divorce rates, and form strong family bonds. Michelle spoke to a group of birdwatchers at Birdlife Melbourne about personality and behavioural differences between individual fairywrens. Bec Fary listened in, and found out fairy wren families can be vulnerable

Dr Michelle Hall is a research fellow at Melbourne University’s zooology school, as part of Professor Raoul Mulder’s team – he is an associate professor of animal behaviour and evolution.

Produced by Bec Fary

Twitchers saving the planet 

If you listen closely, there might be a bird twittering outside your window right now. Sometimes we’ll be struck by the closeness of these winged creatures, when seagulls snatch at our fish and chips, or a pigeon finds its way into the supermarket. But when these momentary curiosity builds, birdwatching can become an obsession. Bec Fary went to the monthly meeting of Birdlife Melbourne, where she met with author Tim Dalby. Tim is the author of Where to See Birds in Victoria (Allen and Unwin) and recently published Finding Australian Birds (CSIRO).

You can find Birdlife Australia on Facebook, or at their website.

Produced by Bec Fary

What sort are you?

Are you an ISTJ, ENFP, or an ENTJ? Or perhaps even a D-I-S or C ?

Produced by Joel Carnegie

Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Image Credit: slimmer_jimmer

#1422 By Train

Find your seat, settle in, and listen to the creak of those sleeper beams, the rattling of carriages. This week, we’re taking a train ride, on tracks that crisscross the globe. We go on an adventure along the  Trans Siberian railway, chat to passengers as they stare out the window at the Nullarbor, and wait patiently on a city platform.

St Petersburg to Beijing – The Trans Siberian

Taking the train to Siberia is not something you do every day. I recently took the train from St Petersburg via Siberia and Mongolia to Beijing. One of the longest train journeys in the world – it’s epic length is matched by the epic nature of the adventure. In one instance, the train journey lasts for 5 consecutive days (from Moscow to Irkursk, Siberia) without stopping.

Produced by Joel Carnegie

Music Credits: ‘Button Up Your Overcoat’ by Hetty Kate & Gordon Webster, ‘Eight Russian Folk Songs, Op. 58 Round Dance’ by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, ‘Emperor’s Box’ by Katie Noonan, ‘Canadia (Take Me)’ by The Little Stevies, ‘Merry Go Round’ by Kacey Musgraves and ‘Night Train’ by Amos Lee.



A non-fiction piece, based on scenes that happened a month ago.

Produced by Selina Springett


Perth to Sydney – The Indian Pacific

James Purtill takes the train all the way across Australia in Red Class – the cheap seats. Four days, three nights, 2.5 thousand miles. Across desert – the Nullarbor desert.  The longest dead-straight stretch of railway in the world.

Produced by James Purtill


Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon 

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Image Credit: Joel Carnegie

#1310 Just Keep Swimming

24 Hours. 1 pool. 620 bodies. 2485.8kms.  Dive in and join All the Best in a marathon against the clock, all to raise money and awareness of Multiple Sclerosis. Over the course of one day, a swimmer tells her story: from life’s darkest moments to a kind of success she’d never even dreamed of.

Carol Cooke

Find out more about Megaswim and its founder Carol Cooke (and follow her on Twitter!). Multiple Sclerosis Australia is a good resource for further information about the disease.

Produced by Joel Carnegie. (He’s also on Twitter).
Music credits: ‘Ride this Feeling’ by Kate Miller Heidke; ‘The Last Day On Earth’ by Kate Miller Heidke; ‘Eternal See You Soon’ by Monoganon; ‘Elande No.1’ by Dan Tepfer & Lee Konitz; ‘Your Hand in Mine’ by Explosions in the Sky.

Production Manager: Carly Anne Kenneally.
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez.
Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo.

Banner photo credit: Katherine Hala
Photo of Carol Cooke by Ben Vella/MS Australia.