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Bedlam at Botany Bay

 

JAMES DUNK on illness, chaos and delusion in Australia's early colonies

What was life really like in the early years of the colony of Botany Bay?

Upon arrival, convicts and free settlers faced the perils of an unknown continent, thousands of miles from home and with a very uncertain future. This new Australian history shines a light on the illness, the chaos, the delusion and the terror experienced by everyone who arrived on these shores.

Gregory Dobbs talks to JAMES DUNK about his new book Bedlam at Botany Bay which traces the history of madness in the early colony of Sydney and how the early settlers grappled with the challenges of a new country, taken from its Indigenous inhabitants, and ruled by the weight of imperial justice.


 

Australia's First Naturalists

 

PENNY OLSEN and LYNETTE RUSSELL on how Aboriginal peoples brought Australian animals to the attention of the world

 The so-called 'discovery' of Australia's world famous fauna is overwhelmingly associated with European men like John Gould and Joseph Banks. But Indigenous Australians had been living alongside these animals for tens of thousands of years, and it was their sophisticated zoological knowledge that allowed European naturalists to bring the attention of the world to Australia's bizarre and brilliant wildlife.

Penny Olsen and Lynette Russell join Angus Dalton to chat about their new book, Australia's First Naturalists.

Digital Cash by Finn Brunton

 

 

FINN BRUNTON on what you need to know about cryptocurrency

If you’ve ever wondered just what Bitcoin is and why you should care about it then Finn Brunton’s new book, Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, And Technologists Who Built Cryptocurrency, is essential reading for the modern citizen.

 Gregory Dobbs talks to Finn about the genius and the madness behind the development of cryptocurrency.

 


Capturing Nature

How photography at the Australian Museum aided Darwin's theories 

Archivist and curator Vanessa Finney unearths Australia's earliest natural history photographs in Capturing Nature, her new book that reveals how scientific photography began at the Australian museum.

From tiny inch-long fish to whale skeletons as long as buses, the museum's camera captured thousands of extraordinary images that have never been seen by the public.

Angus Dalton heads to the museum to meet Vanessa and find out how photography revolutionised scientific understanding of nature and influenced the ideas of Charles Darwin.


New Jerusalem by Paul Ham 

PAUL HAM on the grisly death of Christendom’s most defiant sect

In his new book, New Jerusalem, historian Paul Ham casts his research net back some 500 years, to examine, in graphic detail, events in early 16th century Europe during the time of the Reformation.

Gregory Dobbs talks to Paul ham about the rise of the Melchiorite sect and the bloody siege of the Westphalian town of Munster. He explores the blasphemy, depravity, and grisly death of Christendom’s most defiant sect, and finds many parallels in today’s modern world.


Bloke-a-saurus 

GUS & STEVE WORLAND on tackling men's mental health with dad jokes

Whether you're in need of a solid knock-knock joke, a cringeworthy pun, a hilarious yarn or a weird factoid you can whip out at a family barbecue, the Worland brothers are here to help. 

Triple M radio host Gus Worland and his brother, writer Steve Worland, have created The Bloke-a-saurus: Jokes for blokes, fair dinkum funnies and true blue Aussie wisdom. Ranging from groan-inducing corkers, mortifying dad jokes and side-splitting yarns (like the time Gus blew over 15 grand of Hugh Jackman's credit card), The Bloke-a-saurus is here to serve as on-the-dunny entertainment or to do the rounds of the family dinner table.

Royalties from the book with be going to the Gotcha 4 Life foundation, which trains male crisis counsellors. In this podcast, Gus and Steve chat with Angus Dalton about why suicide is the biggest killer for men under 45, and how they hope The Bloke-a-saurus can help bring families together and challenge toxic masculinity.


Small Wrongs

 

 

KATE ROSSMANITH on investigating remorse, bias in the legal system and 'animating the soup'

In Australia, judges are legally obliged to take a person’s apparent remorse into account when formulating their sentence, and yet how remorse is measured remains unclear. Kate Rossmanith’s new hybrid memoir, Small Wrongs: How We Really Say Sorry in Life, Love and Law, investigates legal, cultural, religious understandings of remorse and how they play out both in courtrooms and our personal lives.

In this podcast, Kate tells Emma Harvey - a former writing student of hers - about comportment and composure in the courtroom, interviewing Supreme Court judges, and why we expect apologies, and ask for redemption, in our everyday lives.


 

One Last Spin Australia has pokies the way America has guns: DREW ROOKE's investigation into the gambling industry

 Besides gambling destinations like Macau or Monaco, Australia has the highest amount of poker machines per capita in the world. New South Wales was the second jurisdiction - just behind Nevada in the US - to legalise pokies, and a Sydney manufacturer continues to be at the forefront of pokie machine design and production.

Drew Rooke's One Last Spin: The power and peril of the pokies is a shocking investigation into the gambling's industry's power over politicians. It lays out how governments line their pockets with the billions fed to poker machines while gambling addicts' lives fall apart, and how the industry uses NRA-style techniques to block legislation that would help addicts, yet stem their profits.

In this podcast, Drew talks about the techniques poker machines use to beguile gamblers, the science of pokie addiction, and how his faith in the government to protect Australia's most vulnerable has been lost.