Best of the web: May 21, 2016

by Fiona Rae / 20 May, 2016
Actress Allison Janney appears as White House press secretary; and what cats get up to at night time.
Ben Whishaw in London Spy.
Ben Whishaw in London Spy.


THE COMEBACK: The wonderful Allison Janney revisited her previous life as White House press secretary CJ Cregg in The West Wing when she turned up unannounced at a White House press briefing recently. She joked about real White House press secretary Josh Earnest being out with a root canal, a reference to when CJ needed emergency dental work, and also that she would be performing The Jackal in her office at 5pm, which CJ had been known to do. She had a serious purpose being there, of course. For old times’ sake, here’s The Jackal.

CATS! Now that we have your attention, at last a scientific explanation for their weird ­behaviour. In this animated TED-Ed video, Ohio State University professor Tony Buffington explains that cats, like all of us, are just going with their evolutionary programming. We haven’t featured cats for a while, so here’s a video of what cats get up to at night. It’s just one long party, apparently.



SVOD HIGHLIGHT: What’s good in subscription video on demand. London Spy on Netflix is an achingly sad love story, a scary spy thriller and a comment on state overreach. Brilliant Ben Whishaw is the naive Londoner whose only superpower is his intuition.

Follow the Listener on Twitter or Facebook.

Latest

Give Kate A Voice: Bringing Kate Sheppard's speeches to life
96352 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z History

Give Kate A Voice: Bringing Kate Sheppard's speech…

by Noted

Famous Kiwi women read the powerful words of Kate Sheppard, who fought for the right for women to vote.

Read more
Fémmina: The story of NZ's unsung suffrage provocateur Mary Ann Müller
96479 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z History

Fémmina: The story of NZ's unsung suffrage provoca…

by Cathie Bell

Mary Ann Müller was fighting for women’s rights before Kate Sheppard even arrived here, but her pioneering contribution to the cause is little known.

Read more
Ian McKellen charms his way through a documentary about his life
96472 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z Movies

Ian McKellen charms his way through a documentary …

by James Robins

Joe Stephenson’s tender documentary Playing the Part looks at McKellen's life as an actor, activist and perpetual wizard.

Read more
The case for closing prisons
96403 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Social issues

The case for closing prisons

by Paul Little

If we want a prison system that does a better job than the current one, alternatives aren’t hard to find.

Read more
Jennifer Curtin: The feminist political scientist mixing rugby with politics
96422 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Profiles

Jennifer Curtin: The feminist political scientist …

by Clare de Lore

Australian-New Zealander Jennifer Curtin says the lopsided nature of the Bledisloe Cup pales in comparison to the slump in transtasman relations.

Read more
Don McGlashan is out of the attic and taking flight
96439 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Music

Don McGlashan is out of the attic and taking fligh…

by James Belfield

Don McGlashan is taking some old unloved songs on his New Zealand tour.

Read more
Are We There Yet? is the exhibition marking 125 years of women's suffrage in NZ
95961 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Arts

Are We There Yet? is the exhibition marking 125 ye…

by Linda Herrick

The exhibition at Auckland Museum shows there is still ground to make up.

Read more
Mr Wiki: Mike Dickison is NZ's first Wikipedian at large
96030 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Tech

Mr Wiki: Mike Dickison is NZ's first Wikipedian at…

by Elisabeth Easther

The entomologist will work on outreach programmes and recruiting editors to improve the sparse coverage of New Zealand topics.

Read more