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Top 10 stories of the month - February 2015

Friday 27th February 2015

In case you missed something, here are our most-read stories for the month.

 

1 - ACADEMY AWARDS LIVE BLOG

Senior producer Megan Whelan and actor/director (and Martin Freeman’s body-double in the Hobbit) Hayden Weal tittle-tattled up a storm covering this year’s Oscars Awards from the glamorous surrounds of The Wireless newsroom. 

Highlights for the two included the speeches from Common, John Legend and Patricia Arquette’s speech (before she ruined it backstage).

While Birdman winning Best Picture was a definite lowlight for Hayden: “Alright everyone, time to go home. A film about an actor performing and complaining won.”

And of course there was Neal Patrick Harris. Yikes.

2 - CIARA ‘NEVER BOOKED TO PLAY AUCKLAND

If there was an award for worst-organised tour for an R’n’B artist, Ciara’s disastrous trip Downunder would be a contender. In Christchurch, her manager allegedly demanded an extra $20,000 from concert organisers before the ‘1,2 Step’ singer went on stage and performed for less than 10 minutes. Then in Porirua she played a 23 minute set. At both shows, fans who’d paid up to an extra $45 for a meet and greet with the star were left hanging.

The coup de grace was her Auckland concert being cancelled – if she was even booked to play in the first place. Our reporter Mava Moayyed got the scoop on that one.

Then there’s the cancelled shows in Port Moresby and Cairns due Cyclone Marcia. A show in Adelaide was also canned due to the dispute raging between her management, booking agents and local promoters.

Nevertheless, Ciara’s fans are standing by her.

3 - THE GREAT FLAT HUNT: FINDING A PLACE TO CALL HOME

February is a hard month to be flat hunting. In Auckland and Wellington, hundreds if not thousands of people are out doing the same. There’s fierce competition with would-be renters trying to outbid each other for a place to live. And the reality there isn’t much out there that’s both comfortable and affordable. The only solution seems to be to get in quick.

4 - WASTELAND: OUT WITH A DUMPSTER DIVER

Digging through a skip for food might not be to everyone’s taste – in fact health officials warn against it – but that doesn’t stop Nobbs. Filmmaker Steph Miller and her crew joined the dumpster diver while he recovered food that supermarkets didn’t consider saleable. This is a documentary that might change your mind about food waste.

5 - MORE THAN JUST FUN AND GAMES

Gaming is shaping up to be the next big thing in professional sports. Competitive gamers in New Zealand would love a shot at going pro but the industry doesn’t quite have the scale here yet. One day, maybe.

Mack Smith, 18, has spent 12 months honing his StarCraft II skills in the US but after failing to qualify for the World Championship Series last month, he toyed with the idea of trying something else.

“I feel like I’ve been kind of isolated from the real world just playing games for so long so it’s hard to have an idea of what else would potentially interest me,” he says.

6 - THAT’S JUST CREEPY: WHEN PRIVACY SETTINGS AREN’T ENOUGH

Here’s a collection of experiences that show just how difficult it is to block out unwanted attention online. And we all know that once something is online it can never go away.

That said, politicians in New Zealand are acting to provide at least a degree of protection. Legislation that is currently before parliament, the Harmful Digital Communications Bill [pdf], might give people some remedy in cases like this, because people will have some power to require platforms to delete material that is highly offensive or intrusive.

7 - ABOUT LAST NIGHT: THE DIFFICULT DYNAMICS OF THE MORNING AFTER

Hayden Weal (yes, the same one who live blogged the Oscars for us) came up with the concept of doing a web series about one night stands. He co-wrote, directed and acted in the first episode – but he’s only ever had a single one night stand himself.

“I’m too … clingy. I’d always go out for breakfast then catch up with them the next weekend. Then it turns into these long, drawn out, four months’ worth of one night stands.”

8 - MAKING UP A NEW WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

Bonnie Howland has set her sights high with her new business, Indigo and Iris. She’s launching a brand of mascara and plans to use the profits to help end curable blindness. Right now she’s in talks with the Fred Hollows Foundation to turn her dream into reality.

9 - THE PENCILSWORD: BE HERE NOW

Stop looking at your screen. Actually, read this, then stop. 

10 - REVIEW: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

"No” in Hollywood isn’t a complete sentence. It's an invitation to convince, coerce, and send roomfuls of flowers until the love interest acquiesces. So how did Fifty Shades of Grey fare with our reviewer?



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