Justin McCurry on the important role that mascots play in Japanese life. Life-size characters in dress-up suits are powerful ways to educate Japanese consumers, from encouraging you to pay your taxes to telling you how to vote.
Professor David Edwards is the director of the Centre For The Developing Brian at King's College, London. He's leading an ambitious project to map the development of the human brain in the months just before and after birth.
Tech news with Peter Griffin. This week, Google launches its own music streaming service. Also one woman's fight to get intimate photos of her taken offline.
A listener's questions about toasters and toasting. Why is it so darn hard to get some breads to toast properly, and how long should your toaster last? We're testing toasters with Bill Whitley of consumer.org.nz.
We're cooking basmati rice four different ways- rapid boil, absorption, in a rice cooker and the microwave- to find out which tastes best. With Julie Clark of Floridita's.
Tech news with Charles Arthur of The Guardian. This week, 3D-printing handguns and measuring news in tweets per minute!
About half of the buildings in the Norwegian capital Oslo, and most of its schools, are heated by burning rubbish. John Tagliabue of The New York Times has been in Oslo looking at its waste-to-energy programme.
Dr Graeme MacRae of Massey University has just got back from Nepal and India where he's been studying the origins and culture of basmati rice.
Helen Russell has visited Billund in Denmark, the home of Lego, where the giant toy company has started building schools.
We get our toes wet in Marlborough as we harvest surf clams with Ant Piper of Cloudy Bay Clams.
Is the smoked fish you buy in the supermarket really smoked or just painted with smoke flavouring? With food technologist Torben Sorensen.
Tech correspondent Peter Griffin with news of the arrival of the international online review service Yelp in New Zealand. Also a slightly sinister search engine called Shodan lets you search for unprotected webcams and other net-enabled gadgets.
Investigative journalist Michael Moss has just written 'Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us'.
Dr Chris Smith with the latest on the H7N9 bird flu outbreak in China. Plus a timely paper in 'Nature' on a drug that blocks flu infections, and how honey helps bees stay healthy and cope with pesticides.
Chris Parkin in the UK, where cosmetic surgery cases have tripled over the past 5 years and now there's calls for greater regulation. Also the London primary school using mud huts in the playground to combat aircraft noise from Heathrow Airport.