SUPERFAD

Exploring the weird world of trends

This is the age of the "superfad". Products, ideas and habits that surge into our collective conscience - and frequently burn out just as fast. In this new podcast from Stuff, two of our millennial reporters dive into the crazes. Laura Walters and Katie Kenny have spent a week in a waist trainer, crammed into a tiny house and vegged out on the couch for hours of binge watching to deliver Superfad. Each episode combines lively insights and revealing personal stories from well-known New Zealanders. We also explore the important social and cultural questions raised by the rapid rise and fall of 21st century fads. Season one includes seven episodes - there's a new one every Friday. Learn more via the Superfad page on Stuff: https://www.stuff.co.nz/superfad Join the Superfad Facebook group to share your thoughts on the trends: https://www.facebook.com/groups/186422305302755/ Katie and Laura are hosting Facebook Live videos each Monday, where they answer your questions, and take you behind the scenes: https://www.facebook.com/Stuff.co.nz/

Pimped-out tiny houses have been popping up all over the country.

The movement seems like a natural fit for Kiwis, harking back to our rural roots, but does that extend to urban settings?

In the final Superfad episode, hosts Laura Walters and Katie Kenny move in to a tiny house on the prarie. They learn how its owner and builder pieced it together for a mere $8000. They also discuss the fad with a young Wellingtonian who is happily living, and working, in a shipping container by the sea. But even he admits its not all idyllic in tiny house living, so while political leaders are largely behind the craze it's unlikely we'll see the kinds of legal changes needed to make tiny houses a big part of the solution to New Zealand's housing crisis.

Read more about the tiny house craze on the Superfad page on Stuff.

And join the Superfad Facebook group to share your thoughts on this trend, and others.

Katie and Laura are hosting Facebook live videos each Monday, where they will answer your questions, and take you behind the scenes.

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Jodi Green lost half her tongue to mouth cancer. It could have been worse if it wasn’t for e-cigarettes, she says.

Green is one of the many evangelists for vaping - an alternative to dangerous tobacco cigarettes - who told us their stories for this episode of Superfad. People like Green are adamant vaping is already making a vital contribution to reducing the harm caused by addictive tobacco cigarettes.

As vaping has become more a part of our communities, enthusiasts have formed their own groups, even running smoke-ring blowing contests (heard of the jellyfish?).

But the medical community is equivocal. A review of evidence on e-cigarettes commissioned by Public Health England described vaping as “95 per cent less harmful [than smoking] and of negligible risk to bystanders”. But an inquiry by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand said there’s a strong case for much heavier restrictions, citing studies showing the adverse effects of e-cigarettes on the lungs are immediate.

For this episode, Superfad hosts Laura Walters and Katie Kenny go inside the vaping community, hearing their stories, learning the lingo and trying out the trend for themselves. They also hear from health experts worried about a lack of clarity on the impact of vaping and regulators grappling with what to do about it.

Read more about vaping on Stuff: stuff.co.nz/superfad.

Join the Superfad Facebook group to share your thoughts on this trend, and others: https://www.facebook.com/groups/186422305302755/

Katie and Laura are hosting Facebook Live videos each Monday, where they answer your questions, and take you behind the scenes: https://www.facebook.com/Stuff.co.nz/

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Can a fad be 2500 years old?

In the madness of 21st Century living, “mindfulness” is back. Trendy retreats, meditation classes, and mindfulness apps are mushrooming.

Evidence of its efficacy has encouraged its use in schools and even by the military.

In this episode of Superfad, hosts Laura Walters and Katie Kenny figure out what “mindfulness” actually is, consider the view of the cynics and give it a try for themselves. We hear first from Lotta Dann, a sober alcoholic and firm believer in the merits of mindfulness.

Read more about mindfulness on Stuff: stuff.co.nz/superfad.

Join the Superfad Facebook group to share your thoughts on this trend, and others: https://www.facebook.com/groups/186422305302755/

Katie and Laura are hosting Facebook Live videos each Monday, where they answer your questions, and take you behind the scenes: https://www.facebook.com/Stuff.co.nz/

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High speed internet has transformed home entertainment.

In the past two decades, Netflix has grown from a California-based mail order DVD outfit to a global streaming service with more than 100 million subscribers. In New Zealand, Lightbox has more than 300,000 subscribers. The once-dominant subscription TV service Sky TV, meanwhile, is in a seemingly terminal decline.

On-demand, streaming TV has spawned a so-called “golden age” in television. And it’s encouraged a new kind of viewing: “binge-watching”.

In this episode of Superfad, hosts Laura Walters and Katie Kenny are joined on the couch by technical producer Alex Liu to indulge in five hours of bingeing on a true crime series. (Don’t worry, you get the highlights and insights, not the full version.) TV and movie reviewer Kate Rodger reveals her binge-watching addiction - and what it’s done to her love life. And we hear some choice insights about the different types of shows consumed by Kiwis. Which are the most voraciously binged?

Read more about the binge-watching craze on Stuff: stuff.co.nz/superfad

And join the Superfad Facebook group to share your thoughts on this trend, and others: https://www.facebook.com/groups/186422305302755/

Katie and Laura are hosting Facebook live videos each Monday, where they will answer your questions, and take you behind the scenes: https://www.facebook.com/Stuff.co.nz/

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Ancestry.com has about six million DNA samples in its database. In a four-day sale late last year, they sold 1.4 million test kits.

In a short space of time, DNA mapping has raced from being the stuff of rarefied scientific research to an almost do-it-yourself process, achievable with a few decent wads of spit and around $100.

New Zealanders are leaping into the craze too, eager to learn more about their ethnic make-up and possibly discover some previously unknown relatives who have already taken the test.

But it’s not all harmless fun. In this Superfad episode, genealogist Gail Wilson-Waring tells us people have been known to get an unwelcome shock about their lineage after seeing their results. And geneticist Dr Kate Neas explains how results that suggest a greater risk of certain diseases may be misleading.

Hosts Laura Walters and Katie Kenny ask: Are we comfortable with private companies holding DNA samples from many millions of people around the world?

Read more about the DNA mapping craze via the Superfad page on Stuff: stuff.co.nz/superfad

And join the Superfad Facebook group to share your thoughts on this trend, and others: https://www.facebook.com/groups/186422305302755/

Katie and Laura are hosting Facebook Live videos each Monday, where they will answer your questions, and take you behind the scenes: https://www.facebook.com/Stuff.co.nz/

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