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Our picks of the best of the internet – pies, walking and the 2020s zeitgeist.

For Mother’s Day this week, the New York Times explores the way that motherhood shifts a woman’s identity, not just from one distinct moment in time, but repeatedly throughout the experience of mothering. There are stories of messiness, meaning and memory, as well as why the phenomenon of ‘mommy brain’ is both real and quite different from what we imagine it to be.


One of the benefits of not being allowed to drive cars during lockdown (apart from the obvious lowered air pollution and bottoming out of oil demand) was becoming reacquainted with the joy of roaming around the neighbourhood. Henry David Thoreau, one of history’s greatest nature writers, preferred to describe the occupation as “sauntering”, a word with rich heritage. In this essay, first published in The Atlantic in June 1862, he reminds us of the joys and virtues of the world beyond the front door.


‘Flatten the curve’ is a now instantly recognisable phrase that Kim Stanley Robinson thinks might define the zeitgeist of our age – the redefining of what is truly possible when humanity works together. “When we do it—if we do it—it will be a civilizational achievement: a new thing that our scientific, educated, high-tech species is capable of doing. Knowing that we can act in concert when necessary is another thing that will change us.”


Sourdough is over, pies are now. This week, The Spinoff brought to our attention Auckland baker Devoney Scarfe’s inspirational work in pastry. From an ombre chevron-cut rhubarb pie to expletive-laden fluffy-crusted dinner and the pastry-goods version of one of our most frequently used Simpsons GIFs, former mag-editor Fiona Fraser canvasses a baking obsession that hits the sweet spot between Kiwi-love-of-pie and Kiwi-love-of-juvenile-humour.


A real problem of having a near-endless offering of great viewing streaming 24/7 in our living rooms is becoming mired in the unable-to-choose scroll of Netflix/Prime/Neon/OnDemand possibilities. In the vein of ‘if you liked that then you’ll probably like this’, the site AGoodMovieToWatch recommends highly-rated but little-known treasures.