Tuesday 15 September, 2020
Operation whale rescue; Hong Kong’s pink dolphins return; Dylan Alcott rules the US Open; and Bushranger wins the Masked Singer.
It was Operation Whale Rescue at either end of the country yesterday as wildlife rangers worked in the Northern Territory to coax humpback whales out of a croc-infested river, while down Sydney way, rescuers freed a whale caught in fishing nets.
The whale off Sydney was last night making its way down the east coast of Australia, back towards Antarctica, after being caught for hours in waters just off Wattamolla, in the Royal National Park to Sydney’s south.
A team from the NSW Marine Rescue managed to disentangle the whale from the nets and set it free. Wonder how you say ‘thank you’ in whale? Must ask Dorey – she’d know.
Meanwhile, up in the Northern Territory, park rangers along the East Alligator River were keeping a careful eye on what they believed to be a pair of humpback whale that had taken a wrong turn at the coast and ended up a fair way down the river, renowned for its crocodiles.
Marine biologists had been called in to work out the best way to herd the two massive mammals out of the river and back out to sea – with some suggesting using whale calls to lure them out.
But don’t worry too much about the crocodile bit: park rangers reckon given the size of whales compared to crocodiles, there’s no way a croc would try to take on a whale.
On the plus side: the appearance of so many whales on our coastline needing assistance is a great sign that their populations are healthy once again. And that’s a really good thing.
Speaking of good news – there was a glimmer of it down Victoria way yesterday, when the state recorded its lowest daily rise of new coronavirus cases since late June.
It coincided with the national total of new coronavirus cases also being the lowest on record since June. So that’s most definitely a step in the right direction. Well done Victorian Squiz Kids – all that self-isolation seems to be working. Hang in there.
SPIN THE GLOBE
Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today, we find ourselves in Hong Kong – where marine scientists have been celebrating the return of the pink dolphin.
The Pearl River Delta, which lies between Hong Kong and Macau, is normally a really busy waterway – with high-speed ferries racing between the two territories. But since the coronavirus has seen boating activity drastically reduced, pink dolphins – which are also known as Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins – have been returning to the delta in droves.
A delta is the name given to the area where a fast moving river meets a stationary body of water – like a lake or a sea.
The reappearance of the dolphins in such numbers has allowed scientists to better understand what impact underwater noise has on the mammals.
Why are the dolphins pink in appearance? Because they have blood vessels close to the surface of the skin which helps them regulate their body temperature.
It’s science, don’t you know?
Homegrown wheelchair tennis superstar, Dylan Alcott has done it again – storming to victory in the US Open men’s quad doubles final – adding yet another trophy to a medal cabinet which is already stacked.
The Victorian’s victory in the men’s doubles helped take the edge of his loss yesterday morning, to Dutchman Sam Schroder, in the men’s singles final.
But seriously: making the final in both the singles and doubles event at a tournament like the US Open is next level impressive.
In other tennis news, Austria’s Dominic Thiem staged a gutsy recovery to claim the men’s singles’ trophy at the US Open yesterday.
Despite being two sets down to his rival, Germany’s Alexander Zverev, Thiem stormed back into the game and won a thrilling tie-break to claim the coveted tennis title.
POP CULTURE CORNER
I know it’s hard to imagine … but long before Nintendo Switch was a thing, long before even Game Boy was a thing, people your parent’s age (and older … ahem) used to get their video game kicks from a very basic little handheld gaming system called the Game and Watch. It ran on two tiny batteries, each little console was only capable of only playing one game – and the games were super basic.
Well, in a bout of nostalgia – which is the fancy word for looking back fondly at the past – Nintendo has decided to revive the Game + Watch. Ask an adult in your life if they remember Octopus, Donkey Kong or Oil Panic – and watch them come over all misty-eyed.
And in other pop culture news: the Masked Singer winner was finally revealed last night in a typically nutty grand final – with Bushranger beating out Frilled Neck Lizard and Queen. And beneath the Bushranger mask was Neighbours actress and singer, Bonnie Anderson.
EDDIE WOO CALL OUT
Last chance alert … last chance alert …. Today is your last chance to submit a question to maths teacher and ABC Me star, Eddie Woo.
Eddie has kindly agreed to put himself in the Squiz Kids hot seat and answer your questions in an upcoming Squiz Kids Q+A. If you’ve got a questions for Eddie about life, the universe, TV stardom or mathematics – or maybe even the meaning of life – then this is your chance.
All questions to be emailed to [email protected].
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What colour are the dolphins currently frolicking in waters near Hong Kong?
- Name the Aussie tennis star who made the men’s doubles and singles finals of the US Open.
- Which gaming company is going back in time and re-releasing a 1980s console called Game + Watch?
It’s September 15 ….. The 259th day of the year … and the birthday of Prince Harry, who turns 36 today … and interestingly enough, on this day 23 years ago, a couple of computer programmers working in their parent’s garage registered the name google.com as a business name.
It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Georgia from Putney, Sienna from Sydney, Luca from Camperdown, Penny from Bathurst, Khloe from Oran Park, Jacob from Redlynch, Sarisha and Darcy from Menaim, Mateo from Melbourne, Ben from Springfield Lakes, Caleb from Concord West, Ayuen from Wentworthville, Lalia from Murwillumbah and Charlie all the way from Singapore.
And some belated birthday shoutouts… Hinata from South Guildford and Iris from Abbotsford.
Happy birthday one and all!
And so to classroom shoutouts — remember – we want to dedicate the next couple of weeks’ worth of classroom shoutouts to Victorian school kids who are home learning … so if you’re a teacher of or a student in a class in Victoria and you want to give your students or classmates a shout out – drop us a line at [email protected]
Today’s Victorian classroom shout outs go to … 2NK and all the students who are remote learning at Kew East Primary School, all the the kids and teachers at Eltham Primary School, particularly the Foundation students and their teachers Helen, Sarah and Siobhan, class 3L at Alamanda College, and class 3/4 at St Patrick’s Primary School in Stratford. And a big Squiz Kids shoutout to Miss Yang from 2SY at Milgate Primary School, who has been unwell over the last week. All her students are missing her and hope she gets better super fast. They also wanted to give a big thanks to the teachers who are helping them at school in the meantime.
A great big Squiz Kids salute from all of us to all of you …
The S’Quiz Answers:
- Dylan Alcott