Friday, 11 November, 2022

Remembering our soldiers; Japan loves Animal Crossing; the world’s biggest cruise ship; and octopuses behaving badly.



Remembrance Day – poem – In Flanders Fields

Octopus hugs: 

Octopus hurls: 

Human lasagne

Frog ID Week:



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At 11am today, wherever you are in Australia, you might notice people stopping what they are doing and observing a minute’s silence. 

That’s because today is November 11 – the 11th day of the 11th month of the year – or otherwise what’s called Remembrance Day …

As the name suggests, it’s a day for us all to pause and remember those who have lost their lives in war.

Why is it on this day? Because 104 years ago today – on November 11, in the year 1918 – the guns fell silent on the Western Front in Europe after more than four years of warfare. It was the end of the First World War – a conflict in which more than 70 million people were involved from multiple countries and which left a staggering 13 million people dead. 

Sadly there have been many wars since then – and Australian soldiers – men and women – have fought in them.

You might see people wearing a red flower today. That flower is called a poppy. And the reason it’s the symbol of Remembrance   Day is because red poppies were among the first plants to flower in the fields of northern Europe after the fighting had ended. I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to a poem called in ‘In Flanders Fields’ which captures the spirit of Remembrance Day.

Lest we forget.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Japan … where Animal Crossing: New Horizons has just toppled Pokemon to become the best selling game ever.

Clocking up an impressive 10.4 million sales – the popular kids game from Nintendo in which players are placed on a desert island and create a world of their own – has now proven more popular in Japan than games like Super Mario, Mario Kart, Splatoon and Dragon’s Quest. 

Why is it a thing the number of games sold in Japan? Because Japan is the home of the Nintendo and other game companies, plus its the third biggest gaming market in the world, after the US and China … so trends that happen there have implications around the world. 

And if you’re a parent out there thinking this gaming thing has got to eventually peter out: check this out. Nintendo said this week it has sold a grand total of 114.3 million Nintendo Switch consoles since they were first launched. 

But I’m certain all of you know how to regulate your screen time, right? 




Some people say they’re solitary creatures, but two new videos tell a very different story about our octopus friends. 

Over in Canada, a viral video from a teacher who loves to dive shows an elusive – that means hard to find – giant octopus. It glides towards the camera, then envelops it, and for 40 minutes, the teacher says the occy crawled all over her and her diving buddies, giving them hugs and sucker-kisses. Check your episode notes for the video! 

Back here in Australia, researchers looking at octopuses off the coast of New South Wales observed the opposite of hugs and kisses… their video is all about octopus aggression! They recorded more than 100 incidents of octopuses picking up shells, silt, and algae, and chucking them at other, annoying octopuses! Many involved the octopus turning a darker colour – which the researchers already knew meant they were angry. 

Octopuses hugging, octopuses chucking things at each other … sounds like a day in the life of my children …   


If I was to say the words ‘human lasagne’ – what image does it conjure it? 

A pile of humans, squished on top of one another, compounded in a multi-layered mash-up? 

Well that’s exactly the metaphor that’s been used to describe the world’s largest cruise ship. A metaphor – as those of you who’ve been paying attention in English will know – is a creative way to describe something – making a comparison between two objects that at first glance aren’t alike at all, but have something in common. 

The snow is a white blanket. The classroom is a zoo. The cruise ship is a human lasagne. You get the picture.

This week plans were unveiled for a great big cruise ship called Icon Of The Seas. Currently under construction in Finland, it will be 20 storeys high and be able to carry 10,000 passengers. Complete with waterslides, theme park attractions, no fewer than seven pools, a full-sized theatre. Wowsers. Hence the description as human lasagne.

I’ve stuck a link to photos in today’s episode notes. 

On the subject of clever word play: earlier this week we asked you to send in your best attempts at a portmanteau … a portmanteau is two words that have blended into one to create a new word altogether. We had heaps of excellent entries – but my favourite was from Claudia in Coorparoo who says she does lots of dance concerts and with her friends has blended ‘nervous’ and ‘excited’ to come up with the word ‘nerv-cited’ to describe how they feel before running out on stage. I love it! 


This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening … 

  1. How many storeys high is the world’s biggest cruise ship?
  2. Which made-up, blended word was the winner of our portmanteau competition?
  3. Name the video game that’s just become the biggest selling ever in Japan? (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)




It’s November 11 … Remembrance Day, as already discussed … birthday for actor Leonardo di Caprio and the start of Frog ID week, where your help is requested to compile a database of frog sounds from all around the country – I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes. 

It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means .. lots of birthday shout outs for today and the coming weekend … for which we’re going to need to crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … hit it … 

And it’s a happy birthday today to… Arya and Avani from Springfield, Luigi from Nunawading, Shona from Forest Lake, Charlotte from Bronte, Charlee from Bathurst, Ivy from Lane Cove West, Britney-Lee from Gorokan, Jordan from Brisbane, Heidi and Brian from Junee, Florence from Ballarat, Zoe from Williams Landing, Leah-Rose from Branxton, Nicholas from Maitland, Aaron from North Coburg, Lucy and Ellie from Blaxland and Jack from Brisbane State High. 

Belated birthday shout outs go to Joey from West Pymble, Lachie from the Gold Coast, Llewy from Kippa Ring and Andrew from Ocean Reef. 

Not forgetting the Squiz Kids who are celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend … Charlie from Craigburn, Liem from Forest Lake, Emmett and Spencer from Woongarrah, Maeve and Harrison from Brisbane, Harry M from Exeter, Grace from Riverton, Zander from Atwell, James from Leeton, Aisha and Leia from Melbourne, Orlando from Thirroul, Lizzie from the Gold Coast, Danica from Munno Parra, Lucinda from Mooloolaba, Rosie from Greenwich, Molly from Erskinville, Joshua from Allambie Heights and Kitty listening over in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. 20
  2. Nervcited
  3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons