Friday, 11 September, 2020

8000 jumbos in vaccine airlift; Wildfires ravage the US; return of the smiling turtle; and behind the scenes with BTS.



Wildfires in America:

The smiling turtle:

What’s Up Fox:




Eddie Woo website:

Squiz Kids Instagram:






Eight thousand jumbo jets … that’s how many planes it is thought will be needed to move doses of the coronavirus vaccine to all corners of the world so that each and every human on our planet has access to it.

As scientists in labs all over the world work around the clock to test the various COVID vaccines which are in development, an organisation representing the owners of jumbo jets has begun to plan how the vaccine will be urgently transported and delivered to as many countries in the world as possible, as quickly and safely as possible.

It’s an effort that requires the sort of precision planning to make even your sport masters’ scheduling skills on swimming carnival day pale in comparison.

Transporting a vaccine requires special conditions inside a plane – including a certain temperature – not to mention storage facilities on the ground in the airports to which it is sent. 

To do that, you need what’s called ‘infrastructure’, and there are many developing countries in Africa and parts of Asia where it’s complicated. 

Which is why one airline executive is calling it ‘the mission of the century’. 

But we are lucky here in Australia because we have facilities to make the vaccine here, so it wouldn’t need to be flown in. All we need is the recipe.

Which takes us to the small matter of actually developing a vaccine that works … which, while it’s coming along at breakneck speed, is still a work in progress.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story wherever it stops … and today, we’ve landed in the United States … where a thick haze of smoke is hanging over the western coast of the country.

Wildfires have been burning out of control in the US states of California, Washington and Oregon, with estimates that the fires were devouring one thousand acres of land every 30 minutes – which is to say, one thousand football fields worth of land was being destroyed by the fires every half hour. Hundreds of homes have been lost, many, many residents have been forced to evacuate and – tragically – lives have been lost in the flames. 

The plume of smoke from the 85 major fires burning along America’s west coast is so large, it can be seen from space. And as with the summer bushfires that devastated so many parts of Australia earlier this year, the skies above some of America’s most iconic cities have turned an eerie shade of orange. There’s a link in today’s episode notes to some dramatic photos. 




Here’s a little story to put a smile on your face. The world’s only known smiling turtle looks set to have been rescued from extinction, following a successful breeding program in its home country of Myanmar.

Myanmar is a country in Asia that sits next to Thailand.

The smiling turtle – so called because its mouth curls up at the corners to make it look like it’s smiling was on the brink of extinction – but conservationists’ efforts to breed the turtles and restore their habitat has proven successful.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to photos of the smiling turtle. Because who doesn’t like a grinning turtle on a Friday?  r




Australia’s last hope for victory at the US Open tennis tournament – the plucky little, mini-moustache sporting Alex de Minaur had his designs on the winner’s trophy dashed yesterday morning, after being smashed in straight sets by Austria’s world number three ranked player, Dominic Thiem.

But sometimes, it’s less about the winning that it is about the statement you make on the way there. And for Alex, that statement was all about putting a marker in the sand of professional tennis – and telling the world he was a champion on the rise. As he said at his post-game press conference:  “I want to keep on pushing. I’ll strive for bigger and better things. I’ve just got to keep improving.”




Every Friday we check in with Squiz Kids ambassador, Flynn – known as the Fox to his friends – to see what he’s been reading, listening and watching.

And the book of the week, according to the Fox, is Fortnite Official: The Ultimate Locker — which he tells me is the complete visual guide to the groundbreaking video game, featuring every Outfit, glider, back bling, pet, harvesting tool, contrail, and emote ever. I don’t begin to understand what any of that means, but he tells me a lot of you will.

On the listening front, he’s been in a boy-band frame of mind this week – and taken in by the catchy, Billboard-chart topping pop tune, Dynamite by the boys from BTS. And especially the very cool YouTube video showing the choreography – those boys sure can moooove … 

And as for watching: he’s gone old skool this week and been watching free-to-air telly .. where The Masked Singer has been capturing his attention. He says ten bucks the Queen is crowned winner next week.

There are links to all these cool things in today’s episode notes …




Only four sleeps to go to get your Eddie Woo questions in for the next super dooper Squiz Kids Q+A. As we announced yesterday, the maths teacher extraordinaire ABC Me star has agreed to take the Squiz Kids hotseat and answer any questions you lot want to throw at him.

There’s going to be a prize for the best question … so get busy and send any question you – or your class – want to ask Eddie – to [email protected]. You’ve got until next Tuesday. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to Eddie’s website ‘Wootube’ if you’re looking for inspiration …  




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

  1. How many jumbo jets is it estimated will be needed to get the COVID vaccine to every corner of the globe?
  2. Which country is home to the smiling turtle?
  3. Which Korean boy band and their funky dance floor moves has caught the attention of the Fox this week?




It’s September 11 ….. It’s the birthday of TV vet and I’m A Celebrity co-host, Chris Brown – plus 43 years to the day when a video game console called Atari was released – marking the start of the gaming industry as we know it today.  

It’s also a Friday — and that means an extra long list of birthday and weekend birthday shout outs – for which we need the special Squiz Kids funky reggae birthday tune … hit it ..

Today’s birthday shoutouts…

Lucia from Eastwood, Charlotte and Sophie from Sydney, Zephyr from Walpole, Adam from Brisbane, Isaac and Jacob from McKay, Maya from Lismore, Piper from Bunya, Ryder, Arabel and Kit from Abbotsford, Will from North Sydney, Zee from Werribee, Aimee from Poatina, Adelaide from Williamstown, Eve from East Victoria Park, Jennie from Canberra Sophie, and Anouk who’s somewhere on the road in outback Queensland. 

And a belated birthday shoutout… Mohamed from Windale

Weekend birthday shoutouts… Alyson from Leichhardt, Owen, Amrit, Harrison and Kristiaan from Sydney, Rayhan from the Gold Coast, Elijah from St Helens Park, Noah from Stafford Heights, Tommy from Coorparoo, Cohen from Oran Park, Emily from Bray Park, Mackenzie from Blackburn, Indianna  from Sandringham, Justin from Middle Park, Miranda from NSW, Laura from Wantirna South, William from Macgregor, Hudson from Flagstaff Hill, Xavier from Nambucca Heads, Raphaelle from East Gosford, Mia from Sheoak Grove, Sonny  from Murwillumbah, Lenny from Double Bay, Rowan from Meadow Springs, Teddy and Eli from Melbourne, Ethan from Bulleen, Josh from Appin, Samir from Georges Hall, Alice from Toorak Gardens, Adam from Mount Pritchard, Lillianne from Port Kennedy, Kellindi from Ashmont, Lily from East Gosford, Ben from Naremburn and Josh from Verrierdale. 

Happy birthday one and all!

  The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. 8000
  2. Myanmar
  3. BTS