Friday, 13 August, 2021

Operation Humpback a success; the Olympian who caught a taxi for gold; the longest word in the world; and Wally the Walrus goes boating.


Operation Humpback:

The longest word in English:

Wally the Walrus in Ireland: 

Wally’s journey so far: 


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas





There was good news off the Gold Coast late yesterday afternoon when a young whale that had been caught up in shark nets was finally freed – and swam off towards the horizon.

Surfers at Coolangatta – on the NSW / Queensland border – first spotted the whale which had become caught in the netting early on Wednesday morning. 

The whale measured about eight metres – which is about the same as four very tall human adults lying end to end – and weighed approximately 10 tonnes — which is about the same as six cars. Wow! 

Animal rescuers from Sea World raced out in a boat and spent most of Wednesday trying to cut the whale free. But by nightfall Wednesday, the young whale was still entangled and the rescue effort had to be called off. 

They stuck a satellite tracker to the whale and retreated for the night. 

Yesterday morning, the rescuers were up early, found the whale – who had swum a long way out to sea – and got back to work. Using a special knife at the end of a long pole, they hacked and ripped and tore the netting to bits – until the whale was disentangled and could swim again. 

Mission accomplished.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Jamaica – which is where one lucky Tokyo Olympics volunteer could be heading on holidays after helping a Jamaican hurdler win gold.

Last week, hurdler Harnsle Parchment left the Athletes Village and boarded a bus he thought was heading to the main Olympic stadium, to take part in the 110m hurdle finals. When the bus dropped him instead at the aquatic centre, he was already running late for his event. Which is where super volunteer Tiana swooped in. She loaned Harnsle money for a taxi so he could race back to the stadium – where he promptly went on to win the gold medal. 

Harnsle was so touched by the gesture, he returned to the aquatic centre the next day to find Tiana, show her his gold medal and thank her in person for helping him to win it. And now the JAmaican government wants to show its appreciation too and offer Tiana a free holiday in Jamaica to say thank you. 

So isn’t that nice? 




Are you prone to the odd contraremonstrance? If so, you’re probably agatho-kakological – and contrasuggestible into the mix. From your parents’ or teachers point of view, you’re quite possibly Brobdignagian-ally annoying, even if you simply consider yourself to be a total epistemophiliac – and quite possibly misunderstood. There’s no point getting frustrated about it, however. Just pandiculate – and, if you’re the first born, reflect on how you’ll be the last one laughing when the rules of postro-megeniture kick in … in the meantime, don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by your weltangshauung, focus on your knicknackatory and be grateful for the small things in life … like the fact you most probably don’t have pneumono-ultra-microscopic-silico-volcano-coni-osis.

What was that you ask? 

Why, pneumono-ultra-microscopic-silico-volcano-coni-osis.

Which has been officially recognised as the longest word in the English language .. There’s a link in today’s episode notes to an explanation of what it means … and also the meaning of all those other ridiculously long words I used. If you love words, like I do, you’re going to love it .. 



Ah Wally, you’ve done it again. Remember how we’ve spoken before about Wally, the four year old walrus who swam or drifted a bit off course from his home in the Arctic Circle and has been spotted much further south in waters off England, Wales and Spain? Well it seems he’s continuing his European holiday, and he’s decided to throw a bit of boating into the mix.

Wally’s latest destination is Ireland, where he has taken to heaving his enormous body up onto whatever floating object he can find.  

Because he’s a semi-aquatic animal, Wally needs to come up out of the water to rest. And because there aren’t any convenient icebergs in Ireland, Wally has been hauling himself onto boats. He’s already sunk a few—he weighs at least 500kg—but has now found a smallish motor boat that can handle him. And the photos of him hanging out on the boat are hilarious. The boat’s owners have said he can stay until another solution is found, like someone building Wally his own pontoon. Pictures, and a map of Wally’s journey so far, are in your episode notes. 




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

  1. The whale that was finally set free from shark nets yesterday was stranded off which coast?
  2. The hurdler who almost missed his Olympic final is from which country?
  3. What sort of an animal is Wally – who’s taken up residence on a boat off Ireland? 




It’s August 13 … It’s International Left Handers Day! Yes! Left handers rule! Left handers of the world unite! It’s also Friday the 13th .. so maybe don’t walk under a ladder today if you can avoid it .. 

And because it’s a Friday .. and that means an extra long shout out segment – so lets crack out that birthday reggae tune …

It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Abby from Tarragindi, Miller from Invermay, Max from Lilyfield, Sienna from Campbelltown, Maeve from Hawthorne, Lily from Wynnum, Tiger from Paddington, Elfie from Coburg, Luke from Happy Valley, Cooper from Rosehill, Natalie from Forest Lake, Xanthe from Croydon Park, Yeetus from Abbotsford, William from Mt Riverview and Urban from Gosford. 

Belated birthday shout outs go to…Annalia   from Malabar and to Molly – a very special six year old in Coburg – happy birthday for yesterday! 

And not forgetting all of those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend…

Robin from Walpole, Cadel from Newcastle, Jaral from Broken Hill, Daniela from Naremburn, Chloe from Asquith, Brady from Gymea, Hugh from Hornsby, Kaden from Aberfoyle Park, Olivia from Roseville, Amelia from Crafers, Claudia from Deniliquin, Annabelle and Koko from Perth.  Also…Josh from Gosford East, Alyssa from Kwinana Beach, Jess from Albany Hills, Leah from Kempsey, Dominic from Bondi, Flynn from Geelong, Addison from West Wallsend, Mailie from Jimboomba, Zachary from Canberra and lastly Xavier from Abbotsford. 

Plus a special request to shout out a happy birthday to Mia at Balaklava Primary School from Room 20.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Gold Coast
  2. Jamaica
  3. Walrus