Friday, 13 May, 2022

Sheldon flies our flag at Eurovision; all aboard Tokyo’s driverless trains; footy’s Magic Round washout; Australia’s hopes for tram driving championships.



Sheldon’s second rehearsal – official video:

Give That Wolf a Banana:

The gentle art of tram bowling


Sensational World of Civics:

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The eyes of Australia —and more than 200 million people worldwide—will be on Aussie singer Sheldon Riley this morning, when he takes the stage in the semi final of the Eurovision song contest. 

Sheldon, who is 23, has always dreamed of representing Australia at the world’s biggest music event. For those of you unfamiliar with Eurovision, forty countries – mostly from Europe – send a band or artist to perform an original song for the competition. The winners often go on to pretty impressive things—ABBA won back in 1974, and went on to have quite the career after that, thank you very much. And Guy Sebastian came fifth in 2015. 

This year, the hot favourites are the Ukrainians, but there’s also plenty of talk about Norway’s song “Give That Wolf A Banana.” No, I don’t know what it means, and yes, rumour has it that it’s the same people that gave us “What the Fox Says”… but because they’re wearing masks, their identity is secret. And yes, of course there’s a link to video of the nuttiness in your episode notes. 

As for Sheldon, his journey to Turin, Italy, where this year’s contest is being held, hasn’t always been easy. He is autistic, and says he was told when he was a kid that he wouldn’t be able to function as a, quote, normal human being… nor would he be able to get work … or have friends. 

But he didn’t give up, and has worked hard to achieve his dream. Sheldon’s extraordinary voice has taken him to the stages of X-Factor, The Voice, the quarter finals of America’s got Talent, and of course Australia Decides, which is where he was chosen to be Australia’s entry in Eurovision. The semi final started at 5:30 this morning, just after this podcast made its way to you, but you can watch a re-broadcast on Saturday night on SBS, and catch Sheldon, his song “Not the Same”, and his costume, which weighs 40kilos and contains 186,000 crystals. There’s a link to his rehearsal video in your episode notes, so you can see the spectacle! Sheldon says he’s never been more happy in his entire life… Go Sheldon!  



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 – in the megalopolis of Tokyo, no less. What’s a megalopolis? It’s a really, really big city – which is what Tokyo is – boasting a population of 14 million people .. and the reason we’re there today is because driverless trains are about to be trialled on the super-busy city’s train network. 

The Yamanote Line is the busiest line in the whole city – and from October, trains without drivers will be trialled – with the train automatically speeding up as it leaves a station and slowing down as it approaches the next station. Clever computers will detect any obstacles that may appear on the railway line – and the trains will be programmed to adjust their speed depending on the weather. 

And because they love themselves a technological challenge in Japan – they’ve also started experimenting with driverless bullet trains. The shinkansen are the high-speed bullet trains that criss-cross the countryside – and they too may one day operate without a driver. Amazing.




It’s officially called the Magic Round … the weekend when the NRL comes to Brisbane and eight games are played over three days at Suncorp Stadium. There are two games tonight, three tomorrow and three on Sunday. And while all of that sounds awesome – what’s not so awesome is the weather forecast. With much of the state of Queensland facing a weekend of pelting rain and suburbs in Western Brissie yesterday staring down the barrel of rising floodwaters – again – the Magic Round is shaping up to be the Underwater Round. Hope the lads have packed their snorkels.




If you live in Melbourne and you’ve ridden a tram – you’ll have a new appreciation for the folks that drive them following the news yesterday that two drivers from the Melbourne tram network have been selected to compete in the European Tramdriver Championship in Germany later this month.

Drivers Amanda Paul and Frendy Lim are off Liepzig to show off their tram bowling skills. 

What’s tram bowling? It’s when a tram crashes into a massive inflatable ball and sends it into a bunch of giant bowling pins .. of course. What else would it be? It’s kind of like Rocket League but in real life. 

Australia’s hopes for the tram bowling championships have been practicing away madly in a Melbourne tram depot … and yes of course, I’ve stuck a link to video of it in today’s episode notes. Because some things are just so nutty they have to be seen to be believed.


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

1. In which rain-soaked city will this weekend’s rugby league Magic Round be played?

  1. Which country will two Melbourne tram drivers travel to to take part in the European Tramdriver Championships? Ding ding.
  2. In which city will driverless trains   be tested in November?




It’s May 13 … look out today for the winner of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee commemorative pudding … which is totally a thing. And the winner of the Archibald Prize will be announced this morning – that’s Australia’s most prestigious portrait painting prize. 

It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means? Heaps of birthday shout outs for today and over the weekend – and that means it’s time to crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune .. 

And it’s a happy birthday today to…Hailey from Cannon Hill, Olivia from Ashmont, Robby from Hornsby, Mila from Berry, Max from Karabar, Bailey from NSW, Grace from North Fitzroy and Nicca from Villa Maria Catholic Primary School.

And a belated birthday wish goes to Hermes from Sydney.

Not forgetting of course those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend … Mackenzie from Engadine West Public School, Lochlan from Albany Hills, Lucas from Cannon Hills and Petra from Ivanhoe Primary School.

And two special requests for classroom shout outs this Friday  – Year 6 and Ms Vearing at Berry Public School and class HB16 at Woongarrah Public School and a big happy birthday to their teacher Mrs Black!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Brisbane
  2. Germany 
  3. Tokyo