Friday, 16 July, 2021

Victoria heads back into lockdown; a horror case of the hiccups; letting go of FOOPO; and a medical marvel


Jair Bolsonaro trying to hold a news conference with hiccups:

Learning to speak again: 

Squiz Kids Instagram:

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Well, Victoria woke up this morning to a very familiar thing: lockdown. Premier Daniel Andrews announced a snap five-day lockdown for the whole state yesterday afternoon, and it went into effect at midnight. He said he was acting fast to try to get ahead of the outbreak of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, after more cases were detected, including people who attended an AFL match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground while infectious. If you’re wondering what it means for school today, and into next week, Premier Andrews said just do your best. Which is all any of us can do in these unusual times…

Kids of Victoria—you know all too well what this means – back to remote learning, again. You’re all pros at it by now… you’ve got this. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Brazil, where the country’s president has been taken to hospital with a chronic case of the hiccups. 

Chronic comes from the Greek word for time, and if you have a chronic condition, it means you’ve had it for a long time. 

As for President Jair Bolsonaro, he’s had the hiccups for… wait for it… ten straight days. 

The 66-year-old leader, who’s a controversial character over his handling of the Coronavirus epidemic – and a host of other things like climate change – is having tests to determine whether he has a blockage in his intestine causing the hiccups, and if he needs surgery. 

I’ve popped a link in your episode notes of him trying to hold a press conference, and eventually having to apologise for hiccuping the whole time. 

We’re guessing that drinking water upside down, or a spoonful of peanut butter, closing your eyes and thinking of a shape won’t help in these kinds of situations. Ten days… geez… 



Want to hear Ash Barty’s rules on how to be a tennis champion? 

Don’t focus on being a champion. 

Yesterday, the world number one’s Dad and one of her coaches, Ben Crowe talked to the ABC about Ash’s approach to life and sport. It all started with her childhood coach’s five rules: 

  • One, be a good person; 
  • two, have fun; 
  • three, be happy; 
  • four, show respect and be respected; 
  • and then number five was, if you can play tennis after that, it’s an added bonus.

On top of that incredibly sensible approach to life, Crowe had another  important thing to add: You can’t let yourself be controlled by FOOPO. 

What’s FOOPO? I hear you ask. F-O-O-P-O, standing for Fear of Other People’s Opinions. If you can avoid that distraction, Crowe says “it doesn’t mean you’ll win – it just means you’ll bring the best version of you to the dance floor each day.”

I can dance to that. 



Finally today, an incredible story about a man who has been paralysed and unable to speak since a car accident in 2003. Squiz Kids salutes the scientists in California who have implanted electronic transmitters into the man’s brain, so that now, when he’s asked a question, his answers travel as electrical impulses from the speech areas of his brain, are translated by artificial intelligence, and then appear typed onto a computer screen. 

When the doctors started working with the man, they didn’t even know if the speech parts of his brain still worked. But after they asked him to try to say specific words, a form of artificial intelligence learned to recognise the electronic signals and display sentences on the screen.

Although the system isn’t working perfectly yet, scientists, doctors, and patients all over the world are excited at the possibility of it giving other people back the ability to speak. 

I’ve put a link in your episode notes to more information and a video explaining it all. And it’s proof once again that science is amazing. 




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

  1. What does Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have, and for how long has he had them? 
  2. What does FOOPO stand for? 
  3. What can a man in California do, thanks to scientists?  




It’s July 16 … and on this day 60 years ago, the novel Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, was published. You probably haven’t read it yet, but you probably will in high school. 


Today is also the birthday of Luke Hemmings, the frontman of 5 Seconds of Summer, and actor Will Ferrell, who stars in one of my favourite movies of all time, Elf.  

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today…

Riley from Exeter, Lawson from Shoal Bay, Nevada from Broken Hill, Tara from Fadden, Hugh from Stanmore, Pri from Campbelltown, Cooper from Appin, Emily from Ballarat, Valentino from Abbotsford and lastly Shaneque from Ashmont.

The following Squiz Kids will be celebrating a birthday over the weekend so many happy returns go to…. 

Maddison from Brisbane, Emma from Cherrybrook, Thomas from Fadden, Nathaniel from Werri Beach, Ollie from Salter Point and Jude from Ivanhoe.  Have a great birthday Squiz Kids!!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Hiccups, for ten days
  2. Fear of Other People’s Opinions
  3. He was able to speak, or communicate