Friday, 17 March, 2023

Why people are wearing green; Belgian farmers cry wolf; NASA’s new suit; and a bizarre world record. 


Today’s Quick Links: 

The Squiz Kids Book Club: 

Timelapse of the Chicago River dyed green: 

NASA’s new moon suit: 

The Boy who Cried Wolf: 

Wolves on patrol: 

Oscar Lynagh’s shaving cream/ping pong record: 

Can’t access Twitter? Try here: 

Dig Deeper:

The truth behind 5 St Patricks Day symbols: 

The real St Patrick: 

Corned beef and cabbage recipe:

Irish soda bread: 

Wolf controversy within EU 

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Have you noticed an unusual number of people wearing green today? That’s because it’s St Patrick’s Day, celebrated every March 17 by Irish communities all over the world. 


March 17 is the feast day of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. What’s a patron saint, you ask? Well, in the Catholic branch of Christianity, a saint is a regular person who lived a heroically good religious life, and whose holiness is usually recognised by the church. There are more than 10,000 saints, and in some cases, a person or a place has adopted a “patron saint” that they believe will bring them special protection. St Patrick is Ireland’s patron saint, because he brought Christianity to the country in the fifth century. He’s also said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland – but there were never any snakes in Ireland to begin with!


So, why are people wearing green? Well, when the Irish fought against English control in the 17th century, the rebels had a green flag… and green has been associated with Ireland ever since. In Chicago, Irish Americans have literally coloured their river green every St Patrick’s Day since 1962! Check your episode notes for an amazing time lapse video of that. 


New York and Boston, two other American cities with strong roots in Ireland, have had huge parades since the 1700s. It’s not as big a deal in Australia, but you may see the Sydney Opera House sails turn green tonight… and there are likely to be little parades and parties all over the country. On St Patrick’s Day, so the saying goes, there are only two kinds of people— those who are Irish, and those who wish they were.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Belgium, where after more than 100 years, farmers are legitimately crying “WOLF!”


You know the story about the boy who cried wolf, right? I’ll put it in your episode notes. Wolves were hunted almost to extinction in Europe at the beginning of last century, but in 1992, a group of 27 countries known as the European Union made it illegal to kill wolves in most circumstances. Slowly, slowly, they’ve been coming back. Experts believe there are now 15 or 20 wolves in Belgium – and about 19,000 throughout the European Union. A wolf’s diet consists mostly of wild deer and boar, but they do hunt sheep … and Belgian farmers are saying they want either to be allowed to shoot wolves preying on their livestock, or be paid compensation for all the protective measures they have to put in place. I’ll put some video in your episode notes of Belgian wolves on patrol. They may be predators, but their pups are SUPER cute. 


Oh, and speaking of cute pups – after 31 years as the most popular dog breed in America, the labrador retriever has been dethroned… and the French bulldog has taken its place. Apparently, the Frenchies’ popularity has surged thanks to celebrity owners like Megan Thee Stallion, Leonardo di Caprio, and Claire… my boss… she’s a celebrity, right?  




With all the fanfare of a fashion show, NASA has revealed its new space suit for walking on the moon. And from a fashion point of view, it’s definitely breaking new ground. We’re talking a black suit, with orange and dark blue accents… although on the moon, there will be a white protective layer on the outside, to provide temperature and dust protection. 


The new suit has a built in life support system, and will allow astronauts to move much more easily, compared with how Neil Armstrong sort of bunny hopped when he first walked on the moon in 1969. Interchangeable parts of the suit mean it can be made to fit more people, and astronauts will also have a much better view, thanks to a new helmet bubble.


Even though fancy fashion show clothing is expensive, it’s nothing like the spacesuit’s price tag: 344 million Australian dollars. Although to be fair, it isn’t really a piece of clothing. From a technical point of view, this thing is as complicated as a small spacecraft.




This is one of those stories that you really have to see to believe – and enjoy. I’ve put in your episode notes a video of a Melbourne man, Oscar Lynagh, setting a new Guinness world record for … wait for it… the most number of ping pong balls caught in a pile of shaving cream on the top of his head. Yes, it’s a real record, and yes, you can try to beat it – 12 balls in 30 seconds. All you need is a swim cap, shaving cream, a wall to bounce the balls off, and someone to take a video as proof. Get on it!  



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

  1. According to a false myth, Saint Patrick drove what kind of animals out of Ireland? 
  2. What is the new most popular pure-bred dog in America?
  3. When NASA’s next generation of astronauts actually walk on the moon, in 2025, what colour will their suits be? 





It’s March 17 – and because it’s St Patrick’s Day, it’s also National Corned Beef and Cabbage day… which is what many people consider the national dish of Ireland. I’ll put a recipe in your episode notes, and for all you vegetarians out there, I’ve slipped in my favourite recipe for Irish soda bread. 


It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means .. lots of birthday shout outs for today and the coming weekend … which means we need to get our reggae on … hit it 


It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Maxim from Rockdale, Kayla from Junee, Stella from Sinnamon Park, Matias from Holsworthy, Audrey from Narembum, Eli from Maudsland, Olivia from Albany Hills, Zander from Busselton, Alex from Adelaide, Otis from Bathurst, Gordo from Narrandera and Ethan travelling around Australia. 


And belated shout outs goes to… Oli and Capybara from NSW, Spenny from Frenchs Forest and Tessy from Manly. 


Not forgetting all the Squiz Kids who are celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend…

Beau from Abbotsford, William from Zillmere, Felix from Richmond, Elwood from Bulleen, Marcos from Broken Hill, Paddy from Albury, Adam from Fairfield, Ivy from Junee, Amelie from Flagstaff Hill, Hattie from Marion Bay, Milo from Helensvale, Anna from Bendigo, Wyatt from Brisbane, Khanh and Kha listening from Vietnam and Olaolu from Nigeria. 



The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Snakes
  2. French bulldog
  3. White