Friday, 19 November, 2021
Mystery sailor revealed; Cambodia’s Facebook quirk; turning pig poo into power; and Harry Potter stars reunited.
Australian War Memorial website: www.awm.gov.au
Khmer Keyboard: https://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/khmer.htm
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An eighty year-old mystery will be solved today when the identity of a World War II sailor is finally revealed.
Eighty years ago today – back in 1941 – in the middle of a big war that involved lots of countries, called World War II – an Australian navy ship called the HMAS Sydney was torpedoed by a German ship and sank off the coast of Western Australia.
All of the 645 sailors aboard the HMAS Sydney died on that day. Only one body was ever recovered – a young sailor who made it into a life raft but died before he was found. He was buried before he could be identified.
Fast forward eight decades, and technology has advanced so much that scientists have now been able to extract DNA from the sailors’ remains, and from that DNA – they’ve been able to work out exactly who he is. And his identity will be revealed today in a special ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the worst naval tragedy in Australia’s history.
Why is that important? For the 645 families who lost a family member 80 years ago, it’s considered an important gesture of respect. Just as it’s considered important to honour service men and women who died in war for their country.
I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to the Australian War Memorial website where news of the sailor’s identity and back story is expected to drop today.
SPIN THE GLOBE
Each day we give the world globe a spin, and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Cambodia, where experts have finally figured out why half of ALL the millions of voice messages sent on Facebook Messenger each year come from this Southeast Asian nation. You see, the language spoken in Cambodia is Khmer, and it has 74 different characters, more than any other script in the world. You know how many characters our alphabet has, right? Twenty-six. So imagine trying to type a message on a phone when you have to switch between multiple keyboard layers to get at all the characters. Total pain in the neck. It’s much easier just to send a voice message! One problem? It’s harder to quickly search old messages for something—you have to listen to them all again! I’ve popped a link in your episode notes to a Cambodian keyboard so you can see how complicated it is. Good luck.
Pig poo .. good for nothing, right? Wrong … as a clever farmer in Victoria has discovered, by collecting and processing pig poo, it can be turned into electricity! Genius!
The clever people at the Berrybank Farm near Ballarat have created a machine that takes pig poo and converts it to energy – which is then used to provide the electricity required to run the farm.
And the waste that’s left over is also recycled to make fertiliser.
And how about this as a stat to make your toes curl. The Berrybank Farm, which is home to about 20,000 pigs, produces 80,000 litres of pig poo every day. Euuugh. So that’s a helluva lot of poo that is being recycled and reused in a really clever way. Pig poo recyclers, we salute you.
POP CULTURE CORNER
Harry Potter fans … whip out your wands and plump up the Sorting Hat .. whether you’re a Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Gryffindor or the one I can never remember .. you’re going to want to mark your diary and make a plan to settle down in front of the telly on New Year’s Day to watch the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary TV special.
Yesterday it was confirmed that actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – who played Harry, Hermione and Ron – will all be getting together to film a Hogwarts special to mark the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film, The Sorcerer’s Stone.
Twenty years ago this week the film appeared in cinemas and launched a movie franchise that spanned eight films and captured the imaginations of millions of wizarding fans around the world.
The TV special will air on HBO Max in the US on New Years Day – which means it should be available here on the streaming service Binge soon thereafter. Wingardium leviosa!
SQUIZ KIDS CORRESPONDENTS
In this new segment, we get to know the country we live in, and the world around us, by seeing it through the eyes of fellow Squiz Kids.
So if you live somewhere interesting – either here in Australia or overseas – we want to know what your life is like. Where you live, what you love about it, what you don’t like so much, what school is like there, what you eat for lunch, the one place you’d take us if we came to visit.
Send in the story of your life and we’ll play it on the podcast.
There’s a link to an information sheet in today’s episode notes – explaining what we want to know and how you can become a Squiz Kids Correspondent.
In the meantime, allow me to introduce this week’s correspondents, Audrey and Gwen – who are from Melbourne but now live with their family in Oxford, in England … take it away girls ..
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What was the name of the Australian naval ship that sank 80 years ago today?
- In which country is Khmer the most commonly spoken language?
- Name one of the four houses in Harry Potter? Gryffindor . Slytherin .. Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff …
It’s November 19 … birthday for Kylo Ren actor, Adam Driver .. and it’s International Toilet Day .. where we’re encouraged to stop and think about how lucky we are to live in a country with good sanitation – as many people in many countries don’t have the same luck.
It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means? An extra long birthday shout out segment … for which I’m going to roll out the birthday reggae tune .. hit it ..
And it’s a happy birthday today…Matilda from Lauceston, Gemma from Oran Park, Asher from Abbotsford, Charlotte from Baldivis, Madeline from Emu Plains, Lachie from Edithvale, Amelia from Barden Ridge, Shlok from Melbourne, Edwin from Marrickville, William from Canberra and Anna from Maitland.
Not forgetting of course all of those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend …Hayden from Lysterfield, Pipstar from Sydney, Isla-Betty from Gwynneville, Anushka from Point Cook, Lachlan from Abbotsford, Ella from Melbourne, Greg from Wallan, Akarli from Randwick, Ava from Gosford East, Stewie from Exeter, Lily from Five Dock, Levi from Ashmont and Penelope and Pippa from Sydney.
The S’Quiz Answers:
- HMAS Sydney
- Griffyndor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw + Hufflepuff