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Friday, 21 August, 2020

Antarctic blob heads our way; a cat for Kiwi of the Year; Kenya’s elephant baby boom; and Melbourne’s Spiderman unmasked. 

 

LINKS

Mittens: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/20/celebrity-cat-in-the-running-to-be-new-zealander-of-the-year

What’s Up Fox?

Reading: https://rickriordan.com/book/the-demigod-files/

Listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPUg7n8-M6o

Watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6UrdUAZ7wM

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

 

THE LOWDOWN

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Lookout! Take cover! Grab your beanie and mittens and get under the doona, stat! An Antarctic blob is heading our way – and it’s a doozy.

Hang on, what? An Antarctic blob? Yep – you heard right. 

Meteorologists are warning that the eastern states of Australia are in for a deep freeze this weekend as a blob of cold weather moves up from Antarctica, bringing with it the threat of blizzards, damaging winds and sub-zero temperatures. 

Tassie will be the first to feel the effects of the blob – which will gradually make its way north through Victoria and into NSW.

The Snowy Mountains ski fields of NSW were rubbing their hands together in anticipation of a big dump of powder, while the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, and nearby towns of Orange, Lithgow and Bathurst have all been told to expect snow falls of up to 10 centimetres overnight tonight – while towns as far north as Armidale have been told to expect snow. 

It all adds to the wild weather we’ve already seen in Adelaide, where a mini-tornado tore through an outer suburb on Tuesday, and far-western NSW where dust storms have been whipped up by wild winds. Aye carumba.

 

SPIN THE GLOBE

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Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today, we’ve landed in New Zealand – where a cat called Mittens is in serious contention to become New Zealander of the Year.

Much like our Australian of the Year award, New Zealander of the Year is a very serious honour, bestowed on a worthy Kiwi each year in recognition of services they have performed for their country.

And this year, Mittens the ginger moggie, has emerged as the people’s choice so far.

Mittens lives in Wellington – the capital city of New Zealand and pretty much does whatever he wants. He wanders the streets of the city, poses for photos with locals and tourists, and has become such a popular and regular fixture on the streets of Wellington, that the mayor gave him the keys to the city and a Facebook page set up in his honour has more than 55,000 fans.

Mittens is not only a tourist attraction for Wellington – but he’s brought lots of happiness to the people of New Zealand – hence his nomination for New Zealander of the Year. 

He’s up against tough competition however. The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is also nominated, as is the country’s director-general of health. So you know: no lightweights in this competition.

But our money’s on Mittens. You’ve got this Mittens.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a photo of the cool cat.  

 

ANIMAL KINGDOM

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Here’s some good news for the African elephant … there’s an elephant baby boom happening in Kenya – with a national park at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro reporting a record number of calves being born this year.

There have been 170 calves born in the Amboseli National Park already this year – including two sets of twins. And there are more baby elephants on the way. 

According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, the elephant population in the west African nation has increased from 16,000 thirty years ago to almost 35,000 last year. Which is incredibly exciting news for a species which is sometimes killed by poachers for its ivory. A poacher is someone who illegally hunts and kills wild animals. Kenya has worked hard to fight back against poachers – and it seems to be working.

And how about this for a fun fact … a baby elephant spends two years inside its mum’s tummy before it is ready to be born. Wowsers. 

⠀⠀

SQUIZ KIDS SALUTES

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If you happen to live in Melbourne and you’ve been in a park or looked out your window and could have sworn you just saw Spiderman jogging past – your eyes are NOT playing tricks on you.

For the past couple of weeks, the residents of St Kilda have been entertained by the sight of a jogging Spiderman – a man running through their parks and streets dressed as the masked crusader.

And yesterday, Spiderman was unmasked as thirty-seven year old Stuart Tyson. A local who decided to start jogging about his neighbourhood dressed as a superhero in the hope it might bring a few smiles to the faces of Melburnians who are in the midst of a second coronavirus lockdown.

“I get to jog, I get to make others happy, it makes me happy – it’s a win-win,” said Stuart yesterday. 

Squiz Kids Salutes you, Spiderman.

 

WHAT’S UP FOX?

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Every Friday we check in with Squiz Kids ambassador, Flynn – known as the Fox to his friends – to see what he’s been reading, listening to and watching.

On the reading front, he’s been drawn back into the world of Percy Jackson – the boy hero with the Greek god parents. He’s currently burning the midnight oil reading The Demigod Files. 

As for listening: it’s all about Conan Gray’s haunting ballad, Heather. It’s a beautiful song – perfect for those cold weekend, under-the-doona feels.

And as for watching … it’s been one of those weeks where YouTube has been getting a workout as he watches people play the new gaming sensation, Fall Guy … it’s kind of like Ninja Warrior for animated blobs. If you can imagine that…

And as usual, there are links to all these cool things in today’s episode notes.

 

THE S’QUIZ

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

  1. What sort of a blob are meteorologists predicting is about to hit Australia’s eastern states?
  2. What’s the name of the cat who’s up for New Zealander of the Year?
  3. What superhero has been jogging about the streets of Melbourne bringing smiles wherever he goes?

 

SHOUT OUTS

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It’s August 21 ….. birthday of the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, Winnie The Pooh’s Christopher Robin – and my lovely wife, Shay. 

It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means? Cue the Squiz Kids birthday reggae mix … 

Happy birthday to….Alyssha and Chelsea from Sydney, Kate and Bailey from Abbotsford, Harry from Newcastle, Koby from Valentine, Olivia from Bathurst, Gabby from Amsleigh Park, Samuel from Glen Iris, Anisha, Ayla and Charlotte from Melbourne, Luke from Vaucluse, Lily May from Belmont, Ivy from Barmedman, Wendy from Trinity Beach, Kai from Roseville, Jade from Wilston, Aarham from East Gosford, Oliver from Five Dock and Pearl all the way from Bangkok in Thailand.

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Edith from Pullenvale, Ella from Bungendore, Santiago from Concord West, and Hugo from Newington

And some weekend birthday shoutouts…Will and Chyna from Bathurst, Amelie from Redlynch, Elliot from Glenhaven, Jackson from Vincentia, Clarissa from Murwillumbah, Xavier from Dundas, Peyton from Tingalpa, Lachlan from Winmalee, Saanvi from Chatswood, Alex from Spreyton

Charlie and Anwesha from Melbourne, Damian from Elwood, Pearl from Cannon Hill, Henry from Valentine, Sherwin from Henley Beach South, Alex from Engadine, Xavier from Harcourt, Alex from Waitara, Evie from NSW, Ethan and Ella from Inverell, Shailendra from Blacktown, Caetlin from Wahroonga, Nia from Ringwood North, Alia from Oakleigh, Elka from Moss Vale, Rufus from Canberra, Eve   from Downer and Chelsea from Bondi Beach. 

Happy birthday one and all!

  The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Antarctic blob
  2. Mittens
  3. Spiderman