Friday, 3 February, 2023

A new $5 design; Congo’s million person mass; killers off the WA coast; and a Roman god found in the sewer.


The current $5 banknote:

Heatwave Do’s and Don’t’s:

BBC video of the Pope’s mass:

Congolese choir rehearsals:

Pictures of the Bremer Canyon orcas:

Hercules statue after a cleanup:

American Pie by Don Mclean:

All about Australian banknotes:

Reserve Bank statement on $5 note:

Learn more about orcas:

TedEd on Hercules (suitable for older kids):

Hercules in Rick Riordan books:

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Australia’s central bank announced yesterday that our new $5 note will feature a design honouring the culture and history of first nations Australians… and not a picture of King Charles III.

Traditionally, our lowest-value banknote has featured a picture of the British monarch, which is a word that means either king or queen. Once upon a time that was the brown-coloured $1 note, which is of course now a coin. For more than 30 years, Queen Elizabeth has been on the purplish $5 note.

In a statement yesterday, the Reserve Bank, which prints all of Australia’s banknotes, said that it would consult with First Nations people on the design, and the new note wouldn’t be in circulation for a few years. During that time, Queen Elizabeth will still feature. But her son, the new King Charles shouldn’t feel left out… Australian coins, which are made by the Royal Australia Mint, will feature his noggin later this year.

Break –

Queenslanders, watch out! There are heat wave warnings in effect today and tomorrow in the south east of your state, and temperatures are forecast to be higher than they are in the desert! And Squiz-E the Newshound would like you to know that inside a car left in the sun, it can get up to 40 degrees HOTTER than it is outside? So if it’s 35 outside in Brisbane today, that’s 75 in the car. Whatever you do, don’t leave a pet in a parked car – it could be deadly within minutes. (Squiz-E Howl effect) As for taking care of your two-legged friends, health experts are reminding people to drink plenty of water, and stay inside whenever possible. They don’t specifically say to eat lots of ice cream, but it definitely wouldn’t hurt.

Each day we give the world globe a spin, and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where yesterday kids in this central African country got the day off school, and adults were given time off work, to mark the visit of the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Frances. The DRC has the largest Catholic population of any African country, and more than one MILLION people came out to celebrate mass, which is the word for a Catholic religious service, with the pope. The service was held in the capital, Kinshasa, and featured a 700-person choir, which was specially assembled for the occasion. I’ve put links to a video of the visit, as well as rehearsals of the choir, in your episode notes.


They’re back… a pack of orcas has returned to Bremer Canyon, off the coast of WA. Each year, these deadly predators, which are also known as killer whales, show up in one of the world’s few orca hotspots to hunt for food and find a mate. And now that they’ve arrived, researchers are once again trying to learn more about these mysterious creatures of the deep sea.

No one knows where the orcas come from each year. They also have no idea where the pack heads next, after it leaves the WA coast in April. Each time researchers install a $10,000 tracking device on one of the 7-to-10 metre long mammals, it gets removed—probably by another orca. They are known for being very intelligent creatures! This year, the group is being led by a grandma orca. She’s known as the matriarch, which is a word for a woman in charge of a family or tribe. I’ve put some links in your episode notes to learn more about orcas, which are the largest members of the dolphin family.

Before we leave WA, though, a quick update on that radioactive needle-in-a-haystack we reported on earlier this week. The pea-sized capsule has been found, reportedly on the side of the road near the town of Newman. Thankfully, no one appears to have been injured while the capsule was at large. Now, the investigation of HOW it fell off a truck will begin.

Welcome to another new segment, in which we report on a news story that is almost too crazy to be true. This episode comes to you from Rome, where workers repairing a sewage pipe – yes, those are the pipes that transport poo and wee from your toilet to a treatment plant – found a life size marble statue of the Roman demigod Hercules.

Rick Riordan fans will already know that Hercules, known as Heracles in Greek mythology, was the son of Zeus, known for his superhuman strength. His favourite weapon was a club, and after killing a fearsome lion, the story goes, Hercules wore its skin. As you’ll see in the link in your episode notes, the statue is holding a club, and has a lion skin over his head—so experts have no doubt it’s Hercules. So, how did the son of Zeus end up covered in poo?

The sewer pipes are only about 100 years old, so it seems that someone intentionally put poor Hercules down into the poo sometime in the last century. Precisely why and how they did it, remains to be seen.

This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
Which African country has the largest Catholic population?
What is another name for a killer whale?
What did the demigod Hercules wear over his head?


It’s February 3, which is known as “The Day the Music Died.” Back in 1959, musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson died in a plane crash, which another musician wrote about in his song “American Pie.” I’ll put a link to it in your episode notes… I bet it will sound familiar.

It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means .. lots of birthday shout outs for today and the coming weekend … for which we’re going to need to crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … hit it …

It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Sebastian from Claremont Meadows, Isla from Buderim, Cameron from Logan Reserve, Jayden from Doncaster and Anika from Munno Parra.

Not forgetting the Squiz Kids who are celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend…Summer from Yandina, Hanna from Brisbane, Mikayla and Angus from Woongarrah, Lucinda from Junee, Nina and Kara from Cleveland, Evie-Rose from Burpengary, Leo from Auchenflower, Zoe from Flagstaff Hill, Willow from Buxton and Celeste from Como.

And continuing with our celebration of those lucky January babies who get their birthdays in the school holidays… very happy belated birthday wishes to…. Emily from Yass, Tom from Tumut, Emma and Molly from Marulan, Isabella from Bullimba, Riley and William from Forest Lake, Melody from St Ives, Blair from Vermont South, Avery from Torquay, Frankie from Cannon Hill, Pippa from Gunnedah, Indi from Bonogin, Jerry from Ashmont, Grace from Floraville, Abbie, Archie, Georgia, Soph, Elouise and Evie all from Flagstaff Hill, Keyarn and Logan from Woongarrah, Franklin, Zara and Lachlan from Junee, Enock and Lachlan from Munno Parra, Thomas from Ashmore,
Ruby from Yarrawonga AND Archie from Gundagai!