Friday, 5 August, 2022

A good day for the environment; meet Bandit the guard cat; our ballet boy from the bush; and why Batgirl is bat-gone.



Sensational World of Civics:

Billy Elliott movie trailer

Zai Calliste – Townsville ballet dancer:


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There was good news for the environment yesterday when a new report revealed coral has been growing back on the Great Barrier Reef – while down in Canberra our politicians took an important step in the fight against climate change.

Let’s start with the reef first – where a group of scientists announced that coral has grown back significantly in the northern and central parts of the Great Barrier Reef. Which is excellent news for sea creatures who rely on the reef for a home – and for your grandkids, who might one day want to visit and enjoy one of the natural wonders of the world. 

While the scientists said the news was good – they also warned that the reef is fragile and lots of work still needed to be done to protect it. Including putting the brakes on climate change, which recent history had shown was having a devastating effect on the health of coral. 

Luckily – for the reef and for us – thousands of kilometres to the south in Canberra – our federal politicians seemed as if they were listening, passing legislation in the House of Representatives that would commit Australia to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 43% by the year 2030. 

The legislation – or law –  now has to go to the Senate for them to sign off on it. 

If you’ve got yourself a good brain and love science and maths and inventing things  – right about now would be a good time to think about a career in renewable energy technology. Just sayin’

And if you want to brush up on the House of Reps and Senate and how our system of government works – check out our excellent four part kids series, the Sensational World of Civics … making democracy fun. Truly … 


Each day, we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Mississipi in the United States – where Bandit the cat is being hailed as a hero.

You’ve heard of guard dogs before, right? But what about guard cats?

Because that’s what Bandit is being hailed as after she helped prevent a robbery in the house she shares with her human, an elderly gentleman by the name of Fred. 

When Bandit heard burglars trying to climb through the kitchen window, she raced into the bedroom where Fred was fast asleep – jumped up onto the bed, meowed loudly and scratched at his arm until he woke up and scared the intruders away.

Bandit is a rescue cat – and was adopted by Fred four years ago. Ten bucks and a tin of Whiskas says Bandit was just paying Fred back for the kindness he showed when he adopted her. Cats are thoughtful like that …



DC Comic fans were shocked yesterday when Warner Brothers announced that it had cancelled the upcoming Batgirl movie… after having spent $90 million filming and editing it. Batgirl won’t be released in movies, and it won’t even be released online. Batgirl is Batgone. 

Now, you are logical people, so you’re probably thinking “Wow, that movie must have been AWFUL.”

But apparently, that’s not it. When movies aren’t quite as good as a movie studio hoped, they’re often not released in cinemas, because executives think that they won’t make more money than they cost. Instead, they send it to straight to a streaming service, because that’s a cheap way to release a movie, and make some money back. 

In the case of Batgirl, though, if Warner Bros doesn’t release the movie at ALL, reports say it can claim all $90 million on its tax return. Holy tax loophole, Batman! 



And today it’s a great big Squiz Kids Salute to 17 year-old Zai Calliste – a ballet dancer from Townsville in Far North Queensland who has sauted, pirhouetted and arabesqued his way into one of the most prestigious ballet schools in London.

Zai – whose mum was a professional dancer and is originally from the Caribbean – says he thought of giving up ballet heaps of times growing up in Townsville where most boys played rugby league or soccer. 

But he loved to dance, was really, really good at it – and he stuck at it – with his mum and dance teacher’s encouragement. 

And now that perseverance has paid off – having beaten thousands of other boys from all around the world to be offered a place at the English National Ballet school. 

It gives me all the Billy Elliott vibes … and if you don’t know what i’m talking about – check out the links to a Billy Elliott movie trailer in today’s episode notes. Oh – and a link to photos of  Zai dancing on stage also in today’s episode notes. You’re welcome. 


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

  1. What’s the name of the guard cat from Mississippi?
  2. Which movie won’t be released in cinemas despite $90m being spent to film and edit it?
  3. What sort of dance does Townsville teen Zai Calliste do and excel at?




It’s August 5 — it’s the birthday of Aussie tennis player Alexei Popyrin and it’s International Beer Day … but that’s probably more for me, than you … 

It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means? Lots of birthday shoutouts for which we’ll crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … 

And it’s a happy birthday to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Suhaan from Queanbeyan South, Taylan from Yarrawonga, Freya from Murwillumbah, Sara from Cannon Hill, Rosie from Frenchs Forest and Taj from Queensland. 

Belated shout outs go to… Charlotte from Brisbane, Maddie from East Hills and Rory from Sydney.

Celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend are…  Blake and Paakhi (pronounced Parky) from Craigburn, Grace from Bombala, Quinn from Western Australia, Lorenzo from Highton, Cameron from Doubleview, Soulijah from Ashmont, Louis from West Beach, Charlotte from Glenbrook, Jackson from Fadden, Aethon (pronounced Ethan) from Forest Lake, Olivia from Albury, Inari from Pullenvale and lastly Finn (and his mum Lucy) from Woolloongabba. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Bandit
  2. Batgirl
  3. Ballet