Friday, 6 August, 2021

Victoria’s sixth lockdown; Alaska’s chatty whales; Australia on brink of gold medal record; and staying in a Star Wars hotel.



Keegan’s skateboarding medal performance:

Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser website: 


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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And just like that … Victoria has rejoined the club that no-one wants to be a part of. 

The lockdown club.

With the emergence of a COVID cluster in a Melbourne school over the past few days, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews announced a snap, seven day lockdown yesterday – which started at 8pm last night. 

It’s Victoria’s sixth lockdown since the pandemic began. Lockdown 6.0…

And so for all of Victoria, it’s back to staying within a 5km radius of your home, wearing masks when you go outside – and the biggie – throwing yourselves with unbridled joy back into the fun that is home learning … 

That strange look on your parents’ faces? It’s called a middle distance stare, as they contemplate the joy that awaits them .. 

With Victoria joining South East Queensland, Greater Sydney and now also the Hunter region of NSW in lockdown – there’s not much left of the east coast of Australia that’s not in lockdown. That dastardly Delta …

Luckily though: we Squiz Kids have one another’s back – and don’t forget to get involved in our Home Learning Herograms .. details in the Shoutouts.  

An expression you might have heard a bit on the news last night is Closing The Gap. 

It refers to government efforts to make life better for Indigenous Aussies. Because for lots of very complex reasons, their lives are significantly disadvantaged compared to most other Australians. 

One initiative announced yesterday was a plan to build three new boarding schools for Aboriginal kids in remote communities. Remote communities are small towns that are located a long way away from any big cities. It’s hoped the schools will help Indigenous kids get a good education – something most of us take for granted – while still living close to their family, and on land their ancestors have inhabited for many thousands of years. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed Alaska – the beautiful wilderness state of the USA – where humpback whales are having a party.

What’s spurred on the whales of Alaska to break out the party hats? The fact that they’ve got the pristine waters off the Alaskan coast all to themselves. 

Pristine is a fancy word for clean and pure. 

Because Alaska is so spectacular, it’s really popular with tourists. And that means its waters are usually crowded with cruise ships heaps of smaller whale watching boats – all thundering along, criss crossing the water – and in the process, creating quite a racket for the sea creatures under the water.

But because COVID has shut down travel to a large extent, the whales have the water all to themselves. And they are making the most of it. 

Whale researchers have found whales are spreading out across Glacier Bay and having long and involved whale conversations across distances of up to 2km. And while previously they kept their whale chats brief – because there was so much noise around – now they’re chatting like your nana does when she gets near a phone. Whale chatterboxes .. it’s a thing.



If you were going to pick the Olympian who delivered Australia its equal best gold medal haul in history, you perhaps wouldn’t have chosen skateboard champ, Keegan Palmer. The 18 year old from Currumbin in Queensland – while a seriously skilled skateboarder – is super chill. As skateboarders are. 

But what wasn’t super chill was his awesome effort in the park skateboarding event .. it was seriously impressive.

As were our men’s K2 canoe sprinters who also brought home gold, helping to lift Australia’s gold medal tally at these Olympics to 17.

If our women’s beach volleyball team pull off a gold medal  performance today – we’ll have won more gold medals than ever before. 

In Athens in 2004, we won 17, in Sydney in 2000 we won 16 and in Beijing in 2008 we came home with 14. 

Meanwhile it was a silver medal for the Kookaburras – our men’s hockey team last night – losing the final to Belgium in a nail-biting shoot out. And a bronze for Aussie diver Melissa Wu. There’s a link in today’s episode note to Keegan’s sweet ride .. 




I know it’s borderline cruel to talk about holidays when half of us are in lockdown and no-one’s allowed to leave the country .. but here’s a holiday idea that sounds out of this world. 

Details were released yesterday about the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, a hotel and role playing experience that Disney is opening in America next year. Although it’s on dry land, the starcruiser is being built to feel like a spaceship: guests will enter through an airlock, have a view of space from their cabin, and spend two days mixing with new and familiar Star Wars characters. According to Disney, families will have the power to choose their own adventures: will you follow the rule of the First Order, or join the Resistance in a secret plot? Or… just leave the kids to it and settle in with room service?

Lightsaber training is, of course included. So are meals, and admission to Galaxy’s Edge, the Star Wars-themed Disney World experience. It all comes at a pretty hefty price, though: over $8000 Australian dollars for four people, for two nights. I wonder how much that is in Galactic Credits… 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to the hotel website. 




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

  1. What animals are making the most of the quiet in the waters off Alaska?
  2. Keegan Palmer from Currumbin won a gold medal for Australia in which Olympic event?
  3. A new Disney hotel, modelled on a spaceship, has been inspired by what popular movie franchise? 




It’s August 6 … on this day, 20 years ago, the World Wide Web – also known as the internet – was made available for public use … and you thought it had been around forever, didn’t you?

It’s also a Friday .. and that means an extra long shout out segment – so let’s get in the weekend mood and crack out that birthday reggae tune …

And it’s a happy birthday to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …Luke from Walpole, Hamish from Roseville, Harper from Ryde, Christian from Strathpine, Ava from West Wollongong, J-den from Hammond Park, Cooper from Woodhill and Oscar from Sydney.

Belated birthday shout outs go to …Nikolaj from Katoomba and Mia from Murrurundi.

Not forgetting of course all of those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend and there are A LOT of birthdays this weekend…. Oscar from Shoal Bay and Oscar from Cammeray, Will from Trangie, Georgie from Dee Why, Lily from Campbelltown, Lachlan from Ruse, Jackson from Canberra, Hugo from Lane Cove, Charlotte from West Wallsend, Willow from Harden, Josephine from Albany Creek, Josie and Kaden from Albany Hills, Samantha from Forster, Xander from Randwick, Poppy from Kempsey, Finn from Murwillumbah, Valerie from Brunswick, Jackson from Ashmont and lastly twins – Benjamin and Nicholas from Northbridge.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Victoria, Greater Sydney, South East Queensland are in lockdown at the moment – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …Sophie in Year 4 at Marayong Public School in Blacktown sends a herogram to her teacher Miss Kew who is doing a fantastic job on zoom calls. Also a shout out to all the Grade 3 students at Bethany Lutheran Primary School in Raceview who have been instructed to listen to Squiz Kids every day as part of their home learning! 

And a special classroom shout out to Year 5 class at St John’s Anglican College in Forest Lake and a big happy birthday to their teacher Ms Lezar.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Whales … humpbacks, to be specific
  2. Skateboarding
  3. Star Wars