Friday, 6 May, 2022

JackJumping into history; Bolivia’s books behind bars; the world’s longest-serving worker; and Star Wars meets high art.



Archibald Prize finalists:


Sensational World of Civics – Episode 2: What’s an election?


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Many years ago, an American President stood in front of a huge crowd in the city of Berlin and declared: I am a Berliner.

Well today my friends, I am a Tasmanian … as are thousands of sports fan around Australia as a modern day sporting fairytale is on the verge of unfolding.

What in the wide world of sports am I talking about? I’m talking about the JackJumpers – Tasmania’s team in the national basketball league – who tonight begin their campaign to become the first team in the history of the competition to become national champions in their very first season in the league.

Why is that a thing? Because Tassie so often gets left out in national sporting comps. Despite the fact they are huge AFL fans – and have been pleading to have their own team for years – they don’t have one. 

So for the basketball team from Tassie to have made the championship play-offs in their inaugural season is remarkable. The fact they beat last year’s champs, Melbourne United in the semis earlier this week is equally impressive. And the fact that in their first season in the league they have beaten every single other, more established team, is the stuff of dreams.

So what’s a JackJumper? It’s only a venomous ant, native to Tasmania … which, yes, is renowned for its ability to jump. Eugh.

And what happens now? The JackJumpers will take on Sydney in the best-of-five grand final series, beginning tonight.

Go you good things! 



Each day, we give the world globe a spin, and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Bolivia, where inmates in the South American country’s jails are now able to get out of jail sooner if they read. A new program, called Books Behind Bars, doesn’t actually cut much time off a prisoner’s sentence—sometimes only hours, at most a few weeks—but it does give them something important: a new skill to help them when they are released. Bolivia is a relatively poor country, and many of the grown ups in its jails do not know how to read or write. If they participate in Books Behind Bars, and pass the reading tests that are part of the program, they’re becoming literate… and that could help them find a job and stay OUT of trouble once they’re released. Just under 1,000 prisoners are participating in the program so far, and one says that when she reads, she feels like she’s in contact with the whole universe—the walls and bars of her cell seem to disappear. Which, when you think about it, is a different kind of prison escape. 




It was a case of Star Wars meeting high art in Sydney yesterday when the winner of a prestigious portrait painting competition was announced.

What’s portrait painting? A portrait is a painting of a person .. you know how sometimes paintings can be of landscapes or abstract? Portraits are paintings of people .. and it’s a really clever form of art – because capturing the essence of a person in a painting is a really hard thing to do. 

Every year in Australia there’s a famous portrait painting competition called The Archibald Prize. And every year, there’s an award given out called the Packing Room Prize .. where the workers at the art gallery who unpack all the paintings get to choose their favourite.

And this year they’ve chosen an awesome portrait of Star Wars and Thor director, Taika Waititi … the painting is by an artist called Claus Stangl – and because I know how arty you all are – I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to a gallery of photos of this year’s Archibald finalists .. including the Taika Waititi portrait … you’re welcome ..



In an age where so many things are disposable, and so much happens so quickly – here’s a nice story to make you stop and think.

A 100-year-old man in Brazil has just broken the Guinness World Record after working at the same company for 84 years. 

Walter Orthmann started working at his textiles company in 1938 – when he was only 15 years old. A textiles company is a company that makes fabric. 

Last month, he celebrated his 100th birthday and more than eight decades of working for the same employer.

The secret to holding down a job at the same place for so many years, according to Walter? Be adaptable .. be prepared to learn new things.

Which is pretty good advice when you consider when Walter started work computers didn’t exist, the internet was many decades away from being invented, and even telephones were few and far between.

Says Walter: “You need to get busy with the present, not the past or the future. Here and now is what counts.”

Ah Walter … Squiz Kids Salutes you …




And it’s a big welcome to all of those teachers who have signed up in the past couple of weeks to the free trial of our Squiz Kids for Schools program.

We’re delighted to have you aboard – and look forward to making your life easier on a daily basis. 

Be sure to jump into your dashboard today and check out the new Squiz Kids Shortcut on refugees that drops today .. or dive into this week’s Squiz The World episode, where we pay a virtual visit to the beautiful country that is Germany. Ja ja! 

Haven’t yet sampled the curriculum-aligned daily classroom resources, tied to the daily podcast, that we’re dishing up each day? Jump into a free 30-day trial at or via the link in today’s episode notes .. you’ll be glad you did.


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

  1. In which country does Walter the Guinness world record-breaking company man live and work?
  2. Name the Tasmanian basketball team shooting for their first ever championship?
  3. What’s the name of the famous portrait painting art prize currently unfurling in Sydney?  




It’s May 6 … birthday of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor .. and yes, you have to say it like that because he’s the son of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. He’s royal, innit?

It’s also a Friday … and that means a whole bunch of birthday shout outs, for which I’m going to need the help of my old friend, the birthday reggae tune .. hit it 

And it’s a happy birthday today to … Thomas from Forest Lake, Nikolas from Darling Point, Amelia and Thea from Canberra, Sophia from Baulkham Hills, Lily from Hamlyn Heights, Jasmine R from Yarrawonga, Indi from Glen Huon, Mallee from Glengowrie, Samantha from Eden Hill, Matilda from Malvern East, Eva from Berry and Charlie from Tallebudgera Valley.

Not to mention those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over this coming weekend … Hugo from Canberra, Molly from Bondi Junction, Kayla from Adelaide, Zachary from Campbelltown, Audrey from Darnum, Harry from Walpole and Willow from Woongarrah Public School.

Belated birthday wishes go to…Zara from Sydney.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Brazil
  2. JackJumpers
  3. Archibald Prize