Friday, 9 September, 2022

Queen Elizabeth dies aged 96; Switzerland’s seaweed coffee; Thomas the Tank Engine’s new autistic friend; and why beluga whales love Adele. 



Magpie map:

Meet Bruno the Brake Car – Thomas’ new friend

Epic Adventures with beluga whisperer Bertie Gregory: 


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 Ahhh … spring … when the weather starts to warm, the flowers start to bloom – and the magpies start to swoop.

Sticking an ice-cream bucket on your head and running with undisguised terror past a know magpie swooping spot has become as Australian as going to the beach and chomping into a lamington …

And for the next eight weeks or so, the skies up and down eastern Australia are going to be filled with magpies acting aggressively – most commonly by swooping cyclists, kids on scooters or people who walk too close to their nests.

But humans are fighting back this season with the creation of a Magpie Map – a website where people are encouraged to record places they’ve been swooped by magpies so that others can avoid the area – and the pesky bird in question.

Why do magpies swoop? They’re simply protecting their nests and the chicks that are in them from predators. It’s simply an instinct.

So what are you supposed to do if you find yourself the subject of an unwanted aerial assault? 

Experts say the worst thing you can do is freak out and run – or wave your arms, or throw things at them. It will only reinforce in the magpie mind that you’re a threat and could provoke a further attack. 

Experts say attaching a bunch of zip ties to your bike or scooter helmet tends to put them off – and people walking past magpie nests are encouraged to wear wide brimmed hats and sunglasses for protection.

Meanwhile – I’ve stuck a link to the Magpie Map in today’s episode notes – which you can zoom in on and see if there’s a danger zone near you. Fingers crossed there’s not a swooping maggie too close by. 


Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Switzerland … where seaweed coffee is all the rage. 

Hang on a minute, what? Seaweed coffee? How can that be a thing?

A supermarket chain in the European country has come up with a clever way of reducing the waste created by coffee capsules.

Its created seaweed coffee balls … little spheres of coffee encased in a seaweed – and hence totally biodegradable – packaging.

The plastic and aluminum coffee capsules popular around the world create tons of waste every year. It’s hoped by wrapping coffee up in seaweed that landfill waste can be drastically reduced.

Which will mean you can get your caffeine hit each day and feel good about the environment … win win!



Toot toot! There’s a new really useful engine on the island of Sodor – with the news yesterday that Thomas The Tank Engine is about to get a new friend.

Bruno the Brake Car is about to join the host of trains on the tracks of Sodor – the first train with autism on all of Sodor.

Bruno has a lantern that changes colour to indicate his emotional state and ear defenders that puff steam if he feels sensitive to loud noises. He also loves train timetables and knows where all the tracks lead on Sodor.

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to a little video introducing Bruno.

And Bruno’s not the only new character to be introduced to a popular kids show.

Peppa The Pig has a couple of new friends in her world too – with the news yesterday that in an upcoming episode Peppa will meet her friend Penny the Polar Bear’s two mothers. 

Penny draws a picture of her family in the upcoming episode and explains to Peppa that she lives with her mummy and her other mummy – and that one mummy is a doctor and the other cooks spaghetti.

What a winning combination … 




Imagine that you were a wildlife videographer, and needed to get footage of beluga whales. You’d put on a wetsuit, grab your waterproof camera, and then… what? Wait? 

Well, 29-year-old Bertie Gregory, a filmmaker for the world’s most famous naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, has a pretty nifty trick. He sings Adele songs. That’s right, Adele—the British pop star, known for songs like “Hello” and “Rolling in the Deep.” Apparently, when Bertie sang underwater, the belugas came right over to investigate. 

Bertie has a new TV series out, called Epic Adventures—I’ll put the trailer in your episode notes—and he’s got lots of other stories to tell. In Antarctica, he witnessed the largest ever aggregation of fin whales. An aggregation, by the way, is when hundreds of whales come together for a feeding frenzy. 

In South America, he got fish jumping out of water and picking fruit off trees. In Europe, he spent 26 nights in a row waiting for a European wolf pack to hunt red deer… on the 27th night, they showed up, and he got the footage.

If only wolves liked Adele, he could have gotten that footage a whole lot faster. Maybe they’re BTS fans?  


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

  1. What has a supermarket chain Switzerland used to make coffee capsules?
  2. What sort of Australian bird is in swooping season?
  3. What’s the name of Thomas the Tank Engine’s new autistic friend? 




It’s September 9 … birthday for crooner Michael Buble – ten bucks says you own one of his Christmas Albums – and also of Colonel Harland Sanders – the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken … which you’d know as KFC … he’s the bearded old bloke you see on the signs .. 

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 the ol’ birthday reggae tune … hit it … 

And it’s a happy birthday to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …

Sahara, Dickalini and Skylah from Springfield, Jaymar from Yarrawonga, Madeline from Mermaid Waters, Dave from Kellyville, Joshua from the Gold Coast, Aleksander from Brighton East, Sam from Launceston and Ada listening over in China. 

Belated wishes go to Ellie from Kotara, Sammy from Surrey Hills and Joy from Mernda. 

Not forgetting the Squiz Kids who are celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend … Tobias and Amy from Poatina, Ridhaan from Springfield, Abby from Petersham, Donna from Katherine, Maximilian from Banksia, Addie from Williamstown, Simon from Mingenew, James from Aubin Grove, Camila from Brighton Le Sands, April from Surrey Hills, Amal whose listneing all the way over there in Ireland and DJ who listens to Squiz Kids all the way over there in Thailand. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Seaweed
  2. Magpies
  3. Bruno The Brake Car