Monday, 10 October, 2022

Zoo closed as floodwaters rise; Fire on Easter Island; Freestyle football king is crowned; and Fat Bear Week in full swing.



Map of Polynesia:

The moai of Easter Island:

Fire damages Easter Island’s moai:

Freestyle footballer Erlend Fagerli


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It will be a soggy return to school for millions of Squiz Kids this morning as NSW emerges from another week of rain and was yesterday preparing itself for a similar flood emergency to the ones that hit the state earlier this year.

Towns in central NSW, including Dubbo, were on high alert yesterday – with evacuations orders being handed out, encouraging lots of residents to leave their homes and get to higher ground.

On Saturday, the Western Plains Zoo just outside of Dubbo, was forced to close its doors to visitors as flash flooding made a visit to the zoo too dangerous.

The zoo is home to an awesome collection of giraffes, rhinos, lions, cheetahs – and even hippos.

In a statement from zookeepers, worried animal lovers across the country were assured that all the animals were being kept dry and safe.

Though I imagine the hippos are probably loving the wet weather.

Not so much residents along the Hawkesbury west of Sydney – who were yesterday told to evacuate their homes for the third time this year. 

Dams were full across the state and expected to spill over, and the army has been called in to set up flood emergency centres as communities up and down the coast and inland across multiple river systems wait and watch to see how high the rivers rise this time.

The constant rain is all thanks to the La Nina weather system – which unfortunately is going to be with us for the next six months or so. Maybe keep your gum boots handy.. 

Oh – and kids going back to school today … try to stay out of puddles in the playground, eh?



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed on Easter Island – which is exciting, because we’ve never landed there before. And the reason we’re there is because a fire has damaged some of the coolest, most historically-significant statues in Polynesia.

What’s Polynesia? I hear you ask .. it’s the name given to a region in the Pacific Ocean that includes countries like New Zealand, Tahiti, Tonga, the Cook Islands and even Hawaii. I’ve stuck a link to a map in today’s episode notes.

The moai are a collection of ancient stone statues carved about 500 years ago by the local people – they’re famous around the world and stunning.  I’ve stuck another link in today’s episode notes for you to check them out. 

Thanks to a bushfire that swept across a corner of Easter Island over the weekend, many moai have been damaged – with photos circulating yesterday of moai charred by the fire’s flames. 

I’ve stuck a link to photos of that too in today’s episode notes. 

Here’s hoping the stone statues that have stood up to the ravages of nature for over 500 years survive this setback too. 

 – oh, there’s the Classroom Companion clarion – indicating that today’s worksheets for our Squiz Kids for Schools subscribers relates to this story in the podcast. Get amongst it … 




And it was another big weekend in sport – with the T20 men’s cricket in Brissie with Australia beating the West Indies; and the women’s rugby world cup in New Zealand with the Wallaroos – Australia’s national team – going down to the Black Ferns; and of course the Bathurst 2000 supercar race on the famous Mt Panorama  – but the one competition that caught our eye was the freestyle football tournament in Croatia at the weekend.

Norway’s Erlend Fagerli won his ninth consecutive world title yesterday – cementing his place as the undisputed best in the world.

What’s freestyle football? Yeah – I had to Google it myself. Put simply, it’s doing amazing tricks with a soccer ball – and rather than try to explain it, I’ve stuck a link to video of Erlend in today’s episode notes. 

When he was younger, Erlend saw videos of freestyle footballers on YouTube and spent hours and hours practicing in his backyard with his brother … now he’s a world champ. Because, THAT’S how you do it.




Because it’s a Monday and – for many of you – the first day back at school – i thought we’d ease into things with a reminder that we’re in the middle of Fat Bear Week. Those of you who tuned in last week will know what I’m talking about: it’s the annual online voting poll for the fattest bear in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. Bears who have spent the northern hemisphere summer stuffing their faces with salmon before their upcoming winter hibernation. 

Fan favourites such as Chunk, Walker and Otis have all lost out in early rounds of voting, while big boppers including Holly, Grazer and last year’s winner, 747, were all still in contention yesterday. 

I’ve stuck links in today’s episode notes to the voting portal – with photos of all the bears – plus a link to a Live Cam into Katmai National Park where you can watch the bears catch salmon in real time. You’re welcome.




And it’s a big welcome back to NSW school kids and teachers … hope you had an excellent break … Teachers: we know you’re bounding into a new term with a certain sense of heaviness .. as if you’re dragging yourselves to the end of year finish line … so let us help you out. 

As a special Term 4 only offer, we’ve slashed the subscription price tag of our Squiz Kids for Schools offering … Get your hands on and wrap your ears around the Classroom Companion – daily, differentiated, curriculum-aligned worksheets tied to the news stories in this podcast, unfettered access to Squiz Kids Shortcuts – 10 minute deep dives into curriculum-aligned topics, plus our excellent podcast Squiz The World – where Amanda takes you on an audio excursion to a different country each week. All for only $39.95 for Term 4. Perfect for home educators too. Jump into a free trial at or via the link in today’s episode notes – and let us do the lesson prep so you don’t have to. 



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 island in Polynesia that is home to the ancient stone statues called ‘the moai’?
  2. Which country does freestyle football champ Erlend Fagerli come from?
  3. In which central NSW town is the Western Plains Zoo located?




It’s October 10 … today is World Porridge Day … where the World Porridge Making Championships will take place in Scotland … mmm .. porridge. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today .. Maya from Helensvale, Nicola from The Rock, Fergus from Greenwood, Yanita from Canley Vale, Tiffany from Queens Park, Jake from North Perth and Grace from Culcairn.

Belated birthday shout outs go to …Julian from Kingsgrove and Kei (pronounced “K”) from Preston.

Today’s classroom shout outs go to class 3T Aqua and Ms Taylor at Randwick Public School, Grade 6 Pluto and Miss Upea at Chester Hill Public School, class 5/6G and Mrs Glover at Mount Carmel School in Yass and class 4G and Mr Clarke at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Lindfield. 

Special shoutouts go to …Ms Nicholls and Grade 1 at Paraburdoo Primary School, Ms Shakespeare and grade 4 at Mareeba State School and Ms Bullock and grade 3 at Presbyterian Ladies College in Sydney – all who recently became members of Squiz Kids for Schools on our special Term 4 promo. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Easter Island – also known as Rapa Nui
  2. Norway
  3. Dubbo