Monday, 2 May, 2022

The Australian Olympic Team wants you; the worst choice of holiday souvenir; what your dog’s breed says about its behaviour; and a long, long wait for a birthday cake.



The longest wait for a birthday cake: 

Sensational World of Civics – Episode 1: Why Canberra?

Squiz Kids for Schools:

Squiz Kids Apple Subscriber Content: 





Are you a gun AFL or NRL player? Then the Australian Olympic Team wants YOU! 

It probably seems strange to be talking about the Olympic Games, when we won’t have another one until 2024, in Paris. But the new president of Australia’s Olympic Committee, Ian Chesterman, has big plans that reach even further into the future—to 2032, when Brisbane will host the world’s biggest sporting event. Mr Chesterman was elected to the top job over the weekend, and he wants the kids of Australia to stop dreaming about being an AFL or NRL star, and instead set their sights on wearing the Olympic green and gold. 

You see, at the moment the two football codes attract much of the top sporting talent in our country—boys and girls who can run fast, jump high, tackle, kick, throw, and catch. But… there’s no Aussie rules or rugby league in the Olympics. 

Mr. Chesterman is trying to get  more money for the Olympic Committee, so that kids starring in AFL and NRL might consider instead a professional athletic career as a runner, high jumper, wrestler, weight lifter… really, any of the 43 Olympic sports on offer. 

You could get a little inspiration from someone who opted for a football code with a round ball—Sam Kerr, who’s worn green and gold as an Olympian, and the blue uniform of Chelsea FC, in the English soccer league. This weekend Sam was overwhelmingly voted English football’s woman player of the year. Professional football player, AND Olympian. What a legend. 


Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Israel, where an American family caused chaos at the international airport this weekend with their terrible choice of souvenir. The sightseers had visited the Golan Heights, where there was a war more than 50 years ago, and picked up and souvenired what they thought was a spent – meaning used – artillery shell. In actual fact, they’d been walking around with a backpack containing a shell that was unexploded – meaning extremely dangerous. Luckily for everyone, they showed it to security before they got on the plane home, and asked if they could pop it in a suitcase… Officials immediately recognised the danger and started to clear the area, but unfortunately some other passengers panicked and caused a bit of a commotion. What an embarrassing way to end a holiday… I bet next time they’ll stick to T-shirts and postcards as souvenirs. 


You know what a stereotype is, right? It’s a fixed idea about something that is believed by lots of people to be true, but is often wrong, or overly simplified. Like, the stereotype that all tall people are good at basketball. 

Well, dogs suffer from stereotypes, too—for example, that all border collies are super smart… that all beagles steal food …  and that all staffies are aggressive. 

But a new study of more than 18,000 dogs, published in the prestigious journal Science, has found that actually, every breed of dog contains animals that show every kind of behaviour. There are collies that aren’t super smart; beagles who haven’t licked a plate in their lives; and pit bulls who are submissive – which is the opposite of aggressive. Although there are some animals that tend to howl more… they are more closely related to wolves.

Overall, though, what’s much more important than breed, is how the dog is trained and treated. Which, if you think about it, is true for kids, too. You aren’t born able to do your times tables, or be a good friend, or swim freestyle … you need a good teacher, and you need to practice!



And so we go to Italy, where I am SURE the record has been broken for the longest time anyone has had to wait for their 13th birthday cake. 

Imagine this… it’s April 28, 1945, close to the end of World War II. As German soldiers retreat and American soldiers come to liberate – which means free – the village of San Pietro in Gu, Meri Mion’s mother bakes a cake for her daughter’s 13th birthday, and leaves it on the windowsill to cool. 

But the newly arrived American soldiers are starving, and when they pass the window, they just can’t resist. They swipe the cake and eat every last crumb! Imagine that! 

Fast forward to 2021, when Meri is invited to the headquarters of the American Army in Italy, to share her experiences about being a survivor of the war. She happens to mention the theft of her birthday cake, saying that she was so happy the American soldiers had come to free her country, she didn’t mind that they took her cake. But the commander of the American garrison decides he has to right this terrible wrong. 

And so this weekend, on Meri’s 90th birthday—77 years after her 13th birthday cake was nicked, and the anniversary of the liberation of the area—American soldiers surprised her with a huge and delicious looking cake, complete with some very fancy decorations. I’ve popped a link in your episode notes to a video of the soldiers singing Meri happy birthday in Italian and English… she wiped away a few tears, and I may have, too… 


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

  1. Which country had its international airport thrown into chaos by an unexploded artillery shell? 
  2. How many years did Meri Mion wait for her 13th birthday cake? 
  3. Which sport has allowed Sam Kerr to be an Olympian and a professional athlete? 



It’s May 2… World Tuna Day, according to the United Nations, which introduced the day in 2016 to draw attention to the importance of sustainably fishing the delicious big fish. Who doesn’t love a tuna sandwich?

It’s also the 47th birthday of soccer legend David Beckham, who won 19 major trophies over a 20 year career, and played on championship teams in four different countries! He was best known for his banana-like kicks, which gave the world the saying – and movie title – Bend it Like Beckham.  

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… 

Jagger from Shoal Bay, Sabrina from Cannon Hill and twins Cooper and Jack from West Wallsend Public School. 

A belated birthday wish goes to Ned from Quirindi 

Classroom shoutouts go to…Mr Meesen and class 5/6M at Mandama Primary School, Mr McDonald and class 3D at Tamworth Public School, Mr McEleney and class 5B at Sheldon College and to all the students at Woodhill State School.

The S’Quiz Answers:

77 years
3. Israel