Monday, 22 August, 2022

Tale of two weather extremes; the Zulu crown a king; cross-country parachuting; and a seal in the living room.



Rivers from space:

Thousands celebrate the new Zulu king:

Learn more about the Zulu nation: 

Paramotors explainer video: 

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It was a tale of two extremes on opposite sides of the planet over the weekend as parts of New Zealand flooded thanks to torrential rains, while large parts of the northern hemisphere sweltered in heatwave conditions – with some of the biggest rivers in the world starting to dry up. 

Climate change is being blamed for the state of affairs with rivers in the northern hemisphere – with new pictures taken from space showing some of the most famous rivers in the world drying up from a lack of rain.

The Rhine, the Danube, the Loire and the Po rivers in Europe are all suffering from heat exhaustion. While the flows of the Yangtze River in China and Colorado River in America are all dwindling too.

Most people on the planet depend on rivers in some way, whether for drinking water, to water food crops or to ship goods. 

I’ve stuck a link to the photos from space in today’s episode notes.

Meanwhile, across the ditch in New Zealand, towns in both the North and South Island have had to be evacuated after torrential rains and flooding. A state of emergency has been declared in places like Nelson – at the top of the South Island, with more rain expected over the coming days.

Stay safe over there Kiwi Squiz Kids! 


Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in South Africa, where a new king was crowned over the weekend. Now, you might be thinking… hold on, South Africa is a democracy, not a monarchy! But the Zulu people, who are the biggest ethnic group in South Africa, have had a king since the 1800s. And although the Zulu King doesn’t have official political powers in modern South Africa, he is influential, given that 12 million people, or one fifth of the South African population, are Zulu. The old king died over a year ago, and it’s taken this long to resolve arguments within the royal family over who should succeed him. Succeed in this sense means to follow. The new king was crowned in a ceremony featuring thousands of Zulu people dressed traditionally, holding spears, shields, singing and drumming. I’ve put a video in your episode notes – it’s pretty spectacular. 




And today it’s a great big Squiz Kids Salute to the two daring Aussies who have just flown 4000 kilometres across the country, from Perth to Byron Bay – in a paramotor.

A para what? I hear you ask. A paramotor is made up of a parachute, with a chair attached and a big ol’ propellor behind the chair which pushes you forward through the sky. I’ve stuck a link to a video explainer in today’s episode notes. 

Two friends who love paramotoring decided they wanted to challenge themselves, plus raise some money for charity along the way, and so they set off four weeks ago to cross the entire Australian continent by paramotor.

And on the Friday morning just gone, four weeks after taking off from near Perth, they touched down on the beach at Byron Bay.

One of the men, called Gary, said he wanted to do it prove it was possible to chase your dreams, and also because it was important not to avoid doing things that scared you. 

I think there’s something in that for all of us .. 




There was proof at the weekend in New Zealand that teenage seal pups are just like their human teenagers. A little bit cheeky, a little bit adventurous and always kind of sort of getting up to mischief.

At least that’s what a family in Mt Maungaunui discovered on the weekend after a seal pup scampered through two cat flaps to break into their house.

The pup spent an hour or so exploring the house – apparently it quite liked the living room. And according to the home owners, it seemed to take special delight in terrorising the family’s pet cat – which was so freaked out by the intruder it ran and hid in the neighbour’s house.

Eventually the seal pup took itself back outside – where it was collected by animal consevationists and returned to the nearby sea.

Cheeky pup!


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

  1. What sort of flying contraption did two men just cross Australia in?
  2. What’s the name, starting with Z of the people in South Africa who just crowned a new king?
  3. What animal clambered through not one, but two cat flaps to have a snoop around a New Zealand family’s house?




It’s August 22 – birthdays of pop star Dua Lipa and carpool karaoke king, James Corden.

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

George from Ainslie, Bella from Mansfield, Mia from Sydney, Xascha and Jesse from Lismore, Poppy from Eltham, Sophie from Victoria, Elliott from Glenhaven, Hugh from The Gap, Carrie from St Mary’s, Sha Sha from Bellingen, Chantelle from Balaclava and Yin from American River on Kangaroo Island. 

And belated birthday shout outs go to Charlotte from Brisbane and Abigail from Ivanhoe. 

Classroom shoutouts today go to … Miss Guy and year 6 at Murrumburrah Public School, class 6B and Ms Webb at Dakabin State School, year 5 and Mr Bruce at Our Lady of the Rosary School in Caloundra, year 5 and 6 classes with Miss Hunt at Turvey Park Public School and Mrs Rooth at Saint Thomas More Primary School in Mount Eliza. 

A special shoutout goes to Murphy of Sydney, who we hear took time out of his schedule on Saturday to be a hero of a helper for his cousin Carter… and for me! 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Paramotor
  2. Zulu
  3. Seal pup