Monday, 22 June, 2020

Operation Humpback; the year’s shortest day; the Bomber’s bummer of a weekend; and Beyonce’s surprise single.






A ten-metre long humpback whale that was trapped in shark nets for over eight hours off the beaches of the Gold Coast was set free yesterday morning – making it the third whale to be rescued there in three days.

Humpback whales are in the middle of their annual migration up the east coast of Australia – from the freezing waters of the Antarctic to the milder temperatures of places like Hervey Bay, near Fraser Island, where they go for winter hols and to have their babies. 

Since the practice of hunting whales was made illegal in 1986, the humpback whale population has skyrocketed. And that’s good. But because we like to swim at beaches not worrying about sharks – more and more whales are getting caught in shark nets – and that’s not so great. The Head of Marine Sciences at Sea World said they were in discussion with the Queensland Government to reduce the number of shark nets during winter – when whales are on the move and there are fewer swimmers at the beach.

Did yesterday pass in a flash? Did you feel like your lazy Sunday was over barely before it had begun? That’s because it was the winter solstice – otherwise known as the day in Australia when we have the least amount of daylight. It’s all to do with the tilt of planet Earth – and how that tilt affects the amount of daylight we’re exposed to as we spin around the sun. The winter solstice is the day that we are tilted at a specific angle that makes it harder for the sun’s rays to find us. Of course, that same tilt means up in the northern hemisphere – they’re getting all the sunshine feels. While we’re down here shivering in the dark – they’re having long summer days where – in some countries – the sun doesn’t set until after 10pm. It’s called the summer solstice – and ours will roll around in December when the northern hemisphere shivers. It’s science peeps. 




Each day, we give the world globe a spin and find a news story wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in Oklahoma, in the United States, where President Donald Trump yesterday held the first major political rally since COVID-19 gripped his country in March. The rally – which is a gathering of supporters – was heavily criticised for bringing so many people together in a stadium at a time when everyone is still supposed to be social-distancing. Despite boasting he would pack the stadium, the 19,000 seat venue had quite a few empty seats. The rally was held to whip up excitement among Trump’s supporters as America heads to a presidential election in November. 




A footy player with a runny nose from the Essendon Bombers has thrown his team’s season into doubt as the AFL yesterday tried to work out what to do if a whole team came down with coronavirus. Irish player Connor McKenna tested positive to COVID-19 on Saturday – forcing a postponement of the Bombers’ clash against Melbourne yesterday. McKenna’s team mates are now awaiting the outcomes of their own COVID tests. 

Meanwhile, Queensland rugby league fans were celebrating the news yesterday that next weekend’s round of footy would be played before a crowd of up to 10,000 spectators. It’s especially good timing for footy fans in the south-eastern corner of the state – with a local derby (which is a match played by two teams who are based next to each other) – taking place between the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans on Saturday.




So you like rock music? Maybe you’re a fan of a style from the 1990s called ‘grunge’. But would you really fork out $9 million for a guitar? Because that’s what one Australian music fan has done at the weekend, purchasing a guitar made famous by the world most famous grunge band, Nirvana – played as it was by the band’s lead singer, Kurt Cobain. 

The guitar was sold at a Music Icons auction in the United States at the weekend – where another guitar, played by the artist Prince, sold for an equally staggering $825,000.

Meanwhile in other music news, Beyonce – known as Queen Bey to her army of devotees – delighted fans at the weekend releasing a new single called Black Parade. The single dropped on Juneteenth – the date in June that marks the anniversary when the last African American slaves learned they were free. 




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

  1. What sort of whales are being rescued off the beaches of the Gold Coast?
  2. What’s the name given to the day of the year with the smallest number of daylight hours?
  3. Which AFL club’s season is under a cloud after a player tested positive for coronavirus?




It’s June 22 … the birthday of Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep and 1980s pop star Cyndi Lauper … never heard of them? Ask your folks.

It’s also a big day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Bridie from Crookwell, Aiden from Redlynch, Quincy from Beaumaris, Lucas from Knoxfield, Laura from Capalaba, Elliott from WA, Maleka from Tweed Heads, Bella from Nundah, Katherine from Rutherford, George from Canberra, Ava from Marrickville, Yasmin from Spreyton, Bella from Clayfield, Stella from Newtown, Caitlin from Abbotsford, Jeff from Narraweena, Noor from Sefton, Moey from Bankstown, Gene from Queensland, Garrence from St Helen’s Park, Josh from Randwick and Harry from Albion Park. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Freddie from Berry, Matilda from Adelaide, Mabel from Abbotsford, Abhijay from Wentworthville, Oliver and Esther from Sydney, Maree from Melbourne, Max from Canberra, Kaito from North Sydney, Isaac from Kempsey, and Logan from Wagga Wagga

Happy birthday to you all. 

Today’s classroom shoutouts… 3M with Ms Murphy and 1W with Mr Wilson at Ashgrove State School, 5/6G and Miss Garland from Charlestown South Public School, Mrs McCall and 6Blue and and Year 4 with Mrs Reed, Mrs Cranney and Miss Redfern from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Como, and 4F and their new teacher, Mr Lenard, at Newbridge Heights Public School. 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Humpback whales
  2. Winter solstice
  3. Essendon Bombers