Monday 22 March, 2021
NSW goes under with more rain on the way; the happiest country in the world; women’s basketball fail; and Wally the wandering walrus.
NSW schools closed due to flooding: https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/school-safety
NCAA women’s basketball fail : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-21/ncaa-apologises-for-weight-room-differences/100019746
Wally the walrus: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-56470235
And the rains just keep on falling … there are dire warnings today that parts of NSW are about to be smashed by the worst flooding in decades.
Residents of Western Sydney, were last night being told to prepare to evacuate as the Nepean River broke its banks and spilled into backyards.
Warragamba Dam – Sydney’s main water supply – overflowed at the weekend, while in towns up and down the state’s Mid-North Coast – including Newcastle, Taree and Port Macquarie were sandbagging homes and businesses. One couple in Taree even watched helplessly as the Manning River picked up their house and swept it down river.
Pretty much anywhere near a river from Coffs Harbour to Sydney was on high-alert yesterday, with weather forecasters warning the collision of two weather systems tonight and into Tuesday would bring more heavy rains and rising flood waters.
The wild weather will mean more than 90 schools in NSW – including across the mid-North Coast and Hunter regions – will be closed today. I’m sure you’re devastated.
There’s a link in today’s episode notes to video of the house floating away: as well as a link to the the NSW Department of Education website with an up to date list of schools that are closed for the day. Stay safe out there everyone.
SPIN THE GLOBE
Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in Finland – up near the Arctic circle – which has been named this weekend as the happiest country in the world.
Which is no small thing given it’s dark and freezing there for six months of every year … but I digress.
An off-shoot of the United Nations does a happiness report every year – comparing countries around the world – and this year, they’ve looked at which countries have coped the best during COVID.
Coming in second and third places was fellow Scandinavian countries Iceland and Denmark, with Switzerland taking out fourth place and the Netherlands in fifth.
Where does Australia rank in the happiness stakes? According to these researchers, we’re at number 12 … behind countries like Germany and New Zealand, but ahead of countries like the US, Canada and France.
We hear a lot about women’s sport – and here at Squiz Kids, we like to celebrate the leaps and bounds forwards that women’s professional sport – in everything from cricket to AFL – has taken. But then every now and then something pops up to show that some sports still have a long way to go in treating women athletes as equal to their male counterparts.
Take for example a video that went viral this weekend as the March Madness college basketball tournament got underway in the United States.
A video posted by women’s basketballer, Sedona Price, comparing a huge and very-well appointed weights room for the male players, with a tiny collection of 12 hand weights for the female players, went viral at the weekend – attracting more than 16 million views – and comments from top players including Steph Curry.
Organisers were forced to apologise and then scrambled to improve the facilities for the women. As Sedona says in her video: “If you can’t see the problem with this, then you’re part of the problem.”
There’s a link to it in today’s episode notes ..
A walrus who locals jokingly say must have fallen asleep on an iceberg and drifted thousands of miles south from the North Pole, has washed up on a beach in Wales – thrilling local children and setting into motion an RSPCA rescue operation.
Wally the Walrus, as he’s been named by locals, appeared on rocks near the bottom of a cliff in Wales – that’s W-A-L-E-S not W-H-A-L-E-S, so as not to confuse your marine mammals …
Local RSPCA officers said Wally was about the size of a cow, measuring more than 2 metres in length – and though he looked a bit lost, he appeared to otherwise be in good health.
It’s believed he may have been chasing fish, then accidentally found himself on an iceberg that drifted out of the Arctic circle where walruses are normally found, sailing his way south to the Welsh coastline. That’s quite a swim home Wally now has in front of him …
JOKE Q+A CALL OUT
Thanks to everyone who sent in a question for Taronga Tiger Keeper, Louise Ginman – we’ll have her Q+A coming up later this week. Meanwhile: all you Squiz Kids out there with a killer sense of humour and a very active funny bone – keep sending in those jokes for kids author Andy Griffiths. To mark the upcoming release of the Treehouse Joke Book, Andy has agreed to judge the best kids’ joke in Australia – as sent in by you, the listeners of Squiz Kids. There will be a great prize for the best joke – which will be the one that makes Andy laugh so hard his treehouse wobbles.
You’ve only got until the end of this week to get your best jokes in. Send them quicksticks to [email protected].
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What’s the name of the dam outside Sydney that overflowed on the weekend?
- Which country has been named the happiest in the world?
- What sort of animal has washed up on the Welsh coastline thousands of kilometres from his usual home in the Arctic Circle?
It’s March 22 … World Water Day – in which people all over the world are encourage to reflect on the important role water plays in their daily lives. Though the residents of NSW might not be feeling all that pleased with water today…
It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Harvey from Goomalling, Charlie from Wagga Wagga, Gabi from Jindalee, Qasim from Croydon, Eddie from Belmont, Emma from Pitt Town, Lucas from Spreyton, Moriah (Pronounced Maria) from Happy Valley, Rylee from Kempsey, Ferdinand from Denistone East, Elijah from Sunnybank Hills and Charlie all the way from Johor in Malaysia.
And a belated birthday shoutout to … Phoebe from Chiswick, Vicky from Porepunkah, and Harry from Harden.
Happy birthday one and all.
Today’s classroom shoutouts… class 4G at Willandra Rise Primary School, Miss Boulton and Mr G’s Year 6 classes at Albany Hills State School, and class 6 Gold St Thomas More Ruse. And a special shoutout to Mrs Paparella’s class from School of the Nativity in Aberfoyle Park, and Mrs Wickins’ 3 Blue class at St Elizabeth’s, both of whom celebrated a birthday last week.
The S’Quiz Answers:
- Warragamba Dam