Monday, 24 May, 2021

Vaccine hope at last; Volcano erupts in the Congo; Simone Biles breaks another record; and long live rock and roll!



Volcano erupts in Congo:

Simon Biles does it again!

Maneskin’s Eurovision performance:


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.







There was a welcome glimmer of hope on the coronavirus front yesterday with indications from both the United Kingdom and the United States that their vaccination programs are starting to work.

A new study out of England found that both the Pfizer vaccine and Astra-Zeneca vaccine were highly effective against Covid – with a success rate of up to 88%.

Meanwhile, over in the US, after enduring a horror six months with more people falling ill from COVID than any other country in the world, it was announced at the weekend that the widespread vaccination program was working  with new coronavirus cases falling to the lowest level since June last year. 

As vaccines are still being distributed around the world, and as Australia recorded its highest daily vaccination rate last week, there have so been 1.6 billion shots delivered across 176 countries – making it the biggest vaccination effort in history.





Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in the Congo – a country in Africa. Where a volcano that’s been dormant for twenty years has erupted, causing the residents of a nearby city to flee in panic.

Mt Nyiragongo erupted in a fiery display on Saturday night, sending lava spewing into the night’s sky and racing down the mountainside towards terrified residents of the city of Goma. 

Reports say the lava was moving at speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour – causing many of the city’s residents to panic. Goma has a population of about 2 million. Last night there were reports the lava had reached the city’s main airport. 

The volcano is also close to a national park where gorillas live – so there were concerns last night for the safety of various troops of the endangered species. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to video footage of the volcanic eruption.




Just when you thought US gymnast Simone Biles couldn’t possibly surprise or impress the world any more with her strength and skill, she’s gone and landed a double pike that until now has only ever been achieved by men.

The Yurchenko double pike, as the vault is called, requires a gymnast to sprint down the runway, do a roundoff onto the springboard, then back  handspring onto the vault at such speed that they transition into a double backflip with their legs straight as an arrow, before somehow landing on their feet. Which is exactly what Simone did over the weekend – winning the US gymnastics championships in Indiana and booking herself a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics. 

With a total of 30 world championship and Olympic gold medals – Simone is the most successful gymnast the United States has ever produced – and the third most awarded gymnast in the world. So far. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to video of her gravity-defying vault. 




There was smoke, there were lights, there were outrageous costumes, and more sequins than your regular suburban dance eisteddfod — but in the end, there could only be one winner. 

And it was Italy’s rock band Maneskin who won the night as the Eurovision Song Contest reached a characteristic over-the-top climax in Rotterdam yesterday morning.

The winner is decided by a combination of judges and public voting – and each year hundreds of millions of people around the world tune in and take part. 

This year’s competition came down to the wire, with Italy, France, Switzerland and Malta all in contention. But finally, it was the public vote that got Italy across the line. The lead singer was so excited he split his trousers. Admittedly, they were very tight trousers. 

Don’t believe those trousers were tight? Check out the link to their performance in today’s episode notes. That ought to kick start your Monday. 




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

  1. What is the name of the country in Africa where a volcano has just erupted?
  2. What’s the name of the US gymnast who pulled off a Yurchenko double pike over the weekend?
  3. Which country won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest? 




It’s May 24 … birthday of Brisbane Lion and Brownlow medallist, Lachie Neale, Aussie swimmer Emma McKeon and Andy Lee of Hamish + Andy fame. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …  Taj from North Nowra, Jansen from Vaucluse, Rudi from Preston, Lucas from Lockleys, Alice from Kingsford, Natalie and Anya from Carindale, Nikola from West Ryde, Solenne from Williamstown, James from Canberra, and Kyah from Woongarrah. 

And a belated birthday shoutout to Oliver from Abbotsford, who turned 11 over the weekend. 

Classroom shout outs go to Miss Michos’s 5M class at Croydon Park Public School, 5 Olive at Bowen Public School, Mrs Cotten and Mrs Walters Year 4 class at Holy Spirit Primary Kurri Kurri, 4D from St Ives North Public School, and the year 4’s in Room 20 at Carnaby Rise Primary School. 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Congo
  2. Simone Biles
  3. Italy