Monday, 25 July, 2022

Monkeypox and foot-and-mouth explained; Israel’s jellyfish explosion; Kelsey-Lee Barber an Aussie world champ; and Operation Osprey Rescue.




Swarms of jellies:

Surfers and anglers unite to save osprey: ​​ 


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It was a busy weekend on the infectious diseases front the weekend just gone, with one nasy sounding condition being declared a global health emergency – and another threatening our cows, sheep and pigs. 

So let’s start with the global health emergency: which was declared yesterday by the World Health Organisation with respect to a nasty little thing called monkeypox.

The World Health Organisation, you might remember, was in the news a lot last year, as the COVID pandemic swept the world. They’re now warning us to keep on the lookout for monkeypox .. which looks a bit like chickenpox if you catch it. It’s called monkeypox because it was first discovered in 1958 in colonies of monkeys. 

But don’t panic. While there are 16,000 cases in 75 countries, so far here in Australia we;ve only recorded 41 case … plus experts are saying it’s not nearly as contagious – that means easy to catch – as COVID, and vaccines are really effective against it. 

Meanwhile, biosecurity officials are on high-alert – hoping to prevent an outbreak of foot and mouth disease moving from our neighbour, Indonesia, down here to Australia.

Foot and mouth disease is extremely rare in humans. The threat it poses is much greater to cows, sheep, pigs and goats – a group of animals that are called ‘cloven hoofed’ – meaning they have hooves that are divided into two halves.

It’s completely different from human hand foot and mouth disease – which some kids catch when they’re young causing hand and mouth ulcers. 

Biosecurity officials – who are the people whose job it is to keep Australia free from disease – have taken steps to make sure tourists coming from Bali – which is part of Indonesia – don’t accidentally bring it in amongst the dirt on their shoes. 

What a time to be alive, eh?



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 a massive swarm of jellyfish is causing havoc to—well, just about everything. 

At this time of year, it’s normal for jellyfish to migrate along Israel’s coast, but I’ve put a link in your episode notes to photos and video taken by a drone over the weekend. 

They show that a huge area of the Mediterranean waters looking like a crowded, starry sky… except that the stars are all stinging jellies. 

Officials at the Nature and Parks Authority say that pollution, climate change, and harm to the jellyfish’s natural predators are causing the explosion in numbers. 

Jellies are clogging up power and water treatment plants; making it hard for fishers to earn a living; and yes, stopping people from going to the beach. Officials say the jellyfish swarm is yet another reason to work together to save our seas. 



Do you know the only thing more impressive than winning a world title? It’s winning a world title back-to-back … which is to say, being the best in the world at your chosen sport once, and then turning around and doing it again. It’s called ‘defending a world title’ – and that’s exactly what Aussie superstar Kelsey Lee-Barber did at the weekend, taking out the gold medal for javelin at the World Athletics Championships in America. 

Kelsey-Lee is the first woman to ever win back-to-back world championships in javelin .. which is just incredible … and with her enormous, 66.9 metre throw at the weekend, she joined Aussie athletics legend Cathy Freeman as the only Australians to defend a world athletics title. Kelsey – who was born in South Africa but moved to Victoria and eventually Canberra as a young girl, says she remembers watching Olympic champions at the 2000 Games in Sydney and told herself she would one day be among their ranks. Kelsey-Lee, Squiz Kids salutes you..

And while we’re at it – it’s a big Squiz Kids Salute to to Aussie 800 metre runner, the remarkable Peter Bol. Although he finished seventh in the final of the event at the world championships yesterday, Peter said yesterday he would learn from the experience and put his all into the Commonwealth Games which start in England this Thursday.  



It must be one of those Salute-y days … even if this one sounds like one of those jokes… What do you get when a photographer, a fisherman, and some surfers get together? Turns out that what you get is a team of lifesavers. 

It all started when a nature photographer spotted an osprey—which is a big sea bird—flapping and struggling in the waters off North Stradbroke Island, in Queensland. He thought, “If I had a surfboard I’d jump in there and do something.” As luck would have it, two surfers showed up. They paddled over to the osprey, whose feet and wings were all tangled up in fishing line. But they couldn’t get him free—until a nearby fisherman saw what was happening, and used his fishing rod to pass them his knife. They cut the shaking osprey free, put it onto a soft board, and paddled to shore, where the photographer met them with a towel. Once the bird dried off, it broke into a run, spread its wings, and took off. On behalf of the osprey who lived to fly another day, Squiz Kids salutes this team. Photos and video of the rescue are in your episode notes.  


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

  1. Which event did Aussie Kelsey-Lee Barber win an historic gold medal in at the Athletic Championships this weekend?
  2. What sort of marine animal is clogging up the seas of Israel?
  3. What sort of bird did a relay team of surfers, fishermen and photographers save on Stradbroke Island at the weekend? 




It’s July 25… birthday for Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palazczuk and Essendon’s Darcy Parish .. and i reckon a birthday is all those two have in common. It’s also National Hot Fudge Sundae Day in the United States … that’s it – i’m moving to America …

It’s also a special day for… Alfie from Capalaba, Adele from Albany Hills, Dylan from Shoal Bay and Lotte from New Plymouth in New Zealand. 

Belated birthday greetings go to… Chiara from Albion Park, Momo from Abbotsford and Reuben and Violet from Forbes.

Classroom shoutouts are going to …class 3F at St Anthony’s Primary School in Kedron, class 5A and 5B with Miss Benstead and Mrs Few at Yarrawonga College, year 5 and Mrs Gash at Murrumburrah Public School, class 4/5 and Mr Romeo at Virginia Primary School, class B8 and Miss Grant at Craigburn Primary School and lastly a shout out to Ms McKeever who teaches the KD class at Reddam House in Woollahra.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Javelin
  2. Jellyfish
  3. Osprey