Monday, 30 May, 2022

A new cycling superhero; our big Pacific Islands push; why scientists watch YouTube; and burgers that don’t look like their photos. 



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Australia has a new sporting hero this morning in the shape of Jai Hindley – who’s just become the first Australian cyclist to win the prestigious Giro d’Italia bike race in Italy.

Sprinting across the finish line in the Italian city of Verona this morning, Jai made the most of the three-second lead he had over his main competition from the country of Ecuador, a man called Richard Carapaz – who has won the Giro d’Italia before – and was even a gold medallist at the Tokyo Olympics.

What exactly is the Giro d’Italia? 

It’s only one of the toughest bike races in the world. And I’m not talking the sort of bike races you have with your neighbours up and down the street. This is a bike race that lasts 23 days, during which the cyclists ride almost 3,500  kilometres including up and down some of the steepest mountains in Europe. 

Jai – who comes from Perth – set himself up for his historic win by turning in an incredible ride on Sunday, chasing down frontrunners on steep hill climbs to take the lead into this morning’s final dash.

Jai Hindley – we salute you!


If you woke up this morning thinking how cold it’s suddenly become… that’s ‘cos it has. Large parts of Australia are expected to shiver through the coldest day of the year so far – with snow expected to fall on the Aussie Alps and the temperature in Melbourne tipped to get down as low as 7 degrees. No – that’s not a woodpecker in the tree outside: that’s your teeth chattering. Forecasters are calling it a polar blast – which while a little dramatic, goes some way to describing the winter chill that will today settle over parts of WA, South Australia, Tassie, Victoria and NSW. I’ve got two words for you people: electric blankets. 



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 Pacific Islands – which is the large collection of countries in the Pacific Ocean to the north east of Australia – where a tense tug-of-war is underway between China and countries like the US and Australia to win the small island nations to their side. 

You’ve probably heard the Solomon Islands mentioned a lot in the news lately? That’s because they signed an agreement to work with China – even though traditionally they’ve always always worked with Australia. China’s Foreign Minister on an extended trip to ten Pacific Island countries over the next few days – places like Samoa and Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu – to try to get more countries lined up with his country. And this weekend, Australia’s new Foreign Minister Penny Wong paid a visit to Fiji to try to keep them on side. 

It’s called geopolitics – it’s like a real-life version of the board game Risk and it’s very definitely a thing. 




Next time your mum and dad tell you to stop watching YouTube – tell them you’re doing scientific research.

That, at least, is what more and more scientists are doing to research the behaviour of animals since so many people around the world own smart phones and are uploading instances of rare animal behaviour that a documentary making team could only dream of capturing.

Scientists in India for example have been able to observe how elephants grieve when one of their herd dies – something that’s rarely before been captured on film. And videos are showing up on YouTube taken on people’s smartphones on everything from dancing spiders to playful horses to snowboarding crows .. a cool video of which i’ve stuck in today’s episode notes. 

Just don’t try and pass off that Fortnite video you’re watching as scientific research .. I mean, us parents are dumb, but we’re not that dumb …



Have you ever bought fast-food, unwrapped it, and thought… that looks nothing like the photo on the menu! Well, one American man has done something about it – Justin Chimienti is suing, which means taking to court, the giant fast food companies McDonald’s and Wendy’s. He says that both companies are unfairly getting millions of dollars in sales that would have gone to other burger places, if customers had known what they would really be getting. 

The highlight of the lawsuit, in my humble opinion, is the series of photos that Justin’s lawyers have provided. They show the ads for the burgers, next to what customers have received. Let’s just say that there’s one set of photos that gets my tummy rumbling… and another set that … doesn’t. 

The lawsuit complains that there’s up to 20% less beef in the companies’ burgers than advertised. And what does Justin want? Well, the lawsuit is something called class action, meaning that other customers can join it and ask for what’s called damages – money – from the burger companies. Watch this space! And definitely check out the pictures in your episode notes. 


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

  1. What’s the name of Australia’s new Foreign Minister, who’s just spent the weekend in Fiji? 
  2. Name the Aussie cyclist who did us proud in the Giro d’Italia?
  3. What sort of bird has been captured snowboarding in videos uploaded to YouTube?




It’s May 30 … on this day 69 years ago – so in 1953 – New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the top of Mt Everest … 

It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Levi from Shoal Bay, Erin from Mansfield, Raphael from the Gold Coast, Spencer from Adelaide, William from Williamstown, Paige from Yarrawonga, Mo from Preston, Jeremy from Cannon Hill and Alfie from Auckland. 

Belated shout outs today go to…Holly from Northcote, Matteo from Glenwood, Prashid from Marayong and Hope from Inverell. 

And classroom shout outs are going out today to class 5S at Oyster Bay Primary School, class 4C with Mr Coulter and Mrs Rae at Baulkham Hills North Public School, class 6T at Labrador State School and to all the year 5 students at St Joachim’s Catholic Primary School in Sydney – keep up the great work from your teachers Mr H, Mrs C and Miss B. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Penny Wong
  2. Jai Hindley
  3. Crows