Monday 30 November, 2020

Heatwave smashes records; new kitty for the White House; Australia wins ODI series against India; and Kavaan the elephant takes flight. 



Antarctica’s new science station:

Kavaan the elephant:


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Temperature records were smashed, sleepless nights were all the rage and fires burned as most of the country sweltered in heatwave conditions over the weekend.

And it’s not about to get any cooler anytime soon…

Sydney had its hottest November night on record over the weekend as it chalked up two days of 40+ degrees temperatures – while the Rural Fire Service in NSW reported some 45 bush and grass fires were burning across the state. 

The Murray River region of northern Victoria copped the brunt of it for the southern state, where Mildura broke a new record with 45 degrees. Adelaide broke into a sweat of its own Friday and Saturday, with the regional South Australian town of Maree hitting 47 degrees. While Birdsville in regional Queensland chalked up an impressive 46 degrees. 

The South East corner of the Sunshine State and northern NSW are expected to do some sweltering of their own in the coming days, with a streak of temperatures in the mid-high 30s forecast through until Thursday. Pass the deodorant. 

Remember the other week we told you how incoming US President, Joe Biden was planning to bring his two dogs, Champ and Major with him to the White House?

Well – in the interests of pleasing dog people AND cat people – it seems the new Prez may have a moggie in tow too when he moves in at the end of January. The lucky cat hasn’t yet been selected – but as soon as it is, you’ll be the first to know. If Joe’s wife, Dr Jill Biden is known as the First Lady, does that mean Champ and Major are the First Pooches? And the new cat will become the First Kitty? Hmmmm.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today, we’ve landed on the frozen continent – Antarctica … where frankly, it would be really nice to be this week … A vision of the future for Australian scientists in Antarctica has been unveiled over the weekend, showing cool new archiectural plans to upgrade the buildings in which they work. 

Davis Research Station in Antarctica has been operational since 1957 – playing host to generations of scientists who live and work there. 

The new buildings – which look like spaceships – will be powered by wind and solar energy – and there will be better waste disposal solutions, better laboratories for scientists, as well as much more comfortable living conditions – including heated, elevated walkways between buildings so that residents don’t have to go outside in freezing winter conditions to get from one building to the other. Genius.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to an artist’s impression of the new research station.




The Australian men’s cricket team set a new record for its highest one-day international score against India scoring an impressive 4-389 – setting India a target they just couldn’t manage to meet.

The home-side’s victory at the SCG last night – ably led by batsmen Steve Smith and Glen Maxwell – means the Aussies have already won the series – with one game left to play in Canberra on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, it was a convincing win for the Sydney Thunder in the final of the Women’s Big Bash League on Saturday night. The Thunder cruised to an easy victory over the Melbourne Stars, winning with seven wickets in hand.



Remember Kavaan the world’s loneliest elephant? We’ve spoken about him before – and how an international effort was launched last month to rescue him from the run-down zoo in Pakistan that he was being kept in. Kavaan had become especially lonely since his companion of 20 years, Saheli, had gone to elephant heaven. Well, if all has gone to plan overnight, Kavaan should be winging his way to Cambodia – a country in South East Asia – aboard his first ever plane flight and heading for an elephant sanctuary where he can live out his years in the company of other elephants. And once he’s settled in his new home – we’ll bring you news of that too. 

Did you know that elephants crave the company of other elephants – just like humans crave the companionship of other humans? Fly well Kavaan – I wonder if he gets to watch any in-flight movies? Like, maybe, Dumbo?

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to photos of Kavaan.




Ok. Are you all sitting down for this. After weeks and weeks of negotiations and no fewer than 12 letters back and forth from the North Pole … we’ve managed to secure a very special guest for our last Squiz Kids Q+A for the year. Yes folks, it’s one of Santa’s elves … Sugarplum Mary, no less. The elf who helps look after the Naughty or Nice list. She’s worked with Santa for more than 50 years – helps to care for the reindeer, is one of the mechanics on Santa’s sleigh and knows everything there is to know about the whys, hows and wherefores of everyone’s favourite holiday. And even though it’s the busiest time of year for Santa and his elves, she’s agreed

to take the Squiz Kids hotseat and answer your questions! If you have a question for Santa’s elf, email it to [email protected]. You’ve got until Wednesday night to get your questions in … quick sticks!




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

  1. Name the frozen continent to the south of Australia on which the Davis Research Station is located.
  2. Who won last night’s One Day International between India and Australia?
  3. What’s the name of the elephant on his first plane flight today to his new home in Cambodia?




It’s November 30 …. It’s the 335th day of the year …  we’re on the 2020 countdown … 

It’s also only 25 sleeps ‘til Christmas …that’s like, three times the number of reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh – plus one …. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today.. Nanzeeba from Dubbo, Logan from Redfern, Telli from Erskineville, Bobby from Brisbane, Kade from Capalaba, Dax from Abbotsford, Angelo from Brunswick West, Hayley from Geraldton, Jack from Blackheath, Zavier from NSW, Daniel from Northbridge, Lia from Culpeper, all the way from Virginia in the United States. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts to… Miles from Melbourne, Ramjot and Lisa from NSW, Emily, Harry W & Lincoln from Craigburn. 

Happy birthday to you all. 

Today’s classroom shoutouts… Miss Luongo’s Year 3 Banksia class from All Hallows’ Catholic Primary School in Five Dock, class E4 at Honeywood Primary School, 4 Red with Mr Granger at Saint Brendan’s Catholic Primary School in Lake Munmorah, Year 3 at Merredin College in Western Australia,  class 5G at Mt St Patrick College in Murwillumbah, and class 3/4C with Miss Cole at Glendenning Public School.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Antarctica
  2. Australia 
  3. Kavaan