Monday, 5 September, 2022

AFL finals frenzy; how whales send their song across the globe; Farewell Serena, hello Oscar; and Janus, the two headed tortoise.



Janus the two headed tortoise:


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If you’re an AFL fan, you’ll already know what a crazy weekend of football we just had. If you’re not, here are some of the words used by the experts to describe the four nail-biting finals we saw: Exhilarating. Historic. Unbelievable. Incredible. The Best Final You’ll Ever See. Sports writers are known to exaggerate—but this weekend, they were being accurate.

In the first game, between Brisbane and Richmond, the lead changed 17 times before the final siren. Imagine that – no matter who you were going for, you had 17 moments when you were either suddenly filled with hope, because your team went ahead, or stressed out, because they’d just lost the lead. In the final minutes, Brisbane kicked a goal and won by just two points, 106 to 104. 

Then, Melbourne played Sydney. The Victorians were the AFL premiers last year, and the hot favourites. But one lesson to be learned from these finals was that it’s important to believe in yourself… and the Swans weren’t listening to the people who said they’d lose. After a tight first half, they smashed their way through the third quarter, and won by 22 points. 

The third crazy game was between the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies. With just two minutes to go, it was a tie. But in the dying minutes of play, Geelong kicked a goal, and won by six points. 

The final game, between the Fremantle Dockers and the Western Bulldogs, looked like it was going to be an absolute dud. Nine minutes into the second quarter, the bulldogs had scored 42 points, and the Dockers 1. That’s right, 42 to 1. 

All of a sudden, the Dockers came to life. They booted ten of the next eleven goals to clinch a historic victory, 73 to 60, with the crowd going absolutely wild. 

Football is just a game… and there’s always going to be a winner and a loser. But this past weekend reminds me of some important life lessons: never give up, always try your hardest, and believe in yourself and your teammates. I wonder what next week’s finals will bring? 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Switzerland … where Janus, the two-headed tortoise has just turned 25.

How’s that for onomatopeia?

Janus is a Greek tortoise who was hatched at the Geneva Museum of Natural History in Switzerland a quarter of a century ago. In the wild, he probably would not have survived this long – not least because he cannot pull his two heads back inside his shell – meaning he would have been vulnerable to predators.

But Janus is loved and doted on – which means spoiled – by the staff at the museum – where each day he is fed organic salad and given daily massages and baths in green tea and chamomile.

They’ve even made him his very own skateboard to get around on. 

And yes – of course I have stuck a link to video of Janus in today’s episode notes. 

Happy birthday Janus! 




There was a big goodbye and an equally big hello in the world of sport over the weekend.

After 27 remarkable years as a professional tennis player, Serena Williams hit her last tennis ball on the pro circuit – bowing out in the third round of the US Open in New York.

For Aussies, the sting was taken out of Serena’s defeat by the fact the American champ was knocked out of the tournament by Australia’s own Ajla Tomlanovic – who is playing her third round match in the hours this podcast goes to air.

And while the world said farewell to one of the greatest champs the sport of tennis has ever seen at the weekend – it was also time to say hello to a champion of the future.

I’m talking about Oscar Piastri – the lad from Melbourne who was confirmed on the weekend as the new driver for the McLaren Formula 1 team.

Oscar began his car racing career driving remote controlled cars at a national level, before becoming a go-karting champion. 

And you thought go-karting was just for birthday parties …




You’ve heard of whalesong right? It’s the song that whales sing underwater to communicate with one another.

And every pod of whales has it’s own unique bunch of songs … a sort of language that they speak to each other to communicate how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. 

New research has found that in the same way that human language and phrases get passed from one country and culture to another – so too do whalesongs.

Marine biologists – who are people that study sea life for a living, how cool eh? – have discovered that whalesong that is heard off the coast of Australia is also heard in pods of whales off the coast of Ecuador – which is a country in South America over 6000 kilometres away. 

It’s thought that in the same way you guys pick up slang that’s used in the United States or other countries on the other side of the planet, whales pass bits of whale song to one another in a kind of chain reaction from one pod of whales to another. The Aussie whales pass it to whales in French Polynesia, who pass it on to whales in Ecuador and vice versa.

The global language of whalesong … isn’t that amazing? 



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

  1. Which Australian city does McLaren’s new Formula 1 driver Oscar Piastri come from?
  2. What do we call people who study marine life for a living?
  3. What’s the name of the two-headed tortoise that’s just turned 25?




It’s September 5 …. International Be Late for Something Day … so if you’re listening to this in the car on the way to school, maybe stop by the park or cafe on the way there … 

  It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …

Rhys and Anaya (pronounced An-iya) from Craigburn, Aurora from Bundaberg, Riley from Innisfail, Romy from Prahran, Harper from Engadine, Dwaine from Queanbeyan, Leo from Greensborough, Jessica from Lane Cove and Sam from Bowral. 

Belated shout outs go to Lachlan from Epping West and Spencer from East Maitland. 

And classroom shoutouts today go to …class 5MC with Mrs McTavish at Scots All Saints College in Bathurst, year 3 and Mrs Lanzafame at Holsworthy Public School, class 3R and Miss Ryan at SCEGGS in Darlinghurst, class 5/6J and Miss James at St John’s School in Cobar, year 5 and 6 with Mrs Adams at Nuriootpa Primary School and lastly to class 6L and Ms Le Ray at the Lakes Grammar School in Warnervale. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Melbourne
  2. Marine biologists
  3. Janus