Monday 7 September, 2020

Victoria: you’ve got this!; meet Austria’s ice man; Aussies advance in US Open; and why gaming is good for you.






The lockdown is set to continue for our friends in Victoria as Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday outlined a plan to lead the state out of pandemic pandemonium – and hopefully back to normal soon.

Andrews yesterday announced the ‘roadmaps’ to move Melbourne and regional Victoria out of the restrictions its residents are currently living under. Schools in Melbourne will remain closed, with a gradual return to school a possibility in four weeks’ time for kids in regional Victoria. Because, seriously, too much home learning is just never enough, right?

On the bright side: playgrounds will reopen soon, Melbourne’s curfew will be pushed back an hour and the daily exercise limit for Melburnians has been extended to two hours a day. You’ve got this Victoria. 

Meanwhile .. if you want to know what other parts of the world are doing in lockdown, sales of Lego and Nintendo might give you some idea.

Lego last week reported a surge in brick sales around the world since the pandemic kicked off – up an impressive 14% compared to last year.

Which is nothing compared to Nintendo. The games company has seen it’s profit surge more than 400% this year … which is, like, a lot – as people look for ways to pass the time indoors. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today, we’ve landed in Austria, in Europe – where a man has just beaten his own record for sitting in a box full of ice cubes.

Admittedly, it’s a record few people would want to try, much less beat – but good on him nonetheless.

Austria’s Josef Koeberl managed to sit for 2 hours, 30 minutes and 57 seconds inside a glass box filled up to his shoulders with ice cubes, wearing nothing but his swimmers.

He told reporters afterwards that he focused on happy thoughts to try to block out the pain. And when he finally got out, he said the first thing he did was to put his socks on – saying his feet were the first thing that needed warming up.

Pass the electric blanket .. 




In news that will be celebrated by joystick junkies everywhere – a study in the United Kingdom has found that playing video games can improve literacy, communication and mental well-being among kids.

The study found that kids who played video games tended to read lots about those games, improving their literacy skills. Three in five gamers reported writing at least once a month about their favourite games – in fan fiction and on blogs. And social skills and a sense of belonging were also heightened – with three in four young people who play video games talking to friends about it, compared to 3 in 10 who chat to each other about books. 

Gaming was reported to be especially useful in the pandemic, with researchers finding that many kids used games to relieve stress, to escape and to combat feelings of anxiety.

Game on, people! 




It was a big weekend for sports lovers – with plenty of action in the AFL, NRL and Super Netball.

But it was Aussie tennis player Alex de Minaur who attracted most attention by smashing his way to the top 16 in the US Open over the weekend.

The 21-year old from Sydney beat his Russian opponent, Karen Khachanov to advance to the next round of the tournament – where he will now face Canadian, Vasek Pospisil (try saying that name three times quickly). 

Keep an eye out today for fellow Aussie, Jordan Thompson who’s also in the top 16 and has his fourth round match today .. it’s the first time two Aussies have advanced to fourth round of the prestigious tournament since 2001 when Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt did it. And Hewitt ended up winning that year, so that’s a good omen…




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

  1. Name the popular toy and popular gaming company that have seen sales surge in the pandemic? 
  2. In which country does the world record holder for sitting in ice cubes live?
  3. Name the tennis tournament in which two Aussies have advanced to the Top 16?




It’s September 7 …… today is National Threatened Species Day .. where we’re urged to stop and take stock of all the species of both animals and plants in Australia that are under threat. Scientists reckon it’s as many as 1700 .. let’s hope it’s less this time next year. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Ziya and Kristiaan from Sydney, Nathan from Rowville, Abbi from Panania, Elsie from Ascot Vale, Chelsea from Launceston, Jasper from Encounter Bay, Axel from Thirroul, Isaiah from Inverell, Sarah from Menai, Evie from Woonona, Stella from Wagga Wagga, Hunter from Ashmont, Jacob from Redlynch, Farista from Concord West and Jeff from Albion Park.  

And some belated birthday shoutouts… James from Wallan, Brian from Chatswood, Lilliana from Moorebank and Digby from Adelaide. 

Happy birthday one and all!

And so to classroom shoutouts — remember – we want to dedicate the next couple of weeks’ worth of classroom shoutouts to Victorian school kids who are home learning … so if you’re a teacher of or a student in a class in Victoria nd you want to give your students or classmates a shout out – drop us a line at [email protected]

Today’s Victorian classroom shout outs go to … all of the students at Whitehorse Primary School, Wesley College, Victoria Hazel Glen College,  the staff at Emmaus Catholic Primary School in Mount Clear, particularly Siobhan and Mikhaila who have gotten the kids through remote learning with a smile. And Ms Lloyd’s Year 3 and 4 class at Bathurst Public School sends a special shoutout to their Victorian friends and penpals in Mrs Hemmett’s Year 3 and 4 class at Liddiard Road Primary School.    


  The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Lego and Nintendo
  2. Austria
  3. US Open