Monday, 8 March, 2021

Inside a right royal affair; the mystery of the flying ship; a good day to be a Kiwi; and zoo animals enjoy the snow.



Incredible floating ship:

Animals play in snow:






Today there’s going to be a whole lot of noise about a TV interview that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have done in the United States. 

The couple sat down with TV talk show queen Oprah a couple of weeks ago to record the interview – which will go to air around the world today.

The TV special is going to be shown in 68 countries and is expected to draw in an audience larger than that of the Super Bowl – the most watched sporting event in the world. 

Why is it such a big deal? Why do we care about a royal family from the other side of the earth?

Because the idea of kings and queens and princes and princesses is something that fascinates a lot of people. Because Australia is part of what’s called the Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth is our head of state. 

And because last year, the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, decided they were going to step back from royal duties and move to the US because they said the pressure was too much – and since then there has been something of a division that’s emerged between the old world of the British Royal Family and the new world aspirations of America’s new sweethearts, Meghan and Harry. It’s on Aussie tellies tonight, so don’t be surprised if it’s on in your house. 

Meanwhile, there will be one other development in the UK today that’s worth noting. Students will return to school for the first time in two months.

The coronavirus has caused so many problems over there, kids have pretty much been learning from home since Christmas. And that’s been tough on lots of parents, their teachers, and lots of kids. 

The development comes as the vaccine roll-out in the UK continues to gather momentum – and at the same time that countries like Israel, which is very advanced in its vaccine roll-out, has begun to report overwhelmingly positive results in terms of how effective it is in reducing cases. So hooray for that. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Cornwall in England, where a man walking along a cliff top next to the sea has captured a photo of what appears to be a flying tanker ship, hovering above the water’s surface.

Hang on a minute … tanker ships don’t fly! No, they most certainly do not – but because of an optical illusion peculiar to that part of the world at this time of the year – they look like they do.

The optical illusion – which is a fancy way of saying a trick that is played on the eyes – is called ‘superior mirage’ – and it happens when cold air lies close to the sea with warmer air above it. 

It causes the light rays coming from the ship to the observer’s eyeball to bend – creating the impression that the ship is much higher in the plane of sight than it actually is. It’s science – and it’s super cool.

And yes, of course, there’s a link to the photo of the flying-not-flying tanker in today’s episode notes. 




Today’s a good day if you’re a Kiwi – or lover of New Zealand sporting teams more generally, following a weekend of sport that saw two of Australia’s national teams lose to their rivals across the ditch … which is the alternative way of saying, over in New Zealand.

The Aussie men’s cricket team were the first to fall to the superior Kiwis, losing the T20 series by two games to three. 

The Kiwis were just too strong against their Aussie rivals – whose 8-142 was easily reached by the New Zealanders with seven wickets in hand.

It was disappointment too for the Diamonds – the Australian women’s netball team, who lost the Constellation Cup against New Zealand yesterday afternoon.

The Silver Ferns beat the Diamonds 45-43 in the fourth and final match of the series – taking the Cup off the Aussies who have held it since 2012. 




The cold weather that has lashed North America has caused all sorts of trouble there – but there’s one group of inhabitants who are loving every minute of it.

Zookeepers from across the United States have been sending in videos of animals in their care frolicking in the snow. From polar bears to seals, from otters to red pandas. 

And because it’s a Monday and we all need to ease ourselves into this week – there’s a link to a video of the animals playing in the snow in today’s episode notes. The polar bear is my favourite .. 




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

  1. What’s the name of the English prince and his American wife whose interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey will have people glued to their TVs tonight?
  2. What’s the name of the optical illusion that makes objects on the horizon look like they’re floating?
  3. What’s the name of the New Zealand women’s netball team?





It’s March 8   … today is International Women’s Day … a day, according to the website to celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action for gender equality – which is to say, the notion that men and women are equal. Which is what we call in the classics, a no-brainer.

It’s also the 4th birthday of our sister podcast and weekday news email for adults, The Squiz.  If you’re unfamiliar with it – get online at to sign up. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Zoe from Mordialloc, Cristiano from Oran Park, Peter from Kempsey, Charlotte from Edithvale, Violet from Waratah West, Lily from Newcastle, Sia from Exeter, Moira from Hughenden, Jamie from Lake Munmorah and Jack from Doomigee/

And some belated birthday shoutouts to… Tammi from Chermside, Indi from Maitland, Jessica from Old Bar and Alice from Doomigee

Happy birthday one and all!

Today’s classroom shoutouts… Class 3 at Snowy Valleys School in Tumut, class 5 Olive at Bowen Public School, class 5B at Jindalee State School, and all the Year 6 kids at St Thomas More Ruse, and a special shoutout to class 4B and their teacher Miss Tolikas (TOLL-EEK-US) at Lyndhurst Primary School, who celebrated a birthday last week.  


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Harry & Meghan
  2. Superior mirage
  3. Silver Ferns