Monday, June 19, 2023

Khawaja the comeback king; Gaza’s horse nappies; Bear eats worker’s lunch; and why you’re never too old to be a pop princess.




And it’s a sporty Squiz Kids Salutes to kick off the week after Aussie cricketer Usman Khawaja showed the sort of determination and persistence over the weekend that we can all learn from.

Khwaja is part of the Aussie men’s cricket team currently fighting it out for the Ashes in England. What are the Ashes? They’re the burnt remains of a set of cricket bails from one of the first Test matches that Australia and England ever played. And while it doesn’t sound like much, the tiny little urn that contains them is the subject of one of Australia’s biggest sporting rivalries. I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to a Squiz Kids Shortcut on the topic.

So anyway: back to Usman. Over the weekend, he scored his first century in over a decade of touring England. A century in cricket speak is 100 runs. In fact, Usman hit 126 runs in the Aussies’ first innings on Saturday. 

And while that is an achievement in and of itself: it was made all the more notable that he had been dropped from the team during the Ashes tours of 2013 and 2019 – and not selected in 2015. 

Have you ever been dropped from a team? Or maybe not been selected in the first place? Don’t worry – it’s happened to even the best cricketers in the world. Disappointment is all part of the process of becoming a champion.

And as Usman showed at the weekend, it’s not our failures that define us, but rather how we find the determination and persistence to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and keep on practicing to rise back up to the top.

Good on you Ussie … Squiz Kids Salutes you.  



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops and today we’ve landed in Gaza, which is a Palestinian city within the Gaza Strip near Egypt (I’ve stuck a link to a map in your episode notes so you can see where it is). 

Recently, smart city officials have been working on solving a smelly situation. 


In Gaza, people still use the ol’ horse and cart to transport fresh fruit, veggies and other goods to markets. While this might seem like a great way to move things around, it does cause the problem of plenty of poop pollution in the city streets.


To keep the streets clean, Gaza city officials have attached bags to the backsides of donkeys and horses that act like nappies to “cut off the problem at the source”, so to speak. If you have younger siblings you probably know all about the fragrant funk of dirty diapers; but I’m sure you can agree that using nappies to keep that nastiness away from our nostrils is totally necessary!


Oh, and there it is, the Classroom Companion Clarion. You might have noticed some awesome alliteration in this story. Teachers and parents if you’d like to hop on over to you can sign up for free to get today’s worksheets with some fun activities related to this story and alliteration! You’re welcome!



Yes my friends, it’s my favourite time of the year. When the Katmai National Park in Alaska turns on its LIVE CAM and bear watching season begins.

Every year, a live web cam is set up on the Brooks Falls – which over summer becomes a favourite hunting spot for Katmai’s collection of grizzly bears. The bears spend lazy days in the summer sun waiting at the top of the falls for salmon to leap into their waiting paws – and jaws – as part of the fattening up process before they head off for their winter hibernation. Each year, the national park runs an online vote and competition to see which bear gets the fattest. I’ve stuck a link to the Live Cam feed in today’s episode notes. There wasn’t a lot happening when I checked in this morning, but over the weeks and months to come – we’ll keep checking in to see who’s winning in the great battle between salmon and grizzly … I think we all know how that’s going to play out.

Meanwhile: in other bear news, workers in New Hampshire in the United States got the shock of their lives over the weekend when a black bear hopped into their truck and started eating their lunches. I’ve stuck a link to the video in today’s episode notes: if it wasn’t so funny you might be tempted to say it was un-Bear-able …. (DAD JOKE ALARM) – ah yes, the Dad Joke Alarm … whaddaya mean that wasn’t Bear-y funny (DAD JOKE ALARM) .. ok – I’ll stop now.




Just to bring things full circle this Monday morning – how about a big Squiz Kids Salute to Kylie Minogue? 

Kylie who? I hear you ask. And no wonder: because the Aussie pop singer first hit the charts back in the 1980s – long before any of you were born. And now at the ancient age of 55 years old (… easy tiger ..) she’s back on top of the pop charts with her catchy tune, Padam Padam.

If you haven’t heard it and you feel like a bit of a Monday morning boogie – I’ve stuck a link to the video in today’s episode notes. 

Kylie has recorded no fewer than 15 albums over 32 years .. and when most other pop singers are researching retirement homes, she’s busy performing on American Idol, inspiring a new generation of amateur dancers on TikTok – and enjoying what the French would call a ‘renaissance’ – or rebirth. 

To all the middle-aged Squiz Kids out there … this one’s for you. Or should I say us?


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

  1. What sort of bears feature on the Katmai National Park live cam?
  2. The French word ‘renaissance’ means what in English?
  3. Name the Aussie cricketer who hit a century in the first innings of The Ashes?





It’s June 19 – today is an important day and a public holiday in the United States.. Called Juneteenth – a combination of the words June and nineteenth – it marks the day 158 years ago when slavery was abolished. I’ve stuck some links explaining it all in today’s episode notes. 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Ben from Cannon Hill, Lucas from Flagstaff Hill, Lilly from Brisbane, Suhayl from Parramatta, George from Kew, Evelyn from Paradise, Lucy-Anna from  Maitland, Ella from Beecroft, Willow from Semaphore, Ari from Dee Why, Shylah from Narrawong, Rory from Kooringal, Nolan from Lane Cove North and Charlotte from Mount Ommaney. 


And belated shout outs go to… Eliza from Eleebana, Duquan from Cronulla, Arlen from Echuca, Aansh from Deniliquin, Ben from Narromine, Luci from Canberra, Harry from Nedlands, twins Felix and Toby from Alexandria and Thomas from Kooringal. 


Classroom shout outs go to… class 4S at Holy Spirit School in New Farm, Mrs B’s class at Lake Bolac College and a happy birthday to Mrs B for last Friday, classes 5M and 5X at St Francis Xavier Primary School in Lurnea, class 5/6M and Mr MacFarlane at Concord West Public School and lastly to class 3 Blue and Miss Cunningham at St Luke’s Catholic Primary School in Revesby. 



The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Grizzly bears
  2. Rebirth
  3. Usman Khawaja