Monday, May 22, 2023

Big weekend for world leaders; Meteor lights up Queensland; Collective noun catalogue; and the town that’s sick to death of Elsa.


Today’s Quick Links: 

The Austrian town that inspired Frozen:

Meteor lights up Queensland sky:

The Collective Noun Catalogue:

Famous Loch Ness Monster photo:


Kids + Media Survey Results:

Squiz Kids Book Club:

Classroom Companion:

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What a busy weekend it’s just been for world leaders … over three days in the  Japanese city of Hiroshima, the Presidents and Prime Ministers of some of the biggest and most powerful countries in the world have gotten together to see if they can find a solution to some of the planet’s most pressing problems.

And that my friends, is some mighty fine alliteration … but I digress.

Australian Prime Minister was a special invitee to what’s called the G7 – or Group of Seven – meeting at the weekend. 

The G7 is made up of the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy. So some pretty big and important countries on the world stage. 

But it was the special guest appearance of a leader from a much smaller country – in the shape of Ukraine’s president Vlodymyr Zelensky – that really stole the show. 

As you will know – Ukraine has been at war with its much bigger neighbour Russia for over a year. And for the Ukranian President to make the trip to Japan – and be warmly welcomed by the likes of US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron is a big show of support for the tiny nation. 

And the international roadshow will continue later this week – as India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi visits Australia. As well as lots of official meetings, Prime Minister Modi will appear at a big event in Sydney’s west – where Indians who now call Australia home are expected to turn out in their thousands. 

Did you get all those president’s and Prime Minister’s names? I’m going to test you later in the podcast. Naah – only kidding. Or am I?



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 the picturesque village of Hallstatt – where local authorities are trying to fight the Elsa-fication of their beautiful little town.

What is Elsa-fication? It’s a word I made up – to describe what happens when someone or something becomes overpowered by the Disney movie Frozen and dresses as Elsa or has their entire identity overtaken by all things Olaf, Ana and Arendelle…

So there’s a picturesque, lakeside village in the European country of Austria which looks very familiar to Arendelle – the fictional town in Frozen. So familiar, in fact, that it’s widely believed to be the village that inspired the Frozen animators. I’ve stuck a link to photos of it in today’s episode notes.

And because the movie is so wildly popular, tens of thousands of tourists visit the village every month – and its simply too small to cope with so many visitors. So the local council has erected a fences at a popular selfie spot to try to deter tourists. Tourists, who it seems, just need to “Let It Go” (DAD JOKE ALARM) .. ooops there goes the dad joke alarm … ahh come on .. it was asking for it … 



If you happened to be anywhere on the east coast of Queensland on Saturday night, from about Mackay up to Cairns – you might just have been among the thousands of people who saw a meteor briefly light up the night’s sky. 

Video of the event shows the night’s sky suddenly going from green to blue to yellow as a meteor that astronomers reckoned must have been about one metre in length, entered Earth’s atmosphere and quickly burned up.

Scientists reckon it was travelling at speeds of between 100,000 and 150,000 kilometres an hour – which is incredibly fast.

And yes – because it’s all sorts of awesome – I’ve stuck a link to video of the celestial event in today’s episode notes.  



If you’re a total word nerd like me – then you’re going to love the news that a university researcher in the United States has created what might possibly be the most comprehensive collective noun catalogue in the world.

I know right – it’s a bit much for a Monday – so let me break it down.

You’ve heard of a flock of sheep or a pack of wolves or pride of lions, right? Flock, pack and pride are all collective nouns – words used to describe a group of things, people or animals. 

Well there are some really kooky ones out there. Like, for instance, did you know that a group of crows is known as a murder of crows? Or that a group of owls is called a parliament of owls? Or a bunch of otters can be referred to as a romp of otters? 

Because the English language is just that cool. 

The thing is: there’s no single list of all collective nouns – and they change across cultures and countries. For instance, Australians are probably the only ones to refer to a group of wombats as a wisdom of wombats. 

But now a clever university researcher has compiled a long list of every collective noun he can find. And I’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes in case you want to get your word nerd on.


A-ha – how wonderful is that? Today’s Classroom Companion is linked to this item in the podcast … jump on into the excellent classroom worksheets that Squiz Kids super teacher Christie has created on collective nouns. They are plenty clever and lots of fun. Your class not yet signed up to receive these worksheets? Go to and sign up to Squiz Kids Classroom. Did I mention they’re free? You’re welcome. 


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

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who’s visiting Australia this week – is the leader of which country?
  2. In which European country is the hamlet of Hattlet – which looks a lot like Arendelle from Frozen?
  3. What is the collective noun for a group of owls?





It’s May 22 – on this day, back in 1933 , so 90 years ago today, a couple walking along the banks of Loch Ness, a big lake in Scotland, reported seeing something in the water they said resembled a whale .. and so the legend and mystery of the Loch Ness monster was revived … 


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

Amelia from Newrybar, Zephyrus from Forest Lake, Ajay from Melbourne, Pareesa from Wahroonga, Harriet from Box Hill, Harlon from Holsworthy, Lukuach from Andrews Farm and Jarrah from Warrnambool.


Belated shout outs go to…Sarah from Western Australia, Bailey from Darlington, Gabriella from Ballajura, William from Hornsby, Sophie from Stanmore and Max from Finley. 


And today’s Classroom Shoutouts go to … class 3/4M and Mr Baylee-Good at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Toukley, class 4/5H and Mrs Hiscocks at St Helens Park Public School, class 3 Gold and Mrs Parker at St Eugene College in Burpengary, class 3/4P with Mrs Pettit and Mrs Birch at Mildura South Primary School and lastly to class 6C and Mrs Cass at Livingstone Primary School in Vermont South. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. India
  2. Austria
  3. Parliament