Thursday 11 June, 2020

Happy ending on Mt Disappointment; attack of the feral chickens; the AFL returns!; and your guide to the movie blockbusters.






It was the happiest of endings yesterday for a Geelong family when search and rescue teams located their teenage son, Will, after he’d spent two nights lost and alone in freezing conditions near the summit of a popular hiking spot north of Melbourne. 

The fourteen year-old went missing while bushwalking with family on Monday. He became separated from them when, close to the summit of Mount Disappointment, he raced ahead. A huge search and rescue effort was launched by police and the local community, with 400 people scouring the bush to try to find Will. Temperatures in the area plummeted to near freezing on Monday and Tuesday nights. But Will – who has non-verbal autism and is a huge fan of Thomas The Tank Engine – proved he is made of tough stuff.

Will’s rescuer – who had grown up with his own family near the mountain and knew its winding paths and contours better than most – said when he found Will he gave him some chocolate and chatted to him about Thomas, Edward, Gordon, Percy and Diesel as they made their way back to safety. 

Will’s first request from his Mum? He wanted Maccas. And who could blame him?




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in New Zealand – where villagers in the town of Titirangi are being terrorised by a flock of feral chickens.

Since the streets of Titirangi have been quiet, due to the coronavirus lockdown, the chickens have started to take over the streets, clucking loudly at all hours of the night, ruining gardens and attracting to the neighbourhood rats the size of cats.

It’s not the first time that the town has battled feral chooks. A careful program of capture and re-location had to be launched a couple of years ago when the feral flock’s numbers had surged to 250. Most were caught and sent to a farm to live. But a couple of chooks escaped capture – and while the town has been in lockdown, they’ve been busy breeding, producing a whole new, very noisy and very messy problem for the town.  

The score in battle for Titirangi currently stands at: Chickens 1 – humans 0.




Just when you thought you wouldn’t last another day without the footy …. The AFL is back! The 2020 season is making its triumphant return tonight with the hotly anticipated clash between Richmond and Collingwood. 

All eyes will be on the footy – but all ears will be on the TV telecast, and especially, listening in to see how the footy sounds with canned crowd sound effects. What am I talking about? The fact that there will be no stadium-sized crowd, and so, like the NRL, the TV channel broadcasting the game will play crowd cheering sound effects during the match. Also expect to see the odd cardboard cutout of fans in the stands. Because these are the curious times we live in.

Thankfully, for the Adelaide / Port Adelaide clash on Saturday, 2000 spectators will be allowed into the stadium. But it’s a big stadium – and they’re going to have to shout really, really loud to make any kind of a noise. 

Meanwhile – across the ditch in New Zealand where restrictions have been lifted, capacity crowds are expected on Saturday as the super rugby there resumes.




There’s light too at the end of the blockbuster movie tunnel, with news this week that some of the biggest superhero films of the year, whose appearance in cinemas had been postponed because of the coronavirus, now have release dates. Disney’s Mulan will be released at the end of July, a new Wonder Woman film is set for release in the middle of August and Black Widow fans can expect to see Scarlett Johannsen do her Black Widow-y thing in November. And for lovers of old skool, a new Ghostbusters film is on the cards for release in December. Who ya gonna call? 




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

  1. What is the name of the mountain on which 14 year-old Will Callaghan was rescued yesterday?
  2. What sort of feral animal is terrorising the people of Titirangi in New Zealand?
  3. Which Marvel film starring Scarlett Johannsen has been scheduled for release later this year? 




It’s June 11 … on this day in 1993, the first Jurassic Park movie hit cinemas, and it was on this day in 1770 that Captain James Cook stumbled upon the Great Barrier Reef – quite literally. Running his ship Endeavour aground on it.

And it’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday … Poppy from Camperdown, Bruce from Hornsby, Stella, Benji and Kale from Sydney, Angad from Wynnum West, Ned from Blackburn, Martha from Stanmore, Emily from Perth, Benjamin from NSW, Harvey from Canberra, Lachlan from Melbourne, Henry from Alstonville, Charlotte from North Sydney, Eva from Dandaloo, Elijah and Isaac from Bulimba, Hector from Dee Why and Aniket from Blacktown.

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Artus from Knoxfield, Emma from Rozelle and Jocelyn from Mereweather.

Happy birthday to you all.  

Today’s classroom shoutouts: Wheeler Heights Primary School,

Year 6 at St Francis de Sales in Woolooware, Chelona State School, and Years 4 and 5 at St Mary’s Primary School in Crookwell.

And a special shoutout to Linden from Newcastle, who throughout the lockdown listened to Squiz Kids with his grandmother and aunty, and still rings them before school every day so they can listen to it together. Linden – we like your style.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Mount Disappointment
  2. Feral chickens
  3. Black Widow