Thursday, 17 February, 2022
Victoria’s country Commonwealth Games; Malaysia’s snakes on a plane; the dog that calmed a footy coach; and it’s time to collect koala poo.
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As the Beijing Winter Games wind down, and with the Brisbane Summer Olympics on the 2032 horizon – there was much excitement yesterday at the news that Victoria was shaping up to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
And if the Victorian government has its way: it will be a Commonwealth Games with a distinctly country flavour.
Ok – first things first. What are the Commonwealth Games? They’re like a scaled down version of the Olympic Games – where countries from the Commonwealth compete against each other.
The Commonwealth refers to the group of 54 countries – of all shapes and sizes, from all corners of the globe, from tiny Caribbean islands to African nations to emerging super-powers like India to entire nation continents – like Australia. The one thing they all have in common: they were all once part of the British Empire … so, you know, they all have links to England and the Queen.
And why would the 2026 Games in Victoria have a country flavour? Because Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday said he would be pushing for as many events as possible to take place in regional centres in Victoria, instead of in the capital Melbourne.
So that could mean basketball and swimming events in Wangaratta, hockey and netball in Bendigo, athletics in Ballarat and cycling, rugby and wrestling in Geelong.
How good would that be?
Melbourne hosted the Commonwealth Games not that long ago – back in 2006 (ok – maybe before your time, but it’s not long by my standards).
A final decision on whether Victoria will be awarded the Games is expected in the next couple of months. Fingers crossed!
SPIN THE GLOBE
Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Malaysia – where passengers aboard a plane last week were surprised – and a little terrified – to discover they had an unexpected traveller on board .. in the shape of a snake.
Yep. A snake on a plane. It’s just about my worst nightmare ..
The little fella was spotted slithering along inside the overhead light fixture – forcing the pilot to make an unscheduled landing.
The passengers were unloaded, the snake was located and removed, and the airline in question then went to extraordinary lengths to assure everyone that at no point was any one in any danger.
No word on whether the snake was travelling with cabin bagage. Let’s just hope it’s not a frequent flyer. Oh, I could sit here all day and make bad dad jokes..
I’ve stuck a link to a photo of the slippery passenger in today’s episode notes ..
Who doesn’t love koalas? Fluffy ears, big furry bums, and adorable babies who cling to their mums – oh look, that rhymed – these marsupials are iconic Australians. Sadly, bushfires, drought, disease, and human activity have caused their numbers in the wild to have dropped so dramatically that last week, the federal government listed them as endangered. Almost a third of the total population has been lost since 2018, according to the Australian Koala Foundation. So… Do you love koalas enough to help? Even if it meant having to pick up their poos?
Yesterday, scientists at Griffith University in Queensland announced that they were launching a research project using koala scat, which is another word for animal poo. But instead of going out and collecting it themselves, they’re asking people like you and me to help out. – so that they can get lots of poo coming in, and track changes to the koalas over time. The first citizen scientists are high school students in southeast Queensland, who have already been trained to spot and collect the droppings … which look remarkably like milk chocolate licorice bullets. But I’m going to guess they don’t taste the same … eugh…
SQUIZ KIDS SALUTES
Do you have a mum or dad who likes to shout at the telly when the footy is on? Do you maybe have a coach who stands on the sideline of your games on Saturday mornings screaming at the top of their lungs?
Then you’ll appreciate the story of the German professional football coach – renowned for his shouty sideline style – who has gone viral on the internet. The coach was in COVID quarantine at home – forced to watch his team play from his living room.
And so loud were his rantings, his pet dog took it upon itself to climb up on his owner’s back, seemingly in an attempt to calm him down.
There’s a link to video of it in today’s episode notes.
Because nothing calms us down than the gentle paw of our pooch – pet dogs of the Squiz Kids world, we salute you all.
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- Which Australian state is lining up to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games?
- What animal’s poo have researchers in Queensland asked us to help them collect?
- In which country was a snake on a plane last week?
It’s February 17… birthdays for pop singer Ed Sheeran and basketballer Michael Jordan ..
It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …
Georgie from Victoria, Max from Abbotsford and Zoe from Canberra.
Classroom shoutouts today go to … class 7/8 J from Nelson Park School in Geelong, Mrs Fiess and classes 2F and 2Q at Newbridge Heights Public School. Lastly to class 5/4B and Mrs Boyle at Abbotsford Public School – Abbotsford is one of our very special Squiz Kids for Schools members!
The S’Quiz Answers: