Thursday, 17 March, 2022

New Zealand opens its doors; Labradors the most popular pup; Ed Sheeran is heading our way; and the blind date bilbies.





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And it’s a big Aussie hello to our Kiwi cousins following the news yesterday Australians will soon be able to travel to New Zealand without having to quarantine.

What’s quarantine? In the context of the pandemic, it’s when you visit another country and have to spend a week or so isolating in a hotel before you’re allowed out to play. 

The announcement made yesterday by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern means Aussies will be able to travel to the Land of the Long White Cloud from April 12 without the need to go into quarantine.

It’s expected to trigger a flurry of flight bookings as Australians – like bears who have been in hibernation – come blinking back out into the sunlight of international travel again.

Did you like that simile? Like bears in hibernation? You can use that in your next English assignment … 

In any normal year, Aussies make up 40 percent of international tourists to New Zealand. Because what’s not to love about our cuzzy bros?

The clean-up was well-and-truly underway in the outback NSW town of Broken Hill yesterday after so much rain fell on the region that it recorded its wettest day in 12 years.

For a moment there on Tuesday, the normally dry and dusty Broken Hill resembled a big brown inland sea. Locals watched on in amazement as floodwaters engulfed the centre of town – sending cars floating down the main street like toy boats. Another simile. You;re welcome. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in the United States where the labrador has once again been named the most popular dog in the country.

So – when we say popular, we mean, more people own labs than any own other breed in America. Not that labradors have won a popularity contest. Though labs are pretty charming ..

The top 5 breeds of dog in the US are: labs, French bulldogs, golden retrievers, German shepherds and poodles … with beagles, rottweilers, German short-haired pointers and dachshunds rounding out the top ten.

Shooting up the charts with a bullet are poodle hybrids: we’re talking dogs that are part poodle and part some other breed. According to the USA Kennel Club – which did the survey – labradoodles, maltipoos and sheepadoodles are all becoming more and more popular in the US.

And yes: a sheepadoodle is in fact a thing … it’s a cross between a German shepherd and a poodle. I looked it up and everything .. 




Ever heard of a bilby that’s single and ready to mingle? Who wants a hot date with a handsome, furry stranger? Bilbies—the super cute Aussie version of the Easter rabbit, with long ears and silky grey fur—are being set up on dates, in the hope of saving the species from extinction.  

A report released yesterday found that feral cats and foxes kill more than 1.4 billion mammals each year in Australia, as well as about 700 million reptiles and 510 million birds. And bilbies, which had survived in Australia for 15 million years before cats and foxes came to town, are some of their biggest victims. 

Enter those match-making humans. The Save the Bilby Fund has set up a breeding program that brings mummy and daddy bilbies together, to make little bilbies…

And because it’s important to maintain genetic diversity—who wants to go on a date with a close family member?—those dates sometimes involve bilbies traveling on overnight flights to meet their perfect match. The goal is to breed 10,000 bilbies by 2030, and release them into national parks… with a car-and-fox proof fence to protect them, of course. I’ve popped a link to the Save the Bilby’s fund photo gallery in your episode notes. They are super cute.




Ahhh … live music …. Concerts …. Gigs …. Remember them? People would stand on a stage and play music and in concert hall or stadium you’d sit shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers and share a moment … well, those days are back baby – and leading the charge of chart topping artists heading to our shores will be Ed Sheeran – who yesterday confirmed he’s heading to Australia for a series of concerts around the country next year. The ‘Shape of You’ singer sold more than a million tickets to his concerts when he was last here in 2018 – this time around he’s planning to hit Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth ..

The tour is going to be called the Mathematics Tour … but we’re reliably informed there won’t be a pop quiz on fractions at the end of it. 




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

  1. Which red-headed English pop star is heading to Australia for concerts next year?
  2. What sort of animal has been sent on blind dates?
  3. Which country yesterday announced quarantine-free travel for Aussies?




It’s March 17… St Patrick’s Day… a big day of celebration of Irish culture .. so grab yourselve a leprechaun today and pop on something green .. 

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

Max from Wagga Wagga, Sione from Queanbeyan South, Audie from Naremburn, Stella from Googong, Hudson from Woodcroft College and Zander from Busselton.

Belated birthday wishes go to Evan from Mansfield, Penelope from Bullimba and Ashley from Maitland.  

Classroom shout outs go to these Squiz Kids for Schools members … class HB16 at Woongarrah Public School, class 5/6EG and Mrs Glover at Mt Carmel School in Yass and to class 2A and Ms Mercer at Eltham North Primary School.  Lastly a shout out to class 1EG at St Roberts Primary School in Geelong and their teacher Miss Grinter, who is celebrating a birthday today.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Ed Sheeran
  2. Bilbies
  3. New Zealand