Thursday, 24 September, 2020

Border opening bonanza; Japan’s giant robot;  surfing the world’s biggest wave; and naughty cockies in suburban bin raid.



Big ol’ robot :

Maya’s massive wave :

Naughty cockies:






Australia’s airports are about to get a whole lot busier after announcements yesterday that state borders were starting to open up again.

You know that since the coronavirus has been a thing, most Australian states have closed their borders to stop people from travelling and potentially spreading the virus. .

From midnight last night, South Australia has re-opened its borders to visitors from NSW and the ACT – a move that prompted airlines like Qantas and Jetstar to announce a dramatic increase in the number of planes flying between Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide. 

According to the airlines: the tickets were snapped up by travellers eager to spread their wings after months of restrictions. A prospect that has left hotel owners and tourism attraction operators in South Australia very happy indeed – excited at business picking up with  interstate tourists about to come their way.

Meanwhile, down Melbourne way, new daily case numbers were again sufficiently low to prompt Premier Daniel Andrews to say there may be some more easing of restrictions on the cards for Victorians too. Fingers crossed.

There was a sad development in the Tasmanian whale stranding story we’ve been covering this week. 

Marine scientists initial estimates that 270 whales had stranded themselves on beaches and in shallow waters of Macquarie Harbour were yesterday revised – with a new figure of some 450 pilot whales believed to have been involved.

Sadly, most of them have died – even as rescuers continued yesterday to guide as many as possible back out to sea.

It’s believed to have been the biggest whale stranding event of its kind the world has ever seen. There’s hope that some more can be saved today.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in Japan – where the mother of all robots has just been unveiled

Standing at 18 metres tall – or about the same height as a four storey building – the robot is a life-size model of the Gundam robot – from the hugely popular Japanese cartoon series of the same name. 

It kind of looks like a Transformer to me – but then what do I know? 

As you’ll see from the video of it in today’s episode notes: not only is it four stories high – but it also moves – with an ability to twist its arms and hands and to kneel. 

Engineers reportedly started designing the robot six years ago to ensure each piece met weight restrictions to prevent its limbs from buckling and that all 24 moveable parts worked seamlessly. How cool is that? 




The official numbers are in: and Brazlian surfer, Maya Gabeira, has done what no woman has done before her – and what no other person has done this year.

She’s broken the record for the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman – which also happens to have been the biggest wave surfed by anyone – male or female – during the 2019-2020 winter surfing season.

Maya rode her record breaking, 22.5 metre wave at a famous, big wave spot off the coast of Portugal, in Europe. That’s almost 7 storeys high!

Said fellow pro-big-wave-surfer Paige Alms: “I think it’s really important for the next generation of girls to see women accomplishing these things .. you can only really dream as big as what you can see.”

And in terms of what you can see, there’s a link in today’s episode notes to video of Maya on the wave. And it is a monster …




Look – we’ve all gotten a little bit lazy in lockdown. None of us venturing out all that much, keeping to a relatively small radius around our homes. And it seems a bunch of cockatoos down at Stanwell Park, south of Sydney, have taken the same tactic when it comes to meal time.

The cockatoos there have taken to landing on top of wheelie bins, lifting open the lids and helping themselves to as many tasty leftovers as they can sink their beaks into. 

Some residents have put bricks on the bin lids to deter the crafty birds, but they’ve learned to simply push them off. 

The birds have become so used to bin feeds that they even seem to know on which streets and in which suburbs bin night occurs and they pay a visit accordingly. 

Those funny feathered funsters… .

There’s a link to a funny video in today’s episode notes.  




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

  1. Which Australian state has just opened its border to people from NSW?
  2. In which country has a four-storey high robot just taken its first steps?
  3. What sort of birds are causing wheelie bin chaos in a suburb south of Sydney?




It’s September 24 ….. Birthday for rugby league player, Zac Lomax and the late, great, puppeteer, Jim Henson. The man responsible for Big Bird, Grover, Elmo, Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. How good are Muppets?

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …  Saoirse from Wellington Point, Josh from Wallacia, Finn from Valentine, Evie from North Sydney, Max from Gymea, Buddy from Wheeler Heights, Myles from Sutherland, Jacob from Craigburn, Ivy from Lower Portland, Emily from Bateman’s Bay, Ellie from Lake Munmorah, Evie from Murwillumbah and Saskia from Melbourne. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts to … Carla from Murwillumbah, Eleanor from Bellbowrie, Kiratvir from Oxenford and Lily from Sydney. 

Happy birthday one and all!

Today’s classroom shout outs go to …  Class 10.9 from Mark Oliphant College, whose teacher Miss Simms is celebrating a birthday tomorrow, 3/4M at Gosford East Public, who would like to say good bye and good luck to Mr Remy who is finishing his internship with them, Year 6 from Woongarrah Public School, who send their best wishes to their assistant principal Mrs Dempsey who is recovering from surgery, and all the kids at Bondi Public School, who wish their principal Ms Parry all the very best for her new job at Ultimo Public School.


  The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. South Australia
  2. Japan
  3. Cockatoos