Thursday, 27 October, 2022

Why we’re a nation of nannas; Baby talk for cats; Blindness no barrier for skate legend; and the baby beaver wars. 



Dan Mancina – skateboard champ:

Beaver wars:



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We’re turning into a nation of nannas … or that at least is the conclusion that’s being drawn following the release of a survey yesterday showing Australians are eating dinner earlier than ever before.

Restaurants around the country have reported a rise in the number of people booking to come to dinner at 5 and 6pm. And while that might not sound all that early for you lot – the average time for a dinner reservation at a restaurant before COVID was 7 or 8pm.

The shift, according to some restaurant owners interviewed yesterday, is down to more people working from home, and a continuation of early eating habits established during the pandemic. You remember? We all ate early because there was nothing else to do .. 

Not that eating out is going to be happening quite so much. Remember how we talked on Tuesday about the federal budget being handed down? One of the headline items was a projected raise in the cost of living – with power prices expected to skyrocket next year.

If we can afford to dine out at all next year, we might be doing it by candlelight. How romantic. 

Oh – and a special note to all the nannas listening …there was no disrespect intended by characterising you as people who all like to eat early and go to bed early. we know many of you are all-night ragers. Or is that just the nannas I know? 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in France – where researchers have found that cats respond best to their owners when they use baby-talk.

Scientists at the Paris-Nanterre University tested how 16 cats responded to human voices. And it was found that they responded most when they heard not only their owner’s voice – but especially when their owner spoke to them in that high-pitched voice that adults sometimes use when speaking to babies. 

According to the research, cats know that a high-pitched voice from their owner usually indicates food or affection is coming their way. Otherwise – the researchers found – if you speak to your cat in a normal voice there’s a good chance it will ignore you. 

Said one cat scientist: they’re really good at filtering out human voices and only responding when it suits them. Which sounds about right.  




And today, it’s a great big Squiz Kids Salute to Dan Mancina – very probably the most famous blind skateboarder in the world. 

Yep – you hear right. Dan is a skateboarder who tricks have racked up hundreds of thousands of views on Instagram from people amazed at what he’s able to do without the benefit of sight.

As a teenager, Dan was a mad keen skater. Always down at the local skate bowl. As he became an adult, he began to gradually lose his eyesight, thanks to a neuro-generative disease. He thought his skating days were over, but, determined to prove that anything is possible if you put your mind to it – he got back out the skate park and learned to do his much-loved tricks with the aid of a cane. 

It was a long and hard process – with lots of falls and bumps and bruises. But he’s gotten so good at tricks now, videos of them posted to his Instagram get thousands of views. I’ve stuck a link to his Instagram in today’s episode notes. 

And now, with his new-found high-profile, Dan has started to raise funds to build a skate park for people like him who are vision impaired. And he’s raised $40,000 already. 

Dan the Man-cina – Squiz Kids Salutes you.




We don’t have beavers here in Australia .. they’re native instead to our friends in Canada and North America – which is partly why I am totally fascinated with them – and the clever, industrious way they build dams on rivers out of bits of tree trunks and branches.

And now my fascination has been fed with the news story out of the United States about a baby beaver war taking place at a wildlife refuge in the state of Massachussetts. 

Nibi is a baby female beaver, who was rescued and taken to a wildlife hospital. Except she didn’t get on with Zibi – another baby beaver there. It’s kind of like day care for beavers – when one kid takes an irrational dislike to another.

 So the refuge staff moved Zibi  into a new, separate enclosure. And the minute Zibi left the building, Nibi started collecting bits of wood and started piling them up at the entrance – to make sure Zibi stayed out.

Check out the video I’ve stuck in today’s episode notes: go for the cuteness and stay for the beaver hop of happiness at the end …



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

  1. What sport does Dan Mancina excel at, despite being vision impaired?
  2. What sort of talk do cats most commonly respond to from their owners?
  3. What sort of animal is Nibi – the barrier-building wildlife refuge resident?




It’s October 27 …… birthday of Aussie cricketer, David Warner, and a bloke called Captain James Cook – who you might have heard about in your history classes … 

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

Ben from Vermont Hills, Hayden and Blake from Albany Hills, Teddy from South Brisbane, Harriet from Bondi Junction, Vin from Bathurst, Luka from Burraneerand, Sienna from Bathurst and Meliah from NSW.  

And belated birthday shout outs go to Lucas from the Yorke Peninsula and Riley from Hammond Park.  

Classroom shouts go to… class 6B and Miss Mac at Gardenvale Primary School, class 4S and Mrs Eskin at St Agatha’s Primary School in Cranbourne, year 3 & 4 with Mrs Oxenbridge at Coutts Crossing Public School, class 6H and Miss Hughes at St Francis Catholic School in Strathfieldsaye, class 3/4B and Mrs Brown at North Ryde Public School,to the classes Lilly Pilly and Acadia at Speers Point Public School – and finally to all the Years 4, 5 and six at Cannon Hill State School … thanks for helping us out with the Courier Mail photograph this morning … can’t wait to see you in the paper … 


​​The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Skateboarding
  2. Baby talk
  3. Beaver