Thursday, 3 December, 2020

COVID vaccine breakthrough; the penguins who went to the movies; China lands on the moon; and the most streamed songs of 2020.



Koala under a sprinkler :

Penguin day-trips:

‘Better Than Ever’ dance video for International Day of People with Disability:

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It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for. A coronavirus vaccine that was shown to be 95% effective in extensive human trials, has been approved for use in the United Kingdom and could be rolled out as early as next week.

It means that immunisations for people considered to be in high-risk groups could begin within days. 

It normally takes a vaccine up to ten years to be developed and approved for use. This vaccine, developed by the big pharmaceutical company Pfizer, uses a teeny, tiny fragment of the COVID virus to teach the body how to fight it and build immunity.

It’s a huge breakthrough in the battle against COVID. And a wonderful Christmas present for the people of the UK – where a second wave of the coronavirus has crippled the country again.

People in aged care and health workers will receive the vaccine first. 

In November, the Australian Government announced it had secured 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine – and predicted it would be available here in early 2021.

Does it mean we can all go out and celebrate that COVID is over and go back to the way things were before the coronavirus? Not exactly. We’re all going to have to keep social distancing and being careful for the time being: but it’s certainly an exciting step in the right direction. 

Quick … someone send some Quelches to Queensland, quick sticks. Why? Because yesterday there were several parts of the state in which December temperature records were broken – as the first heatwave of the Aussie summer continued its slow march across the country.

Temperatures were expected to reach 46 degrees in Goondiwindi, 44 degrees in St George and 41 degrees in Dalby. 

It was so warm in Dalby that a koala came down out of a tree and cooled off under a sprinkler. And yes, of course there’s a link to a video of that in today’s episode notes. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in Chicago – in the United States where a bunch of penguins have been to the cinema. 

The penguins are residents of Shedd Aquarium – a place that prides itself on making sure all of the animals in its care are mentally stimulated. Which is to say: they get opportunities to get out of their enclosure and use their brains. 

The penguins have already been to visit a nearby football stadium, and have even spent a day wandering around the local art museum – so this trip to the cinema was not so out of the ordinary. 

Their keepers say that it helps to relieve the boredom that can otherwise set in for an animal kept in captivity. 

And because there’s nothing cuter than a penguin in an art gallery – there’s a link to a cool video in today’s episode notes. 




In yet another big achievement for the world’s efforts to eventually establish a permanent human presence on the moon, China yesterday successfully landed its spacecraft, Chang-e 5 on the surface of the moon.

It’s been sent there to collect moon rock samples to bring back to Earth. If successful, it will be the first rocket in 44 years to bring back lunar samples. Lunar is the adjective used to describe anything related to the moon. 

This is the third time China has landed a spacecraft on the Moon. It currently has seven robots on or orbiting around the Moon.

Meanwhile, the United States is planning to have astronauts back on the Moon by 2024, and is hoping to have a permanent base for humans set up on the Moon by 2030. 

Let the next space race begin… 



Dance Monkey .. it’s the song that just won’t go away … only days after it was named the most searched song Shazam – comes news yesterday that it was the second most streamed song on Spotify for the year. The most streamed song? That would be The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights – which is an excellent tune. Rounding out the top five most streamed songs for 2020 are Roddy Ricch’s “The Box,” – never heard of it. SAINt JHN’s “Roses – Imanbek Remix” – yep, never heard of that either. And Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” – ah – now there’s one I know. Good tune. 




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

  1. Which country has just approved the widespread roll out of a COVID vaccine?
  2. What sort of animals have been spotted going to the cinema in Chicago?
  3. What’s the name of the artist whose song, Blinding Lights, was the most streamed on Spotify this year?




It’s December 3 …. International Day of People with Disability ..  a day created to challenge common stereotypes about disability. And to mark the occasion, a super cool video has been produced of Aussies who live with a disability rocking out to the tune, Better Than Ever. There’s a link in today’s episode notes – it’s well worth a watch. 

 It’s also only 22 sleeps ‘til Christmas … hark the herald angels sing! …. 

Plus also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Janet from Eastwood, Rohan from Wareemba, Braden from Cardiff South, Maddie from Kempsey, Madison from Bungendore, Josephine from Jannali, Sarah from Jindalee, Milla from Abbotsford, Tom from Gymea, Nicko from East Fremantle, Denis from Adelaide, Riya from Oran Park and Stella all the way from Honiara in the Solomon Islands.

And a belated birthday shoutout to… Josh from Kellyville. 

Happy birthday to you all. 

Today’s classroom shoutouts…3 Purple at Grays Point Public School, Year 6 from Catherine McAuley Primary School in Orange, class 5/6 Morocco at Kooringal Public School in Wagga Wagga, class 5/6K at Stockton Public School, class 6C from St Dympna’s Catholic Primary School in Aspley, and Mr Rick’s 5/6 class at Carine Primary School in Perth.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Penguins
  3. The Weeknd (that’s actually how it’s spelled … go figure)