Thursday, 4 August, 2022

Wet summer on the cards; Trouble brewing in Taiwan; Operation Cheetah has lift off; and playing ball with the king.



Operation Import Cheetahs: 

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Just when you thought it was safe to pack away the umbrella and put the gum boots back into storage – comes news yesterday that the wet weather that’s been battering much of the country for the past eight to ten months may not be finished with us yet.

I know right … how much rain can one country bear?

Meteorologists – who are people who study weather patterns and tell us what the weather is going to be like in the days, week and months ahead – yesterday warned that thanks to a weather phenomenum called a negative Indian Ocean dipole – we may need to brace ourselves for a wet spring.

Spring, of course, in our fair nation, happens in September, October and November.

And in other exciting news, La Nina – the weather phenomenon that made the last two summers so soggy – has a 50-50 chance of returning this coming summer. 

Now apart from ruining my beach holiday plans – and making people who own ice cream shops or operate places like Wet n Wild very sad – a wet summer could be a problem from a flooding point of view. Because we’ve had no fewer than four major rain events along the east coast since February, huge swathes of the country are saturated, dams and rivers are full – and if more rain falls, it won’t take much for flooding to occur again.

That’s it. I’m moving to the desert …  


Each day, we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Taiwan – where tensions are running high after one of America’s most senior politicians has touched down in the capital Taipei. 

Chinese fighter jets were deployed, Chinese battleships conducted drills in waters surrounding the island of Taiwan and Chinese officials issued stern statements criticising the United State for meddling where it wasn’t welcome?

Why such a dramatic reaction from China to a simple visit by a US politician? 

Because while Taiwan says it is an independent nation – China claims Taiwan is, in fact, a part of China. Many people in Taiwan have no interest in being part of China. And the visit by a senior US politician is being seen as the United States taking Taiwan’s side over China’s. 

It’s what we call geopolitics my friends .. so now you know. 

You’re welcome. 



Yes, okay, the Commonwealth Games are happening, and Australia is winning all the precious metal medals… and swimmer Emma McKeon has become the most successful Commonwealth Games athlete in the history of ever ..  but today we’re going to get into the Squiz Kids time machine and head back to Ancient Mexico, to the time of the Maya—the civilisation that dominated Mexico and Central America before the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. 


Because archeologists have just announced that they’ve made an important discovery about the game of pelota, a sport played by the Maya with a heavy rubber ball on a rectangular court. Excavation of the Toniná (toe-knee-NAH) ruins in Mexico have revealed that the ashes of dead Mayan rulers were likely mixed into those balls! The archaeologist in charge thinks that the Maya wanted their rulers to live on in sport…and so mixed their ashes with the rubber used to make the balls. Just imagine having a hit around with the remains of your king! 



A plan 13 years in the making will finally come to fruition next week, when a group of cheetahs flies from Africa to their new home in India. But they’re not going to a zoo – they’re going to live wild and free in an Indian national park. The complicated operation will be the first time a large carnivore has been moved from one continent to another, and reintroduced to the wild. I say reintroduced, because the world’s fastest land animals did once live in India, but went extinct more than 50 years ago. Wildlife experts in India started planning to bring them back starting in 2009. 


The young cheetahs will next week fly on a cargo plane from Johannesburg, in South Africa, to Delhi in India. Once they get to Kuno National Park, they’ll be kept in a 700 square kilometre enclosure for a month, because it takes that long for a cheetah to lose the impulse to walk back to where they came from… which, in this case, would be tricky. For photos of the cheetahs, and to read more about this complex operation, check your episode notes. 


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

  1. What’s the name of the Asian country which is the scene this week of high-tension between the US and China?
  2. Which Aussie swimmer has become the most successful athlete in Commonweath Games history?
  3. What sort of animals are being re-introduced to the wild in India?




It’s August 3… today is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day – and it’s also pop singer Jessica Mauboy’s birthday .. happy birthday Jess .. 

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

Adelphe from Ivanhoe, Bethia from Sydney, Sam from Kempsey, Pacey from Bungendore, Will from Hill Top, Lily from Capalaba, Gordon from Altona Meadows, Jackson from Ashtonfield and Chloe from Innisfail. 

And classroom shoutouts today go to Grade 6 at Pullenvale State School with Mrs Rudd and Ms Stephens, Class F2 at Hammond Park Primary School, Class 6B at Eumundi State School, Mr White at St Pius X Primary School in West Warrnambool and lastly too Mrs Kennedy and Mr Frost and their fabulous year 5/6 class at St Rita’s Primary School in South Johnstone.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Taiwan
  2. Emma McKeon
  3. Cheetahs