Thursday, 4 June, 2020

Australia in recession; Slovenia’s baby dragons; skateboard champ takes a tumble; and Bugs Bunny returns.



Baby dragons:

Sky Brown skateboarder:

Wombat and koala love in:






Thirty years ago, Australia’s then Prime Minister Paul Keating famously gave a speech in which he said the country was in the recession it had to have. And now, it seems, it’s happened again – with the Federal Treasurer yesterday reporting that our economy was getting smaller – thanks in no small part to the drought and summer bushfires but most importantly, the coronavirus when we all went inside and kept to ourselves. What’s a recession? It’s when a country’s economy stops growing and starts to retract – meaning people don’t spend as much money as they might and businesses don’t make as much money as they could. Why is it a thing? Because it has a ripple effect on everything – including, importantly, jobs. But, at least things aren’t as bad here as they are in some other countries – including France, the US, China and Germany – whose economies have been hit even harder than ours by COVID-19.

Did you watch the SpaceX launch this week and think to yourself: I want to do that? I want to be one of those people strapping myself into a rocket for a journey into outer space? Well happily – there are a number of companies here in Australia who were similarly inspired and already have plans to build spaceships that could hold up to 30 people and which could launch from Cape York in far north Queensland. A home-grown space program – how cool is that?




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Slovenia – a country in Eastern Europe – where a tank full of baby dragons have gone on display. 

What the what? Baby dragons? Well, not really. But that’s what locals call the curious creatures which have become a tourist attraction in a 24km cave system in Slovenia which is one of the country’s major tourist attractions.

The creatures, otherwise known as ‘olms’, are about 30 centimetres long, amphibious, look like half-formed axolotls, have no eyes, and despite enjoying a life span of some 100 years, never age – meaning they look like baby olms their entire lives. And how about this: the hearts of these underground water dwelling creatures beat just two times every minute – and they can live for more than ten years without food. Don’t know about you but I’d like to be able to go ten minutes … I’ll put the link to a pic of them in your episode notes.




She’s aiming to compete for her country when skateboarding makes its debut as an Olympic sport next year, but it’s fair to say British skateboard champ, Sky Brown – at only 11 years old – already has an Olympic-sized heart.

The pint-sized skate champ took a terrible fall during training – coming off the ramp, fracturing her skull and having to be airlifted to hospital. She’s fine now – and expects to make a full recovery – thanks, she says, to the fact she was wearing a helmet.

Taking to Instagram, Sky said from her hospital bed that it’s ok to fall sometimes, and that the important thing was not the fall, but the getting back up and pushing even harder. 




You’ve heard about Bugs Bunny right? Elmer Fudd? Daffy Duck? Marvin the Martian? Any of these names ringing a bell? Well – if they don’t now, they soon will. And you can all but guarantee at least one of the big people in your life spent a good part of their childhood glued to the television after school watching these cartoon characters. HBO Max – one of the streaming services in the United States – has just announced it has revived the Looney Tunes cartoon franchise – breathing new life into classic characters that have entertained generations since they first appeared back in the 1930s. So if the words “what’s up, Doc?” mean nothing to you now – rest assured, they soon will. 

Oh – and this isn’t strictly pop culture – but we stumbled upon a video of a baby koala and a baby wombat – both of which, interestingly enough, are called joeys when they are littl’uns – snuggling together at a wildlife park near Sydney. The pair, named Elsa and Hope have become best buddies during lockdown. There’s a link in today’s episode notes to video of them snuggling. 




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

  1. What is the word beginning with ‘R” you’re going to hear being used a lot in the next few days to describe the state of our economy?
  2. Which Eastern European country is home to baby dragons?
  3. What sport does 11-year-old Sky Brown hope to compete in at next year’s Olympics?




It’s June the 4th … actress Angelina Jolie’s birthday, but more importantly, the day on which the French cheese roquefort was created some 1000 years ago … mmm …. Cheese.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Rujal from Westmead, Maddie from Adelaide, Connor from Cranbourne, Zoe from Leichhardt, Ethan, Ziyu, Adam and Sahebjot from Melbourne, Luke from Redlynch, Estrella from Strathfield, Mya from Lane Cove, Micah from Morningside, Shoshana from Queen’s Park, Flo from Abbotsford, Toby from Naremburn , Harmony from Calista, Addison from Cronulla, Ethan from Putney, Sarah from Sandringham and Matilda, James and Jimmy from Sydney. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts…  Ben from Ingham, Mabior from Melbourne, and Amelia from Kellyville. 

Happy birthday to you all.  

Today’s classroom shoutouts: Class 3/4O at Mildura South Primary, Lady of Dolours Primary School in Mitchelton, QLD, classes 5A and 5B from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Ingham, and Room 12, Year 4/5 at Sheoak Grove Primary School with Mrs Nash, who celebrates her birthday this week.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Recession
  2. Slovenia 
  3. Skateboarding