Thursday, 6 August, 2020

Wild weather ahoy; Taiwan’s plane ride to nowhere; Roger Federer’s rooftop surprise; and the dancing llama craze. 



Snow in Melbourne

Roger Federer’s rooftop surprise

Dancing llama






The city of Beirut in the country of Lebanon was this morning coming to terms with the widespread damage caused by an enormous explosion in a warehouse at the city’s port. 

TV bulletins yesterday were filled with dramatic footage of the explosion, which the country’s prime minister said was caused by a large quantity of a chemical called ammonium nitrate – which had been stored unsafely in the warehouse. 

Many were killed and thousands were injured in the blast as buildings up to 3km from  the explosion were destroyed or damaged. Office towers and apartment blocks shook violently, windows all over the city were shattered and cars were picked up by the force and thrown onto their roofs. 

It’s a terrible blow for a country which is already in economic strife. Send all your best wishes their way.  

There’s already been snow all over Tasmania, snow on the outskirts of Melbourne and in the middle of the city, we’ve seen lashing rains in Western Australia – and it’s all building up to a massive rain storm that is said to be the same size as Queensland.

Meteorologists – whose job it is to study weather patterns – have warned that different parts of Australia will be smashed by no fewer than five massive storms bringing bucket loads of rain, gale force winds and enormous seas to everywhere from the outback to eastern and western coasts. 

Stay safe – and warm – out there people. 




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 – which is taking an altogether original approach to the coronavirus travel lockdowns by offering its residents a plane flight to nowhere.

Last month, we brought you the story of how an airport in Taiwan was offering folks who were missing the experience of plane travel the chance to come to the airport and go through the check in experience and board a plane and get off again. Seriously.

Now an airline in Taiwan has taken it a step further, offering travellers a special three-hour flight to nowhere – taking off, circling around for a bit, then coming back in to land. It’s all scheduled to happen on Father’s Day in Taiwan. Because which father doesn’t want to go on a plane to nowhere on their special day?

And the best bit? It’s all aboard a plane that is covered in Hello Kitty cartoon characters. Just because. 




Just when you thought tennis ace Roger Federer couldn’t be any nicer – he’s gone and paid a surprise visit to a couple of Italian girls who went viral on the internet back in April with their game of rooftop tennis.

Carola and Vittoria captured the can-do spirit of sport in a lockdown when they played tennis across the roofs of their separate apartment buildings. So tennis champ Federer staged a surprise visit to the girls – and captured it all on video. 

The video is part of an ad campaign for a brand of pasta that Roger advertises – but the genuine joy – and utter surprise – on the faces of these young tennis fans is something pretty special. And when he offers to play a game of rooftop tennis with them – it’s impossible not to smile.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to Federer’s surprise video. Because we can all do with a smile. 




On the subject of smiles, maybe you’ve heard of the Dancing Llama? Not since Baby Shark has a song so completely swept the world, captured the imagination of the internet – and got stuck in people’s heads.

The dancing llama craze is currently sweeping TikTok – with a video of a llama dancing to a remix of a song from a Russian breakfast cereal ad having been viewed almost 90 million times … go figure ..

I’d sing the song to you – but no one deserves that. And yes, of course there’s a link to it in today’s episode notes … but be warned: once you hear it, it will get stuck in your head ..

Meanwhile, with social distancing having a big impact on the number of people going to the cinema, movie studios are looking to alternative ways to release their school holiday blockbusters. And in the case of Disney and it’s upcoming live action film Mulan, it will be released straight to its streaming service, Disney+ – it was announced yesterday. Because staying in is the new cool. 




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

  1. Which country is offering a special plane flight to nowhere on Father’s Day?
  2. Which tennis star surprised a couple of Italian girls with a game of rooftop tennis? 
  3. Name the Disney film that is going straight to streaming and by-passing the cinema?




It’s August 6 …. The birthday of the God of Thunder himself, Chris Hemsworth … the Aussie actor who plays Thor in the Marvel movies. Not the God of Thunder. Because, well, he probs doesn’t have a birthday per se. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today  … Francis from Gosford East, Ava from Wollongong, Tyler from Thornlands, Luke from Walpole, Harper from Ryde, Hayden from Lynbrook, Jaime from Glenelg, Marc from Balwyn, Davina from Watson, Massimo from Abbotsford, Lily from Ballarat, Caitlyn from Inverell, Will from Brighton, and Jack from Sydney. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Hope from Kew East and Jackie from Sunshine West. 

Happy birthday to you all.

Classroom shoutouts… 3/4/F with Mrs France and 3/4 C with Mrs Colefax & 4/5/6L ar Glendenning Public School,  Class 5/6C at Peakhurst South Public School, Class 5/6 Galilei and 5/6 Warren from Appin Public School, Stage 3 at Ellison Public School, and practically every class imaginable at  Inverell Public School, including Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 with Mrs Mainey, Mrs McLeod, and Mrs Bright. Go Inverell! 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Taiwan
  2. Roger Federer
  3. Mulan