Thursday, 8 September, 2022

Aussie hopes dashed at US Open; turning plastic into diamonds; Jess Mauboy’s indigenous lesson; and Charlotte the pet crocodile. 



Jess Mauboy does heads, shoulders, knees and toes:

Charlotte the croc:


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 Australia’s hopes of having a player make it all the way through the US Open tennis tournament were scuttled yesterday when both Ajla Tomlanovic and Nick Kyrgios lost their respective quarter finals.

Scuttled is a fancy word for sunk – use it in your next creative writing piece, I dare you.

Ajla lost in straight sets to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur – bringing to an end her US Open dream. But you know – her opponent was the runner-up at Wimbledon this year – and she did so well to have gotten this far.

And then fellow Aussie Nick Kyrgios lost in a tight match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov ..

Nick went into the game with the hopes of a country on his shoulders – and played his best. But finally the big hitting Russian wore the Aussie down – emerging victorious after a gruelling five set match.

Gruelling is a fancy word for really, really hard. Slide that one into your next writing assignment, I dare you. Again. 

It was something of a disappointment for the fiery tennis player from Canberra – especially after he had beaten world number one Daniil Medvedev to reach the quarter finals.

Perhaps that explains why he smashed up his tennis racquet at the end of the game – which we all know is not the most sporting way to end a match. 

Raincoats, gum boots and brollies will be the order of the day up and down much of the east coast of Australia over the next few days as a widespread rain, thunderstorms and the threat of flooding in already saturated river basins once again loom.

Fingers and toes crossed it comes and goes quickly.


Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in the Spanish village of Valverde de la Vera, where residents have come up with an ingenious, beautiful, and environmentally friendly way to beat the heat. 

Spain has suffered through three heat waves this summer, and the elderly men and women of the village wanted to do something to alleviate – which means make better – the baking heat. So they collected up old plastic bags, and started weaving huge shade canopies. The result? Gorgeous coloured decorations overhead, as you’ll see at the link in your episode notes, plus more shade, and less plastic in landfill. 

And while we’re discussing the latest in plastic, we should take a quick side trip north to Germany, where scientists have figured out a way to turn old plastic drink bottles into… wait for it… diamonds! It’s an extremely complicated process involving X-ray lasers, and for now it only produces tiny quantities of bling. But it’s the first step towards a pretty glamorous kind of recycling…  




Aussie pop singer Jessica Mauboy has added another hit song to her repertoire after yesterday being taught to sing Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes in Tiwi and Mangarrayi.

Now you know the song Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes, right? I’d sing it for you – but my children would either die of embarrassment or  never speak to me again – or both.

To mark Indigenous Literacy Day yesterday, Jess got a couple of indigenous kids – Dean and Derek – to teach her to sing the classic kid’s song in their native languages.

For Derek – who grew up on the Tiwi Islands, just to the north of Darwin – he speaks Tiwi at home with his family and English at school – while Dean learns English at school while his Elders are teaching him the language of his country, Manngarayi.

So … how did Jess do? According to both boys she was a fast learner. I’ve stuck a link to video of it in today’s episode notes .. check it out for yourselves .. it’s super cute.




And so to Proserpine, in Queensland we go – where Charlotte the pet crocodile has been written into her owner’s will.

What’s a will? It’s a legal document that’s drawn up outlining who you want to give your money and possessions to after you die.

And in the case of John Casey – a sugar cane grower from the Whitsundays – he wants to leave at least part of his earthly possessions to Charlotte – his 3 metre long, 59 year old pet croc.

You see: crocs can live to up to 150 years old. Much longer than the humans who have taken them in and care for them. So John has left money in his will for Charlotte for someone to look after her when he’s gone. 

Which is a nice thing to do – given that Charlotte once bit off his John’s father’s hand. 

Charlotte has been a member of the Casey family since she was a baby croc. She used to love travelling in the car and would often climb from the back seat to the front to sit on the driver’s lap. There are even photos of her going into pubs with the Casey family and propping herself up on the bar.

They sure do breed ‘em different up central Queensland way. 

And yes – of course I’ve stuck a link to photos of Charlotte in today’s episode notes. 



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

  1. Which Aussie pop singer has learned to sing in two different Indigenous languages?
  2. In which country are they turning old plastic bottles into diamonds?
  3. What’s the name of the pet crocodile who’s just been written into a cane farmer’s will?




It’s September 8 … today is R U OK today … a day to ask your friends and family how they’re doing … because sometimes just by checking in with people we can make all the difference in the world to their day. 

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

Dylan from Walpole, Miles from Ivanhoe, Anson from Killara, Harper from Cobar, Ruby from Canberra, Siobhan from Adelaide, Chloe listening from Taichung City in Taiwan and Alexandra listening over in South Korea

Belated shout outs go to Niamh from Forest Hill and Olivier from Clovelly. 

And classroom shoutouts today go to … grade 4 with Mrs Testone and Mrs Bavastock at Mawarra Public School, year 4 and Mrs Murdoch at St John the Baptist School in Maitland, class 3/4A and Mrs Aitkens at St Michael’s Parish School in Deniliquin, class 4M and Mrs Venter at Wollondilly Public School in Goulburn and lastly to the students at Livingstone Primary School in Vermont South and happy birthday to their teacher Miss Vantarakis.

Special shout outs go to the following teachers who recently became members of Squiz Kids for Schools on our special Term 4 promo. (Link in episode notes)….. Mr Patton and year 5/6 at Melrose Primary School in Wodonga, Ms Martyn at Bradbury Public School and Ms Curtin at Holy Family Primary School in Kelso. Welcome to you all!  


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Jess Mauboy
  2. Germany
  3. Charlotte