Thursday, 9 December, 2021

Our Olympic Games boycott; What a day at The Ashes; London’s very merry T-Rex; and the year’s most mispronounced words.



T-Rex gets festive:



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When the Winter Olympics open in Beijing, China at the start of February, Australian athletes will be there to compete – but no Australian officials will attend.

That’s because yesterday, the Australian government announced its officials would boycott the Olympics as a form of protest against the Chinese government.

What does it mean to boycott something? It means you make a decision not to attend an event or engage with a person or organisation or – in this case – a country as a way of showing them you’re not happy with them.

Why is Australia not happy with China? The relationship between our two countries has not been great for the past couple of years. One of the reasons Australia is boycotting the Winter Olympics is because it disapproves of China’s treatment of a group of people within the country called the Uyghurs.

It’s called a ‘diplomatic boycott’ – meaning while our athletes will still compete in the Games, there will be no government officials attending. A diplomat is someone who represents a country overseas. 

The Australian diplomatic boycott follows a similar announcement earlier this week by US President Joe Biden. 

China is none too happy about the boycotts – and has made some pretty fiery comments in response. Watch this space.



Each day we give the world globe a spin, and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Greece, where the 2021 list of most mispronounced words probably has quite a few people there chuckling. That’s because omicron – not Oh-Mike-Ron, not Omni-Kron, not Armi-croon – is not just the latest COVID variant to have health authorities worried… it’s also the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet. So having newsreaders all over the world struggling with omicron is like hearing that people are having trouble pronouncing “o”, which is the 15th letter of our alphabet. Oh dear. 

Other common mispronunciations of 2021 are the names of pop star Billie Eilish, which I don’t find too hard, but tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas (STEH-fuh-nohs TSEE-tsee-pas) is a bit of a curly one. 

And then there are new words used by people way cooler than me … Cheugy (CHOO-gee), used to make fun of outdated and unfashionable things… and Yassify (YEAH-sih-fai), which is when you apply lots of filters to well-known photos and artwork for comic effect  – think the Beatles, or Severus Snape. I’ve popped a link to the YEAH-si-fai twitter feed into your episode notes. Or is that a bit CHOO-gee of me? 



They say you shouldn’t miss the first ball of an Ashes series .. and yesterday certainly proved that point, after Aussie fast bowler Mitch Starc clean bowled England’s opening batsman, Rory Burns with the very first bowl of the match. It was a remarkable start to The Ashes series for the Aussies, as a capacity crowd at the Gabba in Brisbane cheered on the boys in the baggy greens as they systematically dismantled the top batting order of the visiting Englishmen – including captain Joe Root who went for duck and the big threat for this series, Ben Stokes who managed to score only 5 runs. It was, emphatically, a dream start for the Aussies.

And the it only got better as the day unfurled. England were all out for a measly 147 runs when a huge thunderstorm ended play for the day. 

And remember how we spoke yesterday about this being Pat Cummins first day as Australian captain. He’s had a dream beginning: as well as steering his team to a commanding position going into day two – he claimed five wickets himself yesterday. Nice. 

Weather permitting, it will be the Aussies’s turn to bat today. Fingers crossed they chase down that 147 target without too much trouble.




Are you the kind of person who dresses up your pet for Christmas or Halloween? Then you’re going to love what the Natural History Museum in London has gone and done this holiday season. Their gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex is sporting a massive knitted Christmas jumper. It took the knitters 100 hours to make the festive jumper, which is dark blue with white snowflakes and green Christmas trees – so you know – your classic ugly Christmas sweater. And because T.Rex likes to do his part to save the planet, the sweater is made from recycled wool and plastic bottles. Human-sized versions are also available in the museum’s gift shop, to raise money for the museum to help it recover after a tough pandemic with fewer than usual visitors. There’s a photo of the giant knit in your episode notes. 




This is the second last Squiz Kids daily news podcast for the year  … I know right … where did the year go? But don’t fret: I’m not about to leave you completely in the lurch over the summer holidays. Because I know you’ve got road trips to fill, or long, languid summer days to plan: which  we’ll be punching out a weekly feed of excellent original content.

Become a Squiz Kids Subscriber for bonus summer holiday content – including a weekly kids v adult quizzes – on topics as varied as Animals, Sport, Space and our first ever Christmas quiz. AND to keep your grey matter engaged – we’ve come up with a bunch of super cool Squiz Kids Shortcuts — deep dives into topics guaranteed to inform and entertain … from the World’s Toughest Animals, to Girl Power, the Space Race and Christmas Traditions Around The World. 

Visit Apple Podcasts, search for Squiz Kids and sign up for your free trial today. You’re welcome.



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

  1. What dinosaur at the Natural History Museum in London has been dressed in a Christmas jumper?
  2. Which Australian fast bowler made a little bit of history claiming a wicket in the first ball of The Ashes yesterday?
  3. What word do the cool kids use to describe people or things that are old or outdated… like me ..?




It’s December 9 .. our second last Squiz Kids Today for the year … it’s also National Llama Day AND National Pastry Day in the US … man … why do they get all the cool national days

Plus It’s also only 15 sleeps ‘til Christmas !! Santa Claus is coming to town! 

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

Blaze from Hughenden, Liam from Shoalhaven Heads, Noah from Mornington, Gabriella from Albion Park, Dylan from Barnawatha, Libby and Isabelle from Wavell Heights, Lucy from Ainslie, Jax from Ashmont and Evelyn from Northcote.

And because this is our last week of Squiz Kids before the school holidays, we’re giving happy ‘early’ birthday shout outs to all the Squiz Kids celebrating birthdays between next Monday and December 31 … and because you’re all special in my eyes – even if I won’t be here to wish you happy birthday on your actual birthday, I give you … the birthday reggae tune …. Hit it …. 

Happy “early” birthday to…Luis from Randwick, Maddison from Glen Innes, Zoey from Invermay, Cherrie from Gosford East, Ethan, Fadi and Kaitlyn from Fairfield Heights, May from Walpole, Paige from Mornington, Cleo from Abbotsford, Talei from Brisbane and Ava from Morningside. Also to Evie from Canberra, Emily from Greystanes, Tasha from Albany Hills and Isabeau from Dalkeith.

Classroom shout outs today go to…Mrs Daley at St Rose Catholic Primary School at Collaroy Plateau – who is retiring after 4 decades of teaching and 18 years of those at St Roses’ The students and staff wish her well and want to say you are the best teacher ever and will be greatly missed. Also class shout outs to 3F at Lilli Pilli Public School and happy birthday to Mrs Fogarty, to class 4H at Birkdale Public School and to class ‘Economy Explorers’ at Neville Bonner Primary School in Canberra. Finally, Mrs Pearce at Stockton Public School sends Christmas wishes to all the students and teachers there.

A very special shout out to Year 5/6 teacher Christy Hutt from Exeter Public School, who has signed up as a fully-fledged Squiz Kids for Schools member. Welcome aboard Christy. You go into the draw for a visit from me … now there’s a prize no one would ever want .. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. T-rex
  2. Mitch Starc
  3. Cheugy