Tuesday, 11 August, 2020
Hero sailor gets top honour; Oil spill threatens coral reef; the 23 year old golf sensation; and Ninja Warrior crowned.
A long time ago – long before any of you were born – actually, long before I was born – Australia was at war with Japan during World War II – and battles were fought on our doorstep.
One such battle saw an Australian Navy ship come under fire by enemy fighter planes. One of the Aussie sailors, Teddy Sheean, bravely stayed aboard the sinking ship after helping his shipmates get into their life rafts. And as the fighter planes tried to shoot at them, Teddy manned the machine gun on the ship, firing back at the planes – saving many lives. Sadly, he died that day. He was only 18 years old.
And yesterday – despite the fact his remarkable act of courage occurred almost 80 years ago – the path was cleared for Teddy to be awarded the Victoria Cross – the highest military honour an Australian in the military can receive.
The former head of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson yesterday said Teddy’s sacrifice to save his friends was an important reminder to us all as the country grapples with a pandemic.
“Let Teddy Sheean inspire us to be a people that are selfless, caring and brave,” he said.
If you’re like me and the sight of a snake makes your skin crawl, then this next story may not be for you. But there is nevertheless considerable excitement at the creation of a new smartphone app which helps Aussies identify poisonous snakes and spiders.
Just by photographing a creepy crawly and running it through the new Critterpedia app – anyone can now quickly and efficiently find out whether the insect or reptile you’ve stumbled across is a life-threatener.
Mind you, you’d have to get close enough to it to get a decent photo. And who in their right mind is going to do that?
SPIN THE GLOBE
Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Mauritius – which is an island country off Africa — where a major clean up is underway after a Japanese cargo ship hit a reef and spilt some 1000 tonnes of oil into the water – creating what environmentalists have described as an ecological disaster.
The ship ran aground on a coral reef two weeks ago – but it was only last Thursday that it cracked open and began to leak oil.
Conservationists on the island are in a race against time to contain the oil spill – to limit its impact on Mauritius’s marine ecosystem. Like the Great Barrier Reef here in Australia, Mauritius’ coral reefs are famous around the world for their stunning colours and sea life.
Special oil spill recovery teams have been sent from France and Japan to help with the clean up effort – while locals have been working around the clock to create floating barriers to stop the leaking oil from spreading too far and wide into the sea.
The golfing world was yesterday hailing the arrival of a new champion after American Collin Morikawa beat some of the best golfers in the world to come out of the blue and win one of the most prestigious competitions on the planet. And all at the age of 23.
Morikawa played what many golf experts were yesterday describing as a near perfect round of golf to clinch the PGA Championship in San Francisco yesterday – hitting the ball so well on one particular hole – and getting his ball so close to the pin – that one commentator described it as “maybe the shot of the decade”.
Special mention to Australia’s Jason Day – who came in fourth. Continuing the Queenslander’s remarkable comeback form, it was Day’s fourth consecutive top ten finish. Go you good thing.
POP CULTURE CORNER
In the end, it came down to three. Three ridiculously strong, agile young blokes – and a bunch of steel scaffolding which is oddly called Mt Midoriyama.
And last night, it was 27-year-old Ben Polson from Western Australia who became Australia’s very first Ninja Warrior, clambering up 20 metres of rope in just over 25 seconds.
It was one second faster than 21 year old Charlie Robbins from Victoria – also known as the golfing ninja – and a full four seconds faster than 21-year-old Zac Stolz from the Mornington Peninsula.
Polson walked away with a stonking big trophy – plus $400,000 in prize money for his troubles.
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What’s the name of the medal awarded yesterday to World War II hero, Teddy Sheean?
- What’s the name of the island country off Africa scrambling to contain an oil spill from a stranded cargo ship?
- Ben Polson from Western Australia was last night crowned Australia’s first what?
It’s August 11 ….. Birthday of Aussie basketball hero, Patty Mills.
It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Rebecca from Woongarrah, Chelsea from Brisbane, Nate from Morningside, Charlie from Murarrie, Ruby from Bathurst, Samanthi from Carlingford, Zoe from North Curl Curl, Katarina from Melbourne, Isaac from Redlynch, Chelsea from Albany Hills, Max from Eden Hill, Benji from Bondi, Bethannie from Karalee, Abi from McKinnon, Jack from Robina, Nate from Morningside, Max from Rose Bay, Lexie from Tamworth, Erin from Newtown, Lauren from Putney, Forest from Chatswood and Abi, who we don’t know where she’s from but she’s a big fan!
And some belated birthday shoutouts… Milla and Chidubem from Sheoak Grove, Chase from Proserpine, Abbie from Sydney, Michael and Hannah from Ainslie, Ava from Cornubia and Jesse from Caringbah.
Happy birthday to you all.
Classroom shoutouts… Room 2 and Room 4 Calista Primary School, class 5/6 at Blackburn Primary School, Class F6 from Hammond Park Primary School, and years 3, 4, 5 and 6 at Abbotsford Public school with Miss Kelly, who is celebrating a birthday today,
The S’Quiz Answers:
- Victoria Cross
- Ninja Warrior