Tuesday, 13 September, 2022

Ukraine fights back; Earthquake at the neighbours; Teen wins US Open; and janky, sussy and cringe make the dictionary.



Pacific Ocean Ring of Fire: Video Explainer: https://study.com/learn/lesson/ring-of-fire-location-facts.html

New words in the dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/new-words-in-the-dictionary 


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It’s been a while since we’ve spoken about Ukraine on the podcast. What with all the other things going on in the world, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the fact the country is still at war with its much bigger neighbour, Russia.

But with the news over the weekend that Ukraine had won some significant military victories – and, according to reports, has pushed Russia back out of many of the Ukrainian towns it invaded earlier this year, it’s worth revisiting.

Yesterday, there were photos circulating of Russian tanks that had been destroyed or abandoned, amid reports that towns in the east of Ukraine, close to the Russian border had been recaptured by Ukranian soldiers. There were also reports the Ukranian flag had been spotted flying in towns previously occupied by Russian troops as witnesses said they watched Russian soldiers throw their guns to the ground and retreat.

Now this is obviously a big deal because Russia is what is often referred to as a super-power – and Ukraine is not. This whole story has a touch of the David and Goliath about it all.

Of course, this is not to suggest that the war is over: with many commentators now watching anxiously to see how Russia – and its leader Vladimir Putin will respond. 

Yesterday, Ukraine’s leader, President Vlodymor Zelensky gave a defiant speech. Defiant means to make a show of strength in the face of pressure or hardship.

It’s worth remembering that since the war began in February – the United Nations estimates just over 7 million Ukrainians have fled their homes with some 4 million trying to settle in another European country.  



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Papua New Guinea – our nearby neighbour to the north – where search and rescue teams were being sent to a remote part of the country where a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit at the weekend.

7.6 magnitude is a big earthquake – and there are fears the damage it has done could be a whole lot worse than has so far been reported. 

You see – because where the quake happened is in such an isolated part of the country, it’s hard to get accurate accounts out of there.  

PNG is located on the edge of what’s called the Pacific Ring of Fire – which is a circle of tectonic plates – which is the crust of the Earth. When these plates rub against each other, causing friction, it results in earthquakes.

I’ve stuck a link to a video explainer in today’ episode notes.





What do you have on your to-do list by the time you’re 19? Finish school, start a job, maybe find yourself at university? Get a top score in Fortnite? Hopefully not that last one.

What about win the US Open tennis tournament and become the youngest man ever to be world number one?

That’s what Spanish teenager, Carlos Alcaraz achieved yesterday morning when he beat Norway’s Casper Ruud in the men’s final of the big tennis competition. 

At only 19 years of age, Alcarez’s win skyrocketed him to the top of the men’s world tennis rankings .. which is probably why he described it all as a dream come true.

Alcaraz joined US Open women’s champ, Iga Swiatek on top of the tennis world – the Polish tennis player claimed her third Grand Slam title at the tournament in New York city – at the equally tender age of only 21.

So impressive, these young people today …





Speaking of the young folk … have you ever levelled up in a game? Done something cringeworthy? Or had to drive in your grandpa’s janky old car? 

Even if you haven’t, I bet you know what I’m talking about. And yesterday came the news that the slang words and phrases “level up”, “cringeworthy”, and “janky” have just been added to the dictionary! 

The English language is always growing and changing. Each year, the American publisher Merriam Webster announces the new words it’s putting into the dictionary, after deciding that they’ve become so common that they’re officially part of our language. 

I’ve put a link in your episode notes to all 370 new words, but for now, let me offer a warm Squiz Kids welcome to some of my favourites: yeet, baller, and adorkable.

ICYMI and FWIW – which means In Case You Missed It and For What It’s Worth …  I reckon from reading this year’s additions to the slang category, that I am totally adorkable and cringey – in fact, i can hear my son Flynn saying, even as I record this: Dad this entire sentence is sussy – you’re goofy and janky and need to stop talking now. So I will. 



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

  1. What’s the name of the circle of tectonic plates in the Pacific Ocean that causes earthquakes to happen along its edges?
  2. Which country is at war with Ukraine?
  3. What does the acronym ICYMI stand for?




It’s September 13  … on this day, 53 years ago, the first ever Scooby Doo cartoon went to air … on this day 37 years ago, the first ever Super Mario Brothers game was released .. and it’s also the birthday of author Roald Dahl – if he were still alive today, it would be the Charlie + The Chocolate Factory and Matilda creator’s 106th birthday …

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

Sureen from Holsworthy, Jack from Berry, Conner from Kotara South and Chad from Helensvale.

A belated birthday wish goes to Emma from Tynong North.

Classroom shoutouts go to …class 6TF at Clairvaux Catholic School in Belmont, class S2B and Ms Blain at Bolwarra Public School, class 4W and Mrs Murdoch at St John the Baptist Primary School in Maitland, Ms Dribbus and her year 4/5 class at Miranda North Public School and lastly to class 2B and Mr Brennan at Tyabb Primary School.

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)….. Ms Bruin at Aberdeen Primary School and Ms Frend at GS Kidd Memorial School in Gunnedah. Welcome aboard!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Ring of Fire
  2. Russia
  3. In Case You Missed It