Tuesday, 15 June, 2021

Head first for Aussie heroes; Wasabi the winning-est dog; Australia’s most expensive kelpie; and the man who was swallowed by a whale.



Wasabi the Pekinese and other winning dogs https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/12/us/gallery/westminster-dog-show-2021/index.html


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It was a big day for heads yesterday … and taking care of them – with news that a high-profile rugby league player and a Masterchef contestant had both made brave decisions to take care of their noggins.

If you’re a fan of the NRL – you will know who Boyd Cordner is. He plays for the Sydney Roosters and is something of a NSW State of Origin legend. 

Yesterday, Boyd shocked the footy world by announcing he was retiring early from the game. The reason? He’s suffered a few concussions as a result of head knocks on the field – and for the health of his brain, he’s decided to hang up his boots. 

((Contact sports like rugby league and rugby union have come under the spotlight in recent years with more and more research being done on the impact repeated head knocks can have later in life – and it’s a story that’s just going to get bigger as science reveals more about the long term damage repeated concussions can cause.

Meanwhile, in Masterchef land, popular contestant Brent Draper dropped out of the TV cooking show contest saying that the pressure of the competition was not good for his mental health. 

In an Instagram post today, Brent said deciding to drop out of the show in the middle of it being recorded some months ago was a decision he made after feeling rising levels of anxiety. And while the idea of going on to win the contest was tempting – more important was putting his mental health first.   

Another brave decision by someone in the public eye choosing to take extra-special care of their head and its health. We’ve only got one head, afterall. It’s important we look after it.




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 United States  … where a dog of Chinese origin named after a Japanese condiment has won the Westminster Dog Show. 

Confused? Then let me put that another way. A Pekingese dog called Wasabi has won the top prize at the biggest dog show in America.

What’s a Pekingese dog? Its a little fluffy dog that used to be bred especially for the royal family in China. These days, they’re found all over the world. What’s wasabi? It’s that green stuff you get when you order sushi – which you should absolutely never confuse with avocado …

Wasabi was awarded Best In Show at the dog breeder competition. Wasabi beat runner up Bourbon the whippet by a whisker … a whisker … geddit? Other winners included Mathew the French bulldog, Connor the Old English Sheep Dog, Striker the Samoyed and Boy the West Highland white terrier.

And if that sounds like a Hairy McClary character list to you too – then you’re not alone ..

And of course I’ve stuck a link to a photo gallery from the show in today’s episode notes. Nah – you can thank me later ..




On the subject of remarkable animals … try these two stories on for size .. 

A kelpie called Hoover from Edenhope in Western Victoria has just broken the Australian record for the price paid for a so-called ‘working dog’.

Hoover yesterday sold at auction for $35,200 – that’s one expensive dog. They’re called working dogs because they live on farms and help farmers herd sheep and cattle and other animals. 

Why is Hoover worth so much money? Because, according to his owner and trainer, he’s really kind to the animals he is herding and gets them to do what he wants without freaking them out. Hmm … I wonder if I could borrow him for a week at my place, for use on my children?

And while we’re here talking about animal stories… I couldn’t possibly let the podcast go by without telling you about the diver in America who was swallowed by a whale at the weekend – before being spat back out. 

The man was diving off the coast of Cape Cod when suddenly he felt a thud and everything went dark. He thought maybe he had been bitten by a shark – but it turns out a humpback whale had accidentally sucked him into its mouth. Luckily it didn’t like the taste of him and spat him out 20 seconds later. But what a terrifying 20 seconds that would have been… And yes, for the Biblically minded among you – now could be a good time to revisit the Jonah and the whale parable. 




It was a public holiday yesterday for most parts of the country – so a quick recap of the weekend’s biggest sporting achievements for those who spent yesterday in a public holiday haze.

And first up: it was a big weekend for tennis ace Novak Djokovic who won the men’s singles title at French Open and in so doing put himself in play for what’s called a Golden Slam … winning all four major tennis competition – the Australian, the US, the French Opens and Wimbledon – and then also winning a gold medal at the upcoming Olympics. Wowsers. 

Closer to home and the record-breaking was being done at the weekend by Queensland swimmer Kaylee McKeown – who broke the world record in women’s 100 metre backstroke at the Olympic trials in Adelaide.

Swimming a time of 57.45 seconds, Kayless beat the previous world record held by American Regan Smith by more than one tenth of a second.

And this – friends – is an excellent example of a fraction. Which if you’re not already studying in maths, you soon will be. You’re welcome. 



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

  1. What was the name of the dog who won Best In Show at the Westminster Dog show? 
  2. What sort of animal accidentally swallowed a diver in the United States?
  3. Which swimming stroke did Aussie swimmer Kaylee McKeown break the women’s 100 metre record at the weekend?




It’s June 15 … Global Wind Day … no – not that sort of wind. Though if my dog Louis’s windy bottom is any guide, it’s global wind day every day at our house … I’m talking about wind that whistles through the trees – and is increasingly being used a green and clean energy source. 

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

Mahli from Goomalling, Lilly from Dubbo, Jayden from Mosman Park, Chase from Glen Innes, Kaitlyn from Albany Creek, Elise from Gymea, Ewan from Albury, Rhett from Kalgoorlie, Max from Roseville, Oscar from Hornsby and Zavi from Mernda.

And a belated birthday shout out to Sam from Jindalee and India from Glen Innes , Mahli from Goomalling, Eli and Isaac from Bulimba, Caitlin from Beckom, Grady from Mornington and Ethan from Chatswood

And today’s classroom shoutouts go to …Mrs Searle and 5 Blue at All Saints Albany Creek, to the Year 6 students at Deception Bay State School in Queensland – who are urged to ‘always do your best’ – to 3OB at Ivanhoe Primary School – with Mr O who celebrated a birthday over the weekend, and class from St John’s Anglican College, with Mrs Kime who’s celebrating a birthday today – and finally, a special shout out from Isla at Murray Farm Public School to all her schoolmates, her amazing teacher Ms Chen and all her family. How nice. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Wasabi
  2. A whale
  3. Backstroke