Tuesday, 16 February, 2021
Vaccine touchdown; Stonehenge has been moved; a new prince for Harry and Megs; and what lemurs can teach us about love.
Stonehenge explainer video: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/z82hsbk/articles/zg8q2hv
Fire Fight Australia fundraiser video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9fVj1l2R_4&feature=youtu.be
And hey presto! They’re here!
Australia’s very first doses of the COVID vaccine touched down at Sydney airport just after midday yesterday.
One hundred and forty two-thousand doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived on a plane – and will now be stored in a super-cold freezer at minus 60 degrees.
It’s expected the rollout of the vaccine could start as early as next week – with Australia’s elderly, quarantine workers and our doctors and nurses working in hospitals, and those working in aged care homes being first in line to receive the shot.
It’s worth remembering too what a remarkable achievement all of this is: normally it takes scientists 5-10 years to develop a vaccine. And though it feels like COVID has been around forever …. this time a year ago Australia only had 15 recorded cases and the coronavirus was still a couple of weeks away from even being declared a pandemic.
Listen … can you hear that? It’s the pitter patter of tiny royal feet making its way towards us – with the news yesterday that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are expecting their second child.
Harry and Meghan – who now live in America – already have a son, Archie – who turns two in May.
The new bub – due later this year – will be eighth in line to the British throne. Meaning, the right to sit on the throne will go to seven royal relatives before this new royal family member gets a shot at it.
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 England … where scientists have uncovered what they say is evidence that Stonehenge was originally built in Wales – and later moved 200 kms to its current location in England.
What’s Stonehenge, I hear you ask … it’s only one of the most famous monuments and tourist attractions in England – a great big circle of enormous stones, built in 3000 BC, that was used by ancient Britons for religious ceremonies and festivals.
Using a process called radiocarbon dating, scientists have been able to pinpoint exactly where the stones were quarried – which is a verb to describe the cutting out of rocks from the earth.
And that quarry is in Wales – 200 kilometres from where Stonehenge stands today. Meaning that 3000 years ago – long before trains or trucks existed – ancient Britons somehow worked out a way to move 93 massive stone slabs that each weighed the same as four elephants, across a 200 kilometre distance.
I’ve stuck a link to an excellent Stonehenge explainer video in today’s episode notes.
Looking for tips on how to improve your love life? Valentine’s Day has just been and gone, afterall. Then look no further than the humble lemur .. that adorable member of the primate family of animals, popularly interpreted by King Julian in the Madagascar and Penguins series of films and TV spin-offs ..
Because scientists have begun to study lemurs as one of the few animals that practice monogamy for clues as to what makes some mammals – like humans and mammals – pick a partner, while others don’t.
Monogamy is the term for choosing one partner and sticking to them for life. Some penguins are monogamous, many types of birds are too – but only 3-5% of mammals keep the same mate for life.
Scientists hope that by studying lemurs they’ll be better able to pinpoint what happens in brains to make animals attach themselves to another.
Lemurs the love gods. You heard it here first.
POP CULTURE CORNER
What do Amy Shark, Guy Sebastian, Peking Duk and Pete Murray all have in common? Other than the fact they’re all awesome Aussie musicians? They all took part in the historic Fire Fight Australian Concert on this day, exactly a year ago.
And to mark the anniversary, a charity called the Sony Foundation is giving a whack of money raised at the concert to some really cool youth community programs in areas that were smashed by last year’s summer bushfires.
Young people in Eden and Ulladulla on the NSW South Coast, and others in Mallacoota in Victoria – where townships were devastated by fire – are in line to receive more than $700,000 – to help build ‘youth pods’ for kids traumatised by the fires to come together, talk, connect and hopefully, heal.
Another example of how good can be made out of bad situations.
Q+A SHOUT OUT
Today’s the last day to get your questions in for former Yellow Wiggle, Sam Moran – who’s agreed to do the first Squiz Kids Q+A for the year.
Did you know that he’s made records with Kylie Minogue and Keith Urban? Or that he toured the world 10 times with The Wiggles.
If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask Sam – now’s your chance. Send it through to [email protected] by tonight – and you might just hear your voice on the next Squiz Q+A.
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What’s the name of the ancient monument in England which scientists believe originated in Wales?
- Which animal are scientists studying to discover the secret of long-lasting love?
- What’s the name of Prince Harry and Meghan’s son who’s about to become an older brother?
It’s February 16 … Shrove Tuesday in the Christian calendar … also known as Pancake Day – which is the day before Lent – a period between now and Easter when Christians give up something indulgent. In France, it’s called Mardi Gras – which literally translates to Fat Tuesday – because it’s the last day Christians can stuff themselves silly. So, happy Fat Tuesday everyone.
It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Joryl from Melbourne, Thomas from Birrong, Leo from Williamstown, Caitlin from Canberra, Harrison from Sydney, Liam and Amelia from Lockleys, Eslam from Coniston, Ivy from Geelong, Mateen from Abbotsford, Dexter from Kew and Zachary from Five Dock.
Happy birthday one and all!
Classroom shoutouts…Years 4, 5 and 6 at Porepunkah Primary School – and if I’ve mispronounced that, a thousand apologies – the Room 20 kids at Bellevue Heights Primary School, class 4/5S from Stockton Public School, and Senior H at St Brigid’s Primary School.
And a special shoutout to Mrs Smith and 6S at Mont Albert Primary School in Melbourne, who are in lockdown this week – and of course a big Squiz Kids shout out to all our Victorian friends doing it tough in lockdown. We’re thinking of you.
The S’Quiz Answers: