Tuesday, 18 May, 2021

Mouse plague gets worse; Lauren Jackson hits new basketball heights; discovery of a dino-croc; and life lessons from Australia’s oldest man.



Dino-croc: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-17/new-extinct-crocodile-species-found-in-central-australia/100139764


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There was a rush on mouse traps and rodent bait in the Bunnings aisles of regional NSW yesterday as the mouse plague that has been sweeping rural NSW, parts of Victoria and Queensland continued its destructive path.

Farmers in three states have been able to do little more than watch on helplessly as millions and millions of mice tear across their properties – getting into silos full of grain, and stored hay bales, and into homes where people live. Gross… .

Mice can give birth to a litter of up to 10 offspring every 20 days, and can fall pregnant as soon as they’ve given birth.

The NSW government recently pledged $50 million for mice-affected farmers.

But at the weekend, there were reports of mice invading homes in Canberra – meanwhile Bunnings aisles in regional centres like Orange and Lithgow were sold out of mouse traps and rodent bait. 

To our Squiz Kids listeners in mice-affected rural parts of the country: we’re thinking of you.

There’s a new record holder for the title of oldest man in Australia ever .. Queensland’s Dexter Kruger yesterday turned 111 years and 124 days old, beating the previous record holder, a World War I veteran, by one whole day. 

Dexter, who spent most of his life living and working on a farm in Roma, in western Queensland, yesterday said he reckoned the reason he’d lived so long was because he led a simple life in the country – eating fresh food, living far from the city and all the busy-ness that consumes so much of modern life. According to Dexter: while advances in technology have brought lots of amazing things to today’s world, they’ve also made people more stressed, busily trying to make money to buy things they don’t really need. That’s what you call wisdom.

Dexter also reckons one secret to his daily diet has also helped him live a long life … chicken brains. He used to eat them every week – and says they are delicious. Reckon I’ll take your word for that Dexter…  




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Samoa … one of our South Pacific neighbours. A beautiful part of the world where the palms sway and waters are always blue — and which is about to swear in its first female prime minister. The tiny nation – population 197,000 – had an election at the beginning of April. And while it has taken a few weeks for the outcome to be declared official, a ruling yesterday by the highest court in Samoa should pave the way for Fiame Naomi Mata’afa to become the country’s first female leader.

It brings to an end 40 years in power for the party that is currently in government – and was yesterday being celebrated by many Samoans as the beginning of a brand new era. 

Fellow female leader in the region, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed Mata-afa to the club – saying her election was ‘really significant’.




Speaking of significant … Aussie basketballer Lauren Jackson yesterday became the first Australian player to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in America. 

This is the same hall of fame to which legendary players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant belong. So for our very own Lauren Jackson – 7 time WNBA All-Star, four time Australian Olympic basketballer from Albury NSW – to be honoured in American basketball’s most prestigious award, is no small thing. Much like Lauren – who, at 1.96 metres tall, is no small thing either. 

Accepting the award yesterday, Lauren said: ““I’m just a girl from country NSW who worked hard to be the best I could be and if that inspires others to follow in my footsteps and chase their own goals and aspirations, then that’s the most enriching Award I can receive.”

And that, my friends, is a character trait we call ‘being humble’. And it’s the mark of a true champion. Well done Lauren – Squiz Kids salutes you. 




An eight-million year old crocodile skull found just north of Alice Springs, in central Australia, has scientists hopping with excitement – convinced they have found evidence of a brand new species of dino-croc.

That’s not the technical name for it – but this is a beast that scientists reckoned roamed the continent of Australia some 25 million years ago – when other dinosaurs walked the planet. 

Similar in size to modern day saltwater crocodiles, the prehistoric croc is believed to have had a decidedly different diet. Where salties today mostly eat fish and small wildlife, the dino-croc had massive jaws and is believed to have hunted small dinosaurs for its dinner. Yikes. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to photos of the old-time-croc – you’re welcome.




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

  1. What tiny animal is ravaging rural Australia in plague proportions? 
  2. Which country in the South Pacific looks set to welcome its first female prime minister?
  3. Name the Aussie basketballer who’s become the first Australian player to be inducted into the US Hall of Fame..




It’s May 18… National Marshmallow Day in Australia … quite possibly my favourite day of the year … if you’re anywhere near a marshmallow today, roast it, pop it in a hot chockie, or squeeze it between some bikkies with melted chocolate and make yourself a s’more … mmmmm

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

Birthdays… Kendall from Sydney, Melisa & Jacob from Oran Park, Miranda from Morundah, Alex from Brisbane, Olivia from Woodhill, Nolan from Canterbury, Julia from Regents Park, Archie  and Willow from Tighes Hill, Terrance from Haberfield, Zoe from Croydon Park and Riley from Harden.

And a belated birthday shoutout to…Xander from Beecroft

Classroom shoutouts… class 6 white with Miss Salcedo at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Canberra, Ms Simmons favourite class 5-6/33 Leopards at Forster Public School and their principal Mrs O’Brien, class 2M at Windsor Public School, Windsor, Mrs Oddie’s 3P class at the Australian International School in Singapore, and a special shoutout to class MG6 from the St Peter’s Campus at All Saints College, who wish Katie all the best for her mum who is not well. Get well soon Katie’s mum!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Mice
  2. Samoa
  3. Lauren Jackson