Tuesday, 2 November, 2021

Melbourne Cup is off and racing; Mexico’s Day of The Dead; Space X hits the pause button; and a bat wins bird of the year.



Melbourne Cup alternatives: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-01/country-animal-racing/100576588&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1635757293129000&usg=AOvVaw1UtyGTo0zhPfA0TBkvVWUh

Day of the Dead photos: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/kirstenchilstrom/dia-de-muertos-photos-mexico 

Day of the Dead: New York Times explainer https://www.nytimes.com/article/day-of-the-dead-mexico.html 

Peka Peka bat:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymnUFuTkYt0


Squiz Kids Instagram:


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Rrrrrracing … yes folks, today’s the day that a good number of Australians stop what they are doing at 3pm Melbourne time, stick on the telly or turn on the radio and tune in to watch 24 horses compete in one of the most famous horse races in the world. 

I’m talking about the Melbourne Cup – which will be run in front of 10,000 enthusiastic fans at Flemington race course this afternoon – after being run in front of empty stadiums last year due to COVID.

You’re going to hear a lot today about which horse is ‘the favourite’ – which is to say, the horse that is widely expected to win – which this year is an Aussie horse called Incentivise. But get this: in the 160 years since the Cup has been run, the favourite horse has only won 34 times. So that’s about 1 in 5 times. So you know, take it all with a grain of salt, as they say. 

Of course, horse racing isn’t for everyone. Which is why I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to some of the other excellent races that happen around our nation: including yabby races in Queensland, crab races in Western Australia and dog sled races in Tassie. Because who doesn’t love a race?  



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Mexico  where today there’s a big festival taking place called Dia de los Muertos – of Day of The Dead. If you’ve seen the animated movie Coco, you’ll know what I’m talking about… And although it might sound a little frightening to us, in Mexico it’s a really bright, cheerful celebration, when people play music, dance, eat, drink, and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have died. In Mexico, they believe the dead will awaken from their sleep and join in the party, so they set up altars to guide them back home. The altars include the person’s favourite food and drink, bright orange marigold flowers and candles to light the way. I’ve popped some photos in your episode notes… and if you’re a Squiz Kids for Schools member, Amanda’s given you access to a fantastic lesson about traditions all over the world that celebrate loved ones who have died. 




Remember last week when I told you there was a bat in the running for New Zealand’s bird of the year competition? Well guess what? The bat has gone and won.

The peka-peka tou roa – or long-tailed bat – is native to NZ and is teeny tiny. It’s about the size of a bumblebee when it’s born. And it’s also endangered – meaning there aren’t a lot of them left in the wild. So the folks organising the Bird of the Year comp included so people would see how cute it was, and resolve to save it. 

The little bat beat out a flightless parrot – the kakapo which came in second – and a cheeky little alpine parrot called the Kea – which came in third and is renowned for destroying cars and harassing tourists. Maybe it needs to improve its behaviour if it wants to do better next year.

I’ve stuck a link to a video of the peka-peka bat in today’s episode notes. It’s super cute ..




Five, four three, two, one … abort. That’s what happened yesterday during the latest Space X rocketship launch – after bad weather in the ocean thousands of miles from the launch site. 

Four astronauts were due to head into space, to start a six month stint aboard the International Space Station – and the skies above the launch pad were clear – but wild weather out at sea, thousands of miles from the launch pad – meant the launch has been delayed now until Thursday. 

Weather conditions a long way from the launch pad need to be good in case there’s a problem during the launch and the astronauts need to ditch into the ocean. Ditch means to abandon the launch attempt and come back down to Earth and land in the sea. 

This is the fourth astronaut flight that Space X has done for NASA in the past 18 months – the American government space agency. It’s becoming something of an astronaut shuttle service – delivering astronauts to the International Space Station like your bus delivers you to school. 




WE HAVE A WINNER …. Yes indeed we do… the lucky teacher who has won for her school a year’s subscription to our new classroom offering – Squiz Kids for Schools – is …. (DRUM ROLL) Dirga Ashar who’s currently dividing her time teaching between Panania Public School and Oran Park Public School !

Congratulations Dirga … and congratulations to our friends at Oran Park Public School in Sydney where Ms Ashar is heading full time next year – your entire teaching staff and all your students will have access to Squiz Kids For Schools daily offering of classroom resources – all of them aligned to the curriculum, differentiated and tied to each day’s podcast. (CHEER).

If you’re a teacher and you’re keen to trial Squiz Kids for Schools in your classroom – don’t dilly dally. For the remainder of Term 4, we’re offering free access to the program so you can test it out for yourself and see how we can make your classroom life easier. Go to squizkids.com.au and sign up for the free trial today.  




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 festival that happens in Mexico today?
  2. How many times has the favourite horse won the Melbourne Cup?
  3. What sort of animal won this year’s New Zealand Bird of the Year competition?




It’s November 2 … National Deviled Egg Day .. which is about as random a national day as I think i have ever heard of …

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today…Jonathan from Forest Lake, Bis from Carroll and Elvis from Abbotsford.

And a belated birthday shout out goes to…Alivia from Rockhampton.

Classroom shout outs today go to…Class 2C and Ms Conolly at Annandale North Public School, also to class 2 green and Ms Nardella at the International Grammar School in Sydney.   Shubhi, from Waitara Public School sends a shout out to her teacher Ms Noble, for being so encouraging during online schooling and it’s a shout out to Isabella from Aspendale Gardens – her parents are super proud of her for giving everything a go during lockdown. Lastly Bianca and Io (Eye-oh) send a shout out to Viola class at Erskineville Public School and are happy everyone is back in the classroom. 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Day of The Dead
  2. 34 
  3. Bat