Tuesday, 22 February, 2022

 Snapchat the language teacher; Samoa’s special delivery of girls’ bikes; AFL’s Patrick Dangerfield turns lifesaver; and Hank the Tank strikes again.



Hank theTank: https://www.9news.com.au/world/giant-bear-hank-the-tank-breaks-into-dozens-of-california-homes/2088a70d-60b7-4695-a5fc-11381b917de4


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Learning to speak some of Australia’s Indigenous languages just got a whole lot easier with the launch yesterday of a cool new feature on Snapchat.

The popular social media app yesterday announced it had launched a series of language lenses –  using artificial intelligence to teach Aussie kids how to speak a handful of Australia’s first languages.

In the same way you can hold up a smart phone at the local park and artificial intelligence tech will tell you if there are any Pokemon around – these new language lenses allow you to hold up your phone to, say, a dog, and have the word for dog instantly served up on your screen in one of four Indigenous languages  – with an audio translation to help you learn how to say it.

The languages available include Wiradjuri – the language spoken in central NSW; Wakka Wakka – the language spoken by Indigenous Aussies in central Queensland and Yugambeh – spoken in south-east Queensland.

Did you know that there are more than 750 different languages spoken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people? That’s amazing! And while we have a really rich linguistic heritage here in Australia – many of those languages are in danger of slipping away and being forgotten.

It’s hoped that by serving up translation in your Snaps – a new, younger generation will help keep the languages alive. 

There was a flood of well-wishes from all over the globe yesterday following the news the Queen of England has contracted COVID.

Because the Queen is 95 years old, staff at her home in Windsor Castle, just outside of London have been taking extra-special precautions. She’ll remain in isolation for the remainder of the week – after which she’ll hopefully be back performing royal duties.

The Queen recently celebrated what’s called her Platinum Jubilee – which is a fancy way of saying she’s been on the throne for 70 years. Gosh. Hope it’s got a good cushion. 



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, where a group of girls is eagerly awaiting a boat stacked with used Aussie bicycles. Some big-hearted people in Griffith, a rural town in New South Wales, have collected 110 donated bikes, restored them, and sent them off to Samoa, where they will be given to girls living in isolated areas. Once the bikes arrive, those girls will be able to bike to school, or to the bus stop that connects them with school… instead of walking for many kilometres every day.  

Why can’t they just buy a bike in Samoa? Well, affording a bike can be tricky in the Pacific Island nation, where many people earn less than $5 a day. As well as sending the bikes, the group in Griffith also helps Samoan girls pay their school fees, and develop skills that will get them a good job. From all of us, fa’afetai (fah-ah-fuh-tie) – that’s Samoan for thank you. 



Have you ever had a wild animal wander into your backyard? Here in Australia, it could be a kangaroo, a possum, an echidna, a blue tongue or even Derry the water dragon – who lives up the back of my pool area – and drives my pup, Louis the Wonder Dog mad.

Spare a thought for the people of South Lake Tahoe in the United States who have woken up the past week to find Hank the Tank – an enormous black bear, wandering through their yards.

In the last seven months, authorities estimate Hank – who weighs 225 kilograms – has broken into 28 homes searching for food, and made himself at home in no fewer than 38 backyards. 

And while that might sound vaguely amusing: it’s a real worry for residents there – many of whom are scared to go outside their door without their bear horn. Because, yes, a bear horn is an actual thing.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to video of Hank the Tank. Let’s just say he lives up to his name..




And today it’s a great big Squiz Kids Salute to AFL player, Patrick Dangerfield – who, over the weekend just gone, added life saver to his already considerable list of achievements.

A keen surfer, the Geelong Cat and Brownlow Medal winner, was on the beach south of Torquay in Victoria at the weekend with his kids, when he noticed a family in trouble in the surf.

He jumped on his surfboard and paddled out to help them – staying with the family out in the water until life savers could get to them and help them back into shore.

 Authorities say the family had been pulled out by a strong rip – and both they, and Patrick reminded everyone to play it safe in the surf and always swim between the flags. 



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

  1. What sort of animal is Hank The Tank – the huge beast terrorising neighbourhoods in America?
  2. Which country is expecting a special delivery of bikes from the NSW town of Griffith?
  3. What team does AFL player, and occasional surf life saver, Patrick Dangerfield play for?




It’s February 22 … today is Cat Day in Japan – where the nation celebrates its obsession with felines with cat donuts, cat social media memes, cat celebrities and Japan’s most famous cat, Hello Kitty all being honoured.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Evie and Nirvik from Kempsey, Raphael and Toby from Perth, Reeyan and Elsa from Brisbane, Owen from Newcastle, Evie and Matisse from Port Melbourne, Tommy from Balgowlah Heights Public School, and Chloe from Craigburn.

A belated shout out goes to Lewis from Perth. 

Classroom shout outs today go to …Year 3 at Mt Carmel School in Yass, class 5B and Mrs Bland at Moorooka State School, class HB8 from Woongarrah Public School and class 3/4W and Miss Howard at Exeter Public School. 

It’s a very special welcome to Ms Cantwell and the students at Our Lady of The Sacred Heart School on Thursday Island – who are our latest Squiz Kids for Schools members. Great to have you on board. And hope the weather is fine up there … 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Black bear
  2. Samoa
  3. Geelong Cats