Tuesday, 22 September, 2020

Whale rescue operation in Tassie; the world’s best-travelled surfboard; Japan’s oldest woman hits 117; and kindness rules on triathlon course.



World Rhino Day https://www.worldrhinoday.org/

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Scientists and whale rescue experts were last night rushing to a remote harbour on the west coast of Tasmania where some 270 pilot whales are are stranded on a sandbar.

The pod of whales beached itself in shallow waters over the weekend. A rescue mission will be launched today to try to coax as many as possible back out to sea.

Marine scientists say pilot whales often beach themselves in large numbers along Tasmania’s coast. Though no one knows exactly why.

Pilot whales communicate to one another using a complex series of clicks and squeals. They use sonar to navigate the world’s oceans – which is to say, they send out a sound and work out how close an object is to them in the water depending on how quickly the sound bounces back to them. One reason it’s thought pilot whales beach themselves is because they follow one or two whales who lead the way: and those whales sometimes get lost. 

Sounds like a job for the Octonauts … does anyone still watch that?

Meanwhile, in other whale news: remember that humpback whale that took a wrong turn in the Northern Territory last week and ended up half-way down a croc-infested river? It made its way out yesterday – and was last seen back in open sea and on its journey along the coastline en route to Antarctica where it will spend the summer months.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in the Philippines – where a surfboard that went missing in Hawaii two years ago has washed up on an island after having made an 8000 kilometre cross-ocean journey.

When American big wave surfer Keith Falter lost his surfboard in a wipeout at Waimea Bay in Hawaii two years ago, he watched it drift out to sea and assumed he would never it see it again. 

But the ocean currents and fate had a different idea – sending the board on an epic journey across the Pacific Ocean, only to be collected by fishermen off the remote Filipino island of Sarangani.

A local school teacher – who inherited the surfboard and was teaching himself to surf with it – posted a photo of the board on social media – which is where an incredulous Keith re-discovered it.

The Hawaiian surf pro plans to visit the Philippines when travel restrictions lift to retrieve his wayward board – and says he plans to give the school teacher a new one in return. 




Speaking of good sports … a Spanish triathlete has won praise from all corners of the globe after a winning display of sportsmanship. 

Diego Mentrida was in fourth place behind Britain’s James Teagle heading into the final stretch of the race when Teagle accidentally took a wrong turn. Instead of letting him go and racing to the finish line, the Spaniard waited until his rival got back on track, let him back into the race and allowed him to take third place honours. 

Social media has since gone into meltdown praising Diego. And organisers of the race awarded the good sport an honorary equal third place and gave him 300 euros in prize money.

Because good sports always win. 




In this segment, we celebrate extraordinary feats … not the feets on the end of your legs, mind you. We’r talking ‘feats’ as in achievements. And today it’s all about Kane Takada – who yesterday officially became Japan’s oldest woman on record.

At 117 years and 261 days-old, Kane has just beaten by one day the previous record holder. 

And how did she celebrate? By having a bottle of her favourite fizzy drink, Coca Cola. 

I guess when you reach 117, you can drink pretty much whatever you want…




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

  1. What sort of whales do scientists believe are stranded on a sandbar in Tasmania?
  2. In which country did a surfboard wash up after a two-year journey across the Pacific Ocean?
  3. How many years old is Japan’s oldest woman, Kane Takada?




It’s September 22 ….. World Rhino Day — where all people from all nations of the world are invited to celebrate the five different species of rhinoceros and take action to conserve and protect them. There’s a link in today’s episode notes if you want to know more. 

And it’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …  Lachlan from Narrabeen, Aiden and Andrew from Eastwood, Tilly from Double Bay, Lucas from Forster, Tyler from the Sunshine Coast, Bridie from Bathurst, Jessica from Asquith, Nate from Morningside, Lily from Jindalee, Jinny from Balwyn, Rian (“Ree-an”) from Strathmore, Evie from Inverell, Diaz from Springfield Lakes, Fletcher from Spreyton, Samuel and Riley from Abbotsford, Aisling and Will from Sutherland, Elpaso from Wagga Wagga, Charlene from Brisbane, and Siana from Aspley, who shares a birthday with her teacher Miss Dal Pozzo. 

And a belated birthday shoutout to … Cruz from Sydney

Happy birthday one and all!

Today’s classroom shout outs go to …  Mrs Rerden’s 5B class at The Gap State School, 5F at Bungendore Public School, St Christopher’s Primary School in Holsworthy, 4Y at St Thomas Primary School in Sydney, and classes 6W and 5/6M at St Helens Park Public School.


  The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Pilot whales
  2. Philippines
  3. 117 years-old