Tuesday, 23 June, 2020

Tik Tok vs. Trump; baby crocs on the loose; the Saharan dust cloud takes flight; and Batman’s back in business.



Saharan dust plume:  https://twitter.com/CIRA_CSU/status/1274025903220092930






In a battle between TikTok and US President Donald Trump – who do you reckon would win? We might never know the answer to that question – but since Trump’s political rally in Oklahoma at the weekend failed to attract the large crowd he had boasted would show up, prominent TikTok’ers have claimed they engineered the low turn-out by getting their followers to register for tickets to the event and then not turn up. While President Trump’s team have denied the claims, it seems the popular social media platform is set to play a key role in the upcoming Presidential election – along with Facebook and other social media platforms. Though whether that means President Trump and his Democrat rival, Joe Biden will be doing the renegade – well, that remains to be seen. 

If you happen to live up Darwin way: keep an eye out for 60 baby crocodiles. Because that’s how many have recently gone missing from a local crocodile park.

It’s believed the baby crocs, which were being bred by the park as part of a research project, were stolen from their pen – with the park’s owners saying they fear the crocs have been sold on the black market. The black market means they have been sold illegally. Crocodiles are highly prized for their skins, which are sometimes used to make expensive handbags and shoes. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today, we’ve landed in the Sahara Desert – which stretches across a vast swathe of northern Africa – and from which has come a massive dust plume that’s on its way across the Atlantic Ocean and on a collision course with the east coast of the United States. Every year around this time, massive clouds of dust kicked up by the Sahara Desert  depart from the west coast of Africa and head out into the Atlantic Ocean. This year, thanks to some pretty hefty trade winds, the dust looks like it will be carried thousands of kilometres over the ocean to blow into a host of US cities. The end result? Some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets due to the dust haze on the horizons, and some pretty angry sinuses for anyone with a dust allergy. There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a satellite image of the dust plume. 




If Australia wins its bid later this week to host the 2023 Women’s Soccer World Cup, the only people more excited than aspiring Matildas goalkeeper, Jada Whyman will be her family.

When she was only 13, she was talent-spotted by the Matildas and invited to move to Canberra from her home in Wagga Wagga to join the training squad.

Her whole family packed up and joined her – but within weeks of arriving – her stepfather lost his job and the family of six had to live in a tent in a caravan park for two months.

All the while, Jada kept training and attending school, as required. 

Now, seven years later, she has a professional contract with the Western Sydney Wanderers and has been selected to play for her country. 

She says if Australia wins its World Cup hosting bid on Friday, it will be a dream come true – and a chance for her to thank her family for all the sacrifices they’ve made so she can follow her football dream. How good is that?




Sporting fixtures around the world and school terms weren’t the only thing put on hold during the coronavirus lockdown. Production on some of the biggest kids’ movies in the pipeline was also paused … until now. Avatar 2 – the long-awaited sequel to the film that’s made more money at the box office than any other – has started shooting again in New Zealand. A live action version of Disney classic The Little Mermaid has gone back into production after a COVID-inspired pause. And the cameras have started rolling again on The Batman – the next instalment in the caped crusader tale, starring Robert Pattison. Start heating up the popcorn peeps. 




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

  1. What baby animals have been stolen from their enclosure in Darwin?
  2. Name the desert in Africa that has kicked up a huge dust plume?
  3. Back in production is the live-action Disney film The Little what?




It’s June 23 … this time last year, Aussie Ash Barty became women’s tennis world number one, and on this day seven years ago, Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk on a tightrope across the Grand Canyon. Why? Who can say?

It’s also a big day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Shanuja and Isabel from Sydney, Josh from Wellington Point, Isabella from Bathurst, Safia from Heidelberg, Harry from Hamilton, Freya from Croydon Park, Jensen from Mortdale, Arlo from Dunsborough, Daniel from Birrong, Grace from Tallebudgera, Akira from Denistone East, Lewis from Melbourne, Caris from Concord West, Sam from Garran, Bettina from Cammeray, Meg from Canberra, Aiden from Aldavilla, and Rebecca from Brisbane. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Dante from Melbourne, Laurance from Queensland, Jayda from Trevallyn, Dylan from Wyoming, Chase from Jindalee and William from Adelaide. 

Happy birthday to you all. 

Today’s classroom shoutouts…  Year 3 at Mt Terry Public School, Years 5 and 6 at Kingscliff Public School, Mrs Rowland and 5R and Miss Parkes and 5/6P from Panania Public School, class 3/4S at Asquith Public School and 5/6 Blue at St Joachim’s Primary School with Mrs Martorella, who is celebrating a birthday today. 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Crocodiles
  2. Sahara Desert
  3. The Little Mermaid