Tuesday, 23 November, 2021

Fortress Australia lowers its drawbridge; Tokyo’s robot cafe; BTS dominate music awards; and the march of the red crab begins.



Japan’s Robot Cafe: https://qz.com/work/2082476/a-robot-cafe-staffed-by-remote-disabled-workers-wins-japans-top-design-prize/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=daily-brief&utm_content=42df0073-48b1-11ec-aa90-369a2c0de419 

Christmas Island red crab migration – video: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-australia-51867525

Man with umbrella head: AMAs: https://www.eonline.com/news/1310548/billy-porters-fabulous-2021-amas-look-proves-that-he-wont-let-you-rain-on-his-parade


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For the past two years, give or take, Australia has earned a reputation around the world for being a fortress, as the country has battled the coronavirus. 

Fortress Australia has been a term used to describe how we have closed the country to visitors from overseas .. because if you have studied them in history yet, you’d know fortress is a place that high walls, like a castle, that keeps people out. 

Well yesterday, the drawbridge on Fortress Australia was lowered a little bit, after the government announced that from next week, fully vaccinated travellers from overseas would be allowed into the country. 

And among visa-holding visitors who will be given priority to come will be international students – people who come to Australia from other countries to study at our universities and other places of higher education. People who are called skilled migrants will be welcome back from next week too – those are people who come to work in Australia from other countries – and refugees – who are people who are coming to Australia to escape things like wars or natural disasters. 

It’s another step towards life after COVID. And who couldn’t be happy about that?



Each day we give the world globe a spin, and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Tokyo, where a cafe run by shiny white robots has won the grand prize in a prestigious design competition. The reason people are so excited about DAWN cafe is not just that a cute robot with glowing eyes will take your order and bring your food and drinks… although that’s awesome all on its own, and of course there are pictures in your episode notes… it’s that people with disabilities are piloting the robots, in the ultimate work-from-home opportunity. 

In Japan, a quarter of the population is not able to work due to disability, age, or illness. The robot cafe gives them the ability to work in a cafe without ever leaving the house. They drive the robot around using a mouse, a tablet, or a special kind of remote controlled by the pilot’s eye movement. The inventor behind the concept says it’s a way for people to participate and contribute in their community, even if they can’t leave home. I’ll eat and drink to that.  




And – what a surprise – it was a BTS kind of a night — at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles yesterday, when the Korean super-group continued their unstoppable march to world domination by winning Artist of the Year, Favourite Pop Group and Favourite Pop Song for their chart-topper, Butter.

The boys performed at the awards ceremony alongside Coldplay. And there was a even a nod to 90s boy bands when New Kids On The Block teamed up with New Edition to perform a tribute that no one under the age of 30 had the remotest idea was about. 

Olivia Rodrigo made good on her seven nominations, taking home New Artist of the Year – beating our very own The Kid Laroi to the award. Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion also had a good night – both collecting three awards each.

Oh – and there was a man with an umbrella on his head on the red carpet. Umbrella hats – great idea if its raining, I would have thought. Kind of impractical at an Awards Night … hate to have been one of the people sitting behind him ….



 What’s red and has a hard outer shell and millions of legs, pincers and black beady eyes? The annual red crab migration on Christmas Island, that’s what. 

And it’s officially underway on the tiny island in the Indian Ocean – which, despite being 1500 kilometres away from the Western Australian coast – and only 350 kilometres away from Indonesia – happens to be an Australian territory.

When the first wet season rain falls, it’s the cue for millions of red crabs to march out of the forests on the island and down to the water’s edge to mingle with other crabs and release their eggs into the sea.

There are so many crabs involved in this annual migration that entire roads are closed down for the weeks that it happens – and bridges have been built over roads to help the crabs make their journey without a close encounter with a car tyre. Eugh.

I’ve stuck a link to video of the crabs on the march in today’s episode notes.  



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

  1. In which city on America’s west coast were the American Music Awards staged yesterday?
  2. What’s the name of the island where the red crabs perform their annual migration?
  3. In which city is the DAWN cafe where robots serve you coffee?




It’s November 23 … birthday of Aussie Olympic swimming champ, and Survivor winner, Shane Gould, and also of pop star Miley Cyrus .. and i reckon a birthday is about all those two have in common ..

It’s also special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today…Latoya from Dubbo, Lily from Fadden, Chris from Albany Hills, Delilah from Nowra, Nathanael from Epping, Harrie from Mooroolbark, Jed from The Rock, Zara from Abbotsford, Elise from Mansfield, Joanna from Willoughby, Harry from Forest Lake and Ken and Masooma from Munno Para.  

Belated birthday shout outs go to …Isabel from Cashmere and Lilly from Murrurundi. 

Classroom shout outs today go to… Ms Petherick’s class 4 Blue at St Vincent’s Primary School on the Gold Coast, Miss Klickovic’s and Mrs Azzi’s Grade 6 classes at John the Baptist Catholic Primary School in Bonnyrigg Heights. A classroom shout out to the year 3 students at Father John Therry Catholic Primary School in Sydney and class 7/8G at Nelson Park School in Geelong.  Lastly to class 1D and Mrs McNally and class 3R  – both at Reddam House in Woollahra. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Christmas Island
  3. Tokyo