Tuesday, 31 August, 2021

Historic day in Afghanistan; Mississippi River flows backwards; our Paralympic heroes; and Nandi, the 11 year-old rock star. 



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Afghan girls robotics team : https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/world/afghanistans-all-girls-robotics-team-escapes-to-doha/2021/08/20/4578373f-5859-4561-bdfb-a544f6597dad_video.html

Hurricane Ida cam: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2021/aug/30/locked-off-camera-shows-devastating-power-of-hurricane-ida-video

Nandi Bushell smashes it with Foo Fighters: https://video.link/w/y0X6c 


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It’s a big day in Afghanistan today as a 20 year military campaign by the United States officially draws to a close. Today will see the last US soldiers retreat from the troubled country, as the Taliban take control of the country.

The last couple of weeks there have been scenes of chaos at the international airport in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, as countries, including Australia, evacuate thousands of their own citizens and Afghan nationals.

For our part, Australia has evacuated some 4,100 people from the country – including a large number of Afghan refugees. A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their home country to escape war or natural disaster. 

Among those who have made the trip to Australia is the Afghan women’s national soccer team. The story of how they got out of the country is a remarkable story involving a motivated group of concerned Aussies – helped along by an impressive cast of British, Canadian, French and American soldiers at Kabul airport. 

Their evacuation follows a similar tale of hope, when the all-girl Afghan robotics team – a bunch of clever girls whose achievements in the field of robotics in the past few years have won international attention – was smuggled out of the country to safety in the Arab country of Doha.

Why is it making news headlines to see girls and young women escaping Afghanistan? Because the Taliban, who have taken control of the country, are known for imposing laws that are discriminate against women and girls –  including not allowing girls to get an education and allowing girls to be married at a very young age. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Louisiana, in the United States, where one of the longest rivers in the world – the Mississippi River – has been pushed backwards by the force of Hurricane Ida.

The hurricane is so powerful that it has caused the river to flow backwards. Which is to say, water that would normally flow out to the sea has been pushed back inland by the hurricane.

Residents of Louisiana have been fleeing their homes – driving or flying interstate – to get away from Hurricane Ida – the biggest storm to hit the state for 186 years. Wind gusts of over 200 kilometres per hour have taken down power lines, blown roofs from buildings and caused power outages across the whole of the city of New Orleans.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to video of the storm – showing just how powerful it has been.




When Tim Hodge was a little boy, he said to his mum that he didn’t think he would ever be good at anything.

Last night in Tokyo at the Paralympics, the Aussie swimmer swam a personal best time in the men’s 100m backstroke to claim a bronze medal.

Tim lost the lower part of his right leg when he was only four years old. By the age of nine, he was swimming in state competitions for his school. Now he has a Paralympic medal. Go you good thing!. 

Other Aussies flying the flag on the medal dais: the amazing Madison de Rosario who brought home gold in the women’s 800 metres T53, sprinter Isis Holt who collected her second silver medal in the 200 metres while a double gold medal winning effort from our women’s table tennis players Lei Li Na and Yang Qian who both won their respective divisions. Legends one and all. 




Those of you who’ve been listening to Squiz Kids Today for a while will remember that last year, we brought you the story of Nandi Bushell, a 10-year old drummer who, during COVID lockdown, challenged Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters to an online drum battle. Dave accepted the challenge… and according to him, he lost. Badly. More than once. To a 10-year-old. 

Well, on the weekend, the Foo Fighters had a concert in Los Angeles, and at the very end, Dave told the story of him and Nandi, saying that she had inspired him so much last year. Then, Nandi came out onto the stage, grinning, wearing pigtails, and twirling her drumsticks. As the crowd chanted her name, she sat down at a drumset, and Foo Fighters launched into their final song for the night with Nandi on the drums. And she absolutely SMASHED it. I’ve put a link in your episode notes—get ready to ROCK. If you’re listening at home in lockdown – get up and dance it out. You’re welcome.




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 river in the United States that has started flowing backwards?
  2. Name the band that 11 yo drummer Nandi Bushell rocked out with this weekend?
  3.  What swim stroke did Aussie Paralympian Tim Hodge win his bronze medal in last night ?




It’s August 31 … World Distance Learning Day … in which we’re all encouraged to embrace the joys of learning outside the traditional classroom setting … how ironic …

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Chloe, Johnny and Ashton from Narraweena, Cooper from Gosford East, Kaluhm from Ashmont, Olivia from South Morang, Alvin from Oatley, Lorelai from Albion Park, Chelsea from Narrandera, Jayden from West Wollongong, Teresa from Springwood and Amaya and Ashton from Kempsey. 

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Victoria, Canberra and NSW are in lockdown – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …  

Callum would like to send one to his brother Brody in 2W at Mount Terry Public School in Albion Park.  Leila sends a herogram to her teacher Mrs Lynch and class 4/5L at Balgownie Public School and says thank you for keeping the class positive during lockdown.   Another shout out to Miss Campbell who teaches class 6C at Murrumburrah Public School, for  making home learning lots of fun.  Also to Miss Arbuthnot and class 3/4A at St Anne’s Primary School in Ringwood.  Clarissa sends a herogram to her teacher Mr Wells and class 5/6A at Maryland Public School and says thank you for all your support with home learning.  And lastly a herogram to all the teachers and students in Stage 2 at Lilli Pilli Primary School from Sophie and her family – despite homeschooling the teachers are putting in so much effort to keep the kids focused and to make school interesting. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Mississippi 
  2. Nandi Bushell
  3. Backstroke