Tuesday, 8 March, 2022

East coast battens down the hatches; celebrating International Women’s Day; Ben’s bronze in Beijing; and a new species of tarantula.



Spider alert! It’s Bambootula! https://video.link/w/0HBed 


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Residents of western Sydney were last night told to evacuate their homes as more wild weather and flooding rains were forecast to hit overnight and continues into this morning.

Sydneysiders in suburbs including Camden, Mulgoa and Emu Plains, near Penrith were given evacuation orders as the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers threatened to once again break their banks.

The evacuation orders come as the weather bureau issued a severe weather warning for a huge stretch of the NSW coast. 

NSW residents in coastal townships and cities from Coffs Harbour in the north to Bega, in the south – a distance of over 1000 kilometres – were told to expect heavy rains and damaging winds of up to 100 km/h.


Authorities are watching carefully the situation as it evolves on the NSW South Coast today, especially around the Shoalhaven and Illawarra districts to the south of Sydney. 

Meanwhile, yesterday, as local helicopter pilots continued to drop food supplies to residents cut off by floodwaters in Northern NSW, it was confirmed that more than 2000 homes and businesses in the region have been destroyed and are no longer able to be lived in. 

We have a lot of listeners in the Northern Rivers region: please know that we’re thinking of you all and hoping you’re all safe and well. 

And in a glimmer of good news among the continuing east coast flood emergency … the town of Mullumbimby, close to Lismore in Northern NSW, had a little bit of good fortune yesterday. 

While communities in and around the town have rallied all week to help out neighbours, with food drops and welfare checks being performed by teams of volunteers – one lucky resident learned they had won a million dollar house in a Surf Life Saving raffle.

A silver lining to a week that has been nothing but clouds. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today, we’ve landed in China, the UK, France, Scandinavia, the United States, Italy, Australia … in fact pretty much every country in the world … as International Women’s Day is celebrated today. 

What’s International Women’s Day? It’s pretty much what it sounds like: a day to celebrate the many many achievements of women through the years – and also to remember that when it comes to equality between the sexes, there’s still a lot of work to do.

For instance – here in Australia, did you know that there is what’s called a gender pay gap – meaning on average, for every $10 a man earns, a woman earns about $7.70? 

In China today, many women will get half a day off work. In Italy, la Festa della Donna as International Women’s Day is known, is marked by the giving of mimosa flowers.

The day was also marked with the announcement yesterday that some pretty impressive women were honoured by having a Barbie doll created looking just like them … TV producers, coders, fashion designers, teachers, activists, businesswomen. 

Because, as we know, girls can do anything. 




Australia’s Winter Paralympics co-captain – the remarkable Ben Tudhope – has claimed our first medal of the games in Beijing, winning bronze yesterday in the men’s snowboard cross.

The 22yo from Sydney, who was Australia’s youngest ever paralympian when he was selected for the Sochi Games in 2014 – has represented Australia at three paralympics .. this is his first medal. 

Ben was in fourth place for most of the final yesterday, but stormed home strongly to claim his spot on the winner’s podium.

Afterwards, he said he hoped his bronze medal would inspire others to realise their dreams. 

“If there is any kid out there with cerebral palsy, with a disability: you can achieve anything,” he said.

Ben Tudhope: Squiz Kids Salutes you .. 


Don’t forget: if you want all the details on the Winter Paralympics – which athletes are representing Australia and in which sports, how visually impaired downhill skiers get down the mountain, all the incredible details on the alpine para-skiers and wheelchair curlers – check out the Squiz Kids Winter Paralympics Shortcut that Amanda and I have created.

Available to all classrooms who have signed up for Squiz Kids For Schools – or parents who have signed up to our Apple Subscriber Specials. Free trials available for both. There are links in today’s episode notes. 




It’s time to make room in the animal kingdom for Bambootula… the first new kind of tarantula found in Asia in 104 years, and the world’s first tarantula to make its home in bamboo. 

And, in proof that scientists aren’t the only ones to discover new animals, this arachnid—which is the scientific name for spider—was found by a YouTuber! JoCho Sippawat was cutting bamboo in the forest near his home in Thailand when he noticed holes made in the bamboo by other creatures, with silky spider webs inside. I’ve popped a link to a shortened version of his 22 minute video in your episode notes… so you can see the spot right where a startled bambootula pops out. 

A team of arachnologists—a fancy word for spider scientists—then studied the spider closely and confirmed it was a new kind of tarantula that had evolved to make its home in bamboo, rather than building a nest or burrow itself, as other tarantulas do. 

If you aren’t arachnophobic, which means scared of spiders, then you might want to keep your eyes peeled like Jo Cho did. Arachnologists estimate that one in three spiders are yet to be discovered…  the next bambootula could be in your backyard! Yeesh. Stay safe out there. 




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

  1. What famous toy doll has released a special range in honour of International Women’s Day?
  2. Aussie Paralympian Ben Tudhope won Australia’s first medal at the Beijing Paralympics – was it a gold, silver or bronze?
  3. Bambutula is a newly discovered member of what species of hairy legged spider? 




It’s March 8… International Women’s Day .. so make sure you stop and give thanks to all the cool women in your life today … 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … 

Lucy from Camden Park, Dinon (Di-non) from Craigburn, Lea from Mount Claremont, Harvey from Shoal Bay, Aden from Forest Lake, Violet from Waratah West, Peter from Mt Isa, Jessica from Canberra and Arthur from Hong Kong. 

Classroom shout outs go to …class 5MM at Norris Road State School in  Bracken Ridge, class 5/6 B at Rangebank Primary School and the legends in class 4FM at Ivanhoe Primary School.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Barbie
  2. Bronze
  3. Tarantula