Australia’s Pacific Island rescue mission; Canada’s feral pig explosion; Footy to be played in a bubble; and the hidden cost of gaming.
Good morning – and welcome to Squiz Kids … your fresh take on what’s happening in the world around you.
I’m Bryce Corbett. It’s Tuesday, April 7. In Squiz Kids today ….. Australia’s Pacific Island rescue mission; Canada’s feral pig explosion; NRL to be played in a bubble; and the hidden cost of gaming.
That’s what’s making news, kid style…
Story #1: Neighbours help out neighbours … it’s what they do. And it’s why – at this time of coronavirus-madness – that we as a country are reaching out to our Pacific Island neighbours to give them a hand as they get ready to deal with the COVID-19 crisis – with the announcement yesterday that Australia will be sending plane loads of urgent medical supplies to countries in our region, including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Papua New Guinea.
Compared to those small island nations, Australia is a big and relatively wealthy country. And because everyone wants to make sure their neighbours are healthy – and their neighbourhood is safe – it’s in our interests to lend a helping hand.
A timely reminder of how neighbours sometimes need help swept through the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu yesterday in the devastatingly windy shape of Cyclone Harold – a category 5 storm which was reported to have winds of up to 240km/h. Communications across the island were down yesterday, with the full scale of the damage caused by Cyclone Harold expected to become clearer today.
Story #2: Putting out the bins .. it’s a rubbish job, right? Geddit? Rubbish? … Well, not anymore! Thanks to the latest social media craze, bin night has just become the funniest night of the week.
A Facebook group, which started amongst a bunch of neighbours in Hervey Bay in Queensland has since gone viral around and now has more than 280,000 members both here and in the US. Many of them posting photos and videos of themselves taking out the bins in funny costumes. There are superheroes and aliens, mermaids and pandas – all wheeling out their wheelies. Garbage has never seemed more exciting.
SPIN THE GLOBE
Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Canada – where a new breed of igloo-building-super-mutant pig is slow taking over the prairies – which are the vast plains of Canada – threatening the environment and causing damage to farmer’s crops and local wildlife.
Wild boars were introduced to Canadian farms thirty odd years ago. Many escaped – in that way that wild boars do – and thrived in the wild. They produce lots of baby boars, can be extremely aggressive and eat entire fields worth of valuable crops.
We have them here in Australia too – and they’re what you’d call a pest.
At first, it was thought the feral pigs – which can weigh up to 270 kgs – or more than three-times heavier than the average man – would not survive in Canada’s extremely cold winters – but the clever piggies have started to build snow shelters – or ‘pigloos’ as they’re being called. Maybe they need to think about sending in the Big Bad Wolf – to huff and puff and blow those pigloos down. Just a suggestion …
It’s been called the ‘footy bubble’ as last ditch attempts are made to save the 2020 NRL and AFL seasons.
What’s the bubble and how would it work? It’s basically a town or region somewhere in Australia where all of the footy teams for each league could go and live and train and play their matches without being affected by the coronavirus.
For the NRL, Kingscliff, on the far north coast of NSW, Brisbane and the Gold Coast are all being spoken of as possible venues. And for the AFL – the comp would be split across three hubs in WA, South Australia and Tasmania.
But both plans are only ideas at the moment – with a final decision expected at the end of April. Fingers crossed.
POP CULTURE CORNER
Hands up who’s been hitting the ol’ games console a bit more than usual this week? Hands up if your parents have been nagging just that little bit less about the amount of time you spend on screens? Well – you might want to repay them by being careful what you purchase while you’re there. A report out of the UK has found games companies are making more than $1 billion a year – that’s billion with a b – from in-game purchases – with so-called ‘loot boxes’ – also known as crates, bundles, packs or cartons – the biggest problem.
And now, with school indefinitely postponed – the worry is that kids will be spending more time gaming and might be tempted to make many more in-game purchases than they normally would.
One mum in London had no idea her son was making in-game purchases until she received her credit card bill. Her really large credit card bill. In the interests of lockdown harmony, a word of advice: try not to be that kid.
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What are people all over the world dressing up in costume to take out for collection?
- Which country has recently seen the rise of a super feral pig?
- Which two sporting codes are looking at establishing a ‘bubble’ to play at least some of their 2020 season?
(Scroll down for the answers)
Today’s birthday shout outs … Ellie from North Ryde, Hannah from Valentine, Lacey from Ipswitch, Indie from Holland Park, Elodie from Perth, Zac from Boorowa, Marley from Newcastle, Tim from Randwick, Mila from Sydney, Zoe from Kangaloon, Ryder from Montrose, Xavier from East Gosford, Laura from Geelong, Thomas and Leo from Abbotsford, Joshua from Mosman, Jeramiah from Panania, Emily from Grays Point – and Kevin from Alexandra Hills.
And some belated birthday shoutouts to Milly from Ashmont and Millie from Willoughby.
And finally – an extra-special shout out to The Fox .. the much-loved Squiz Ambassador, Flynn – who also doubles as my much-loved son – and who turns 12 today. Happy birthday buddy. I couldn’t love you more if I tried.
Happy birthday to you all.
And some classroom shout outs today … 4FP at Kiama Public School, Baradine Central School, St Mary’s School in Orange, and classes Balam Balam and Wadjil at the Melbourne Montessori School.
- NRL – rugby league and AFL
That’s all we have time for today. Thanks for listening to Squiz Kids – we’ll be back again tomorrow/ on Monday.
In the meantime, get out there and have a most excellent day! Over and out.
Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Nielsen Institute for Journalism and Ideas.