Wednesday, 14 July, 2021

Deadly clouds in California; Korea’s new rules for  gyms; Australia’s Boomers win big; and a miraculous safe landing



Footage of a fire-breathing dragon cloud in California: 

Video explaining pyrocumulonimbus clouds: 

Bureau of Meteorology explanation:

Boomers vs. Team USA highlights: 

Paratrooper survives 4,500-metre fall:


Squiz Kids Instagram:


Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Send us an email at [email protected]






It’s winter here, which means it’s summer in the northern hemisphere, and in the western states of America, they’re already onto their THIRD heat wave. Record temperatures have been notched up in many places, including California’s Death Valley, where it got to 54.4 degrees on the weekend—the equal-highest temperature ever recorded on earth.

Right now, more than 30 million people, which is more than the entire population of Australia, are living under excessive heat warnings. And as we Aussies know all too well, when there’s weather like that, on top of drought and climate change, you’re likely to have… fires. 

Wildfires – which is what they call bushfires in North America – are raging across the western states right now. And what’s making those fires especially fierce is something that we usually associate with rain, not intense heat: clouds. 

The word for these particular clouds is pyrocumulonimbus – ‘pyro’ means fire, and ‘cumulonimbus’ is a dense, towering type of cloud. Sometimes bushfires are so gigantic and fast moving that they actually create their own weather, including these clouds, which rise kilometres into the air. 

NASA calls them the “fire-breathing dragon of clouds”, because they can produce hurricanes and lightning, which then start MORE fires. 

There’s a link in your episode notes explaining more. For now, we’re keeping the people of the western US in our thoughts. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in South Korea, where music is being used to fight a new outbreak of COVID 19. 

Instead of closing gyms, where the disease can spread as people huff and puff, health authorities have instead put a ban on high tempo music. That means anything with a fast pace – more than 120 beats per minute – is banned. Treadmills are also going to be slowed down to just 6km/h – which is a fast walk or a slow shuffle. 

Gym owners are a bit frustrated by the move, wondering how they are supposed to control the music choices of people who exercise with headphones, but the government said the new rules are better than closing gyms down. And Korea’s global K-pop sensation, BTS, can stay on instructors’ playlists – their two most popular songs, Butter and Dynamite, are under 120 beats per minute. Phew. 



With just nine days to go until the Tokyo Olympics, the Boomers – Australia’s men’s basketball team – are on fire. As in smouldering. Yesterday, Australia shocked the basketball world by beating Team USA on their home turf in Las Vegas, Nevada. Which is a big deal…

You know, the USA—home of the NBA, the place where basketball was invented, medal winners at every single Olympic basketball competition? Sure, it was only an exhibition game – but it was the second loss in a row for Team USA, which went down over the weekend to Nigeria. 

Boomer Patty Mills, who will be one of Australia’s flag bearers at the Olympic Opening ceremonies, was one of the heroes of the game. He scored 22 points, ten in the crucial fourth period, with the Boomers winning 91-83. I’ve posted a highlight reel in your episode notes. 

The Aussies will face Nigeria today, and have a rematch with Team USA before heading to Tokyo. Let’s go, Boomers! 




We don’t know his name, but today, we salute the British paratrooper who managed to survive a four-and-a-half thousand metre fall when his parachute failed to deploy properly. 

The British government confirmed yesterday that the soldier, who was practicing with American forces in California a few days ago, did launch his reserve chute, but not quite in time. 

He smashed through the tiled roof of a local home, and ended up—alive, and with only minor injuries—on the kitchen floor. Amazingly, photos show that he somehow managed to miss hitting the clean dishes drying next to the sink, as well as anything hard like the benches or appliances. I’ll pop a link in your episode notes, so you can see for yourself. Talk about lucky… 




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

  1. What do pyrocumulonimbus clouds produce, making a bad situation worse?   
  2. Which other team beat the USA in basketball lately?  
  3. What’s been banned in South Korean gyms this week? 





It’s July 14 … and on this day in 1789, the Bastille prison in France was stormed by people protesting the King’s harsh rule, and set off the French revolution. Nowadays, it’s the most important holiday in France! So Joyeux Quatorze Juillet (that means happy 14th of July, I think) to our French friends. 


Closer to home, tonight is the last game in this year’s rugby league state of origin tussle. NSW has already won two, but Queensland is pretty set on avoiding being swept by the Blues. 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Emily from Stanmore, Matilda from Peakhurst, Bronte from Umina Beach, Grace from The Blue Mountains, Yeet from Canberra, Matilda from Milthorpe and Macey from Goomalling in WA. A special shout out to Eamon from Northmead who is particularly sad that his camp was cancelled this week due to lockdown. Hang in there Eamon!!


Belated birthday returns go to Jake from Woodhill and Georgie from Albany Creek. 


Classroom shout outs today go to…. Class 5/6M and Mr Morri at Valentine Public School, Class 5W and 4B at SCEGGS Darlinghurst, Class 5k at Cronulla Public School,  Mr Greico’s Grade 4’s at Mullaloo Beach Primary School, Class 4AM and Mr Mannetje from Long Flat Public School.  And one last shout out to Miss Goldworthy and Chloe from Woodhill State School who share a birthday today. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Lightning
  2. Nigeria
  3. Fast paced music