Wednesday, 15 July, 2020

Vaccine makers optimistic; Krispy Kreme chaos; Japan’s battery-powered bullet trains; and footy’s Queensland master plan.






A scientist working with the Australian researchers who have started testing a COVID vaccine on human volunteers has said she feels optimistic that they might develop a vaccine by the start of next year.

Dr Kirsty Short from the University of Queensland yesterday told ABC radio that she had been doing experiments long enough to know there are never guarantees when it comes to research like this – but that all of the data they’d collected so far looked ‘really promising’.

Fingers and toes crossed everyone.

There was Krispy Kreme chaos on the streets of Western Sydney on Monday as the popular maker of donuts and all things sweet gave away more than 400,000 donuts for free as part of a promotion.

Police had to be called to control crowds queuing at Krispy Kreme outlets across the city as the donut shops gave away for free a dozen glazed donuts to anyone with a birthday between March 13 and July 13. Which, as you can imagine, in a city of 5 million people, is a LOT of people. 

The police officer in charge of enforcing NSW’s coronavirus restrictions said it was irresponsible of the donut chain to cause a free food stampede at a time when we are all meant to social distancing. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story wherever it stops – and today, we’ve landed in Japan … where the country’s famous bullet train – which is already one of the most technologically advanced trains in the world – has just gotten even more hi-tech.

We’re talking battery-operated bullet trains – an ability for one of the world’s fastest passenger trains to propel itself along the tracks using battery power.

At the moment, bullet trains rely on electricity to hurtle along at speeds of up to 300km/h. And that’s fine as long as there are no blackouts or other interruptions to the electricity supply. This new tech will mean the trains can run on time no matter what.

All aboard!



If you happen to live in Queensland – and yes, I know a lot of you do – then you’ll be excited to learn you may soon be rubbing shoulders with the best rugby league and soccer players in the country.

With the southern states of NSW and Victoria busy working to contain a flare up of coronavirus cases, both the NRL and the A League are looking to the Sunshine State as the safest state to play out the remainder of their seasons.

No decisions have been made – but both footy codes have begun to explore how and where in Queensland they might be able to send all of their players and officials to finish off their respective 2020 seasons. 

Well, the winters up north are pretty nice … 




This is a new Squiz Kids segment where we celebrate people doing incredible things, records being broken or impressive feats from the sports, science, technology or animal worlds.

And today, we celebrate the Andean condor – a huge bird from South America which scientists this week have discovered is capable of flying more than 160 kilometres and only having to flap its wings once. 

The condor is a massive bird. It can weigh up to 15kg – which is a lot for an animal that flies – and can have a wing-span of 3 metres – which means if you stretched out its wings, it would be about the same length as two small adults. Wowsers.

Scientists studying the flying habits of the Andean condor were amazed to discover that once they are up in the sky, they barely flap their wings – riding the air currents like a boss.

One condor flew for five hours without flapping its wings once.

Now that’s what I call cruise control.



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

  1. Which popular donut shop is in trouble with the police in Sydney for causing free donut chaos?
  2. In which country do people get about on bullet trains?
  3. What’s the name of the bird that barely flaps its wings to fly?




It’s July 15 …

Fourteen years ago today, a little company called Twitter was launched – and people said it would never catch on… 

It’s also the birthday of Aussie cricketer David Hussey and children’s TV presenter, James Rees – better known to you lot as Jimmy Giggle. Hope Hoot got him a present … 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Tyrone from Gosford East, Zienna from Dubbo, Jess from Wellington Point, Niku from Shoal Bay, Ava from Grange, Jessica from Bulimba, Alexander from Mernda, Luatai and Jee from Sydney, Sarah from Albany Hills, Izzy from Putney, Archer from Rivett, Andrew from Redlynch, Finn from New Farm, Rose from Watsons Bay and Brooke from Port Melbourne.

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Charlotte from Brisbane and Matilda from Stirling.

Happy birthday to you all. 

Today’s classroom shoutouts…to Class 3D at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Coorparoo, St Andrews Catholic School in Redlynch, Class 5B at Mother Of Good Counsel School in Cairns,  Mr G and Miss Boulton’s classes at Albany Hills State School, and Class 1C at Immanuel Lutheran College on the Sunshine Coast.

The S’Quiz Answers:


  1. Krispy Kreme
  2. Japan
  3. Condor