Wednesday, 22 February, 2023

Ukraine’s unhappy anniversary; Rio’s colourful Carnival; fighting Facebook fakes; and Pickles our new surf champ.


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Today’s Quick Links: 

Carnival: Photo Gallery:

Molly Picklum: new world surf champion – VIDEO:

Dig Deeper:

What is Lent and why do some Christians give up something for it?:

Four things to know about Ash Wednesday:

The origins of Carnival:

World Surfing League Championship Tour schedule:

How to get verified on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter:,or%20a%20detailed%20verification%20process.

And because it’s National Cat Day in Japan:

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On Friday, the people of Ukraine will mark an anniversary that none of them wish they had to,  as the calendar flips on one whole year since Russia invaded their country and they have been at war. 

And while images of bombed out apartment buildings appear every night on the TV news, it’s easy to become desensitised – which is to say, we get used to seeing the pictures and they don’t have the same impact as the first time we saw them. It’s human nature. 

Which is partly why US President, Joe Biden yesterday paid a surprise visit to the country, meeting Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky in the capital Kyiv – making what’s known as a public show of support to the Ukranian people – it was a really big deal. 

Many world leaders have visited Ukraine since its been at war with its neighbour – including Australian PM, Anthony Albanese. But a visit by a US President sends an especially strong message, as the US is seen as one of the most powerful backers in the battle against Russia.

And while we’re overseas: two weeks after the country was rocked by the worst earthquake it has ever experienced, Turkey was once again shaken yesterday by a powerful aftershock – causing even more buildings to crumble and sending terrified residents out onto the street in the middle of the night. Our thoughts are with you people of Turkey. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Brazil … in the seaside city of Rio de Janeiro, no less, where the biggest party in the world is underway.

It’s called Carnival and it’s an explosion of colour and dance and costumes and street parties and parades the likes of which have made the festival famous all over the world.

It happens every year – a wild burst of excess and exuberance in the days before Lent, a Christian tradition and a 40-day period during which many Catholics give up something important or especially pleasurable in their life as a mark of respect to God. 

This year’s Carnival in Brazil kicked off at the weekend and will run until today – Ash Wednesday – when Lent begins. And it’s an extra special big party this year after two years of COVID cancelled Carnival – with the Brazilian government estimating some 46 million people will hit the streets and get their party on. 

I’ve stuck a link to a photo gallery of this year’s main Carnival parade in Rio in today’s episode notes. It’s quite the spectacle … 




She’s the new queen of the waves .. she comes from a tiny seaside town on the NSW Central Coast and as of yesterday, when she won her very first world surfing title, Molly Picklum is on top of the world. Literally.

Pickles, as she’s known to friends, won in a nail-biting final – crushing her last wave ride at the iconic Sunset Beach in Hawaii.

Molly is now ranked number one in the world … an achievement made all the more remarkable by the fact she’s only 20 years old and this is only her second year on the Championship Tour.

That now means we have both the men’s and women’s world number one surfer – after WA’s Jack Robinson claimed the world number one spot for fellas just under a fortnight ago. 

Speaking after her win, Molly said she was just so proud of herself. And we’re proud of you too Molly. I’ve stuck a link to video of Molly in action in today’s episode notes. Sick. 




Every Wednesday, Squiz-E the Newshound sticks his snout into Squiz Kids HQ to report back on fishy goings-on he’s sniffed out on the internet. And today, his ears have pricked up at the news that Facebook and Instagram will be adding a new ‘verified’ feature to their platforms. Verified means something has been checked – and found to be real. It’s an attempt by both social media platforms to weed out the fake accounts spreading fake information. 

Why? Because Insta and Facebook and TikTok know that lots of people create accounts pretending to be someone they’re not – or pretending to be part of an organisation or company that they’ve got nothing to do with – and publish things that aren’t true.  

It’s another reminder that we should be extra-careful when we find ourselves on social media to stop, think and check before believing everything we see, read or hear. Not that any of you should be on any of these platforms before the age of 13, mind you … but just in case you accidentally find yourself there. Ahem ..



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 big celebration taking part in Brazil this week?
  2. Who has just paid a visit to Ukraine?
  3. What’s the nickname of Australia’s new surfing queen?





It’s February 22 –  it’s Cat Day in Japan .. a national day to celebrate our feline friends.

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

Aaliyah from Middle Harbour, Mivaan from Wollongong, Kayla from Ocean Grove, Parker from Morayfield, Toby from Mt Pleasant, Raphael from Perth, Sullivan from Ascot Vale, Capri from Burpengary, Aiden from Sydney and Lucy from Queenscliff. 

Classroom shout outs go to…

Stage 2 & 3 with Mrs Halliburton,  Mrs Hart and Mr Pratt at St Joseph’s Primary School in Junee, class 6S at Narrabeen Lakes Public School, class 6S and Mr Starr at Cherrybrook Public School, class 3S and Miss Smith at The Scots School in Albury,  class 2BK with Mrs Kaberry at the Good Shepherd Lutheran College in Croydon Hills   and class 4/5G and Miss Garven at Glenbrook Public School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Carnival
  2. US President Joe Biden
  3. Pickles