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Wednesday, 31 March, 2021

Easter Holidays in limbo; bye bye La Nina; Chile’s parrot mummies; and the great asteroid fly-by.

 

LINKS

Parrot mummies: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/29/americas/mummified-parrots-atacama-desert-scli-intl-scn/index.html

 

Squiz Kids Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/squizkids/?hl=en

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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

 

THE LOWDOWN

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That sound you hear? The holding of breath of kids all over Brisbane and parts of northern NSW and south-east Queensland as Easter Holiday plans remain up in the air with Brissie’s growing cluster of COVID-19 cases.

The local health authorities yesterday reported another 8 people had been tested and found to have the virus, as the Greater Brisbane area ticked off the first of three days of lockdown.

The worry now is that with school holidays officially starting in most states at the end of this week, there’s going to a flow-on effect for Easter holidays.

Brisbane residents are bracing for the possibility their lockdown will be extended beyond Thursday, and across the Easter long weekend – effectively cancelling the travel plans of many. 

And lots of people around the country who had made plans to travel to Queensland for the school holidays are now watching and waiting with their fingers poised above the cancel button. 

But the best configuration for everyone’s fingers today is for them to be well and truly crossed. Fingers crossed that the three day lockdown is sufficient – and normal Easter holiday plans can resume.

Remember how we’ve previously talked about La Nina? The weather cycle that happens every 4-8 years and brings massive amounts of rain with it? Well, we’ve been in the middle of a La Nina cycle since late last year – which is why we’ve had as much rain as we’ve had. Including those floods from last week.

Well, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, the La Nina system is officially over – and conditions over the Pacific Ocean are expected to return to normal. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack away the brolly just yet. The bureau says Australia’s tropical north can expect still more rain in the weeks to come. Good time to be a duck.

 

SPIN THE GLOBE

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Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Chile .. in South America – where archeologists  are puzzling over the discovery of a bunch of parrot mummies. 

No – not parrots who have babies. But parrots that have been mummified – you know, like Egyptian mummies – so that they are really well preserved despite the fact they died over one thousand years ago. 

The parrot mummies were discovered in a place called the Atacama Desert – the driest desert in the world. And the reason that’s interesting is because parrots don’t live in the desert – they live in lush, tropical forests – not dry, hot deserts. 

Archeologists believe the birds were taken to the desert as pets, where their colourful feathers were used to decorate elaborate headdresses worn by their human owners.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to photos of the mummified parrots – but maybe don’t look at them while you’re eating – it’s not especially pretty..

 

SPORTS TIME

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The Aussie women’s T20 cricket team are licking their wounds today after they came agonisingly close to wrapping up their series against New Zealand – but dropped the ball in the last over. 

Just when it seemed the Aussies – who were already one game up in the three match series – were set to win and close out the series, the Kiwis fought back from behind to win the match in Napier, on New Zealand’s North Island. 

It all came down the last ball – with the Kiwis needing three runs to level the series. 

A sweeping shot down fine leg sent the ball rocketing to the boundary for four – and hey presto! We have ourselves a Good Friday decider in Auckland.

Come on Aussies! You’ve got this! 

 

SPACED OUT

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So here’s some good news as we head into the Easter Holidays … the world is not, repeat NOT, about to be blown into smithereens by a wayward asteroid.

So that’s a relief.

Scientists this week have happily reported that an asteroid the size of three football fields which they believed may have been on a collision course with Earth, will not come anywhere near us .. at least for the next 100 years or so.

According to scientists, Earth can expect to be smashed by a huge asteroid approximately every 80,000 years. 

They’ve been keeping a careful eye on one particular asteroid, called Apophis, which measures the same as three footy fields in length, worried it might bump into us sometime around the year 2068. But a bunch of new calculations by NASA seems to indicate we can breathe easy for a bit – and that Apophis won’t come within coo-ee of Earth for at least another century. 

Thank goodness for that. 

 

EASTER HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING

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Easter Holiday plans might be in limbo for some of you .. but what’s not in any doubt is the cracking amount of awesome holiday programming we have planned to help keep you entertained while school’s out. 

It all kicks off tomorrow with the release of the awesome Squiz Kids Q+A with Treehouse author Andy Griffiths as he selects the best kids joke in Australia.

Then on Good Friday, your day will be made even good-er (and no, that is not actually a word) by the first of three Kids v Adults Quizzes. There’ll be one released every Friday of the hols, so you kids can prove, once and for all, that you’re smarter than the adults. 

And because we’re in a generous mood – and because we had more jokes sent in for Andy Griffiths to judge than we could possibly fit into one podcast … we’ll be releasing the very first Squiz Kids Joke-A-Thon next Wednesday. Including this cracker of a joke from Lucy in NSW … “What do you get when you pour boiling hot water down a rabbit hole? Hot cross bunnies … Wowsers! Perfect Easter Holiday programming for wherever you happen to spend the break – be it at home, at your favourite holiday spot or on a road trip. You’re welcome. 

 

THE S’QUIZ

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 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 weather cycle that brings lots of rain and which forecasters say has officially ended? 
  2. In which country have archeologists found a bunch of mummified parrots?
  3. What is the name of the big city in New Zealand where the Aussies will play the Kiwis on Friday in the T20 decider?

 

SHOUT OUTS

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It’s March 31   … on this day in the year 1889, the Eiffel Tower was officially opened in Paris … the iron lady, as she’s sometimes called, turns 132 today..

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Arvi from Murarrie, Kourtney and Riley from Oran Park, Lola and Adelaide from Bowden, Cooper from Maddington, Minh Minh from Forest Lake, Kahu from Abbotsford, Cam from Corromandel Valley, Julia from Williamstown, Amelie from Killarney Heights, Cassie from Wacuhope and Siena from Five Dock.

And a belated birthday shoutout to … Ethan from Berowra.

Happy birthday one and all.

Today’s classroom shoutouts… Miss Reeve’s Year 2 class in Room 7 at Mount Hawthorn Primary in Perth, 2Blue at Christ the King Catholic Primary School in Graceville, Ms Lloyd’s 3/4L class from Bathurst Public School, Room 14 And 15 with Mrs Triffet At Stella Maris Catholic Primary School, and class Geely from Oran Park Public School 

 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. La Nina
  2. Chile
  3. Auckland