Wednesday, 4 May, 2022

A sister’s rescue mission to Ukraine; the water bubbler tree; 104 marathons in 104 days; and sniffing out truth in the election.


Viktor and Zoya Olepir:
The water bubbler tree:
104 marathons in 104 days:

Fact Checking the Election:

May the Fourth be With You, Mathematicians:

Sensational World of Civics – Episode 1: Why Canberra?

Squiz Kids for Schools:
Squiz Kids Apple Subscriber Content: 





Sometimes siblings can be a pain, but when you think about it, the love between brothers and sisters is pretty strong, and pretty special. It can even send you into a warzone —like Queensland woman Zoya Olepir, who has just helped rescue her brother Viktor from the war in Ukraine.

Viktor has Down’s Syndrome – a genetic condition that can cause intellectual disability – and Zoya learned that he was hiding underground in the city of Kharkiv, with no food, and no water.

And so she hatched a plan. She got in touch with Viktor’s niece, who also lives in Ukraine, and the brave niece went into Kharkiv and picked up Viktor, even as bombs were exploding nearby. As soon as Zoya heard that her brother and his rescuer were heading towards the Polish border, she grabbed her passport, some money, and went to the airport. She said she couldn’t stand another sleepless night waiting, so she went by plane, then bus, into Ukraine, to find her family.  

There are photos in your episode notes of Zoya and Viktor after they crossed the border safely into Poland, and on to a plane home to Australia, where Viktor and his niece will start a new life. They are two of the 2,400 Ukrainians who have arrived in Australia since the start of the war. Some are lucky to have friends and family here, but others do not – and could even be arriving with just the clothes on their back. Imagine that.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Montenegro, where a fountain of water is gushing from the middle of the trunk of a 100-year-old mulberry tree. If you look at the video, which is in your episode notes, you’d be forgiven for thinking this woody water bubbler was special effects trickery—but it’s a real natural phenomenon! Old mulberry trees like the one in the village of Dinosa often have hollow trunks. As the winter snows melt each year in Montenegro, underground springs become flooded and the pressure forces water to rise UP the tree’s roots, fill that hollow trunk, and then gush out the first available hole. Nature really can be quite magical.



It’s Wednesday… time to welcome Squiz-E the newshound back into the studio. Usually, Squiz-E sniffs out misinformation on the Internet, but this week, he’s been talking to fact checkers on the federal election campaign trail… and they’ve been very busy. 

A fact checker is someone whose job it is to research things that are said in the media, to see if they are true. And when we’re in the middle of an election, with all the candidates making lots of claims about the great things they’ve done and will do if elected, and the terrible things the other guys have done and will do, it’s very handy to have impartial – which means unbiased – experts investigate. Squiz-E’s bookmarked a few different websites… the links are in your episode notes… and learned that the leaders of all the major and minor parties have made claims that jumbled facts. As usual, it’s important to stop, think, and check. Thanks, Squiz-E. 


You know what a marathon is, right? A running event where the finish line is a distant 42.2 kilometres from the start. Most people train for months to run just one marathon. Then, if they’re anything like me, they spend a lot of quality time on the couch or at the physio recovering. But a woman in America has just run 104 marathons straight, over 104 consecutive days. Not only that, but Jacky Hunt-Broersma, who is 46 years old, got bone cancer when she was 26 and had to have her left leg amputated …

so she’s run all those marathons on a prosthetic, or artificial, leg. Amazing. Jacky said that when she first lost her leg, she was angry and embarrassed. She even wore long pants to hide her prosthesis. But six years ago, she decided to try running. And at the start of 2022, she decided she wanted to break the Guinness World Record for most consecutive marathons, which was 95. That was achieved by a woman with no prosthesis who ran as a coping strategy during lockdown. Jacky said she wanted to show the world what a person with a disability was capable of… and she’s definitely done that. Over 104 days, Jacky ran in official marathons, on her treadmill, on dirt paths, and around her neighborhood. The Guinness Book of Records is now reviewing her records. So, how did she spend her first day not running? Planning for a 386-kilometre race she’s running later this year. Unstoppable! There’s a link to an interview with Jacky in your episode notes. Prepare to be inspired. 


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

  1. What kind of tree has water gushing out of it in Montenegro? 
  2. How far is ONE marathon? 
  3. What did Zoya Olepir take with her to Ukraine? 



It’s May 4… Star Wars Day! May the Fourth Be With You. I like to give presents on important occasions like this one, so in your episode notes, you’ll find some cool Star Wars maths activities. You’re welcome.  

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Mia from Ballarat, Evie from Forest Lake, Zachary from Maroubra, Josephine from Narara, Daniel from Queanbeyan South Public School, Cameron from Wheelers Hill, Abby from Yass, Alexander from Quirindi, Wilbur from Wodonga, twins Ruby and Stella from Sydney and Eric listening all the way over in Gdansk, Poland!

A belated birthday wish goes to Olivia listening in China.

Classroom shoutouts go to…Class 6L and Ms Le Ray at Lakes Grammar Anglican School in Warnervale and to Year 4 Blue at Catherine Labouré Catholic Primary School in Gymea – and it’s a happy birthday to their teacher  Mr Zagame.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. A mulberry tree
  2. 42.2 km
  3. Money and a passport – nothing else. But she came back with her brother!