Wednesday, September 6, 2023

A fiery alert for Queensland; corgis in crowns; a hot air head-to-head; and a magnificent mullet


A royal corgi parade:

The queen and her corgis:

The world’s longest female mullet:

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As summer in Europe and North America draws to a close, we can almost hear firefighters breathing a sigh of relief as cooler temperatures lighten their load. However, here in Australia, fire agencies are warning us to be prepared for a significant bushfire season.


This week, Queensland has issued a catastrophic fire alert (the first since 2018), as hot, dry conditions, teamed with gusty winds, create the ideal conditions for fires to spark and spread. A catastrophic fire is uncontrollable. It’s too dangerous for firefighters to try and put it out, so all they can do is wait and try to evacuate people in the fire’s path. 


And while you might think the thunderstorms predicted for this week would be a good thing, lightning strikes can actually spark new fires that can be difficult to detect until they are well alight.


That’s why the Australian Government is investigating new technologies to alert fire agencies to new blazes before they get out of control. Trials are underway using satellites, cameras mounted on mobile phone towers and AI that simulates the way fires spread to assist in the battle.


But right now, we can all be aware of our surroundings and call triple zero if you detect a fire. Don’t light campfires or bonfires, and make sure that the grass is kept short, especially, close to houses. And thank a firey if you see one. They’re true Aussie heroes.



Each day, we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed at Buckingham Palace, the home of King Charles when he’s in London, England, and for many years, home to Queen Elizabeth the Second and her corgis.


It’s been a year since the queen passed away, can you believe it? So, as a tribute to the late monarch, a parade of pet corgis in crowns, tiaras, and royal finery has taken place in front of Buckingham Palace this week. 


If you’re not in the know, a corgi is a breed of dog. They’re small and playful, with lots of personality, and wonderful bushy tails. There’s a link to photos in the episode notes. 


Corgis were the queen’s lifelong passion. When she was just 18, the young princess Elizabeth was gifted a corgi, which she named Susan. And throughout her long lifetime, she owned thirty of them. The Corgis had their own room at the palace with two footmen to care for them and a special menu prepared fresh for them each day. I know?!


So, what better way to remember the queen, than with a cavalcade of corgis. The organisers hope to make it an annual event.




If you happen to be in Western Australia’s Wheat Belt, 100 kilometres east of Perth over the next few days, and you take a look up at the sky in the morning or the evening, you might be lucky enough to see a World Championship Event underway. Because Northam, in WA, is hosting 30 competitors from 13 different countries for the Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championships. 

Nope, I didn’t know it was a thing either. So, how does it work? The competitors take off in waist-high wicker baskets, powered only by hot air, and fly up to 5000 metres above the earth, before descending to different altitudes to try and catch a favourable wind current. 

The goal is to fly right above a 10 metre by 10 metre ‘x’  which has been placed on the ground, and try and drop a bean bag directly onto it. There’s no way to steer, so they are entirely at the mercy of the wind! The pilots have to use all their skill and experience to hit the target.

Up, up and away!



When was the last time you had a haircut? Have your Mum or Dad been bugging you to have a trim? Well, you might want to tell them about Tami Manis, a 58-year-old woman from Tennessee in the United States who hasn’t cut the back of her hair for thirty-three years. And it’s paid off! Tami has just been awarded the Guinness World Record for the woman with the world’s longest mullet.

The magnificent mullet is 172 centimetres long, and Tami usually keeps it plaited to prevent tangles. Tami says that “I’ve been blessed that my hair grows and now it’s the world’s longest mullet and I’m very happy with it.” There’s a link to photos in the episode notes so you can see why Tami’s so pleased.

I’m not sure that as a parent, I’d accept that as an excuse, but if you want to avoid the hairdresser, it’s worth a shot. 


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

  1. What is the name of the fire alert that has been issued by fire authorities in Queensland?
  2. Which breed of dog paraded in front of Buckingham Palace this week in honour of Queen Elizabeth II?
  3. In which Australian State is the Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championships taking place?





It’s September 6 – Indigenous Literacy Day – seeking to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through literacy and representation in books and stories celebrating Indigenous Australians’ stories, culture and languages.


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

Reyne from Cronulla, Sadie from Cromer, Maisam from Plumpton, Ryan from Penrith, Nash from Unanderra, Luca from Wilton, Harvey from Harrington Park and Rosie from Bondi Junction. 


Belated shout outs go to… Maugs from Melbourne, Adam from Terrigal and Hayley from Glossodia. 


Classroom shoutouts today go to … Mrs Wake’s class at St Augustine’s Parish School in Narromine, class 5 Indigo and Mrs Harris at Orange Public School, class 3/4C and Mr Ghan at Trinity Lutheran College in Mildura, class S3N and Ms O’Hara at Mortlake Public School, class 3/4B and Mrs Whittaker at West Pymble Public School, class 6B and Mr Bosworth at Labrador State School, class 5C and Mr Cheng at Carlingford Public School and lastly to class 2E with Stephanie at Doherty’s Creek College in Truganina. 


The S’Quiz Answers:


  • Catastrophic
  • Corgi
  • Western Australia