Squiz Today / 13 February 2024

Squiz Today – 13 February 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“lol hey guys”

Is the caption for US President Joe Biden’s first TikTok as his campaign steps it up to appeal to young voters. And yes, the Biden administration has been talking about banning the social media platform over the data the Chinese-owned company collects, but needs must…

The kids are not alright

The Squiz

Young people are reporting the highest levels of psychological distress and loneliness in the country, data from the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA for short) report shows. Of the 17,000 people surveyed between 2020-2021, those aged between 15-24yo reported the highest average distress scores, with 42.3% saying they were psychologically distressed in 2021. That’s up from 18.4% in 2011. The report’s co-author, Dr Ferdi Botha, says, “If there aren’t actions taken or policies implemented to intervene, we may see loneliness and psychological distress increasing in the younger generations”.

Surely that’s linked to the pandemic?

That was part of it. But Dr Botha says, “for young people, there is a longer-term trend” that may be “connected to growth in smartphones and social media use”. Want some numbers to back that up? Between 2001 and 2009, over-65yos were the loneliest age group, but by 2021, they were the least lonely. In comparison, there’s “a clear trend of younger people becoming lonelier and feeling more isolated as time goes on,” Dr Botha said. The report also shone a spotlight on the rise of psychological distress in women… In 2007, 17.7% of females and 15% of males were distressed. But by 2021, those figures had increased by more than 50%. The use of vapes/e-cigarettes was also analysed for the first time – the data shows 14.1% of people over 15yo had tried vapes by 2021, and those aged 15-19yo were more prone to vaping compared to 30-39yos. 

Anything else?

Well, when it comes to another crucial measure for our youngsters, research from the Grattan Institute shows a third of Australian children are failing to learn how to read properly. The Reading Guarantee report points the finger at our education systems’ ongoing use of an out-of-date, student-led teaching style that’s been discredited and is now considered “contrary to science”. The report paints a grim picture of the consequences of kids not learning to read properly… Those who struggle to read are more likely to be disruptive at school, and their likelihood of being unemployed or jailed as adults also rises. Not to mention the $40 billion cost to Australia’s economy. Yesterday, Education Minister Jason Clare said there could be a change to teaching styles in the new National School Reform Agreement. It’s due later this year, so put that in your brain bank…

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Two Israeli hostages rescued

Israeli forces say they have freed 2 hostages during a raid in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza as their military continues to launch air strikes in the region. The Israel Defense Forces says both 60yo Fernando Simon Marman and 70yo Louis Har are in “good medical condition” despite having been held since the 7 October Hamas attacks. It’s thought about 100 hostages are still being held in Gaza, with Hamas describing the ongoing air assaults as “genocidal” as the death toll passed 28,000, according to the local health ministry. International concern about Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to launch a full-scale ground invasion continues, with US President Joe Biden saying there needs to be a “credible” plan to protect civilians with more than 1 million displaced Palestinians sheltering in the city.

World News

Detainee dramas plague government

A whole bunch of details have come out about the Albanese Government’s management of 149 men who were controversially released from immigration detention late last year. Documents tabled in the Senate show while 113 of them are required to wear an ankle bracelet, the rest have been exempted. That’s got the Coalition asking why, given most have committed serious violent crimes, including murder/attempted murder (7), sex offences (37), violent assault (72) and domestic violence (16). Coalition Home Affairs spokesman James Paterson says it’s a “shocking failure on community safety” and wants the new preventative detention laws to be used to lock up the worst offenders. 

And while we have you, Western Australian Liberal/former Defence Minister Linda Reynolds is quitting politics and will leave at the next election. Reynolds has been involved in politics for more than 30 years and has been in the news recently as the former boss of Brittany Higgins and Bruce Lehrmann. She says she’s going after “considerable reflection of what is behind me and the opportunities that are now ahead of me.”


A serious talent dead at 24yo

Kelvin Kiptum – the fastest-ever person to run a marathon – died in a car accident in Kenya on Sunday. He was driving late at night with his coach when the vehicle rolled, killing both men and seriously injuring a female passenger. The Kenyan had an incredible story – he ran his first full marathon in 2022 and set the world record in October last year with a time of 2 hrs and 35 seconds. Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the nation “grieves the profound loss of a true hero”, while World Athletics President Sebastian Coe says Kiptum was “an incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy”. Kiptum’s team had just revealed last week that he would attempt to crack the 2-hour mark at the Rotterdam Marathon in April – a key lead-up event to the Paris Olympics.

Sport World News

We all need to calm down

We’re over 12,000km from Las Vegas, but that sound you could hear mid yesterday arvo was celebration as Taylor Swift kissed beau Travis Kelce after his Kansas City Chiefs got their fairytale Super Bowl ending, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22. It was the longest NFL final in history, but the focus was on everything but the game… Cue countless shots of the US$2.5 million VIP box that Swift shared with Kelce’s family and Swift’s mates Blake Lively and Beatles legend Paul McCartney. And it didn’t escape our attention that ahead of her tour in Oz this week, Swift wore a black corset by Aussie designer Dion Lee… But it wasn’t all about Taylor… Usher rolled his way into the hearts of a new generation with his halftime show, and Beyoncé tried to “break the internet” by using her Super Bowl ad to drop 2 new tracks ahead of her next album. Everyone was thrilled, but no one enjoyed it more than Jeff Goldblum

Entertainment Sport

Some seriously fab fashion

It feels like we only just got our heads around ‘eclectic grandpa’, and already the fashion world has moved on with 2 new trends… For guys, it’s all about ‘babygirl men’ – blokes who are comfortable bending gender norms to show they’re “not just hot, but interesting”. Think Harry Styles with his handbags, Pedro Pascal wearing women’s runway looks, and fellas in frills à la so-hot-right-now Saltburn actor Barry Keoghan… For the ladies, we’ve moved on from ‘mob wife’ to ‘method dressing’ – which, if you’re a famous actor, means embracing your character’s style in real life. Margot Robbie has been nailing the trend with her many Barbie looks, and now Zendaya is in on the act with a series of sci-fi sandstorm styles as she promotes Dune: Part 2. If none of that does it for you, there are always the latest New York Fashion Week highlights. Or just put on what you’ve got and do your best…

Australian News

Apropos of Nothing

There’s already been some fantastic costumes on display in Brazil’s Carnival where 49 million locals and 200,000 foreigners are getting into the the festival spirit. Not even a dengue fever outbreak has dampened their enthusiasm…

Ireland’s Six Nations rugby coach Andy Farrell says 8yo Stevie Mulrooney got them off to “a great start” before their resounding 36-0 win over Italy after giving a rousing rendition of Ireland’s Call in front of over 52,000 fans. It certainly brings a tear to our eye… 

Border Security is an ace show, but we’ve never heard of/seen a passenger smuggling mummified monkeys… US Customs officers were surprised not only by the unusual contraband but also the passenger’s claim it was for his personal consumption. What. The. Heck…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

7.00pm (AWST) – Men’s Cricket T20I Series – Australia v West Indies – Perth

11.00pm (AEDT) – Men’s Hockey FIH Pro League – Australia v Ireland – India 

Governor General David Hurley will pay an official visit to Thailand (until 17 February)  

National Apology Day

International Epilepsy Day

World Radio Day 

Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day 

Robbie Williams’ birthday (1974)

Anniversary of:

  • the start of the bombing of Dresden by Allied forces (1945)
  • British boy band Take That officially announcing that they are disbanding, prompting the UK Government to set up counselling phone lines (1996). Which must have been quite a day for robbie, given the entry just above…
Squiz the Day

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