Squiz Today / 23 December 2021

Squiz Today – 23 December 2021

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Squiz Today Podcast

For those looking for some extra jingle in their news bells.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

SYD
20 / 26
MEL
12 / 21
BNE
22 / 31
ADL
13 / 29
PER
20 / 35
HBA
9 / 19
DRW
26 / 35
CBR
14 / 28

Squiz Sayings

“They just think I’m Ben Affleck and they’ll ask how J.Lo is and I’m like, ‘great, good.’ I get the pizza and off I go.”

Said Canadian actor/Welsh football team owner Ryan Reynolds of his profile at his local pizza joint in New York. Now he mentions it, they do look a bit alike

Australia’s top doc says wear a mask inside

THE SQUIZ
Aussies should wear masks in crowded indoor places to protect themselves from getting COVID and help slow the spread, the nation’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly says. That’s his advice – it’s not an order from your premier/chief minister after yesterday’s National Cabinet meeting stopped short of making masks mandatory. They did agree on 3 things: there will be no Christmas lockdowns; Omicron is now the dominant strain across Australia (and early studies are showing it’s a milder form of COVID); and National Cabinet will meet again in a fortnight to stay on top of it. “Stay calm, get your booster, follow common-sense measures,” PM Scott Morrison said.

SO HANG ON… DO WE HAVE TO WEAR MASKS?
Well, it depends on where you are. You’re required to wear a mask in public indoor settings, including shopping, hospitality and entertainment venues in the ACT, Tassie and Queensland. Elsewhere you don’t have to wear one, but it’s recommended. Rejecting the need to bring in a nationwide rule, Morrison said Aussies are “common-sense people” and know what they need to do to protect their own health. NSW is where new COVID cases are rising to record numbers – it’s reintroducing QR code check-ins to help with contact tracing, but masks remain off the must-have list. And reports say Victoria is weighing its options.

AND WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH BOOSTERS?
There’s no change of the recommended time between your 2nd jab and booster shot – it remains at 5 months, but the official immunisation experts are looking at it. For those currently eligible, Morrison says get it ASAP. To help facilitate that, states/territories have agreed to rev up their big vaccination hubs that closed after the main vaccine rollout. One issue that’s counted against them diverting resources to the booster program are impossibly long testing queues. So aligning the definitions of ‘close’ and ‘casual’ contacts is on the to-do list, as well as some state’s requirements for people to get a test before travel (ahem Queensland…). For NSW’s part, it’s looking into providing free rapid antigen testing kits for those who don’t require a PCR test. In the meantime, if your family Christmas management strategy looks anything like this, hang in there…

Health

Squiz the Rest

Djokovic might make the Oz Open

A “very small percentage” of tennis professionals and staff will be granted medical exemptions from being COVID vaxxed, which will enable them to travel here for next month’s Australian Open, tournament boss Craig Tiley said yesterday. Those granted an exemption will not be required to quarantine, but international arrivals will be required to get a COVID test 72 hours before flying, submit a negative test upon arrival, and continue getting tests during their stay. It has boosted confidence that men’s world #1 Novak Djokovic – who has previously refused to confirm if he’s had the jab – will be seeking a 10th Oz Open title next year. “If Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he’ll either be vaccinated or he’ll have a medical exemption,” Tiley says. World #6 Rafael Nadal is also likely to make an appearance, he reckons, even though he confirmed he currently has COVID. Despite Omicron concerns, Tiley says he doesn’t expect major disruptions to the tournament.

Sport

That’s one expensive divorce…

The billionaire ruler of Dubai and his ex-wife have reached what is being called the most expensive divorce settlement in British history. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, – best known in Oz for his link to horse racing outfit Godolphin – was ordered by the UK’s High Court to pay Princess Haya more than £520 million (almost A$1 billion). The youngest of the Sheikh’s 6 wives and daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, she fled from Dubai to the UK with their 2 children in 2019 after he divorced her under Sharia law, without her knowledge. He was found to have abducted 2 of his daughters from another marriage, so the court accepted Princess Haya and her kids need security. The proceedings also revealed what the judge called the couple’s “truly opulent and unprecedented standard of living”, including £2 million spent on strawberries in a single summer. Wonder what the cream bill was…

World News

A chip shortage – and not of the digital kind…

A global computer chip shortage, we can deal with. But stuff has got real now a real-life actual potato chip shortage is in play… But before you start shaking your fist at the carb gods, it’s happening in Japan, so that’s something. Fast-food giant McDonald’s can’t get the Canadian potatoes used to make its famous French fries to Japan due to floods and pandemic-related supply chain issues. To deal with it, they’re rationing the remaining fry supply until the end of the year – and medium and large serves are off the menu. The. Worst. Also in short supply – candy canes. That’s thanks to logistics crunches and a downturn in this year’s peppermint crop after a widespread fungal infection. 2021 – nasty to the end…

World News

That’s a big egg…

Scientists have discovered the perfectly preserved fossil of a dinosaur embryo preparing to hatch from its egg more than 66 million years ago. Found in Ganzhou in southern China in 2000, the egg has been kept in storage at a local museum, and it wasn’t until researchers began sorting through the collection that they discovered what was inside. It’s been called “the best dinosaur embryo ever found in history”, and it’s believed to be a prehistoric bird with the embryo in a ‘tucking’ position – something our feathered friends do before they hatch. “This indicates that such behaviour in modern birds first evolved and originated among their dinosaur ancestors,” researcher Dr Fion Waisum Ma said. There are hopes the discovery will help scientists ​​understand how close early birds are to those we see today.

Environment & Science

The gift of boxed wine

As we get well into the silly season, one Aussie researcher has dissected the nation’s love of cask wines. Invented by Australian winemaker Thomas Angove in 1965, the design was inspired by the ancient method of storing wine in goat skins. In the early days, drinkers had to cut a corner out of the plastic bag to get into it, but after a tap was added in the 1970s, cardboardeaux soon accounted for about half of all wine sales in Oz – a stat that holds up to this day. So why do Aussies love a box-o-wine so much? Southern Cross Uni researcher Adele Wessell says it comes down to 5 factors: portability, price, longevity, sustainability, and… the pandemic. According to market research, cask wine sales jumped by 21% in the 4 weeks to April 2020, and have stayed high. #nojudgement

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

Sometimes observations from an outsider can be illuminating – as is this Muslim’s take on Christmas. Having got close to it this year, he says he will “get my family to do a Secret Santa for Eid. The name’s being workshopped.”

It’s dogs. It’s Christmas. It’s dogs choosing their own Christmas present. We’re done here.

And it’s our last Squiz Today for 2021. This kind of bat-poo crazy is the best representation of the year is the best we could find. You’re welcome.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

A funeral for 12yo Zane Mellor, one of the victims of the jumping castle tragedy in Devonport

Festivus, the festival for the rest of us

Birthdays for author Donna Tartt (1963), rocker Eddie Vedder (1964)

Anniversary of:
• the publication of Jane Austen’s Emma (1815)
• Vincent van Gogh cutting off his left ear with a razor after an argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin (1888)

And it’s 2 days until Christmas…

Squiz the Day

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