Squiz Today / 08 June 2022

Squiz Today – 8 June 2022

%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%

Squiz Today Podcast

We’ve got news, you’ve got ears. It’s a perfect match. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

7 / 15
7 / 12
9 / 19
8 / 15
10 / 20
3 / 10
24 / 34
0 / 10

Squiz Sayings

“It’s basically the Cate Blanchett of banana sculptures, in that it is a hauntingly pale Australian creature with a very striking bone structure.”

Said comedian John Oliver about a “demonic” banana statue that was removed from the streets of Melbourne after it was targeted by vandals. In response to public anger about the now-defunct $22,000 statue, Oliver has offered to exchange it for a statue of an alligator with a raised middle finger called Herman. We’re not sure if it’s better or worse…

Where’s John Farnham when you need him?

Because we could all do with a bit of pressure down… Chatter about building cost of living pressures has made a post-election campaign comeback with the Reserve Bank raising its official interest rate by 0.5% – the most in 22 years – to 0.85%. And the nation’s energy ministers are holding emergency talks today about the electricity/gas price and supply crunch. At the centre of it all is the fraught task of managing inflation – and Treasurer Jim Chalmers says things are set to “get harder before it gets easier”.

It’s because we’re living through interesting times… COVID was the biggest economic shock here and abroad since the Great Depression. Things are getting back on track, but there are still supply chain issues, illness and restrictions casting a giant shadow over progress – and then there’s the thumping hangover of government debt. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made a difficult situation even more tricky, making food and energy prices rise above already high COVID-affected levels. Add floods on Australia’s east coast and a significant cold snap to the mix, and you’ve got one ugly inflationary cocktail.

It depends on how exposed you are. If you’re paying a lot of your salary on a mortgage, need to drive a lot, like to keep the lights on along with your gas/electric heater, and enjoy fresh food, it’s gonna sting… Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe says inflation is expected to increase further but would then head back towards the target range of 2-3% by next year. Treasurer Chalmers says the new government can’t fix all the problems that have been “brewing for 9 years” in its first fortnight in office, but he will outline the full plan in a new Budget in October. It will include cost of living relief, and he says there’s spending aimed at growing the economy without adding to inflationary pressures while getting long-term energy prices down and real wages up. Coalition Treasury spokesman Angus Taylor says Labor is set to unleash “unnecessary spending which increases interest rates, fuels inflation and makes life harder for Australians.”

Australian News Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

Farmers defy setbacks with bumper food exports

Speaking of soggy weather and supply chain disruptions, ​​Aussie farmers are set to do marvellously well in export markets with a record $65 billion next financial year. The value of total output is set to top $80 billion for a 2nd straight year. The official commodity forecaster ABARES says Australia’s agricultural sector has attracted high prices with the Ukraine war and poor conditions in North America, sending commodity prices skyrocketing – all as our farmers boosted wheat, barley and canola harvests. Not that it will translate into lower food prices anytime soon… Crop losses in flood-hit areas of Queensland and NSW and soaring costs for fuel, gas and fertiliser are painful for producers and at the supermarket checkout. And the fast-food chains aren’t immune with KFC subbing out iceberg lettuce for cabbage and many Subway outlets doing away with it altogether.

Australian News Business & Finance

NASA to launch from the NT

And not just one rocket – it’s sending 3 of ‘em to space from the Arnhem Space Centre in the Northern Territory later this month. It will be the first NASA launch from a commercial facility outside the US and the first rockets launched from Australia since 1995. The mission is a simple one: NASA is investigating heliophysics, astrophysics and planetary science phenomena only observable from the Southern Hemisphere (just nod…). Australian Space Agency boss Enrico Palermo says it’s “another signal that Australia is go for launch”, and NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said NASA is “rocketing East Arnhem Land into the global spotlight for investors”. Bottom line: the hope is the launch will help our space industry grow. The Arnhem Space Centre is located near Nhulunbuy, and the traditional owners have been consulted on the launch.

Australian News Space

Pope sparks resignation rumours

It was 2013 when then-Pope Benedict XVI became the first to resign in almost 600 years, and rumour has it Pope Francis could follow suit. Whispers started in May when the 85yo appeared in public in a wheelchair after a knee operation. Fuel was added to the fire after he began making plans to host a consistory – a council of cardinals to elect new members – in August. Getting even deeper into speculation, the day after that meeting, Francis will visit the town of L’Aquila and its cathedral that hosts the tomb of Celestine V, a hermit pope who resigned in 1294 after 5 months in the job. It was the same tomb Benedict visited in 2009, 4 years before his own resignation. Just putting it on your radar…

World News

Apple addresses 3am text regret

If you know, you know… The tech giant has unveiled a long list of upcoming features at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and generating the biggest buzz is the update that will allow iPhone users to edit and undo sent iMessages – something that might be handy if you’re a tired/emotional texter… There’s also an upgrade to the dictation feature, with users able to convert selected text to voice. Personalised lock screens, notifications appearing at the bottom rather than the centre, and an easier way to open high rotation apps are part of the operating system update. And in one of its more futuristic offerings, Apple says it is in talks with major car manufacturers to implement an Apple display across car dashboards, allowing users to fully integrate their smartphone and vehicle. One change they’ll have to make by mid-2024 (in Europe at least…): the charging port on Apple devices will need to be via a ​​USB-C connector. It’s the first time politicians have stepped in to cut the cord clutter.


Socceroos move through

After qualifying for the last 4 World Cup tournaments, the Socceroos’ dream of qualifying for a 5th in Qatar later this year is alive after beating the United Arab Emirates in Doha this morning. COVID interruptions notwithstanding, the Aussie men’s team have had a rough 6 months… After becoming the first nation in World Cup qualifying history to win 11 consecutive matches, the Socceroos faltered. It’s put the future of coach Graham Arnold up in the air, with Football Australia forced to issue a statement saying his job was safe – for now. Things are underway, and it’s one-goal a piece at send time. Next step: Peru next Tuesday, and if we win, we’re in.

If that doesn’t scratch your football itch, you can get your blue/maroon face on tonight with game 1 of the State of Origin series between NSW and Queensland in Sydney. The Blues are the favourites after claiming 3 of the last 4 series, but the Maroons are hoping that a new coach Billy Slater and a raft of new debutants will give them the winning edge.


Apropos of Nothing

Glow-in-the-dark road line-markings are being trialled in regional Victoria. A similar trial in the Netherlands in 2014 was unsuccessful after heavy rain faded the lines, not to mention the handful of drivers who switched off their lights to see more glow…

It’s long been believed that people have been chowing down on the humble chook for the last 10,000 years, but new UK research points to the birds descending from the treetops about 3,500 years ago. What’s more, chickens were initially venerated rather than eaten by Iron Age societies, and it wasn’t until the Roman times that they became a popular source of food. How eggstraordinary…

We thought we’d seen it all when we came across bridal Crocs – but behold the latest wedding trend: the bridal bikini. Just no…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Surgeon and 2022 ASMR Medallist recipient Dr Fiona Wood addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

12.30pm (AEST) – South Australian Treasurer Stephen Mullighan delivers his state Budget address

8.10pm (AEST) – State of Origin Game 1 – NSW v Queensland – Sydney

11.30pm (AEST) – T20 Cricket – Australia v Sri Lanka

Energy Ministers’ Meeting with Chris Bowen and his state/territory counterparts

Sydney Film Festival begins (until 19 June)

Dark Mofo Festival kicks off in Tassie (until 22 June)

World Brain Tumor Day

World Oceans Day

National Best Friend Day – US

Birthdays for singer Nancy Sinatra (1940), Cardinal George Pell (1941), inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee (1955), and rapper/producer Kanye West (1977)

Anniversary of:
• the completion of the first trans-Pacific flight (US to Australia) by Charles Kingsford Smith (1928)
• Siam changing its name to Thailand (1949)
• the publication of George Orwell’s 1984 (1949)
• the death of Anthony Bourdain (2018)

Squiz the Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.