Squiz Today / 15 September 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 15 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

Goes perfectly with a well-steeped cuppa…

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings


That’s $1.7 million in our currency – and it’s the price paid for Princess Diana’s black sheep jumper at auction overnight. Agents Sotheby’s had estimated the value of the item to be £40,300-64,500, but bidders rammed up the price…

Cementing a new housing plan


The Albanese Government’s plan for more affordable housing – a key election promise – got the green light from the Federal Parliament yesterday. It’s the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF), and the aim is to build 30,000 affordable homes across Oz in the next 5 years. It’s a win for Labor following a protracted battle to get the Greens on board – that happened earlier this week after promising to kick in an extra $1 billion for public/community housing (but not getting their way on a national rent freeze). The Coalition never bent on their opposition to the HAFF, but many housing and homelessness support services say it will make “an enormous difference” to Australia’s housing crisis. 


There’s no date set ATM, and that’s because of how the fund is structured… So how it’s gonna work is the government will drop $10 billion into an investment fund and will use the annual returns to build the homes, but long story short, Team Albanese has promised to spend at least $500 million a year. Housing Minister Julie Collins says she anticipates “it will take weeks, hopefully, less than a couple of months” to get it up and running. Something else not set in stone is where the homes will be built, but they’ve promised to build at least 1,200 in each state and territory in areas of peak demand. And there are targets on whom the government wants to help – at least 4,000 of the homes are earmarked for women and children impacted by domestic and family violence and older women at risk of homelessness. 


Affordable housing campaigner Maiy Azize says the plan is welcome, but it’s not a fix-all. “We’ve got a shortfall of 640,000 homes across the country,” she says. But construction is an expensive business, and the government’s putting all its eggs in the HAFF basket. The other issue is who will build the homes… Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn says they predict a shortfall in builders from 2025, alongside “a significant uptick” in the number of homes needing to be built. A lot could change by then, but the latest employment figures back up Wawn’s comments… A record number of people found work in August, leaving the jobless rate steady at 3.7 per cent.

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Libya’s grim toll

It’s been a horrible year of natural disasters around the world – and the flooding in Libya is shaping as a “calamity of epic proportions, according to the United Nations. More than 5,300 people are confirmed dead, but there are fears as many as 20,000 people have perished after a storm hit last weekend, causing dams to collapse and flooding the city of Derna. Reports say at least 25% of the city was washed into the sea… Aid agencies have called for more body bags to stop the spread of disease as the “sea is constantly dumping dozens of bodies”, according to a local minister. Experts believe it’s happened because dams hadn’t been maintained – and that’s because of fierce rivalries between local administrators and the UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli.  And Mother Nature’s not done yet in the Northern Hemisphere… There’s more flash flooding in Hong Kong after last weekend delivered the Chinese territory’s heaviest rainfall in 140 years.

World News

Back in court for another sentence

Chris Dawson – the Sydney teacher who murdered his wife Lynette in 1980’s – will be sentenced today for other historic offences. The 74yo is already in jail serving a 24-year sentence – but he will have to serve additional time after he was found guilty of “unlawful carnal knowledge” of a student at Cromer High on Sydney’s Northern Beaches more than 40 years ago. She is also suing the NSW Government, claiming it breached its duty of care over an “inappropriate and sexually abusive” relationship with her former teacher. The unnamed woman went on to marry Dawson and have a child with him before the split a decade later. And that’s not the end of legal dramas… the government is counter-suing Dawson for breaching his employment contract. And to think all of this might never have come to light if not for the dogged efforts of journo Hedley Thomas and his podcast Teacher’s Pet

Australian News Crime

Cruisers get their money’s worth

In a dream/worst nightmare scenario (depending on your love of cruising…), a luxury passenger ship with 206 people on board – including 90 Aussies – is stranded in a remote waterway in Greenland after running aground on Monday. The Australian-operated Ocean Explorer got stuck in the mud as it toured the Alpefjord National Park, located 1,400km northeast of the capital Nuuk. The Danish military is on the job – yesterday, a spokesman said that an attempt to pull the ship free with a large fishing trawler was unsuccessful, and it’s unclear what the other options are to dislodge the vessel… Maybe they need to get in touch with the crew of the Ever Given, but we digress… Reports say the atmosphere on board is “good” despite the circumstances. And while 3 passengers on board have tested positive for COVID, they are “doing well”.

Australian News World News

The best time to caffeinate

Coffee is always a good idea (fight us…), but most experts agree that the best time to get your bean boost is about 90-120 minutes after you wake up. While many are tempted to immerse themselves in caffeine first thing, cortisol – a hormone that raises your energy levels once you’re awake – drops off by about mid-morning. So waiting until then is the best way to go, they say. And when it comes to the optimum caffeine cut-off time, we say never. But the experts say while it’s generally a good idea to avoid it before bed, the effect on sleep varies from person to person. And for those who prefer a cuppa over a coffee, there’s a new variety of tea bags that take just 30 seconds to brew. The average English Breakfast tea bag needs about 3 minutes but 85% of surveyed Brits leave them in for under a minute. Our method = 10 jiggles. You’re welcome.


Sincerely, you’re a dinosaur

If you start your emails with ‘dear’ and sign off with ‘yours sincerely’ – we’ve got some bad news… Those phrases make you sound “old fashioned” and could die out of the English language in about 10 years. In contrast, if you’re more of a “many thanks”, “cheers”, or even “best wishes” kinda human – those sign-offs hit the mark with most workers. The survey of 2,000 people in the UK also found while ’hiya’ is perfectly acceptable to 18-24yos, a third of over-45yos found it “over-familiar”. Instant messaging platforms were seen as the biggest driver in this shift to more informal greetings – as well as the fact Gen Z has entered the workforce. And a hot tip from the survey: ease up on your use of exclamation marks – more than half of all respondents thought too many were “unprofessional”. So from us, speak soon… TY… Go well…

Culture Quirky News

Friday Lites – Three things we liked this week

Curbed – an offshoot of New York Magazine – has a column we like called ‘Who’s Selling’ where they go through real estate listings in the Big Apple and sniff out notable moves. This week, Succession’s Jeremy Strong has his condo up for sale – the acting gongs gave it away… 

Speaking of columns we like, Good Food’s tips and advice section is great for home cooks. And this week, we furiously agreed with Brissie chef Philip Johnson’s high praise of Ikea’s Hemkomst frying pan. Ours hasn’t let us down, and at $35, it’s a steel… 

You know we don’t accept that soup is food. Derr, it’s liquid… But while the evenings remain cool, this corn chowder with toasted cheesy tortilla chips is good to have on hand – particularly on a Sunday night when you can’t be stuffed to cook. The chips make it…

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

From 2.00pm (AEST) – Chris Dawson sentenced after being found guilty of having carnal knowledge of student – Sydney

7.50pm (AEST) – AFL Semi Final – Melbourne v Carlton – Melbourne

9.00pm (AEST) – Men’s Cricket – 4th ODI – Australia v South Africa

Independence Days for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua

International Day of Democracy

World Lymphoma Awareness Day

Last day of Term 3 for public schools in Victoria and Queensland

News Corp Future Energy summit – Sydney

Start of London Fashion Week (until 19 September)

World Afro Day

Prince Harry’s birthday (1984)

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of Marco Polo (1254) and Agatha Christie (1890)
• Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovering penicillin (1928)
• google.com being registered as a domain name (1997)
• the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games (2000)

Squiz the Day

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