Squiz Today / 17 February 2023

Squiz Today – Friday, 17 February

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Squiz Today Podcast

Take it along for the ride. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Most people associate spiders with the outback dunny door, but spiders are hugely diverse” 

Said arachnologist Joseph Schubert of 3 recent 8-legged species discoveries. There’s a ‘warrior huntsman’, a jumping expert, and one that impersonates a tree branch. Yay for science/biodiversity, but also we can’t help but feel that there are 3 more things to worry about… 

Queensland miners found dead

On Wednesday night, reports broke of a collapse in the Dugald River zinc mine near Cloncurry in north-west Queensland, and late yesterday, the 2 workers missing in it, 33yo Dylan Langridge and 36yo Trevor Davis, were confirmed dead. The rescue team yesterday located the ute that the missing fly-in-fly-out contractors were in before it fell into a hole inside the mine and used machinery to remove rubble from around it. In a statement, the pair’s direct employer Mark Norwell said the deaths of the well-respected men were “a devastating outcome”. “I want to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the families, friends, colleagues and loved ones of Trevor and Dylan, both of whom should have come home safely from work yesterday,” Norwell said.

The Dugald River site mines zinc, with the hole that the men plummeted into about 125 metres below ground level and normally used to extract the mineral. A good representation of it is here. It’s early days, but reports say the ute Langridge and Davis were in fell about 25 metres into the void, known as a ‘stope’, when the ground gave way at about 8.45am on Wednesday. A drilling rig just behind the ute also fell, but the operator of that vehicle escaped and raised the alarm. Reports say he’s in a stable condition. Work was stopped at the mine – which employs around 500 people – while the rescue operation was underway, and inspectors from mining safety regulator Resources Safety Queensland remain on site. Investigations into how the incident occurred have begun, with reports saying the pair’s employer, Barminco, is collaborating with the relevant authorities.

Yes – relating to a past underground rescue. You’d remember the incredible story of the 13 young boys from the Wild Boars Football Team who were rescued from a flooded Thai cave back in 2018. Yesterday, it was confirmed that team captain, Duangpetch ‘Dom’ Promthep, died earlier this week. The 17yo was in England on a soccer academy scholarship and was found unresponsive in his dorm room. Despite being taken by ambulance to hospital, Promthep could not be revived – his cause of death has not been confirmed. British diver Rick Stanton said when he and a colleague found the boys in the flooded cave, it was Promthep who ‘took the lead and wrote the first messages to the outside world.” He called the boy’s death “heartbreaking”.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Queensland police murders deemed an act of terrorism

The deadly siege that led to the murders of Queensland Constables Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold and Wieambilla local Alan Dare in December last year has been deemed a “religiously-motivated terrorist attack” by investigators. Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford yesterday said attackers Nathaniel, Gareth and Stacey Train had developed Christian extremist and anti-government beliefs, including that there would be an “end of days” before Christ brought peace to Earth. She said there didn’t appear to be a defining “catalyst event”, but the pandemic and other global events were factors. The Trains are believed to have acted alone, but Linford said a similar ideology was behind the 1993 Waco massacre in the US, and police are working with the FBI to better understand their actions. The coroner will make the final determinations on the motivation for the attack.

Australian News Crime

Unemployment on the rise

Australia’s unemployment rate is up again… It’s the 2nd consecutive month that it has happened, this time going from 3.5% to 3.7% in January. Economists were predicting the rate to stay steady, but it turned out that 11,500 people became jobless last month. The Bureau of Stats’ Bjorn Jarvis said the results were largely driven by seasonal fluctuations as people switched jobs, and Treasurer Jim Chalmers said it was an “obvious consequence” of a slowing global economy. In its recent official statement, the Reserve Bank said it expects unemployment to rise over the coming year as interest rate increases put a brake on the Aussie economy. It’s something RBA Governor Philip Lowe is likely to be grilled on today as he goes in for round 2 at Parliament House… He fronts the House of Representatives Economic Committee this morning. 

Australian News Business & Finance

Data breach back to haunt Medibank

A class action lawsuit has been launched against health insurance provider Medibank in the Federal Court over last year’s massive cyberattack. In what became the worst data breach in Australia’s corporate history, the personal data of 9.7 million current and former customers of Medibank and its low-cost brand ahm were compromised. The lawsuit on behalf of tens of thousands of affected customers is seeking up to $5 billion in compensation for Medibank’s alleged failure to protect customer’s privacy – the company says it will defend the proceedings. A decision on whether a separate class action lawsuit that’s being arranged by law firm Slater & Gordon is expected to be made in the next few months. And speaking of notable hacks, Telstra reported their half-year profit result yesterday and noted that it had picked up tens of thousands of new customers who quit Optus in the wake of its data breach.

Australian News Business & Finance Crime

Vale Raquel Welch

The US actor and 1960s pinup died at 82yo after a “brief illness”, her manager confirmed yesterday. Born Jo Raquel Tejada to a Bolivian father and American mother, the Californian beauty was convinced to adopt her husband’s surname to avoid racial typecasting. With more than 70 film and TV credits to her name over a 5-decade-long career, Welch rose to fame in the 1966 sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage – but it was her role as a scantily-clad cavewoman in One Million Years BC – and the film’s famous poster – that shot her to superstardom. Her good looks saw her regularly dismissed by film critics until she won a Golden Globe for her performance in 1973’s The Three Musketeers, and her Broadway debut in 1981 was a hit. And in her later years, she had guest appearances in the likes of The Muppet Show, Seinfeld and Legally Blonde. Reese Witherspoon led the tributes, calling Welch “glamorous beyond belief”.


Bing’s grumpy chatbot

Whether it’s ChatGPT, its integration with Mircosoft’s search engine Bing, or Google’s forthcoming artificial intelligence chatbot Bard, it’s all go for new ways to scrape information from the interwebs. What it’s not, however, is smooth as the tech finds its, well, its voice… The idea with Bing’s adventure into AI is to help us find more relevant info in a conversational way – and in the first 2 days, the company says a million users across 169 countries were testing it. The problem is it’s getting stuff wrong and getting argumentative about it… In one exchange where the bot insisted it’s currently 2022, it told the human they had “not been a good user” and called itself “a good Bing”. Microsoft says it’s all part of the launch process, and the machines will learn from the mistakes. Just like us humans, really…


Friday Lites – Three things we like this week

After a mega wardrobe toss-out, we’re on a bit of a clothes-purchasing pause. What we need before the curtain falls are black leggings because, as the person who was walking behind us last Sunday morning can attest, the split in the crutch of our very last pair isn’t flattering… We went for these on the recommendation of a leggings aficionado friend, they arrived quickly, and they’re a keeper.

Just on getting dressed, photographer Bill Cunningham was a New York legend for his pictures of what fashionable regular people wore around the city. This doco on him from a while ago is a terrific watch. Phil Oh currently has the round for Vogue, and geez, NYC locals have pushed the boat out post-COVID…

We’ve had a busy week, including a trip interstate, so it’s been searing heat/chilly aircon/then rain/then searing heat again. The weather plays a strong role in our recipe selection for the weekend, but given we’re not sure what’s happening, we’re embracing our hankering for a light chicken curry.

Friday Lites

Squiz the Day

9.30am (AEDT) – RBA Governor Philip Lowe to appear before the House of Reps Economics Committee – Canberra

3.00pm (AEDT) – Men’s Cricket – 2nd Test – Australia v India – Delhi

7.30pm (AEDT) – Men’s Basketball – NBL Play-Offs – Sydney Kings v Cairns Taipans – Cairns

Company Results – QBE Insurance; Inghams; Baby Bunting

CEDA’s annual Economic and Policy Outlook forum – Sydney

Start of Sydney WorldPride (until 5 March)

Start of Mona Foma festival (until 26 February) – Hobart

Adelaide Fringe starts (on until 19 March)

Start of the 2023 National Multicultural Festival (until 19 February) – Canberra

Independence day – Kosovo

Pink’s latest album, Trustfall, released today

Birthdays for Michael Jordan (1963), Paris Hilton (1981), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1982), and Ed Sheeran (1991)

Anniversary of:
• the birthday of Banjo Patterson (1864)
• the world’s first superhero The Phantom making his first appearance in comics (1936)
• General Motors announcing it will be retiring the Holden brand (2020)

Australian News

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