Squiz Today / 20 September 2022

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 20 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

Take it along for the ride. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“After a certain age, showering together is no longer suitable for everyone.”

Conceded Switzerland’s Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga after she was criticised for her “shower together” energy-saving tip – and after some criticism, she clarified that she was talking about young people. But if anyone older wants to participate in a joint scrub-a-dub session, we say go for it…

The Queen is laid to rest

Planned to precision and packed with rituals and meaning, Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral and committal services went off without a hitch overnight. Thousands came out to line the streets to catch one last glimpse of her coffin as the world watched on via TV broadcasts fed by 275 camera positions. There have been more than 8 hours of services and processions between London and Windsor, leading to the Queen’s interment in the George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle. And after a day of formalities where she was remembered as someone who touched “a multitude of lives” during her 70-year reign, it was the final private burial service with her nearest and dearest that was said to be a “deeply personal family occasion”.

It sure has, as the pictures attest. It’s been a rare one, too – the last state funeral was for former PM Sir Winston Churchill following his death in 1965… Last night, 2,000 royals, national leaders and dignitaries assembled at Westminster Abbey for a service featuring the Queen’s favourite hymns, including The Lord’s My Shepherd, and readings from UK PM Liz Truss and church leaders from across the country. And then there were some symbolic endings at St George’s Chapel. The Lord Chamberlain Baron Parker broke his wand of officeand placed it on top of the Queen’s coffin. He has the most senior position in the royal household, symbolising the end of his service to the monarch. Another big moment was when the crown, sceptre and orb were removed from her coffin. That was when the physical crown left Elizabeth Windsor and now awaits the coronation when it will pass to Charles Mountbatten-Windsor. 

Here are a few

  • The wreath of flowers on top of her coffin was selected by King Charles and sourced from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House. It included myrtle – the ancient symbol of a happy marriage – cut from a plant grown from a sprig from the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947.
  • Her 10 pallbearers – soldiers from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards – were deployed on operations in Iraq until last week. They did an incredible job carrying the heavy lead-lined coffin between processions to its final resting place. Reports say it weighed more than 270kg…
  • Emma, the Queen’s fell pony, was also there, standing on The Long Walk – the avenue leading to Windsor Castle. And her young dogs Muick and Sandy waited for the procession carrying her coffin at St George’s Chapel. It wouldn’t be a day to remember the Queen without her corgis…
World News

Squiz the Rest

Biden holds firm on Taiwan

US President Joe Biden has again said that America would defend Taiwan if it was attacked. Yes, he’s said that a few times, but in a new interview with America’s 60 Minutes, he’s said ‘yes’ to a question about whether US forces would defend Taiwan on the ground if it were invaded by China, which claims it as its own territory. Some noted the contradiction with America’s longstanding ‘One China’ policy, which does not recognise Taiwan as a country. Still, White House officials reiterated that there’s no change in approach. Another tidbit from that interview – Biden said it “remains to be seen” whether he will run for President again in 2024. The 79yo is the oldest person to serve as POTUS – and his 76yo predecessor has issued another tease for a comeback… #SquizShortcut

World News

Storms hit on opposite sides of the world

On the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Maria – the worst natural disaster to ever hit Puerto Rico that killed 3,000 people – Hurricane Fiona has prompted US President Joe Biden to declare a state of emergency. The US territory’s entire power grid has been knocked out, impacting 3.2 million residents. And widespread flooding and landslides has swept away homes, bridges, and vital infrastructure, including an airport runway. Governor Pedro Pierluisi described the damage as “catastrophic.” Fiona is expected to hit neighbouring nations as it heads north. Meanwhile in Japan, 2 people have been killed, 90 people have been injured, and 9 million residents have been urged to take shelter thanks to super typhoon Nanmadol. The system is forecast to continue over Japan’s main island of Honshu, bringing heavy rainfall in Osaka and Kyoto today, before moving over Tokyo and northeastern Japan mid-week.

World News

Origin skips a Beetaloo

The Beetaloo Basin is about 500km southeast of Darwin, and according to the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, it “has the potential to rival the world’s biggest and best gas resources.” So Origin Energy’s decision to sell out of its joint venture gas projectdidn’t go unnoticed yesterday… The Aussie energy company’s boss Frank Calabria says it will “enable greater flexibility to allocate capital towards our strategic priorities to grow cleaner energy and customer solutions”. That’s a long way of saying the old-school fossil fuel project is too much hassle when deploying time and money… And that’s because there has been a lot of attention from environmental groups and some traditional landowners on the effects of fracking. Origin is now clear of that distraction but will still earn royalties and says it will buy the gas from any successful Beetaloo development. In total, Origin says it expects to lose $70-90 million on the project this financial year.

Australian News Business & Finance

Fighting floods with a cheese collaboration

“A sharp cheddar with just a hint of goat in the background” – they’re words that will get any ardent cheese fans’ hearts racing… The creation of 4 producers from southeast Queensland’s Scenic Rim region was brought on by the devastating floods earlier this year. With reduced milk to work their magic, local cheese producers specialising in cow, sheep, goat and camel varieties banded together to create the new ‘Ewe+3’ cheese. We won’t go into the difficulties in pulling together the 4 different kinds of milk to create one cheese, except to say each has a different profile that made for a complex job to find a suitable formulation. All we know is that a local restaurant in Beechmont is making gourmet toasties to showcase the cheese. We’ll be on the next bus…

Australian News

A return to darkness for the Phantom

In New York’s theatre district, musical fans are saying farewell to Phantom of the Opera, which will come to an end after nearly 35 years and 13,500 performances to 19 million people. It’s the longest-running show on Broadway having started in 1988, and despite also being the most successful – and spawning the 2004 movie starring Gerard Butler – producer Cameron Mackintosh says the final curtain will fall in February 2023. The pandemic shut down the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic for 18 months, and it never fully recovered with increasing production costs, combined with stagnant ticket sales meaning it often runs at a loss. Mackintosh says people in his line of work “dream that a show will run forever… But all shows do finally close”. Phantom will continue elsewhere, including in Australia from October at the Sydney Opera House, so in the words of the Phantom himself, “Lead me, save me from my solitude… Anywhere you go, let me go, too.”


Apropos of Nothing

A Palestinian farmer has unearthed a well-preserved ancient mosaic floor featuring images of birds and other animals. Experts say it’s one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever found in Gaza, leading to calls for greater protection of artefacts in the contested region.

Aussie scientists have devised a new way to track the movements of the endangered bird species: tiny solar-powered backpacks. Hopefully, there’s also enough room to store all their bird-sized belongings…

And the world road cycling championships are underway in Wollongong, but organisers appear to have missed the memo that it’s magpie swooping season (or maybe it’s to make competitors pedal harder…). The finish line for the race is located right near a sign warning cyclists that they’re entering a danger zone…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

National Pepperoni Pizza Day in the US

Birthdays for actor Sophia Loren (1934), Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin (1948), and Aussie muso Tim Rogers (1968)

Anniversary of:
• the Battle of the Sexes tennis showdown between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs (1973)
• US President George W Bush declaring a “war on terror” following the 11 September terrorist attacks (2001)
• the release of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe single (2011)
• Hurricane Maria that resulted in 2,975 deaths in Puerto Rico (2017)
• students from 185 countries stage the world’s largest-ever protest on climate change culminating in Manhattan rally led by Greta Thunberg (2019)

Squiz the Day

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