Squiz Today / 10 August 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 10 August

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Squiz Today Podcast

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Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I find it stressful.”

Said Lewis Hamilton about driving on normal roads in a normal car. The F1 superstar has no issue getting behind the wheel of a racing car that can reach speeds of up to 300 km/h, but he draws the line at traffic. Fair call…

Remembering ONJ

Tributes have rolled in for Dame Olivia Newton-John after her family said she died “peacefully” at her home in California yesterday. The Grammy Award-winning singer/actor was best known worldwide for playing good-girl-gone-bad Sandy in the hit 1978 musical film Grease. And a breast cancer diagnosis in 1992 saw her become a notable advocate and philanthropist for research into the disease and care facilities. Singer/friend John Farnham said she was a “tenacious fighter, a beautiful voice and a loyal friend”. 

Born in Cambridge in England in 1948, Newton-John’s family moved to Melbourne when she was 6yo. A talented youngster, she regularly appeared on TV and won a trip to the UK on Johnny O’Keefe’s show Sing Sing Sing. There she slogged it out until she found success in 1973 with the ballad Let Me Be There. It established her as a country singer who went on to win some big country music awards with a string of hits. By 1977, Newton-John was living in the US, and a chance meeting with the producer of Grease at a dinner party hosted by Aussie Helen Reddy changed everything again. The film catapulted her into superstardom and a new musical direction that peaked with her 1981 megahit Physical. Newton-John married Matt Lattanzi in 1984 after meeting on the set of the supernatural/roller-disco film Xanadu – they had a daughter, Chloe. That relationship ended in 1995, and in 2008 she married John Easterling. They co-founded the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund to support research for plant-based cancer therapies.

• She represented England in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, coming 4th behind a little-known Swedish group called ABBA, who won with Waterloo. ONJ was not a fan of the song chosen for her, Long Live Love – or the frilly dress…

• Her most iconic line in Grease – Tell me about it, stud” – was unscripted. The film’s director was initially concerned the squeaky-clean Newton-John wouldn’t be able to pull off Sandy’s transformation, but she proved him wrong.

• She was a passionate advocate for medical cannabis, which she used to treat the pain caused by her cancer. Through her philanthropic ventures, Newton-John aimed to improve cancer care, including at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne.


Squiz the Rest

Some trouble with Trump’s paperwork

Former US President Donald Trump yesterday confirmed that his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida was searched by FBI agents. It’s an unprecedented move against a former president, unleashing a political storm in the US. There’s no official word, but reports say it’s related to documents he took from the White House that may have been classified and should have been handed over to the National Archives. If he does have presidential documents at Mar-a-Lago (and maybe they should check the toilet…), it would be in violation of the law. Trump’s document management isn’t the only thing authorities are looking at him for – he’s under federal scrutiny for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and several criminal and civil cases are being pursued at the state level. Calling the raid “not necessary or appropriate”, Trump says it’s “an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.”

Crime World News

Political games in the Solomons

Next year is shaping up to be a big one for the Solomon Islands – it’s due to hold a national election, and it’s hosting the Pacific Games in November. Last month, PM Manasseh Sogavare’s office said the nation doesn’t have the resources to do both in the year. And yesterday, a bill to delay the election was submitted to the parliament, prompting concern from opposition pollies. The preference to host the Games is underpinned by resources from China – it’s donated 7 stadiums/venues currently being built by Chinese companies. Australia also confirmed a $17 million contribution, putting us behind China on the chipping in stakes. Critics say Sogavare is flexing his muscle over the government – another example is his moves on the national broadcaster this week. Meanwhile, he was unavailable to attend a weekend dawn service for the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal attended by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

World News

A national biosecurity plan for Oz

Australia’s first national biosecurity plan to tackle the growing threat of exotic pests and diseases entering the country was unveiled yesterday by Agriculture Minister Murray Watt. He says the onset of climate change, the pandemic, and the rise of online shopping have created “new challenges”. The plan – which has been agreed on by the states and territories – will see authorities across governments cooperate more to prepare for pest and disease outbreaks. Watt says coordination has become increasingly important in the face of recent threats such as foot and mouth disease (FMD) and the bee-killing varroa mite. While the FMD risk to Oz appears to be simmering down, another $10 million is heading Indonesia’s way to strengthen its biosecurity measures. Imagine how many pairs of thongs that could buy…

Australian News

The richest postcode in Oz…

…is 6011, encompassing the Perth suburbs of Cottlesloe and neighbouring Peppermint Grove. That’s according to the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) latest tax statistics, which show residents living there made $325,343 in average taxable income in the 2019-20 financial year – the first time any location has cracked the $300,000 mark. Most of the top 10 are a who’s who of Sydney real estate, including eastern suburbs Point Piper, Edgecliff, Bellevue Hill, Vaucluse, and Watsons Bay. On the north shore, think Hunters Hill, Mosman and Northbridge. Melbourne was the only other city that cracked the top 10, with the southeastern suburbs of Hawksburn (near South Yarra) and Toorak coming in at #5. Meanwhile, the lowest income postcodes were in regional NSW, Queensland and South Oz – they posted negative average taxable income due to farming losses.

Australian News

Decoding a baby’s cries

It’s not an easy task for the uninitiated, a new French study has found. More than 200 participants with different levels of childcare experience were given 8 recordings of different children crying over 2 days. They then had to try and distinguish what each cry meant, such as whether it was a cry of pain, discomfort, hunger, and so on. While those with no experience struggled to tell the difference, parents, paediatricians and professional caregivers were correct 70% of the time, suggesting that people’s ability to decode a baby’s cries improves with experience. And in good news for new parents, those with younger babies had the highest success rate of all the participants. Researchers said it was consistent with the idea that experienced caregivers developed a reduced sensitivity to a baby’s cries over time. Unfortunately, the study did not go on to decode how to make the crying stop…


Apropos of Nothing

If proposing marriage isn’t enough pressure, getting the surprise engagement ring right can be enough to jam up many an aspiring married person. That and the tricky economic times have seen the younger generation use fake rings for the big moment – and some say the more fake, the better…

In another sign of governmental overreach – official signs are going up in Italy at romantic spots indicating that it’s ‘Mandatory to Kiss’. The marketing strategy aims to push through 2 years of social distancing and reinstate Italy as a destination for lovers. And a note for non-PDA observers: there are no penalties for disobeying the signs.

And what’s more romantic than… a surfing dog? Yeah, we didn’t quite land that dismount…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Xiao Qian addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

Ecuador’s National Day

Ecca public holiday – Brisbane

Company Results – Commonwealth Bank; Mirvac; Mineral Resources

Birthdays for actor Antonio Banderas (1960), Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins (1962), and reality star/businesswoman Kylie Jenner (1997)

Anniversary of:
• the Louvre palace officially opening in Paris as The Museum Central des Arts (1793)
• the marriage of Virginia Woolf and Leonard Woolf (1912)
• the release of Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album (1979)
• Ruth Bader Ginsburg being sworn in as a US Supreme Court Justice (1993)

Squiz the Day

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