Squiz Today / 21 April 2021

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 21 April


“If the last thing you find in a pistachio ice cream is pistachio, then you have a problem.”

Said Italian gelato master Alberto Manassei. He’s not so worried about laws to stop ice-cream sellers pumping air into their mixtures - he says the real problem lies in faux flavours. Key takeaway: if gelato is mostly air, we’ll take two scoops...


Just a day after the opening of the trans-Tasman two-way travel bubble, a vaccinated border worker at Auckland Airport has tested positive for COVID-19. The worker is believed to have contracted the virus after cleaning planes from 'red zone' or high-risk countries carrying passengers with the virus. It was picked up in routine testing, and NZ PM Jacinda Ardern said the blip was "part of our journey together" and a good reminder that it's still possible to get the coronavirus once vaccinated. More on that in a sec… Reports say the worker is in isolation, and contact tracing is underway.

IKR? On Monday, Australia and NZ flung open their quarantine-free borders to each other - it was a big step after a difficult year that both PMs talked up. Ardern yesterday reiterated an outbreak could see a pause on travel, but because this new case has been detected and officials are onto it, it’s unlikely to burst the bubble. “These are the kinds of scenarios where we would anticipate movement continuing,” she said. Nearly 2,000 Aussies flew across the ditch on 30 flights on Monday, and Health Minister Greg Hunt projected confidence that Kiwi health officials are “on to this”. Magnanimously, he said “there will be other days when there are cases in Australia.”

Yep... The vaccination isn't a cure-all, but it does help to protect from serious illness and death from the virus. According to the World Health Organisation, COVID vaccines protect us against the coronavirus by developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus. That means there is a reduced risk of developing the illness and its consequences, and the immunity will help fight the virus if exposed. Getting vaccinated also means you’re less likely to infect someone else -  but it can happen. Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed it had logged 5,800 so-called ‘breakthrough cases’ out of 130 million adults who have received at least one dose. These are issues Australia’s new vaccines coordinator Commodore Eric Young will be getting up to speed on. He says his job is clear: “To make sure that we can get the vaccines that we have available around the country when and where they’re required to protect our most vulnerable Australians.” Simples…



Chinese President Xi Jinping made a veiled swipe at the US and its allies yesterday during Asia’s Boao Forum when he warned against certain countries “bossing others around”. “One or a few countries shouldn’t impose their rules on others, and the world shouldn’t be led on by the unilateralism of a few countries,” he said. While he didn't name the US, Xi called for more international economic integration and less looking to go it alone. Ahem President Joe Biden, who has maintained former President Donald Trump's 'America First' policies when it comes to trade with China… Tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to heat up as the Biden administration makes preparations to sell weapons to Taiwan - a move that reaffirms America’s commitment to the Chinese-claimed territory. #SquizShortcut


Voters seem ok with the idea… A new poll has put some wind in actor Matthew McConaughey’s sails as he flirts with the idea of running for governor of Texas. In a shock result, 45% said they would pick the Oscar winner if he challenged Republican Governor Greg Abbott in the election due next year. A third said they would support the incumbent, and 22% said neither candidate was appealing. As for McConaughey’s politics, his ideological leaning is a mystery. Reports say he's not an enthusiastic voter, and he hasn't donated to a Texan or federal political campaign. And he has declined to comment on whether he'd run - let alone as a Democrat, Republican or independent. But his participation would undoubtedly break the convention that politics is showbiz for ugly people…


Apple has released its newest - and possibly lowest price - offering overnight. The AirTag is a Bluetooth tracking device, and you attach it to your keys/wallet/kids, and you can find your stuff via the Find My app. It's not a groundbreakingly new idea, and there are other products in the market, but if you're an Apple user, it offers the uber convenience of sliding into your existing technology ecosystem. And yes, that is what we call our iPhone/Macbook/Apple Watch set up… So why is the tech giant rolling out a US$29 accessory for your tech accessories? Commentators say it’s a calculated play by Apple with consumers holding off an upgrade on pricier items like computers and phones. But buying something practical/lower cost might keep them attached to the brand and going ever deeper into their world.


Temperatures plummeted across Australia’s southeast yesterday as Jack Frost dressed up as a ‘polar outbreak’ came a-knockin’. In another early taste of winter, Alpine regions in Victoria, Tassie and southeast NSW received some snow last night as a strong cold front brought temperatures in Victoria to a freezing “feels like” -7C. And there’s more where that came from… Snow is forecast to fall in Victoria’s High Country, southwest NSW and the Tasmanian highlands today. And the cold front is forecast to continue into the weekend, with winds making temperatures extra chilly. But don’t dust off the skis just yet... La Niña - the weather system that’s brought above-average rainfall to Oz this year - means this year’s snow season is forecast to be underwhelming, as it is when El Niño’s around.


The AFLW last night named 2 winners on its night of nights… Taking out the Best and Fairest for the season: Collingwood’s co-captain Brianna Davey and Fremantle’s Kiara Bowers. They tied on 15 votes each across the 9 rounds leading up to the finals. The duo had an extra good night with Davey named the All-Australian team captain and Bowers vice-captain. And if you're wondering what the All-Aussie team is, they don’t actually play a game - it’s recognition from an esteemed panel of the best 21 players from across the league in their positions. For Bowers (who is also a carpenter), playing footy and holding down a full-time job means "I leave the house at 5-5.30am, and don't get in till 9pm". Her story underlines recently retired Sharni Norder’s call for a full AFLW season and contracts for players allowing them to be full-time athletes.


Crayola has launched a “racially inclusive” collection of crayons, pencils and markers. The company wanted to broaden the range given it had one ‘skin-coloured’ pencil in the pack.

Speaking of colours (don’t @ us…), researchers at Purdue University reckon they’ve created the whitest white paint ever. It’s so bright it reflects up to 98.1% of light, which means it doubles as a cooling agent.

If you’re comfortable with getting your kit off, these Aussie cinemas are offering a “unique and memorable cinematic experience”. We bet it is…


Around 6.30am (AEST) - A verdict in the case against former police officer Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd expected to be announced

12.30pm (AEST) - Professor Jane Golley, the Chinese Embassy's Wang Xining, and China correspondent for the AFR Michael Smith launch the China Story Yearbook series at the National Press Club - Canberra

Queen Elizabeth turns 95yo

World Creativity and Innovation Day

Grab a cuppa, it's National Tea Day in the UK

Anniversary of:
• Romulus and Remus founding Rome, according to legend (753 BC)
• Elvis Presley's first hit record Heartbreak Hotel going to #1 (1956)
• the Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka (2019)
• the deaths of Mark Twain (1910), Nina Simone (2003) and Prince (2016)

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