Squiz Today / 05 July 2023

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 5 July

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Squiz Today Podcast

Powering quality mid-week conversations. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“Welcome to the world, Hayden!”

Said former tennis great Ash Barty and husband Garry Kissick announcing the birth of their first child on Instagram. Going by the pic of the new bub, he’s ace

A mega social media rumble

Meta, the social media giant behind Facebook and Instagram, is officially coming for Twitter. Yesterday, tech reporters began seeing a Twitter-like product called Threads in the app stores. Meta’s new social platform – which you can install now but won’t be operational until early Friday morning – is the latest Twitter replacement to emerge since billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk acquired it for US$44 billion in October last year. Musk has made many changes to Twitter, many of them unpopular, and the site has also faced reliability and safety issues since Musk fired more than 75% of its staff.

Look, he could be happier about Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s challenge… A couple of weeks ago when word started to spread about Threads, Musk posted (on Twitter, of course): “I’m sure Earth can’t wait to be exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options.” He also made an offhand remark about a “cage match” against Zuckerberg. The Meta CEO responded with a meme saying “Send Me Location”, and since then, the internet has made it clear it wants the fight between 2 of the world’s richest men to happen. The head of the UFC Dana White says it would be the “biggest fight ever in the history of the world”. And neither side has ruled it out…

Good on you for not being distracted by the gimmicks… The showdown between Twitter and Meta’s Threads will be fascinating to watch. Twitter alternatives like Mastodon, Bluesky, and Substack Notes have generated a bit of buzz since Musk’s takeover – but they don’t have the might and money of Meta behind them. And Meta’s not the only tech giant taking on a different field… Reports say TikTok parent company ByteDance is getting into book publishing. That’s got traditional publishers concerned that the mega social media platform might favour its books to go viral on TikTok. It sure is a strange time to be on the interwebs…


Squiz the Rest

Going steady with the Reserve Bank

Mortgage holders breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after the Reserve Bank board held the official cash rate steady at 4.1%. After lower-than-expected inflation figures/strong retail and housing data, economists were split on what would happen… But after consideration, the central bank said “substantial slowing” in household spending and a “painful squeeze” on some households’ finances led to the decision to leave things where they are. Governor Philip Lowe said the team are assessing the state of the Aussie economy and the impact of 12 rate hikes since May 2022, but further rate hikes “may be required”. It follows new data from Roy Morgan that 28.8% of the nation’s mortgage holders were considered at risk of mortgage stress in the 3 months to May – the highest number in 15 years.

Australian News Business & Finance

Israel launches a massive strike

Israel has launched a major military operation on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Drone strikes and hundreds of troops have killed 11 Palestinians while targeting “terrorist infrastructure” – Israel’s military says it’s done that because Palestinian militants have carried out – or are planning – attacks inside Israel. Jenin is a densely populated civilian area, and reports say it’s now a war zone. The operation hasn’t come out of the blue… Reports say 2023 is on track to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the United Nations began recording fatalities in 2005. It has also been one of the most deadly for Israelis. This is Israel’s largest military operation in the West Bank in 2 decades, and there are fears the violence could spiral out of control. Overnight, the United Nations humanitarian agency said it was “alarmed at the scale of air and ground operations”.

Need more of the backstory to this? We’ve got a new Squiz Shortcut on it for you.

World News

Bike buddies reunite

Indonesian President Joko Widodo caught up with PM Anthony Albanese yesterday for a tiger tour and a chat (but sadly, no cycling…) in drizzly Sydney. It could be Widodo’s last visit to Oz before he wraps up his 2nd and final term in October next year, and there was a lot of ground to cover… Despite our proximity, Indonesia isn’t one of our top trading partners, and the analysts say there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit to boost economic ties. Energy and defence were also big agenda items, and Indonesians travelling to Oz on business will find it easier to get a visa after changes were flagged. Growing an electric vehicles industry was another project for discussion because Australia has lithium, and our neighbour has nickel – 2 essential ingredients for an EV battery. Talk about a great match…

AusPol Australian News

A landmark concussion diagnosis

AFLW player Heather Anderson has become the first female athlete to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head knocks. Anderson – who took her own life last year at 28yo – played for the Adelaide Crows for 8 games in 2017 and sustained several head knocks during her career, including one confirmed concussion. After her death, her family decided to donate her brain to the Australian Sports Brain Bank so more research could be done. Professor Michael Buckland said he found 3 definite lesions consistent with “low-stage CTE” that was no different to “dozens of male cases I’ve seen.” Almost a million women and girls play some form of contact sport in Australia, and there are concerns they face double the risk of concussion and developing brain injuries. The major codes have been told to consider Anderson’s case a wake-up call.

Australian News Health Sport

Saving time with an Irish goodbye

It’s the loved/loathed method of leaving a gathering quickly and simply, and new research suggests the technique has its benefits… A new study from NSW Uni’s Time Management Institute found that people who leave a party without saying goodbye get 2 days back in their year. After interviewing 2,000 Aussies on their social habits, researchers calculated it takes someone an average of 45 minutes to say ‘ciao’ to everyone before leaving a party. And with the average person attending around 25 parties a year, that adds up to 18 hours and 45 minutes in farewells. Alternatively, you could reassess your life choices and stop going to 25 parties every year. Just a suggestion…

Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

The dreary weather across most of Oz saw us miss out on viewing the first supermoon of the year on Monday night – but some great snaps were taken overseas. Check them out here

Reigning champ Joey Chestnut has again taken out the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York City. He’d hoped to beat his record of 76 dogs downed in 10 minutes but had to settle for 62. Regardless, he’ll always be a weiner…

And a public toilet in South Australia’s Belair National Park has been crowned the 2023 Great Dunny Hunt winner with judges praising its accessibility features. It knows all about being number one…

Australian News Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEST) – Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

Overnight – King Charles will be ceremonially presented with the Honours of Scotland during a 2nd coronation – Edinburgh

New WA Premier Roger Cook meets with PM Anthony Albanese – Sydney

Venezuela’s National Day

Independence Day in Algeria

Netflix feature-length documentary WHAM! is released, covering the 4 years in the 80s that George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley dominated the charts

Anniversary of:
• the launch of famous luncheon meat Spam (1937) and the modern bikini (1946)
• the premiere of Seinfeld (originally titled The Seinfeld Chronicles) (1989)
• the founding of Amazon by Jeff Bezos (1994)
• the WHO announcing the containment of SARS after affecting 26 countries and resulting in 774 deaths (2003)
• the release of Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra (2011)
• the release of an FBI report stating Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” handling classified emails, but doesn’t recommend prosecution (2016)

Squiz the Day

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