Squiz Today / 10 January 2020
Squiz Today – Friday, 10 January
“It took a lot of coaxing of the cuttlefish to make them wear their glasses."
Said Trevor Wardill, an assistant professor from the University of Minnesota who’s been looking into different species’ vision. And as it turns out, cuttlefish wearing 3D glasses and shown a video of a prawn demonstrated better depth perception than humans. Which is fine and well. But what would they make of Jaws 3D?
#MEGXIT CAUSES QUITE THE COMMOTION
In a huge disappointment for the Queen, one of her grandchildren has badly let her down. Zara Tindall has been banned from driving after a string of speeding offences. Oh, and grandson Harry, along with his wife Meghan, blindsided her with yesterday's announcement that they would quit life as 'senior royals'. HRH wasn't having a bar of it. "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” said a statement from Buckingham Palace. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.” But that didn’t stop Harry and Meghan from steaming ahead, including the launch of their new website.
SO, HOW’S IT GOING TO WORK?
Good question… There are three big things in the Sussexes’ plan to ‘step away’ that has royal watchers scratching their heads. The first is that they will “continue to honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages". The second is they will split their time between the UK and North America. And the third is their plan to become financially independent of the royal family. The legendary Dickie Arbiter, former longtime press secretary to the Queen, said precisely how they will break away from the royal family - and still do the things they want to do - "remains to be seen". Even a simple thing like security is an issue. And that’s just the start of it…
WHAT HAVE PEOPLE SAID?
A lot… The British media - which came in for special mention in the Sussexes’ roadmap for their new life - didn’t go easy on them. Some have cast Meghan as the villain, calling her a modern-day Wallis Simpson or Yoko Ono. Analysis from afar has been kinder saying the couple’s decision to quit is on the British press. And lots is being said about the state of Harry's relationship with William. Shortly before the news broke, Tom Bradby - the ITV journo who did the doco with the couple in Africa last year where they expressed deep unhappiness about the way the media was targeting Meghan - said there was hope for the brothers “to be closer again”. After the events of yesterday, that might be difficult, at least for a while…
SQUIZ THE REST
IRAN SUSPECTED OF DOWNING UKRAINE JET
US officials believe Iran shot down the Ukrainian plane that crashed on Wednesday near Tehran, Iran with 176 people on board, possibly by mistake, reports this morning say. CBS says America has satellite data showing the infrared "blips" of two missile launches, followed by another blip of an explosion. The crash came a few hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq in a revenge attack for America’s killing of Iran’s top military commander, Qasem Soleimani. Meanwhile, PM Scott Morrison confirmed 300 Australian troops will remain in Iraq. Things have “stabilised”, Morrison said, but the situation would be monitored. Also of note: UN investigators have concluded that Yemen’s Houthi rebels were not behind an attack on Saudi oil facilities back in September, strengthening US President Donald Trump’s claims that Iran was responsible.
RESUME THE BRACE POSITION
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has extended the state of disaster for another 48 hours as soaring temperatures and strong winds are set to worsen fire conditions, particularly in the Alps and East Gippsland areas. NSW is also set for another day of very high-to-severe fire danger before conditions are forecast to ease into the weekend. And there is a dangerous fire threatening suburbs south of Perth where efforts are focused on stopping it from getting to more densely populated areas. PM Morrison last night told ABC TV's 7.30 there will likely be a national inquiry following the crisis which would deal with “everything from hazard reduction to climate change, through to the response issues, the national coordination matters and, of course, resilience and planning for the future.” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced $1 billion for the repair of infrastructure. And billionaire mining magnate/philanthropist Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest pledged $70 million to help with rebuilding, support for firefighters, and the development of a national plan for dealing with future fire threats. And check out this guy’s bad-luck-turned-good story…
Want a quick briefing on the background to this one? We’ve just released a Squiz Shortcut on Australia and bushfires.
HOT AND DRY: THE STORY OF 2019
From heatwaves to floods, 2019 was a record-breaking year of weather extremes, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Last year saw the country’s average maximum temperature rise 2.09C above the 1961-1990 average – which breaks the previous record set in 2013. Across Oz, mean annual temperatures were also the highest on record coming in at 1.52C above average for the year. 2019 was also Australia’s driest year on record, with average rainfall reaching 40% of the nation’s long-term average at just 277.6 millimetres.
BLACK FRIDAY A WINNER WITH AUSSIE SHOPPERS
Despite last year’s sluggish retail figures, Aussie shoppers spent up online during Black Friday sales, according to the National Australia Bank’s Online Retail Sales Index for November. Online sales were up 62% compared to what was spent online in November 2018. Because who doesn’t need a bunch of new Lego and mascara? But it isn’t all good news for retailers, with women’s fashion chain Bardot set to shut 58 stores around Australia after entering voluntary administration late last year. A heads up: the Bureau of Stats releases its November retail figures today.
REWARD FOR EFFORT
You eat well, drink just a little bit, stay away from the fags, and get your sweat on each day. For what? To gain up to a decade of extra disease-free living, that’s what. The catch? You have to keep eating well, drinking just a little bit, stay away from the fags, and get your sweat on each day… The findings come from a new study by the Harvard School of Public Health based on the data of 111,000 people who were tracked over two decades. Women who hit a bunch of healthy lifestyle targets at 50yo lived an average of another 34 years free of cancer, cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes - 10 years longer than those who did not. For men, it meant another 31 years - more than seven years extra. Before you run to the salad bar, note that the study was observational and unable to conclude that those healthy lifestyle factors were directly responsible for gaining more disease-free years.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Brothers, eh… This big brother’s dedication to greet his sibling off the school bus each day is touching and chuckle-worthy.
Need a podcast where you can recapture some holiday vibes? The archive from Desert Island Discs - where notable people reveal the soundtrack of their lives - is a good one to add to your regular listening rota. Start with this episode with Emma Thompson.
And as we were labouring away on your behalf on Tuesday night, we noticed it was Nigella Lawson's birthday on Wednesday. And then she popped up on the telly making one of our favourite recipes of hers - emergency brownies. Who wants to live for an extra decade anyway?
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Retail Trade, November
The Parkes Elvis Festival continues (on until 12 January) - Parkes, NSW
Margaret Thatcher Day in the Falkland Islands
Birthdays for singer Rod Stewart (1945) and Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser (1981)
Anniversary of the deaths of Coco Chanel (1971) and David Bowie (2016)
Anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles taking effect, officially ending WWI (1920)
2020 Taiwanese General Election
International Parity at Work Day and International Thank You Day
Birthdays for Daryl Braithwaite (1949) and Cody Simpson (1997)
Anniversary of the death of New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (2004)
Anniversary of author J.K. Rowling completing the final Harry Potter book in an Edinburgh hotel room (2007)
12.00pm (AEDT) - The 25th Critics' Choice Awards - Santa Monica
1.00pm (AEDT) - Tennis - Brisbane International final
6.30pm (AEDT) - Tennis - ATP Cup final
10th anniversary of the Haiti earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people (2010)
Jeff Bezos’ birthday (1964)
Anniversary of the death of British crime novelist Agatha Christie (1976)
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.