From the newsrooms of The Age and SMH, Please Explain gives you a daily insight into the stories that drive the nation.
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How Omicron has changed the political climate
16:02Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken a battering from voters over his handling of the pandemic during a time of heightened anxiety over the Omicron strain and fury over the home testing kit shortage. Voters used to say Morrison and the Coalition were listening to them and focused on the right issues. He led on this measure by 13 percentage points last May when case numbers were down and budget spending was up. Now Anthony Albanese and Labor hold the upper hand on the same question. Today on Please Explain, chief political correspondent David Crowe joins Tory Maguire to explain the political climate with data from the Resolve Political Monitor, a national sample collected monthly by Resolve Strategic on behalf of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Inside the crisis in our hospitals
16:46For nearly two years, Australia and our health system weathered the pandemic with relatively low case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths compared to the rest of the world. But when the easing of restrictions coincided with the Omicron variant, everything changed. Now, the health system is inundated. Elective surgery has been postponed in many states, emergency departments are flooded with possible COVID-19 cases forcing them to triage patients separately and, in Victoria, a “code brown” has been declared with all health workers recalled from leave. Today on Please Explain, emergency physician Dr Simon Judkins, who is on the board of the Australian Medical Association and works on the front line, joins Nathanael Cooper to take us inside Australia’s collapsing health system. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What does 2022 hold in store for climate action?
14:05The world’s biggest money manager, BlackRock, has issued a stern warning to companies that they must decarbonise or die. Chairman Larry Fink has written to chief executives warning them not to dismiss environmentalism as simply a “woke” issue but instead a key consideration of “effective capitalism”. Today on Please Explain, national climate and environment editor Nick O’Malley joins Jess Irvine to discuss what 2022 holds in store for climate action. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What is the impact of the maritime heatwave?
8:09Earlier this month the world’s oceans recorded their hottest temperatures in more than 60 years. The temperature of the ocean impacts everything from marine life relied on by ocean communities for fishing; to the Great Barrier Reef’s ongoing crisis to the stability of fragile arctic and antarctic ecosystems; to more significant weather events like cyclones and floods. Today on Please Explain, environment reporter Laura Chung joins Nathanael Cooper to look at the impact of the recent heating of the ocean. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Why do sharks bite and what do they want?
9:26Sharks have been in our oceans for the past 450 million years. Their ancestors fought against the dinosaurs. But what do we really know about why these big fish bite? And what role might our changing climate be playing in the increase in shark bites? Today on Please Explain, explainer reporter Sherryn Groch joins Bianca Hall to take a deep dive into the mindset of these fascinating and increasingly threatened apex predators. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
From Paul Hogan to Cate Blanchett: evolution of the Australian accent
11:02The Australian accent is a curious beast that is constantly evolving. Depending on where you come from you might say “good day” rather than “g’day”, pronounce the Melbourne Bayside suburb of Brighton differently to your neighbour, or even argue over the pronunciation of words like “plant” and “dance”. From the development of our accent, derived from the early settlers who arrived as convicts from all over the United Kingdom, to more recent influences from America, the Pacific Islands and even text messaging, you might not think you have an Australian accent, but you absolutely do. Whether it’s Paul Hogan’s thick ’strayan or Cate Blanchett’s posh, refined dialect, the evolution of how we speak is fascinating. Today on Please Explain, senior culture writer Karl Quinn joins Nathanael Cooper to discover more about the Aussie accent. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
How do you cure a hangover?
12:32This festive season, many of us will over-indulge in alcohol at some point. Characterised by a churning stomach, nausea, headaches and, perhaps, morning-after anxiety, hangovers are an unpleasant consequence of over consumption. The reasons we get hangovers are complex. Many people have their own tried and tested remedies, but is there any scientific basis to them? Today on Please Explain, health reporter Melissa Cunningham joins Bianca Hall to talk about what, if anything, beats a hangover. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A look inside Australia’s secret services
13:23For two decades the threat of terrorism has been present and we face ongoing threats of foreign interference, as well as serious and organised crime on our own shores. Among the agencies responsible for keeping us safe from foreign and domestic threats is what is known as the “national security community”, or Australia’s spies. But are there Australian James Bonds running operations around the world? Is there a Q-like character in a building in Canberra preventing cyber attacks? And what is the role of the growing intelligence community within state police forces? Today on Please Explain, National Security and Foreign Affairs correspondent Anthony Galloway joins Nathanael Cooper to find out more about Aussie spooks. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Is love at first sight real?
13:01Love at first sight: poets, musicians and writers have been captivated by the phenomenon for centuries, trying to pin down its elusive nature. But what is love at first sight? Is it lust that can transform into romantic love over time, or something more profound? And what have scientists learned about why we are attracted to some people and not others? Today on Please Explain, national lifestyle editor Julia Naughton joins Bianca Hall to talk about love at first sight and the chemical processes that underpin sexual attraction. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What makes Australia’s wildlife so strange?
12:41Spiky critters that lay eggs. Warm-blooded creatures with duck-like bills. Kangaroos that live in trees. There’s no doubt that Australia has some strange animals. When you scratch the surface, Australia’s wildlife is even stranger than it appears, with odd behaviours including drumming cockatoos. There’s still much we don’t know about why our creatures are so unique. What we do know is that we’re losing species to extinction, at one of the highest rates in the world. Today on Please Explain Journalist Mike Foley joins Rachel Clun to explain exactly how strange they are. Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.