Friday, 11 December, 2020

Rocket crash triumph; Papua New Guinea’s message in a bottle; Cricket’s armpit advertising; and the truth about dogs.



SpaceX Starship crash:

What’s Up Fox:

Reading: not so much

Listening: Pink Sweats

Watching: Home Alone

Watching: Fred Claus

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Some of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of the world were only achieved following a string of failed attempts. And it’s for this reason that we kick off today by celebrating that rocket ship took off in the American desert yesterday, climbed 12 kilometres into the sky then crashed back to Earth and exploded.

Why is the world celebrating a rocket ship that crashed? Because it means we are one step closer to flying to Mars and setting up a permanent human base there.

The SpaceX rocket ship in question was an experimental one – a test flight which didn’t have anyone on board – and was part of entrepreneur Elon Musk’s plan to create a rocket capable not only of moving humans at never-before-seen speeds between cities here on Earth – but, eventually, also ferrying them to Mars. In the hours after the test launch crashed back to Earth and exploded in a massive fireball, Musk was congratulated by space agencies and rival billionaires for having the guts to give the rocket launch a red hot go.

His company’s policy is to embrace mistakes and failure as an important part of the learning and growing process. And I’d submit there’s a little something in that for all of us …

 There’s a link in today’s episode notes to video of the launch and spectacular fireball. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in Papua New Guinea – one of our near neighbours, just to the north of Australia. Where a message in a bottle has been found after a two year and 2500 kilometre journey. 

Seventeen year old American Niki Nie lobbed the letter in a bottle overboard while sailing around the South Pacific ocean with her parents. Two years later, it washed up on an island in Papua New Guinea and was found by a park ranger – who promptly emailed Nikki – who couldn’t have been more surprised.

The pair have since met over a video call and struck up the most unlikely of friendships. The park ranger has invited Nikki to visit him on his island where it’s his job to help baby turtles into the sea. Now that sounds like a good job … 




Here are two names from two different sports you are going to want to store in your memory bank … the first is Jamarra Ugle-Hagan – who yesterday was being celebrated as the first pick in the AFL draft – and is heading to the Western Bulldogs. 18 yo Jamarra is first Indigenous player to be the league’s first draft pick.

The second name is Cameron Green – a 21 yo all-rounder who is expected to make his debut for the Australia A Men’s team against India on the pitch of the Sydney Cricket Ground today. People who know a whole lot more about cricket than me reckon this kid is going to be a big name in years to come.

Meanwhile – we can’t let a sports segment pass without noting the latest exciting development in the game of cricket. Cricket Australia yesterday confirmed umpires would be wearing deodorant advertisements under their armpits for the Twenty20 competition. That means every time they raise their arm to indicate a six or a bye, their sponsor (and smelly armpits) will get a bit of air time. And you thought the world couldn’t get any weirder ..




Dog owners … the research is in. And it turns out that man’s – and woman’s, and kids’ – best friend doesn’t understand nearly as many words as we think they do. Scientists at a university in Hungary found that dogs recognise some words that we say – but they have no real way of distinguishing between words that sound similar. So you could say ‘sit’ or you could say ‘suit’  – and it all sounds the same to a dog. The news follows research from last month which found that dogs can’t distinguish facial features of their owners – but rather see an outline and otherwise rely on their keen sense of smell to tell one owner apart from another. 

Whatevs. My dog totally understands everything I say – and responds to my every facial expression… He’s clever that way. 




Every Friday we check in with Squiz Kids ambassador Flynn, known as the Fox to his friends, to see what he’s been reading, listening to and watching.

And on the reading front .. things have very definitely slowed down in the reading department. There’s been a whole lot more watching, to be honest. So let’s focus on the other two ..

On the listening front .. it’s At My Worst by Pink Sweats that has him grooving this week.

And as for watching: he’s been continuing the Christmas movie theme, and smashed out two Christmas classics this week … Fred Claus, starring Vince Vaughan as Santa’s long-lost brother; and Home Alone – the classic 80s film starring Macauley Culkin full of slapstick and pratfalls and an excellent kids versus nasty adult narrative which just never gets old. 

There are links to all of these cool things in today’s episode notes. 




Hey team – just a reminder that we’ve only got one more week of daily Squiz Kids episodes before we go into summer programming.

What’s summer programming? There will be a quiz every Monday, the first ever Squizzie Awards for the best, weirdest, funniest and grossest news stories of the year, plus the highly anticipated Kids v Adults Super Quiz – where you get to find out who’s smarter – kids or adults?

And the best way to make sure you don’t miss out is to  subscribe to Squiz Kids on whatever your preferred podcast app is. 

Everything will still be available via the website – but by subscribing – you’ll receive a notification each time some new content drops. Because I’d hate for you to miss out. 



This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. To which planet is it hoped the SpaceX Starship rocket will one day take human passengers?
  2. In which country to the north of Australia did the message in a bottle wash up? 
  3. On which part of a cricket umpire’s shirt is a deodorant company planning to advertise?




It’s December 11 …. International Mountain Day – where we’re all urged to stop and stare at our nearest mountain and appreciate how majestic they are. Did you know that mountains are home to 15% of the world’s entire population?

It’s also only 14 sleeps ‘til Christmas … ding dong merrily on high!

Plus – it’s a Friday – and that means the reggae birthday tune to help us get through all of the weekend’s birthday shout outs … hit it …

Happy birthday to … Vesna and Ruqaya from Sydney, Eva from Broken Hill, Maya from Lismore, Connor from Perth, Patrick from Collaroy, Chloe from Ryde, Max from Shoal Bay, Maya from Kempsey and Jeremy from Macquarie Park. 

And a belated birthday shoutout to Rafael from Malabar

Weekend birthday shoutouts… Caleb from Melbourne, Maxi from Mornington, Val from Griffith, Katie from Bungendore, Aarya from Parramatta, Shakira from Jindalee, Levi and Chloe from Sydney, Xander from Redlynch, Jonah from Ascot Vale, Henry from Hackett

Baxter and Levi from East Gosford, Max from Sheoak Grove, Grace from St Peters, Micaela from Brighton East, Esha from Donvale, Noah from Jannali, Achilles from NSW, Lilly from Oran Park and Wilbur from Dixie.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Mars
  2. Papua New Guinea
  3. Armpit