Friday, 19 August, 2022

Operation Seal Rescue on cow farm; China tries to make it rain; big upset at the U12 footy championships; and the 8yo and the astronaut.



Video: Seal that visited a dairy farm:

Cloud seeding explainer video:

Hear Isabella Payne’s chat with the ISS (scroll about halfway down for player): 

Orang-utan Jungle School:


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Vets in south-western Victoria were grappling yesterday with a most curious case after a seal was discovered on a dairy farm – 30 kilometres from the sea.

The seal-who-clearly-thinks-it’s-a-cow was spotted by dairy farmers in the township of Simpson … which is a farming town most decidedly not known for its beaches.

The farmer told local news reporters that she thinks the seal might have made its way inland from the coast via one of the rivers that surround her property.

Melbourne Zoo vets are among animal welfare officers tracking the seal – monitoring its movements – and trying to work out a plan to coax it back out to sea. 

When you think of it: it’s possibly a whole lot less strange than it sounds. Afterall a male seal is called a bull, and a female seal is called a cow. 

I’ve stuck a link to video of the seal-cow in today’s episode notes. 


And the winner is … Sydney! That was the word yesterday on the lips of rugby league lovers with confirmation the NRL Grand Final would be played in the NSW capital and not relocate to Brisbane.

Queensland had made an attempt to lure the big event to the Sunshine State after the NSW Premier, Dominic Perrotet had a very public disagreement with the head of the NRL … and for a moment there – it very nearly seemed like Brissie’s Suncorp Stadium would host the year’s biggest league game -but a truce was called between NRL and NSW yesterday and for this year at least, it will remain in Sydney. Game on. 


Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in China .. where it’s been so hot and dry in some parts of the country, planes have been out seeding clouds to try to make it rain.

What does it mean to seed a cloud? In really basic terms, it means forcing the clouds to squeeze out a bit of rain. How does that happen, exactly? And what do planes have to do with it?

Planes fly up into clouds and shoot out tiny rods of a chemical compound called silver iodide – which comes into contact with the vapour of the clouds and makes the vapour condense. The more the vapour condenses, the greater the chance of rain falling from the skies. It’s science, innit.

It’s not always the most effective or successful way to make it rain -but the drought has been so severe along parts of China’s famous Yangtze River, that authorities there are doing everything they can to get it to rain and replenish the all important water source.



A huge weekend for footy fans lies ahead as the AFL competition slides towards finals weeks and all your favourite teams have everything to play for. 

But it was the national AFL school kids competition in Adelaide last week that caught our attention.

Every year, the best under 15 and under 12 AFL -playing school boys and girls from Victoria, NSW, South Australia, WA, Queensland and the ACT come together to play in the school kids championships.

This year’s tournament was held in Adelaide – and there were some interesting upsets. 

Despite winning the trophy for 18 of the past 20 years, the u15 boys from Victoria came in third behind South Australia and Queensland. 

Queensland was victorious in the u15 girls – with Victoria coming a distant fourth behind WA and South Australia.

As for the u12 boys, the lads from Victoria — despite having won nationals for the last 10 years running, came in behind South Australia – who won the comp – and WA who came second. 

Victoria’s school kid footy coaches reckon the pandemic and multiple lockdowns in Melbourne and surrounds was partly to blame for their disappointing showing.

But as ever … footy was the winner on the day. 



What’s a good reason for your parents to wake you up in the middle of the night? House on fire? Help with the TV remote? How about having a live chat with an astronaut flying high above you on the International Space Station? 

Isabella Payne, an 8-year-old English kid who loves both space and ham radio, thought that was an excellent reason for her Dad to wake her up. The ISS has an amateur radio station aboard, and sometimes astronauts use their down time to call out to radio operators back on Earth for a quick chat. I’ve put a link in your episode notes to a recording of Isabella’s chat with NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, which the eight year old said made her day AND night. 

But what happened next was almost better. Kjell Lindgren told the entire world over Twitter that talking to Isabella was his favourite chat ever; then NASA then asked Isabella to send them a photo, which they transmitted through space to the ISS. And Kjell Lindgren sent back a photo of his iPad, floating in the cabin, with Isabella’s picture on it. Only eight years old, and she’s already been to space. 



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

  1. What’s the name of the space station that’s in permanent orbit around the Earth?
  2. Which capital city has missed out on hosting this year’s NRL final?
  3. Which country is trying to make it rain by seeding clouds?




It’s August 19 – today is International Orang-utan Day … which is perfect excuse to recommend to you the very excellent TV series, Orang-utan Jungle School. I’ve stuck a link to a trailer in today’s episode notes 

It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means? Lots of birthday shoutouts for which we’ll crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … 

And it’s a happy birthday to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …

Samir from Killarney Heights, Inaya from Springfield, Alicia from Henley Beach South, Lauren and Ariela (pronounced A-ree-E-la) from Abbotsford, Nina from Mount Annan, Tague from Yarrawonga, Harry from Pullenvale, Lucas from Albion Park Rail and Ella from NSW.

And belated birthday shout outs go to Yannick from Putney and Ruby from St Marys.

Celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend are… Charlie from Vermont South, Sienna and Millie from Craigburn, Halli from Mansfield, William from Mernda, Phoenix from Yarrawonga, Artie from Wagga Wagga, Audrey from Golden Square, Kaidence and Acacia from Queanbeyan South, Ava from Gordonvale and Jonathon listening over in Pasadena, California!

And two special requests for shout out today – to Birmingham Primary School in Mt Evelyn and a shout out to their two aerobics teams who are competing this weekend at the National Finals on the Gold Coast  – good luck to the Little Groovers and the Ga Ga Girls.  Also to class Orelia 1 at Anne Hamersley Primary School in Ellenbrook who have been patiently waiting for their shout out and listening every day for months!

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. International Space Station
  2. Brisbane
  3. China