Friday, 23 July, 2021

An Olympics like no other; the drones making it rain in Dubai, Mars rover digs deep; and Kenda the milk-loving kangaroo.



Kenda the milk-loving kangaroo: ​​

Dubai drone rainstorm: 


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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It’s one year late …  thanks to COVID and will unfurl like no other Olympics Opening Ceremony that we have ever seen before … again thanks to COVID … but the eyes of the world will nevertheless be trained on Tokyo tonight as athletes from all over the globe march into the Olympic Stadium to kick off sixteen days of intense, international sporting competition.

Winning an Olympic gold medal is, for many athletes, no matter their sport, the greatest thing they could ever achieve. It’s why our world number one and Wimbledon champ Ash Barty will compete in the tennis. It’s why some of the best basketball players in the world will similarly travel to Tokyo. It’s why a team of 487 athletes from Australia will take part in no fewer than 33 different sports. And if the predictions are correct, between them they could be coming home with anywhere between 12 or 16 gold medals – which would put us in 6th place in the world for medals. 

But lots of starting guns have to be fired between now and then. Which means lots of early mornings, days and nights spent in front of the television soaking up the action. Starting with the Opening Ceremony tonight – from 9pm Eastern Australian time. Watch for Brissie-born swimmer Cate Campbell and Canberra-born international basketball star Patty Mills carry the flag into the stadium and get ready to get your cheering pants on.

On your marks. Get set. Go ….



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Dubai … a city of glimmering high-rises in the Arabian desert … where scientists have very cleverly worked out a way to make it rain.

It’s so hot and dry in that part of the world, that Dubai only receives an average of 10cms of rain every year. Which is not very much at all. But by sending drones up into the clouds and then zapping those clouds with electricity, scientists have found a way to get more of the wet stuff out of the sky. 

Here’s how it works: the jolts of electricity fired out of the drones cause small droplets of water in the clouds to clump together and form bigger ones, which then successfully fall to the ground as rain. It’s so hot in Dubai—it was recently over 50 degrees—that smaller droplets just evaporate midair. There’s a link in your episode notes to a video of cars driving through the drone-created downpour … not so exciting in many parts of the world, but a big deal in a place where it only rains a couple of times a year. 




Hold your finger up in front of you. That’s about the size of the rock sample that the Mars rover Perseverance is going to drill from surface of the red planet in the coming weeks.

Right now, the Perseverance is getting itself into position on a dry rock bed on Mars that scientists believe was once the bottom of a lake. 

Sometime in the next couple of weeks, it will extend its robotic arm, blow away the dust sitting on top of the rock bed, and using incredibly precise and incredibly delicate tools, drill into the rock and pull out a finger-sized sample – which it will then pop into a test tube and stored inside the rover for eventual return to Earth. 

All of this will be done via remote control .. by scientists here on Earth, operating Perseverance like you might operate a remote control car. Except one that was 378 million kilometres away…

It’s mind-boggling stuff. So is the fact that they hope inside that rock sample will be fossils that prove there was once life on Mars. Boom. Mind. Blown.




Do you ever have a hot milk before you go to bed? Or maybe early in the morning – especially in winter? Isn’t it the most comforting thing? Certainly, that seems to be the case for Kenda the Eastern Grey kangaroo from Bendigo in country Victoria. 

Kenda was found by a local wildlife rescuer in her mummy’s pouch – after her mum was hit by a car. Kangaroo lover Denise took Kenda in, and hand-fed her for months with a milk bottle – until she was big and strong enough to get back out into the bush.

And while most of the roos Denise rescues leave her rescue shelter and never return, Kenda has been coming back every week for her bottle of milk. Which she has learned to drink herself – using her kangaroo paws. Amazing! And the best bit: recently when Kenda returned for her regular weekly bottle of milk – she had a passenger in her pouch. Her very own joey! 

And yes, of course there’s a link to photos of Kenda in today’s episode notes. You’re very welcome ..




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

  1. Name one of the two Australian flag bearers for tonight’s Olympics Opening Ceremony?
  2. What’s the name of the city in the Arabian desert where drones are making rain?
  3. What’s the name of the milk-loving kangaroo?




It’s July 23 … National Pyjama Day … where everyone is encouraged to wear your pyjamas all day – and make a donation to help kids in foster care. Hands up who was planning to stay in their PJs all day anyway? Now you can say its for a good cause. 

Plus it’s a Friday … which means an extra-super-long birthday shout-outs segment – for which we’re going to have to crack out the birthday reggae tune ..

Happy birthday to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today .. Bella & Jack from Randwick, Addi from Albany Hills, Rose from Putney, Carla from Munna Parra,  Henry from Helensvale, Blake from Nowra, Sienna from Wedderburn, Leo from Coogee, Tristan from Eden Hills, Elodie from Essendon, Harry from Ballina, Daniel from Ivanhoe, Joe from Willoughby, Molly from Hadspen, Artie from Ashgrove, Tammy from Melbourne and finally Yeet, Amelia & Rose from Sydney

Belated birthday shout outs go to …Jimmy from Newtow \n, Penny from Ashgrove and Mady from Munna Parra. 

Not forgetting of course all of those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend …Destiny from Cabramatta, Issy from Perth, Eliza from Pottsville Beach, Audrey from Mt Kuring Gai, James from The Rock, Alana from Pymble and Damon from Baldivis, Kimberley from Cloncurry, James from Albion Park, Ella from Ashmont, Mabel from Annandale, Zeb from Capalaba, Coco from Orange, Atlas from Ashbury and Justine from Sydney. 

Plus!!  … Because so many of us are in lockdown around the country – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms – so parents and teachers can celebrate the hard yards being done in their houses and classrooms .. And today’s Herograms go to Wiley & Nathaniel from 4R & KG at Maroubra Junction Public School.  They are really  missing their classmates.  Also to Olivia, Chelsea & Max from Wollongong – your mum is so proud of you for staying on task during homeschooling.  Finally a shout out from Mrs Reindl to her class Alpha Romeo,  at Oran Park Public School – she wants you to know that she misses you all. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Cate Campbell or Patty Mills
  2. Dubai
  3. Kenda