Friday, 29 May, 2020

Why SpaceX didn’t have lift off; Washington’s beach-loving wolverine; cardboard fans for footy; and parent controls for Xbox.



What’s Up Fox:









Ten minutes … that was all that stood between the historic SpaceX rocket ship launch and its date with destiny yesterday morning. 

Despite the eyes of the world watching intently as astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were strapped in for launch, the liftoff had to be aborted, with the light rain and choppy seas near the launch pad being given as the reason.

The weather experts said the rocket would have had clearance for liftoff ten minutes later than scheduled – but for the spacecraft to meet up with the International Space Station orbiting above the Earth, it needs to lift off at a precise moment.

And so, out of their seatbelts the astronauts clambered – and back down to ground level they went. They’re expected to be strapped back in in the very early hours of Sunday morning for another attempt at countdown and blast-off … 5.22am Eastern Australian time to be exact. So get an early night Saturday and set your alarms! 

It was a momentous day in newspaper land yesterday, following the announcement that 112 regional and local newspapers would stop printing.

Thirty-six newspapers serving rural and regional communities will cease to publish, while 76 will move to being an online product only. 

Why is this a thing? Because while newspapers might be curious-artefacts-from-another-era to many of you – for lots of people, and especially in country towns, newspapers are an important part of the community. 

And since the internet became a thing – long before all of you were born – newspapers have struggled to compete in a digital world. Lots of journalists will lose their jobs – and that’s not good. Because we’re all better off when we have people around to help tell our stories and to ask powerful people the uncomfortable questions. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Washington state, on the east coast of America. A wild, forested part of the world where a wolverine has confused animal experts by popping up on a beach. Ok. So, what’s a wolverine? Some of you may be interested to know it’s not just a Hugh Jackman movie – it’s an actual animal. It’s the largest member of the weasel family in fact – a stocky, powerful carnivore with long, sharp claws. 

Why is its appearance on a beach so surprising? Well first up: because there are only around 20 of the curious mammals in the whole state. But mostly because wolverines live in the mountains. They’re almost never found on beaches. Maybe this one had been in lockdown and like the rest of us, was desperate to go on vacation. Hope he slip, slop, slapped.




 As the NRL footy season kicked off – again – last night with fake crowd noise, some other curious new measures were being talked about on the best way to make up for the lack of crowds. With the lockdown restrictions meaning professional sports are going to have to be played in empty stadiums for the time being, the NRL has launched the Fan In The Stand online portal. You upload a photo of yourself, hand over $22 and a life-size cardboard cut-out of you is printed off and placed in the footy home ground of your choice. Keep an eye out for Fans In The Stand from tonight. 




Here’s some exciting news … or maybe disappointing news … depending on which side of the Xbox console you tend to find yourself. The popular video game is trialling a new app that lets parents control the amount of time kids spend playing Xbox. Once installed – a parent can set a time limit for their children. And if kids want to play longer, a message is sent to the parent’s phone asking them to permit or deny the request. 

The app will also allow parents to filter out age restricted games and put limits on online communication within games. Um. Where do I sign up?

The app is expected to be available later this year. Which gives you a good few months to play like there’s no tomorrow…




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 this week, on the reading table is The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes – the brand new book in the Hunger Games series, which is a prequel to book number one. Well, actually, he’s not reading it yet, because he hasn’t got is hands on it yet, but he’s dying to. The book has already sold half-a-million copies in the US. Catniss fever is upon us again ..

And to accompany his Hunger Games book fetish, he’s been listening to Topic’s very new cool single, Breaking Me. It’s a catchy one.

And as for watching: he’s been bingeing on the TV series Taronga – all about the animals and their carers at Australia’s best known zoo. 

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




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 company hoping to get a rocket up into space on Sunday morning? 
  2. Name the animal that surprised park rangers in Washington this week by popping up on a beach?
  3. Which gaming console is about to introduce a parental control app? 




Today’s birthday shoutouts… Isabella from Eastwood, Linnea from Cannon Hill, Rory from Double Bay, Ella from St Kilda, Izzy from Kiama, Eleanor and Ranjan from Melbourne, Alba from The Gap, Kingston and Koby from Inverell, Kade from Samson, Brodie from Geelong, Evie from Bacchus Marsh, Bonnie from Taree, Charlie from Putney, Emily from Calista, Reynold from Prestons, Diviya from Macleod, Sophie from Scarborough, AJ from Wodonga, Nathan from Collaroy, Sara from Willoughby, Rhys from Bundoora, and Carla from Johannesburg in South Africa 

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Harper and Mya from Melbourne.

And some weekend birthday shoutouts… Leela from Wollongong, Ella, Riley and Billy from Sydney, Charlotte from Taree, Benjamin from the Sunshine Coast, Penelope from Longueville, Sophia and Susan from Melbourne, Lincoln from the Hunter Valley, Lilliana from Abbotsford, Henry from Morningside, Ted from Springfield, Mia from Greenwich, Dom from Cairns, Isaac from Richmond, Olivia from Macleod and Matthew from Wahroonga. 

Happy birthday to you all.  


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. SpaceX
  2. Wolverine
  3. Xbox