Friday, 31 July, 2020

The search for life on Mars; the no-name Kiwi albatross; Netball-a-palooza; and the world’s tallest giraffe. 



NASA Live Stream

Albatross cam

What’s Up Fox?









Ten, nine, eight, seven …  and with that … the third mission to Mars in as many weeks took flight overnight as the United States sent its own rocketship on a mission to the red planet.

Lifting off from its launchpad in Florida, the Perseverance will now travel half a billion kilometres over a period of about seven months to land a rover on the surface of Mars. A rover is a driverless vehicle, packed with high-tech scientific instruments. In this case, the rover has 13 onboard computers, 23 cameras – and moves really slowly, with a top speed of about 160 metres per hour. And how cool is this? The rover will also be carrying a small helicopter which it is hoped will become the first time humans have launched powered flight on another planet.

And assuming Perseverance makes it all the way to Mars – it will land in a crater which used to be a gigantic lake – where it is hoped the rover might find evidence of life on the planet. 

The Perseverance will be hot on the heels of similar Mars missions which were launched this month by the United Arab Emirates and China. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to the NASA Live Stream.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed — across the ditch — in New Zealand — with a big hello to our cuzzy bros – where the race is on to find a name for the world’s most famous albatross before she leaves the nest and takes off on a four year journey to the other side of the world and back.

That’s a lot to take in. So let me break it down.

An albatross chick on the South Island of New Zealand has become a YouTube star ever since park rangers trained a webcam on her nest back in January. They’ve also launched a competition to give her a name – because any day now, she’s expected to leave the nest and fly to South America (thousands of kilometres away over vast stretches of open sea). She’ll spend four years flying around the Southern Ocean near Antarctica – before eventually returning to breed. With some pretty tired wings, you’d have to think. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to the Live Cam and naming competition. And if one of you wins the comp and comes up with the winning name, be sure to email and let us know!




It’s a sport played by more Australians than cricket, and more than  either rugby league or rugby union. And starting tomorrow, netball will be back in our lives as the super-dooper, super-condensed Super Netball competition gets underway in Queensland. 

After Thursday’s border closure announcement saw a last minute change of the fixtures – and a last minute scramble into Queensland for a couple of teams – the games will kick off tomorrow when the two Queensland teams, the Firebirds and the Lightning face off, followed by the clash of the Adelaide Thunderbirds and the West Coast Fever. Sunday will see the defending champs the Swifts go head to head with the Giants, followed by the battle of the Victorians when the Vixens play the Magpies.





This is the segment where we celebrate record breakers … and it’s a big Squiz Kids hoorah for Forest the giraffe – who lives at Bindi Irwin’s Australia Zoo in Queensland, and who has just been awarded the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s tallest giraffe. 

It took zookeepers many weeks – and a whole lot of patience – to get Forest to stand next to a ruler – but once she did, she clocked up 5.7 metres – and with it, a new Guinness world record. 

And the best bit? She’s only 12 years old and hasn’t yet stopped growing. 

Fun fact: giraffes rarely lie down to go to sleep. They mostly sleep standing up: taking ten minute power naps throughout the day. Yeah nah – i think I prefer a solid eight hours every night in my bed.




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.

On the Fox hit list this week … has been the book .. Nit Boy … a hilarious story about Lewis Snow, a boy who refuses to get rid of the nits in his hair because he thinks of them as pets.

Getting a work out on his earphones is the Conor Maynard tune, Waste Your Time – a tuneful little number from the English singer/songwriter. 

And high on the Fox’s watching list this week has been the Star Wars movies .. he’s started right back at the beginning of the saga this week with Phantom Menace – and says Jar Jar Binks is by far the most annoying character in the entire Star Wars universe. True dat. 




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

  1. What sort of bird has become a YouTube star in New Zealand?
  2. Which Super Netball team are the defending champs going into this weekend’s frenzy of games?
  3. What’s the name of the United States’ mission to Mars? 




It’s July 31 … Harry Potter author JK Rowlings’s birthday  – and National Tree Day – where Aussies are encouraged to get their hands dirty and stick a tree in the ground. If you know a tree, or happen to pass by one today, be sure to give it some love. 

It’s also a Friday – and that means an extra long birthday shout out list .. cue the Friday Shout Out tune … 

Shout out to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today  … Blaine from Dubbo, Ellen from Brisbane, Thomas from Edensor Park, Eve from Caragabal, Chelsea from Morningside, Mieka from Albany Hills, Karen from Temagog, Mason from Sydney, Holly from Cedar Grove, Jarryd from Concord West, Frederick from Mosman, Harvey from Kensington, Kye from The Mount and Declan who’s listening all the way over there in Tokyo, Japan.

Weekend birthday shoutouts… Claire from Dubbo, Emi from Craigieburn, Chloe from Crookwell, Samuel from Upper Mount Gravatt, Renee from Glen Waverley, Kevin from Perth, Emily and Hirrassa from the Gold Coast, Ella from Brighton, Max from Melbourne, Callum from Ferndale, Tom from Glen Iris, Wilfred from Stanmore, Conor from East Gosford, Jasmine from Forster, Jenna from Broken Hill, Aaleyah from Brisbane, Sophie from Hampton, Hunter from Inverell, Harvey from Adelaide, Anu from Kempsey, and Liam from Black Head.

Happy birthday to you all. 

And a special shout out today to Connor and Caelin who I’m reliably informed have just rocked their first week at a new school. Well done you two!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Albatross
  2. The NSW Swifts
  3. Perseverance