Monday 1 June, 2020

SpaceX’s date with the space station; dinosaur cannibals; Super Netball is back; and scream-free rollercoasters.



Space X Live Link:






As you slept this morning, way above your head up beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, the two astronauts piloting the historic SpaceX rocket mission were busy orchestrating the rendezvous with the International Space Station.

Remember on Friday we talked about how the blast off had been delayed? Well the rocket finally had lift off yesterday morning – soaring above the Florida landscape, making history as the first privately developed spacecraft to launch humans into Earth’s orbit

And how about this … the International Space Station is in orbit around our planet, approximately 350km from the Earth’s surface. And it’s travelling at more than 27,000 kilometres per hour. Which meant a bunch of clever mathematicians had to work out exactly what time the SpaceX rocket needed to blast off, and at what speed it needed to streak through the sky into space in order to arrive on time to dock and clamber aboard. They will live up there for four months, before hopping back into their spaceship to fly back to Earth. Unbelievable. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a live feed from SpaceX mission control.

The United States has been in turmoil over the weekend  as widespread violent protests swept the country. 

More than 30 major American cities were crippled as protestors took the streets – sometimes resorting to violence and looting – in protest at the death last week of African-American man, George Floyd.

A policeman in Minneapolis – a city in the north of America – knelt on Floyd’s neck while arresting him. He later died in hospital. His death has ignited racial tensions across the United States, with protestors angry at the death of another black person at the hands of the police.




Each day, we give the world globe a spin and find a news story wherever it stops … and today, we’ve landed in … Tennessee in the United States – where paleontologists – who are people that study dinosaurs – have discovered that dinosaurs were cannibals.

A cannibal is an animal that eats its own species. In the animal world, several species are cannibals – including chimpanzees and lions. And throughout history, there have even been examples of humans eating one another. Eww… Now it seems, dinosaurs used to do it too, with evidence that the allosaurus – one of the most vicious dinosaurs of the Jurassic era – used to eat one another. How can scientists know something like that? Because they’ve studied the bones of long-dead allosauruses and found marks in them matching the shape and size of allosaurus teeth. How hungry would you have to be?




Whip out your bibs and practice your shoulder passes people. Netball is back. Or, at least it’s back for the professional players in the Super Netball series which, it was announced, would kick off again on August 1.

And while the NRL and AFL are having to play in certain states only, netball’s bosses reckon they’ve worked out a way to ensure that games are played in all states with teams in travel-restricted cities Adelaide and Perth playing in front of home crowds. And that’s the other thing: they’re hoping that by delaying the re-start of the season to August, lockdown restrictions might have been lifted sufficiently to allow crowds to attend matches. Contact! 




On the subject of re-openings, Disney World in Florida has announced it will reopen on July 11. It’s a big step forward for the home of Mickey Mouse, which has been closed to visitors since mid-March. You’ll have to wear a face mask if you want to visit – and the park’s operators will only be allowing a certain number of people in at a time. The move follows the re-opening of Disneyland in China last month. 

It’s good news too for theme park fans in Japan – where a gradual reopening has been taking place. But with one small stipulation. Patrons are invited to ride the rollercoasters – but are not allowed to scream. The reason? Park operators believe enthusiastic screaming in terror risks spreading germs. Maybe they’ll have to save their screams for when they get home. 




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

  1. What sort of dinosaur have scientists discovered were cannibals?
  2. Which popular professional sport – with its wing defences and goal attacks – is relaunching at the start of August? 
  3. What are you not allowed to do while riding rollercoasters in Japan?




It’s June 1 .. World Milk Day – where we’re supposed to celebrate all things dairy …. It’s also the United Nations’ Global Day of Parents – a day, according to the UN , to “appreciate all parents for their selfless commitment to children”. Kids, can I get a hallelujah?

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Vasili, Cali, Evie, Elliot, Zavier and Jay from Sydney. Caleb from Dubbo, George from Crookwell, Nash from Coffs Harbour, Zoe from Ferny Grove, Mason from the Gold Coast, Mia from Beaumaris, Darcy from Bathurst, Jordan from Melbourne, Jake from Randwick, Wolfgang from Surry Hills, Olwin from Adelaide, William from Albury, and Faith from Inverell. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts…  Vanessa from Kwinana, Montgomery from Rochford, Lara, Ava, Sienna and Deepchand from Sydney, Finley from Elsternwick and Sarim from Pendle Hill.

Happy birthday to you all.  

And three very special classroom shoutouts today: one to Classes 3/4P and 3/4M from Gosford East Public School and Mrs McLean, who celebrated a birthday on Friday. Another one to year 4 at St Joseph’s in Kempsey and Mrs Goodman, who also had a birthday over the weekend. And a very happy birthday to Holy Spirit School in New Farm, Brisbane, which has just turned 90. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Allosauruses
  2. Netball
  3. Scream!