Monday, 1 March, 2021
More vaccines to the rescue; the iceberg as big as a city; Operation turtle rescue; and Peppa Pig gets a fun park.
Texan turtles released: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-56218484
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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.
Australia took another step forward in its battle with the coronavirus yesterday when 300,000 doses of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine arrived at Sydney Airport.
It’s the second type of vaccine to arrive here from overseas, after the Pfizer vaccine was flown in from Europe two weeks ago – and it bolsters our efforts to get the Aussie population vaccinated as soon as possible.
Jabs of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine should start as early as next week – once doctors here have checked to make sure they’re good to go.
And if you’re good at maths and pretty handy with your Aussie population numbers – you’ve probably noticed that 300,000 doses of vaccine are not quite enough for Australia’s population of almost 26 million people.
But that’s ok: because there’s a lab in Melbourne that will soon be producing this exact same vaccine – and with plans to pump out 50 million doses, there will be plenty for everyone.
SPIN THE GLOBE
Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today, we’ve landed in Antarctica – the great frozen continent at the bottom of the world – where a massive crack has appeared in an ice shelf and an iceberg the size of New York City has just broken away and floating free in the ocean.
You know in the movie Ice Age, when the Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel pulls his acorn from the ice and triggers the formation of a massive crack? It’s kind of like that. But in real life.
The process is called ‘calving’. Which is the same word given to when some mammals – like cows or whales – give birth.
The huge portion of ice shelf that has broken away and is now floating free measures 1270 square kilometres – bigger than your average city. The ice shelf is 150 metres thick … meaning, from the top of the ice shelf to water beneath it is an Olympic swimming pool and a half in distance. So imagine the forces at work required to crack that baby.
Scientists say it’s a natural part of the life of an ice shelf – which grows outwards and towards the sea at approximately 2 kilometres a year.
If you want to take a look at what a real life ice-shelf crack forms, check out the video in today’s episode notes. Sorry: Scrat does not make an appearance.
Do you remember two weeks when we talked about the massive cold front that was going to sweep across America – bringing snow and freezing temperatures to parts of the United States that normally bake under desert sun? Well it happened – and one animal that got caught in the big freeze was a species of endangered sea turtles. The waters in the Gulf of Mexico – which are normally warm – got so cold that thousands of sea turtles became cold-stunned – which is to say they become so cold they cannot swim or lift their heads above water to breathe – and they die. Rescuers pulled thousands of the turtles from the sea, took them to warehouses on land to keep them warm – and then just this weekend, released them back into the ocean.
There’s a link to the release video in today’s episode notes – and it’s joyful.
POP CULTURE CORNER
Hands up who wants to jump in muddy puddles? What about hanging out with best friend Susie or playing with younger brother George – or hanging out in the house with Daddy Pig and Mummy Pig? I’m talking about Peppa Pig, of course. And I’m talking about the fact that a Peppa Pig theme park is being built in America.
The Peppa Pig Theme Park will open in Legoland, Florida from next year, according to reports. The park – not far from Disney World and the Harry Potter theme park – will have rides and attractions and – yes – muddy puddles for kids to jump in.
Sounds like we should organise a Squiz Kids international excursion to Peppa’s theme park .. who’s up for that? Me!
The planet Mars has been in the news a lot lately. With the landing on Mars of the Perseverance rover ten days ago, and the stunning photos and videos of the red planet that have since come back – it’s been something of an galactic fortnight. And so – to celebrate this most remarkable scientific achievement – we’ve tracked down the Aussie who helped build the rover, and sent it up into space and whose job it is now, from his university office in Brisbane, to drive the rover by remote control across the surface of Mars each day. His name is Professor David Flannery and he’s kindly agreed to take time out from his busy schedule progrmming the Perseverance every day to take the Squiz Kids hotseat and take questions from you in our next Squiz Kids Q+A.
There’s no one in Australia who knows the machine and the mission better than him – and he’s ready to answer any and all questions you might have about Mars, the rover and the future of space travel in general. There will be a prize for the best question. So get your thinking caps on – and send your questions by the end of this week to [email protected].
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What is the name of the great frozen southern continent where a massive iceberg has just been calved?
- What animals were rescued from the Gulf of Mexico from water temperatures that had left them cold-stunned?
- Which kids cartoon character with a thing for muddy puddles is about to get her own theme park?
It’s March 1 … pinch and a punch … today is Justin Bieber’s birthday – he turns 27 today … it’s also World Compliment Day – where everyone in the world is encouraged to hand out at least one compliment today. A compliment is when you say something nice to a person – your hair looks great today, you’re a nice person and I like spending time with you, you’re great at netball, you make me laugh – you get the drift. So get amongst it.
It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Emerson from Exeter, Gilbert from Swan Hill, Rodwin from Hornsby, Seth and Maggie from Spreyton and Abigail from Werri Beach.
Belated birthday shoutouts… Bronte from Cannon Hill, Andrew Michael from Bentleigh, Maya from Park Grove and Anya from Chatswood.
Happy birthday one and all!
Classroom shoutouts… 6K at Terrigal Public School with Mr Krisher, Miss Allison and her super 3/4 students at St Francis School in Hughenden, Miss Tolikas and 4B at Lyndhurst Primary School, Grade 2A Ms Le at St Mary’s Coptic Orthodox College Coolaroo and a very special shout out to class 5/6A at Exeter Public School and 5/6 C with Mrs Hutt, who celebrated a birthday last week.
The S’Quiz Answers:
- Sea turtles
- Peppa Pig