Wild weather Monday; China’s flame-throwing hornet drone; Tay Tay and Loki have news; and asteroid showers and kissing planets.
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Beaches from Hervey Bay in Queensland down to Ballina in NSW have been closed, flood waters have been rising and warnings have been issued for more wild weather today as heavy rain and huge seas continue to batter a large swathe of the eastern coast of Australia.
Last night, residents of south east Queensland and north-eastern NSW were preparing for a night of heavy rains and flooding, as the weather bureau said up to 600 millimetres of rain could fall across the three day period. That’s almost half of the rain that falls over Sydney in a year…
High tides and gale force winds were expected to be the icing on the wild weather cake with forecasters warning waves could reach as high as five metres.
On the upside … the downpour has put out most of the fires that have been burning on Fraser Island, off Queensland’s coast, for the past two months. Proving the adage that every cloud has a silver lining.
Not so positive is the outlook for the world’s climate, following a big meeting at the weekend of world leaders to discuss steps to stop climate change.
The head of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, said all countries should declare a climate emergency, so that the necessary actions could be taken in each country to stop global warming.
Thirty eight countries have already declared a climate emergency – including many small South Pacific countries under threat of rising sea level. Australia is not among those countries. America’s incoming President, Joe Biden has meanwhile promised to hold a climate summit in his first 100 days in office.
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 China … where a flame-throwing drone is helping to save villagers from being stung by hornets.
The specially-equipped drones are being sent up into the trees of Zhong county where more than 100 hornet’s nests are nestled in the uppermost branches.
With the flick of a switch, the drone becomes an airborne flame thrower, setting the nests alight and incinerating everything in them.
The villagers there raised the money to buy the special drone after many winters spent hiding from swarms of stinging hornets. A problem they don’t have to worry about this year.
And yes: there’s a link to the flame-throwing drone in today’s episode notes.
POP CULTURE CORNER
Christmas has come early for Taylor Swift, Indiana Jones and Loki fans – with announcements over the weekend of new music, movies and a TV series from all three of them.
Tay Tay surprised fans at the weekend with the release of a brand new album, called Evermore – something of a sequel to her mid-lockdown album release earlier this year, Folklore.
Meanwhile fans of Indiana Jones – the swashbuckling archeologist who first burst onto movie screens 41 years ago with Raiders of the Lost Ark – were excited to learn Indie will be back next year with a brand new movie – his fifth in the franchise.
And speaking of franchises – there’s an exciting new Marvel spin-off in the works following the announcement that Thor’s brother Loki is about to get his very own TV series – due to be released next year. There’s a link to a sneak peek video in today’s episode notes.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a part of Australia that isn’t about to be battered by wild rains and storms – you should hopefully have enough clear sky above you tonight and throughout the remainder of the week to catch a glimpse of the Geminid meteor shower.
The spectacular light show – visible in the northern part of the night sky and best seen between 2am and sunrise – occurs every year when Earth passes the tail of an asteroid – and the small rocks in the tail burn up in our atmosphere.
If you miss that but are still up for some star gazing: keep your neck craned and yours eyes open on Thursday night when Jupiter and Saturn are scheduled to ‘kiss’. Which is to say, come close enough to one another that it will look like they are kissing. Which they are not. Because, planets don’t even have lips.
Astronomers say to look towards the thin crescent moon in the western skies around 8.30 on Thursday night, and the two planets will be the two bright objects next to it. It’s the closest they have been to each other in almost 800 years …
Hey team – this is it … the last week of daily Squiz Kids for the year as we all prepare to go on summer holidays.
But don’t despair … I’m not abandoning you completely .. I’ve got plenty of exciting summer programming planned – including a quiz every Monday of the school holidays, the Squizzie Awards, and the first ever Kids v Adults Bumper Quiz.
Subscribing to Squiz Kids in your favourite podcasting app is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out.
So don’t just sit there: subscribe already!
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What’s the name of the island off Queensland’s coast that has been ravaged by bushfire since mid-October?
- What sort of nests were targeted by a flame-throwing drone in China?
- Which singer surprised fans by releasing another album over the weekend?
It’s December 14 …. The birthday of Sophie Monk and High School Musical star, Vanessa Hudgens. And yesterday was Tay Tay’s birthday, do there. It’s also International Monkey Day — a day to celebrate monkeys.
Plus it’s also only 11 sleeps ‘til Christmas … have yourselves a very merry Xmas!
It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Claire from Brisbane, Chloe from Sydney, Angel from Forster, Amy from Launceston, Austen from Melbourne, Juandre from Albany Hills, Harrison from Pemulwuy, Annabel from Red Hill and Sofia from Paddington.
And a belated birthday shoutout to… Evelyn from Canterbury
Classroom shoutouts… class 3/4B from Murray Farm Public School , class 3-6 classroom Greenethorpe Public School, and class 5H at Batemans Bay Public School.
And a special shoutout to all the kids at Lowesdale Public School, where some of the students created their very own Squiz Kids segment last week, and also to all of the kids at Balgowlah Heights Public School, who are having their Talent Quest Grand Final today. Best of luck to you all.
The S’Quiz Answers:
- Fraser Island
- Hornets nest
- Taylor Swift