Monday 29 June, 2020

Lunar loo challenge; Facebook’s pledge to fight racism; Chunk the Groundhog runs amok; and Warriors get a pep talk.



Spacestation Potty:

Groundhog Chunk:

Hamilton at home:






With the launch earlier this month of the SpaceX rocketship – and with the race on now to get astronauts back on the Moon in the next four years – there’s a race of a different – but no less important – kind going on. The race to develop a toilet that works in outer space. And NASA – the American space agency – is offering $35,000 in prize money to the person who comes up with the best design.

Scientists are calling it the lunar loo – and because there’s only one-sixth the amount of gravity on the moon as there is down here on Earth, the design needs to make sure whatever goes into the loo, stays in the loo. 

NASA has also requested that the toilet is designed to not only use as little water as possible, but help keep the moon landing vehicle free of odours and other contaminants. 

So don’t just sit there – get designing – you could be a famous inter-galactic dunny designer.

It’s called the Stop Hate For Profit campaign and on Saturday, it forced the world’s biggest social media platform, Facebook, to change its policies regarding the posts it allows to be published. Some of the biggest companies in the world, including Coca Cola, Levi’s jeans and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream have stopped spending money to advertise on Facebook – angry that the platform has not done enough to stop the spread of what it says is untruthful information, or posts that are racist. ‘There’s no place for racism on social media,’ said Coca Cola’s boss.  




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we find ourselves in Delaware, in the United States – where a groundhog called Chunk has become an unlikely YouTube sensation.

When amateur gardener Jeff Permar discovered something was sneaking into his veggie garden and eating all his vegetables – he set up a video camera to catch it in the act. The resulting videos captured a groundhog sneaking into his yard and helping itself to as much food as it wanted – seeming to delight in eating the food right in front of the camera. Jeff called the visitor Chunk and uploaded the videos to YouTube where they’ve attracted 50,000 followers. Jeff said at first he wanted to get rid of Chunk, but eventually, he figured there was plenty of food for everyone – and Chunk was entertaining so many people on YouTube, that he finally decided to live and let live … There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a Chunk video. 




In sport, as with so many things in life, it’s not whether you win that makes you a champion – it’s the good grace with which you do it. What in the wide world of sports am I talking about? I’m talking about the dressing room speech given to the Auckland Warriors rugby league team on Friday night after they had been flogged by the Melbourne Storm, going down 50-6. The speech was given by Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith and members of the Storm coaching staff – who despite celebrating their massive win, wanted to take time out to go and speak to the Warriors and let them know what a great job they had done. Because of COVID travel restrictions, the Warriors have all been living away from their homes and families in Auckland for months, and the team’s coach was sacked last week – and for many, the strain has started to show in their footy. Class act, Storm. Class act.




Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson hosted, Justin Bieber played piano and Miley Cyrus belted out a Beatles classic in the middle of an empty football stadium – and billions of dollars was raised to help disadvantaged communities access COVID testing and treatment as the Global Goal virtual concert took place on Saturday night. 

From Coldplay to Jennifer Hudson, from David Beckham to Hollywood’s Charlize Theron, there was a bit of something for every taste. But it was the cast of Broadway musical Hamilton – and their Zoom performance of a hit song from the show using percussion instruments found around the house – from pot lids to cushions – that stole the show. A pot lid has never sounded so good. There’s a link to a video of the performance 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 American space agency calling for designs for a lunar loo?
  2. What’s the name of the groundhog who’s become a YouTube star?
  3. Which rugby league team got a pep talk on the weekend from an opposing team’s captain and coaches?




It’s June 29 … International Asteroid Day – which is an actual thing. It’s day to be reminded that there are lots of large asteroids floating around in space, just looking for a planet to collide with. 

It’s also 82 years to the day that Superman first appeared in a comic book.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today. ..

Emma, Hunter and Lilly from Sydney, Olivia from Lowanna, Jessica from Williamstown, Imogen from Newcastle, Darcy from Calderwood, Liana from Menai, Ava from Como, Lachlan from Dubbo, Justin from Baldivis, Othman from Birrong, Nathan from Ringwood East, Elise from Forestville, William and Chris from Wahroonga, Abbie from Kempsey, Ava from Tamworth and James from Abbotsford.

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Matthew from McKinnon, Skye and Chris from Rowville, Mason from Sunshine West, Emi from Melbourne, JJ from Outer Banks, Annabel from Cheltenham … and Aaron – who’s listening to us all the way over there in Stockholm, Sweden.

Happy birthday to you all. 

Today’s classroom shoutouts… are dedicated to a few teachers who celebrated birthdays last week including … Miss Binstead, Mr Mason and 5/6BM at Woodhill State School, 

Miss Robertson and 5/6R and Miss S 5/6S from Hume Public School, Ms Cochrane at Wellard Primary School, and Mrs Hibbert and 5/6H at Cardiff South Public School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. NASA
  2. Chunk
  3. Auckland Warriors