Thursday, 17 November, 2022

Moon mission has lift-off!; Coral comeback on the Barrier Reef; Queen Bey scoops the pool; and mermaids to the rescue!



Artemis 1 map:

Snoopy in space:



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“We rise together – back to the moon and beyond” …

And with those words, plus a massive flash of light from booster rockets as they pushed the biggest rocket ever built up into the heavens, humanity yesterday took the first steps to going back to the Moon.

Following months of delays, Artemis 1 lifted off late yesterday afternoon from Cape Canaveral in Florida – a test flight for an adventure that in a couple of years’ time will see the first woman and first person of colour ever set foot on the moon.

There were no astronauts inside the spaceship this time around – just a bunch of mannequins called Helga, Zohar and Moonikin Campos. Oh – and a Snoopy toy in a space suit and a Shaun The Sheep – who have been sent up into space as gravity detectors.

It’s been over 50 years since humans were last on the Moon. And these Artemis missions are part of a big effort to eventually establish a base on the surface of the Moon in which humans will live – and then eventually, pave the way for humans to go to Mars.

How cool is that?

Now that it’s up in space – the Orion space capsule and its crash-test dummy crew will spend 26 days in space, travelling 2.1 million kilometres, swinging out and around the Moon and eventually returning to Earth on December 11 … all going well. 

School kids from all over the United States made their way to Florida to witness yesterday’s rocket launch. Some were lucky enough to get an up-close-and-personal tour of the Artemis 1 rocket – taking the lift up to the Orion capsule which will eventually house four astronauts.

And with plans in place to send humans to Mars sometime in the mid-2030s – the timing could be perfect for one or more of you to be the first humans on Mars … future astronauts of Australia, this is your cue to start getting ready …

I’ve stuck links in today’s episode notes to a map of the route the Artemis mission will undertake, and a video of Snoopy in his space suit. You’re welcome. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in the waters off California, in the United States where mermaids have rescued a scuba diver.

Hang on a minute! Mermaids! Are they even real? 

These mermaids were actually three women, wearing mermaid tails, undertaking an actual certified diving course to become qualified mermaids. Which is apparently a thing.

When they noticed a scuba diver nearby in trouble, being helped to the surface by his friends, they leapt into action, mermaiding their way over to surround the diver and keep him afloat until he could be pulled to safety.

It all happened at the end of October – but news of the mermaid rescue  has only just made headlines. 

I wonder if Aussie beach lifesavers this summer should recruit a couple of mermaids to their ranks – how cool to be rescued by a mermaid.




All hail the Queen … long live the Queen. I’m talking Queen Bey of course, the artists otherwise known as Beyonce – who yesterday dominated the prestigious Grammy Award nominations.

Beyonce is up for no fewer than nine awards when the Grammys happen next February – making her the most nominated artist in the history of the Grammys – tying with her husband, the hip-hop phenom.

The husband and wife team have both been nominated for a grand total of 88 Grammys in their respectively impressive careers. 

Hot on Beyonce’s heels was Kendrick Lamar with eight nominations, then Adele who’s been nominated in seven categories, followed by Harry Styles, DJ Khaled, somebody called The Dream – and – one for the mums and dads – Mary J Blige – who all got six nominations. 

Rock on..




And there was good news for the Great Barrier Reef yesterday after coral that had been grown in a special nursery then planted into the sea bed spawned.

So let’s break this baby down ..

First up: this is Animal Kingdom .. so why are we talking about coral? Because it’s an animal, not a plant … so there you have it.

Secondly: what’s spawning? It’s the way that coral reroduces – and it happens once a year, where coral releases eggs and sperm into the sea and makes baby corals. 

And why is this a big deal? Because scientists took bits of coral from the Great Barrier Reef that had survived a mass bleaching event, reared them in a specially built coral nursery – and are now totes excited to see those coral propagate .. which is a fancy way of saying ‘have babies’.

Go you good Barrier Reef thing!



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

  1. How many nominations has Beyonce received for next year’s Grammy Awards?
  2. What’s the name of NASA’s moon mission? 
  3. What magical underwater creatures came to the rescue of a diver in California?




It’s November 17 … its National Home Baked Bread Day, National Butter Day and National Baklava DAy in the United States … three of my all-time favourite things …

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

Sienna from Hillsdale, Freya from Glengowrie, Olivia from Forest Lake, Charlotte T from Loganholme, Siana from Altona Meadows, Conner from Paddington, Felix from New Farm, Mohammed from Hallett Cove, Oliver from Yaroomba, Lochie from Old Revnella, Liam from Hornsby and my good friend, la petite française en australie, Alice from Canberra!   

Belated birthday shout outs go to Sarah from Sydney, Amila from Melbourne and Oscar from Waverley. 

And today’s classroom shoutouts go to .. class 5K at Bella Vista Public School, class 6N at Preston West Primary School, class 1RL and Miss Lee at North Sydney Demonstration School, class 3S and Mr Spoule at The Southport School on Gold Coast, room 10 with Miss Razis at Orelia Primary School in Perth, class 5/6P at Mildura South Primary School and 

congratulations to their teacher Ms Patterson – who is expecting a baby and lastly to the Platypus and Magpie classes at Jewells Primary School and congratulations to their teacher, Ms Harriden  – who just had a baby! It’s a baby bonanza!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Nine
  2. Artemis 1
  3. Mermaids