Thursday, 20 May, 2021
UFO sightings on the up; Switzerland’s burping cows; our Eurovision star bows out; and Harold the curious sea lion.
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Look, in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane … no, it’s a UFO …
A UF what? A UFO – an unidentified flying object. And according to the United States navy, they’re real and flying around in the skies above us all the time.
The idea that spaceships from other planets has long been a staple of science fiction books and movies – but only recently has the idea that the Earth is regularly visited by aliens from other worlds hit the mainstream media and is now the subject of an official government inquiry in America.
A report at the weekend in the US version of the TV current affairs show 60 Minutes interviewed navy pilots who said they would see UFOs outside their plane windows ‘almost every day’.
It comes as the US government has set up an official UFO unit within its military headquarters, the Pentagon – and as it prepares to release to the public all the files the government has ever kept on the existence of UFOs and extra-terrestrials – which is the fancy way of saying aliens.
The report is expected to be handed down sometime in the next six weeks. And while lots of people think it’s all a bit of a joke – the idea that there are flying saucers flitting around in the sky above us – others believe the universe is so incredibly huge that it would be crazy to think humans are the only life forms in it. Spooky, eh?
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 Switzerland – a stunning little country in the heart of Europe – where burping cows are helping to fight climate change.
When cows burp and fart – they produce a gas called methane. And methane is one of the greenhouse gases that contributes to global warming. So a bunch of scientists in Switzerland have developed a cow food that includes extracts of garlic and lemon – which makes cows burp and fart a whole lot less.
The less wind they pass – the less methane goes up into the atmosphere – the less damage their gas does to the environment. I think I want to be a burping cow scientist when I grow up. How cool would it be to tell people you stop cows farting for a living?
And so from burping cows we go to sea lions who think they are builders. And it’s down to the seaside township of Beachport in South Australia, where a sea lion called Harold has taken to visiting a building site to help out the builders.
Harold is well known to the residents of Beachport – regularly visiting the Harbourmasters House which sits looking out over the Southern Ocean. But this week, Harold decided to step it up a notch, lurching inside the house which is currently being renovated and getting in the way of bemused builders.
They reckon Harold is harmless enough – except when he poohs inside – because it’s epic – and except for the fact that he stinks to high heaven – as sea lions do.
There’s a link in today’s episode notes of Harold the builder sea lion. You’re welcome.
POP CULTURE CORNER
Aussie pop singer Montaigne yesterday sang her heart out at the Eurovision Song Contest, but sadly failed to get through get through to the finals.
Because COVID meant she wasn’t able to travel to Rotterdam, in The Netherlands to perform her song Technicolour live, Montaigne had to submit a pre-recorded version – which experts say probably didn’t help her chances.
It’s the first time in five years that Australia hasn’t been in the finals – with singers including Guy Sebastian, Jess Mauboy and Kate Miller-Heidke flying the flag for us at previous contests.
The Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest – and probably the silliest – singing competition in the world. Never mind Montaigne – you did us proud nonetheless. As my dad would say: good on you for having a go.
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What mysterious objects in the skies is going to be the subject of an upcoming official US government report?
- What sort of animals are scientists in Switzerland trying to stop from burping so much? And farting ..
- What’s the name of the sea lion in South Australia who fancies himself as a builder?
It’s May 20 … World Bee Day! An official day in the United Nations calendar to recognise the important role bees play in keeping the planet healthy. There’s a link in today’s episode notes to some resources on the subject.
It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Kayleigh and Tilly from Bathurst, Nathan from Denmark (WA), Josiah from Croydon Park, Nikita from Adelaide, Emma from Berwick, Sannidhi from Perth and Sophie from Stanmore.
And a belated birthday shoutout to… Shobhita from Perth
Classroom shoutouts… Mrs Meers’ Year 3 class at St Brigid’s School in Coonamble, cMiss Gardiner’s 6G class at Telarah Public School, Mrs Mitako’s 6.2 class at St Mary’s, class 5/6M at Gembrook Primary School, and all the year 4 kids in Room 20 at Carnaby Rise Primary School.
The S’Quiz Answers:
- UFOs or flying saucers