Thursday, 31 March, 2022

Byron and Lismore go under; Pluto’s red snow; Aussies into cricket final; and meet the wolverine fish.



A wolverine fish and an eyeless eel: 


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Usually at this time of year, with the Easter school holidays just around the corner, the main street of Byron Bay is bustling with tourists.

Yesterday morning – the main street resembled more of a big, dirty lake, after the rains that have been causing havoc to neighbouring northern NSW townships of Lismore and Mullumbimby came to Byron and wreaked their watery havoc.

Shops, businesses and homes all went under in the deluge after almost a month’s worth of rain fell in a single night. 

Up the road in Lismore – a town still recovering from a one-in-1000 year flood that smashed it barely a month ago – the Wilsons River once again spilled over the levee and flooded the town anew.

A levee is a barrier or wall that’s built to stop a river from overflowing. In Lismore, the levee can hold back the river up to a height of about 10 metres. With an expected peak last night of 12 metres, the levee had already overflowed by late afternoon yesterday and water was once again flooding the Lismore CBD.

Meanwhile, that nasty rain system continued its slow march south yesterday with emergency services warning of severe weather from Grafton down to Forster – a 350 km stretch of the NSW coastline – and issuing evacuation orders to some 28,000 residents.

These here are some crazy times we’re living in people. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed on Pluto …. Which i know, is technically not on this globe of ours, but I thought a space trip would make for a nice change in this segment.

Why Pluto? Because the dwarf planet on the far outer reaches of our solar system has just been revealing some of its secrets and they are out of this world … literally.

You see: we humans sent up a space probe about seven years ago, and it flew around Pluto and took some photos – and scientists have been studying those photos to discover the planet is home to ice volcanoes. 

An ice volcano is just what it sounds like … a volcano that spews out ice, instead of lava … how cool is that? 

Scientists think the ice could come up through the volcano vent as an icy sludge – from an ocean that exists under the surface. And the presence of water on the planet means there might also be – or once have been – life on it. Mind blown … 

And get this .. scientists reckon that if you stood on the surface of Pluto: the sky would be the same blue as the sky down here on Earth, but the snow would be RED! 

Red snow! How cool is that? 



Hands up if you’ve seen or heard of the X-Men character Wolverine? You know, the guy with the temper whose steel claws shoot out of his hands when he’s angry? 

Well, now there’s another wolverine on the world stage… Hopliancistrus wolverine, to be precise—a new species of freshwater fish with a hidden weapons system. Tucked under its gills are spikes that shoot out and jab anything that tries to mess with it. In fact, the scientists who discovered it got quite a few finger injuries! No wonder they decided to name it after the character played by Aussie actor Hugh Jackman for 20 years. There’s a link in your episode notes with pictures. 

In a report released this week revealed that an incredible 212 new species of freshwater fish were discovered last year, including a bright red eel with no fins, scales, or eyes, that was discovered at the bottom of a well at a school for blind children in India—now called the Mumbai blind eel. What kind of a coincidence is that? An eel without eyes, discovered at a school for the blind. Sometimes, my friends, truth is stranger than fiction. 




Aaaand we’re through to the final … those magnificent women in our Aussie women’s cricket team yesterday made light work of the West Indies in the World Cup semi final in New Zealand – and have advanced to the grand final.

Can I get a big Squiz Kids woot!

Sent into bat first, the Aussies set an impressive target for their West Indian rivals, chalking up a massive 305 runs .. with only three wickets falling … and Alyssa Healy absolutely dominating, scoring 129 runs.  

The Windies had a hill and half to climb to reach the Aussie total .. a hill that just proved too steep in the end. They only managed 146 runs – and lost eight wickets in the process.

England play South Africa in the other semi final today … and the winner of that goes on to face the Aussies in the World Cup decider – which will take place in Christchurch on Sunday.

I don’t want to jinx it … but given that the Aussies have been undefeated in the tournament so far – they’ll go into this weekend’s final as favourites. Go get ‘em girls!  




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

  1. What sort of awesome clawed mammal – also a popular X-Men character has a new species of freshwater fish been named after?
  2. Who did Australia beat yesterday to progress to the final of the women’s cricket World Cup?
  3. Which dwarf planet, on the far outer reaches of our solar system, is believed to have red snow?




It’s March 31 .. today is World Backup Day … no, no a day for driving around in reverse .. it’s a day to back-up all your data on your devices .. because there’s nothing worse than a back-up-less computer crash … 

It;s also the 133rd birthday of the Eiffel Tower in Paris … happy birthday tower .. 

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

Arvi from Cannon Hill, Angus from Wheelers Heights, Liliana from Ipswich, Ginger from Launceston, Dominic from Gordon Park and Duncan from Bellerive. 

Classroom shout outs go to..class 3C and Miss Curtin at Chinchilla Primary School, class 5B and Mr Fitt at Tyabb Primary School and lastly a shout out to Miss Pearson at Ascham School in Sydney – classes 2-9 wish you a very happy birthday today.

And a special shout out to Ms Curran and her year 4 class at Metella Road Public School in Toongabbie – they are now fully fledged members of Squiz Kids for Schools. Welcome aboard! 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Wolverine
  2. West Indies
  3. Pluto