Thursday 4 February, 2021

Rocket crash a great success; it’s Groundhog Day … again; Ben Simmons is a Boomer; and pups go wild for doggy pizza.



Exploding rocket ship:


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If at first you don’t succeed – then try and try again. That’s the lesson we’re taking away from the massive fail that was the SpaceX rocket launch yesterday after yet another test flight exploded upon landing.

A test flight of the rocket that businessman Elon Musk hopes will one day take humans to Mars was launched in the skies above Texas, in the United States on Tuesday afternoon local time, and despite flying 10 kms up into the sky, and making a gradual, controlled return to Earth – it didn’t quite stick the landing, crashing in a fiery explosion.

There’s a link to the video in today’s episode notes.  

Luckily, there were no people on board – and the team behind the test flight celebrated it as a ‘successful flight all round’. Because even though it ended with a bang – lots of important data was collected to make the next test flight more successful.

Because most of the best things that have ever been invented in the world have started their lives as spectacular failures. Because it’s only by trying and failing that we learn and improve. The important thing is in the trying.

And that’s the end of my motivational speech for the morning..

As the smoke cleared yesterday and fire crews in Perth managed to get into the areas hardest hit by Tuesday’s bushfire, a picture emerged of the devastation the blaze had caused.

As of last night, some 71 homes were estimated to have been lost in the fire: a huge number – which makes the fact that no lives have yet been reported lost during the emergency even more remarkable. 

Fire crews worked hard yesterday to get the fire under control. It has now destroyed some 9000 hectares – or 15,000 football fields worth of land and property. 

Residents of Perth’s north-eastern suburbs were on alert again last night as wind gusts threatened to fan the flames again. Stay safe over there, people.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Punxsutawney, in the United States where it was Groundhog Day.

Groundhog What? 

Groundhog Day my friends … the day when a groundhog – also known as a woodchuck – comes out of his nest and – if he sees his shadow, there will be six extra weeks of winter. 

The groundhog in question is called Punxsatawney Phil – and he and his groundhog ancestors have been participating in this bizarre American tradition since 1887. 

So what’s the forecast according to Phil this year? The furry little fella saw his shadow – and so the Arctic blast that’s been sweeping the United States in the past few days could well be around for a whole lot longer. That is if you think a rodent is a better forecaster than a bureau of meteorology — each to their own.

Meanwhile: the actual, real weather forecast in the United States sent a chill through Americans everywhere. In a remarkable turn of events, every single state of America is expected to reach below freezing temperatures next week. Even Hawaii …. Which, in case you’re not familiar, sits out in the Pacific Ocean, near a whole bunch of tropical islands and is usually better known for its palm trees and beaches. Brrrrr.




Australia’s chances of a gold medal in the basketball at this year’s Olympics just got a whole lot better following the news that NBA All Star and former Newcastle boy Ben Simmons has signed up to be a Boomer. 

The Boomers is the Australian national men’s basketball team.

And Ben Simmons is one of our country’s most successful players in the NBA – the American professional league widely considered the most prestigious and competitive in the world. 

The Boomers will represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympics in July – which organisers continue to say will go ahead, despite the challenges posed by COVID.

Simmons won’t be the only NBA star beefing up our chances for gold. He’ll be joined by no fewer than 11 other NBA players, including  three-time Olympians Joe Ingles – who plays for the Utah Jazz – and Patty Mills – who plays for the San Antonio Spurs.

Go you good things!




Now we here at Squiz Kids HQ are all about spoiling the furry friends in our life. Louis The Wonder Dog – who sits at my feet while record the podcast each day – gets his fair share of spoiling. But I think even I would draw the line at taking him out for pizza.

Not so the good folk of Potts Point in inner Sydney – where a doggy pizza at a local restaurant is proving incredibly popular. 

Made with kangaroo bacon, beef mince and mozzarella – a pizza called Skippy’s Nightmare and made especially for dogs – is flying out the door. Not literally, mind you. Because that would be weird. That’s an expression that means it is selling faster than the chefs can make them. 

Sorry Louis: it’s regular dog food on the menu for you again tonight.




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 groundhog who predicts how long the American winter will last?
  2. Name the Aussie basketballer who’s just signed on to be a Boomer?
  3. What popular food is being prepared for pups in Potts Point (how good is that for alliteration?)




It’s February 4  … birthday of former Aussie cricket captain, Michael Clarke and Sydney Swans’ Callum Mills. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …Tom from Mosman, Marco from Five Dock and BJ from Yarraman

Some belated birthday shoutouts… Jamella and Aubrey from Goomalling, Rubin from Wallaroo and Bailey from Sutherland.

Today’s classroom shoutouts: Miss Luongo’s 3B class from Five Dock Public School, all the Year 3 kids and their teachers Mrs Ball, Mrs Weber and Mrs Dyerat at St John the Baptist School in Plympton, Mr G and Miss Boulton’s Year 6 classes at Albany Hills State School, 3R from Riverwood Public School and Ms Vekic and 5/6 Ruby from Birrong Public School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Phil … or Punxsatawney Phil to be exact.
  2. Ben Simmons
  3. Pizza