Thursday, 8 October, 2020

Here comes La Nina!; the multi-million-dollar dinosaur; our Aussie women cricket champs; and Mars swings by for a visit.






Batten down the hatches … break out the brollies … there’s wild weather on the way and it’s all down to a weather phenomenon called La Niña.

But first: the weather report: Tassie, Victoria, the ACT and parts of South Australia and NSW are all on alert today for heavy rains, possible flooding and damaging winds.

The weather bureau has put north eastern Victoria on flood alert with downpours expected there from this morning – while southern parts of NSW, the ACT and the Snowy Mountains region have all been told to expect damaging winds. 

So – what  is this La Niña thing?  Well ,first up – it’s a Spanish word meaning ‘girl’. And it is the name given to a pattern of weather that happens every five to eight years – and has an effect on countries that border the Pacific Ocean. In Australia, it typically marks the beginning of many months of cooler daytime temperatures and higher than average rainfall. And that’s good news for parts of the country still in drought.

It can also mean the arrival of more tropical storms and cyclones than normal. And that can sometimes be not so good. 

The last La Niña weather system occurred about ten years ago, and 

brought widespread flooding and record rainfall. 

Weather forecasters are predicting that this time around, La Niña will be intense – but not nearly as intense as the last time. 




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 United States – where a T-Rex skeleton has outperformed some of the world’s most famous artists at auction.

Ok – there’s a bit to unpack here. First up: what’s an auction? It’s a sale where people bid on stuff and whoever offers the most amount of money gets to keep it. 

At this auction, held yesterday in New York, a mystery buyer paid $44.5 million for a 12-metre long T-Rex skeleton called Stan. 

That’s one seriously expensive bag of bones.

Stan the T-Rex proved more popular at the auction than even works of art by some of the world’s most famous painters – including Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.

Paleontologists – who are scientists who study fossils – have been studying Stan for years, and reckon that the holes in his skull would have been from fights he was in when he was alive – and that at the height of his powers millions of years ago, Stan would have weighed the same as two elephants. How cool is that?




Did you feel a little whoosh overhead yesterday? Maybe you sensed the movement far out in space of a massive rock hurtling past the Earth at a speed of 15,000 kilometres per hour? That’s because an asteroid about the size of a jumbo jet skimmed past Earth in what space scientists call an “Earth close approach”. But a space scientists’ idea of ‘close’ might be different to yours and my idea of ‘close’. The closest the asteroid   got to us was about 3.8 million kilometres away. 

On the subject of close .. the planet Mars is currently burning bright in the night sky. If you have a clear sky above you tonight, look up and keep an eye out for a bright point of red light. That’s Mars. And this month it sweeps closer to us than it has done in over two years … with a mere 62 million kilometres between us and it this month. 




Can I get a big Squiz Kids hooray for the Aussie women’s cricket team? Because the girls have done it again … smashing the Kiwis in yesterday’s third and final one day international match in Brisbane, and in so doing, equalling the world record for the most consecutive one-day-international victories. 

The Aussies beat their New Zealand competitors by a convincing 232 runs – setting up a respectable total of 5/325 before bowling out the Kiwis for a miserable 93 runs. That’s what you call a comprehensive win.

The top scorers for Australia were the captain, Rachel Haynes, who hit 97, her fellow opening batswoman, Alyssa Healy who scored 87 runs – and young gun, Annabel Sutherland, who chalked up a solid 35 runs.

Go you good things! 




So why am I highlighting the excellent batting done by Australian women’s cricketer Annabel Sutherland in yesterday’s game against New Zealand?

Because, in exciting news for sports fans everywhere, Annabel has agreed to be our next guest for a kids-only, Squiz Kids Q+A … an opportunity for you to ask a question of one of Australia’s newest sporting stars.

At the age of only 15 years old, Annabel became the youngest woman ever to play in the Big Bash League – taking to the pitch for the Melbourne Renegades. She’s about to pad up for the upcoming Big Bash again – but before she does that, she’s agreed to take the Squiz Kids hotseat.

But you’ve only got until Monday to get your questions in. You know the drill — all questions for Annabel should be sent to [email protected].




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

  1. What’s the Spanish name given to the weather system that is forecast to bring rain to Australia this month?
  2. The skeleton of what sort of dinosaur has just sold for more than $44 million in New York?
  3. Name the Aussie women’s cricketer who’s joining us next week for a Squiz Kids Q+A?




It’s October 8 ….. Today is Bruno Mars’ birthday … and it’s also World Octopus Day … though I’m sure the two are unrelated. 

 It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …   Lydia from Canberra, Henry and Samuel from Sydney, Vihaan from Craigieburn, Penny from Wallumbilla and Luke from Wellington Point. 

And as we work through the birthdays we missed last week while on holidays, today’s belated birthday shoutouts go to… Harriet and Ruby from Melbourne, James from Walpole, Alysa from Fairfield Heights, Olivia from Sydney, Charlie from Forest Lodge, Caitlin from Tarro, Hunter and Abbie from Ascot Vale, Cooper from Double Bay, Isla from Ormond, Paige from Ermington, Seb from Greystanes, Matilda from Sydney and Nathan all the way from Austin, Texas. 

Happy birthday one and all!

And finally: today’s classroom shout outs go to …  6A at Helensvale State School, 5/6B at Woodhill State School, 3/4A at Kingston Heath Primary School, and prep B and class 1/2D at Thornbury Primary School.


  The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. La Nina
  2. Tyrannosaurus rex
  3. Annabel Sutherland