Thursday, May 7, 2020

Action heroes in space; a piece of Mars in Antarctica; NRL boys love their mums; and Harry Potter reads Harry Potter.



Harry Potter reads Harry Potter:




You’ve probably seen lots of movies in your time which are set in space. But you’ve never seen a movie that’s actually been filmed in space, right? 

Well, all of that is about to change. 

NASA – which is the American Space Agency – yesterday confirmed that it was working with Hollywood movie star, Tom Cruise – he of Mission Impossible fame – to make a movie aboard the International Space Station.

What’s the International Space Station? As its name suggests, it’s a spacecraft that stays up there, in orbit around the Earth where astronauts from different countries live and work and conduct scientific research.

We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make Nasa’s ambitious plans a reality.” explained NASA’s boss. And what better way to inspire a generation of scientists than making an action-adventure film aboard one of your space stations? 

It was a relatively upbeat day yesterday on the coronavirus front. If you’re with an adult, ask them to explain what an oxymoron is … 

The Deputy Chief Medical officer told a press conference that our medical system is really well-prepared to deal with a COVID crisis – with our hospitals well-positioned to deal with any flare-ups of the illness. Over 5 million of us have downloaded the COVID Safe app; South Australia announced it hasn’t had any new cases for two weeks and WA has had no new cases for a week. All of this happened as a plane load of Aussie produce – including fish, lamb, eggs and assorted seafood took off to be sold to markets in Asia – signalling a reopening of international trade. 

Flying fish and record app downloads: hey, we’ve got to take the victories wherever we can. 




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 Antarctic … way down near the south pole –  where a chunk of Mars that fell to Earth has been found to contain nitrogen. Why is that a thing? Because the presence of nitrogen in this Mars rock adds weight to the theory that many, many moons ago, Mars had a huge sea – and that actual living things may have lived there. 

And here’s some numbers to blow your mind …

The chunk of Mars is believed to be four billion years old, was most likely kicked up off the surface of Mars 17-million years ago by a major impact on the planet’s surface – possibly a huge meteorite – and, after spinning around space for several million years, finally crashed down into Antarctica about 13,000 years ago where it laid untouched until scientists found it thirty-six years ago.

I have to go and lie down now. My head hurts thinking about that. 




Have you got your Mother’s Day plans sorted for this Sunday? If you haven’t – consider this an early warning to get cracking. If you do and you’re preparing to shower your mum with love and affection – you’ll be like NRL players who have been given special exemption from strict lockdown rules to visit their mums this weekend. 

Because while they’re renowned for being tough guys on the paddock, league-ys love their mums too. 

Players and teams started back at training yesterday, ahead of an expected end-of-May restart to the season. 




Here’s something for Harry Potter fans… can you imagine anything cooler than having Harry Potter read Harry Potter for you? Well imagine no more – actor Daniel Radcliffe, who famously plays Harry Potter in the film adaptations of author J.K Rowling’s world-conquering series of books, is among a host of famous faces who have agreed to read out chapters of the first book, The Philosopher’s Stone. Other celebs to join in the read-a-thon include actor Eddie Redmayne and footballer, David Beckham. Daniel Radcliffe’s reading of Chapter 1 is available on Rowling’s website and also on Spotify – there’s a link in today’s episode notes. 




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

  1. What is the name of the American actor tipped to go into space to make a film? 
  2. What chemical element was found in the 4 billion year old Mars rock that adds weight to the theory there might have been life on the red planet? 
  3.  What is the name of the first Harry Potter book? 




Today’s birthday shout outs go to… Mitch from Lysterfield, Misha from Griffith, Matilda from Ballarat, Annabelle, Tashi, Luca and Joseph from Sydney, Isabelle from Double Bay, Lilly from Brisbane, Emilie from Abbotsford, Hannah from Kirwan, Archie from Maitland, Maya from Clifton Hill, Jack and Abigail from Brunswick West, Oliver from Mortdale, Allura and Emelie from Abbotsford, Misty from Kangaloon, Beatrice from Surrey Hills, Petrisha from South Australia, Tyler from Thornlands, Lizzy from Manly, Zane from Gordonvale, Mariah from Kiama, Hakeem from Moora, Esther from Victoria, Marietta from Aberdeen, Shakti from Adelaide, Pike from Wagga Wagga, “Cy-rick-gool” from Sydney, and Lucas all the way from Hong Kong.

And some belated  birthday shoutouts to Darcy from Beenham Valley and Hugo from Gosford.

Happy birthday one and all.

Classroom shoutouts… Classes Balam Balam and Wadjil at the Melbourne Montessori school, class 6B at Redeemer Lutheran School, Mr Williams and Class 4.1 at Sacred Heart School in Cabramatta, and class ⅚ Emerald at Fennell Bay Public School.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Tom Cruise
  2. Nitrogen
  3. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone