Tuesday, 10 November, 2020

COVID vaccine breakthrough; Japan’s plucky little radish; alien life in outer space; and Xbox versus Playstation – game on!



The plucky little daikon that could: https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/11/1c97301f3a59-daikon-radish-found-growing-in-concrete-in-heart-of-osaka.html

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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.






Take a bow Adelaide … you’ve just been voted the most liveable city in Australia.

The South Australian capital – also known as the city of churches – beat all other cities in the country to be ranked the safest, friendliest and most affordable place to live. 

Coming in a close second was the Sutherland Shire in Sydney, followed by inner-Perth, Melbourne’s inner south and Brisbane’s inner city.

As for the most liveable places outside the capitals : the winner was the Murray region in NSW – closely followed by Warnnambool in Victoria, Queensland’s Gold Coast, and the NSW Hunter region. 

The survey was conducted by a research firm who interviewed 14,000 Australians around the country to get a feel for where they lived and why they loved it … or not. 

It’s NAIDOC week in Australia – and to mark the occasion, a massive satellite dish in regional NSW has been renamed.

The Dish, in Parkes, is one of the oldest, largest and best-known satellite dishes in Australia. Next year it celebrates its 60th birthday. In 1969, it famously helped beam around the world images of man walking on the moon for the first time. And this week, to mark the beginning of NAIDOC Week, it has been given a Wiradjuri name: Murriyang – which means ‘home in the stars of the creator’.

NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration of the history, culture and achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

The renaming of the The Dish is a nod to the long and proud history of indigenous Australians as astronomers – who studied the skies above Australia long before The Dish was built. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a cool behind-the-scenes tour of the satellite dish.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today, the globe has stopped in Japan … where commuters in the busy city of Osaka have been captivated by the sight of a radish growing in asphalt at the bottom of a pedestrian overpass.

The plucky little vegetable – called a daikon in Japan – started growing, against the odds, in the concrete heart of Osaka a few weeks back. 

With barely any soil to grow in, the radish has nevertheless flourished – producing a healthy root vegetable and a bright spray of green leaves. 

Osakan commuters have been stopping to photograph the radish – seeing it as a symbol of the enduring power of nature – a sign of hope and growth in a year that’s been less than spectacular.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a photo of the brave little radish. Long may it thrive …




Gamers of Australia … put down your joysticks … the wait is over — as the long-awaited release of a new Playstation and XBox is finally upon us.

This week marks the week that competing consoles – the Playstation 5 and XBox Series X are released for sale. And as of tomorrow, anyone who was lucky enough to get a new XBox on pre-order could be unboxing the slick new console – with Playstations expected in store in the following days.

Get this: in the battle between the two previous versions of the consoles – the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, Playstation sold 112 million consoles to Xbox’s 52 million around the world.  

The new versions have just been released in time for Christmas .. so to any parents listening out there: prepare to be bombarded with stocking filler requests…




If you had to guess – how many planets do you reckon are out there in the Milky Way that scientists believe are similar enough to Earth that alien life forms could live on them?

Twenty or so? Maybe a thousand? How does 300 million sound? Because that’s what researchers at NASA have concluded after examining images sent back to Earth from the Kepler space telescope – a telescope far out in outer space.

So – the galaxy that our solar system is in is called the Milky Way. And it’s so incredibly enormous, that it’s hard to wrap your head around. The Kepler telescope has managed to identify 300 million ‘suns’ in the Milky Way, whose temperature is similar to the sun we orbit – that have rocky planets just like Earth situated about the same distance that Earth sits from the sun and which it is thought could have water on them – the vital building block for life. 

Oh – and the Milky Way galaxy is only one of gazillions thought to exist in the universe. And yes: gazillion is a technical term for ‘the number you use when the science is so big it makes your head hurt a little bit’. That last bit may not be strictly true … 




Hands up if you’ve voted for Squiz Kids in the Australian Podcasting Awards? Ah – you really are an excellent bunch of humans. 

There’s just over a week to for us to make Squiz Kids the Listener’s Choice at this year’s awards … and blow all those podcasts for adults out of the water. Come on – let’s show the big people what little people can do.

Visit australianpodcastawards.com/vote to cast your vote – or see the link in today’s episode notes.


Voting Closes 18 Nov 




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

  1. Which city has been named the most liveable city in Australia?
  2. What sort of vegetable has grown in the concrete heart of Osaka in Japan?
  3. How many planets in the Milky Way do scientists think could be just like Earth and be home to alien life forms?




It’s November 10 … Sesame Street Day … it’s 51 years today since Big Bird, Grover and Oscar the Grouch first appeared on television. Cookie Monster is my favourite …

It’s also only 45 sleeps ‘til Christmas … I can almost taste the candy canes… 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Lachlan from Broken Hill, Oliver from North Bondi, Zachary from Redlynch, Mason from Sydney, Harry and Lilly from Glen Alpine, Gabby from Bundarra, Ollie and Harry from Abbotsford, Hugo from Leichhardt and Jace from Atwell.

And some belated birthday shoutouts…. Ethan from Foster and Madison from St Ives 

Classroom shoutouts… Year 3 at All Hallows Catholic Primary School in Five Dock,  Class Jacaranda at Rozelle Public School, Year 5, Room 16 at Wellard Primary School, Year 6 with Mrs Croker at St Mary’s Primary School in Crookwell, and a special shoutout to 4J at Epping Public School with Miss Moon, who is taking leave to get married. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Adelaide
  2. Radish
  3. 300 million