Tuesday, 11 October, 2022

Russia strikes back; Italian volcano erupts; Orcas take down a great white shark; and veggies on the moon.



Stromboli: volcano erupts: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-10/italy-stromboli-volcano-erupts-lava-stretches-to-the-sea/101518438

Orcas hunt great white shark: https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2022/10/05/orcas-hunting-great-white-shark-orig-jc.cnn/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/


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We’ve spoken about the war in Ukraine before on the podcast – from the very first days when war with Russia broke out back in February – to more recently as Ukraine soldiers have taken back territory from Russia’s invading forces.

And last night and this morning, the country was very firmly back in the headlines as Russian missiles were fired on the Ukranian capital of Kyiv.

Timed to coincide with the morning rush hour, children were forced to take cover on their way to school as many of the city’s other residents hid in underground train stations, bomb shelters or the basements of their apartment buildings. 

Last night there were reports the missiles had hit targets including busy intersections and even playgrounds in parks. 

The missile attack comes only two days after a bomb exploded on a Russian bridge that connects the Russian mainland to a place called Crimea – which is itself an important strategic piece of land in the Russia-Ukraine war. 

It’s believed the missile attack is in retaliation for the bridge bombing.

As you head off to school yourself this morning, spare a thought for Kyiv’s school kids who are facing an uncertain couple of days, and be thankful our lives here are untouched by war. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops and today we’ve landed in Italy – on the island of Stromboli, to be precise – where a volcanic eruption has sent lava spilling into the sea.

Stromboli  is one of the most active volcanoes in all of Europe – which is to say that it’s regularly pushing out smoke or steam or – as in the case of this week – a whole lot of steaming hot molten lava. 

I’ve stuck a link to video of the explosion in today’s episode notes. 

So far, there have been no reports of anyone getting hurt – which is good. 

Because Stromboli is such an active volcano – locals are very used to giving it a wide berth and letting it explode as often and as much as it needs to.

Because we all need to let off a little bit of steam now and then.




You’ve heard of a green thumb, right? That’s a term given to someone who is unusually good at making plants grow. Well – right here and right now I’m going to coin a new phrase … and that is: a moon thumb. And that’s because as we speak, Aussie scientists are busy working out how best to grow plants on the Moon.

Now, why in the wide expanse of outer space would we need to be growing plants on the Moon? Well – that’s because space agencies around the globe are currently working on plans to build a base on the Moon for humans to live in permanently. And if humans are going to be up on the Moon – they’re going to need something to eat. And because its not practical to do a Woolies grocery delivery to the Moon every second day, clever scientists are conducting research to see how we can grow plants on the Moon so the people who eventually live there can eat fresh veggies. Which will be super important for their health. 

And because I know it might be hard for you to believe when you have a stand-off with your parents each night at the dinner table over the eating of broccoli, but there are some people – like astronauts – who really do like their greens. 




In the ocean, there’s no bigger or more scary match-up than orcas versus the great white shark. Both are big apex predators – which is to say, they sit at the top of their respective food chains – meaning all other animals in the ocean live in fear that they’ll be the target of one or the other of them.

Which is why the video that has emerged of a pod of orcas hunting and killing a great white shark in waters off South Africa has set the internet alight. It’s believed to be the first video ever captured of the rare occurrence – and i’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes.  

Orcas are highly intelligent animals – and they hunt in packs – meaning they hunt as a team. Whereas great white sharks tend to hunt alone. Team work apparently makes the dream work .. unless you’re a great white shark in which case team work means you have to look nervously over your shoulder.  




And it’s a big welcome back to NSW school kids and teachers … hope you had an excellent break … Teachers: we know you’re bounding into a new term with a certain sense of heaviness .. as if you’re dragging yourselves to the end of year finish line … so let us help you out. 

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

  1. What are scientists hoping to be able to grow on the Moon?
  2. What erupted on the Italian island of Stromboli?
  3. What sort of large sea mammal has been recorded on video hunting a great white shark?




It’s October 11 … later today the winner of Fat Bear Week in Alaska will be announced … we’ll bring you all the details tomorrow. Because it’s only my favourite story of the year…

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

Sebastian from Ipswich, Jessinta from Narromine, Dylan from Cannon Hill, Lachie from City Beach, Max from Clothiers Creek, Harriet from Gunnedah and Heath from Kingston.

Belated birthday shout outs go to …Alison from Sorrento, Daisy from Woollongaba, Stephen from Revesby, Will from Kalbarri and Teresa, Jack, Hudson and Eli (pronounced Ellie) all from Abbotsford. 

Today’s classroom shout outs go to…year 6 with Ms Davies and Miss Connelly at St Joseph’s Primary School in Wagga Wagga, year 3 in class LA21 at Atwell Primary School, class 2L at Berowra Public School and class 4N and Miss Newling at Glendore Public School.

Special shoutouts go to …Ms Miles and the 6/7 class at Kintore Street School in Katherine and to Ms Prior and years 3 & 4 at Abermain Public School – both became members of our Squiz Kids for Schools program for Term 4. Welcome aboard!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Plants or veggies
  2. Volcano
  3. Orcas – or killer whales