Tuesday, 16 June, 2020
Free the dolphins!; our close encounter with the Sun; the A-League returns; and Tamagotchi’s back.
For the longest time, the operators of a dolphin tourist attraction in Coffs Harbour, on the NSW mid-north coast, have been at loggerheads with local conservationists.
Animal rights activists have long argued that keeping dolphins Zippy, who’s 32, Bella, who’s 15 and Jet, who’s 11, in a concrete pool where they perform for visitors to the park was cruel. The zookeepers have responded for years that because their dolphins were born in captivity – none of them would survive in the wild.
But now the two opposing sides have banded together and proposed a solution they think can work for both parties – not to mention provide a spacious new home for Zippy, Bella and Jet.
They’ve proposed the creation of a sea sanctuary for the dolphins: a large section of the nearby harbour, separated from the ocean by a sea-wall and nets, where the mammals can swim more freely, in more natural surroundings – but still provide the zoo’s operators with an income by performing for tourists.
It’s estimated the dolphin zoo brings $15 million to the local economy – and has been hit hard by the coronavirus restrictions as visitors to the town have dried up.
Did you know that there’s an organisation that keeps statistics on pretty much every aspect of Australians lives? It’s called the Australian Bureau of Statistics – or ABS,for short – and its latest report has revealed that while we’re all gradually coming out of our COVID-lockdown shells – there are still things, like hopping on a plane and gathering together in large numbers in enclosed spaces, like for a concert, that we’re reluctant to do. Eating in a restaurant, we’re okay with, according to the ABS report compiled in the month of May, and meeting with family and friends got the tick of approval too. The report also found that 86 percent of adults were somewhat comfortable about returning to the work place (surely that’s not right) and 81 percent of parents were ok with sending their kids back to school (sounds more like it).
SPIN THE GLOBE
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 far reaches of outer space, where a probe launched by the European Space Agency is about to swing by the Sun and take the closest photos of the star that we have ever seen.
Called Solar Orbiter, the space probe has been speeding towards the Sun since it left Earth in February. Today, it will pass the Sun at a distance of some 77 million kilometres – which sounds like a lot, but even at that distance, temperatures are expected to be more than 600 degrees.
The photos taken will help scientists understand how the Sun behaves, while instruments aboard the craft will measure the solar wind – which is thrown off the Sun all the time.
But it won’t be the only space probe to be orbiting the Sun. The Americans also have a space craft orbiting the Sun collecting data.
There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a news report with cool graphics and video of the Sun in action.
Some call it football, some call it soccer, others insist on referring to it as the ‘beautiful game’. Whatever you call it, if you’re a fan you’ll be excited to learn the A League looks close to confirming a date for the resumption of the 2020 season – interrupted, as so many things were, by the coronavirus.
The Football Federation of Australia yesterday confirmed they were looking to restart the A-League on July 16 – and if a broadcast deal can be reached with Fox Sports, a 27 game fixture will be released soon after. Like the AFL, there will be a bit of hub action going on, to fit in with state border closures. But organisers are hopeful that come finals time, travel restrictions will have been lifted enough so that even a final in New Zealand is a possibility. Game on!
POP CULTURE CORNER
Yesterday, while talking about the brand spanking new Playstation 5 console, we told you about the Commodore 64 – the funny old computer that your parents used to play games on. Today, there’s another retro toy blast-from-past – with news that the Tamagotchi has been resurrected for a whole new generation of kids.
The Tamagotchi was an electronic toy from 30 years ago. It was an virtual pet, that needed virtual feeding and cleaning and cuddling – otherwise it would die. Kids in the 1990s spent their days frantically tending to the beeping Tamagotchi – until, as with every other toy – they got bored with it and left it to collect dust under the sofa.
A Tamagotchi for the new millennium has just been released – and like it’s 1990s ancestor – it has a whole new range of needs and wants, but of a more high-tech nature. The new look Tamagotchi has family, however, and goes on holidays and can even be left in Tamagotchi day care. Ten bucks says it still ends up under the sofa.
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What’s the name of the NSW mid-north coast town where a plan has been hatched to free a trio of dolphins?
- What’s the name of the space probe swinging past the Sun today?
- Name the virtual pet about to make a comeback?
It’s June 16 … on this day in 1884, the world’s first roller coaster was opened on Coney Island in New York …
It’s also a big day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Lilly from Morrisons, Alice from Duncraig, Jasper from Heidelberg, Ida from Athelstone, Justine from Preston, Saxon from Barellan Point, Callum from Turramurra, Aiden from Concord West, Braemar from WA, Jeff from Sydney, Ginger and Eva from Valentine, Jason from Melbourne andLogan, Eva and Isaac from Lake Macquarie.
And some belated birthday shoutouts… Charlie from Sydney.
Happy birthday to you all.
Today’s classroom shoutouts: Miss Ly and 5/6N at Wentworthville Public School, 5/6R and 5/6S from Hume Public School, Mrs Meers’ Year 4 class at Coonamble Public School, Year 1/2 Turtles Darlington Public School, and 4/5/6 Rubies from Otford Public School.
The S’Quiz Answers:
- Coffs Harbour
- Solar Orbiter