Tuesday, 2 May, 2023

Cleaning up space junk; trouble in Sudan; Ya Ya the panda comes home; and Steph Curry breaks a record.


Today’s Quick Links: 

Sacrificing the stars for satellites: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-01/sacrificing-the-stars-for-satellites-better-phone-coverage/102208436

Sudan crisis explained – what’s behind the latest fighting?: https://theconversation.com/sudan-crisis-explained-whats-behind-the-latest-fighting-and-how-it-fits-nations-troubled-past-203985

Two weeks of fighting has turned Sudan’s capital into a war zone: https://twitter.com/AP/status/1652885559633924096?s=20

Ya Ya the panda returns to Shanghai: https://www.nbcnews.com/now/video/ya-ya-the-panda-returns-to-china-after-20-years-in-u-s-171719749632

Stephen Curry’s 50 sets Game 7 record: https://www.espn.com.au/nba/story/_/id/36330953/stephen-curry-50-sets-game-7-record-warriors-eliminate-kings


Dig Deeper:

Space junk – it’s outta this world: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-for-kids/space-junk-its-out-of-this-world

Sudan – country profile: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14094995


Kids + Media Survey Results: https://www.squizkids.com.au/aussie-kids-media-results/

Squiz Kids Book Club: https://www.squizkids.com.au/book_club/april-2023/

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When it gets dark tonight, and you’ve eaten all the veggies on your dinner plate and helped to clear the table and pack the dishwasher – I want you to pop your head outside and peer up into the night’s sky.

You won’t see it: but spinning above your head, way up in the night’s sky and caught in orbit around the Earth, are some 9,000 pieces of space junk.

Broken down satellites, discarded bits of spaceship, the remains of scientific experiments that humans have sent up into space at some point as part of our bold push to explore the galaxy.

And it’s getting so untidy up there – so crowded with space junk – that governments from around the world are meeting at the United Nations in New York to agree on the best way to clean up the mess. 

Called the Outer Space Treaty – it will be a way of agreeing how countries of the world share the use of the skies above us – and clean up after themselves.

One European space agency estimates there are currently 9,000 pieces of space junk currently in orbit around the Earth – ranging in size from a school bus to a spatula. And at the current rate at which we are sending stuff into space, there could be up to 30,000 pieces of space junk.

I’ve stuck a link to a graphic in today’s episode notes that shows the extent of the problem.

You’ve heard of the Clean Up Australia campaign? We’ll call this one Clean Up The Cosmos.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Sudan – a country in eastern Africa – which you’ve probably heard a bit about on the news lately.

Right now, thousands of people are trying to flee the country. There were chaotic scenes at one of the ports yesterday as people lined up to board ships to escape the fighting that has broken out in Sudan between the army and a breakaway para-military group.

What does that mean? It means that two heavily armed groups of people are fighting over who should run the country. And millions of innocent Sudanese and foreigners living in Sudan have become caught in the cross-fire. 

There’s a big Sudanese population here in Australia. Lots of you probably know Australian Olympic champ, Peter Bol – his family is from Sudan. And Socceroo Garang Kuol, as well as Western Bulldog Buku Khamis, and his AFL playing buddies Majak Daw, Fremantle’s Michael Frederick and Mabior Chol all have family in Sudan. 

Here’s hoping it all settles down soon.



Ya Ya the panda has received a hero’s welcome home in China after spending 20 years living in a zoo on the other side of the planet. 


Pandas are native to China – and for many years, they were loaned by the Chinese government to zoos in other countries as a gesture of friendship.


Before returning to the Chinese city of Shanghai and being met at the airport by adoring crowds, Ya Ya lived for two decades at a zoo in Memphis.


Pandas can be rented by zoos worldwide for around $1 million a year, usually on ten year contracts and all money raised goes to conservation efforts in the wild.


Those Panda fans who couldn’t be at the airport when she arrived were able to track her journey online.  Would you believe more than 430 million people have now viewed the site.  So there are a lot of people going ga ga for Ya Ya. See what I did there?




Is Steph Curry the GOAT? 

That was the question being asked yesterday after the NBA basketballer scored a record-shattering 50 points in the Golden State Warriors defeat of the Sacramento Kings.

Curry’s 50-points set a new record in the history of Game 7 of the playoffs – beating Kevin Durant’s 48 points against the Milwaukee Bucks two years ago.

What in wide wide world of sports is a playoff? In the NBA – America’s biggest basketball competition – the teams that are top of the table play each other in a best of seven games scenario. 

Going into yesterday’s game, the Warriors and the Kings were three games apiece – making the Warriors victory, and Curry’s role in it, even more exciting.

And speaking of exciting: the Warriors will now face the LA Lakers – meaning Curry will come up against none other than fellow basketball superstar Le Bron James.

Now that will be a series worth staying up late to watch.


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


  1. Olympic sprinter Peter Bol’s family comes from which African country?
  2. Pandas are native to which country?
  3. What team does NBA superstar Steph Curry play for?





It’s May 2 – today is International Harry Potter Day … so whip out your broomsticks and hop on the nearest Hippogriff.


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Olivia from Ruse, Ali from Munno Parra, Henry from Willunga, Jac and Tom from Avoca Beach and Constance from Gardners Bay.


Belated shoutouts from last week go to.. Riley from Bangor and Matilda from Milton.


And because many of you celebrated a birthday over the Easter holidays – we’re still making our way through them – so we’re pressing pause on Classroom Shoutouts for two more days to make sure no one misses out on their birthday shout-out … it’s a happy belated birthday to … James from Waitara, Sophie from Vermont South, Ava from Montmorency, Lincoln travelling around Australia, Annabelle and Marcus from the Central Coast, Ishaani from Point Cook, Harvey from Leongatha, Caleb from Brookvale, Hazel from Petersham, Emily from Glen Waverley, Ayla from Warrnambool, Jimmy from Exeter, Ethan from Broadbeach Waters, Tommy from Westbury, Lily from Oak Park, Zailey from Junee, Arlo from Claivaux, Layla and  Ella from Brisbane and Casper from Illinois, USA. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Sudan
  2. China
  3. Golden State Warriors