Tuesday, 4 October, 2022

Bumping asteroids off their collision course; Hurricane Ian clean up begins; Adelaide 36ers on top of the world; and why dogs can smell stress.



Asteroid busting mission: VIDEO



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It’s the stuff of Hollywood movie legend. The idea that a massive asteroid could be on a collision course with Earth and slam into us.

And now, thanks to a bunch of really clever scientists, it’s a Hollywood story line us little ol’ humans might be able to alter – by making sure any big rocks from outer space that might be heading our way are pushed out in space.

Last week – while we were all enjoying school holidays (CHEER) the American space agency successfully sent an empty spaceship up into space and crashed it into an asteroid. The idea was to see whether by bumping a spaceship into an asteroid we could change it’s trajectory – which is a fancy way of saying, change its direction.

You know how if you race two Hot Wheels cars into each other, you knock both of them in a different direction? Same principle.

And thanks to some really clever maths calculations and a whole lot of really clever space engineering, NASA successfully crashed a spaceship into an asteroid in a test as part of what’s called the DART program. 

The asteroid in question is not on a collision course with Earth – this was just a test to see if bumping something into an asteroid at speed could make it change direction.

Now they will monitor the asteroid for the next couple of months to see whether or not the experiment was a success.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Cuba and the United States, where the clean up continues after one of the worst hurricanes in recent times slammed both countries last week.

There were lots of big news stories over the school holidays, but few packed the punch that Hurricane Ian – slamming into towns and cities of Cuba – the island nation just to the south of the USA – and southern states of America including Florida and Georgia. 

More than 1100 residents of Florida have had to be rescued, at least 75 people are confirmed dead and as of yesterday, almost three-quarters of a million people were without electricity. Boats were hurled up onto land in the storm, thousands of homes were flattened and trees, powerlines and vital infrastructure all destroyed. 

Video footage and photographs of the destruction have been all over TV and newspapers and websites: a sobering reminder of the power of Mother Nature.





Fans of the Adelaide 36ers had plenty to celebrate yesterday after their team stunned the basketball world by beating the Phoenix Suns and becoming the first NBL team to ever beat an NBA team.

Ok – first things first – what’s the NBL and NBA? The NBL is Australia’s national basketball competition, the NBA is the national basketball competition in the United States – and it’s easily the toughest, most skilled comp in the world.

So to have a team from Adelaide beat one of the NBA’s teams is really quite something.

Which is probably why the 36ers ten point win yesterday sent the American media and social media into meltdown ..

Helped along by Craig Randall’s impressive 35 points, the 36ers beat the Suns by 134 points to 124. So not even that close.

For the past few years Aussie basketball teams have gone to the US for a series of pre-season match-ups, but until yesterday, the winning was always done by the Americans. Is there any victory sweeter than an underdog’s?




Do you ever get the feeling your dog knows when you’re sad or happy or chill or stressed?

Now there’s scientific evidence to prove that our four legged furry friends use their really powerful senses of smell to tell whether or not we’re stressed.

Scientists in Finland tested 20 dogs to see if they could sniff out the smell of stress in their human owners. When we are stressed, the human body releases chemicals that create a certain odour.

And because dogs have 220million olfactory receptors in their noses compared to humans who have only 50 million – which is to say their senses of smell are really strong – the pooches were able to easily sniff out stressed owners. 

And if your dog is anything like my Louis – that means they’re really good at coming in for a pat, or to stick their snouts on your lap when they sense you’re feeling anxious.

Clever pups! 



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

  1. What’s the name of the Hurricane that devastated Cuba and Florida over the school holidays?
  2. What outer space object did NASA fly a spaceship into?
  3. Which popular movie helped inspire the Penrith Panthers to victory?




It’s October 4  …today is World Animal Day – where we remember the importance of looking after all creatures on Earth ..

It’s also the first week back after a long school holiday break – which means we’ve got to get through all of today’s birthday shout outs and start a week’s worth of belated birthday shout outs to all of the Squiz Kids who celebrated a birthday over the school hols …

And it’s a big ol’ happy birthday today to …Ivan from Upper Mount Gravatt, Grace from St Peters, Alika from Helensvale and Peter and Emma from Altona Meadows.

And today’s school holiday belated birthday shout outs go to … Tristian from Ivanhoe, Gab from Wandana Heights, Asha from Murwillumbah, Will from Petersham, Piper from North Ainslie, Braxton from Ashmont, Violet from Wagga Wagga, Lilly from Telarah, Georgia from Maroubra, Ava from Deniliquin, Patterson from Lakemba, Laicey from Albany Hills, Sarah from Adelaide, Sophie from Quirindi, Lexie from Panania, Micah from Perth and Sam from Coogee. 

Classroom shout outs go to the students in year 4, 7 and 9 at Trinity College in Gladstone, class 5/6V at Windsor Public School and class 6B at Walkervale State School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Ian
  2. Asteroid
  3. Top Gun .. or Maverick: Top Gun