Tuesday, 7 September, 2021

Shang-Chi smashes box office; Scotland’s great beaver comeback; Percy pulls a Mars rock; and tuna fish make a welcome return.



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Marvel’s first Asian superhero, Shang-Chi, has smashed ticket sales records in its opening weekend in the United States – creating an exciting precedent for Asian led action movies in Hollywood – and hinting at a future not too far away when we can all go back and watch movies in the cinema.

Covid restrictions in countries all over the world have meant lots of us have not been able to go to the cinema over the past year – which has also meant lots of really cool movies that were supposed to be released have been held back.

But with the Marvel movie Shang Chi And The Legend Of Ten Rings having just sold almost $100 million worth of movie tickets in its opening weekend in America, there are hopes other big movie studios will move to release a bunch of cool action and family movies they’ve been holding onto.

Just as there are hopes that Shang Chi’s box office success means more movies with an all-Asian cast will be made by Hollywood – which is where lots and lots of the films we see are created. 

Which would only make sense, afterall, given people who live in or come from the continent of Asia make up 60 percent of the world’s population.

Reviews of Shang Chi have also been strong. Reviews are opinions written by experts about whether a movie is any good. And the fact Shang Chi has attracted really positive reviews is good news for parents – who will inevitably have to sit through the movie with their kids. That’s what we call a win-win.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Scotland … where beavers have been brought back from extinction – and they’re chewing and digging their way into trouble.

Beavers are native to Scotland and other parts of Great Britain – but were hunted to extinction hundreds of years ago. Conservationists have successfully rebuilt the beaver population in Scottish waterways – but now the buck-toothed bandits are on a crash course with Scottish farmers. 

Beavers are awesome critters: they cut down trees with their sharp front teeth and build dams in streams and rivers. But sometimes those dams cause havoc to nearby farms, and sometimes the deep burrowing beavers do into river banks cause land to slide away. And that’s left farmers frustrated too.

It’s an interesting example of animals and humans both having a right to using natural resources – and needing to find a balance between them. Which reminds me of an excellent Roald Dahl book, Fantastic Mr Fox … check it out if you get a chance. 




A perfectly drilled hole in a perfectly ordinary looking rock on a planet 395 million kilometres away has put a perfectly awesome bunch of scientists back here on planet Earth into a state of high excitement. 

We’re talking about Percy – the Mars rover – otherwise known as Perseverance – who has successfully collected his first rock sample from the red planet. 

After drilling into a rock on Mars, and collecting a sample of that rock and stuck it into a storage compartment to eventually be sent back to Earth, Percy has carried out a really important part of his mission on Mars. 

That rock sample, when eventually it makes it back to Earth, will be studied by geologists – who are scientists that study rocks for a living  … I know, right, cool job – to hopefully discover if there was ever life on Mars. 

Go Percy! 




Good news for some of our fishy friends! Just like Scotland’s beavers, the tuna swimming about the world’s oceans has bounced back from the brink of extinction.

 The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which is meeting this week in France, sounded the tuna extinction alarm in 2011. For the last decade, the fishing industry, governments, and environmentalists have worked together to introduce quotas for tuna fishing (meaning you can only catch a certain amount), and cracked down on illegal fishing. Now, four of the seven species of tuna are doing much better, including albacore, which the world loves to eat. 

But more than 39,000 other plant and animal species are still threatened with extinction, including the Komodo dragon, and more than one third of all shark and ray species. They are being impacted by overfishing, climate change, and pollution. The good news? The positive results with tuna show that we can still turn it around. Let’s do this, planet earth. 




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

  1. What buck-toothed, master-building furry creature is causing havoc to farms in Scotland?
  2. Name the Marvel superhero who is smashing box office records in the US?
  3. Which fish has been brought back from extinction and is swimming in plentiful numbers in our oceans?




It’s September 7 …. it’s Threatened Species Day .. bit of a theme happening here … because on this day 85 years ago, the last known Tasmanian Tiger died in a Hobart zoo.

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

Olive from Elsternwick, Ellah from Shoal Bay, Mike from Narraweena, Grace from Ruse, Kira from Hornsby, Isla and Layla from Brisbane, Tyler from Woodhill and Oliver from Kingston.

Belated birthday shout outs go to Cailin from Canberra, Ethan from Douglas Park, Phoenix from Munno Para and Alicia from Ryde.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Victoria, Canberra and NSW are in lockdown – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …. 

Samuel in class 3H at Middleton Public School says thank you to everyone for being so friendly and helpful during homeschooling. Heidi sends a shout out to class 3 /4 Green at Holy Trinity Primary School in Curtain. And Cleo sends a shout out to Grade 4 and Miss Pretki at Alstonville Public School.  

Another herogram goes to the Year 6A and 6B students at St Joseph’s Primary School in Kempsey  – who are working really hard with their online learning with Mrs Brady and Mr Clay.

Mia sends a shout out to Mrs Hickmott and Mrs Coote at The Centre for Early Education in Ballarat. She misses seeing you everyday. 

And lastly a herogram from Millie, to her teacher Mrs Weier at the Good Shepherd Catholic School in Canberra  – who continues to make home learning so much fun. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1.  Beaver
  2. Shang Chi
  3. Tuna