Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Holidays in space; Japan learns to smile again; Shock State of Origin calls and a Mount Everest world record.


Space X mission has lift off.


Japan smile coach


Mount Everest



World Turtle Day


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Hands up who’d like a holiday in space? 

Because that’s what took one step closer to becoming a reality yesterday when three paying customers took a rocket-ship into outer space and boarded the International Space Station for a week.

 It marks the second ever private mission to the space station, where the space tourists will stay for 8 days and work alongside the 7 astronauts who are already living and working up there.  

A businessman, a  fighter pilot and a stem cell researcher from Saudi Arabia, are this mission’s batch of normal people forking out cash to see what it’s like to live in zero-gravity, in low-orbit above the Earth.  

It’s all part of the mad international scramble that’s currently underway to get humans back up and living on the Moon – which is frankly wild. And also part of a longer effort to eventually get humans to Mars. Which just blows my mind. 

But before you start cancelling your beach holiday plans and start planning for an outer-space vacation – bear in mind that for now, while the whole space tourism thing is still in its experimental phase – tickets to travel into space and hang out on the International Space Station are believed to cost somewhere in the vicinity of 80 million dollars. 

Woah, an astronomical cost for an astronomical place.  I’ve stuck a link to video of the rocket’s lift off in today’s episode notes. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Tokyo, where Japanese people are getting lessons to help them smile.

Japanese smile coach Keiko Kawano believes smiling is not just lifting the corners of your mouth, but is done with your eyes and with your cheeks.

Go on, give it a go. If you are in the classroom, turn to your friends and give them a big smile. Perhaps you are in the car?  Give a big happy grin to those in front or next to you.

For years, many Japanese people have been wearing masks all the time.  Not only because of covid, but also as a protection against allergies or pollution, or as a courtesy to protect others from illness.

Keiko realised people hadn’t been using their cheek or eye muscles properly, so she teaches smiling with yoga moves and facial expressions like lifting your eyebrows and massaging the corners of your mouth. Feel free to practise that now.   All to help people get a better, happier smile.

Keiko believes a great smile can help you with many things in life, like getting better jobs.

So I wonder if you gave your teacher a big smile, would it help get you better grades?  Well, it’s definitely worth trying.




With a little over a week to go, there’s been some selection bombshells in both State of Origin line ups.

Queensland coach Billy Slater has made a huge shake up, axing fan favourites Dane Gagai and Kalyn Ponga.  Ponga is being replaced with in-form Broncos fullback Reece Walsh.

While in the Blues Camp, West Tigers Api Koroisau has been named hooker over Rabbitohs Damien Cook.

Manly’s Tom Trobjevic is back, however brother Jake is out with injury.

The blues will be led by Captain James Tedesco and Shark’s young gun Nicho Hynes hopes to make his debut.

They’ll be no home ground advantage to either side with Game 1 kicking off next Wednesday 31st in Adelaide.  Yep, South Australia there is another world of footy outside of AFL.  Here’s to a good series… and Go the Blues!




And it’s big Squiz Kids Salute today to British Army Soldier Hari Budha Magar, who has become the world’s first double leg amputee to ever conquer Mount Everest, which means he climbed to the top of the world’s tallest mountain.

Hari lost both his legs 13 years ago when he was serving in the military in Afghanistan.  So he uses two prosthetic legs when he is walking. On the mountain, when he was climbing up a vertical part – that means a really really steep part,  he used an ice axe, which he bangs into the ice wall, and then uses it to pull himself up. 

Such an incredible feat  – Hari and his climbing team have posted pictures of him during the mission, which I’ll post a link of into your episode notes.

So have you heard of Mount Everest?  The summit, which is where Hari climbed too, is 8,849 metres above sea level, making it the highest point on Earth.  It’s found in the Himalayan mountain range and is located across Nepal and China in Asia.

When Hari reached the summit he shouted ‘We did it’.  He said it was harder than he ever imagined, and that if he can climb to the top of the world then anyone, regardless of their disability, can achieve their dreams.




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

  1. Where in the Universe, has a Space X rocket taken 4 space travellers too? 
  2. What city will host Game 1 of the State of Origin series?
  3. What is the name of the World’s tallest mountain?





It’s May 23 – Which is World Turtle Day.  Did you know turtles have roamed this planet for over 200 million years, which means they were even around at the same time as dinosaurs.  I’ll put a link with some fun turtle facts in your episode notes.

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

Josephine from Oran Park, Molly from Flagstaff Hill, Aleah from Unanderra, Amilia from Millfield, Lincoln from Forest Lake, Olivia from Holsworthy, Georgie-Anne from Warranwood, Will and Koa from Austinmer, Ashan from Wantirna, Ethan from Bulli, Chelsea from Moama and Gavin listening in Maple Ridge, Canada. 

A belated shout out goes to Nina from North Lakes. 

And some classroom shout outs today are for… class 6C and Mrs Curteis at Cherrybrook Public School, class 6 Faith and Miss Xerri at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Camden, class 4W at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in Holsworthy, class 6A and Mr Page at Mark Oliphant College in Munno Parra, IO class in the support unit at Greystanes High School and lastly to class 3D and Mr McDonald at Tamworth Public School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. The International Space Station
  2. Adelaide.
  3. Mount Everest


Don’t forget .. if you’ve got a birthday coming up and you want a shout out  – or if you want a classroom shout out – drop us a line at [email protected] or fill out the form on our website. 

That’s all we have time for. Thanks for listening to Squiz Kids Today – we’ll be back again tomorrow.

In the meantime, get out there and have a most excellent day.  Over and out.