Wednesday, 15 June, 2022

Lights out for five states?; an epic ride across Europe; man versus horse; and myths about ships.


Penalty shoot-out:
Louis and Sasha’s big adventure:
Track their ride across Europe here:
Man Versus Horse:
More info on ships and sea levels:
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Did the lights go out at your house last night?

There were warnings yesterday that the power could go out in five states, starting last night with Queensland and New South Wales, with Victoria, South Australia, and Tassie also at risk for outages today. 

So why might we be sitting in the dark? It’s complicated, but basically, the cost of power has been rising very quickly. The organisation in charge of Australia’s energy market took action about those climbing costs, and put a limit on how much money energy companies could charge for the power that they generate, which means make. That led those companies to make less power available… and if there isn’t enough power, the lights go out. And the internet. And the freezer. Wait, what? Quick, pass me a spoon.  No sense in letting perfectly good ice cream go to waste. 

But don’t worry – it’s only temporary – with experts saying things should return to normal soon.


A lot of Aussie soccer fans probably didn’t mind if the lights went out  last night, because they needed an early bedtime after getting up in the dark yesterday morning to watch our men’s team, the Socceroos, win their do-or-die game against Peru in a nail-biting penalty shootout. In case you somehow missed it, I’ll put a link in your episode notes to those crazy final minutes. Go Aussie go! 

With the win, Australia qualified for the World Cup, to be held in Qatar in November. What’s the World Cup? It’s only the biggest sporting event in the world, with billions of people watching. Because as much as we love our AFL and rugby in Australia, the round ball is the most popular game in the world. 

Every four years, countries play qualifying matches that lead to 32 nations making it through to the big event. The Socceroos have just scraped in, but they have a massive job ahead… their first game will be against France, who are the favourites to win not just the game against Australia – but the entire World Cup.



Each day, we give the world globe a spin and find a news story wherever it lands, and today we’ve landed in France which, yes, is the home of that dominant soccer team the Aussies will face in November … but it’s also where an adventurous horse and her rider have arrived on their 3,000km trip across Europe. Louis Hall, a human from Scotland, and Sasha, an Anglo-Arabian horse from Italy, started their trip just north of the Italian capital, Rome, on March 24. They’re on their way to the north western coast of Spain, where they hope to arrive in mid July. Louis has a charity, called the Big Hoof, which is using his ride to raise money for Ukrainian refugees—people who have been forced to leave their homes because of Russia’s invasion. I’ve put a link in your episode notes to read more about Louis and Sasha’s big adventure, as well as a tracker for their journey, which is the equivalent of 71 marathons. Wow.  



Speaking of horses… for only the third time in its history, a human has won the Man versus Horse race. Firefighter Ricky Lightfoot – yep, the man who was light and quick on his feet is called Lightfoot – was faster than any of the 1,200 humans and 60 horses that ran the gruelling 35.4 km course.  

Man versus Horse is held each year in a Welsh village called Llanwrtyd (Hyan-wur-tid) Wells, close to the pub where it was invented. Back in the 1980s, two men were arguing, over a few drinks, whether a human or horse would be faster on a muddy, mountainous course. The pub’s owner sensed an opportunity, and the race was born. It took 25 years for a human to win, and Ricky Lightfoot is only the third. Second place went to a horse called Lane House Boy – he took one minute and one second longer than Ricky to cross the finish line. I’ll put some photos in your episode notes. 


It’s time to welcome Squiz-E the Newshound back into the newsroom, to see what misinformation he’s sniffed out on the Internet this week. And he’s come ashore after investigating whether a post on social media could possibly be true—that the increase in big ships on our oceans is part of the reason that sea levels are rising. 

You know it from taking a bath —if you fill the water up too high, and then get in, your weight displaces the water, and your tub could overflow. So is it really possible that a LOT of massive ships, loaded up with all the stuff that is traded around the world, could be causing rising sea levels? 

In a word: No. Scientists told the Australian Associated Press’s fact checkers that the world’s oceans are so huge that if you removed ALL the ships, global sea levels would drop a few millions of a metre. And within one day, melting ice sheets—which is caused by global warming—would make up the difference.

Myth, busted. Thanks for stopping, thinking, and checking, Squiz-E. 


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

  1.  Which country will Australia meet in its first World Cup game? 
  2.  What is the name of Louis Hall’s horse, who is carrying him across Europe? 
  3.  How many times have humans won the Man vs Horse race in Wales? 




It’s June 15 … and in keeping with the horsey theme of today’s podcast, it was on this day in 1878 that the world’s first moving pictures were caught on camera. Twelve cameras each took one picture of a horse, to see if there was a point when all four hooves left the ground. The answer was yes. 

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

Sienna from Forest Lake, Fraser from Townsville, Ava from Maroubra, Ella from Thornleigh, Ella from Quirindi, Elise from Gymea, Frenchie from Brunswick, Amelie from Kellyville, Oscar from Hornsby and Elias from Southbank.

And belated shoutouts go to Leia from Strathfield and Lilly from South Australia.

Classroom shoutouts today are going to …class 3/4C and Miss Campbell at Cobar Public School, class 2A and Mrs Gandaputra at Chatswood Public School, class 3D at Holsworthy Public School and class 5/6L and Mrs Lea at Macleay Island State School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. France, the favourites. Bummer. 
  2. Sasha
  3. Three times