Wednesday, 17 November, 2021

Missile in space emergency; Sesame Street’s first Asian muppet; the misinformation fight goes global; and the Kiwi held hostage by a possum.



Sesame Street: Ji-Young and the Best Friends Band: ​​


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There was an emergency up on the International Space Station yesterday after Russia sent a missile into space to blow up one of their own satellites – creating a dangerous explosion of space junk.

Astronauts on the International Space Station were forced to put on their spacesuits and seek shelter one of several space capsules, after debris from the space explosion threatened to smash into them.

There are currently seven astronauts living and working on the International Space Station, spinning around Earth 420 kilometres above our heads. 

Russia fired a missile from Earth and destroyed one of its old satellites as part of a test. That test has angered many other countries and was yesterday being described as irresponsible and dangerous.

Once exploded, the bits of broken up satellite remain in orbit around the Earth – and travel at such high speeds, that if they come into contact with something like the International Space Station, they can cause catastrophic damage. That’s why the astronauts living there had to scramble to get into their space capsules – in case they had to make an emergency evacuation and return to Earth. 

Space junk is a big problem. For the past sixty-four years, humans have been putting things like satellites up into space. Satellites orbit the Earth at really high altitudes and help to make things like the internet or 4G or weather forecasting work. 

Many older satellites now no longer work but are still floating around up there – some have broken into lots of pieces. Experts say there are now roughly one million bits of space junk floating about above our heads.

Someone clearly needs to invent a space dust pan and broom and sort it out. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin, and find a new story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed on Sesame Street … where Ernie, Bert, Elmo and Abby have welcomed the very first Asian American muppet to the neighbourhood.

Her name is Ji-Young, she plays guitar, loves to rock out in her band, is a keen skateboarder and has Korean heritage. I’ve stuck a link to a video of Ji-Young playing in the Best Friends Band with Elmo – she seems very cool.  

In Sesame Street’s 52 years of existence, Ji-Young is the first puppet of Asian descent. She will make her debut on the show on Thursday of next week, which is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, a really big holiday over there. 

The inclusion of Ji-Young in the cast of loveable characters is all part of the effort by Sesame Street creators to make the muppets on their show more accurately reflect the many different kids from different countries who regularly tune in. It’s called diversity in representation – big concept, simple idea, really important. 

Welcome to the world’s most famous street Ji Young …     




Police in New Zealand have had to come to the rescue of a woman who was being held hostage in her house … by a possum.

Being held hostage means she wasn’t able to leave. Every time the woman from the city of Dunedin opened her front door to go to her car, the possum would run at her, forcing her to scramble back inside.

Eventually, she called the police – who were bemused – and amused – to receive a phone call from someone claiming to be being terrorised by a possum. 

Police officers were despatched – one even had the possum run up his leg – but finally it was captured and relocated to a nearby national park.

Possum experts reckon it was probably a young possum who hadn’t yet worked out whether to run at, or away from something they were scared of. If something scares you possum, run away from it, not at it. Seriously…




This is the segment in which Squiz E the Newshound sniffs out something fishy on the internet …because there’s plenty of fishy stuff on the internet ..  and we’re reminded to keep a lookout for misinformation – or things that might not be true. And this week, Squiz E is taking a break from all that sniffing, because the heavy lifting this week has already been done by Squiz E’s friends, including Prince Harry, who’s been working with a place called the Aspen Institute and has just released a report into the dangers of misinformation on the internet. 

The report says that social media companies need stricter rules, people who spread information that is not true need to be better controlled, good journalism needs to be supported and kids – like you – need to be taught in school how to spot fake information whenever they’re on the internet.

Which is luckily what Squiz E is here to help teach you. 

Because what do we do whenever we read or hear something on the internet that doesn’t sound quite right? Just like Squiz E, we Stop, Think and Check. 

Enjoy the week off Squiz E … we expect big things from you though next week, y’hear?



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

  1. Which country fired a missile into space and caused a space station emergency?
  2. What’s the name of the new Asian American resident of Sesame Street?
  3. Which Prince is helping Squiz-E fight misinformation on the internet?




It’s November 17 … birthday of an excellent trio of well-known Aussies –  cricketer, Aaron Finch, singer Kate Ceberano and musical theatre star, Lucy Durack.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Paris from Rozelle, Allira from Nowra, Mo from Hallett Cove, Samuel from Adelaide, Alex from Alderley, Gracie from Vermont, Ananta from Newcastle, Kale and Liam from Port Macquarie and Oli from Randwick.

Classroom shout outs today go to… class 5B with Mrs Byatt and 5S with Mr Willis at North Ryde Public School.   A shout out to class 3/4M at Mount Lindsay Park Public School where Miss Micallef says well done for working so hard on your return to the classroom.  Also to Mr Kent, Mrs Wright, Mr O’Callaghan and all the teachers at Ivanhoe Primary School and to class 3/4N and Miss Ng at Nowra Anglican College. Lastly a shout out to the entire school community of St Macartan’s Parish Primary School in Mornington – where everyone did an amazing job supporting the kids during remote learning. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Russia
  2. Ji-Young
  3. Prince Harry