Wednesday, 22 June, 2020
Australia unveils its supercomputer; German stinky fruit chaos; new rules for netball; and Instagram’s gangsta grandma.
It takes up an entire floor, runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and it uses the same amount of electricity on a daily basis as the average-sized suburb – but with the unveiling this week in Canberra of a massive computer, Australia now has the 25th most powerful supercomputer in the world.
Called Gadi, and capable of processing massive amounts of data, the supercomputer has catapulted us up the global supercomputer leaderboard from 239th position to 25th – and opens up a dizzying array of research possibilities.
We’re talking the ability to make really specific climate predictions that could completely change the way we are able to prepare for great big weather events – such as drought and fire and even global warming. We’re talking a computer so powerful that scientists are using it to help find treatments for everything from diabetes to cancer.
And – right now – it’s even being used by a group of Australian researchers who are searching for a treatment for the coronavirus.
So powerful is this supercomputer, that at any given time, up to 5,000 people can be using its data processing capabilities at the same time. So – you know – just a bit more powerful than your iPad.
Here’s a sentence I bet you thought you’d never hear. The good people of Queensland are bracing themselves for snow. Yes, you heard right. Snowfall has been predicted for the Granite Belt of south Queensland – an area of high country near the NSW border. People in towns like Stanhope have their winter woolies at the ready as temperatures across the southern part of the state – including Brisbane – are expected to drop into single digits. Anyone want to build a snowman in Surfers Paradise?
SPIN THE GLOBE
Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in Germany – where a post office went into lockdown because of the world’s stinkiest fruit. Six post office workers in the German town of Schweinfurt – which might just be my favourite town name of all time – were taken to hospital feeling sick after staff noticed a stinky odour coming from a parcel. The post office was evacuated, the police and fire brigade was called in and a special team was sent in to examine the parcel. It turned out to be full of durian fruit – a spiky fruit from Thailand which is renowned for smelling like rotten food and dirty socks rolled into one.
Durian has a well-earned reputation for being the most vile smelling fruit in the world. Singapore has banned the fruit from its subway system, a plane in Indonesia had to be grounded last year after a cargo of durian sent an eye-watering stench through the cabin, and a university library in Canberra had to be evacuated and steam cleaned after a student started eating durian whilst studying. Apparently it’s a really tasty fruit: we’ve never gotten past the smell to verify that, however.
Australia’s Super Netball is looking to shake things up from the first centre pass when the games begin again in August. Officials have announced the introduction of a two-point ‘super shot’ that will see double points awarded when a goal is scored from the area at the edge of the goal circle during the final five minutes of each quarter.
Organisers say it will make the game “dynamic and unpredictable” but some people aren’t happy, including the captain of our national team, Caitlin Bassett who took to social media to suggest the game was already exciting enough as it is. So it’s gone down as well as an annoying Wing Attack with non-regulation long nails…
POP CULTURE CORNER
She has 12 grandchildren and is 85 years young – but that hasn’t stopped Hobart granny, Judy Watkins from becoming an Instagram sensation.
She’s known as gangstagrandma35 on the popular social media platform – and in the few months she’s been posting photos and videos – she’s attracted almost 40,000 followers from all over the world. Her posts – which can be photos of her garden or videos with her pet dog Jack – regularly attract more than 4,000 likes – helped along by two of her grandkids – one of whom is an Instagram influencer and the other a well-known online gamer. Judy says she makes a point of replying to every comment – and reckons she’s found ‘some lovely and interesting young people to talk to’.
Go Granny Watkins!
Every Wednesday, we stick our head into the Squiz Kids kitchen to see what Rosie’s been cooking this week.
And will you look at that .. she’s got a special guest at her stove top this week – in the shape of her brother, Flynn – known to most of you as The Fox – of What’s Up Fox fame. And he’s been busy preparing a winter favourite in our household – homemade vanilla custard.
As Rosie says: “it’s not only super yummy – but it also warms your tummy.”
The recipe plus photos of the process and finished product are all on the Squiz Kids website.
Don’t forget: if you have a favourite recipe that YOU like to cook that you’d like Rosie to try… AND to feature in this segment – be sure to send it to: [email protected]
And a huge thanks to all of you who have sent in recipes so far – we’re working our way through them and will get to you all as soon as we can – promise!
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- Which city in Australia – which is also our capital – is home to the brand new supercomputer?
- In which country was the post office that had to be evacuated due to stinky fruit?
- Which sport has just introduced a two-point super shot?
It’s June 24 … on this day ten years ago, Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female prime minister. It’s also ten years today since the longest match at Wimbledon ever recorded – where two players slogged it out for over 11 hours …
It’s also a big day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …Mikaela from Dubbo, Tabitha from Palm Beach, Neil and Emily from Ballarat, Ned from Melbourne, Noah from Heidelberg, Jaidyn, Sebastian and Seb from Sydney, Alice from Port Kennedy, Thomas from Brisbane, Nathan from Viewbank, Aliya from Hammond Park, Judah from Ringwood North, Zane from Birrong, Noah from Redlynch, Mac from Karalee, Nikita from Adelaide, Rhys from Copacabana, Hugo from Waverley, Hunter from Valentine, Darren from Moora and Cleo all the way from Vancouver in Canada.
And some belated birthday shoutouts… Trina from Sydney, Eddie from Darwin and Asmi from Newbridge Heights.
Happy birthday to you all.
Today’s classroom shoutouts… 2PJ at Lane Cove Public School, classes 1B and 3A at Cannon Hill Anglican College, 3B at Mawarra Public School, Newborough Primary School, and Tuggerah Public School.
The S’Quiz Answers:
Friday, 3 July 2020: Bring on the by-election; Ireland’s professional toilet flushers; Grand Prix is go!; and Katy Perry makes pop chart history. LINKS: What’s Up Fox: Reading: http://www.andygriffiths.com.au/abook/?id=9780330421973...Listen now