Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Australia joins the climate club; Snow in South Africa; Mars rover phones home; and it’s State of Origin time!


Mars Rover Perseverance:

Malala Yousafzai

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Are you a member of a club? If so, then you probably know that the often the best way to get stuff done is alongside other like-minded people.

That’s the thinking behind the decision yesterday by Aussie PM, Anthony Albanese to sign Australia up to the Climate Club – a group of countries from all over the world including the US, the UK, Singapore, Germany, France and Italy – all of whom want to see global emissions reduced to net zero by the year 2050.

Now that’s a lot of high-falutin’ fancy talk – so what does it mean? It means drastically  reducing the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

And many would say it’s a timely announcement – given that global temperatures reached their hottest on record last week.

I know it’s hard to imagine as we all shiver through a chilly winter – but in the northern hemisphere, they’ve been experiencing record high temperatures and heatwaves.

And all of this as the world weather service confirmed this week that we’re in an El Nino – a weather pattern that will likely bring extended periods of hot dry weather. 

And that has scientists on the Great Barrier Reef worried we could be in for another doral bleaching event – which is when the water becomes too warm for the coral to thrive. 

But now we’re part of the climate club – hopefully we can all work together to find solutions. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Johannesburg, in South Africa – where it has snowed for the first time in forever.

With thanks to Ana from Arendelle for that line.

While the northern hemisphere swelters – children who have never seen snow ran out into parks and made snowballs and snow angels as the lovely white stuff fluttered down onto South Africa’s biggest city. 

It’s the first time Jo’burg has seen snow in over a decade. And a devade, as you know, is a whole ten years. 

Meanwhile, as snow continued to blanket the Aussie Snowy Mountains and down into Tassie – Queenslanders woke to chilly temperatures yesterday morning – some had to swap their thongs for actual shoes. True story. 




Alright Queensland … you ready for this? Can the Maroons perform a clean sweep of this year’s State of Origin series – or will the NSW Blues save a little bit of face and win tonight’s final game?

That’s the question that’s burning in the minds of NRL loving Aussies everywhere. 

Billy Slater’s Queensland Maroons team goes into tonight’s dead rubber decider as favourites. 

What’s a dead rubber? It’s a match whose outcome won’t affect the overall result of a competition. By winning the first two games, Queensland has already won this year’s series. Queenslander! 

Tonight’s game takes place in Sydney .. where it’s still school holidays .. so expect plenty of kiddos in the stands.

But question marks remain over who exactly will run on for the Blues – with speculation that coach Brad Fittler may make some last minutes changes to his line-up.

May the best team win …




Does your mum or dad sometimes have bad reception on their mobile phones? Do calls sometimes drop out because you go through a tunnel, or pass through a bit of countryside without coverage?

Well that’s what’s happened up on Mars – where a little helicopter that humans sent up with the Mars Rover Perseverance two years ago has been taking flights around the red planet and sending back photos. 

Except it took a little flight back in April and landed behind a Martian hill – and for 63 days, down here on Earth – we weren’t able to get any signal from it. 

But communications have been restored this week and the helicopter is back online.

And all of this is happening – and being controlled – by a group of scientists here on Earth –  340 million kilometres away. That’s just remarkable!

I;ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to NASA’s official Perseverance page, where you’ll see a photo of the cheeky little helicopter.



Hey ! Were you listening on Monday? Did you get the memo that Squiz Kids is dancing to a whole new tune .. with a brand new schedule?

The daily news pod, Squiz Kids Today will now drop Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays ..with Newshounds moving to Thursdays …  Shortcuts and Squiz The Worlds will drop on alternate Tuesdays, and we’re bringing our super fun Kids v Adults Weekly News S’quiz forward to Fridays – so you can test who’s been paying the most attention to the week that just was. 

Same cool Squiz Kids content, still absolutely, gob-smackingly free – just delivered differently.


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

  1. What’s the name of the rover up on Mars? 
  2. In which big South African city has snow fallen this week?
  3. Which state has won this year’s NRL State of Origin series?





It’s July 12 –  today is the birthday of inspirational Pakistani girls’ advocate Malala Yousafzai … I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes because you should totally know more about Malala.


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Aliza from Point Cook, Alessandro and Marthinus  from Exeter, Jordy from Caloundra West, Frank from Windsor, George from Forest Lake, Maya from Bargo, Spencer from Bonbeach and Rhys from Albany Hills.


And because we took a week off for school hols – we’re powering through a pile of belated shout outs – today’s go to… Eleanor from Ballarat, Kaysha from Geelong, Ethan from Albany Hills, Emma from Gundagai, Oscar from Exeter, Harvey and Oscar from Vaucluse, Braden from Carlingford, James and Sharl from Middle Harbour, Liam from Kensington, Harvey from Dianella, Till, Elliot and Kynan from Helensvale and Emily listening over in Singapore. 


Classroom shoutouts for our friends in Queensland and Victoria who are back at school this week … class 4A with Mrs Robey and class 2B with Ms Eather at Ormond Primary School, class 4MO at Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School in Warrnambool, class 5/6E and Mr Denatris at Dandenong South Primary School, class 6HB and Ms Harvey at Ivanhoe Primary School, class 2D with Ms Hanslow-Sells at Eltham North Primary School and lastly to class 6O and Miss Orr at Dysart State School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Perseverance
  2. Johannesburg
  3. Queensland