Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Star Wars planet system discovered; Netherlands very fishy doorbell; Nuggets win their first NBA championship; and Squiz-E sniffs out a fake.


Rare planet discovered:

The ‘Fish Doorbell’:

How a lock works:


Squiz Kids Book Club:

Classroom Companion:

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Hands up if you’ve ever seen any of the Star Wars movies? I can’t see you, but i’m guessing there are a bunch of hands up.

Keep your hand up if you remember the planet of Tatooine – where Luke Skywalker comes from. A planet in whose sky at sunset you can see not one, but two suns. 

Well that’s what astronomers announced yesterday they had found thanks to some excellent telescopic sleuthing work into outer space.

Sleuthing is a fancy word for detective work.

The new solar system they have found is a bunch of planets in orbit around two suns. 


The system, which they’ve named BEBOP-1c – is what’s called in space geek speak, a multi-planetary circumbinary system … multi-planetary meaning more than one planet and circum coming from the Latin for ‘around’ and binary referring to the two suns.


So – beyond being exciting for Star Wars fans that a solar system has been found that looks like something from the movies – what’s the significance of this discovery? According to reports, it gives astronomers new insights into the way planets form. 


But are there any Tuskan Raiders, Banthas or Jawa up there? That’s the real question … ok, ok – I’ll get back in my Star Wars nerd box.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in the Netherlands – where a virtual doorbell has been set up to help fish migrate.

What the what? 

So here’s the thing. Each year, lots of fish travel up a river in the Netherlands on their way to breeding grounds upstream. But this one particular river has a lot of locks in it. A lock, when we’re talking about rivers, is a system of gates that open and close to let boats pass. Problem is: when the locks are closed – fish can’t get through. So web cams have been placed underwater at the gates – and whenever a fish or a school of them is detected, it sets off a little alarm that tells the lock operator to open the gates and let the fish through. A virtual door-bell, no less. 

How clever is that?

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to a video explaining how locks work. They’re a super cool piece of engineering technology.



There were fireworks and dancing in the streets, celebrations across the whole state of Colorado and scenes of wild jubilation inside Ball Arena yesterday as the Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat to become the 2023 NBA champions. 

In a closely fought game of basketball, the Nuggets managed 94 points to the Heat’s 89 – winning their fourth game in a seven game playoff series and winning their first championship in 47 years in the process.

Nuggets all-star Nikola Jokic won MVP – or most valuable player for the finals series- scoring 28 points for his team in this game alone. 

The Nuggets have never won an NBA championship – so celebrations in the city of Denver – which sits high atop the Rocky Mountain range – were expected to go long int the night.

Even the Empire State Building in New York City – thousands of miles away – was lit up in the Nuggets’ colours of blue and gold. Why is the team called the Denver Nuggets? Because Colorado was the scene of a very famous gold rush back in the 1800s – where thousands of people flocked to the state to try to find a gold nugget.

With the NBA trophy now safely in their hands, you could say the Denver Nuggets mined a little bit of their own very special sporting gold yesterday. Go Nuggets!



Every Wednesday, Squiz-E the Newshound sticks his snout into Squiz Kids HQ to report back on what fishy things he’s sniffed out this week on the internet. And today, Squiz-E ‘s nose is twitching overtime with after having stumbled upon a bunch of AI images and deep fakes videos ..

What are those? AI images are photos online that are not real … they’re images that have been Photoshopped or created using Artificial Intelligence. Christie has made a bunch of excellent examples for today’s Classroom Companion. 

And deep fakes are videos that are also fake .. they might show someone saying something they never said, or something happening that never happened. And the technology these days is so good, that its hard to tell that they are fake. Dangerous stuff. 

Lots of companies, including Google are working develop tools to help us check to see if an image is real or fake. But in the meantime, we have to practice being really careful Newshounds – sniffing out fakes by doing as Squiz-E always says: STOP, THINK and CHECK before believing everything we see, read or hear on the internet. 

There’s an excellent classroom activity in our Newshounds media literacy program – freely available to all schools via the Squiz Kids website. Because every Aussie kid needs to learn to be a Newshound. 


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

  1. In which country has a virtual doorbell been set up to help fish swimming through locks?
  2. How many suns are there in a multiplanetary circumbinary system?
  3. Name the basketball team that won this year’s NBA championship? 





It’s June 14  – today is International Bath Day .. a great day for a long soak in a bath filled with bubbles. ..


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

Harrison from Brisbane, Holly from Newrybar, Max from Orange, Kathryn from Springvale, Caleb from West Pennant Hills, Dayaan from Oran Park, Zara from Kurralta Park, Will from Lavington, Alvin from Wagga Wagga, Aubrey from Blakehurst, Zara from Adelaide, Madelynne from Albion Park, Teo from Peechelba and Marli from Warnervale.


A belated shout out goes to Grace from Cambridge Gardens. 


Classroom shout outs go to … class 6K and Mrs Kelman at Cherrybrook Public School, class 4 yellow and Miss D’sa at St Luke’s Catholic Primary School in Revesby, class magenta and Mr Farquhar at Killarney Vale Public School, class LA10 and Mrs Joyce at Atwell Primary School, class 3/4 magenta and Mrs Burnet at Ashmont Public School and lastly class 1S and Mrs Stanton at Ryde East Public School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Netherlands
  2. Two
  3. Denver Nuggets