Friday, 10 February, 2023

An AI powered search engine; Namibia’s classroom problem; the Sydney kid in the Superbowl; and a vampire planet discovered.


The new Bing: 

Namibian TV report on school under trees: 

Jordan Mailata the “best story in the NFL” 

Wolf1069b Artist’s Impression and press release:

25 best Superbowl ads of all time:

Superbowl Ads 2023 (Beer ads included): 

T20 World Cup: 


Dig Deeper: 

Bing relaunch discussed by experts: 

Bankstown Kid: The Jordan Mailata story:  

Explore Exoplanets:


Search For The Ultimate $5 Lunchbox  

Rosie’s Recipes: Next Level Nachos:



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Hands up if you’ve never, never, NEVER in your life googled something. 

Didn’t think so. 

For more than 20 years, Google has been used by billions of people all over the world, whenever they wanted to find or learn something on the internet. The company that started out as a uni project in California is now one of the most powerful companies in the world – and its search engine earns about $100 billion-with-a-B each year. 

But .. Now there’s a new search engine in town. It’s powered by the latest version of the ChatGPT artificial intelligence software, and some tech experts are saying it’s better than Google. 

You’ve heard of ChatGPT, right? It’s the software that everyone’s talking about, because it can write an English essay in seconds, or do your social studies homework, or, yes, write a podcast. (I wrote this all by myself, I promise.)

The new search engine was launched this week just for a small group of testers, who have explored what it can do. For example, if you type in “Write me a menu for a dinner party”, on the left side of the screen you’d see what you’d normally expect: Ads, and links to recipe websites. But on the right side, the A.I. engine starts typing out a response in full sentences. You can then open a chat window and say “Write a shopping list for that menu, sorted by aisle, with the amounts needed to make enough food for eight people.”

The search engine delivers—although it should be said that on some simple maths requests, it makes mistakes. Proving that sometimes even the newest search engine isn’t as good as your human brain. 

Actually, maybe it’s not fair to say that this is a new search engine. We’re talking about the relaunch of Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. For years, Bing has been the laughing stock of the search world – meaning that people made fun of it because it was so bad. 

I mean, we could try that experiment again. Hands up if you’ve never, never, NEVER in your life used Bing to search for something. 

Yup, a whole lot of hands in the air. 

But apparently, with this new version of Bing, Google could have real competition on its hands. I’ll put some links in your episode notes to learn more. 



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 southern African country of Namibia, where the President has told teachers that they should stop complaining about a lack of classrooms, and get to work building their own.

Yes, you heard that right.

Since the start of this school year, pictures have been shared all over Namibia of kids sitting outside, learning underneath trees, because there are not enough classrooms to hold them all – although that’s been a problem in Namibia for many years. Now the country’s President, Hage Geingob, has said that although the lack of classrooms is a concern, he’s bothered that teachers are waiting for the government to construct classrooms. They should, he says, “use their hands” and build temporary ones by putting up wooden poles and “blikkies”, which is a local word for tin roof sheeting. 

If you’re sitting at school listening to this, have a look around your classroom. I’m going to bet you’ve got books, carpets, desks, chairs, some kind of TV or screen, a whiteboard, maybe even computers or tablets. Quite a difference, isn’t it? 



The second Sunday in February is HUGE in America—it’s their National Football League’s grand final, otherwise known as the Superbowl. Even people who don’t love gridiron watch for the blockbuster ads—this year, it will cost advertisers $10 million to run one 30-second ad. Whoa. I’ll put a link in your episode notes to some classic Superbowl ads.

But it’s a good bet that way more Australians will be watching this year, as the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs, because of a certain kid from Sydney. Jordan Mailata, who grew up playing rugby league, joined the Eagles in 2018 as an “offensive tackle”. In this case, “offensive” doesn’t mean that he’s rude… it means that his job is to keep the other team’s defensive players away from his teammate with the ball. When Jordan first got to America to try out for the NFL, he didn’t know how to put on the helmet or shoulder pads properly. Now, he’s what some people are calling “the best story in the NFL”. Go you good thing. 




Astronomers have announced the discovery of a rare Earth-sized exoplanet about 31 light years away that could be habitable. Habitable means, of course, that it’s possible to live somewhere; and an exoplanet is a planet that orbits a star other than our solar system’s sun. This new, rocky planet is orbiting a star called Wolf 1069, so it’s been given the very boring name of Wolf 1069b—but some people are calling it a “vampire planet”. That’s because it orbits its sun without turning on its axis—meaning that it’s permanently daytime on one side of the planet, and on the other, permanently night. I guess that’s the side where the vampires hang out. 

It will take ten years for humans to build telescopes powerful enough to find out if the conditions on the vampire planet are just right for life… but meanwhile, I’ve put a link to an artist’s impression of Wolf 1069b in your episode notes. 



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

  1. Which country’s president told teachers they should use their hands and build temporary classrooms? 
  2. Sydney kid Jordan Mailata is playing in Sunday’s Superbowl for which American NFL team? 
  3. What’s the name for a planet orbiting a star other than our own sun? 





It’s February 10 – the first day of the women’s T20 cricket world cup in South Africa.  The Aussies are the defending champions and world number ones, and their first game will be against New Zealand on Sunday morning our time.  I’ll put a link in your episode notes to follow all the action.  

It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means .. lots of birthday shout outs for today and the coming weekend … for which we’re going to need to crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … hit it … 

It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Emily from Bassendean, Stella from Flagstaff Hill, Annabelle T from Albury, Lilla, Nash and Maeve from Ballina and Franklin listening over in Westminster, U.K. 

Belated birthday wishes go to … Jamal from Oyster Bay, Capri from Burpengary, Kandace from Bexley, Unieke from Ashmont and David listening in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

Not forgetting all the Squiz Kids who are celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend… Amani from Wallaroo, Xavier from Hornsby, Xavier C from Wahroonga, William from Waitara, Tom from Asquith, Apollo from Sydney, Bianca from Woongarrah, Jasper and Josh from Junee, Tino from Cronulla, Cooper from Burpengary, Mary from Forest Lake, Talia from Nunawading, Nathan from Rochedale, Max from Bathurst, Matilda, Harry and Florence from the Northern Beaches, Chad and Devin listening from Phoenix, USA and lastly Sammy – a Melbournian listening in Paris, France.  


The S’Quiz Answers:

  • Namibia
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Exoplanet