Friday, 18 February, 2022

Good day for the planet; Israel teaches goldfish to drive; Ancient Egypt’s mummy myths; and meet the baby ghost shark.



Goldfish learning to drive: 

Baby ghost shark:


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There was good news for the planet yesterday when it was announced the biggest coal-fired power plant in Australia will be closing seven years earlier than expected. 

The company that operates the Eraring Power Station on Lake Macquarie, in NSW, yesterday said with renewable energy sources like wind and solar becoming more and more efficient at supplying the electricity we need – the business case for a coal-fired power plant just no longer added up. And so they had decided to bring forward the date of its closure. 

What is a coal-fired power plant? It’s a power plant that burns coal to create electricity. Coal is a fossil fuel – meaning there’s only a certain amount of it on Earth – and when it burns it creates greenhouse gases. 

Of course: when you close a big power plant – you need to make sure you have something else to replace it – to keep producing the electricity we need every day to keep the lights on … and the TV on, and the PS4 running, and the phones and tablets charged  …

Which is why it was also announced yesterday that a great big battery would be built in NSW to help supply some of the energy that will disappear when Erarang closes down. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Israel, where researchers have taught goldfish how to drive. 

Wait … what? 

Yes indeed … scientists put fish into a tank of water that was set up on wheels. When the fish swam towards one of the tank’s walls, the fishmobile drove in the same direction. A target was set up on one wall of a room, and the fish would receive a treat when the tank successfully navigated to the target. 

During the first half-hour lesson, the fish drove to the target an average of 2.5 times. By the twelfth and final lesson, they made it 17 times… 

A scientist over in America, who has taught rats to drive toy cars, said she was impressed by the goldfish results and would like to see a race between the two species. I wonder which would win? To help you decide, I’ve put a link in your episode notes to a video of the driving goldfish. 




You’ve heard of Baby Shark, right? Who hasn’t heard of Baby Shark. Once heard it cannot be unheard … well scientists in New Zealand are celebrating the discovery of an entirely different kind of baby shark … they’ve pulled from the depths a baby ghost shark – which is super rare.

Ghost sharks live on the bottom of the sea – and this one was found more than one whole kilometre underwater! That’s a long, long way underwater. There’s not much in the way of natural light that far underwater, hence why the sharks look so ghostly white.

There’s a link to a photo of the critter in today’s episode notes – and as you’ll see, why it’s not exactly the prettiest fish you’ll ever come across, it’s perfectly adapted to life at the bottom of the ocean. 




Hey team .. don’t forget … because it’s a Friday, a brand new Squiz Kids Shortcut drops today … what’s a shortcut? It’s a deep dive on a topic – and today we’re strapping ourselves into the Squiz Kids Time Machine and and travelling all the way back to Ancient Egypt, where Amanda and I will bust a few myths about pyramids and mummies. We’ll also learn why men wore makeup; and, if you’ve got the stomach for it, Amanda will teach you how to mummify a chicken at home. Euggh… Shortcuts are available to all families who have signed up to our Subscriber Specials in Apple podcasts, and of course to our hundreds of Squiz Kids for Schools members. Teachers, if you haven’t jumped in to your free 30 day trial yet, get on it!




Every Friday we dip into the Squiz Kids email in-box and pick a listener who’s sent in a little audio diary about their life. This is Squiz Kids Correspondents – where we get a glimpse of Squiz Kids life in whichever part of the world they come from … so far we’ve had listeners who live in China, England, Singapore and even Squiz Kids who live on a boat – and today, we’re off to Broken Hill in NSW – where Squiz Kid Eva becomes our next SK Correspondent … keep those entries coming in! There’s a link in today’s episode notes explaining how you too can become a SK Correspondent. For now though – take it away Eva …




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

  1. What sort of baby fish has been pulled from the depths in waters off New Zealand? 
  2. What fossil fuel is used to generate electricity at the Eraring power station in NSW?
  3. What animal have scientists in Israel taught how to drive?





It’s February 18 .. birthday of US rapper Dr Dre .. and also International Pluto Day … celebrating the fact that on this day, 91 years ago, the dwarf planet Pluto was discovered … happy birthday, sort of, Pluto … 

It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means …a good excuse to crack out the birthday reggae tune .. hit it .. 

Happy birthday to Niva from Sydney who is celebrating her birthday today.

And it’s happy birthday to the following Squiz Kids celebrating their birthdays over the coming weekend… 

Ellen from Penrith, Bethanie from Ashmont, Jack from Geelong, Mira from South Australia, Lachlan from Bright East, Juliet from West Pennant Hills and Aashe from Werribe. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Shark .. or ghost shark to be specific.
  2. Coal
  3. Goldfish