Friday, 18 March, 2022

Sausage sizzles in South Australia; Hijab trouble in India; the disgusting truth about cane toads; and the world’s biggest not-potato.



Japan’s earthquake:

Dug the gourd … not a potato:


Squiz Kids for Schools:

Squiz Kids Apple Subscriber Content: 


How To Become A Squiz Kids Correspondent:

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Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Send us an email at [email protected]





South Australia Squiz Kids … what are you doing tomorrow? Heading to your local school with your parents for a sausage sizzle perhaps? Joining them as they line up to vote in the state election that’s taking place tomorrow?

All going smoothly – election wise – you should have yourselves either a new premier, in the shape of Peter Malanauskas – or be settling in to another four years with Steven Marshall as your premier. 

The election is important for South Australians – obviously. But it will also be closely watched by our federal politicians – the ones that work out of Canberra – because a federal election is coming around the corner – and everyone will be looking to see what happens this weekend in South Australia – and specifically what that means for the big federal election which has to be held before May 21.

Game on …

Meanwhile, the north-east of Japan was in clean-up mode yesterday after a powerful earthquake rocked the country in the wee small hours of the night  – making tall buildings sway and knocking people to the ground.

Japan sits on a couple of fault lines … a fault line is where tectonic plates meet.  Tectonic plates are basically parts of the hard outer crust of the Earth – and when they bump into one another and push against one another – the grinding that results is what causes earthquakes. 

The earthquake measured 7.3 on the earthquake measuring scale – which is big. There was a warning too that it might trigger a tsunami – which is the Japanese word for tidal wave – but thankfully it didn’t eventuate.

I’ve stuck a link to video footage of the quake in today’s episode notes. And remember, if you’ve signed up for Squiz Kids for Schools or become an Apple Subscriber – we’ve done an excellent Shortcut on earthquakes and volcanoes – links to free trials of both in today’s episode notes. 



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 south of India, where a court has ruled that it’s okay to stop Muslim students from wearing the hijab to school. 

What’s the hijab? It’s a headscarf. And it’s worn by some, but not all, Muslim women and girls. Some of you, or your classmates, might wear the hijab. Over in India, judges in the southern state of Karnataka ruled that wearing a hijab was not essential to the Islamic religion. And so, the court said, the school could insist on a uniform that did not include the hijab. The Muslim girls at the school in question have appealed, so watch this space. 

Classroom Companion Clarion:  Ahh … that’s the Classroom Companion Clarion – indicating that today’s Squiz Kids for Schools activity sheets are tied to this news item .. and today it’s practicing sentence length to compose a compelling argument. Keen to check out Squiz Kids for Schools? There’s a link in your episode notes to a free 30-day trial. 




Just when you thought it wasn’t possible to dislike cane toads any more comes the news that they eat their own babies … of course they do.

New research revealed yesterday that when they are tadpoles, cane toads feast on cane toad eggs … and the reason cane toad tadpoles eat their younger siblings before they’ve had a chance to hatch, is because they are addicted to the poison that cane toads produce.

Which is frankly all kinds of messed up – and exactly why I hate them. Also because when it rains really heavily at my house, they pop up everywhere – with their nasty eyes and disgusting leathery skin and poisonous secretions. Eugh. 

Cane toads, which are native to South America, were introduced to Australia in the 1930s by scientists who hoped they would control a pest called cane beetles – in the sugar cane fields of Queensland. But that backfired and now the cane toad is the pest. 

Amanda and I have produced an excellent Shortcut on invasive species – available to all Squiz Kids for Schools or Apple Subscribers – links to free trials of which are in your episode notes. 




This is the segment where we celebrate incredible achievements and Guinness World Records and the like … or in today’s case – where we correct the record.

You might remember a story from last year about a New Zealand couple digging up in their garden what they believed was the world’s biggest potato … it was so big and so heavy they had to create a little cart to move it around on … they called it Doug … because that’s what they did to uncover him. Geddit?

Well, it turns out they jumped the spud gun … with the Guinness Book of World Records writing to them this week to say Dug isn’t a potato, but rather a gourd – which is another type of plant altogether. 

Boo fingers ..

Doug’s owners don’t care though. They still love him all the same. They keep him in the freezer and say hello to him each day. 

“He’s a cool character,’ says Dug’s owner. “He’s the world’s biggest not a potato”.




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

  1. Which country was hit by a powerful earthquake on Wednesday night?
  2. Doug the not-potato turned out to be what sort of vegetable?
  3. Which gross animal eats its own eggs, addicted to its own poison?




It’s March 18 … today is World Sleep Day …. Wow – that may well be my favourite world day ever … snore …. and tomorrow is the 90th birthday of the Sydney Harbour Bridge … so happy birthday to you, bridge. 

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

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

Mackenzie from Colonel Light Gardens, Moez from Mosman Park, Corisande from Annandale, Mira from Point Cook, William from Keswick, Sarah from Oatley and Poppy who’s listening all the way over there in Singapore.

Belated birthday wishes go to Otis from Bathurst and Spencer from Woodcroft College. 

Not forgetting of course those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend… Gabriel from Sydney, Zoe from Queanbeyan South, Sienna from Cheltenham, Luca from Werribee, Jayla and Erin from Ashmont, Gracie from Moonee Ponds, Crumbs from Brisbane, Mila from Walpole, Isaac from Cannon Hill, Sebastian from Belmont and Orla from Ashmont and Thomas, who’s also listening all the way over there in Singapore.

And whilst we don’t usually give classroom shoutouts on friday – this is a special shout out to Audrey in year 4 at Mt Kuring-gai Public School who is being very brave today and shaving off all of her hair, to raise money for The World’s Greatest Shave. Your parents are very proud of you Audrey! Send us a photo at [email protected] – we’d love to share it on our Instagram.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Japan
  2. Gourd
  3. Cane Toad