Friday, 19 March, 2021

Green shoots and job numbers; Florida’s photobombing manta ray; the footy returns to the MCG; and Usain Bolt’s chicken nugget feast.



Giant manta ray photobomb:

Bullying No Way! video:

What’s Up Fox?

Reading: Tintin

Listening: Justin Bieber

Watching: Grammys

The Fox’s Spotify Playlist:


Q+A Tiger Keeper Call-Out

Tiger Cubs: 

Facts about Sumatran tigers: 

Taronga Tiger Cam 1:

Taronga Tiger Cam 2:


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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

Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.






When a big fire passes through bushland, it often burns everything in sight. All the trees and bushes, gone. So, months later, when the first green shoots of new trees start to poke through the blackened ground, it’s a good sign that things are growing back. 

If you imagine the coronavirus to be a big bushfire, and the trees and bushes it burnt to be many thousands of Aussie jobs, then the green shoots appeared through the blackened earth yesterday when the country’s unemployment numbers were reported. 

Unemployment numbers are a measure of how many adults in a population are out of work. So when the unemployment rate goes down, as it did yesterday, it’s a good sign that the economy is getting stronger and more people have jobs. And having a job – even if the adults in your life might groan about it sometimes – is a really good thing for lots of different reasons – including having money to pay for things. According to the government in Canberra – aka the Federal Government – it’s a sign that there is light at the end of the COVID tunnel. So there’s your economics lesson for the week. You’re welcome.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Florida, in the United States, where a giant manta ray has photobombed a surfer. 

A local photographer was taking a pic of a surfer when he noticed a splash behind him. It was only afterwards, when he was going through his photos that he discovered he had captured the extraordinary moment when a manta ray had leapt up out of the water – like some wonderful spaceship from the deep.

Manta rays are part of the same family of animals as sting rays – with a wingspan that can measure up to nine metres – which is the same as two small cars end to end. Imagine having that swim up to you! 

There’s a link to the photo in today’s episode notes. And yes, it’s epic.




Oh happy day! The footy has made a triumphant return to the MCG – and all is once again well with the world.

After 537 days of not hosting a footy match because of that dastardly coronavirus, the G threw open its doors last night and welcomed a sell-out crowd to watch the Richmond Tigers take on the Carlton Blues – and there were cheers, tears and whole lot of very, very happy footy fans. 

The game marks the official start of the 2021 AFL season. And what a match it was. In the end, the defending premiers Richmond proved too strong, beating the Bluesby 105 points to 80.

Meanwhile, up north in Sydney, the Eels beat the Storm by 16 points to 12 – but Ryan Papenhuysen’s mullet was still the best on ground. 




This is the segment where we celebrate record breakers. So it’s perfectly normal that someone like Usain Bolt – the fastest man in the world – would be featured in this segment. But it’s not his speed on the race track that we’re here to discuss. It’s the number of chicken nuggets he ate while taking part in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. 

The sprint star estimates he ate 1,000 nuggets over a 10 day period … which is an average of 100 nuggets per day.

Now – it should go without saying that this is NOT something you should try yourself. Usain has this week told interviewers he did it as a bet – but is now very aware that fast food is ok every now and then – but not the way to build a healthy, happy body. Even if he did win three gold medals and broke three world records at that Olympics … hmm.




Every Friday we check in with Squiz Kids ambassador Flynn, known as The Fox to his friends, to see what he’s been reading, listening to and watching.

On the reading front, he’s been diving into his Tintin collection, going back over a couple of his favourites from the comic series by Belgian writer, Herge. It’s the ‘Crab With The Golden Claws’ he’s been especially into this week. 

On the listening front, he’s a true be-lieber this week, grooving out the new Justin Bieber song, Hold On.

And as for watching: continuing the musical theme, he’s been watching this week’s Grammy Award performances on YouTube, and is quite taken with Harry Styles’ rendition of Watermelon Sugar. 

And as ever – there are links to all of these cool things in today’s episode notes. 




Next week, Squiz Kids’ fabulous Miss Amanda will be visiting Taronga Zoo for a very special Q&A with tiger keeper Louise Ginman. What makes this Q+A so special? Well, only that for the first time, this Q+A will be recorded on video as well as audio – meaning you’ll be able to watch it on Taronga TV on YouTube or listen to it right here. How cool is that? A Squiz Kids Q+A for TV! Today’s the last day if you have a question you want to ask Louise about tigers, about working at a zoo, about conservation, about animals in general. Send your questions quicksticks to [email protected]. And if you need inspiration, we’ve got links in the episode notes to some video footage of Taronga’s tigers, as well as the live stream cameras from inside the tigers’ enclosure!




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

  1. What sort of marine animal photobombed a surfer in Florida this week?
  2. Which famous sporting arena in Melbourne was back hosting an AFL match last night?
  3. Name the fastest man in the world, who has possibly the biggest chicken nugget appetite in the world. 




It’s March 19   … National Day Against Bullying … because being a bully, or being bullied is never ok. At Squiz Kids, we’re a 100% bully-free zone – and we can all play a part in stamping out bullying. Check out the Bullying No Way video in today’s episode notes.

It’s also a Friday … and do I have to spell out what that means? An extra long birthday shout segment. Who wants a bit of musical accompaniment? Me!  Hit it ..

Happy birthday to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Deakin from Nowra, Anthea from The Rock, Hayley from Albany Hills, Evan from Wembley Downs, Madeline from Engadine, Raphael and Libby from Sydney, Henry from Northbridge, Peach from Ingham, Charlotte from Woodvale, Marshall from Lake Munmorah, Riley from Concord West, Lucy from Yarraman, Caitlin from Baulkham Hills, Lola from North Fitzroy, Alektra  from Five Dock, Willow from Rose Bay. 

And a belated birthday shoutout to Avianna from Mortlake. 

Weekend birthday shoutouts… Raya from Pakenham, Imogen from Bundanoon, Eleanor-Rose from Engadine, Negah from Victoria, Jack from Birkdale, Will from Exeter, Jack from Ocean Grove, Jharome from Ashmont, Tate from Capalaba, Gemma from Parkdale, Castiel (‘Cas-t-elle’) from Brisbane, Devansh from Cranbourne, Peter from Cabramatta, and Mitchell who’s listening in all the way over there in Cape Town in South Africa. 

Happy birthday one and all.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Manta ray
  2. MCG
  3. Usain Bolt