Friday 23 April, 2021

Net zero emissions explained; Jogger takes on grizzly in Wyoming; Oxygen on Mars; and who wants a robo-pizza?



Climate change basics video:

Bear video:

Squiz Kids Q+A with Mars scientist, Professor David Flannery:


The Fox’s Spotify Playlist

Squiz Kids Instagram:

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






While you slept last night, leaders of countries around the world were taking part in a virtual climate summit – organised by US President Joe Biden. It’s essentially a big, two day video hook-up where world leaders discuss what to do about climate change. 

As a result, an expression you’re going to hear a lot in the next couple of days is net zero emissions. 

So what does it mean? 

Emissions refers to greenhouse gases – which are the gases that are commonly created from everyday human activities – like driving cars and flying in planes and burning what are called fossil fuels. 

The idea of ‘net-zero’ means getting to a point where we are not putting more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than we are taking out. It’s about finding that delicate balance. 

According to climate scientists, if we can achieve a net-zero balance – we’ll be able to slow down the gradual warming of the planet. 

But: it will take a big effort. Which is why world leaders are getting together to talk about it and hopefully work out a way of working together to make it happen. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to an excellent greenhouse gas explainer video from the BBC for anyone wanting to polish their green credentials.

The other big event happening this weekend is of course Anzac Day – when we take a moment to remember those who have fought in wars to protect Australia. 

ANZAC stands for  Australian New Zealand Army Corps – because our two countries fought side-by-side in an important battle on April 25, 1915 in a country called Turkey.

Last year, with COVID lockdowns around the country, the traditional ANZAC Day marches and dawn services were cancelled. But this year, they’re mostly back on. So set your alarm extra early on Sunday morning to get up and make your way to your neighbourhood war memorial to pay your respects. Or if you can’t make it to a dawn service, light a candle in your driveway. Lest we forget.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Wyoming – which is a state in the US. Where a jogger’s standoff with a peckish grizzly bear has gone viral. Video emerged yesterday of a jogger running through a snowy forest in Wyoming, only to be confronted by a pretty large grizzly – who proceeded to follow the jogger for about three minutes. “I’m not your food” – the jogger is heard to exclaim to the curious bear – which finally lost interest and scampered back into the forest. Theres a link to the video in today’s episode notes. And for the record: that’s why I don’t jog. It’s super dangerous. Grizzly bears at every turn … huh? What do you mean there are no bears here in Australia? Oh … 




Ok space fans – are you ready to have your little minds blown again by the all-round awesomeness of the Perseverance rover on Mars? Because do you know what it went and made yesterday? No, no ice cream. Though that would admittedly be very cool. It made oxygen! A robot on a planet 300 million kilometres away turned carbon dioxide into oxygen. Which is the stuff humans breathe. Which means if ever humans did get to Mars, we have the technology now to create the stuff we would need to breathe to stay alive there. What a clever little rover that Perseverance is. 

And if you haven’t yet had a chance to listen to it: a gentle reminder about our super cool Squiz Kids Q+A with Professor David Flannery – the Aussie scientist in Brisbane who was part of the team that put Perseverance on Mars. I’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes. 




This segment is usually reserved for amazing people doing incredible or inspiring things – but because it’s a Friday and everyone loves pizza – today we salute the pizza company that has started using a robot to .. wait for it … deliver pizza to people’s doors in a trial being run in the American city of Houston. I know right? Next level awesome.

How it works is: you order your pizza, it gets made, then a little motorised oven, driven by a robot, arrives outside your house and you wander out to collect it. Next thing you know it will be raining French Fries .. or cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Oh wait.


Yes, here it is folks. The weekly segment where we catch up with the Fox to find out what he’s been reading, listening to and watching. And this week – it’s an Anzac themed What’s Up Fox… on the reading table is the picture book, A Beach Called Gallipoli – by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley – the duo who brought us Dairy Of A Wombat. As for listening, he’s been forced to go retro by his dad and listen to The Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle. Listen to the lyrics …

And as for watching: he sat down this week and watched the classic Aussie film, Gallipoli … “what are your legs, steels springs. How fast can you run? As fast as a leopard…”  — but be warned: it rates an eight out of ten on the Kleenex tissue scale. 




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

  1. What sort of gases does the planet need to reduce to combat climate change? 
  2. What sort of animal did a jogger in Wyoming encounter this week?
  3. What food is being delivered by robot car in the American city of Houston?




It’s April 23   … birthday of Prince Louis – the youngest son of Prince William, and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. How very royal.

It’s also a special day for these kids celebrating a birthday today … Sarah from Fadden, Isla from Kempsey, Phoebe from Bundoora, Cassius from Mount Isa, Sam from Spreyton, Jack from Pottsville, Stephan from Croydon Park, Sean from Sydney, Sienna from Western Australia, Kai from Mona Vale, Nathaniel from Ferndale, Azhura from Lawnton.  

Not forgetting of course those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over this coming weekend. We’ve had the birthday reggae tune all week for the belated Easter birthday shoutouts – shall we crank it out again? Go on then /…   … Ollie from Canberra, James from Elanora Heights, Summer from Porepunkah, Eloise from Grange, Treay from Forster, Leo from Sydney, Cooper from Dubbo, Cruz from Mansfield, Charlize from Livingstone, Isaac from Eden Hills and Kaitlyn from Forest Lake.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Greenhouse gases
  2. Grizzly bear
  3. Pizza