Friday 25 June, 2021

Lego goes green; Twin baby pandas in Tokyo zoo; Tom Cruise deep fake rocks TikTok; and balloon rides to space



Baby pandas born in Tokyo Zoo

Tom Cruise deep fake

Balloon flights to space


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


Episode Transcript



It’s one of the biggest toy companies in the world. It’s cool building sets are beloved by children everywhere. And it’s popularity here in Australia has been turbo-charged by a prime time television show starring the Brick Man. So the news yesterday that Lego was going green was met with widespread excitement. 

Each year, the Danish company that makes Lego produces about 4 billion bricks. And at the moment, those bricks are made with a sort of plastic which is not biodegradable. Plastics are generally pretty bad for the environment – both the process that’s used to create them – and the fact that they take a very long time to break down and decompose and clog up landfill. 

You will have seen in the news recently lots of news about governments making laws against single-use plastics – straws and plastic cutlery and plates and food packaging. 

By starting to make its bricks out of recycled plastic bottles – like the ones you drink milk or soft drinks out of – Lego is trying to do its bit to help the environment. 

Lego reckons it can make four bricks from every one litre plastic bottle it recycles. 

It’s all still in experimentation phase right now – but in years to come, when you pull out Lego to play, you can hopefully play in a sustainable way.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Tokyo … where a giant panda has given birth to twins in the city’s zoo.

It’s rare for a panda to have babies in captivity – so everyone is really excited. In captivity is the expression used to describe when an animal lives in somewhere like a zoo, rather than out in the wild.

The giant panda’s name is Shin Shin – and she gave birth to her twins on Wednesday at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo. Baby pandas are called cubs. It’s not yet known if the cubs are boys or girls.

There are only about 1,800 giant pandas living in the wild – which is why when twins are born in a zoo, it’s a cause for celebration.

And because it’s really unusual for a panda to have twins, zoo staff have taken one of the cubs and will care for it in an incubator – which is a special capsule that protects babies when they are teeny tiny and need lots of special attention. 

There’s a link to a video of the new cub in today’s episode notes: it’s super cute … 




You know how sometimes on the internet things are not always as they seem? With computer programs like Photoshop, for example, photos can be altered to make people look completely different to real life, or create images that look real but are totally fake? Well that’s starting to happen more and more with videos too. They’re called ‘deep fakes’ and they can put anyone’s face on another body and make it seem that person has done and said things they never did or said. The most recent example is a video of Mission Impossible actor Tom Cruise that’s had more than 14 million views. Except, it’s not Tom Cruise. It’s a deep fake. His face has just been digitally stitched onto a random person’s body – and using clever computer technology – it looks as if he is speaking, and in this particular video, playing golf.

Deep fakes have lots of people worried. If you can make it look as if a Hollywood actor is saying and doing things he never did, what if the world suddenly saw a video of leader of a country doing or saying something they never did? Like saying something really bad or offensive about another country. It could cause all kinds of problems. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to the deep fake video. The moral of the story: don’t believe everything you see – especially when it comes to things you find on the internet. We’ll have more to say on this theme in the months ahead.



Hands up if you’ve seen the movie, Up … the lovely Pixar film where the old man ties hundreds of balloons to his house and it flies off to a magical, mystery land.

Well, imagine flying up into space in a hot air balloon. Because that’s what one space tourism company in the United States is planning – with the creation of a massive hot-air balloon and special-pressurized cabin for passengers which would gently float up out of the Earth’s atmosphere to the edge of outer space before floating back down and splashing down in the ocean.

Called the Spaceship Neptune, it will take up to eight passengers on each six-hour round trip – and will cost an eye-watering $125,000 per person.

The Neptune has already done a test flight out of Florida in the United States. The next couple of decades are going to be all about space flight. Astronauts – start your engines.




Today’s our last day Squiz Kids regular programming as we all disappear on school holidays. But don’t panic. We’re not abandoning you completely. We’re working up a couple of Kids v Adult School Holiday Quizzes to keep your grey matter energised – which will drop this coming Monday morning and the one after. Don’t forget to subscribe to Squiz Kids in preferred podcasting app so you don’t miss out. 

Plus — if you’ve got a birthday coming up over the school holidays – be sure to keep listening as we do a great big massive pre-holiday birthday shout out.




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

  1. Which toy company is planning to make its bricks from recycled plastic?
  2. Twin cubs of what sort of animal have just been born in a Tokyo zoo?
  3. What’s the name of the hot-air balloon that will be taking tourists into space?





It’s June 25 … National Take Your Dog To Work Day … imagine if they had a Take Your Dog To School Day … how wonderfully chaotic would that be?

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Reece from Gosford East, Shivani from Fairfield Heights, Bella from Sydney, Bentley from Ashmont, Bella from Waverley, Allyson from Newcastle, Max from Jindalee, Ivy from Camp Hill, Joel from Prospect, Jennifer from the ACT, Sammy from Harden, Emily from St Ives and Chad from Flagstaff Hill.

And as promised  … because we’re taking a school holiday break just like you, we’re giving a shout out today to all the kids who are celebrating a birthday over the next couple of weeks — hold onto your hats, it’s going to be a doozy … And because it’s such a doozy, I’ve brought in my partner in Squiz Kids crime, Amanda Bower, to help me smash this out. Hello Amanda! 

Hi Bryce! I’ve been limbering up my larynx in preparation for this ..

It’s a big one – so I hope everyone listening is in a comfortable position … now before we launch into it – Amanda – we should let the listeners know that for our first week back in the new school term – you’ll be hosting the podcast as I take a cheeky holiday break with my family .. 

Yep – can’t wait. We’re back with a new school term of your daily news fix from Monday July 12.

Awesome .. ok – let’s jump into this baby .. for which I reckon we need the birthday reggae tune …  Whaddaya reckon Amanda? 

Hit it …

It’s an extra special happy birthday first off to my good friend Ethan, in Melbourne – who’s been a long time supporter of Squiz Kids – have a good one buddy …  

Happy birthday also to Nathan and Quentin from Fairfield Heights, Hannah from Oran Park, Abbie from Randwick, Annie from Abbotsford, Lucy from Hadspen, Derek from Maroubra, Lilly from Sydney, Anita, Lily, Aleira and Abbey from Gosford East, Tai from Dubbo, Johnny from Cannon Hill, Zac and Milena from Randwick, Hugo from North Balgowlah, Charlie from Watson, Olive from Bulleen, Henry from Tamworth and Joseph from Brisbane

Not forgetting of course AJ and Isobel from Broken Hill, Riley from Murarrie, Harper from North Nowra, Matteo from Five Dock, Jevin  from Mandurah, Miami from Western Australia, Ahana from Invermay, Alyssa from West Pennant Hills, Kopelyn from Hughenden, Jessica from Williamstown, Lola from Inverloch, Ryleigh and Jalia from Ashmont, Alex from Mansfield and Zahra from Baldivis.

Big birthday love also to Amelia and Kristian from NSW, Isobel from Crafers, Romeo from Bolwarra, Ava from Como, Kyla from St Peters, Sophie from Greystanes, Chloe from Mornington, Leo from West Leederville, Zoe from Marrickville, Josh from Manly Vale, Sienna from Craigburn, Emma from Kempsey, Vincent and Archer from Albany Hills, Paige from South Nowra, and Reuben and Indi from Shoal Bay.

Many happy returns to Ashley and Izayiah from Broken Hill, Abby & Evie from Seven Hills, Mackenzie from North Parramatta, Luca from Exeter, Finn from Jindalee, Neve from Engadine, Edie from Wahroonga, Marly from Melbourne, Caitlyn from Newcastle, Lexi from Petersham, Zayden from Chipping Norton, Mabel from Fremantle, Julian from Bomaderry, Molly and Samantha from Walpole, Angus from Davidson, Ari from Balmain, Miette and Nadja  from Dulwich Hill, Jeremy from Cammeray, Leah from Green Bank, Eniko from Fadden, Sienna from Flagstaff Hill, Tasman and Betsy from Buderim, and Lissy from Cherrybrook.

Woo-hoo! We did it!

I’m done … I need a lie down .. and two weeks off … 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Lego
  2. Giant Panda
  3. Spaceship Neptune