Friday, 8 April, 2022

Sydney floods again; Hong Kong’s slime robot; the world’s skinniest skyscraper; and the gorilla who’s had too much screen time.



Robot slime:

The world’s skinniest skyscraper:


Squiz Kids for Schools:

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Sydney was on flood alert last night and residents across the city were ordered to evacuate from their homes as more torrential rain hammered Australia’s biggest city, causing yet more chaos.

After a brief moment of sunshine earlier in the week, the residents of Sydney were forced to dig out the umbrellas and gumboots once again – and hold on for dear life as Mother Nature unleashed yet another deluge. 

From the Northern Beaches to Woronora and Bonnet Bay in the Sutherland Shire, from the Nepean River in the west to the Illawarra in the south, residents spent much of yesterday fighting back rising floodwaters while emergency services were kept busy all over the city performing flood rescues. 

Yesterday’s rains, plus the other downpours to which the city has been subject in the past couple of months, means more rain has fallen in Sydney in the past three months than would usually fall in an entire year.

That soggy, mouldy feeling you Sydney Squiz Kids have? It’s for a reason. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Hong Kong – where clever scientists have created a slime robot. 

You guys know slime, right? Well, did it ever occur to you that you could make a sort of slime that can be controlled by a remote control? That you could make move in whichever direction you wanted it to move and even pick up things?

Because that’s what these researchers in Hong Kong have created.

Now why on earth would anyone want a slime robot? As the video in today’s episode notes explains, there could be really great uses for a piece of slime that you control with a remote.

Doctors are excited that the invention could be used in medicine – say, for instance, when kids swallow something and you need to send a twisty, bendy, squishy something down into the stomach to retrieve it .. a slime robot could do that.  

How cool is science? 




You’ve all heard the grownups in your lives saying that too much screen time isn’t good for you, right? Well, it turns out that the same is true for gorillas. 

Chicago Zoo officials in America say that a teenaged gorilla called Amare has gotten dangerously distracted after spending too much time staring at visitors’ mobile phones. They’ve been holding up their phones to the glass wall of Amare’s enclosure and showing him selfies, family photos, pet videos, and even videos of Amare himself. 

The other day, another gorilla rushed aggressively at Amare, but the phone-loving lad didn’t seem to notice until the last minute… and, as your parents are no doubt always telling you – that kind of distractedness is a problem! Zoo officials are worried that the other three young males who live with Amare will also get addicted to screens, so they’ve set up a barrier to keep visitors away from the glass, and are explaining to them why they can’t show the gorillas their latest TikTok video or Instagram reel. No word yet on how Amare feels about being separated from the screens… I wonder what the gorilla equivalent is of a slamming bedroom door?

Classroom Companion Clarion: Aha, the Classroom Companion clarion… the last one for this term! Amanda’s challenged all you Squiz Kids for Schools subscribers to write a story inspired by Amare —and she’s also released a special Shortcut for you, all about Ice Cream, as a sweet treat at the end of term. Find out the history and science behind everyone’s favourite frozen dessert, as well as some of the weirdest flavours I’ve ever heard of… not a Squiz Kids for Schools Subscriber? Hop into a free trial at – or via the link in today’s episode notes. 




And it’s off to New York City we go … my kind of town … where work has finally finished on the world’s skinniest skyscraper. 

The Steinway Tower, on the edge of Central Park, stretches almost half a kilometre into the sky … and by virtue of being built at a ratio of 24:1 … meaning it is 24 times higher than it is wide – the tower is the most slender in the world. 

It has 84 stories, but only 60 apartments – including a penthouse at the top which takes up the top three floors. 

So how much should you expect to pay to live the skinniest skyscraper in the world? A studio apartment – which is basically one room with a bathroom, is a mere $10 million .. but if you think the penthouse is more your style, get ready to hand over $88 million dollars. 

Better start saving now …




Can you hear that? That’s the sound of the school holidays … and for those of you in NSW and Victoria … they start this afternoon (CHEER) … we’ll be taking a break from the daily news podcast until school returns – with normal daily service resuming on Tuesday April 26 – just after Anzac Day. 

But don’t panic if you think you won’t live that long without hearing from us. We’ll be punching out content over the school holidays to keep you entertained and informed … There’ll be two more Squiz Kids Shortcuts episodes, one on the Titanic and another on the history and meaning of Anzac Day … can’t wait for those. Plus in Squiz The World – the new podcast that takes kids on a ten-minute audio excursion to a different country each week – we’ll be jetting off to France … oh la la … where an election is taking place and is home to the best cheese in the world, and also to Costa Rica, which has some of the coolest animals in the world and is one of only a few countries that doesn’t have an army.

And as if all of that isn’t enough … there’ll be a Kids v Adult Quiz each week of the hols – to prove once and for all, who’s smarter, adults or kids.

Search ‘Squiz Kids’ in your podcasting app and sign up to a free 30 day trial where it says ‘Give Me More’ ..  

You’re welcome ..



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

  1. What sort of animal is having its screen time restricted in a Chicago Zoo?
  2. What kind of robot have researchers created in Hong Kong?
  3. In which city is the world’s skinniest skyscraper?




It’s April 8 … today marks the opening of the Royal Easter Show in Sydney .. and you know what that means? Showbags!!

It’s also a Friday … and that means plenty of birthday shout outs – so time to crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … 

And it’s a happy birthday today to … Sarah from Canberra, Kruz from Ashmont, Esther from Carroll, Apostoli from Kedron, William from Engadine West, Fox from Stanwell Park, Liam from Roseville and Daniel from Ivanhoe Primary School.

Belated birthday wishes go to… Leo from Abbotsford, Tommy from North Wagga and Patrick from Narrandera.Not forgetting of course those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend … Lucas from Maroubra, Grace from Gordonvale, Danielle from Pearl Beach, Sam from Vermont South, Codee-Jo from Craigburn, Penny from Blackburn South, Molly from Turramurra, Ibrahim from Guilford, Pyper from Woongarrah Public School and Eli from Craigburn Primary School.   

Special requests for classroom shout outs ….to Miss Pires of class 5/6P at Carlingford Public School because today is her final day teaching at the school. Your class say thank you and good luck. And class 2/3/4 at Millfield Public School shout out to classmate Josie and wish her all the best at her new school. 

Remember, Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the next two weeks will hear their shout out when the podcast returns after the school holidays. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Gorilla
  2. Slime robot
  3. New York City