Thursday, October 5, 2023

Victory for vaccine creators, a skydiving centenarian, fast food fakery and the bed bug busters!


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It’s Nobel Prize week in Sweden – where awardss are given out to people ‘who have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind’ in the last year. ,The Nobel Prizes,were first held more than 120 years ago in 1901, are this week being awarded in Stockholm. Prizes are awarded in the categories of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Economics and Peace and the winners in each category, who are called ‘laureates’, receive a 24-karat gold-plated medal, a diploma, and more than 1.5 million dollars.

The awards will run for a week, but the prize for medicine has already been announced. It is being shared by two scientists, who developed the technology used in the vaccines that saved countless lives in the fight against COVID-19. 

Vaccines work by introducing the body to a part of a virus or bacteria without actually causing an infection. That way, if the person does later catch the disease, their body is prepared to fight it off.

We’ve got a Shortcut all about the Nobel Prize and its founder, Alfred Nobel, who also invented dynamite. I’ve stuck a link in your episode notes if you’d like to take a listen.

And while we’re on the topic of vaccines, the first-ever affordable vaccine against malaria, which is the world’s 3rd most deadly disease for children, has been approved for use by the World Health Organisation. There are plans to make over 100 million doses available each year, many of which will go to countries in Africa, where most of the world’s malaria infections take place. 

Now that’s some great news!




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today, we’ve almost landed… in Ilinois, in the US of A. Where we’re 4000 metres above the ground, watching as 104-year-old Dorothy Hoffner jumps out of a perfectly good plane in an attempt to gain the Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest skydiver.


Hold on a sec…we’re about to land. [SoundFX]


Dorothy, who completed her first ever skydive when she turned 100, ditched her walking frame as she boarded a plane and announced, “let’s go, Geronimo” before being strapped to an instructor for a tandem (meaning that two people jump together) skydive.


She tumbled out of the plane into a perfect forward roll, before popping open her parachute and returning to earth after seven adrenaline-filled minutes. Dorothy’s wind-swept white hair streamed out behind her as she stuck her legs out and plopped gracefully back onto the grassy ground.


Dorothy, who turns 105 in December, hopes to make a hot-air balloon flight as her next adventure. Stay tuned for updates.




Has anyone ever told you to: “sleep tight…don’t let the bed bugs bite.”?

Well, we interrupt normal podcasting to announce that the city of Paris, France, is at war…with bed bugs! 

These teensy insects, which are about the size of your little fingernail, have over run the city of Paris. 

No longer content to live in people’s mattresses and bedding at home, they have ventured out onto trains, and buses and into cinemas. Catching rides in clothing or on luggage, they’ll find a home anywhere there’s a dark, cosy corner that they can hide in while waiting for an unsuspecting human (or pet) to provide them with a meal. 

Yep, that’s right, bed bugs need blood in order to grow. And while they don’t transmit diseases, their bite does cause a nasty, itchy rash on their victims.

As Paris prepares to host the 2024 Olympic Games, this is a problem that the city just doesn’t need. The only people benefitting are the exterminators. Who you gonna call? Bed Bug Busters!

Does anyone else feel itchy?



Every Thursday, Squiz-E the Newshound pops his head into Squiz Kids HQ to report back on fishy things he’s sniffed out on the internet .. and this week, his snout is twitching because he’s smelled a burger that’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Have you ever been standing in a fast food restaurant, looking up at the menu board, salivating over a breathtaking burger, only for your spirit to be crushed when a tiny, greasy chicken tender between some squashed bread, propped up on a bed of limp lettuce, in a sea of mayonnaise is delivered to you in a brown paper bag? Can you tell I’ve had some experience here?

Well, so has one New Yorker, who has taken on ‘big burger’ in the form of a lawsuit against fast food chains McDonalds and Wendy’s, claiming that they misrepresent the size and state of their burgers in their advertising. Burger King and Taco Belle have also recently faced similar legal disputes.

Kids who have already completed our Newshounds program will know that session five teaches you all about the tricks the media can use on consumers, how to recognise them, and how to avoid them. 

If you’re a teacher or home educator and haven’t yet signed up to Newshounds…what are you waiting for? And, best of all, it’s all free. Check it all out at

Oh, and a huge congratulations to Bryce, who has recently been awarded a Churchill Fellowship, meaning that he will be investigating the many ways that media literacy is being taught around the world so that we can continue to bring you the best ways to Stop, Think and Check, so that you too can sniff out all the fishy things happening on the internet. Well done, Bryce! [HOWL]


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

  1. We’re going to start with a tricky one. What is the name given to winners of the Nobel Prizes, which are being awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, this week?
  2. How old is Dorothy Hoffner who recently completed a tandem skydive in Illinois?
  3. Which tiny insect is the cause of much head scratching in the city of lights, Paris, France?





It’s October 5 .. Do something nice day! It feels good to be kind so let’s all try and do something nice for someone today. Maybe I’ll unpack the dishwasher for my kids. That’s their job, so they’ll be totally weirded out by that!


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Heidi from Cronulla, Isabella from Mount Gravatt, Yena from Ermington and Lucian listening over in Dubai.


And so  many of you celebrated a birthday during the school holidays and we don’t want you to miss out on  a shout out so we’re going to continue to work our way through the   very long list of belated shoutouts – for which I reckon we ought to crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune …  hit it …. 


And it’s a belated happy birthday to… Emma from Yass, Davin from Cannon Hill, Anoos hay and Ruby from Kellyville, Xander from Canberra, Maddison from Ruse, Akuany  from Andrews Farm, Marloe from Dundas, Pramath from Plumpton, Heidi from Caloundra, Otis from Hazelbrook, Evelina from Bridgewater, Benji from Oyster Bay, Evie from Inverell, Shalom from Mt Isa, Cooper from Abbotsford, Flynn from Echuca, Maria from Dee Why, Lelwa from Forest Lake, Dean from Nowra, Noah from Cannon Hill, Rose from Munno Para, Ethan from Epping, Maddison from Unanderra, Sammy from Walkerville, Adelaide from Hobart and Rylan from NSW.


Classroom shoutouts will be back next week ..


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Laureates
  2. 104
  3. Bed Bugs