Monday, 16 August, 2021

Home school for all of NSW; Sri Lanka’s solar-powered tuk-tuk, Banksy takes a beach holiday; the mammoths that ran a marathon.



Solar powered tuk-tuk :

Banksy’s Great British Spraycation:


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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As the dastardly Delta variant continues to cut a swathe through NSW, further steps were taken at the weekend to try to control the latest outbreak as new case numbers climbed to record levels. The lockdown that has had Sydney kids in home learning mode for weeks now has been extended to the entire state for the next seven days .. with cases popping up in country towns like Dubbo and Walgett. 

Wherever you are in lockdown – be it NSW or Melbourne – be nice to your parents and teachers this week .. 

And remember: if the lockdown is getting you down. You are not alone. A report out of the United Kingdom over the weekend suggests that one of the hardest things of lockdown for many people is being locked indoors with burping and farting family members. 

According to the report, because we’re all spending so much more time together indoors, we’re being exposed to more burps and farts from our family than ever before. And it’s starting to wear some people down. 

Must go upstairs and apologise to my family. Must have been the beans I ate last night … 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Sri Lanka – the island nation off the coast of India – where a 15-year old boy has made a solar-powered tuk-tuk out of scrap metal.

What’s a tuk-tuk? It’s a three-wheeled motorbike taxi – and a really popular way of getting around in countries like India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. And what’s scrap metal? Just like it sounds: it’s bits and pieces of metal that other people have thrown away.

Suntharalingam Piranawan loves making things with his grandfather in their backyard shed. Previously he’s made a solar-powered bike, a coconut-picking machine and a coconut scraper. Did I mention there are lots of coconuts in Sri Lanka? 

He says tinkering around in the shed making things is a great way to relieve the stress and boredom of COVID lockdowns. And next on his agenda? He wants to make a solar powered car out of scrap metal. Ten bucks says he’ll do it too. There’s a link to video of his clever inventions in today’s episode notes.




At first there was a rat relaxing in a deckchair with a drink, then there was an oversized seagull pouncing on giant chips in Skip bin … by the time the couple appeared, dancing on top of the bus shelter – suspicions were running high that one of England’s best known graffiti artists, Banksy, was at it again in the south of the country.

Bansky has made a name for himself sneaking about and spray-painting artworks onto walls all over the countryside. No one knows who he is. And his artworks sometimes sell for millions of dollars. 

And with it being summer in England right now, and lots of people on holidays at the seaside, Banksy has joined them – spraypainting his way through some of Britain’s best known beach towns. 

And – in that way he likes to do – he’s gone and teased us all again by posting a video on his Instagram account – showing him at work – without giving away his identity. The video is called The Great British Spraycation .. of course … and the link is in your episode notes..




Fans of the Ice Age movies will know that Manny the Mammoth doesn’t stay in one place for long. He journeys to find a baby boy’s father; he leads his friends out of a vast valley; he goes underground to save Sid from dinosaurs. He’s always on the move! And now scientists have discovered that real life wooly mammoths were also major marathoners. They’ve analysed the tusks of a male mammoth that lived 17,000 years ago in the American state of Alaska, and found that in just 28 years of life, he walked about 70,000km. Considering that the circumference of the Earth is 40,000km, and the mammoth was trudging through treacherous ice, those are some serious steps! Scientists figured out the creature’s massive mileage by studying the chemical make-up of the tusks, which one scientist described as being a diary of the mammoth’s life. Deposits of chemicals in the tusks could show where the mammoth had been, and when he’d been there. So when you think about it, those tasks are really a prehistoric passport. How about that? 




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

  1. In which country has a 15 year-old made a solar-powered tuk tuk out of scrap metal?
  2. What’s the name of the British graffiti artist who’s just been on spraycation?
  3. What sort of prehistoric animal was also something of a marathon walker? 




It’s August 16 … It’s Children’s Day in Argentina – and National Lemon Meringue Pie Day in the USA. Yum!

It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… 

Sally from Eastwood, Cordelia from Canberra, Issac from Woodend and Issac from Carlsruhe, Emmett from Pakenham, Jack from Springwood, Finn from Randwick, Israel from Forest Lake, Elijah from Dee Why and Thomas from Harden. 

Belated birthday shout outs go to…Audrey from St Kilda, Eloise from Murrurundi, Nick from Northbridge, Freya from Canberra, Asha from Baldivis, Gretel from Melbourne and Charlotte from Tasmania.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Melbourne and all of NSW are in lockdown – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …

To Grades 4/5/6 at Long Flat Public School, who have just started homeschooling today and a big happy birthday to their teacher Mr Stuart.

To Thomas from Bulli who is homeschooling by himself – your mum is proud!

The year 1’s and 2’s from Roseville Public School send a herogram to their wonderful teacher Mrs Willard.

And a special herogram to Gabriel in Sydney – your mum Rachel says you’ve been a rockstar with home learning and she’s super proud of you.

Plus a couple of classroom shout outs to those of you not in lockdown…

Class 5SB and class 3HZ at Albany Hills State School in Brisbane.  Class 4M & 4C at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School in Western Australia and a shout out to Mr Pastro’s 5/6 Gold class at St Mary’s College in Adelaide. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Sri Lanka
  2. Banksy
  3. Mammoth