Monday, 2 August, 2021

Our greatest Olympian ever; PNG’s shark callers; a Star Wars Lego lockdown mashup; and Australia’s best little artists.



PNG’s shark callers:

Daniel Sands’ LEGO Photography: 

Mark Rober’s domino Dominator: 

Young Archies Winners:


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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





History was made in the swimming pool at the Tokyo Olympics yesterday when Emma McKeon – the Wollongong Wonder – claimed not one, but two gold medals in a single morning – taking her tally of medals at these Olympics to a remarkable seven – and the total number of Olympic medals in her career to a record-breaking eleven.

No other Australian Olympian has won as many medals .. and arguably, none have done it in the quiet and unassuming way that Emma has. What a champion. 

Speaking of champions, Logan Martin from Logan in Brisbane (how convenient) claimed his own place in the record books becoming the first Olympic champion in the BMX freestyle event. He won gold with some sweet tricks that he practiced on a BMX course he built in his Brissie backyard. Nice. 

Special mention to Australia’s fastest man … the incredible sprinter Rohan Browning who just missed out on making the 100m final.

Gold too in the pool for our womens’ 4×100 metre medley swim team, and in sailing – where WA’s Matt Hearn brought home a shiny one in the laser class event. 

It’s officially a gold rush people …  

Hey Sydney … think you can be left alone to have all the lockdown fun on your own? Well, think again … that dastardly Delta variant of the COVID 19 virus has snuck its way north – and now all of south-east Queensland is in lockdown. After nine new cases were confirmed yesterday, and students and parents of several Brisbane schools being caught up in the infection outbreak, all schools in South-East Queensland are closed today and tomorrow .. with the very real possibility the lockdown will be extended for a good while longer. Lie low, mask up and stay safe out there Queensland …




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Papua New Guinea … our neighbouring country, just to Australia’s north – where men who speak to sharks have been out on the sea again. 

Shark calling is an ancient tradition in some parts of PNG – which is the abbreviation often used for Papua New Guinea. Wearing elaborate head dresses, with their bodies and faces painted and in traditional dug out canoes, men from the village paddle out to sea and sing to the sharks, shaking necklaces strung with coconut shells and black seeds. There’s an elaborate ritual the men undertake in the weeks leading up to the shark call – including separating themselves from the rest of the village for weeks beforehand and not eating certain foods- like wild pig. Traditions like this one date back hundreds of years, and according to the villagers, are a really important part of their culture and identity. Which is to say: an important part of what makes them special. 

Check out photos of the shark calling ritual in today’s episode notes. 



If you’re looking for something new to do in lockdown, you might take inspiration from Daniel Sands, a 34-year-old Dad in England who has created some of the most extraordinary Star Wars photographs using LEGO, and stuff like an old bicycle light, and ash from his barbecue. 

Daniel, who has four kids, loves LEGO. He’s also passionate about landscape photography – which means taking pictures in the great outdoors. 

When he found himself stuck inside during lockdown, he combined the two hobbies, and used everyday objects to create some incredible special effects. There’s a link in today’s episode notes. 

Speaking of cool things to do in lockdown, former NASA engineer and YouTube sensation Mark Rober – the squirrel guy – has built “The Dominator” a world-record breaking robot that laid 100,000 dominoes in a day. Apparently, it would take seven humans seven days to do the same thing. We’ve included a link to a video that shows how many prototypes – that means early versions – he built before succeeding. Because if at first you don’t succeed, then try and try again ..




I know with all this Olympics on all the time – and all this attention on getters of gold medals, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that achievement in other areas is just as important and just as impressive. Which is why today we are sending a great big Squiz Kids Salute to the winners of the Young Archies. The Young Archies are awards given out to Australian kids who are really good at art – and at drawing or painting a portrait, in particular. A portrait is a painting or drawing of a person .. sometimes, it can be a self-portrait, which is when you do a painting or a drawing of yourself. And as the finalists in this year’s competition show, artistic talent exists at every age. 

There are incredible portraits of sisters and brothers and dads and nannas. Amazing self-portraits by kids aged 5 to 8 years old. All of them brimming with life and colour and creativity. 

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to the website showcasing the finalists .. it’s well worth a look. 




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

  1. What’s the name of the Aussie swim star who’s won more Olympic medals than any other Australian athlete?
  2. In which neighbouring country do shark callers take to the seas to lure the beasts from the deep?
  3. What popular space movie has a dad in England use as inspiration for a series of cool at-home Lego photo-shoots?




It’s August 2… birthday of pop star Charli XCX — yesterday was the Horse’s birthday – happy birthday horses – and it was also World Scouts Day .. so we’re giving a special shout out to Beth and the entire Scout Troop at Koo Wee Rup in Victoria.

Happy birthday also to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Jordan from Berowra, Jenna from Broken Hill, Lily from Floreat, Toby from Oatlands, Penny from Chatswood, Bronson from Mossvale, Max from Mansfield Park, Abby from Randwick, Liam from Beecroft, Kenny & Taiwo from Glenwood Hills.

Belated birthday shout outs go to …Ashton from Sydney.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Greater Sydney and South East Queensland are in lockdown at the moment – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …  To Miss Page at Hornsby North Public School who is helping her class pull through during homeschooling – thank you from your students. To all the year 5 teachers at Dee Why Public School for all the wonderfully planned zoom meetings from year 5 student Stella. Also to Ruby & Zac from Ryde-  your parents think you are doing an incredible job each day with your online schooling and Ruby would like to send a big shout out to all the teachers at North Ryde Public School for all their extra hard work during lockdown – you guys are amazing, thank you. A shout out to Corisande and Hermione from Annandale for being such amazing home learners and such kind, supportive sisters. Your mum is really impressed!! And finally, a Home Learning Herogram to 6LB & 6JG from Albany Hills School in Brisbane – and Happy Birthday today to their teachers Miss Boulton & Mr G.  

And a couple of classroom shout outs to those of you not in lockdown … To Miss Gordon and her class 5/6H at Old Bar Public School and to Years 3/4/5/6 at St Joseph’s Primary School at Peak Hill. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Emma McKeon
  2. Papua New Guinea
  3. Star Wars