Monday 27 July, 2020

Project Koala is launched; why crying is good for you; the bear in the backyard pool; and Taylor Swift’s surprise new album.



Chile’s forest dogs:

Bear in pool


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Send your Turia Pitt questions to: [email protected]






It’s an ambitious goal – and will take a lot of effort to achieve – but scientists, politicians and conservationists in NSW have laid out a plan to double the koala population by 2050.

As you know, koala habitats were devastated by the summer bushfires. And the number of koalas killed in the fires has pushed many populations up and down the NSW coast to the point of extinction. 

The plan includes replanting eucalyptus trees, getting rid of the feral animals that prey on koalas, and encouraging farmers to plant trees on their land that encourage koala communities to move in.

After the summer bushfires, the NSW koala population dropped to about 20,000 – which is considered dangerously low. It is hoped that number can be doubled to 40,000 in the next thirty years.   

Kids have known it since the beginning of time – and now adults are starting to understand it too.

That crying is really good for your health-  and we all ought to do it more often.

Doctors in the United States this week used the occasion of International Self-Care Day to remind people that not only is crying an important part of being human, it’s also good for your health – releasing stress, helping to bring a sense of balance into your life and helping us process our emotions. 

The doctors say when we’re kids, we cry without thinking too much about it. But as adults, we tend to bottle things up – and that’s not healthy. 

So next time someone calls you a cry baby – tell them you’re doing it for your health. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today, we’ve landed in Chile – in South America – where three border collie pups are playing an important role helping a forest to recover after bushfire.

The three dogs are taken to the burnt out forest by their owners Francisca and Constanza every weekend. They have bags strapped to their backs, full of native seeds – and are then sent running through the ash-covered remains of the forest. As they run, the seeds fall out, and eventually take root and begin to germinate – which means they start the process of turning into trees. 

The doggie replanting program has proven so successful, that national park authorities in Australia are looking to run a similar program here. 

Brings new meaning to the term Paw Patrol.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a video of the dogs in action.




It’s the height of summer up in the northern hemisphere. And for black bears, that means finding a place to cool off and avoid the heat. 

For one black bear in Virginia, in the United States, that meant flopping down in a kids’ wading pool in a suburban backyard.

The owner of the backyard – and the pool – said she got quite the surprise when she looked out her back window to see a massive black bear asleep in her wading pool. And that she recognised it as a bear that had visited a couple of summers ago – and she was happy just to let it have its swim without disturbing it.

The bear eventually moved on when the woman’s children returned home with the family dogs. 

Seriously though: if a big black bear decided it was going to take a swim in your backyard pool – you’d just hop out of its way.

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a photo and video of the swimming bear. 




Well, now we all know what Taylor Swift has been up to in lockdown .. the pop singer surprised fans on the weekend by releasing an album that no-one knew was even coming. Surprise! The album, called ‘Folklore’ has been warmly received by critics (which is to say, people who review music for a living have said it’s a good one) with many suggesting the enforced  quiet time in coronavirus lockdown has given Tay Tay the time to write thoughtful songs with more depth than some of her big pop anthems. Because we can all do with some quiet time now and then.




Have you sent in your Turia Pitt question yet?

You’ve only got until tomorrow afternoon to get involved.

The all-round awesome Aussie will be our next guest for a Squiz Kids Q+A session. You ask the questions, Turia will answer ‘em.

There are some links in today’s episode notes which might help to inspire you. And big thanks to everyone – and every class – that has already sent in a question.   Remember: the best question wins a prize.

Send your questions to: [email protected]




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

  1. Which gum-leaf munching, native Australian animal is scientists trying to save with a program to double its population?
  2. In which country are the forest-saving border collies busy spreading seeds?
  3. Which pop star released a surprise album over the weekend?




It’s July 27 … Bugs Bunny turns 80 today .. still pretty sprightly for an old rabbit … and it’s National Sleepy Head Day in Finland … where tradition demands that the last person to wake up in any household in the country can be woken by throwing water in their face. In one town in Finland, they throw a well-known person into the harbour. Wacky Finns …

It’s also the birthday of these Squiz Kids … Maddy from Dubbo, Shiv from Wentworthville, Tahlia from Crookwell, Aram from the Gold Coast, Eva-Rose from Chatswood, Nic from Mosman, Lillian from Burwood, Gracie from Kempsey, Georgia from Wagga Wagga, Charlotte from Melbourne, Tobias from Burraneer and Kaity from Bathurst.

And some belated birthday shoutouts to Zoe from Ormond, Charlie, Izzy and Caitlyn from Sydney, and Malaika from Coffs Harbour.

Happy birthday to you all. 

Classroom shoutouts…. 5A McDonald at The Essington International School in Darwin, class 5/6C at Peakhurst South Public School

Class 5N, 6N and 6B at Carlingford Public School, class 5W and Year 6 at St John’s Narraweena with Mrs Fountain & Mrs Jones, and 4T, 4B, 6C and 6A at St Joseph’s Primary School in Kempsey 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Koala
  2. Chile
  3. Taylor Swift