Monday, September 11, 2023

Earthquake shakes Morocco; Mystery underwater golden egg; Finals footy delivers; and welcome to mountweazels and Blursdays. 


Squiz Kids Shortcut on Earthquakes and Volcanoes:

Mysterious golden egg:

Atari 2600 video game console:

#Sponsored: Alex Rider: Nightshade Revenge –

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A once in a hundred-year earthquake has struck the north African country of Morocco over the weekend leaving a trail of devastation and thousands of Moroccans homeless and sleeping in makeshift camp sites. 

The earthquake was magnitude 6.8 – making it the largest quake to rock the historic country in one hundred years. 

Magnitude is the unit of measurement for earthquakes – where a magnitude 3 or 4 is a tremor and a magnitude 8 or 9 is a quake that causes near or total destruction.

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to Squiz Kids Shortcut on Earthquakes and Volcanoes.

Morocco is a beautiful country in the north west of the continent of Africa – sitting between the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic Ocean. Its snow-capped peaks, the Atlas Mountains are home to many thousands of Moroccans who still live in traditional mud-brick homes – homes which crumbled under the force of a magnitude 6.8 quake.

The epicentre of the quake – which is the spot on the earth’s surface most affected by the grinding of the Earth’s tectonic plates – was just south of Marrakesh – an ancient city of huge historical importance.    

Countries from around the world are sending rescue crews to help out local Moroccan emergency services as the search for survivors enters its third day. 

To all our listers with family in Morocco – we’re sending you all our best wishes. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Alaska – or the waters off it – where a mysterious golden egg discovered at the bottom of the ocean has got scientists stumped.

A underwater robot camera came across the golden orb a week ago – and despite sending photos of it around the world to every underwater expert imaginable, no one seems to know what it is.

The golden egg of a mysterious underwater creature? A message from outer space? Maybe a golden snitch from a Quidditch game that went inter-continental and underwater?

Whatever it is, scientists agree on one thing: that as much as we know about our planet and all the living creatures on it – when it comes to the oceans, there’s still so much undiscovered life lurking there. 

Let’s just hope whatever it belongs to is friendly: and doesn’t have big sharp teeth and an appetite for juicy humans … (EVIL LAUGH)




Hands up who loves footy finals season? What’s not to love, afterall? It’s been a cracking weekend of sport for lovers of NRL, rugby and AFL as teams here at home and overseas knock themselves – and the opposing team – out in the battle for finals glory. 

The AFL finals kick off with a bang this weekend with the Brisbane Lions trouncing Port Adelaide, GWS making light work of St Kilda and Carlton sending the Swans out of finals contention with a last minute win.

In the NRL – the Brisbane Broncos made an emphatic statement about their intention to win this year’s comp with a convincing win over the Melbourne Storm, while the Roosters sent the Sharks packing and the Panthers showed why they’re a good shot at a three-peat with a big win over the Warriors. 

Meanwhile over in France, the Rugby World Cup got off to a good start for the Wallabies, who notched up a 35-15 win over Georgia. 

And congrats to American teenager Coco Gauff who smashed her way to victory in the US Open tennis tournament – claiming at the age of only 19 her first ever Grand Slam victory. Nice. 



Have you had a shower orange lately? Or maybe encountered a mountweazel or had a runny nose and used the back of your hand to snite the snot? 

If so – you’re clearly a trendsetter – ahead of the pack – and you’ve come into contact with one of 566 new words added to the dictionary this weekend by the website

The people who run the website say that the English language is changing and morphing all the time – so they have to continually update their offering to keep track of all the new words and expressions that become popular every year around the world. 

There’s ‘jawn’ which means ‘thing’, ‘Blursday’ which describes one of those days of the week that’s just a blur – isn’t that every day? – chatbot and generative AI – which are self-explanatory – decision-fatigue and sleep-debt … which your parents and teachers can explain … 

As for mountweazel – that’s a word hidden in text to catch out people using AI to do thir homework – and shower orange is that orange you eat when you’re in the shower so as not to get the juice all over you. Because who doesn’t do that?


A-ha – it’s the Classroom Companion Clarion … letting us know that Christie has prepared some excellent classroom worksheets tied to this news item and the embiggening of the dictionary … including some excellent literacy tasks on neologisms – which is a fancy word for new words. 

Teachers: if you’re not already signed up to receive these free, differentiated, curriculum-aligned resources – you need to take a long hard look at yourself- and then pop on over to and sign-up to Squiz Kids Classroom quicksticks. 




Meet Alex Rider … on the outside he looks like any other teenager .. but deep down he hides a super-cool secret. He’s the world’s greatest teenage super-spy. 

And in his ongoing battle against the evil forces of Nightshade – he’s about to face his toughest mission yet. Nightshade has entered the world of virtual reality gaming, and the lines between what’s real and what’s digital are being blurred everywhere.

If you’re like me and you like your books to be filled with adventure, action and heaps of adrenaline, then Alex Rider: Nightshade Revenge is just the read you’ve been waiting for. He’s a teenage James Bond – and what’s not to love about that?

It’s the 14th in the excellent Alex Rider spy series – a series that’s sold over 21 million copies around the world.  Keep an eye-spy out for it in bookstores and our episode notes today


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

  1. Which country has been devastated by earthquake this weekend?
  2. A mysterious golden egg has been found in waters off the coast of which US state?
  3. Which country did the Wallabies beat in their first Rugby World Cup game in France over the weekend?





It’s September 11 – on this day in 1977, a video game console called the Atari was released … and kids everywhere wanted one … but if you looked at it today you’d laugh at how basic it was .. I’ve stuck a link to a video of it in today’s episode notes. 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today and tomorrow… Kade from Ashmont, Skye from Gundagai, Grace from Nightcliff, Lola from Munno Para, Luca from Altona Meadows, Max from Drouin, Cadell from Ferny Grove, Hannah from Brisbane, William from Yarramalong, Isabella from Cobbitty, Felicity from Veiwbank and DJ listening over in Bangkok, Thailand.


Belated shout outs go to… Lotus from Altona Meadows, Matty from Collingwood Park, Joel from Sydney, Marco from North Strathfield, Campbell from Gulgong, Abby from Brisbane, Jensen from Dee Why, Kylie from Chester Hill, Handari and Leo from Kyneton, Callum travelling around Australia and Michael listening over in Chicago, USA. 


Classroom shoutouts today go to … 

Class 6V at Livingstone Primary School in Vermont South and belated birthday wishes to their teacher Miss Vantarakis, class 4/5K and Mr Kye at Epping West Public School, class P22 and Miss Akeroyd at St Columba College in Andrews Farm, class 6W and Mr Wurth at Cherrybrook Public School, class 3 White and Mrs Rudel at Bethany Catholic Primary School in Penrith, class 3/4 Ochre and Miss Kotzur at Ashmont Public School in Wagga Wagga and lastly class 6D and Mr Sam at Echuca Primary School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Morocco
  2. Alaska
  3. Georgia