Monday, September 4, 2023

States prohibit plastics; a squelchy celebration, India’s solar investigation; and a bull rides shotgun



We all know that plastics are problematic. Sure, they help us keep food fresh, and some of our favourite toys might be made of it, but plastic waste is a serious issue. Not only does it look bad, but plastic bags and wrapping can be a huge hazard to birds and marine life. And when plastics break down, they release all sorts of nasties into our environment.


That’s why Friday’s announcement by the Queensland, Western Australian and South Australian Governments, banning more single-use plastic items is big news. 


All three state governments have banned the production of cotton buds with plastic stems. Queensland and WA have also banned those polystyrene packing peanuts you might have seen if you’ve ordered something fragile online, and WA has banned polystyrene cups and the trays you might buy your meat on in the supermarket. Meanwhile, South Australia has outlawed the plastic bowls and plates you’ve probably seen at birthday parties. Queensland has also banned the mass release of balloons.


But if it’s so important to ban plastics, why can’t we do it all at once? Well, businesses who use those items need time to find alternative solutions. But you, as a consumer, have the power now to choose alternatives when they’re available. You’re in control. Make good choices people.



Each day, we give the world glove a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today, we’ve landed in Buñol, a town in Spain. Where…I have a joke for you… What’s red, slippery and smells like a tomato? The entire town of Buñol after the annual Tomatina festival. 


This year, 120 tonnes of overripe, squishy tomatoes were dumped in the centre of the town for more than 15,000 residents and tourists to throw at each other, in what’s said to be the world’s biggest food fight.


For an hour, participants, wearing swimming goggles to protect their eyes, joyfully hurl the squelchy tomatoes at each other, literally painting the town red. The festival is thought to have originated way back in 1945 as a spat between two vegetable cart owners and has grown to a huge event drawing people from across the globe. There’s a link to photos and video in the episode notes.


And the best thing? Because tomatoes contain citric acid, which is a great cleaning agent, the town eventually ends up cleaner than when it started. Win, win.




We’ve heard a lot about moon missions in recent weeks, but India’s Space Research Organisation is taking things more than a million kilometres further, successfully launching a mission to the Sun on Saturday. 

The mission will take four months, and the spacecraft will only make it 1 percent of the way there, but that’s still a really long way. The idea is for equipment aboard the vessel to observe the outermost layers of the sun and the enormous amounts of plasma and magnetic energy it throws off. You see, this energy can damage and even shut down satellites that orbit the Earth, which are essential for communication, GPS and Netflix.

The hope is that scientists will be able to predict when a mass coronal ejection is going to occur and send a warning back to Earth so that we can shut down the satellites and prevent them from being damaged.

Imagine, a world without Netflix… I’m not sure I even want to think about that! 



Have you ever been riding in a car on the highway and looked across to see something strange in the car beside you? Drivers on a Nebraska highway in the United States last week, saw something they won’t soon forget. Because, farmer Lee Meyer, really loves his prize bull, Howdy Doody. So much so, that he treats him as part of the family, even occasionally taking him for a ride in the family car. 

Mr Meyer has adapted the car, removing part of the roof and windscreen and replacing the front passenger side door with a yellow cattle gate so that Howdy Doody can ride up front in the passenger seat. Yes, the photos are in the episode notes. The car is usually used in parades, but on this day, the police spotted them on the highway. 

Because the bull was so well behaved ,and as long as Mr Meyer returned straight home, the police decided they would only give him a warning. I wonder what they could have charged him with? Maybe a Moo-ving violation [Mum Joke Buzzer]. Too early in the week for a pun?



Hey kids !

Before we get into today’s quiz – a reminder that later this week Bryce will be sitting down with Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare as he takes the hotseat for our next Squiz Kids Q+A –  the podcast where you, the kids of Australia, get to ask the questions. 

This is your chance to ask the man who’s in charge of education and schools in Australia any question you like. As in ANY question you like ..

Maybe you want to ask him how he does his job? Where he went to school? Who was his favourite teacher and what were his favourite subjects. 

Maybe you want to ask him what it’s like to work in Parliament House? Whether he’s as worried about fake news and misinformation as Squiz-E the Newshound or what his number one goal as Education Minister is.

Or maybe you just want to ask him why we have to go to school at all ? Or why canteens don’t give away free ice cream.

It’s up to you – you’re in the driver’s seat – Jason Clare is in the hot seat.

Teachers, parents – feel free to send in a bunch of questions from your class or family. The more the merrier .. 

But you’ll need to hurry … we need your questions in by this Wednesday .. which doesn’t give you a lot of time. Send them to [email protected] – and we’ll put the best ten questions to the minister when we sit down with him.


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

  1. What overripe fruit, do the people of Buñol, Spain, throw at each other during the Tomatina festival?
  2.   What are India’s Space agency trying to protect, by predicting the Sun’s huge energy releases?
  3. What is the name of the bull, that farmer Lee Meyers had in the front seat of his car, on a Nebraska highway?





It’s September 4 – Eat an extra dessert day! Now there’s a day I can get onboard with. 

And a huge happy Father’s Day for yesterday, to all the Dads and other men out there who play a special role in caring for kids.


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today and tomorrow … Dorothy from Sherwood, Aiden from Rodd Point, George from Kangaroo Lake, Lucas from Tennyson Point, Samuel from Wattle Grove, Allison from Balmain, 

Teing-Kah from Heidelberg West, Erisa from Doncaster, Kayden from Birrong, Maya L from Oak Park, Jonathan from Montmorency, Kayla from Davidson, Tess from Condobolin, Mariano from Ryde, Poppy from Abbotsford, Bob from Western Australia, Richelle and Chase from Sydney, Grace from Chifley, Alexander from Kings Canyon, Lachlan from Goulburn, Ashton from Willow Grove, Greta from Darwin and Maya from Freshwater. 


A belated shoutout goes to… Harriet from Bateau Bay, Roco from Cowra, Roman from Northcote, Sonia from Carlingford, Emilia from Rooty Hill and Sienna, Ava, Brodie and Lexi all from Pakenham.


Classroom shoutouts today go to … 

Class 5K and Miss Kime at St John’s Anglican College in Forest Lake, class 6G and Mr Gasser at Merimbula Public School, class 5H and Miss Henson at Waterford West State School, class LAT31 with Mr Baseden at Harrisdale Primary School and lastly to class 5 Red and Mr Roweth at Holy Trinity Primary School in Curtin. 


The S’Quiz Answers:


  • Tomatoes
  • Satellites
  • Howdy Doody