Squizzie Awards 2022 – The Funniest, Smelliest, Weirdest, Grossest News Stories Of The Year

Stinkiest News Story of 2022: https://whale.org/snotbot/
Funniest News Story of 2022: https://youtu.be/x273hYfUoM4
Weirdest News Story of 2022: https://twitter.com/ronen_segev/status/1477889582398164994?s=20&t=I51fFLnxfCGuQlHcFqFTbg
Grossest News Story of 2022: https://www.homebiogas.com/blog/pit-toilets/
Cutest News Story of 2022: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-08/world-dog-surfing-championships-california/101311504
2022 Squizzie Award for Standing out from the Crowd: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-01/young-townsville-dancer-joins-english-national-ballet-school/101281286
Most Inspiring News Story of 2022: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-18/victorians-stranded-by-flooding-rescued-by-teen-and-mates/101542484



Hello there, and welcome to the Squiz Kids Squizzie Awards for 2022. I’m Bryce Corbett, host of Squiz Kids: your daily dose of kid-appropriate news. As we say everyday – we’re fun, free, and fresh.

And I’m Amanda Bower, Squiz Kids’ educator extraordinaire. Which is fancy-talk for “I’m a teacher… and a Squiz Kids co-host”. I’m also VERY excited to be talking about this year’s Squizzies.

Now Amanda, I should probably take a moment to explain the Squizzies. The Squizzies are a look back on the stories that caught our eye across the year for very specific reasons – I’m talking about the funniest, the quirkiest, the stinkiest, and the ones that give us the warm and fuzzies. So are you ready to look back over the wild and woolly year that was 2022 and pick a few winners with me?

I most certainly am. Let’s get this show on the road with one of my favourite categories… the Stinkiest News Story of 2022. Bryce, who’s the first of our contenders?

For your consideration, from April this year: Snotbot. Snotbot is a new kind of drone, specially designed to fly above whales and catch the stinky mucus that’s fired out of their blowholes. Scientists then study the fishy smelling slime to learn more about the whales.

Our second nominee is the smell of sweaty feet—which researchers in Sweden actually took the time to prove is the most unpleasant smell in the world. They took 10 smells, presented them to 235 noses of people from nine different cultures, and found that stinky feet and decaying fish were the equal worst scents. I could have told you that for free.

And our final entrant, from June this year: bacon perfume. Called Wright 100, the fragrance was made for men and women, and mimics the smell of bacon cooking. Because who doesn’t want to spend their days wandering around smelling like a pan of hot, sizzling, stinky bacon?

Imagine the doggie friends you’d make if you smelled like bacon… and the winner of the Squizzie for the Stinkiest News Story of 2022 is … Snotbot. Not only does it voluntarily put itself in the line of stink-fire, it has a most excellent name. I’ll put a link in your episode notes to learn more—along with all the other Squizzie winners.

Moving right along, Amanda, to the Funniest News Story of 2022. We’re starting off in South Dakota in the United States, at the First Holy Communion of little Brinley Heideberg in May. She looked a picture of innocence in her beautiful dress, but caused the priest and congregation in her church to laugh out loud when she took the cup to sip the communion wine and gulped it down … and down … and down … draining the entire cup!

First Holy Communion is an important ceremony in the Catholic church, and includes the eating of bread and sipping of wine. Or in Brinley’s case, sculling the wine! It’s hard to beat that, Bryce, but there’s a four-year-old Dutch boy who’s in with a Squizzie Award chance. Barefoot and still wearing his jammies, this kiddo took his Mum’s car keys while she was sleeping, put them into the ignition, operated the clutch and accelerator, and took off. Police got a call about an abandoned car and found the kiddo nearby. It was only after they spoke to his Mum, and took him back to the car, that they understood that he was the driver, and really knew how to operate a manual vehicle! The police found it so funny they posted on social media that they had found the Netherlands’ next formula one driver…

Max Verstappen, eat your heart out! Now, here on Squiz Kids we’re not afraid of talking about poo, and so you may not be surprised to find out that our final nominee for the Funniest News Story of 2022 is about poopy nappies. In September, we learned that little kids obsessed with farts and bums were talking to the family Alexa, or Siri, or Google, and saying things like “Play poopy”. And it turns out that there really are songs on the internet about these stinky topics—and each time they’re played, the musician earns a few cents. The man behind the smash hit “Poopy Stupid Butt” has made $10,000! And in case you were wondering whether this was just a phenomenon in the English language… the French song “la chanson du caca”, or “the poop song”, has more than one million plays on Spotify. Poo – it’s funny in any language.

Bryce, I made the mistake of playing Poopy Stupid Butt to my niece in September… I still can’t get it out of my head! And the winner is…. oh no, Poopy Stupid Butt! Now it’s going to be stuck in everyone’s head!!!

From stinkiest to strangest… our first nominee for the Weirdest News Story of 2022 is the hagfish. It looks like an eel, it slithers into dead fish and eats their flesh from the inside out, and in October scientists discovered that the super sticky slime the hagfish releases when it’s in danger could be used to create protective clothing for humans! Firefighters and soldiers could be wearing hagfish-inspired suits sometime soon.

Amazing. October was a good month for weird—the week before the hagfish news, scientists announced that the 800,000 brain cells they had grown in a lab had learned to play the video game Pong! They connected the mini-brain to the video game with electric wires, and it learned to play in just five minutes. The researchers stressed that the mini-brain didn’t have feelings, or even understand that it was playing a game… but it could one day be used to test treatments for brain diseases. Which is much more important than video games, after all.

Our final contender for the weirdest news story of 2022 are some Israeli goldfish… who, believe it or not, learned to drive! Scientists put fish into a tank of water that was set up on wheels, and when the fish swam towards one of the tank’s walls, the fishmobile drove in the same direction. A target was set up on one wall of a room, and the fish would receive a treat when the tank successfully navigated to the target. During the first half-hour lesson, the fish drove to the target an average of 2.5 times. By the twelfth and final lesson, they made it 17 times.

I’ve got two learner drivers in the house… that fills me with hope! Bryce, who is the winner of the Squizzie for the Weirdest News Story of 2022?

Goldfish of Israel, take a bow… Now those of you with weak stomachs may want to go and put on the kettle, because it’s time for the Grossest News Story of 2022. Amanda, what have you got?

We’re heading to Madagascar, where the nocturnal aye-aye lemur has evolved to have a middle finger that nose-picking humans can only dream of. Scientists already knew that the aye-aye’s super long, super skinny finger was used to tap on wood, listen if it was hollow, then scoop out the delicious grubs inside. But using a low-light camera at night, they were able to see that the aye-ayes also insert that finger so deeply into their skull that they can scrape the back of their throats, scoop out the snot, and eat that, too. Mmmm.

Yeuch. But honestly, I think I have something grosser. New research revealed in March that cane toads—hated by most of Australia already—EAT their younger brothers and sisters. When they’re just tadpoles, cane toads gobble up cane toad eggs, because they’re addicted to the poison the eggs produce. So to be clear: cane toads are addicted to poison, and to feed their addiciton, they eat their younger siblings before they’ve had a chance to hatch.

Good grief, those are two gross animals. But may I present to you a story of human grossness: a hiker in the American state of Washington, who lost her mobile phone down a pit toilet and fell in trying to recover it. A pit toilet is pretty much what it sounds like – a big hole in the ground – over which a toilet seat is placed. When the hiker accidentally dropped her mobile she tried to reach down and retrieve it – only to fall in. Euuggh. Luckily, her phone still worked, and she called emergency services to pull her out. I’ll leave it up to you to imagine what she looked like.

GROSS!!!! Surely that’s our winner… let me open the envelope and check… yes indeed. Congratulations – I think – to the hiker on her Grossest News Story Squizzie…

That’s an award no one really wants to win, do they? But how about the Cutest News Story of 2022? Now that’s a Squizzie to warm our hearts… where are we starting, Bryce?

In the jungles of Costa Rica, where in May, a baby sloth fell out of a tree, and its Mum was so high up, she couldn’t hear her bub. Clever animal rescuers recorded the baby’s cries, then played them on a loudspeaker until Mum came down. Watching her come down the tree is about as frustrating as watching that sloth scene in the movie Zootopia… you know she’s desperate to get to her kid, but wow, do sloths move slowly. Finally, she gets low enough for the human helpers to hand her baby up to her. The hug that the mum and baby give each other is enough to melt the hardest heart.

Awwww…. now Bryce, you know I’m a sucker for a rescue dog, and this year, a pup called Faith won my heart when she won the World Dog Surfing Championships, held in August. Faith used to be afraid of everything, but now she can handle the surf in Northern California! And yes, I’m talking dogs, on surfboards, without humans to help them. It’s incredible.

Our final contenders are a group of Japanese kids who are under four years old, and already have jobs. They answered an ad posted by a nursing home, looking for littlies to visit the elderly residents and brighten their day. They can show up to work whenever they like, and take naps as often as they like.

My kind of job! And the winner, Bryce?

How can you go past a dog wearing sunglasses on a surfboard??? Congratulations, Faith, proud winner of a 2022 Squizzie Award. Amanda, our next category is called the Squizzie for Standing Out from the Crowd… given to someone who makes the news because they aren’t afraid to be who they are and speak the truth, even if it’s a bit different.

That’s exactly right. Because how boring would the world be if we were all the same? Our first nominee is a Brazilian pop star, who stood out from the crowd on social media when, instead of posting a posed shot looking gorgeous, told her 15 million followers that they needed to fart. It turned out that singer Pocah had been reluctant to let off-gas in front of her boyfriend… she’d held it in for too long and gotten so sick in her stomach that she had to be taken to hospital!

And instead of staying embarrassed, she told the world about the situation… hoping to help other people avoid the hospital trip. Our second contender for the Standing Out from the Crowd Squizzie is Zai Calliste, a ballet dancer from Townsville. Zai thought of giving up ballet heaps of times growing up in a place where most boys played rugby league or soccer. But he loved to dance, was really, really good at it – and he stuck at it. That perseverance paid off in August, when Zai beat thousands of other boys from all around the world to be offered a place at the English National Ballet school.

Love it. And our final contender is a 20-year-old uni student in England, who in August made the final of this year’s Miss England Beauty Pageant, without wearing a shred of makeup. Melisa Raouf said she started wearing makeup at a very young age, because she didn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. But now, she says she has learned to love herself for who she is—and she competed in the high profile modelling contest without makeup to send that message to all young girls.

Geez, that’s an impressive list of people. And the Squizzie Award for Standing out from the Crowd goes to… England, by way of Far North Queensland – Zai Calliste, dancer extraordinaire, we salute you!

Which brings us to our final award for 2022… The Squizzie for the Most Inspiring News Story of 2022. What have we got?

We were blown away in April by the story of Emmanuel Tuloe, a very poor young man living in the very poor African country of Liberia. Emmanuel had to drop out of primary school at the age of 9 to help his family earn money… and then found a plastic bag on the side of the road containing $50,000!! When someone came forward asking for help in finding the lost fortune, Emmanuel returned it without a second thought. People made fun of him, saying he would always be poor… but the opposite has happened. A very fancy private school has taken him in as a boarding student for free, the President of Liberia has given him $10,000, and as soon as he finishes school, he has a spot at an American university, also for free. Honesty really does pay .

The next month, in May, we were inspired and amazed by Jacky Hunt-Broersma, who ran 104 marathons in 104 days. One marathon is 42.2 kilometres, and Jacky ran one every day, for more than three months. Not only that, but the 46 year old got bone cancer when she was 26, and had to have her left leg amputated … so she’s run all those marathons on a prosthetic, or artificial, leg. Jacky said that when she first lost her leg, she was angry and embarrassed… and now, she wants to show the world what a person with a disability is capable of.

Wow. Now, Amanda, we’ve had terrible flooding all over the country this year, and our final nominee for Most Inspiring News Story is a group of teenagers in Victoria, who rescued more than 40 people and their pets from the towns of Shepparton and Mooroopna. They launched their tinnies – aluminium boats – into the Goulbourn River, and ferried their neighbours to safety.

Okay Bryce, I’m opening the envelope… and look at this, it says that the Most Inspiring Squizzie actually goes to ALL the people who stepped up to help in the floods… from people paddling chickens to safety in kayaks, to the State Emergency Services saving human lives, to people who donated money and supplies and even their own homes to flood victims… you are the best of humanity, and Squiz Kids Salutes you.

Wow, Amanda. 2022, what a year it’s been. Thank you for your help.

That’s my pleasure Bryce, and thank you Squiz Kids for another great year.

Before we go .. a quick reminder that the Squiz Kids Today podcast is taking a break until school returns in 2022. But don’t worry, we’re not leaving you empty handed for the holidays! Our Christmas pressie to you is a free kids versus adult Quiz each week…

And a free Squiz the World episode each week … a 10-minute audio excursion to a different country on our amazing planet. We’ll be heading to Morocco, Cuba, Peru, and more!

Not only that, but we’re giving you a free Squiz Kids Shortcut each week … where you and I dig a bit deeper into a fun topic.

We’ll be talking about Christmas food traditions around the world… fireworks… YouTube… Sneakers… Sharks… All kinds of good stuff.

This is Bryce Corbett, signing off, and reminding you all to get out there and have a most excellent summer …

Over and out