Thursday, 16 March, 2023

 Kids sport and concussion in the spotlight; Paris gets stinky; AFL season preview; and why we’re afraid of clowns.


Today’s Quick Links: 

The Squiz Kids Book Club: 

What is a concussion? VIDEO:

Paris fills with rubbish:

AFL fixture – 2023:

The psychological reason you’re afraid of clowns:

National Close The Gap Day:

All about Pandas:


Dig Deeper:

Signs and Symptoms of a concussion:

Scientific Paper – Longterm Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury:

How garbage collectors thread the fabric of society:

Scientific Paper – Fear of clowns:




As the weather starts to turn from summer to autumn, and the AFL and NRL professional footy comps kick off – it also means lots of you will be getting ready to run back out onto the paddock to play league, union or AFL wherever in this big ol’ country it is that you live.

And this week, there was an announcement that could have impact the games you love to play and watch.

The people that run the AFL competition in Australia announced on Monday that they have set aside $25million to study the long term effects of concussion. The announcement came as some 60 former AFL players joined together in a law suit against the AFL seeking compensation for head injuries they suffered while playing the game at its highest level. And if you follow rugby league, you will have seen one of the highest profile players in the game, Kalyn Ponga suffered a head injury – his fourth in 10 months – in a game against the Tigers last weekend.

A concussion is an injury to the brain usually as a result of a serious head knock. It occurs when your head receives enough of a jolt to make your brain temporarily change function. 

Not all head knocks cause concussion – and lots of new rules are being introduced especially at junior sport level to make them less likely to happen – and lots of attention will now go into research to see how we can best manage concussions when they occur and – importantly – prevent any long term damage.

Because sport is important – and the health benefits that come with playing it are also really important  … so this is not a case of being scared, so much as being aware. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Paris – capital of France – and renowned the world over for its monuments, art, culture, jaw-dropping beauty – and incredibly foul stench.

Wait, what?

Yes, right now, Paris stinks up a treat – and that’s because the people who collect the garbage are on strike – meaning bins from homes and businesses and in public places all over la belle Paris are spilling over and stinking to high heaven.

Garbage collectors are striking – which means not going to work temporarily – in protest at government plans to lift the age at which French workers can retire – which means stop going to work permanently – from 62 to 64.

And with Paris authorities estimating some 5,600 tonnes of garbage has already piled up on its streets – there are real concerns now that the City of Light could soon be overrun with rats.

Well, I suppose if they’re all talented chefs, like Remy the rat from Ratataouille – maybe that could be ok? Yeah nah – probs not.




Hold onto your supporter scarves people and crack out the footy franks – the AFL season gets underway tonight and the anticipation is epic ..

The 2023 season kicks off tonight at the MCG – where else? – with a clash of the footy titans as local rivals Richmond take on Carlton. 

And then continues over the weekend with games between last year’s premiers Geelong versus Collingwood, North Melbourne versus West Coast, Port versus Brisbane and the Gold Coast versus last year’s runners up, the Sydney Swans.

And because it’s the most popular sport in Australia – sorry NRL, sorry netball, sorry cricket – every expert in the country is making predictions on who will win this year’s competition, who will take home the Brownlow medal and who will win the wooden spoon – which is sport talk for ‘comes last’. 

All we can offer is may the best team win … and as they (sort of) say in the Hunger Games, may the odds always be in your team’s favour. 




We talk a lot in the podcast about the important work scientists do … whether it’s in Spaced Out or Spin The Globe or The Lowdown – scientists are at the forefront of so many of the cool things that happen in the world each day. 

And today, we bring you one of the weirder things that scientists have been busy studying .. namely a fear of clowns.

Yes, that’s right, an international team of academics has just produced a scientific paper explaining why some people have a mortal fear of clowns. 

And their conclusions? That it’s a combination of their freaky face make-up – their often unpredictable behaviour – and the way clowns have been portrayed in the media.

Do I even have to mention Pennywise, the evil clown from the Stephen King book and movie, “It”? I haven’t been able to look at a drain or a red balloon the same way since… And no, I don’t suggest you Google that …



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

  1. Who has gone on strike in Paris making the streets a playground for rats?
  2. A fear of what has been the subject of an international scientific study?
  3. Which two teams kick off the AFL season with a game at the MCG tonight? 





It’s March 16  – it’s National Panda Day in the United States … how cute are pandas? Here at home, it’s National Close The Gap Day – a day to be reminded of how much work there is still to do to achieve better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – i’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes if you’re keen to learn more.


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… 

Wilby from Montalto, Millie from Surat, Claudia from Middle harbour, Lenny from Adelaide, Kevin from Narrandera, Tamar from Malvern, Evan from Mansfield, William from Hornsby and Bella from Melbourne.

And a belated shout outs goes to… James from Murray Farm.

Classroom shoutouts go to… class 3-2 and Mrs Burcin at St Andrew’s Catholic College in Cairns, class 6R3 and Miss Prasard at Spring Mountain State School, class 5/6T with Miss Zantis and Miss Tatle at Middle Harbour Primary School, class 5/6N and Mrs Napoleoni at Oakdale Public School, class 5/6G with Mrs Neilson at Sutherland North Public School and lastly to class 5/6D and Miss Nguyen at Dandenong South Primary School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Garbage Collectors
  2. Clowns
  3. Richmond and Carlton