Thursday, 20 October, 2022

Climbing into controversy; Hagfish super-slime; Teen tinnie to the rescue; and the car that crashed into Japan’s oldest loo.



Hagfish super slime in action


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An Iranian competitive climber has returned to her home country to be greeted by jubilant crowds at the airport after taking part in an international  climbing competition.

And it’s not because she won the competition. But rather because she competed without wearing a hijab.

A hijab is a head covering – like a scarf. In Iran, as we’ve discussed previously in the podcast, every woman is required to wear one in public.

But when Elnaz Rekabi started clambering up a wall without a hijab this week – competing in the Asian climbing Championships – many in her home country took it as a sign she was supporting the thousands of Iranian women and girls who have been protesting compulsory hijab laws these past few weeks. Watch this space. 


You may have heard the expression: it never rains, it pours.

It means that bad situations can have a habit of happening in quick succession – meaning they arrive all at the same time.

And it’s an expression we could easily use to describe the weather situation in Australia right now.

As floods continues to wreak havoc in regional Victoria – and communities there frantically sandbag their homes against rising flood waters – the weather bureau was yesterday warning of more rains to come.

A great big band of wet stretching from the Northern Territory and down in South Australia is expected to move its slow way east over the week ahead – dumping water as it goes – falling on already saturated ground and swelling already swollen rivers up and down the east coast of the country. 

It’s hard to believe there can possibly be more rain left in the sky: but it seems like things are set to get worse before they get better. Sorry. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Japan – where a man has accidentally driven his car through the door of the country’s oldest toilet. 

The public toilet inside the grounds of the Tofujuki temple in Kyoto is thought to be the oldest in all of Japan – dating back to the 1500s.

And on Monday – a man who ironically enough works for the government department whose job it is to protect historical sites – accidentally put his car in reverse instead of drive and smashed down the dunny door.

Luckily, there was no one inside using the toilet at the time of the accident. Imagine the shock if you were on the loo and a car came smashing through the door? It would give you a bit of a wee fright wouldn’t it? (DAD JOKE ALARM) – oops there’s the dad joke alarm … I’ll get back in my box. 




Have you ever heard of the hagfish? No, until today, I hadn’t either. It’s a weird, eel-like, super-slimy fish that lives deep down in the ocean – they’re famous in the animal kingdom for the fact that they slither into dead fish and eat their flesh from the inside out. Gross. 

They’re also famous for the super sticky slime they produce to ward off predators. A big fish or shark comes along and decides they might take a bite – the hagfish releases a burst of super-slime which expands in the predator’s jaws and scares them away. Awesome. 

And now scientists who’ve been researching that slime reckon they can use it to create protective clothing for firefighters – or even for soldiers in war zones. Think of it as a Spiderman-like protective web that repels anything that comes into contact with it. 

Further proof that nature really is something. 




Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know that half of Victoria is underwater at the moment. Ok – so maybe not half – but floods are ravaging parts of regional Victoria, causes all sorts of havoc and mayhem.

And so we thought we’d pause for a moment and celebrate a good story to come out of the Victoria floods – and there have been loads of good stories with people helping each other out – including the tale of two teenage  mates who have been using their tinny – which is boat speak for an aluminium boat – to run up and down the Goulburn River that runs through the towns of Shepparton and Mooroopna – rescuing people stranded by rising floodwaters. 

The two mates were so overwhelmed by the number of people needing help, they called on a couple of other friends to bring their boat to the party – and over the course of 11 hours – the team of impromptu rescuers ferried more than 40 people and their pets to safety. 

Squiz Kids Salutes you!



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

  1. What’s the name of the fish that releases a gooey, sticky slime when it’s attacked?
  2. Which country does competitive climber, Elnaz Rekabi come from?
  3. In which country did a man accidentally reverse into an ancient toilet door?




It’s October 20 … 65 days to Xmas!! Woo-hoo! Today is International Chefs Day – so maybe make like a chef and cook dinner for your parents tonight? 

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

Nithi from Springfield, Ollie from Abbotsford, Hugo from Bronte, Izzy from Mosman, Magnus from Runaway Bay, Mason from Warrnambool, Bronx from Wagga Wagga and Drishti from NSW. 

Belated birthday shout outs go to Ashton from Mildura and Laene from Carlton.

Classroom shouts go to…class 5/6B and Mr Barrett at Petersham Public School, class 5H and Miss Hill at Lane Cove West Public School, class 3/4

Ryan and Fletcher at Trevallyn Primary School, years 3-6 and Miss Mahar at Mount George Public School, year 4 and Mrs Cale at Hornsby North Public School and lastly to the year 6 students with Ms Hill at the Australian International School in Vietnam. 



The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Japan
  2. Hagfish
  3. Iran