Thursday, 28 April, 2022

Why your weekly shop costs more; the burger flipping robot; the oldest woman in the world; and Venus and Jupiter snuggle up.  



See Flippy in Action:

Sensational World of Civics – Episode 1: Why Canberra?


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You’ve probably heard in the news lately people talking about the cost of living. It’s exactly what it sounds like .. a measure of how much it costs the average person to afford food and housing and transport and things we all need to live.

You will also hear a lot today about a thing called inflation. Not least because numbers released yesterday showed that inflation in Australia had risen to the highest level in twenty odd years. 

What’s inflation? It’s the rate at which prices for things increase over a period of time. 

Generally, it’s good when the inflation rate is contained and kept low. Because that means we can all buy more things with the money we have. When inflation increases – it means our money doesn’t go as far. 

Why is any of this even remotely interesting to you?

Because everyone – no matter how old – is impacted by the cost of living. In a nutshell, if it costs more for a trolley of food at a supermarket each week, you can’t buy as much food as you might like – or have to sacrifice in other areas of spending. 

It’s also important because governments and their economic policies can play a role in keeping inflation low. And because there’s a federal election coming up – there are going to be lots of politicians talking a lot about how to control the rising cost of living. So settle in – and don’t say I didn’t warn you …



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in America, where some lucky  fast food lovers are getting their meals cooked by a robot. The Jack-in-the-Box hamburger chain restaurant in San Diego, California, is testing out a robot called Flippy, who isn’t supposed to replace humans, but instead take over the dull, dirty, and dangerous parts of restaurant work. 

Let’s face it, who wants to work over a huge vat of boiling oil in a fryer, when Flippy can use artificial intelligence to recognise the food, cook it to perfection and even add salt to it? Flippy is faster than a human fry cook, and if it can be fried, Flippy can be programmed to cook it… curly fries, regular chips, onion rings, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, chicken wings, … mmm, now I’m hungry! 

Restaurants all over the world have struggled to keep enough staff during the Coronavirus pandemic, so who knows, you may soon see Flippy – or his friends Sippy and Chippy – at a fast food joint near you. I’ve popped a link to a video of robots at work in your episode notes. 




Lovers of all things spacey … get ready to watch Jupiter and Venus head out on a hot date.

Star gazers are all looking skyward – which is to say people with telescopes who love looking at the night’s sky are totes excited – because the two planets are creeping towards each other – and are due to kiss on or around April 30. 

When I say kiss – they’re not actually puckering up … but rather they will be part of what’s called a planetary conjunction – when two planets appear to touch each other from the Earth’s point of view. 

It’s a perspective thing .. the two planets will remain millions of kilometres apart from each other in real terms, but because of where Earth is going to be positioned relative to Jupiter and Venus, it will look from down here like they are brushing up against one another. 

How cool is that? 




And the award for the oldest person alive goes to … a 118 year old nun living in the South of France.

Sister Andre assumed the title for the world’s oldest living person earlier this week, after 119 year Japanese woman Kane Tanaka sadly passed away. 

The French nun says she has always tried to live a simple life, giving back to others. And in exciting news for all of us: she says she enjoys eating  chocolate and has a glass of wine every day. 

Now, that’s what I’m talking about … 

She’s still got a way to go though, however, before she’s named the oldest living person on record … that honour belongs to another French woman, who passed away in 1997 … at the ripe old age of 122 years and 164 days old. 

Imagine the candles on that cake … 




Have you ever wondered how our system of government works? Wondered what goes on down there in Canberra with all those politicians in Parliament House? Then wonder no more! Because we’ve produced an excellent new series called The Sensational World of Civics …. 

What’s civics? It’s basically how government works .. and while it might sound super boring .. trust me, how the wheels of government turn and how they impact your everyday life is anything but boring.

With the help of our friends at the Museum of Australian Democracy – we’ve come up with a four part series – including how Australia became a country; why Canberra was chosen as its capital; what’s an election?; what politicians actually DO in Parliament – and how you can get involved. 

And with a federal election just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to brush up on all things political. 

The first episode is out today – and one will drop every Thursday until the election on May 21. If you’re listening on an app, Episode One should play directly after this podcast. Otherwise, you’ll find it has a permanent home on the website 

Links in today’s episode notes … 

You’re very welcome … 



Now, speaking of all things political … don’t forget to get your questions in for the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader for our next Squiz Kids Q+As … we’ve asked PM Scott Morrison and Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese – also known as ScoMo and Albo – to answer any burning questions you might have as we hurtle towards a federal election.

You’ve only got until Monday to get your questions in to [email protected] … be sure to tell us your name, age, where you’re from and whether your question is for ScoMo or Albo. The ten best for each candidate will be selected .. 

So don’t just sit there! This is your chance to put your question to the next leader of this country. Get busy people! 




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

  1. In which country does the new oldest woman alive live in?
  2. Which two planets are snuggling up for a kiss later this week?
  3. What’s the name of the burger flipping robot?




It’s April 28  – today is Pay it Forward Day .. a day for a random act of kindness .. because being kind is the coolest thing of all. 

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

Twins Kristian and Jacob from Five Dock, Jennifer from Mt Hawthorn and Amélie from Thirroul.

And because a bunch of you celebrated your birthday over the Easter Holidays … we’ve got a backlog of belated birthday shout outs which we’ll be working our way through all this week … Satvik and Abigail from Ivanhoe, Jade from Melbourne, Beau from Ashmont, Ethan from Woongarrah Public School, Oscar from Queenscliff, Annie from Anglesea, Ray from Forest Lake, Hazel from Jindalee, Elizabeth from Brisbane, Levi from Shellharbour, Georgia from Pitt Town, Aidan from Vermont South, Sam from Mansfield and Lincoln who is travelling around Australia.

And classroom shoutouts today go to … 

Ms Shehata M’s class from the Australian International Academy in Kellyville, Grade 5 and Ms Kaeding at Marryatville Primary School and classes 4LK and 4JM with Mr Kelly and Mr Mitchell at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Ascot Vale.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. France
  2. Jupiter and Venus
  3. Flippy