Thursday, 3 September, 2020

What’s a recession?; welcome to Spoonville; a high-flying surprise; and, it’s Treehouse Day!






If you heard any news yesterday, chances are you heard that Australia is officially in a recession. What’s a recession? It’s something to do with our economy and how much it’s growing – or in this case – how much it’s shrinking. We all know how much life has changed this year because of the coronavirus. And because we’re not getting out and about as much at the moment – whether that’s to the movies, or on holidays, or to the cafe, or the shopping centre – that means we’re spending less. So for the first time in 28 years, Australia’s economy has shrunk over the last 6 months. And it’s going to stay like that for a while to come, the experts say, as long as the coronavirus is hanging around. Cross your fingers for that vaccine, people… 

Remember earlier this year, when were all at home and people starting putting teddy bears in windows? Well the bears have been replaced by spoons –  with “Spoonvilles” popping up in suburban streets all over the country. What’s a Spoonville? It’s the latest craze for kids and adults alike. All you need to start one is some publicly accessible land, a sign reading “Spoonville” and a character or two. And by characters, I mean spoons that have been painted and dressed up to be crazy cutlery villagers. I’ll put a link in your episode notes and maybe you’ll plot your own spoon settlement for your neighbours to enjoy. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in Los Angeles … or rather, the airspace above Los Angeles — where the pilots of two jet planes have reported seeing a man in a jetpack flying next to them at an altitude of 900 metres above the ground. 

American authorities have launched an investigation to discover if the pilots were seeing things.

Police were unable to locate anyone in a jetpack hovering in the airspace above Los Angeles airport – one of the busiest airports in the world.

Ten bucks says it was Iron Man. 




Times are tough down Victoria way — with the lockdown heading into its fifth week – which can’t be easy for anyone living through it. Which is why we are giving a great big Squiz Kids Salute to the excellent human beings who brought a smile to the face of the coastal township of Lorne, by undertaking a town-wide delivery of freshly picked daffodils.

The daffodils were gathered by a group of volunteers – from a secret field near the town – and bunches were hand delivered to every household in town. 

It’s what is called a ‘random act of kindness’ – and it’s the sort of gesture that makes the world go round.




You think you’re good at maths? Reckon you can recite your times tables faster than anyone else in the class? Then prepare to meet your match. His name is Bhanu, he lives in India, and he’s just been recognised as the world’s fastest human calculator. 

Ask him what is 869,457 times 48 and he’ll tell you it’s 41,733,936 faster than you can say “OMG that’s amazing” … 

After years and years of practice and training, Bhanu is able to process numbers twelve times faster than the average person. 

A couple of weeks ago, Bhanu won gold at the Mental Calculation World Championship in London. Which is like the Olympics of maths. And yes, that’s totally a thing – and you should all totally aspire to win a medal there. So don’t just sit there: get calculating!




It’s Treehouse day! Our special Squiz Kids Q+A with kids author extraordinaire Andy Griffiths hits the podcast airwaves today. What’s his favourite book from the treehouse series? Where does he get his wacky ideas for writing? Was he naughty at school? And if he was in Stage 4 lockdown, what level of his treehouse would he want to be stuck on? Andy answers all of these excellent questions from you – the listeners of Squiz Kids. Huge thanks to everyone who submitted a question – Andy was chuffed that so many of you took the time. To listen to this special Q+A – head to the Squiz Kids website, – search for it in your preferred podcasting app – or keep listening after this episode and it might start playing automatically if your player’s set up that way. 




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

  1. What piece of cutlery is popping up on suburban streets all over the country?
  2. What sort of yellow flower was handed out to all the residents of the Victorian town of Lorne?
  3. What country does Bhanu, the human calculator come from?




It’s September 3 ….. National Flag Day  – on this day in 1901 – so 119 years ago – the winner of a competition to design a flag for our nation was announced. That winning design was hoisted above the Exhibition Building in Melbourne … and that’s the Aussie flag that we all know to this day. So if you’ve got a flag – give it a wave. If you’re near one today, give it a salute. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Lachlan from Carlingford, Maddie from Sydney, Eloise from Coes Creek, Varun from Oran Park, Mia from Townsville, Ky from Murwillumbah, Charlotte from Inverell, Ruthie from Westmead, Arlo from Carina, Colin from Denistone East, Aza from Batemans Bay, Saskia from Adelaide, Mikayla from Menai, Georgie from Orange, Layla from Wolvi and Corey from Mackay. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Ava and Hayley from Orange, Lilly from Port Kennedy, Logan from Spreyton, Sandeep and Sannidhi from Perth and Naima all the way from Jakarta in Indonesia.

Happy birthday one and all!

And so to classroom shoutouts — remember – we want to dedicate the next couple of weeks’ worth of classroom shoutouts to Victorian school kids who are home learning … so if you’re a teacher of or a student in a class in Victoria nd you want to give your students or classmates a shout out – drop us a line at [email protected]

Today’s Victorian classroom shout outs go to …   

Mr Bull from 5B at Ivanhoe Primary School who we’re told is doing a great job of helping the students learn during home-schooling, class 4/5 from St. Mary’s and Year 4 Agnes at St Michael’s Grammar School, who, their teachers say are all showing great persistence and resilience, and to Mrs Flower and Mrs Bennett from Class 3BF at Glenferrie Primary School – whose extraordinary efforts with home learning are hugely appreciated.


  The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Spoons
  2. Daffodils
  3. India