Thursday, 6 April, 2023

Mystery baby reunited with Mum; the miracle mathematical shape; a fishing warning; and the fake tongue that’s testing chocolate.

Today’s Quick Links: 

Vetin sees her Mum again: 

David Smith’s einstein shape: 

Taronga Zoo turtle:

The science of melting chocolate (illustration) 

Top 15 Chocolate Easter treats, ranked: 

Dig Deeper:

Understand tessellation: 

Tessellation tiling: 

David Smith’s website: 

Responsible fishing to reduce wildlife injury (includes rescue numbers for NSW):  


Original Sources: 


David Smith and colleagues’ paper on the aperiodic monotile: 





A miracle baby that survived being trapped under rubble for FIVE days after the devastating earthquake in Turkey has finally been reunited with her mother, after a 54 day separation. 

For a long time, authorities thought that the little girl’s mother had died in the building collapse, and they called her “Gazim”, which means ‘mystery’ in Turkish. Gazim was taken to the capital for medical care, while her mother remained in the city of Adana, where she is still in hospital receiving treatment for her injuries. 


Finally, DNA tests proved that Gazim was really named Vetin Begdas. She was just six weeks old when the earthquake occurred. This week, the Turkish minister of family and social services personally flew to Adana to reunite mother and daughter. Imagine, you and your parent not knowing if the other was dead or alive for more than two months – and how you’d feel when you saw each other again.  There’s a video of the journey and reunion in your episode notes – I definitely cried. 


– Break


Whenever and wherever you listened to the grown up news yesterday, you were sure to hear one name … Donald Trump. He was the American President from 2016 to 2020, and yesterday, he became the first former president ever to be arrested. Mr Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 separate charges of ‘falsifying business records.’ Falsifying means intentionally making something incorrect, and in this case Mr Trump is accused of covering up payments that he made, during his last campaign for President, to people that he wanted to keep quiet about information that could have hurt his election chances. The next court hearing is set for December… so I guess we’ll keep hearing about this for a loooong time. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in England, where a man who does maths as a hobby has blown the collective minds of professionals. David Smith, a retired printing mechanic from East Yorkshire, has discovered a shape that mathematicians – including a Nobel Prize winner – have spent decades looking for.

Imagine a simple bathroom tile. When you put tiles that are all the same shape together without any gaps in between – a process known as tesselating – they make a repeating pattern. Mathematicians have been searching and searching for a  miraculous tile shape that is “aperiodic”, meaning it doesn’t make a pattern when tessellated. 

David found it. He calls it “The Hat”, because he thinks it looks like one … although at least one Squiz Kid reckons it looks more like a t-shirt. Either way, David teamed up with three maths and computer scientists to prove that the t-shirt/hat, when tiled, never makes a pattern – even if the tessellation goes on for light years in all directions. 

Guess what the official name for this elusive, aperiodic tile shape is? Einstein – which in German means ‘one stone’, or more loosely, ‘one tile’. Yes, that’s einstein as in Einstein… so David Smith really is a genius.   



The wildlife hospital at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo has a message for all of you planning on going fishing these holidays: be responsible with your hooks and lines. They’ve just spent five hours operating on a green turtle who had SEVEN fish hooks stuck in her guts, as well as fishing line tangling and cutting into her intestines. The 50kg turtle was the sixth to have been brought to the hospital so far this year, and Taronga vets say  that hooks and lines are the number one reason animals are brought in to them. 

Their advice if you do hook a turtle or bird: call an animal rescue number or bring it to a vet. Do NOT just cut the line and let the animal go. 

I’ll put some photos of the turtle, who’s making a good recovery, in your episode notes – as well as more information on how to fish responsibly. 



Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a little chunk of chocolate melting in your mouth. It’s a sensation like nothing else, isn’t it? And, thanks to a group of researchers who built a fake tongue, we now understand the science of gooey chocolate deliciousness. (Now there is a job to aspire towards!). 

What they found is that chocolate’s unique melty yumness comes from it melting and releasing a layer of fat that coats our tongue. Which they say means you could make chocolate healthier, but still yummy, by keeping the fat on the outside layer, and having low-fat chocolate on the inside. I’ll believe THAT when I taste it for myself! 

Speaking of taste and cushy jobs, a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald has done a taste test of 15 classic Easter chocolate treats, and ranked them – with Cadbury Creme Eggs coming last, at number 15, and the Haigh’s single origin milk chocolate bilby coming out on top. Now, we all know that good science is about replicating results… which means, I think, that it’s my duty to buy all 15 and check if he’s correct.  Feel free to join me.   


And a very quick message from me before the S’Quiz… this is the last Squiz Kids Today podcast for Term One – we’ll be back again on April 26, but never fear, we’ll continue to bring you Shortcuts, Squiz the World, and Bryce’s Bumper Kids vs Adults quizzes throughout the holidays. On a personal note, this is also the last Squiz Kids Today podcast that I’ll be hosting. I’ve absolutely loved producing your fresh take on the world around you, not to mention working with Bryce and all the other legends at the Squiz … but I’ve really missed working with kids face to face, and that’s what I’m going to be doing next term. I’ll still be in your ears each week with Shortcuts and Squiz the World… so you can’t get rid of me completely! 


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

  1. What’s the word for fitting shapes together so there are no gaps? 
  2. What are the two things that Taronga Zoo hospital says cause the most wildlife injuries?  
  3. What is, without a doubt, the single MOST delicious chocolate treat in the world? 





It’s April 6… which apparently is, in America, both National Burrito Day and National Spaghetti Carbonara Day. Which one would you choose? I’ll take a burrito with mild salsa, thanks.  


And because it’s the last podcast before school holidays, I think we get to make it reggae day… right? Hit it … 


It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Tyler from Kenmore, Krystal from Forest Lake, Branner from Brisbane, Elliot from Balgownie, Layla from Portland and Christian from Newcastle. 


Belated birthday wishes go to …. Beckham from Spring Mountain, John from Warnervale and Eva from Deniliquin. 


And for all those lucky Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the Easter weekend … happy birthday to… Lachlan from Loganholme, Johann from Schofields, Mellaki from Broken Hill, Mason from Isle of Capri, Isabella from Sydney, Matthew from Hammond Park, Kian from Dianella, Lincoln from Jimboomba Woods, Sienna from Clyde North, Koby from Cannon Hill, Mason from Tumut, Isobel from Millfield, Blaine from Glenmore Park, Toby from Woodford, Sarah from Gilmore, Lincoln from South Australia, Mel from Clairvaux, Elly and Orlando from Floraville, Olivia from Blacktown, Daisy from Oyster Bay, Anaya from Oran Park, Maddie from Exeter, Nicholas from Chatswood, Zac from Perth, Oscar from Streaky Bay and Grace from Gordonvale. 


Remember, Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the next two weeks will hear their birthday shout out when the podcast returns after the school holidays on Wednesday, April 26. THAT is going to be a formidable list! 



The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Tessellation
  2. Fish hooks and fishing line
  3. As IF I’m going to get into that debate with you… but I have a feeling I’ve just started something! 


Don’t forget .. if you’ve got a birthday coming up and you want a shout out  – or if you want a classroom shout out – drop us a line at [email protected] or fill out the form on our website. 


That’s all we have time for. Thanks for listening to Squiz Kids Today – we’ll be back again on April 26. 


In the meantime, get out there and have a most excellent day.  Over and out.