Thursday, 9 March, 2023

Cracking down on sharenting; seaweed-fighting robots; scootering from Melbourne to Cairns; and an airport cat-astrophe.


Kids + Media Survey:

Are you a parent, guardian or teacher of primary school kids? Then help us paint a picture of Aussie kids and their media habits by filling out this quick, two minute survey. Thank you in advance!


Today’s Quick Links: 

eSafety Commissioner’s advice on photos and consent: 

Map of the sargassum belt:

Robots to the seaweed rescue: 

Follow Uni and his scooter on Instagram: 

Baggage scanner animals: 

Original Barbie: The story behind the original Barbie doll:

Dig Deeper:

The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt: 

More on Uni’s journey: 

Travel tips and Dad jokes – the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Instagram account: 


Classroom Companion

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Get started on our free media literacy resource for classrooms

Stay up to date with us on our Squiz Kids Instagram!  

Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Complete the form on our Squiz Kids website. Link: SHOUT OUTS or / send us an email at [email protected]




Is “sharenting” something that happens in your family? Sharenting is a portmanteau, which means a word made by blending two other words – in this case, sharing – as in social media – and parenting. 


And in France, the government is worried about how far some sharents are willing to go in their efforts to get internet famous. Lately, they’ve seen trends of French influencer parents throwing spoons full of mashed potato, or slices of processed cheese, at their babies’ faces, and filming the reaction – apparently, these videos earned parents thousands of dollars! Another popular prank involves filming a kid as a pretend police officer says they’re going to be arrested for not listening to their parents. 


Experts say that these videos exploit kids for money; can be humiliating; invade a child’s privacy; and could even make kids the targets of bullies, or even criminals. 


The proposed French law would require that kids who are old enough, be involved in deciding whether their images are posted online. Studies show that on average, every kid’s picture is shared on social media 1,300 times before they turn 13 – and are old enough to share their own pics. Under the French law, if parents focused more on fame and fortune than their kid’s welfare, they could lose the right to post images.  


French over-sharents, be warned. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in the ocean waters around the Caribbean. But if you’re imagining warm, crystal clear, waves, you’re going to need to scratch that, and picture enormous, rotting masses of floating brown seaweed. Welcome to the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt – which has grown to be so massive that you can see it from space. 

This invasive seaweed bloom now stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Congo – I’ll put a map in your episode notes. The explosion is occurring due to climate change and pollution, and it’s harming wildlife and tourism, and causing health problems for humans. 

But a supercute robot shaped like a stingray may be able to help. It’s working to capture the seaweed, then sink it down, thousands of metres below the surface … which has the added advantage of locking away, for hundreds of years, the carbon that’s stored in the seaweed. Robots for the win-win.  




Airport security staff in America got a shock this week, when they spotted a live cat on their baggage x-ray machine! Although small pets are allowed on American flights, this owner either didn’t know, or forgot, to remove the feline from its carrier before sending the bag through the machine! Luckily, no harm came to the cat. Amazingly, airport staff have also found a boa constrictor, and a dog, in other passengers’ hand luggage. I’ll put photos in your episode notes. 


Dog-gone it! What a cat-astrophe. [DAD JOKE ALARM]. You’re welcome. 




What’s the furthest you’ve ever scootered? I’ll bet it’s not as far as the 23-year-old Japanese tourist who’s getting himself from Melbourne to Cairns – that’s 3,000 km – on a bright blue scooter. 

Twenty-three-year-old Ryokei Mifune, who is known by his childhood nickname, Uni, wanted a scooter adventure. He thought things would get too complicated if he worried about the trip’s details, so he jumped straight in. 

He chose Australia because it looked like a big place on Google Maps. He was right about that! He’s only a few weeks into his travels, and he’s had sunburn and blisters; lost a toenail; and been woken by sprinklers while sleeping in a park. But the best part of Uni’s journey has been all the help and support he has received along the way. People all along the east coast are watching on the sides of roads for a man in  a traditional Japanese straw hat and flimsy sandals, with a guitar strapped to his back – and offering him meals, a place to stay, a nice warm shower. If you live in that part of the world, you might want to watch out for Uni and have a big, friendly “kon’nichiwa” at the ready.



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

  1. What is the name of the type of seaweed causing problems in the Atlantic ocean? 
  2. What is the new word describing parents who post pix of their kids on social media?
  3. Uni the Japanese tourist is scootering from where to where? 





It’s March 9 –  on this day in 1959, the first Barbie doll was sold. Apparently, toy company Mattel has sold more than one billion since … about 3 dolls every second. 


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

Jack from Cronulla, Aros from Oran Park, Kavya from Montmorency, Ruby from Greensborough, Lucas from Cannon Hill, Olive from Peechelba, Max from Narrandera, Aadi from Deniliquin, Ivan from Lyneham, Tigerlily and Annie from Wattle Ridge, Sophie from Bolwarra Heights and Arian from Melbourne.  


And belated shout outs go to… Sophie from Torrens and Jessie from Canberra. 


Today’s Classroom Shoutouts go to …room 14 and Miss Irvine at Anzac Terrace Primary School in Bassendean, class Lawson and Ms Rampling at Franklin Public School in Tumut, class 4HJ and Miss Jeppesen at Nundah State School, class 6C and Mrs Curteis at Cherrybrook Public School, class 5/6M and Mrs Murray at Camden Public School and classes 5G and 6P at Saint Joseph’s Primary School in Narrandera.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Sargassum
  2. Sharenting
  3. Melbourne to Cairns