Thursday, June 8, 2023

XBox busted for data collection; the world’s stinkiest fruit; alien spaceships here on Earth; and mussel poo to the rescue!



Mussel poo to the rescue:

The Bristol Stool Chart:

Does the USA have UFOs?:


Squiz Kids Book Club:

Classroom Companion:

Teachers! Want to access free, curriculum-aligned classroom resources tied to the daily podcast? Sign up to be a Squiz Kids Classroom and download the Classroom Companion each day. Made by teachers for teachers, differentiated to suit all primary school ability levels. And did we mention it’s free?


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]




Hands up if you’ve ever played XBox? I can’t see you – on account of this being a podcast and all – but I’m guessing quite a lot of you have your hands up.

And hands up if you’ve ever entered an email address and other personal information when signing up to play? 

Microsoft, the company that owns XBox, was yesterday ordered to pay a fine of almost $30 million dollars for illegally collecting personal information from kids without their parents’ consent.

Illegal means it is against the law.  

In the United States it’s against the law to ask kids for personal information when signing up to play an online game. That’s a law that’s been created to stop kids’ personal data from being passed on to people who might use it to try to sell them other products or services. 

It’s a timely reminder to be careful what information about yourselves you share when you’re online. Your personal information – be it email addresses or age or phone numbers or addresses – should always be carefully guarded, and not handed out to anyone who asks for it. Even if there’s an exciting online game at the other end of it. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in China … where the world’s stinkiest fruit is in high demand.

Maybe you’ve heard of a fruit called the durian? Native to South East Asia, it has a spiky outer-skin and soft-white flesh inside .. and it stinks to high heaven. The sort of stink that when someone eats it in public, people have been known to run and hide. The smell from the durian is so foul that in some countries it has been banned from being eaten on public transport or in hotels. 

But that hasn’t stopped people in China from wanting to eat it. In fact, according to reports yesterday, farmers in the Chinese province of Hainan are planting thousands of acres of durian trees to meet what is expected to be surging demand in the years to come. 

I think I’ll stick to my oranges.



On the subject of all things stinky .. here’s a fascinating story about mussel poo. 

You know mussels right? That funny little mollusk that attaches itself to rocks, plants, structures in the sea?. Maybe you’ve eaten a mussel from your local seafood shop.

Well now it turns out that mussels might just be the answer to cleaning up the tonnes and tonnes of microplastics in the world’s oceans.

New research has found that mussels ingest microplastics and then poop them back out into the water. 

Mussels eat by sucking in water and filtering out nutrients. Scientists found when the mussel sucks in water filled with microplastics, the tiny plastic particles get wrapped up in mussel poop and when they pop out the other end – sink to the bottom.

That means the plastics don’t enter the digestive systems of other marine life – AND in mussel poo form, are easier to collect and remove from our waterways. 




Ah – it’s the CCC … letting us know that Christie has created three excellent worksheets tied to this item in the podcast. 

And today’s worksheets are all about the wonderful world of poo … According to Christie, poo gets bad rap .. it does something amazing things. Your job today is to design an advertising campaign to make poo more popular. Plus you’ll find in the Classroom Companion some literacy activities relating to the durian fruit  … it’s the stinky edition of Classroom Companions… if you’re a teacher and want to take advantage of these free worksheets for your classroom – make sure you’ve signed up to Squiz Kids Classroom via our website: Because we like to give. 



Have you ever looked up into the night’s sky – at all the stars and galaxies out there – and wondered if we’re not alone? For as long as humans have stared at the skies, the question of whether alien life forms might be out there has pre-occupied us.

And now there’s apparently proof … with claims this week by a former intelligence official that the US government has alien spaceships that it has been hiding from the world. 

Now – with our Newshounds hat on – we know that when it comes to UFOs and alien encounters – we have to be extra careful about who we listen to and how seriously we take what they’re saying. But sensible news outlets are this week reporting that the person making the alien spaceship claims is credible – and that it’s not just the United States that has secretly collected alien spaceships over the years. 

What’s a UFO? It stands for unidentified flying object – and is a catch all term for any unexplained flying craft in our skies. Is it true? Who knows. But the idea that there might be aliens on other planets or in different galaxies sure is fun to think about. Afterall, there are entire Star Wars and superhero and Guardians of the Galaxy style movie franchises built around the idea. 


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 stinky fruit popular in China and other parts of South East Asia?
  2. Which marine animal’s poop could solve the ocean’s microplastic problem?
  3. What does UFO stand for?





It’s June 8  – today is World Oceans Day .. so whether you’re near one or not today, stop and think about how incredible they are and how important it is to look after them. It’s also National Best Friend Day .. so be sure to give yours a hug today.


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

Manon from Austinmer, Beau from Hawkesbury, Tyson from Unandera, Addyson from Woongarrah, Kotoyo from Brisbane, Jaya from Maylands, Benjamin from Spring Mountain, Madison from Cannon Hill, Alicia from Yass, Henry from the Central Coast, Lylah from Clairvaux, Sigma from Blacktown, Elsa from Arendelle and twins Bob and Brenda listening from China and Vida from Singapore. 


Belated shout outs go to… Maggie from Clairvaux, Elle from Sydney, Henry from NSW, Aliet from Andrews Farm and Bilal from Plumpton. 


And today’s Classroom Shoutouts go to … class 3/4B and Mrs Brown and class 5A and Ms Archer at Elermore Vale Public school, class LA9 and Mr Upfold at Atwell Primary School, Mrs Wellings class at Yarrowitch Public School, class 6 red with Miss Van Der Zee at Bethany Catholic Primary School in Penrith, class 3/4 Rose and Miss Page at Hornsby North Public School and lastly to the 5/6 sharks with Miss Mourad at Campbellfield Public School.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Durian
  2. Mussel
  3. Unidentified Flying Object