Thursday, September 14, 2023

An African catastrophe; Swift collects moon-men; a race to stay in bed; and a fe fi fo fake


Fake giant dog:


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The state of New Jersey, in the United States rolled out the pink carpet yesterday for the swathe of celebrities attending MTVs 40th annual Video Music Awards or VMAs. Hosted by Nicki Minaj, and featuring tributes to Latin Music, the international music icon, Shakira, and a celebration of 50-years of Hip Hop the night was a very colourful affair.

Performances dominated the evening with Shakira showing off her diverse range of work with a 10-minute compilation which was rewarded with a standing ovation. And amongst the 20 other performances packed into the 4 hours show, was Olivia Rodriguez, who raised some eyebrows when, while performing her hit, Get Him Back,  she was surrounded by a line-up of Olivia look-alikes. Creepy!

But it wouldn’t be the VMAs without Taylor Swift, who took time off from her billion-dollar stadium tour to scoop up the video of the year award for her hit song Anti-Hero, best pop video, and song of the year amongst others to take home nine wins in total. Taylor yesterday tied for the record of most VMAs won in one night, and is now running second for the most VMAs awarded over all. Those little moon-man statues are realy crowding out her trophy cabinet.

And as the awards are voted by fans she finished the night announcing: All I have to say tonight is thank you. I’m blown away.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Libya – where heavy rains have caused flooding and two dams to burst – leading to catastrophic damage.

Libya is a country in northern Africa. You might remember we’ve been speaking this week already about Morocco – another country in northern Africa – which was struck last week, by a massive earthquake, and is struggling to recover from that. 

It’s a natural disaster of a different kind in Libya – where days and days of intense rain have seen two dams burst – flooding villages that lie in the valleys beneath them. 

A huge rescue and relief effort has been launched to help the many thousands of people affected by the disaster. 

Spare a thought for the people of Libya today and send them all your best wishes for a speedy recovery. 




The school holidays are almost here (CHEER) … and that means sleep-ins aplenty – with no need to get up out of bed or up off the couch. And if you’re looking for inspiration on how to be as lazy as possible these school holidays – look no further than the country of Montenegro – where a competition has just been held to find the country’s laziest person. 

In what might be the easiest competition in the world, contestants had to see who could lie down for the longest. They’ve got their phones, they get fed – presumably they’re allowed to get up and go to the toilet – easy peasy. So easy, in fact, that according to the most recent reports from earlier in the week, from an original group of 21, there were 7 left – who had spent 463 hours – or just over 19 days – lying down.Sigh …I can only dream..

Oh – and speaking of school holidays … don’t forget this is our last Squiz Kids Today episode for this term. We’ve got tomorrow’s Weekly News S’Quiz – and then a bunch of cool September holiday programming starting next week – including Bumper School Holiday quizzes, Shortcuts, Spin The Worlds and a Book Club ep. And then the daily news pod will be back on Wednesday October 4. And yes, we’ll miss you too …



Every Wednesday, Squiz-E the Newshound pops his head into Squiz Kids HQ to report back on fishy things he’s sniffed out on the internet .. and this week his snout is twitching – and his tail is between his legs – after stumbling across an old photo of a giant Irish dog. In the photo, the dog is sitting down yet is still twice the size and height of the adult human next to it. I’ve stuck a link to the photo in today’s episode notes – so you can have a look for yourself. It’s quite incredible.

In fact, it’s literally incredible. As in, not credible – which is a fancy way of saying – not real. 

Clever internet snoops have done a reverse Google image search on the photo and followed the trail back to a website from which it originated to discover it is an AI generated image. But that didn’t stop thousands of people sharing it on Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat as if it were real.

Another excellent reason to always do as Squiz-E the Newshound tells us – and that’s to STOP, THINK and CHECK before believing everything we see, read or hear on the internet. 

And another good reason for your teachers to make sure your classroom is among the 1,700 who have signed up to do NEWSHOUNDS, Squiz Kids’ free media literacy course for primary school kids … check it out and sign up for free at 



Today’s the day, kids, when Federal Education Minister Jason Clare takes the Squiz Kids hotseat to answer YOUR questions. The person in charge of schools right around the country has sat down for a special Squiz Kids Q+A which drops today. 

Who’s his favourite Star Wars character? Why do you have to do homework? What’s the point of NAPLAN? And why does Federal Parliament sometimes get as shouty as a footy game?

All these burning questions and more are answered.

If you’re listening to this episode of Squiz Kids Today on a podcasting app, the Jason Clare Q+A should play automatically at the end .. otherwise, you can find it at any time in the Squiz Kids feed, or on our website –

It’s the first in a series of Q+As where the kids of Australia get to put questions to the people running the country. 

Because … it’s a kids’ world too … 


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 country where heavy rains and burst dams has caused widespread flooding?
  2. How many VMA awards did Taylor Swift take home yesterday?
  3. How many days, had a group of Montenagran citizens spent lying down?





It’s September 14 – R U OK Day. It’s a great day to check in with your mates and ask whether they’re OK. And to be a good friend and listen and make sure to seek help from a trusted adult if a problem is too big for you to manage. 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Oscar from Yass, Jayden from Waitara, Jordan from HElensvale, Eliza from Adelaide, Arthur from Weston, Emily from Nightcliff, Christian from Bellevue Hill, Alistair from Sydney, Alexis from Valentine, Samuel from Petrie, Lucas from Caringbah and Oliver from NSW.


Belated shout outs go to… Olivia and Giselle from Goodna.


Classroom shoutouts today go to … Class 6C and Mrs Oliver at Echuca Primary School, class 3G and Ms Galluzzo at Epping West Public School, class 7L and Mr McLockin at Cheltenham Girls High School in Beecroft, class 5P and Miss Perkins at Loreto Normanhurst Primary School, class 3/4L and Mr Lyons at Lavington Public School, class 5 Green and Mrs McCann at Holy Trinity Primary School in Curtin, class 3H and Mr Hines at Sydney Grammar School, class 6B with Miss Roff and Miss Warnick at Redlynch State College in Cairns, class 1/2 with Miss Qiu (CH-OO) and class 2JW with Mrs Jackson at Crown Street Public School in Surrey Hills and lastly class 6 Blue with Mrs Maguire at St Paul’s Catholic Parish Primary School in Albion Park.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Libya
  2. Nine
  3. Nineteen