Thursday, September 7, 2023

Platypus sniffer dogs and cocky hunters; Shark scare in New Zealand; TikTok’s fake Karen videos; and Barbie fans gone wild.


Glossy black cockatoo

Great Glossy Count

Fisherman vs seal vs shark

Barbie collector

Pink house

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Today is Threatened Species Day across the country – where we’re all encouraged to stop and think about the number of native species across our wide brown land that are under threat.


A threatened species is any plant or animal species that is at risk of extinction – and unfortunately the Australian government estimates there are at least 1,700 species that are threatened or at risk of extinction.

It’s an important reminder of how important it is to look after the environment – and that we all have a role to play – and that it’s not all doom and gloom.


Earlier this week there was the great news that new nests for the glossy black cockatoo had been found on the NSW Mid North Coast for the first time in 20 years. 


That’s great news because the big bushfires we had a couple of years ago wiped out more than 45 percent of the glossy black cockatoo habitat in that region.


I’ve stuck a link to photos of the glossy black cocky in today’s episode notes


And yesterday, conservationists in Victoria gathered at the Healesville Sanctuary in Melbourne to see a brand new platypus sniffer dog in action. 


The dogs have been trained to sniff out platypus nests – then sit quietly in front of them, without disturbing the platypus curled up inside – so that conservationists can do a proper count of their numbers and keep track on whether extra steps need to be taken to protect them.


Platypus sniffer dogs … what will they think of next?


Oh  -and if you want to play at being a citizen scientist this weekend and help conservationists count how many glossy black cockatoos are in the wild, this weekend is the Great Glossy Count – where kids and adults across south-eastern Queensland, eastern NSW, the ACT and eastern Victoria are encouraged to get involved. I’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed just across the ditch, in New Zealand – where a fisherman on his kayak had a close encounter with a shark chasing a seal.

The fisherbloke was out on his sea-kayak, filming videos for his popular YouTube channel, when suddenly a seal pup flew up out of the water with a young shark in hot pursuit.

He watched, amazed for a full minute as the shark chased the seal – both of them performing impressive aerial acrobatics above the water’s surface – until the seal decided it would try to shelter on the kayak and the shark rammed him from below – almost knocking him out of his boat. Yikes!

And while there’s no word on whether the seal got away … there IS a super cool video that the kayaker captured – and of course, I’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes. 




So you think you like Barbie? You reckon now that you’ve seen the movie on the big screen that you’re a Barbie Super Fan?

Well you have nothing on Russian woman Tatiana Tuzova who has .. wait for it … more than 12,000 Barbie dolls in her collection at her home. 

That’s a whole lot of pink.

She has dresses made of Barbie dolls, jewellery made of Barbie dolls, and wall to ceiling displays of Barbie dolls in their boxes all over her house. That, my friends, is what we either call a passion or an obsession. Take your pick.

I’ve stuck a link to photos of Tatiana and her collection in today’s episode notes.

Just as I have stuck a link to a house in England which is riding the pink wave … this house is painted hot pink, all of its rooms are painted pink and full of pink furniture and frankly my head hurts just thinking about it. But hey – each to their own.

And on the subject of Barbie … make sure you tune in next Tuesday when Christie and I punch out a super cool Squiz Kids Shortcut on Barbie – everything you ever wanted to know about the world’s most popular doll. And her friend, Ken. Poor Ken. He’s just Ken. Anywhere else he’d be a ten … 



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 today his nose is twitching over a bunch of fake Karen videos that have surfaced on TikTok. 

The videos show women apparently complaining in shops and bars and restaurants about the poor service they have received … except, the videos are fake.

They’re not the deep fake videos that we’ve talked about in previous podcasts. Those are videos of real people that have been manipulated and edited to make it seem like those people have said things or done things they never actually did.

These are just videos of pretend situations that are not real. An example of disinformation – which as Squiz-E tells us in Newshounds – our free media literacy course for primary school kids – is incorrect information that’s been posted online on purpose to make us react in a certain way. 

It’s why we should always do as Squiz E suggests: and that’s to STOP, THINK and CHECK before believing everything we see, read or hear on the internet. 

And teachers: if you want your class to be amog the 1,700 who have signed up to trial Newshounds – our free media literacy podcast + classroom activities – head to our website and sign up today.


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

  1. In which country was a kayaker rammed by a shark?
  2. What’s the name of the cockatoo on the NSW mid-north coast whose nests have been found?
  3. In which country does Barbie super fan Tatiana Tuzova live?





It’s September 7 – the first One Day International cricket match kicks off tonight in Blomfontein in South Africa between Australia and South Africa. C’mon Aussies!


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Nathan from Vermont South, Jaseem from Junee, Lenovo from Light Pass, Henry from the Central Coast, Harry from Forest Lake, Tama from Galston, Ayva  from Coolongolook, Tennyson from Adelaide, Jasper from Encounter Bay, Mila from Rosanna, Oliver from Kingston, Tara from Sutherland, Sienna, Cassie and Wendy from Pakenham and Zoe listening over in Lille – France and Rohan listening in Kerala -India. 


Belated shout outs go to… twins Kalea and Evie from Freshwater, Aluou and Malakai from Brisbane, Harley from Melbourne and Maddie listening over in Alabama, USA! 


Classroom shoutouts today go to … year 4 with Mrs Crum at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Orange, year 3 with Mrs Snickins at St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School in Tarragindi, classes 1RH and 4CA at Kew Primary School, class 6/5Y and Miss Yee at Murray Farm Public School in Carlingford, class 3/4K and Ms Gallagher at Emu Plains Public School and class 6 Gold with Mr Wheeler at Marist College in Ashgrove. 


The S’Quiz Answers:


  1. New Zealand
  2. Glossy black cockatoo
  3. Russia