Tuesday, 14 March, 2023

Fearsome Freddy smashes records; waggling worker bees; Israel’s protests; and two kinds of comebacks. 


Today’s Quick Links: 

Squiz Kids Book Club: https://www.squizkids.com.au/book_club/

Watch Cyclone Freddy’s ping pong path of destruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_KpFj2OXsQ 

Ke Huy Quan – from Short Round to Oscar winner: https://www.imdb.com/video/vi439403545/?playlistId=nm0702841&ref_=nm_ov_vi 

Campa Cola, 1983: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o7GT3Jcnfs&t=1s 

Watch a waggle dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOZrNs22FAU 


Dig Deeper:

More details on Accumulated Cyclone Energy units: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_cyclone_energy 

Oscars roundup https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2023 

A rap about checks and balances: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jny_4BBGh_g 

Australia’s separation of powers: https://peo.gov.au/understand-our-parliament/how-parliament-works/system-of-government/separation-of-powers/ 

Why do honeybees dance? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S-ozxpIrdI

Waggle dance research paper: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade1702 


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]





A cyclone that got its start off WA’s north coast has smashed the record for the world’s most energetic storm—and although releasing lots of energy is a great thing when you’re on the sporting field or the playground, it’s not what anyone’s really looking for in a tropical cyclone. 


Cyclone Freddy developed on February 6, and headed towards Africa, where it caused terrible destruction in Mozambique and Madagascar. First, Freddy broke the record for the world’s longest-lived tropical cyclone—a mark previously held by Hurricane John, which terrorised the Pacific for 31 days in 1994. 


Then, Freddy broke something called the “rapid intensification” record, which refers to how often a storm’s winds get rapidly stronger. That usually happens no more than three times over the life of a storm, but Freddy did it seven times. 


And now, Freddy has also broken the record for most energetic storm, which is measured in something called “Accumulated Cyclone Energy” units. I’ll put some links in your episode notes to learn more. So far, Freddy’s racked up more than 86 ACE units… which, in some cyclone seasons, is more than we get from ALL the storms combined. Whoa. After 36 days at large, Freddy is predicted to peter out later today – finally. 




Bryce told you yesterday about a Queensland uni student, Lachlan Pendragon, who was up for an Oscar for his animated short film. Well, I’m sorry to report that he did not win … although I’m sure just being nominated will do incredible things for his career! I’ll put a link in your episode notes to all of the award winners, but I do want to point out the achievement of Ke Huy Quan (key hoi kwahn) who won Best Supporting Actor for his work in the movie Everything, Everywhere, All At Once. That’s a grown up movie, but you may have seen him as Short Round, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. That was filmed when he was 12 – he’s now 51! Before he got this year’s award-winning role, Ke Huy Quan hadn’t acted for 30 years. Talk about an epic comeback! 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Israel, where more than five percent of the country’s entire population took to the streets in the biggest of ten straight weeks of protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Half a million people demonstrated  this past weekend against Netanyahu’s  government’s plans to change the Israeli court system. 

You’ve probably learned at school about something called “checks and balances” in a democracy. It’s where each branch of government watches over the other, making sure that none has too much power. And Mr. Netanyahu’s government’s proposal would take a lot of power away from one branch of government – the courts, also known as the judiciary – and give that power TO the parliament. More than two thirds of Israelis do not agree with the proposal, and many critics say that it would crush democracy. Mr Netanyahu, who is currently facing corruption trials while Prime Minister, denies that the proposal is linked to his own challenges with the courts. 




Everyone loves a pop culture comeback story… whether it’s Ke Huy Quan, Robert Downey Jr, Britney Spears … And in India, social media is going crazy over the Campa Cola Comeback. 


You see, from the 1970s until 1993, Coca Cola was not available in India, due to a law that would have required the American company to reveal its secret recipe. Millions of Indians grew up drinking a locally made soft drink called Campa Cola instead. Now, India’s richest man has announced that he will be relaunching the fizzy drink in cola, orange, and lemon flavours. The company is hoping that it will not only win back its old customers, who are now middle aged, but get their kids on board, too. I’ve put a link in your episode notes to a Campa Cola ad from 1983 …apologies in advance if you get the jingle stuck in your head. 




You know that phrase, listen to your elders? Well, in the case of bees, researchers have found that the wisdom of adults is the only way for a worker to really nail her waggle dance. 


A waggle dance, in case you didn’t know, is how worker bees communicate to their colleagues where pollen can be found, and how far it is from the hive. Basically, it’s a way of drawing a map by shaking your booty. 


By observing different colonies of bees – some with adults, others populated purely with young bees – researchers discovered that 8-day-old bees touch their antennae to the body of older waggle dancers to learn their moves, before they leave the hive and start communicating themselves. 


Without an older bee to learn from, waggle dances were sloppy, and the worker bees were unable to accurately communicate distances to each other. Adults, important in helping you learn? Un-bee-lievable. 



Before we get to the S’Quiz, I have an exciting announcement! Squiz Kids is going to be producing a new monthly podcast, called Squiz Kids Book Club. And because this podcast is only going to have reviews of kids’ books, by kid reviewers, we’re putting together a crew of kids who love to read, and who want to share their thoughts on books with the kids of Australia. Jump on the link in your episode notes to learn more, and apply! 



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

  1. Name one of the three records that Cyclone Freddy has broken.  
  2. What kind of bee does a waggle dance? 
  3. Israelis are demonstrating against their PM’s plan to take power away from what branch of government? 





It’s March 14 – Which means that tomorrow, NAPLAN testing starts for kids in years 3, 5, 7, and 9. Remember – get a good night’s sleep, try your hardest, and don’t forget that these tests should only be used to help teachers do their jobs even better. They’re only testing English and Maths, so they can’t measure how artistic, or sporting, or scientific, or musical you are… and they definitely can’t measure how kind you are, or how much fun you are to be around.  


Speaking of fun, it’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Hannah from Brisbane, Athos from Bexley, Andrew from Salisbury Park, Russell from Eltham, Rafi, Ruby and Airlia from East Geelong, Adelina from Ruse and Vinnie from Carlingford. 


Classroom shoutouts go to…Year 3 with Miss Swain, Miss Nasr and Mrs Edwards at St Christopher’s Primary School in Holsworthy, class 2-5 Busy Bees and Ms Cavanagh at Regentville Primary School, class 5/6A at Cannon Hill Public School, year 6O at St Brendan’s Catholic Primary School in Mackay and class 5 Blue and Miss Kay at 

St Agnes School in Mount Gravatt. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Longest-lived tropical storm; rapid intensification record; and most energetic storm. 
  2. Worker bee – which, by the way, are all female
  3. Judiciary, or courts