Tuesday, 30 November, 2021

Tackling the trolls online; Canada’s maple syrup shortage; spacesuit designers step up!; and Mr Beast meets Squid Game in YouTube record.



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Maple syrup warehouse: https://ppaq.ca/en/sale-purchase-maple-syrup/worlds-only-reserve-maple-syrup/

Thriller: the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOnqjkJTMaA


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Online trolls have been put on notice with the introduction by the Australian government of laws that will hopefully stamp them out.

What’s an online troll? That’s the name given to someone who uses the internet to bully other people – to say mean things about them. It’s a big problem all over the world – and made worse by the fact that on social media and the internet it’s really easy to say nasty things about someone else without giving away your identity. Which is to say: people use fake names and fake email addresses to say nasty things about other people under the cover of what’s called anonymity … 

Afterall – it’s easy to be mean about someone if there’s no chance anyone will know it’s you being mean about them.

The new laws that the Australian government has proposed would force the big social media and internet companies to take greater responsibility for the comments that appear on their platforms.

The government hopes the laws will force those companies to reveal the identities of cyber bullies .. and once they’re flushed out into the open – well, the hope is they will be less inclined to be so mean. 

The laws will work on enforcing the principle anyone offering an opinion on the web should always remember: if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online. 

And then after that: maybe we can work on coming up with a new name for internet bullies. Calling them ‘trolls’ afterall is surely unfair to those rolling characters in Frozen and the entire cast of the movie Trolls. Those trolls seem perfectly pleasant … 



Each day we give the world globe a spin, and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Canada – where there’s a maple syrup shortage …. Aaaggghhh …. What are we going to put on our pancakes now?

The government of Quebec – a province of Canada which produces three quarters of the world’s maple syrup – has dipped into its emergency reserves of the sweet sticky stuff to make sure the world doesn’t run dry.

Maple syrup comes straight out of maple trees – which are native to Canada. 

Apparently the global pandemic – with all of us eating at home, and comfort eating, at that – has seen sales skyrocket this past year. Combined with a lower-than usual maple syrup season this year: stocks around the world have been running low. 

But luckily there’s a big warehouse in Quebec, the size of five football fields, where 94,000 barrels of maple syrup are kept year round as what’s called a ‘strategic reserve’. I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to photos of the warehouse and its barrels of syrupy goodness. Now that’s a warehouse I’d happily get locked inside … with a can opener and a straw ..



Calling all space suit designers … NASA needs you! The American space agency has put a call out asking companies all over the world to help them come up with a spacesuit design that will take humans to the moon. 

What’s wrong with the old space suits, I hear you ask? They have built-in drink bags AND adult nappies… What’s not to love? 

Well, the old suits are designed for use on the International Space Station, and they just won’t do for astronauts going to the Moon or Mars. For starters, the existing suits weigh 150kg, which is fine when you’re floating around in space, but too heavy and clunky for astronauts exploring the surfaces of moons, asteroids, and planets. NASA also wants the new suits to have an improved communication system; be a better fit for astronauts of all sizes; and have more flexible joints. The drink bags and nappies are probably still a pretty good idea – no one wants to cut a space walk short because they’re thirsty, or need the loo.  

What would you include in a design for the perfect space suit? Maybe draw one up as a fun classroom activity today. And teachers –  if you’re a Squiz Kids for School member: today’s classroom activities will explore text structure and spelling – tied to this news item. Not a Squiz Kids for School member yet? Make the most of the free trial by signing up at squizkids.com.au.




What do you get when you mash up the world’s number one TV show with one of the world’s most popular YouTubers? Only one of the most viral videos on the internet just now – that’s what.

You’ve probably heard of YouTuber Mr Beast, right? And you’ve probably heard people talking about the TV show Squid Game — definitely not for your age group – but you’ll have heard about it all the same. 


A video released last week of Mr Beast recreating scenes from Squid Game – but a G-rated version thereof – has clocked up 100 million views and counting. It received 42 million views the day it was released. Thems be MASSIVE numbers … all of which goes to prove a Squid mixed with a beast makes for a formidable force …




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 YouTuber who’s Squid Game video has gone viral?
  2. What does NASA need people to help them design?
  3. Which country does three quarters of the world’s maple syrup come from?




It’s November 30 … the Matildas take on team USA in their second friendly match tonight, plus, on this day 39 years ago, a singer called Michael Jackson released an album called Thriller – and the world went a little bit mad for it … I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to video of the song – whose film clip was a huge big deal back in the day .. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today…Sevi from Melbourne, Chloe from Walcha, Dakota from Ivanhoe and Skye from Geraldton.

Classroom shout outs today go to…class 3E and Miss Ecob at Panania Public School, to Mr Davis and class 6D at Epping West Public School and to class 2B and Miss Bousfield at St John The Apostle Primary School in Narraweena. Classroom shout outs also to 5/6KR at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Mernda, to class 3B at Southport State School on the Gold Coast and to grades 2, 3 and 4 at Millfield Public School. Lastly to class 7.1 and 4.4 both at Telopea Park School in Canberra. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Mr Beast
  2. Spacesuits
  3. Canada .. or the province of Quebec to be specific.