Tuesday 4 May, 2021

Warning for online gamers; the world’s longest foot bridge; May The Fourth be with you; and the great grizzly-polar bear mash up.



Gaming: special report: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-03/video-games-you-play-are-using-sneaky-tactics-four-corners/100098826

World’s longest pedestrian bridge: https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/stepping-out-new-footbridge-in-portugal-not-for-the-faint-hearted-20210503-p57o9k.html

Meet the pizzly bear: https://www.livescience.com/pizzly-bear-hybrids-created-by-climate-crisis.html


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Gamers beware … the micro-transaction is not your friend – and unless you’re careful, can drain your piggy bank.

That’s the message from a special news report last night into gaming and how even the free online games are designed to lure players into spending money and make it seem harmless by presenting the purchases as micro-transactions. 

A dollar here, fifty cents there – a new skin, an upgraded weapon in your favourite fantasy game. Before you know it, you’ve spent much more than you ever intended and your bank account – or the bank account of your parents.

And all the while, the games are tracking what you do, keeping tabs on what you like, and then feeding those preferences back to you to make you buy more or play longer. Because, as the report says, it’s all about getting you hooked. 

It’s like Streaks on Snapchat or the rewards you get on Pokemon Go: a sneaky way for the makers of the app to keep you coming back to their service. And each time you do, they collect more information about you.

With $150 billion – that’s billion with a b – collected by game companies last year, just thanks to micro-transactions, there are calls by politicians to create laws which better control the sorts of games and in-game tactics that young Aussies are exposed to. 

If you’re interested to know more: I’ve stuck a link to the special report into gaming 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 in Portgual – a country next to Spain, where the world’s longest foot-bridge has been built.

It’s half-a-kilometre in length, stretched across a deep valley, and takes pedestrians on a slightly-scary journey 175 metres above a river flowing below.

Locals in the village of Arouca – where the bridge has been built – have had the chance to cross it. And most of them have done so very slowly, and very carefully. 

The second longest pedestrian bridge is in Switzerland – and the third longest is in Japan.

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to photos of the new bridge. If you’re not a fan of heights – maybe give it a miss. 




You’ve heard of grizzly bears right? And you’ve heard of polar bears? But have you heard of pizzlies? Or grolar bears? Because they’re an actual thing: and they’re what you get when you cross a polar bear with a grizzly bear. Which, according to scientists, is something that’s happening more and more as the two species of bear increasingly cross paths. 

Scientists in North America have found increasing numbers of pizzlies as the habitats of the polar bears and grizzlies start to overlap more often. 

As the climate warms, polar bears are venturing further south in search of food and grizzlies are travelling further north. And sometimes when they meet at feeding sites, they breed and produce what is called hybrid offspring. Half polar bear, half grizzly … a pizzly. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to photos of the curious new creature.




If you’re a sci-fi fan, you’ll know that today is a special one. May the 4th. It’s Star Wars Day. Because, May the 4th be with you. Get it?

And to celebrate, the internet is going to be awash with celebrations of one of the most successful film franchises of all time. What’s a film franchise? It’s a collection of movies all featuring the same vague storyline and a revolving cast of characters.

Whether it’s a Star Wars t-shirt, some Star Wars Lego or even a Star Wars rice cooker that you’re after – there’s a piece of Star Wars merchandise for everyone. My favourite Star Wars commemorative tie-up is the donut shop in Wales that is offering a Princess Leia four pack of donuts – for anyone wanting to recreate her iconic hair buns.




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

  1. Which country has the world’s longest pedestrian bridge?
  2. What do you get when you cross a polar bear with a grizzly bear?
  3. What international day is it today?




It’s May 4   … as well as being Star Wars Day, today is International Firefighters Day .. where we are all encouraged to stop and give thanks to the brave men and women whose job it is to fight fires. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today ….Makayla from Ashmont, Maisie from Richmond, Mila from Breakfast Point, Sidney from Oxley, Georgie from Emu Plains, Jayce from Aberfoyle Park, Leyla from Williamstown, Emmie from Abbotsford, Vincent from Melbourne, Sofina from Bellevue Heights and Eric who’s listening all the way from Gdańsk in Poland.  

And some belated birthday shoutouts to… Brendan from Sydney, Margaret from Nelson Park, and Azim from Minto.

Classroom shoutouts… All the Room 4 kids Miss Lukong’s 6/7 class from  Wallaroo Primary School, class 5/6N and Miss North from Dobroyd Point Public School, class 5 White from Holy Family Primary School in Gowrie, Class 5 at Snowy Valleys School and the 5/6 legends from Trinity catholic school.  


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Portugal 
  2. Pizzly
  3. Star Wars Day