Wednesday, 1 March, 2023

Sneaky vape ads removed from Facebook; Mexico’s’ elves go viral; Calling Aussie astronauts; and Ben the escape artist bear.



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Today’s Quick Links: 

Mexican president Tweets elves:

Ben the escape artist bear:

Space Camp Applications close on Sunday, 12 March 2023. Students aged 15-18 can apply now at

Space Camp:

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A company that makes cigarettes and vapes has gotten into trouble along with Facebook for posting ads promoting vapes on the social media site.


A- ha! Our friend Squiz-E the Newshound has joined us earlier than usual in the Wednesday podcast to let us know about the latest fishy goings on he’s discovered on the internet

Vaping is a form of smoking: a habit that none of you, if you’re clever, will ever take up. And Facebook has rules banning ads that promote vaping. Especially because of how dangerous it can be for young people and their health. 

But as Squiz E reports: a company that makes vaping products posted ads on Facebook promoting vaping – but disguised the ads as educational and research-related – tricking people into reading and responding to them. 

It’s another classic example of why – as Squiz E tells us week after week – that we always need to Stop. Think and Check before believing everything we see, read or hear on the internet. 

Posts on social media, especially, often have what’s called an ‘ulterior motive’ – which is a fancy way of saying they are created by people trying to get us to think or feel or react a certain way. Our job as Newshounds, is to always question the source of any information we receive when we’re on the internet – and not take everything we see at face value. 

Thanks Squiz-E!


And to all the teachers out there: don’t forget our eight part podcast series Newshounds – is live, free and ready for use in your classroom. Join Squiz-E as he takes kids on a fun, game-board journey into the world of media literacy. There are links in today’s episode notes – or jump in via our website,



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Mexico – where the president himself has been tweeting about elves. 

A long, long time ago, Mexico was home to a people called the Mayans – especially famous for the incredible temples they built which still stand to this day.

The Mayans believed that the forests and jungles of Mexico were inhabited by elves, called aluxs – and that these mischievous elves regularly played tricks on people. 

Why is it that elves are always mischievous? Except I suppose for Dobby – he was just helpful. And poorly dressed. But I digress.

And while lots of people don’t believe in elves, it seems the President of Mexico himself does – sharing on his social media a photo of a tree at night which appears to have the arms, sparkling eyes and head of an alux – and captioning it: Everything is mystical. I’ve stuck a link to the photo  in today’s episode notes.

Because what’s the world without a bit of magic, afterall? 




A bear called Ben has caused something of a stir at  a zoo in America after escaping his enclosure not once … but twice.

Ben is a young male Andean bear – native to South America – who clearly has an adventurous streak – and a talent for escaping. 

His first breakout happened last month – where he worked his way through the steel mesh separating him from freedom. And then again, last week, Ben found a way out of his enclosure to go for a wander about the zoo – in the middle of the day – forcing an evacuation of all visitors from the park.

Sounds like a scene from Madagascar. 

Ben is part of a conservation program being run by zoos to bolster the numbers of Andean bears in the world. His mum and dad are in another zoo halfway across the country. He was probably just wanting to go and see them. I’ve stuck a link to photos of Ben in today’s episode notes.




Ten lucky Australian teenagers are in for the adventure of a lifetime following the announcement that Space Camp in the USA is offering ten full scholarships to aspiring Aussie astronauts. 

Space Camp is exactly what it sounds like: a camp in the US state of Alabama where students come together to share their love of science, technology, engineering, robotics and maths – and learn about all the cool ways in which humans are pushing out into the cosmos. 

The scholarships this year are only open to 15-18 year-olds – so probs not you lot just yet – but I’ve stuck links to the application in today’s episode notes – in case there’s anyone you know in that age group. But tell them to get their jetpacks on … applications close Sunday March 12.

To infinity and beyond! 



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

  1. What sort of bear is Ben, the escape artist of St Louis zoo?
  2. How many Aussie teens will be awarded scholarships for Space Camp?
  3. What mystical creature has the President of Mexico tweeted about? Elves – aluxs 




It’s March 1 – pinch and a punch for the first day of the month … the Third Test between Australia and India kicks off in Dharamsala today – here’s hoping it goes better than the last two .. it’s also World Compliment Day .. so be sure to compliment someone close to you today. .. any little compliment will do – because kindness costs nothing .. 

And it’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… 

Brae from Canberra, Toby from The Gap, Vivienne from Perth, Haylee from Paraburdoo, Cleaver from Yarramalong, Spencer from Narrandera, Eloise from Hodgson Vale, James from Frenchs Forest, Zola from Ivanhoe, Niamh (pronounced Neave) and Amelia from Mosman and Kathy from Elermore Vale.

Not forgetting of course those Squiz Kids whose birthdays is February 29 – and who, because this year isn’t a leap year, had to watch as the calendar skipped over their birthday again this year… Special leap year birthday wishes to Cooper from Gunnedah, Charlie from Botany and Sally from Oyster Bay. 

Classroom shoutouts go to…class 3C and Mrs Cunningham at St Martin’s Catholic Primary School in Carina, class 3CW and Miss Wise at North Ainslie Primary School,

class 5/6K and Ms Kavanagh at Bardia Public School, class 2 Red and Mrs Buchanan at Mater Dei Primary School in Wagga Wagga and lastly to class 5A and Mrs Auckett at Gulgong Public School – and thank you for patiently waiting to hear your shout out. 

On the subject of patience: a big thank you to ALL the classrooms all over the country who have sent in Classroom Shout Out requests … there are so, so many of you. The list is LOOOOONG my friends, and we’re getting through them on a first-come, first served basis – so thanks for your patience as we work our way through them … as they say: good things come to those who wait …


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Soft plastic
  2. Nepal
  3. China