Wednesday, 10 February, 2021

Facebook fights fake news; Mars probes arrive; Thor’s mega-eating plan; and how poo protects the reef.



Sea cucumber pooh story:


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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.






Facebook has launched a war against fake news – announcing yesterday that it will remove any posts from its platform that contain false claims about vaccines.

Until recently, Facebook – like other social media platforms – has defended the right of all its users to post pretty much whatever they want – except yucky, violent and offensive stuff. 

And while that sounds good in principle – from a free speech point of view – it also means that people are posting things that are not based in fact, and people sometimes believe things they read on social media that might not be true.

Facebook’s new rules have been introduced as the more and more false information about COVID and vaccines appears on its platform.

There are people who believe it is safer to contract the coronavirus than to receive a vaccination. That is not the advice of the  World Health Organisation – or of pretty much any doctor for that matter. 

Explaining its decision, Facebook wrote in the blog post that: “building trust and confidence in these vaccines is critical, so we’re launching the largest worldwide campaign to help public health organizations share accurate information about Covid-19 vaccines and encourage people to get vaccinated”.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed on Mars … where things are about to get a bit crowded.

The first of three Mars probes which lifted off from Earth last July has just entered the red planet’s atmosphere and is ready to start its mission. The first probe belongs to the United Arab Emirates – and is called Amal – which is Arabic for Hope. It’s reached the end of its 483 million kilometre journey and will soon get to work, orbiting the planet and mapping Mars’ atmosphere throughout each season.

Hot on its heels is a Mars probe from China, which is expected to reach its destination next Wednesday – followed soon thereafter by a Mars probe sent by the United States – which is aiming to land on the surface of the planet in just over a week’s time. 

And if you’re a complete space nerd like me … you will think all of the above is just extraordinary …




Keeping up with Thor is no mean feat. Just ask the guy who works as Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth’s body double.

Chris, of course, is the actor who plays Thor in the Marvel movies. And in order to get fit and build the muscle required to play the role, he goes to superhero lengths before each film – eating lots to build muscle.

And while that means he looks superhero strong in the film – it also means his body double has to keep up.

A body double – as the name suggests – is a person who looks a lot like the lead actor in a film, and stands in for that person to do particularly hard stunts. 

Chris’s body double Bobby yesterday said Chris eats seven meals a day to put on the bulk required for his role. 

Wowsers. That’s a whole lot of food. Maybe don’t try that at home .. unless it’s seven serves of those vegetables you leave on the side of your plate each night … 




And so we return to one of our favourite topics here at Squiz Kids … I’m talking about poo. Specifically: I’m talking about sea cucumber poo – and the fact scientists on the Great Barrier Reef have been studying it for years and have just discovered how important it is to the reef’s ecosystem.

What’s a sea cucumber? It’s a sea creature that looks a lot like a giant slug and lives on the ocean floor. It munches on the sand, its stomach filters out the tiny creatures that live in the sand, and then it poops out the sand again.

But the cool thing is: the sand that comes out in a sea cucumber poo is full of really important nutrients – like nitrogen – which helps algae to grow, which is an important food for many fish – and calcium carbonate which helps coral to grow. 

Because it’s such a cool story – I’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes, in case you want to dive into it further. The story that is, not the poo .




Hey team – don’t forget we’re asking all Squiz Kid parents, carers and teachers to fill out a survey to help us make plans on how we make this podcast grow in the year ahead. We’ve got a heap of great ideas, we’ve recruited a new member to the Squiz Kids crew – the all-round awesome Amanda – whom you’ll all meet in good time – and we want your feedback on how to make Squiz Kids bigger, better and more useful to your lives. There’s a link to the survey in today’s episode notes.



Every second Wednesday we stick our head into the Squiz Kids kitchen to see what Rosie has been cooking up. Over to you Rosie …

Hi everyone … this week, I’ve been busy trying out a recipe sent in by Harriet from Brisbane. It’s Harriet’s Super Easy Pancake recipe. We love a Sunday morning pancake breakfast at our house – I’m a sugar and lemon girl, my brother is Nutella all the way. Harriet’s recipe is easy to follow  – and the end result is delicious. 

The recipe and photos are all on the Squiz Kids website. And don’t forget if you have a recipe you love and you’d love me to try – send it through to [email protected]. See ya!




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

  1. Which social media platform has declared war on vaccine fake news?
  2. Name any one of the three countries who have a Mars probe due to arrive at the red planet in the coming week?
  3. Which Marvel superhero does Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth play?




It’s February 10   … Twenty five years ago today, a computer called Deep Blue became the first computer ever to win a game of chess against a actual human world chess champion -who, at the time, was a bloke called Gary Kasparov.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Aashi from Westmead, Wally from Caulfield North, Teddy from Semaphore, Rowan from Trinity Beach, Hannah from Casterton, Thomas from Glen Innes, Lana from Brisbane, Chelsea from Grovedale and Sadie all the way from Vancouver in Canada. 

Happy birthday one and all!

And a belated birthday shout out… Jaz from Port Stephens

Classroom shoutouts… class 5K at St John’s Anglican College, class 4K at Williamstown Primary School, the Year Three Glossy Blacks from Kangaroo Island, classes 5/6 C and W at Exeter Public School, and class 5/6G with Mr Gamble at Wesburn Primary School.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Facebook
  2. United Arab Emirates, China or the USA
  3. Thor