Wednesday, 12 October, 2022

Seaweed pill to stop cow farts; India’s no-internet village; real life Hunger Games on Iranian TV; and Tay Tay’s glitter pen reveal.



Newshounds: Iran protestors hijack news bulletin


Squiz Kids For Schools Term 4 Promo Offer:

Access all of our content for the special Term 4 price of only $39.95.



Register your interest in our new media literacy resource for classrooms


Quizzes, Shortcuts and Squiz The World 

Parents: Unlock a heap of bonus content with our Squiz Kids Subscriber Specials, only on Apple Podcasts. There’s a 7-day free trial, and you’ll get access to the whole back catalogue of Shortcuts, quizzes, and Squiz The World episodes. Follow the link above or search for Squiz Kids in the Apple Podcast app and click on ‘Give Me More’. 


Stay up to date with us on our Squiz Kids Instagram!  

Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Send us an email at [email protected]






There’s no delicate way to introduce this story, so I’m going to jump straight in. 

Cow farts are hurting the planet. But thanks to a bunch of Australian scientists who have created a seaweed pill for cows that yesterday started to be sold around the world, we should start to see a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Ok – so there’s a lot to unpack in this story so bear with me.

When livestock like cows eat grass, it ferments in their stomach – and that fermentation process creates gas that comes out of the cows as farts. 

A little bit like your dad, in that respect. 

The gas is called methane – and methane is probably the worst greenhouse gas out there. Greenhouse gases, for those of you following along at home, are a major cause of global warming. 

But since Aussie scientists discovered that by feeding cows seaweed, methane production in a cow’s stomach can be drastically reduced, they’ve been developing a seaweed pill for cows which as of yesterday, started to be exported around the world. Export means to send a product that we make here to a country overseas. 

The makers of the seaweed pill reckon that if only 10 percent of cows around the world started taking the pill, it would have the same impact on reducing greenhouse gas emission as removing 100 million cars from the worlds roads. 

I wonder if they’re going to start making a seaweed pill for dads, too? Pooh-eee.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in a village in India that I am going to bet NONE of you would want to live in ..

Why, i hear you ask? Well because in an effort to reduce screen time among the villagers, and break their addiction to their mobile phones – the village elders sound a siren at 7pm every night indicating that every resident of the village must turn off their television and switch off their mobile phones.

Another siren sounds at 8.30pm – indicating they can turn their TVs and devices back on … but for that hour and half, everyone who lives in the village has to read a book or sit quietly in their thoughts or – horror of horrors – have an actual real-life conversation with another human being. 

Hear that? That’s the sound of me Googling where I can buy a siren … my kids are going to hate that I’ve stumbled across this story … 

(CC CLARION) – oh – there’s the classroom companion clarion – indicating that for classrooms in our Squiz Kids for Schools program, today’s worksheets relate to this story in the podcast. Not a SK4S subscriber – but keen to give it a whirl? There’s a link to a free trial in today’s episode notes. 




Budding singer song-writers out there – take note. Taylor Swift has revealed the secret to her song-writing success. And it all comes down to which pen she imagines she’s using when writing. 

There’s the quill … a quill is an old fashioned pen, you might have seen in the movies people in the olden days writing with a feather dipped in ink? Tay Tay says when she is writing dramatic, serious songs – she imagines she using a quill.

Then there’s the fountain pen – which is again, a type of pen used decades ago, and it’s the one she imagines she has in her hand when she is writing songs that are really literary – full of writerly detail about the people, places or situations she’s singing about.

And then there’s what she calls her ‘glitter pen’ songs – songs that she has written while imagining she has a glitter pen in her hand – fun, bubbly, light-hearted and frothy songs.

Maybe try the Tay Tay imaginary pen technique next time you have an English assignment …. Thanks Tay Tay. 




It’s a Wednesday … and that means it’s time to check in with Squiz E the Newshound – to see what instances of misinformation he’s sniffed out this week. And Squiz E is very excited this week to draw our attention to a bit of reverse misinformation he’s stumbled across this week in Iran.

Iran is a country in the Middle East. It’s run by people who keep a really tight control over what goes to air every night on the TV news. They don’t want anything appearing on the news that criticises them. In Australia, we have a free media – where journalists are free to criticise the government. In Iran, the government controls the airwaves and what gets sent out on them.

Right now, there are widespread protests in the streets of Iran – protests against the government. And normally the nightly news is full of stories praising the government. But this week, hackers managed to hijack the nightly news signal and – in the middle of a bulletin – put to air their own version of events – a provocative message 

If you’ve ever seen Hunger Games, you’ll know what I;m talking about. Like when Catniss and her rebel friends interrupt the broadcast of President Snow.

I’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes so you can see what I’m talking about. Another reminder that whether we;re in Iran or Australia: whenever we’re consuming media we Stop, Think and Check … to reflect upon who’s telling us something and why they might be telling it to us.

And while we’re on the subject of Newshounds .. don’t forget the countdown is one for the launch our very own media literacy program for primary school kids – called, you guessed it, Newshounds. Join Squiz E as he takes kids on journey of discovery – teaching them to recognise misinformation and ultimately become critical consumers of media. 

The program will be live soon and free to all classrooms across Australia and New Zealand  (CHEER) – If you’re keen to learn more or be among the first to sign up, register your interest at There’s a link to it in today’s episode notes. 



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

  1. In which country has a village created an internet and TV blackout each night?
  2. What are cows being fed to reduce the methane in their farts?
  3. Name one of the three pens that Taylor Swift says she imagines she uses when writing lyrics for her songs.




It’s October 12 … tonight sees the start of a month worth of awesome netball action as the Aussie team, the Diamonds, take on the Silver Ferns in New Zealand … voting is also underway this morning in the Fat Bear contest … we’ll have the results tomorrow!

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today .. Olivia from Oatley, Andrea from Vermont South, Aslan from Croydon, Aurora Rose from Altona, Sienna from Abbotsford, Caroline from Greenwich and Fynn from Wagga Wagga. 

Belated birthday shout outs go to …Annie from Bethanga and Layla travelling around Australia!

Today’s classroom shout outs go to… year 4/5/6 in room 2 with Mr Hoskins at Mingenew Primary School, class 5/6B and Mr Barrett at Petersham Public School, class 1 Bilby with Mrs Bear at Sacred Heart Central School in Cootamundra, to all the students at Bathurst South Public School and at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst. Lastly a shout out to two homeschooling groups – the Wollondilly homeschoolers and the MacArthur homeschooling families.  


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. India
  2. Seaweed
  3. Quill, Fountain Pen, Glitter Pen