Wednesday, 16 March, 2022

Kids take government to court; Japan schools scrap hair dye rule; Lewis Hamilton loves his mum; and are there more doors or wheels in the world?



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Yesterday there was a new development in the curious case of the kids who stood up to an Australian government minister – and took her to court.

Twelve years ago, a group of eight kids took Australia’s environment minister to court – arguing the minister had an obligation to protect the future of all Aussie kids by not approving mines that dig up fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.

What’s a minister? It’s a high-ranking member of the government – in this case, the person responsible for deciding environment policy in Australia – a member of Parliamen – or MP – called Sussan Ley.

The kids were all young teenagers at the time. Now they’re a little bit older. 

And while a judge back in July last year agreed with the kids – sparking headlines all around the world – another court yesterday disagreed – overturning the original judgment and sending the kids back to where they started from.

Which happens fairly regularly in our legal system. It’s called ‘appealing a decision’.

But the kids say they are determined to take their case and present their argument to the highest court in the land — which is called, unsurprisingly, the High Court. Where the final decision will be made.

The scorecard in the case of the kids versus an Australian government minister is currently one all. Watch this space.  



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Japan – where a rule has finally been scrapped requiring all Japanese school kids to dye their hair black.

Wait .. what? School rules in Japan make every student dye their hair black? Wow!

Until yesterday, when the rule was scrapped, approximately one in every 13 school students in Japan was forced to dye their hair black to fit in with their classmates.

In Japan, following rules and fitting in with the crowd is important for many people. The school administration board hopes this new rule will take away some of the going-to-school-stress for the many millions of school kids who dye their hair.

And you thought having to wear a uniform to school was a hassle … 




As the Formula 1 season prepares to kick off this weekend in Bahrain – and Max Verstappen prepares to defend his championship from last year, the competition for the hearts and minds of fans has already been won after British driver – and world number two – Lewis Hamilton announced he was going to be taking on his mother’s name.

He wants to be known as Lewis Hamilton-Larbalestier – in honour of his mum. Who he loves. Lewis said yesterday he didn’t understand why women were expected to give up their surname when they got married – and added that having been beaten by Verstappen last year had been a really good experience – saying: “Sometimes when  you lose you actually win and grow”. Could we love him anymore?

.. Meanwhile: spare a thought for the uniform guy with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies … a game they were playing against Oklahoma Thunder had to be delayed because both teams showed up to play in white uniforms … the Grizzlies were sent back to the dressing room to change into their dark blue singlets. Oops. 

There’s a link to the confusion in today’s episode notes ..




It’s the question on everyone’s lips .. are there more doors or more wheels in the world?

Ever since a man in New Zealand set up a Twitter poll with his mates two weeks, posing this very question, it has spread like wildfire all over the internet – with people all over the world arguing for why they believe there are more doors in the world than wheels … or vice versa. 

Rosie is a confirmed wheels person – arguing convincingly that if you think about all the offices in the world with chairs that have wheels – with each one having four … I’m a doors person: you’ve got doors on houses, then in those houses, there are doors to rooms, then in those rooms, doors to cupboards … and so it goes…



Every Wednesday, Squiz-E the newshound drops into Squiz Kids HQ to help us become more media literate … which is a fancy way of saying that we ask questions about the media we consume, and have the skills to sniff out a fishy story. And this week, Squiz-E has just come back from Russia, where he found some very brave Newshounds.  

Not long after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Russian government made it a crime to say the words “war” or “invasion” when talking about Ukraine. They also  shut down more than 24 independent news outlets, and blocked everyday Russians’ access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. All of that makes it VERY hard for Russians to stop, think, and check the story that their government is telling them. 

But yesterday, a brave editor at one of those state-owned TV stations interrupted the main news program, jumping in behind the news presenter in the middle of the bulletin, and holding a sign that said “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here” and shouting “Stop the War.” The employee, whose Dad is Ukrainian and mother is Russian, was arrested soon after, and could face 15 years in jail. Another 15,000 people are already in jail for protesting. But video of the editor’s protest, and her pre-recorded statement, has gone around the world… and in your episode notes…  




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

  1. Which Formula 1 driver is taking his mum’s surname?
  2. Which NBA basketball team was sent back to the dressing room to change out of their white uniform?
  3. In which country are school students made to dye their hair black?




It’s March 16 .. the wait is over people … the 2022 AFL season kicks off tonight with a grand final rematch when the Bulldogs take on reigning premiers, the Demons … bring it.

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

Isabella from Abbotsford, Emily from Eight Mile Plains, Tamar from Glen Iris, Mia from Cannon Hill, Jaylee from Queanbeyan South, William from Canberra, Lenny from Adelaide and Charlotte from Bella Vista. 

Classroom shout outs go to… Class 3/4C and Mr Cattly at West Wallsend Public School, class B11 and Miss Fischer at Craigburn Primary School and class 3A and Ms Green from Ascot State School.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Memphis Grizzlies
  3. Japan