Wednesday, 23 November, 2022

Earthquakes and tsunamis rock Pacific; Turkey time in Washington; Squiz-E takes on Twitter; and a good day for sharks.



Ring of Fire: Map:

Fibonacci sequence explained – VIDEO:



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Squiz Kids + Lego ‘Build To Give’ Christmas Campaign

Help Lego give away Lego sets to families in need this Christmas. 

  1. Build something using Lego
  2. Share your creation to Instagram (a story or a post)
  3. Tag @ squizkids and #buildtogive

We’ll re-share your post on our Instagram, and on December 9, reveal just how generous Squiz Kids are … 


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The Ring of Fire more than lived up to its dramatic name yesterday with an earthquake in Indonesia causing widespread damage and another near the Solomon Islands triggering a tsunami warning.

What’s the ring of fire? It’s a ring of fault lines in the Earth’s tectonic plates that encircles the Pacific Ocean.

Fault lines are where the tectonic plates – which make up the Earth’s crust – meet. When the plates grind together it causes earthquakes. Volcanoes are also commonly located on or near fault lines.

And yesterday – we saw two examples of the devastation that can occur when the Ring of Fire flares up.

A hugely destructive earthquake shook the island of Java in Indonesia. It was even felt in the capital, Jakarta, where people were evacuated from high rise buildings as they swayed back and forth.

The strength of earthquakes is based on a combination of how hard the shake is, and how deep into the earth the shaking happens. The Indonesian quake wasn’t super strong – measuring 5.6 magnitude – but it was fairly shallow – or close to the surface – meaning it caused a lot destruction.  Many people were killed, more than 2000 houses were damaged, with photos showing many schools among the buildings that collapsed. Because people are poor in that part of Java,  many buildings aren’t built very well.  Rescuers worked throughout Monday night and all day yesterday to pull survivors out of the rubble. 

Meanwhile, a little way across the Pacific Ocean at around lunchtime yesterday, another earthquake shook the region. This one was 7.0 magnitude quake – big enough to trigger a tsunami warning. A tsunami is a tidal wave caused by an earthquake out at sea. Thankfully though, while Solomon Islanders were instructed to get to high ground, a couple of hours the tsunami warning was withdrawn. 

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to a map of the Ring of Fire. And those of you lucky enough to be Squiz Kids for Schools subscribers have a whole classroom worksheet on earthquakes and volcanoes. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed on the lawn of the White House, the US President’s crib in Washington DC in the United States – where a couple of turkeys are today breathing a huge sigh of relief.

And that’s because US President Joe Biden saved them from the chopping block in an altogether strange Thanksgiving tradition. 

Thanksgiving is the big holiday that takes place the end of November every year in America. It’s the biggest holiday there outside of Christmas. It’s a thing. 

And traditionally: families chow down on turkey at Thanksgiving .. and so for several decades now, the American president spares one turkey from the fate of ending up in someone’s oven. This year he saved two – called Chocolate and Chip. 

Hey – we don’t make up the rules for these traditions – we just report on ‘em.

Gobble, gobble, gobble.




It’s been a great week for the world’s sharks – many of which are threatened with extinction. That’s because an international meeting on endangered species has agreed to protect 90% of all sharks. 

Now, you may be wondering – how on earth can these massive predators with extremely sharp teeth be endangered? 

I’ve got one word for you: soup. 

That’s right, shark fin soup is a delicacy in many cultures—and the only way to make the soup is to chop off a shark’s fin. Which, not surprisingly, causes the shark to die. The new agreement doesn’t ban shark fishing completely, but now, countries will have to sign off that sharks have been caught legally and sustainably. That’s good news for sharks, and for the entire ocean environment—because when a predator is threatened, the whole ecosystem gets thrown out of whack. 




Every Wednesday our good friend Squiz E the Newshounds sticks his snout into Squiz Kids HQ and reports back on any misinformation or fake news he’s stumbled across on the internet. 

And today, he’s sniffing around Twitter – the popular social media – platform, after a few developments this week which could see it become the home of a whole lot more misinformation.

This week, the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk (yes, the same man that makes Tesla cars), let a certain person by the name of Donald J Trump back onto the platform. The previous owners had banned for former US President after they decided he had used the platform to spread stories that weren’t true. 

The reinstatement of Trump on Twitter coincides with almost half of the Twitter workforce being sacked and many more resigning – prompting fears that moderators – whose job it is to sift fact from fiction and limit the spread of misinformation – have left the platform meaning anyone is now allowed to say whatever they want, no matter if it’s true or not. These are interesting times we live in …

Which is the perfect segue for me to remind you all about the importance of becoming a Newshound – and like Squiz E, remembering to STOP, THINK and CHECK before believing everything you see, read or hear on the internet. It’s why we created the Newshounds media literacy program for primary school kids … a classroom resource made up of eight fun podcasts and an accompanying website, student activity booklets and teacher manual designed to make you critical consumers of media. Which is a fancy way of saying – making sure you’re a smart internet surfer. 

And the best bit? It’s completely free. Get your teacher to sign-up at There’s also a link in today’s episode notes. 



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

  1. What predators of the oceans are sometimes killed for their fins?
  2. Which islands in the Pacific were issued with a tsunami warning yesterday?
  3. What kind of birds were given an official Presidential pardon in Washington yesterday?




It’s November 23 .. only 31 days ‘til Christmas … i can hear those sleigh bells starting to ring … it;s also International Fibonacci Day – where we doff our cap to the Italian maths genius who came up with the Fibonacci sequence, in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers. Also known as nature’s code – because it occurs regularly in nature: I’ve stuck a link to an explainer in today’s episode notes … 

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

Lily from Walpole, James from Newport, Elen from Somersby, Holly from Appin, Darshil from Perth, Lachie from Warnervale, Parker from Uleybury, Joanna from North Willoughby, Tom from Caringbah South, Sam, Jack, Abe and Pat from Brisbane and Sabah from Melbourne. 

A belated birthday shout out goes to Isabel from Warner. 

 And today’s classroom shoutouts go to .. class 5/6P and Miss Patterson at Mildura South Primary School, class 5/6A and Miss Anderson at Adamstown Public School, class 5B and Mrs Brown at Branxton Public School, classes 6H and 6N at Preston West Primary School, class 1S and Ms Sutton at Blayney Public School and lastly to class HB8 and Miss Baker at Woongarrah Public School and congratuations to the class on recently becoming champions in the National Mathematics Talent Quest! Impressive!

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Sharks
  2. Solomon Islands
  3. Turkeys