Wednesday, 3 August, 2022

King Kyle tells the media to shoosh; jail time for visiting a tree; Spain’s body positivity problem; and the extinct panda irritating China. 



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Aussie swimming sensation Kyle Chalmers sent a powerful message to the media early yesterday morning, when he won his third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. King Kyle, as he is known, already had two gold medals in the bag, and was a hot favourite in the 100m freestyle. But he revealed afterwards that he had almost given up and gone home… and was close to tears when talking to his coach before the big race. 


Well, for the past few days, sports journalists have been focusing not on King Kyle’s work in the pool, but on rumours about his private life. His ex-partner is on the team, and she’s now dating another Aussie swimmer. It doesn’t sound like a big deal – certainly not as big a deal as winning a gold medal or three – but some members of the media couldn’t get enough of it. 

Kyle said the rumours, which we won’t bother repeating here, were false. But the questions didn’t stop. Kyle then told the media that their obsession with his private life was seriously affecting his mental health. 

So perhaps it’s no wonder that, after he won that third gold medal, Kyle held a finger up to his lips, as if to say to those journalists: NOW will you shoosh? 

Letting your swimming do the talking … nice work.


Each day, we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in California, where nature lovers who visit the world’s tallest tree could wind up in jail—or with a $5,000 fine. Let me explain. The 115-metre coast redwood tree, which is called Hyperion, is located deep in a national park. It’s estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old, and was discovered in 2006 Its location was kept secret for four years, until people revealed it online, and the troubles started. People have been hiking in to see Hyperion for themselves, and park rangers say all that human activity has damaged the nearby forest, as well as the base of the tree itself. While experts try to figure out how to protect the tree, they’ve made it off-limits. As the park’s website says, visitors must decide: Will they be part of the park’s preservation, or part of the problem? 




Hello, Squiz-E… it’s good to have our faithful Newshound back in the Squiz Kids Studio to report on the fishy stuff he’s found on the internet this week. And he’s brought with him something called a body-positive poster, which was launched recently by the Spanish government, saying that “all bodies are beach bodies”.

Now “body positivity” is a great thing – the Spanish poster sends the message that every body is welcome at the  beach … young bodies, old bodies, hairy bodies, big bodies. You get the idea. It’s an effort to fight back against the effects on kids, especially girls, of seeing mostly skinny model-bodies in the media. Which, Squiz-E is quick to point out, are often photoshopped to make the models look even thinner than they are in real life, with more perfect hair, skin, and teeth. 

Back to Spain. The problem with this particular body positive campaign is that the person who made the illustration based it on photos of real women—and she failed to get permission to use them. Not only that—she edited out one woman’s prosthetic, or artificial, leg. Oh dear. As the amputee said, it was one thing to use a picture of her body without her permission, and quite another to EDIT her body, especially as part of a body-positive campaign. The artist has apologised, and offered to share the money that she received for creating the poster between the women whose images were used. The Spanish government has yet to comment. 




A new species of ancient panda has been identified in Europe, and it’s not making China happy. The now-extinct panda roamed through swamps in Bulgaria about six million years ago, and its discovery has provided more evidence that early panda species are likely to have evolved in Europe first, and then moved to Asia, where they evolved into the modern black and white version that we associate with China today. 

European experts point out that not only have the oldest panda fossils been found in Europe, there have been more fossils found in Europe than Asia—both facts strongly suggesting that the ancient pandas were in Europe first. 

But that idea is unwelcome in China, where pandas are a national treasure. The Chinese government has said that it is “premature”, meaning too early, to say for sure. An extinct panda having an influence on politics today. Imagine that. 


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

  1. What kind of tree is the world’s tallest? 
  2. In which country did a body positivity campaign run into trouble? 
  3. In which swimming event did Kyle Chalmers win his third Commonwealth Games gold medal? 





It’s August 3… and on this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus set out with three ships on his first voyage to what came to be known as the New World. Columbus had hoped to find a western route to the Far East. Instead, he landed in the Caribbean. Speaking of which, if you feel like visiting the Caribbean, Squiz the World is visiting Jamaica today, ahead of their independence celebrations this weekend. We’ll learn about pirates, reggae music, and much more – I’ll stick a link in your episode notes.

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

Gus from Mansfield, Christy from Canberra, Ivaang from Girraween, Huuan (pronounced Hugh-anh) from Altona Meadows, Tori from Yarrawonga, Henry from Clapham and Josh and Ben from Sydney. 

A belated shout out goes to Luka from Brisbane.

And classroom shoutouts today go to Grade 6 and Mr Parsons at Reynella Primary School, class 6B and their favourite teacher Mrs Oliver at Echuca Primary School, all the students at Catherine McAuley Primary School in Orange and lastly today a shout out to Brendon – now living in Gladstone –  your old classmates and Mrs Khalaf in C15 at Craigburn Primary School are thinking of you Brendon!

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. The redwood tree 
  2. Spain
  3. 100m freestyle