Wednesday, 7 December, 2022

Moon capsule heads for home; New York needs a rat czar; beware catfish online; and channeling our inner goblin.



Orion’s view of Earth from the Moon



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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 next step in our quest to go back to the Moon was completed yesterday as Orion – the spaceship that left Earth three weeks ago – completed its last spin around the Moon and fired its rockets to return home. 

All going well, Orion – and its crew of a couple of crash-test dummies and a stuffed Snoopy toy in a spaceman’s suit – will splash back down to Earth this coming Sunday. 

It’s called a splash down because the space capsule will land in the ocean, and be collected by waiting navy ships. Isn’t amazing to think some clever scientists and mathematicians have done the sums and drawn up the maths equations to work out exactly where in the vast stretches of the ocean the capsule will land? It makes my mind boggle.

Orion has been circumnavigating the Moon – which is a fancy way of saying it’s been spinning around in orbit above it – for the last ten days, taking lots of photos and getting as close as 120 kilometres to the Moon’s surface. One of the photos that Orion took while on the far side of the moon was of the Earth – being lit by the Sun as a crescent – just as we sometimes see the Moon when looking up from down here. I’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes. 

This mission called Artemis 1 has had no actual astronauts aboard. The next mission, Artemis 2 planned for 2024 will have astronauts on board and take them on the same spin around the Moon. And then, all going well,  Artemis 3 – a mission planned for 2025 – will take astronauts back to land and walk on the surface of the Moon. 

And all of this is part of an effort to eventually establish a permanent human base on the surface of the Moon – which is itself part of a plan to eventually send humans to Mars. 

As Buzz Lightyear himself would say: to infinity and beyond!



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in New York city in the United States where a job ad has just been posted for a rat czar.

So – what’s a rat czar? It’s a person whose job it is to rid the city of rats. Or at least, try to get them under control. Think of it as the Pied Piper of New York City .. 

Rats are a big problem in New York city – and have been pretty much since Europeans first settled there. They grow so big that there are stories of rats dragging entire pizzas down New York streets … euggh.

What sort of qualifications are required to become chief of the city’s rat patrol? According to the job ad, a licence to kill, an attitude to match and an apetite for bloodthirstiness…

Only apply if you’re not squeamish about blood or rats. Which totally counts me out.

(CCC) Oh – there’s the CCC — reminding us that today’s Squiz Kids for Schools worksheets are tied to this news story in the podcast .. practice your writing skills today by imagining you’re a rat .. And a reminder: for any teachers out there looking for an end of term activity – you can sign up for a free trial of our Squiz Kids for Schools resources at which will see you through to the end of the year.




My kids take great delight in reminding me how uncool I am … on a daily basis. So it is with some nervousness that I report the Oxford dictionary has decided that the word of 2022 is ‘goblin mode’.

That’s technically two words, I know – but who am I to argue with Oxford?

So – what does it mean? The people at Oxford University who produce the Oxford English dictionary report that it was a term that became popular during COVID – to describe being lazy and messy and generally slothing about in your room and not cleaning up after yourself and not wanting to go outside to see other people. 

I’ll be sure to explain it to my teenagers tonight over dinner .. if I can get them out of their messy bedrooms, that is. 




Each Wednesday, Squiz E the Newshound – everyone’s favourite detective dog – pops his snout into Squiz Kids HQ to let us know what fishy goings on he’s discovered this week on the internet. 

And this week it’s all about catfishing … after a warning was issued in the United States to all users of the internet and social media to beware people online pretending to be someone they’re not. 

A catfish is the name given to someone who uses fake photos and a fake name to create a fake online profile. Often a catfish will use that fake profile to become friends with someone online and maybe trick them into doing something or sharing something that is then used against them.

It’s not very nice. But that’s the thing about the internet: no matter what platform we are on online, we always need to do as Squiz E suggests and STOP, THINK and CHECK before believing everything we see, read or hear on the internet. 

And that’s especially important when it comes to making contact with people online. As a general rule – you should never be in contact with people online that you don’t know – or who your parents don’t know. And if ever a stranger wants to make friends with you online – don’t accept them, and certainly don’t share anything with them 


And don’t forget: if you haven’t already checked it out, Squiz Kids’s free media literacy program for primary school kids, Newshounds, is the perfect way to teach kids about misinformation and the dangers of believing everything they see, read or hear online. If you’re a teacher and want to incorporate it into your lesson planning for next year: sign up for a free account at and have a poke around.



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


  1. What’s the name of the space capsule that’s expected to splash down to Earth this weekend? 
  2. What animals is New York overrun by – and for which they need a so-called ‘czar’ to help eradicate?
  3. What’s the Oxford word of 2022?




It’s December 7 … It’s National Letter Writing Day in the United States … where it’s also National Fairy Floss Day … i know which one you lot would prefer to celebrate ..

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Marcus from Berowra Heights, Parmis from Woodcroft, Helena from Mayfield, William from Canberra and Bear from Perth.  

And belated birthday shout outs go to …Kirrily from Cremorne, Chiara from Forest Lake, Sevenei (pronounced Seven-eye) from Bray Park, Talara from Ashmont, Ethan from Cherrybrook, Anastasia from Hunters Hill, Liam from Hammond Park, Violet from Wagga Wagga and Ty from Casino. 

Classroom shout outs go to… class 3FA and Mr Faris at Christ Church Grammar School in Perth, class 5B and Miss Hesketh at Middle Harbour Public School, year 5 at St Joseph’s Primary School in Wagga Wagga, class 5B and Miss Bethe at Holsworthy Public School, class 4/5S with Miss Smith at Hayes Park Public School in Kanahooka, 

class B4 and Miss Emily D at Sacred Heart Middle School in Adelaide, Rm 10 and Mrs Rasis at Orelia Primary in Kwinana and lastly class 3P and Mr Pillidge at Penshurst West Public School in Mortdale

And a quick note on Classroom Shoutouts … we’ve got only 9 podcasts left in the year and over 120 Classroom Shoutouts – and counting – in the Squiz Kids mail box queue – we’ll do our best to get through as many as possible before the podcast wraps on December 16 – but if we don’t, please accept our apologies and please get in touch when the school term resumes next year …  


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Orion
  2. Rats
  3. Goblin Mode