Wednesday, August 23, 2023

A scientific search for Nessie; swooping season’s on us; robo dogs do tricks; and saluting country kids.



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World Robotic Conference:

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Trolls, fairies, unicorns and yetis, these mythical creatures have been the subject of fables, books and now movies for centuries. But hunters of these mythical beasts hope that this weekend they will finally strike gold (so to speak). In the coming days, scientific researchers and mythical beast believers alike, will gather in the Scottish highlands on the shores of Loch Ness in a search of the elusive Loch Ness Monster. (Loch is the Scottish word for Lake).


Nessie, as she is affectionately known, was supposedly spotted 90 years ago by local hotel manager Aldie Mackay, and ever since, people from all over the world have visited the famous Loch, hoping to spot her. A photo of Nessie made headlines around the world in 1934 but was sadly later revealed to be a hoax, made of plastic and a wind-up toy submarine. Boo!


This weekend will be the first time that drones will have been used to capture heat signals from the lake, and hydrophones are being used to try and hear whatever might be lurking beneath the surface. All this fancy equipment is needed because the Loch is almost as deep as 2 Sydney Harbour Bridges on top of each other. Wow!


So whether you’re in it for the science or the glory Get Ye To Loch Ness! And if you can’t make it there by Saturday, you can always look out for Nessie via Live Cam. I’ve stuck a link in your episode notes. You’re welcome! 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Beijing, the capital of China, where the World Robot Conference is currently being held. No, it’s not a meeting of the world’s head robots, although from what we’ve seen, that may not be far away. This conference is epic! Companies that design and build robots are showing off their cutting-edge (that’s just a fancy way of saying newest) technologies.


Visitors to the conference were treated to doggie droids performing tricks, robots bouncing ping pong balls,  serving tea, preparing ice cream cones and even a panda-shaped robot pouring drinks. I kid you not! The companies expect that in the future, robots will be performing all sorts of roles, taking people on tours in museums, teaching in schools, conducting surgeries in hospitals and being companions to humans. I want one of the six-armed robots to give me a back massage. I’ve stuck a link with lots of pictures in your episode notes. I wonder if the robot dogs get robot-tiks? [Mum Joke Buzzer] Yeah, that deserved a Mum joke buzzer. Sorry kids!




Have you ever been taking a relaxing stroll across a park or a footy field when you hear a loud flap, flap, flapping above you before being sconed in the noggin by an overprotective magpie? (That means hit in the head for any overseas listeners). Yes, it’s that time of year again. Mumma magpies are protecting their eggs and some of the daddies are swooping anyone they see as a potential threat. 


Swooping season generally runs from August to October while the magpie eggs are in the nest, and until the chicks are about five weeks old and can fly. 


So how can you avoid being swooped? Firstly, try to stay away from nesting magpies. Even change your route to school or on your bike to keep out of their way.


Most magpies won’t swoop if you’re looking at them so people have found drawing eyes on the back of your hat might work. Try not to run or make a lot of noise, as that might make matters worse…and magpies remember faces!  But don’t worry, it’s only about 10 per cent of magpies that actually swoop, and they’re so lovely for the rest of the year we can put up with some bad behaviour for their baby’s sakes.




Today, we’re travelling to Southern NSW to salute some awesome country kids. First to Ganmain, where 15-year-old Tom Reynolds has taken out the young auctioneers’ competition at the Ganmain Show, and fellow competitor Grace Routley won the novice award. Auctioneers are the people who sell things in auctions, where people have to place a bid to indicate how much they want to spend, and the auctioneer tries to sell the product, in this case, livestock, for the highest bid. One young competitor, Indigo Dawson, called it extreme “public speaking”, in front of a huge crowd, doing maths while also remembering everyone’s faces. I’d be terrified!

And now to Coomealla, where 16-year-old Abbey, who has been cricket crazy her whole life, started a girl’s cricket league because one just didn’t exist. It’s been so successful, that there are now two girls’ competitions and selectors for NSW and Victoria are keeping a keen eye on the girls. Abbey now plays in matches all over Australia and has her sights set on donning the Baggy Green Cap for her country one day. 

Country kids all over Australia, Squiz Kids Salutes you!



Has your school held it’s book week parade yet? How many Harry and Hermiones were there this year? As you’re donning your costume don’t forget to get Mum or Dad to snap a quick pic of you (like they weren’t already?!)  in your Book Week outfit, share it to your their socials, tagging @squizkids or #squizkids on Facebook or Instagram so we can see it and share it – and we’ll be handing out prizes to the best costumes – thanks to our friends at Walker Books. 

And teachers: we know you’ve got the goods when it comes to costumes. Give Squiz Kids a follow on Facebook or Insta and upload your pic to your socials tagging us – and we’ll re-post them to our pages and pick a winner. Because … Book Week right?


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

  1. What will people be searching for in a very deep lake in Scotland this weekend?
  2. Where is the World Robot Conference being held?
  3. How old are magpie chicks when they learn to fly?





It’s August 23 – National Sponge Cake Day! How do you like your sponge cake? Vanilla or chocolate flavoured? Filled with jam and fresh cream? I wish it was my birthday!


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today and tomorrow… Ella from Vermont South, Megan from Yass, Alex from Abbotsford, James from Torquay, Sherwin from Henley Beach South, Leila from Caulfield North, Molly from Hamlyn Heights, Nicole from Collaroy, Lincoln from Termeil, Alia from Oakleigh, Thiven from Schofields, Patience from Fawkner, Lucy from Coburg, Eddie from Baulkham Hills, Akuany from Andrews Farm, Reyhansh from Marsden Park and Ayushi listening over in Delhi, India. Finally it’s a shout out to all of the Alex’s who are celebrating a birthday today – Alex from Flagstaff Hill, Windsor, Abbotsford and North Avoca!


And belated birthday shout outs go to… Oscar from Perth (the one in Tassie), Janelle from Schofields, Mia from Victoria, Lenny from Inverloch, James from Mingenew, Annabel from Penshurst, Andy from Darwin and Olivia listening over in Siksong Village in Korea.  


Classroom shoutouts today go to … class 5/6H and Mr Keary at Pitt Town Public School, class 5H and Mrs Hoy at Flinders Christian Community College in Carrum Downs, class 6B and Mr Frost at St Declan’s Catholic Primary in Penshurst and class 5/6M and Miss Marley at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Darwin. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. The Loch Ness Monster
  2. Beijing, China
  3. 5 weeks old