Thursday, August 3, 2023

Report card for our reef; Japan’s silk-worm soup; Snake on cricket pitch; and the great turtle-octopus hoax.


Snake on a cricket pitch

Octopus turtle fake photo:

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It’s report card time for Australia’s handling of the Great Barrier Reef – and the verdict is a solid PASS – but with a note from the teacher that more effort needs to be put in.


Sound familiar?


Just as you receive report cards at the end of every school year, Australia receives a report card every year on how well we have been looking after one of the most important natural wonders of the world: the Great Barrier Reef.

Instead of coming from a teacher, the report card we get as a nation comes from an organisation called UNESCO … its the part of the United Nations that makes sure really important parts of the world are protected for future generations – be they natural wonders like our spectacular reef or historically important sites that have been built by humans through the centuries. Things like the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal in India ..


At a meeting in Paris earlier this week, UNESCO released a report saying that Australia had made some good progress in protecting the reef – but that there was still a lot of work to be done. 


The report said there was evidence the reef had recovered in some sections and populations of fish and other important species had increased. But with the weather bureau predicting a super hot summer and a weather system called El Nino heading our way – meaning a hot, dry, relatively rainless six months ahead – we needed to be careful that the reef doesn’t suffer any more damage. 



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 silk worm soup is on the menu.

Wait … what??

 Yep – you heard correctly: soup containing silk worms. Excuse me while I take a moment to vomit. (BLERGH SOUND EFFECT).

A cafe in the Japanese capital of Tokyo is doing a roaring trade as more and more people there start to appreciate how good insects are for you. 

You see, some insects are full of protein. And even though you and I might think it gross to eat a cricket or meal worm – in lots of countries and cultures, eating insects is perfectly normal. And as the world population gets bigger – we’re going to need to find new sources of protein to feed an ever growing number of hungry mouths.

But don’t worry: if  silk worm soup not your cup of tea – there’s also cricket curry or waterbug cider. Mmmmmmm.




Playing a Twenty20 cricket match is stressful enough … the last thing you need is a snake slithering across the pitch mid-game.

But that’s exactly what happened in Sri Lanka this week when a Twenty20 game between two local teams was interrupted by a snake that decided to slither across the pitch.

And as you can see from the video I’ve linked to in today’s episode notes – it was no small serpent. Umpires eventually coaxed off the oval and back into the wild ..


Meanwhile: in other sporting news, the Matildas learned yesterday which team they will be facing in their first match of the knockout rounds of the Women’s World Cup which start next week.

Sam Kerr and her merry team of football playing legends will face off against Denmark in Sydney on Monday night – in a do-or-die battle to remain in the competition. Denmark beat Haiti on Tuesday night to book their place in the knockout rounds. C’mon Matildas! You’ve got this!



Every Thursday, Squiz-E the Newshound sticks his snout into Squiz Kids HQ to report back on fishy stories he’s sniffed out on the internet – and this week, his nose is twitching over a fake photo of a fake animal that has been shared thousands of times across social media.

I’m talking about a turtle octopus … a most strange looking creature that’s a mix between the two aquatic creatures. I’ve stuck a link to the photo in today’s episode notes. 

Last month, the photo was being shared widely on social media – with a caption saying that it was a ‘new species’ that had been found in Peru.

Thinking that it looked more than a little fishy – pardon the pun – Squiz E decided to STOP. THINK and CHECK … and by cross-referencing with a couple of fact-checking websites, he pretty quickly worked out that the photo was a fake.

It’s just another example of how easily people can create fake images or information and post it online and have people believe them. And another reason to always be careful when we’re online to not automatically believe everything you see, read or hear. 

Thanks Squiz-E! (HOWL)


And if you are keen to hone your Newshounds skills – make sure your classroom has signed up to do our FREE media literacy course for primary school kids called – you guessed it  – NEWSHOUNDS … a fun, eight-part podcast with classroom worksheets and a clever teacher manual helping you to spot misinformation when you come across it online. Hop on in via our website, – and join the 1500 schools across the country already working on becoming Newshounds. (HOWL)



Wowsers!  What a response we’ve had already to our first ever live show in Canberra later this year. 

In case you missed the memo – I’m coming to Canberra in October for the first of what we hope will be many Squiz Kids LIVE shows … all the best bits of the podcast brought to life on stage.

Tickets have been selling fast .. so if you live in Canberra and you don’t want to miss out – I’d suggest you get in early. I just don’t want anyone to be disappointed. 

There’ll be special guests, a daytime disco, a kids v adult quiz live on stage – a fun-filled show packed with education and entertainment. Winner. 

Tickets are available through MoshTix – I’ve stuck a link to the ticketing website in today’s episode notes – otherwise you can hop in via our website:

Now what am I going to wear ? 


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

  1. What special insect soup is on the menu in Japan?
  2. Which country do the Matildas play in Sydney next Monday?
  3. Which two animals were combined in a fake photo scandal on social media?





It’s August 3 –  Australia play England this afternoon in the Netball World Cup in South Africa …. C’mon the Diamonds!


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

Milla from Yass, Neena from Paraburdoo, Madeline from Cannon Hill, Sophie from Torrens, Ryder from Forest Lake, Christy from Palmerston, Henry from Clapham, Archer from Paddington, Otto from Bathurst and Amy from Middle Harbour.


Belated birthday shout outs go to …. Ana from Newington and Archer from Cairns.


And a special shout out to my new friends, Archie and Billie from Bondi.


Classroom shoutouts today go to … class B8 and Ms Fisher at Craigburn Primary School in Adelaide, class 3 Red and Miss Venables at St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School in Tarragindi, class Bradman 2 with Ms Sangster at Parkside Primary School in Adelaide, the students with Miss Julie and Miss Jess at Flemington Primary School, class 4M and Mrs Lacin at  Saint Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in Holsworthy and lastly to class 6MIH with MS Hills at Australian International School Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Silk worm
  2. Denmark
  3. Octopus + Turtle