A fast-paced fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents that asks those curly questions. From banning lollies to trusting robots, and from colonising other planets to eating pets, Short & Curly covers it all.
Have you ever pranked your brother or sister by freezing their bowl of cereal and milk the night before and then serving them a solid, icy breakfast? Or have you replaced salt in the saltshaker with sugar? Or put big, heavy rocks in a friend's school bag when they're not looking? Pranks can be can hilarious and entertaining, but can it sometimes be just plain wrong and mean to prank someone? Brains Trust – Lyneham Primary School: Oliver, Lanna, Toby, Riley, Elly
Have you ever been asked for money by a homeless person? What happened? And do you think we have any responsibility to help strangers when they are in need?
Imagine if you were being watched every second of the day to make sure you behaved well. And then you got rewarded or punished depending on how you acted? In this episode, we take a long hard look at Santa Claus, because news flash, we are told he's watching you day and night.
We admire our favourite sportspeople for their physical skills but do they have to be good people as well? Should we expect sportspeople to be role models on and off the field? Join superstar athletes Molly and Carl at the World Ping Pong championships.
For centuries humans have ridden horses. We've ridden them long distances, into wars, in big races and just for fun. We've developed a close relationship with horses. But has anyone asked a horse what it thinks about all this? Would a horse want us to ride it and how would we even know?
Ever opened a present and thought, “I will never use this”. So why not just sell it and buy something you do like? Today’s BITE: Is it okay to sell a present someone gave you? Thanks to Indi for this excellent question.
Do you get pocket money, and if so, do you have to do something to earn it? Today's BITE: Should I get pocket money for doing chores? Bites producer: Jake Morcom
If beer has no alcohol in it, is it still really beer? Today’s BITE: Should kids be allowed to drink beer if it’s non-alcoholic? Thanks to Harry for this excellent question. Bites producer: Jake Morcom
Have you ever watched a movie or TV show that was meant to be for adults only? Do you wish you hadn’t seen it, or are the rules about what kids can and can’t watch unfair? Today’s BITE: Is it okay to read books or watch movies that people say are too old for you?
Love is always good, right? Because love itself is good isn’t it? Well, isn’t it?? Today’s BITE: Is love always ethical? Thanks to Elizabeth for this excellent question.
When Molly got her first smartphone, she was so excited she couldn’t stop staring at her screen and she walked into a power pole. Carl is not so convinced by this flashy and very useful technology. Brains Trust: Guardian Angels Primary School in Queensland — Cienna, Daniel, Ellena, Eva, Kaizin and Laetitia.
Molly and Carl finally get their dream jobs as vets but soon learn it's not all cuddles with cute animals — big and important decisions have to be made. Like whether to de-sex a pet or when it might be best to euthanise a much-loved furry member of the family. Brains Trust: Guardian Angels Primary School in Queensland — Cienna, Daniel, Ellena, Eva, Kaizin and Laetitia Guest: Dr Ari Ende, VETaround, Sydney
Here's a little thought experiment: if you found out the world was going to end next week, would the rules about right and wrong change? If there was no tomorrow would it be okay to steal something you really wanted, or punch someone who had been bullying you? Let's see how Molly and Carl deal with a little thing called… the end of the world. Brains Trust: Somerset College in Queensland — Ethan, Saeesha, Spencer, Maddi, John, and Harry.
Carl has shrunk Molly and set her up in a world built of LEGO. You'd think that would be a fun adventure, but not for Molly, who just doesn't fit in. We find out if it's possible to build a world that works for everyone. Brains Trust: Somerset College, Queensland — Charlotte, Abhiraj, Magnus, Isabel, Sarah and Archie. Guest: Simon Darcy, Professor of Social Inclusion at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Molly and Carl head to Sweden to try one of the most disgusting foods in the world. Just wait until you find out what it is! Between gagging and dry retching, they try to answer an important question — am I brave or am I a coward? And is one always good and one always bad? Brains Trust: Guardian Angels Primary School in Queensland — Cienna, Daniel, Ellena, Eva, Kaizin and Laetitia.
Have you ever been punished for something that was an accident? Like, you really, really didn't mean to do it, but you still got in trouble. Today's BITE: If you didn't mean to do something should you still get in trouble?
Do you ever play computer games where you have to kill another character? Does that make you feel bad? Should it? Today's BITE: Is it wrong to enjoy killing people in computing games?
Have you ever been in a situation where someone did something wrong, but didn't own up? And then the teacher punished the whole class until the real culprit confessed! Is it fair for a whole group to be punished for something one person did? Molly, Carl and Matt go back to school to find out. Brains Trust — Somerset College in Queensland: Ethan, Saeesha, Spencer, Maddi, John, and Harry.
On a hot sunny day there's nothing Molly loves better than a swim in the ocean. But the sea can be dangerous, right? There are big waves, dangerous rips and SHARKS! Even though shark attacks are actually very rare, they can be deadly. So, should we kill sharks before they have a chance to kill us? Brains Trust: Guardian Angels Primary School in Queensland — Cienna, Daniel, Ellena, Eva, Kaizin and Laetitia. Paul De Gelder — Former Navy Diver and shark attack survivor.
When Matt doesn't have his nose in a big thick philosophy book, he loves watching movies. So when he invites Molly and Carl to "Matt's Mega Movie Trivia Night", they jump at the chance. But it's not any old trivia night, it's about ethics, and he asks only one big question: If you do something bad but you do it to make the end result good, does that make it okay? Brains Trust: Guardian Angels Primary School in Queensland — Cienna, Daniel, Ellena, Eva, Kaizin and Laetitia
Imagine a future where robots do the jobs humans are doing now, like construction workers, nurses, musicians and truck drivers. We could spend more time relaxing and playing with our friends. Woo hoo, bring it on! But are there some jobs that robots can't or shouldn't do? Brains Trust: Guardian Angels Primary School in Queensland — Cienna, Daniel, Ellena, Eva, Kaizin and Laetitia
Molly and Carl take a riverboat adventure along the Amazon river in search of an elusive and very fragrant plant in the Amazon forest. But who owns this flower, and who owns the forest it's in? And who should get to decide what happens to the "the lungs of humanity", the Amazon rainforest? Brains Trust: Somerset College in Queensland — Charlotte, Abhiraj, Magnus, Isabel, Sarah and Archie
Molly and Carl got you something for Christmas. They made it themselves, on their phones. What could it be?
2020 has been a pretty weird year, right? But at least we know one thing: Short & Curly listeners are the best! So here’s something just for you.
Nut allergies are one of the super dangerous food allergies. If you’re allergic to nuts, it causes anaphylaxis and sometimes death. Today’s BITE: Should we ban nuts since people with allergies can die if they eat them? Thanks to Tammy for this excellent question.
You can do things on the sporting field which would be a big no no at almost any other time. Today's BITE: Should rough sports be banned? Thanks to Nora for this excellent question.
Have you ever asked why you have to do something and your parent or an adult says to you, "Because I say so"? It's so infuriating, right? Today's BITE: Do we have to do everything our parents tell us to? Thanks to Samira for this excellent question.
We get so curly many questions sent to us that we thought we'd make some special mini bite-sized versions of the show for you to nibble on! We will drop these BITES into your podcast feed (get it?) every now and then, so keep your ears out.
So many birds, mammals and insects which once existed on Earth are now gone forever — extinct, kaput! This got Carl thinking, what if forever wasn't really forever? Should we try and bring some of these creatures back, especially if it was humans who caused them to become extinct in the first place?
When Molly and Carl are not making Short & Curly they are in charge of the world's biggest video sharing platform, called, TubeVids. That's right, it's their job to watch gaming videos, and movie parodies all day long! But it's not all fun and cat videos, people also post lots of mean stuff, as well as videos that are straight out untrue. What should they do about it? Let all the videos stay online or censor what we get to see?
Cherry blossom trees are very important in Japan. They're so special they even have their own festival every year. Our listener Gabi lives in Japan and got in trouble for climbing one. But did he really do the wrong thing? Do the rules of another culture (or even another family) apply to us when we visit?
If your friend asks you to keep a secret, should you ever break that promise? When should you keep your mouth zipped and when should you spill the beans? Join us for an old-fashioned detective story involving a crime and a secret.
Molly and Carl love snacks and treats. But when one of our listener's challenges them to buy only ethical snack foods, they face tricky choices in the supermarket. Join us on a race to see whether things that are yummy to eat can also be good for the world.
This season we look at one of the curliest questions of them all, are you really free? We say all the time that someone made good choices or bad choices. Or that they should be punished or rewarded for the choices they make. But did you really choose to like a certain style of fashion? Is it your fault if you're a messy person? Can society be blamed for people turning to crime? And do Molly and Carl have any control over their emotions? (Umm, that's a big NO). Join us as we try and find out if w...more
Meet Oedipus. He's the main character in one of the world’s oldest stories. He lived a long time ago and he did some pretty bad things. But was it his fault or was it fate? Was there anything he could have done to avoid tragedy? Join Molly, Carl and Matt as they sing their way through an ancient tale of terrible misfortune.
We visit the bedroom of one of the messiest kids we know, Harriet. She hates cleaning her room more than anything in life and it always looks like someone opened every drawer and threw all the contents into the air. But is it her fault that her room is a pigsty? And if other kids can manage to keep their rooms tidy, why can’t Harriet?
You're at the movies with a giant box of popcorn on your lap, enjoying the film and eating the popcorn. You look down and see the box is empty, but you don't even remember eating it all, because you were focused on the film. As you gobbled on those salty snacks, were you in control of your actions? Are you still responsible if you do something unconsciously? The famous science writer Sam Harris says we are biochemical puppets, not anywhere near as in control as we think we are. So, we're going t...more
Molly and Carl might be great friends but that doesn't mean they don't fight sometimes. But when they do get into conflict they have very different ways of dealing with things. So, what should you do if you're feeling hurt or angry with someone? Is it best to bottle up your emotions and say nothing, or is it healthier to let it all out? We'll be getting some tips from an ancient group called The Stoics, who wanted to know how to deal with the highs and lows of being alive.
The bushranger Ned Kelly led a gang of criminals more than 100 years ago. He was first arrested when he was just 14 and then he went on to rob and kill people. But before his last infamous shootout, Ned Kelly wrote a letter to the world saying that none of it was his fault, that society was unfair and he had no alternative. So, can you really blame society for how your life turns out?
Like the whole world, the Short & Curly team is dealing with the coronavirus. In this special episode, Matt, Carl and Molly talk about how working together when things get hard can make a big difference for everyone. And Carl learns that wearing lycra and doing jazzercise is great fun when you’re in isolation! If you’re doing it a bit tough and need some help there are a bunch of places you get in touch with: Youth Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 Reach out https://au.reachout.com/ Parent help line...more
Short & Curly listeners Harry, Max and Hugo live on farm surrounded by all kinds of animals: pets, livestock, and also pests like feral pigs. Some animals they love, some animals they hate, and some are just another member of the herd. Why do we value some animals differently from others? Come with us as we get a tour of their farm. And a warning, this episode deals with the death of animals.
Would you like to live forever? Molly and Carl like the idea of being immortal. The upsides: you won’t ever die, you’ll never run out of time to try new things and meet new people. The downsides: drinking blood and sleeping in a coffin, and your non-vampire friends will all leave you when they die. So, would immortality be worth it? And how can you make a decision about something so hugely different from any experience you’ve ever had before?
Why do some kids get all the luck? It doesn’t seem fair that some children are born into families with lots of love and support while others don't get any, or don’t have a family at all. The philosopher Plato had a pretty wild idea for how to fix this unfairness — get rid of families! He said if we did that, people would care more about all children, not just their own. What do you think? Would the world be a better and fairer place if we brought up children in a different way?
Do you have a teddy, a doll or a rug that is, or was, very important to you? We are told that as we grow up we need to get rid of ‘babyish’ things like that, but do we really? And if we lose our teddy or give it away, is it alright to feel sad about it? We hear about teddies and other things which were important to Molly, Carl and Matt and find out who kept theirs and why.
One of the best places to be on a hot summer's day is cooling off in a swimming pool. But until the 1960s Aboriginal people were not allowed to swim in the local pool in Moree, in country New South Wales. They were excluded because of a reason that had nothing to do with the ability to swim. They were excluded only because they were Aboriginal. So what is discrimination and what makes it bad?
Carl is excited because he saw a UFO last night. He can't believe it! (And neither can Molly, but for different reasons). But should we believe Carl and if not, why not? How do we decide if something is true or not? What sort of evidence do we need?
Molly, Carl and Matt become lost at sea, they've run out of food and they lack basic survival skills. So, would it be okay for them to eat each other if they get really really really hungry? Maybe don't listen to this episode while you're eating!
"Do as I say, not as I do!" Does this sound like the adults in your life? Short & Curly listeners often complain that their parents tell them to do one thing but then do something completely different themselves. So unfair! Or is it?
Here's a question from Short & Curly listener Harvey: "Is it OK to hang out with your friends if they're being mean to other people?" Difficult, right? Have you been in a tricky situation like this? What's the best thing to do and why?
Molly has never been afraid of getting a needle because she knows the Needle Ninja will reward her bravery with a basket of Japanese lollies, cakes and toys. Carl has never heard of this person and thinks Molly has been tricked by her mum and dad. But is there any harm in believing in the Needle Ninja? And is it OK for parents to tell their kids stories if it makes them feel better?
Carl often gets lost when he's out on the streets alone. So the S&C team have decided a tracking device will keep him safe and sound. But is this a good idea? How do we balance safety with the need to become independent? And would you be okay with an adult putting a tracking device on you?
How much stuff do you have? How many toys, books, games and clothes have you got that you don't use or wear? Is it time to re-think why we give and receive birthday presents? Let's drop in to Molly's birthday party and find out. Brains Trust: Buranda State School — Luca, Huon, Freya, Serefie, Noya and Ava. Actors: Neve and Tessa.
The Titanic cruise ship hit an iceberg in 1912 and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Lots of people died because there weren't enough life rafts for everyone. Women and children were offered seats on the lifeboats first because of their age and gender. But is that fair? Are the lives of kids more precious than the lives of adults? Guest: David Dyer, author of The Midnight Watch. Brains Trust: Buranda State School — Meena, Caitlin, Banjo, Rosey, Hailey and Rex.
Severus Snape is one of the trickier characters in the Harry Potter series. As a teacher he can be mean and impatient and unfriendly and sarcastic. But Snape might also be able to teach us a lot about growing up and courage and forgiveness. Listen and decide for yourself. Guest: Lorrie Kim, author of Snape: A Definitive Reading. Brains Trust: Buranda State School — Meena, Caitlin, Banjo, Rosey, Hailey and Rex. Actors: Zali, Ngaio, Joel, Adam, Hannah and Jarvis.
To be good at sport you need both physical skills and mental strength. So is it okay to tease and sledge your sporting opponents to get an advantage? Join Molly and Carl for a game of backyard cricket. Brains trust: Cricketers Haadia Khan, Lucy Johnston, Grace Bryson-Smith and Sienna Moore. Actors: Zali, Ngaio, Joel, Adam, Hannah and Jarvis
Test your buzzers, put your Short and Curly thinking caps on and get ready for round one. Molly, Carl and Matt tackle some of the many questions you've emailed us, on the game show that's got everyone talking: Answer The Question! Actors: Zali, Ngaio, Joel, Adam, Hannah and Jarvis.
Matt was so excited when he bought two pet fish and named them Bucket and Spade. It wasn't long though before one of those fish got sick. Very sick. The pet shop said he needed special chemicals for the water, so he spent a lot of money to make things better. Sadly, things didn’t improve for Bucket. Or was it Spade? Anyway, did Matt do the right thing for his fish? And is a fish’s life as important as other types of pets?
Some kids really want to get their ears pierced but their parents won’t let them. So, who should get to decide when and how you’re allowed to decorate your body with a piercing or even a tattoo? We get out the piercing gun and the tattoo ink and find out how much control we should have over our own bodies.
School uniforms have been around for hundreds of years but what’s the point of them? Do they kill your individuality, or do they help you focus on learning, without all the worries about fashion and how you dress? We hear from children who wear uniforms and children who don’t.
Robin Hood and his band of merry men of Sherwood forest reckoned rich people had it too good. So, they roamed around the countryside robbing the rich to give to the poor. Do you agree?
Molly Daniels thinks she has what it takes to be a superstar pop singer. The only trouble is, she’s out of tune and can’t hit the notes properly! Eek. But wait, there’s a program many musicians use which "fixes" their voice. Is it wrong to use technology to make you sound better than you are?
We’ve got exciting news for you — Short & Curly is coming back soon! Molly, Carl and Matt haven’t just been lazing around at the beach eating lollies, they’ve been super busy making you brand new episodes. And they’re awesome! Hit play for a sneak peek. And tell your friends to subscribe now, so you can all hear the new shows as soon as they come out.
An out-of-control train is heading straight for a group of people who don’t know they are about to be hit. You, as the driver, have some life and death decisions to make. What will you do? Hop on for a journey into one of the world’s most famous thought experiments.
Kids dob to parents and teachers for all kinds of reasons. It often feels bad when someone tells on you.
The Ancient Romans were a bloodthirsty lot. As entertainment they headed down to the local arena, to watch people and animals fight to the death.
Elephants are extremely intelligent and highly social creatures who traditionally live in large family herds. But their traditional natural world isn't perfect.
Making friends and keeping friends can be hard. Sometimes you like someone a lot and then one of you changes and your friendship ends.
While Molly stays at home to fight crime and breed endangered lizards, Carl packs his toothbrush and some clean underwear for Short & Curly’s big adventure to New York City.
Australia is on the war path, pledging to kill two million feral cats by 2020. They felines are biologically the same creatures as the kitties people have as pets at home, but most were born in the wild.
That’s not fair! How often have you heard that said at school?
They cut a small hole in your abdomen, blow some carbon dioxide into your tummy so it puffs up like a balloon, then carefully take out a perfectly healthy part of your body. Yikes.
Is it possible for an army to do the right thing? After all, armies destroy buildings and neighbourhoods, they kill and severely injure people, including children.
Take a cold and windy journey with Molly and Carl as they gather their ropes and ice picks, lace up their climbing boots and head out into the wild for some high altitude curly questions.
Carl thinks they have the cutest squashiest faces and biggest googley eyes of the entire canine world. He definitely wants to buy one.
Let’s say you can hook your brain up to a machine which feels 100 per cent real and offers you the kind of life you’ve always wanted. The catch is, this perfect world isn’t real.
Kids have to live by the rules of the society they are born into but don’t get a say on what those rules are. Unfair, right?
Many cultures believe it’s good luck if a bird poos on your head, like what happened to Carl (eww!). Others say it’s bad luck if you break a mirror.
What would you do if you had the power of invisibility? Would you sneak around, spy on people, commit crimes, pull practical jokes, or find out what other people really think about you?
Lollies are a colourful and magical and very sweet part of many children’s lives. But can you say no when faced with a bowl of jelly beans or sour worms or other types of candy? With so much concern nowadays about the amount of sugar in our diets, this show looks at self control and what we should do if people don’t have any.
Walked into any traffic lights lately as you stare manically at a screen? Maybe you’re one of the millions of people playing Pokemon Go, the augmented reality game which sends its players out into the streets to catch weird little imaginary creatures. Is it an annoying disruption of public spaces? And, because it’s cleverly designed so you never want to stop playing, we ask: Are you playing the game or is the game playing you?
Images of movie stars and pop singers are everywhere we look – album covers, concert posters, t-shirts, Instagram feeds and other social media. Photos and videos are a big part of how famous people present themselves. But, how honest and accurate are they? Do they look anything like they do in real life… and should they? When do small changes to an image turn it into a lie? And does it even matter?
For professional fire and rescue workers, it’s not all sirens, cool trucks and running red lights. They often have to make really hard and terrible decisions in moments of heat, smoke and danger. Their job is to be there to help on the worst day of your life. So, if you were a firefighter, who would you save first?
We’re often told we have a special responsibility to our brothers and sisters just because they are family. But, do we really? And what kind of duty is it? What if you found out the annoying new kid at school was your long lost brother or sister? Would you feel any differently about them? And, if you really didn’t like them, is it somehow worse to kill a sibling than to kill anyone else? Yep, some murderously tricky questions!
Unless you’re a vegetarian, there are some animals you probably eat regularly. But how would you cope if your next dinner was some stir-fried dog? Why is it okay to eat a baby cow (veal) or sheep (lamb) and not a cute little puppy? Are our ideas about eating animals a bit of a mess? And does this matter?
He is wise and old and learned and kind, but the Principal of Hogwarts is not perfect. He deceives, he holds back really important information about issues of life and death, and is willing to sacrifice Harry Potter for the good of the many, leading him (as Professor Snape says) “like a pig to slaughter”. So, is Dumbledore an ethical person? How flawed are we allowed to be and still be counted as “good”?
There are 1,000 people currently shortlisted for the trip of a lifetime, from which they will never return! They want to be the first stage in the human habitation of the red planet. But do humans have a right to inhabit other planets, and which humans specifically? Would colonizing Mars be a chance to create a better world from scratch, or will it become an environmental and ethical nightmare? Would you want to go?
Kind lies. White lies. Little lies. We take a trip to the fun park to look at all sorts of lies we tell for all sorts of reasons. Like what if your parent asks you to pretend to be younger than you are to get a cheaper entry fee? What’s the right thing to do? Amidst the rides and games, junk food and excitement, we explore a few stories about lying, a subject which has divided some of the greatest thinkers in history.
In the 1950s, a group of young boys took part in a now famous experiment to find out how easy it would be to turn two groups of children into enemies. The boys didn’t know they were in a scientific study, and many later regretted the things they did to each other. Is the knowledge we might get from such an experiment worth the pain it might cause to get it?
Do coaches, equipment and healthy food make for a level playing field?
Is the victim blameless if they become aggressor?
Perhaps the line between humans and other animals is more blurred that you’d think.
Is borrowing somebody else's smarts ok?
As robots become more sophisticated and human-like, how can we be sure what they tell us is real?