Short & Curly

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.


  • Is it ever okay to be a cannibal?

    Jun 20 2019

    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!

  • Are parents hypocrites?

    Jun 20 2019

    "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?

  • When should you stop being friends with someone?

    Jun 20 2019

    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?

  • Should grown-ups lie to you?

    Jun 20 2019

    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?

  • Should we put GPS trackers on kids?

    Jun 20 2019

    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?

  • PRESENTS – Fierce Girls by fierce girls!

    Jun 17 2019

    Your second favourite podcast, Fierce Girls, has some amazing new stories to tell you. Even better, each story is written and narrated by the show’s super cool and fierce listeners! The stories about incredible Australian women have really inspired Molly, as you'll hear. And make sure you listen to the end — we’ve got some exciting Short & Curly news to share with you too!

  • PRESENTS – Tai Asks Why: What happens after you die?

    Feb 04 2019

    The death of Tai’s grandfather gets him thinking about the afterlife. The idea that our bodies and consciousness become nothing is really weird and confusing. So Tai turns to different religions for answers. This podcast called Tai Asks Why comes from our friends in Canada at the CBC. Hope you like it!

  • Birthday presents — should we stop giving them?

    Nov 29 2018

    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.

  • Is a child's life more valuable than an adult's?

    Nov 29 2018

    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.

  • What can Severus Snape from Harry Potter teach us about courage and forgiveness?

    Nov 29 2018

    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.

  • Mind games and teasing on the sporting field

    Nov 29 2018

    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

  • Answer the question! Short & Curly the game show

    Nov 29 2018

    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.

  • PRESENTS — our first ever book: The Short & Curly Guide to Life

    Oct 11 2018

    Short & Curly’s favourite philosopher Matt Beard has teamed up with the show’s boss Kyla Slaven (AKA Mistress Kyla) to write a book for members of the global Short & Curly gang: that’s you! With a whole lot of new curly questions to ask, we venture into the homes, school yards, and lives of kids today. It’s packed with weird and amazing ideas and adventures. Here’s how to get your hands on the book: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/the-short-and-curly-guide-to-life-9780143792185

  • PRESENTS — Animal Sound Safari

    Sep 13 2018

    Carl wants to tell you about a cool new podcast he’s listening to, but mostly he wants you to know what a great actor he is (not!). Have a listen and rate his performance.

  • PRESENTS — Pants on Fire

    Aug 02 2018

    Carl thinks he's pretty good at spotting when someone is telling a lie. But is he? We think one of the reasons Carl is enjoying the podcast, Pants on Fire, is because it allows him to test out his lie detection skills. Pants on Fire is a quiz show with a difference, with each episode focusing on something interesting like robots, or bats or dancing or mobile devices. One of the grown up "experts" on each show is telling you lies and so you and a young guest need to work out who is fibbing and wh...more

  • A sad tale about Matt Beard’s pet fish, Bucket and Spade

    Jun 26 2018

    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?

  • Who should decide when you can get your ears pierced?

    Jun 26 2018

    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.

  • What’s the point of school uniforms?

    Jun 26 2018

    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.

  • Was Robin Hood right? Should you rob the rich to help the poor?

    Jun 26 2018

    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?

  • Is it okay to use technology to help you sing better?

    Jun 26 2018

    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?

  • INTRODUCING — Short & Curly update!

    May 28 2018

    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.

  • PRESENTS — Fierce Girls

    Mar 07 2018

    Your pals at Short & Curly have something very special for you: a preview of the new ABC podcast Fierce Girls! It’s a show about the brave, adventurous, and mighty girls and women of the world — including our very own Molly Daniels. Who is a girl. And is always brave and mighty. Anyway, go check it out!

  • Life, death and a runaway train

    Dec 12 2017

    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.

  • When is it okay to dob on someone?

    Dec 12 2017

    Kids dob to parents and teachers for all kinds of reasons.  It often feels bad when someone tells on you.

  • Were the Ancient Romans bad people?

    Dec 12 2017

    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.

  • What sort of life should an elephant have?

    Dec 12 2017

    Elephants are extremely intelligent and highly social creatures who traditionally live in large family herds.  But their traditional natural world isn't perfect.

  • How to make the best kind of friends

    Dec 12 2017

    Making friends and keeping friends can be hard. Sometimes you like someone a lot and then one of you changes and your friendship ends.

  • INTRODUCING — Short & Curly Goes To America

    Dec 05 2017

    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.

  • Should we kill feral cats?

    Sep 13 2017

    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.

  • Is your classroom fair?

    Sep 13 2017

    That’s not fair!  How often have you heard that said at school?

  • Would you donate your kidney to a stranger?

    Sep 13 2017

    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.

  • Can robot soldiers make armies better?

    Sep 13 2017

    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.

  • What would you risk to get to the top?

    Sep 13 2017

    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.

  • Should pugs exist?

    Dec 20 2016

    Carl thinks they have the cutest squashiest faces and biggest googley eyes of the entire canine world. He definitely wants to buy one.

  • Who wants a virtual life?

    Dec 20 2016

    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.

  • Why can’t children vote?

    Dec 20 2016

    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?

  • Are some people just unlucky?

    Dec 20 2016

    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.

  • The ethics of invisibility

    Dec 20 2016

    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?

  • Should we ban lollies?

    Sep 13 2016

    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.

  • Is Pokemon Go playing you?

    Sep 13 2016

    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?

  • Should celebrities keep it real?

    Sep 13 2016

    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?

  • Who gets saved first in a fire?

    Sep 13 2016

    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?

  • Do you have to love your sibling?

    Sep 13 2016

    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!

  • Should you eat your pet?

    Jun 22 2016

    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?

  • Is Dumbledore as great as he seems?

    Jun 22 2016

    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”?

  • Should you move to Mars?

    Jun 22 2016

    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?

  • Is it ever okay to lie?

    Jun 22 2016

    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.

  • Children under the microscope — the ethics of science

    Jun 22 2016

    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?

  • Can competitive sport be truly fair?

    Mar 28 2016

    Do coaches, equipment and healthy food make for a level playing field?

  • Is it ever okay to fight back against a bully?

    Mar 27 2016

    Is the victim blameless if they become aggressor?

  • Should chimps have the same rights as kids?

    Mar 26 2016

    Perhaps the line between humans and other animals is more blurred that you’d think.

  • Is stealing music or jokes really stealing?

    Mar 25 2016

    Is borrowing somebody else's smarts ok?

  • Can you trust a robot?

    Mar 24 2016

    As robots become more sophisticated and human-like, how can we be sure what they tell us is real?