News on Toast: Pocket money a chore for Aussie kids

Kids pocketing wads of money for chores, a round-up of the best April Fool’s pranks, and Tim Flannery gets attacked (again): The morning’s hot topics in bite-sized pieces just right for dunking.

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Has pocket money gotten out of hand?

Toddlers aren't efficient cleaners, but they are cheap.

At the risk of sounding like one of those grumpy old blokes in that Monty Python sketch, when I was a kid I only got $2 a week pocket money, and I wasn’t paid for doing chores. Chores were something you did because, you know, they had to be done. So it was something of a shock to read today that almost a third of Aussie children are raking in $10 to $15 a week in pocket money, with seven per cent getting $15 or more, mostly for doing household chores.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies surveyed 100,000 children and found that 94 per cent of Aussie parents pay their kids to do chores around the house.

I’m in two minds about this. On one hand I see the value in teaching kids about work and reward. On the other hand I think: Mums and dads don’t get paid to do housework, so why teach kids to expect a fiver every time they do the dishes?

Then again, it’s not like children have many options for earning cash any other way – unless you’re an enterprising little sprite like Sydney 10-year-old Evie (main picture above) who started her own face-painting buisness to earn extra cash. Good on her, I say!

>> Do you give your kids pocket money and, if so, do you make them work for it? How much pocket money did you get as a child and what did you spend it on?

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April Fool’s isn’t over yet! (No, this isn’t a gag)

Gogle Maps 8-bit

This is what Sydney would have looked like if it ever featured in "Zelda".

So you think you got through April Fool’s Day unscathed? I’ve got bad news for you: With much of the rest of the world having only just ticked over to April 1 today, you’ve got at least another 10 hours of pranking to go. And there have been some doozies this year.

Google announced a “new” retro 8-bit version of its Maps service specifically for 1990s video game console the Super Nintendo NES (see Sydney pictured left). Check it out at Google Maps by hitting the “Quest” button in the top right corner.

Then they declared their self-driving cars would be entering NASCAR, and announced “Gmail Tap”, a new mobile phone messaging system based on morse code, with a hilarious video featuring LL Cool J.

Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson revealed via Twitter the company would be offering journeys to the centre of the Earth via volcano with “Virgin Volcanic”, CNet Australia reported Chinese communications company Huawei was to buy the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and England’s Daily Mail reported a romantic picnic date between X Factor judge Simon Cowell and Little Britain star David Walliams, complete with photos.

Personally, I told people on Facebook I’d shared a cab with Matt Damon in New York, and then felt so bad about it I retracted it after 9 minutes. (It WAS funny though…)

>> Did you get taken in by any April Fool’s gags yesterday? Did you PULL any yourself?

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Flim-flammy Flannery poll reveals nothing whatsoever

Tim Flannery

Australia's Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery. Picture: Damian Shaw.

In what might be the biggest example of irony ever, the Daily Telegraph reports a quarter of Australians think Climate Commissioner Professor Tim Flannery is “unreliable”.

To put that another way: 25 per cent of people who (presumably, odds-on) have never properly studied science, let alone the complexities of climate change, think that Australia’s pre-eminent expert in the field is unreliable.

To put it yet another way: this is rather like reporting that a quarter of all chimpanzees think Picasso was a bit of a crap painter.

I’m not saying Prof Flannery is beyond criticism – but let’s leave that to people who actually know what they’re talking about, shall we?

>> Do you believe in climate change, or do you think it’s all a conspiracy?

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And there’s your first serve of News on Toast for the week – that should set you off to a flying start! Join me tomorrow for more and, in the meantime, I hope you don’t get pranked too badly by any overseas friends!

Main pic: Ten-year-old Evie (second from left) has started her own business doing face painting at friend’s parties. Picture: Tracee Lea. Source: The Daily Telegraph