Ancient city found, Georgia voting, baguette love, Lego thieves, Candy Land

Apr 14, 2021 Episode 42

Egypt’s lost “golden city” discovered, Georgia’s democracy debate, French-bread love, Lego larceny, real Candy Land

Episode Transcript


OPENING STING – LEELA: “New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”


LEELA: Hello and welcome to this “sweet” episode of Newsy Pooloozi.

I’m your host, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and as ever I’m joined by my big-story explainer and sound effects mixer…

MAMA: Hello, hello! I’m Lyndee Prickitt.

LEELA: Otherwise known as my Mama!

So big news from ancient Egypt this week… Yep, the past has spoken. That is to say, a 3000-year-old “lost golden city” has been discovered!

The debate over voting rights is still raging in Georgia – we’ll have a special report from Atlanta to explain it all.

World Heritage Day is coming up and you won’t believe what the French are nominating as a cultural icon worth preserving.

Speaking of unbelievable things in France – stop thief! You’ll never believe the international TOY crime ring that has police in investigation overdrive. You heard me right – TOY  thieves!

And finally, move over Disney. Something even sweeter has popped up in California!

So let’s dive on into this sugary edition of Newsy Pooloozi. First up is…

BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”

MAMA: So as if last week’s story about the relocation of 22 ancient Egyptian mummies from an old museum to a grand new one – wasn’t big enough news from ancient Egypt. There’s more.

LEELA: Hidden under layers and layers of sand for THREE-thousand-and-four-hundred years, a lost city has been discovered.

MAMA: So near the old ancient capital of Egypt, the city we now call Luxor, archeologists were actually excavating –

LEELA: Or trying to uncover –

MAMA: What they thought was a temple of the King Tutankhamun (or Tutankhamen).

LEELA: Otherwise known as King Tut. Famous for not only being the boy pharaoh – he ruled ancient Egypt when he was 9 years old! – but also famous for his booty.

MAMA: (laughs) Treasure. Yes – so let’s back up a second. Ancient Egypt was one of the greatest early civilizations, ruling, 5000 years ago, along the Nile River in north east Africa and more or less maintained power or dominance for around three-thousand years!

LEELA: Impressive.

MAMA: King Tut wasn’t really a well known ruler, but became famous when his tomb was discovered, 100 years ago, with loads of artifacts and treasure meant to accompany him into the afterlife, which was a revelation about ancient beliefs. And archaeologists are still looking for remnants of his rule.

LEELA: In September they were digging through the sand, looking for a King Tut temple…  when a long zig-zaggy pattern started to emerge.

MAMA: Which they realized were the old walls of buildings lining a major street of –

LEELA: The lost golden city!

MAMA: Now it’s not a city of gold… but a city from the time considered the “golden era” of Ancient Egypt. A city historians have been trying to find for years, with no luck, hence it being lost.

LEELA: Well, here to tell us more about this amazing revelation is our very own Egypt enthusiast, Maia Sodha.

MAIA: You said it, Leela. I love everything about Ancient Egypt – from the pyramids to the mummies.

And now – this amazing zig-zaggy city!


The walls of the mud-and-brick buildings curve in-and-out, like a snake, down what’s thought to be THE big street of this lost city.

That’s not all.

So much more has also been uncovered – from tools and ovens to a vessel with 22 pounds of dried meat!

There was even writing inscribed on the pot.

LYNDEE: “That Year 37, dressed meat for the third Heb Sed festival from the slaughterhouse of the stockyard of Kha made by the butcher luwy.”

MAIA: They’ve also recovered lots of colored pottery, rings, necklaces and scarabs amulets too.

And in case you didn’t know – those are beautiful gems cut in the form of the scarab beetle.

Even a skeleton with rope around his knees has been found!

It’s such a well-preserved ancient city, experts are saying it could be as big and important as Pompeii in Italy.

There’s a whole neighborhood that hasn’t been fully unearthed yet – so expect more news from Egypt’s “golden city.”

I’m Maid Sodha reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Thanks a lot, Maia. I love everything about Ancient Egypt too and I can’t wait till they unearth more!

MAMA: And keeping with our ancient Egypt theme and our promise to read a short poem each week for National Poetry month… We have a perfectly suited poem from the American poet Kenn Nesbitt, called Melvin the Mummy and it’s thanks to librarian Mrs Talbot of Rockbridge County, Virginia, who suggested it. I’ll just read out the first stanza now:

“Melvin the mummy, who lived near the Nile,
had worked as a mummy for more than a while,
for mummies can go their entire careers
without a vacation for thousands of years.”

MAMA: But you’ll have to listen to the end of Newsy Pooloozi to hear what happens when Mel goes on holiday.

LEELA: (sings) It’s pretty funny…


MAMA: Yep. But first – we’ve got some politics to discuss.

LEELA: What does bottled water, a cola company, an airline and a baseball league all have in common? The Southern US state of Georgia, of course!

MAMA: Or put another way – the center of a debate over democracy. And Democracy means…?

LEELA: Everyone – over the age of 18 – gets a vote.

MAMA: And a strong democracy is all about citizens getting the chance to vote.

LEELA: And for that to happen you’ve got to make it as easy as possible, right?

MAMA: Right – while ensuring there’s no cheating.

LEELA: Obviously!

MAMA: It’s what’s called getting a “fine balance” and it’s what the two political parties in America disagree about.

LEELA: Good thing we have a correspondent in Atlanta, Georgia to shed some light on this. Madison Smith – of the All Things Madison podcast in fact – it’s over to you!

MADISON: Thanks, Leela.

All eyes are still on Georgia.


Well, the Republicans, who lost badly in the recent elections here, say the new voting rules are needed to ensure a fair election.

But the Democrats say the voting procedures make it harder for voters to cast their ballots by mail and will lead to longer lines for those who go vote in person.

One of the most shocking restrictions was not allowing people to hand out water to those standing in line – and, boy, it gets hot here!

It comes from a rule that says no gifts, including food or drink, can be given to voters, because, you know,  it might persuade them to vote a certain way.

But water?

It turns out poll workers CAN set up a “self-service” water stand though, phew!

And as for Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and Major League Baseball – well, they all stepped in, saying the new laws made it too hard for some minorities and poorer voters to cast a ballot and they didn’t think that was cool.

Major League Baseball even went as far as pulling their upcoming All-Star game from the city over the new law.

The whole region is likely to lose around $100 million dollars in money that tourists would have spent in going to the game.


But others say it’s good for controversial laws to be under scrutiny – that’s a fancy way of saying something will be looked at super closely – and debate is good for democracy.

We’ll have to see how it all plays out – no pun intended. (Laughs)

In Atlanta Georgia, I’m Madison Smith, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi

LEELA: Thanks for explaining it all, Madison!

MAMA: Yeah, it reminds me of that the famous quote about democracy by the former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

LEELA: Oh, here we go…

MALE ACTOR: “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried.”

MAMA: Yep – it’s not perfect, and it can be pretty messy, but it’s the best we humans have come up with so far.

WORLD WRAP STING – LEELA: “What’s that? I’ll tell you what. That’s the halftime bell! Which means… it’s time to hear what’s making news around the rest of the world. Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds.”

MAMA: In the US the trial of the ex-police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, in the state of Minnesota last summer, is winding down as the prosecution rested their case. Now the defense lawyers of ex-officer Derek Chauvin are making their case.

Tensions are high in Minnesota after the death of another Black man – 20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot by a police officer in a suburb just miles away from the courtroom where Chauvin’s trial is taking place.

In Britain funeral preparations are underway for Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth the Second , who died aged 99. Saturday’s royal funeral will be held at Windsor Castle with – as per the Duke’s request – minimal fuss, though the ceremony will be televised.

Elsewhere in the United Kingdom, restaurants and pubs buzz back to life, in the outside seating areas anyway, as al fresco – or open air – service resumed for the first time since England’s lockdown began over the Christmas period.

And, say cheese! The Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus is getting protected status for its prized halloumi cheese. The European Union is giving Cypriot producers the sole right to sell the rubbery cheese, that’s usually served grilled, under the banner of halloumi. In Europen stores, anyway.

LEELA: Thank you so much for that whizz-bang wrap of what’s making the headlines around the world. And now we need a bit of what the British like to call “cul-cha.”


 ACE STING – LEELA/MAMA: “Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture and Entertainment. Darling.”

MAMA: In just a few days UNESCO will be celebrating World Heritage Day. But first –


MAMA: Ah, well, you know the international organization of all the countries in the world is the United Nations.

LEELA: The UN – yeah, my school studies it.

MAMA: Oh, cool. Well, UNESCO is the cultural wing: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization if fact. You’ve probably heard of UNESCO heritage sites, like India’s Taj Mahal.

LEELA: And Stonehenge in England!

MAMA: Right. Or the Statue of Liberty in the US. Or even natural wonders, like the massive collection of coral off the coast of Australia –

LEELA: The Great Barrier Reef.

MAMA: You’re on a roll. So maybe you won’t be surprised by what France wants to add to the heritage list. Here to tell all is our Paris correspondent –

LEELA: Louise Johansson!

LOUISE: Thanks, you guys.

Here in France we have many wonderful UNESCO World Heritage sites.

From the humongous medieval Château Comtal castle to the mighty Eiffel Tower.

But there’s something else just as impressive here: le pan quotidian, the daily bread.

In other words – the French baguette!

Yes, our delicious French bread is being officially nominated for UNESCO Heritage Status.

Don’t laugh – bread is serious business here.

Around 10 BILLION baguettes are eaten here ever year, according to data site Planetoscope!

We have a population of 67 million people, so… let’s do the math –


That’s roughly 149  baguettes per person, per year – so basically every-other-day – not per family, but for a single person!

That’s a lot of French bread.


Thousands and thousands of local bakeries have been closing over the years, as shoppers go to bigger supermarkets instead.

And the problem with that is…  those baguettes typically aren’t made using the traditional methods.

And that’s why France has nominated the baguette to be added to the –

MAMA: “United Nation’s  intangible cultural heritage register.”

LOUISE: Which is a fancy way of saying – certain traditions and skills will be recorded, so they’re not lost over time.

Pretty cool, huh?

But we’ll have to wait and see if the baguette gets a “slice” of recognition, as UNESCO will announce who’s “made the cut” next year.

Until then – bon appétit!

In Paris, France, I’m Louise Johansson, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Thanks, Louise! I admit, I never thought of food as culture, but, yeah, it makes sense. I mean when we visit a new country, Mama, you I always think about the new food we’re gonna eat first!

MAMA: (Laughs) That’s right. And it’s not just France trying to preserve its food heritage. Already flat breads from Iran and Kazakhstan have made the UNESCO list, along with Italy’s Neapolitan art of pizza twirling.

LEELA: This is making me hungry…

MAMA: OK, well, it’s not just food. South Korea’s lantern festival, Finland’s sauna culture and a grass-mowing competition in Bosnia and Herzegovina were all on the last list.

LEELA: Wow – who knew?!

MAMA: So what about your country or region – is there something from your neighborhood you think should make the list? Why not come to our Facebook or Instagram pages – @newsyjacuzzi – and let us know!

LEELA: Staying in France… You’ll never guess what the French police are investigating right now!

MAMA: An international crime ring has been discovered. Larceny like you won’t believe…

LEELA: Larceny is a fancy word for stealing!

MAMA: From homes and cafes, to cars, jets and spaceships.

LEELA: OK – miniature versions of all those things – but no less precious. It’s –

LEELA AND MAMA: Lego larceny!


LEELA: In the past few weeks a gang of thieves were stalking toy stores and specialist shops in Paris, France, waiting for their chance to pounce on the un-suspecting owners of precious Lego sets. Precious because Lego doesn’t make their fantasy lands forever. I know – I’m desperate for Lego Friends Friendship House but it’s discontinued and only available from some collector.

MAMA: Or clever investor.

LEELA: At five times the original price.

MAMA: And that would be a bargain… Some sets, like the much loved Café Corner Lego set that cost $180 when it was released in 2007 can now sell, in its original box, for 17-times that price: nearly $3000.

LEELA: And it’s not just Europe. Lego looting appears to be a global business. Thefts have been reported over the last five years in the US, Canada and Australia.

MAMA: But prices are going up now because more people are stuck at home and enjoying some –

LEELA: Lockdown Lego! I know I am.

MAMA: Police are advising toy shops and collectors – especially those with unopened, never assembled sets –

LEELA: What! Who doesn’t open their Lego boxes?!

MAMA: Ahh, Lego investors! Be on your guard lest the toy thieves strike again.


LEELA: And we’re not done with the wonderful wacky news. We like to end each episode with a story from the lucky dip machine – and just wait till you hear what it’s spit out this week!


ODDBALL STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “Step right up, step right up… Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? An odd ball, no doubt!”

MAMA: So have you ever played that wonderful board game  Candy Land and wished it were real?

LEELA: I sure have!

MAMA: Well, guess what? (sings) It’s real!!! Almost… in vision, if not taste. It’s from the creators of some super cool drive-thru art installations – the WonderLAnd and HauntO’ween. But they wanted something sweeter for spring – and so have turned a 50-thousand square foot parking lot in LA, California  into a candy land they’re calling Sugar Rush.

LEELA: There are life-sized lollipops, giant candy canes, oversized unicorns and kangaroos, mirrored corridors with glitter and dazzle everywhere else.

MAMA: Best of all… You can cut the engine, get out of your car and walk through this candy-tropolis!

As long as everyone goes in the same direction and keeps their distance, of course.

LEELA: Awesome! When’s it coming to Delhi???

MAMA: If only. Well, we should point out that the swirly-twirly colorful candy is a dazzle for the eyes – not the mouth.

LEELA: Not yet, anyway. But I can still dream…

MAMA: Don’t keep your eyes closed too long, kiddo, we have a bonus oddball.


MAMA: This was too good not to include. Listen to this.


MAMA: Any guesses…?

LEELA: Uhhhh…

MAMA: Well those voices are speaking Thai because in the wonderful country of Thailand monitor lizards are known to roam around.

LEELA: I can confirm that and tell you they are creepy. Imagine super-sized lizards, like three feet long!

MAMA: And sometimes longer – with long, powerful neck and tails, some can reach nine feet long. A little like the one that sauntered into this 7-11 convenience store near the capital, Bangkok and scared the bajeebers out of the shoppers as it walked down the aisle and then climbed up a shelf, where it stayed for a good hour.

LEELA: (shuddering noise)

MAMA: We’ll post a link to the video on our Facebook page if you wanna see… Just like we do almost every day – with our “looky-looky” post. We share some of the best oddball stories around just to amuse you.

LEELA: Or freak you out!


FAB FACTS STING – LEELA: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top five fab facts heard today. Here goes…”

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 1 –  Ancient Egypt was one of the greatest early civilizations, ruling 5000 years ago, along the Nile River in the north east Africa and maintaining dominance for how long?

The Ancient Egyptians were the most dominant power for three-thousand years.

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – King Tut is one of the most famous pharaohs – but why?

King Tut is famous for not only being the boy pharaoh but for all the treasures and artifacts discovered in his tomb.

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – A new voting law is causing controversy in Atlanta, Georgia, which means it’s under “scrutiny.” But what’s that’s fancy word mean?

Being under scrutiny means something will be looked at very closely, which is always good for democracy.

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – France is nominating its beloved baguette for World Heritage status as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Day. But what does UNESCO stand for?

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, darling.

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – A super long lizard walked into a 7-11 in Thailand and climbed up a shelf. What was the name of this lizard that can grow as long as nine feet in length?

A monitor lizard.

LEELA: And that almost brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi!!!!! But as promised… for national poetry month… here are all five, short stanzas of the poem Melvin the Mummy, by Kenn Nesbit. Take it away, Mama!

MAMA: Melvin the mummy, who lived near the Nile,
had worked as a mummy for more than a while,
for mummies can go their entire careers
without a vacation for thousands of years.

He guarded the pyramids day after day
to frighten the burglars and bandits away,
which meant, as he stood watching over the pharaohs,
he often got shot at with bullets and arrows.

His job was so stressful, the pay was so poor,
but, still, Melvin stayed and protected the door.
Until he got sick of his sad situation
and knew that he needed to take a vacation.

His crypt was so dark and so cold and so clammy,
he packed up his swimsuit and flew to Miami.
He thought he would stay there for just a few days,
enjoying the beach and absorbing some rays.

But, sadly, poor Melvin would never return,
and this is a lesson all mummies should learn:
Don’t take any trips or, like Melvin, you’ll find
vacations make mummies relax and unwind.


LEELA: Nice one, Mama!

If you enjoyed this dip…. in the whirlpool of news and information… then do subscribe to our podcast on…  Apple Podcast, Spotify, Alexa or wherever you get your podcasts.

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All right then – over and out from the Newsy Pooloozi team. See you next week in the whirlpool of news and information!