Back to school (or not!), Facebook’s TikTok, Olympic hope, digital chicken nuggets and fart-free cows
Jul 29, 2020 Episode 05
Hear us volley (with a real tennis ball!) the pros and cons about going back to school or not, muse over the cotton candy iPhone Photo Awards and Facebook’s “reel” competition for TikTok, plus KFC are digitally printing chicken nuggets (yumm?!) and Burger King think they have the answer to making cows fart less.
OPENING STING: LEELA: Newsy Pooloozi
LEELA: Hello and welcome to our fifth episode of Newsy Pooloozi. I’m your host, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt.
And joining me is the “big story explainer” and “sound effects shocker” … my mama!
MAMA: Hello, hello, hello.
LEELA: This week on Newsy Pooloozi we’ll discuss the big topic on everyone’s mind these days… Should we be going back into class or not?!We also hear a “message of hope” about the postponed Olympics,
We find out about chicken nuggets that don’t come from chickens and what secret ingredient might make cows fart less also move over Tik-tok there’s a new player in town… for “reel”!
But first let’s hear wrap from the biggest news stories of the week. From my mama because she can talk really fast Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds!”
STING: Around the World in 80 seconds…. Whooooaaa… Hold on tight
MAMA: Tensions remain high in the US city of Portland, Oregon, where activists have surrounded the federal courthouse for two months, protesting against police brutality. But violence escalated after federal officers so police not from the city – arrived to restore order.
Things between the US and China are getting shakier. First America ordered a Chinese embassy office in Houston, Texas to be shut down, claiming it was spying on Americans. Then, in what’s known as a tit-for-tat response, the Chinese shut down an American embassy office in Cheng-du, China.
The teenage environmental activists Greta Thunberg has been awarded a top humanitarian honor called the Galenian Prize, that comes with a million dollars. But the eco-warrior says she plans to donate the prize money to environmental groups.
And, Scientist have discovered ancient tools in a super high, super hard to get to cave in Mexico that’s shaking up everyone’s idea of ancient Americans. Experts thought humans have been in the Americas for 15,000 years, but these tools look twice as old as that meaning humans could have been on the American continent 30,000 years ago that’s before the last great ice age!
LEELA: Whoo… Thanks for that fast flash around the world. And now… it’s time to tackle… the Big News Story of the Week.
MAMA: It’s a subject on everyone’s mind these days…
LEELA: Should kids be allowed to go back to school.
MAMA: Or not.
SFX – BELL RINGING
MAMA: For many of you kids that might not be the happiest sound because hearing it usually meant you’d better be in class, sat down and ready to listen. Right?
LEELA: Yeah… I admit it…. But, actually, I’d much rather hear that sound and be back in class than start online classes again.
MAMA: I know, but going into school could increase the spread of coronavirus.
LEELA: But the American Academy of Pediatrics those are children’s doctors strongly recommend students be “physically present in school” as much as possible.
MAMA: YEAH… But the Centers for Disease Control say remote learning is the safest option.
LEELA: But other data show it might be safe for younger kids to go back.
MAMA: Yeah, but… Oh, gosh, we’re arguing on air.
LEELA: We’re not arguing, dear mother, we’re debating…
MAMA: Yeah. Debating
Leela: We’re exchanging views, without getting nasty or arguing. And I thought that was good.
MAMA: You’re right. We’re debating this. Just like hundreds of thousands of people all over the world at home… in school board rooms and even government offices. But… in order to have a good debate…
LEELA: We have to hear the views from BOTH sides.
MAMA: The pros and cons, that means those for it and those against it. We volley our points back and forth, like a tennis match, right?
LEELA: Yeah, let’s do it!
SFX: Zip closure
MAMA: Alright, you’re for schools reopening, so you start.
LEELA: OK… So, besides the fact that I miss my friends and it’s really hard to stay engaged in online classes
Number 1: Experts say, “Missing out on schooling at a young age will have a long-lasting impact on children’s education AND even future success in life.” Humph!
MAMA: That’s hard to argue with. But… well, there’s still the risk of the virus spreading when lots of people are in enclosed spaces together, especially young children, who might not be good at maintaining social distancing.
LEELA: But… children are less likely to catch COVID19.
MAMA: Yes, but you’re not totally immune – that means there’s still a small chance you could catch it. Plus, it’s not just that you can get it, but you can pass it on to others without even knowing it. Like your parents! And that’s really bad if you live with someone elderly or with health problems, like diabetes, because if they catch it can be harder for them to recover. And you know it’s not just kids that go to school… what about the teachers and the support staff.
LEELA: OK, but the lockdown isn’t fair for kids who don’t have devices at home or even just bad internet connectivity. Never mind power cuts, like we get here in India.
MAMA: That’s a good point.
LEELA: Plus, if kids can’t go back to school then parents can’t go back to work. So how will anyone make any money to buy food and stuff?
MAMA: That’s true, but if people go back quickly and there’s a resurgence of infections throughout the community then some people won’t be able to go to work anyway.
LEELA: But some countries have reopened schools and not seen a surge.
MAMA: Good point. But… they were countries that stuck with their lockdowns long enough to reduce infections.
LEELA: Ohhh…. this is tiring….
MAMA: I know… But guess what? The cool thing about debates, and hearing both sides, is we’ve found some common ground some hope. Your last point was super valid and if you combine it with mine, and there’s a compromise, if you live in a state or region that’s done well at reducing infections, then maybe schools there will be more likely to reopen.
SFX: Clapping and whistles
LEELA: Like, take it case-by-case?
MAMA: Yeah. And maybe not make a sweeping one-size-fits all decisions. In fact, this story is so big, we’re going to continue looking at it next week and see all different ways schools could reopen.
LEELA: Like part 1 and part 2.
LEELA: Cool. Because school won’t be like it was before, that’s for sure.
MAMA: That’s right stay tuned for part two
LEELA: So, speaking of things postponed because of the nasty old corona virus… This week would have been the beginning of something fabulous…
SPORTS STING: “It’s time to play ball… Score… Sports News!”
LEELA: Yep, this should have been the start of Olympics 2020 hosted in the Japanese city, Tokyo.
MAMA: That’s right… But they’re having to wait a whole year before the games begin.
LEELA: But, Mama… what happens to all those athletes who’ve been practicing and practicing and practicing…?
MAMA: They have to practice for a whole other year! For some, this was their last shot at representing their country and winning a metal.
LEELA: I’d feel cheated, if I were them.
MAMA: I’m sure they do. Never mind the city of Tokyo, all geared up to host a party no one is coming to, for a year anyway. Japanese swimmer Ikee Rikako delivered this message of hope, through a translator, encouraging the world to look forward to next year’s Games.
LEELA: So, to next year then!
LEELA: Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture, and /or Entertainment.
MAMA: Today we have two ACE news briefs, don’t we?
LEELA: We do indeed. Wait I just realized are they called news briefs because they’re short stories?
MAMA: Yes! Exactly.
LEELA: And I know why the first one’s brief…
MAMA: Yes, the winners of the annual iPhone Photo Awards have been revealed. But discussing photos that our listeners can’t see is a little tricky.
LEELA: Yeah, but we have to mention the awards, because some of the photos are just so amazing….
I mean, look, there’s a photo of a kid with a cotton-candy head!
MAMA: Well, she’s holding it, but it’s the candy floss is soooo big it looks like her head in the picture.
LEELA: It looks like my dream best friend, that’s what it looks like!
MAMA: And check this one out… Look at the hair on those horses… You can see them so clearly. How are these taken with a phone?
LEELA: I love the horse’s eye it looks so human.
MAMA: Ahuh! And look at this one!
LEELA: Oh, it looks Arora’s castle in the movie, Maleficent!
MAMA: I think it’s Italy… And this man got two faces…
LEELA: Huh? Oh yeah! What???
MAMA: It’s so fun looking at cool art, isn’t it? But… we’re just going to end our chat here and let you listeners have a look themself.
LEELA: But after our podcast, please!
LEELA: Oh, I have an idea! We should ask them to write in to us and tell us which one is their favorite!
MAMA: Oh, good idea! Or even send us a voice memo on your parents’ and we’ll include you on the next episode of Newsy Pooloozi!
LEELA: Yeah, yeah!!
MAMA: You want to say the email address?
LEELA: Sure – it’s firstname.lastname@example.org
MAMA: Awesome. And our other arts, culture and entertainment news brief is…
LEELA: Move over Tik-tok – there’s a new player in town.
MAMA: And for the few people on earth who might think Tik-tok is simply the sound a clock makes… Tik-tok is actually a video sharing app.
SFX: Sound of clock
LEELA: The new… YouTube!
MAMA: But people love it older kids and adults because they can use real pop songs and clips from TV shows to help express themselves. But… not everyone likes it.
LEELA: Let’s cut across to our reporter, Aarav Skills… and he should know because he has his own YouTube channel for the latest on the video app wars….
AARAV: Yes, as any listeners of Newsy Pooloozi would know Tik-tok has been in the news a lot lately! Why? But because of politics you see, tik-tok is owned by a Chinese company. India and China have been in a standoff lately over disputed land on their shared border.
So, a few weeks ago India’s prime minister banned tok-tok and 58 other Chinese apps. That’s really hurts company, because India was huge market for tik-tok. But now tok-tok is falling behind and since there is an open market in India Facebook is improving its Instagram app, adding a new video feature to be more like tik-tok.
It’s already launched here in India and is expected to roll out in most other countries any day now. Sadly, though its name is much less memorable, it’s called Instagram Reels. Not exactly snappy for our generation who even know what reels are, right Leela?
LEELA: Yeah, good point, Aarav. That was You Tubber, Aarav Skills, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.
Have they called it Instagram Reels, like it’s, “for real”?
MAMA: No… I think they’re talking about reels of film?
MAMA: Gosh, I’m so old… See, we used to record footage, video, even audio, on tape.
MAMA: Not the sticking kind, but black magnetic strips of tape that could record sound and images, and it was wound around and around this metal thing called a reel. That’s why it would be called a film reel. And I guess that’s why Instagram decided to call their Tik-tok competitor,” Reels”.
LEELA: (aside) I think TikTok is snappier!
MAMA: I think I have to agree with you on that…!
LEELA: All that film talk is making me…. hungry!
MAMA: Well, isn’t it a good thing the next story is about… food!
LEELA: Or maybe not food!
STING: For the world of wow, wow, wow… in other words Science!
MAMA: This is a story for all you chicken nugget lovers.
LEELA: Or not.
MAMA: OK. This is a story for all you vegetarians.
MAMA: Vegans then?
MAMA: Now let’s be open-minded.
LEELA: Yes, you’re right. Here to tell us if this story is about chicken or not is our reporter, Julia Goldman, from America’s south a region famous for its fried chicken.
JULIA: Yep, we love our fried chicken here! In fact, it was the nearby state of Kentucky that made fried chicken popular around the world with the KFC chain. That stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken in case you didn’t know. And now the fast-food chain is looking at adding some high-tech food to their menu.
KFC plans to use a technique known as 3D bioprinting to reproduce meat. Which is a fancy way to say, they’re gonna make meat in a lab! So, no chicken. No egg. No jokes about which came first either! Just meat made by technicians in a lab.
But with the same pure substances, called microelements, found in chicken. Sound good?
I’m not too sure myself… But get this, there’s obviously no harm to animals with meat made in a lab and that’s good.
Plus, KFC claims that lab-made meat will cut their land and energy use in half and that means less greenhouse gas hurting the environment! KFC also says this “crafted meat,” as they’re calling it, avoids the chemicals and preservatives that are used in traditional farming.
The question is how does it taste? Well, for now, you’ll only find out if you’re in Russia. That’s where they plan to begin putting these digital nuggets on the menu. This is Julia Goldman, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!
LEELA: Thanks Julia!
MAMA: Sounds delicious…
LEELA: But I have another question. If it’s lab-made meat, is it reeeeaaaallly meat?
MAMA: Yeah… good point. Maybe we have to find another name for it.
LEELA: Hey how about our listeners let us know what they think???
MAMA: Wow, you really want to hear from them, don’t you? Alright. Is meat made in a lab using 3D bioprinting really meat?
LEELA: And if not, what should we call it instead?
MAMA: Send us an email to email@example.com! Go on Leela loves getting emails. She finds it so old fashioned and fun.
LEELA: True… And finally… as if that story wasn’t odd enough… We’ve got an even odder food and animal story for you.
MAMA: But, brace yourself, it involves… burping and farting!
SFX: Burps… Farts
LEELA: Eewwwww, Mama! Everytime……
LEELA: I know that laugh!!
STING: Step right up, Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? And odd ball, no doubt!
LEELA: Odd ball indeed! And a bit stinky too.
MAMA: Yep. So, everyone might have already heard about cows and methane gas.
LEELA: Methane gas… sounds familiar?
MAMA: What if I say cows and burps?
LEELA: Oh, here we go…
SFX: Burps… Farts…
MAMA: Don’t worry… It’s all pretend. And my apologies to anyone eating, but it is in my contract to play such sound effects… Anyway, when cows digest their food and give a good old burp or fart, what comes out is methane gas. And that’s a greenhouse gas. Now we just heard about that in the report from Julia a moment ago, but… Let’s make sure you know what it is.
LEELA: Gas from a greenhouse?
MAMA: Pretty much. Because like when you’re in a greenhouse, the heat and light come in, but the heat doesn’t go out… So, similarly, greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. Which means things warm up… hence the term global warming. So that’s two fun facts and here’s a third… Basically, the more cows we have on earth, eating and burping away, the more methane gas we’re gonna have.
MAMA: Well, the good news is that methane is not the component that makes farts smell, but as we’ve said, it is a big contributor to global warming. So, here’s the odd thing… Major fast food chain Burger King reckons they have a solution.
LEELA: More lab meat?
MAMA: Naaahhh well, not for this story anyway. Their solution is… wait for it… Lemongrass!
LEELA: Lemongrass? The stuff we put in Thai food?
LEELA: They’re gonna make Thai burgers?
MAMA: Nope. They reckon if lemongrass is added to their cow’s feed, the cattle won’t burp or fart as much. I mean, come to think of it, how often do you burp after eating Thai Green Curry?
LEELA: Good point…
MAMA: However, some people are saying it’s just a load of hot air…
LEELA: Like a burp!
MAMA: Exactly, some people think it’s just a stunt to get in the news.
LEELA: Oh! Well, it’s worked.
MAMA: (laugh) Yes…. Well… It’s hard to resist a story that can have these sound effects, hey?!
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of our fifth, yes, our fifth! episode of Newsy Pooloozi! How about that?!
MAMA: Pretty cool!
LEELA: Well, if you enjoyed this dip…. in the whirlpool of news and information… then do subscribe to our podcast, and while you’re at it… Give us a good rating! Or better still, leave us a review on: Apple Podcast, Podcast Republic or wherever you get your podcasts. And, remember, get in touch! Tell us your favorite iPhone Photo of the Year or what you think we should be calling chicken nuggets that don’t come from chickens!
Drop an email to… firstname.lastname@example.org
So, you next week in the Newsy Pooloozi!