“Fake ” diamonds, pig transplant, a gaming granny and cross – bred croissants

Apr 10, 2024 Episode 177

LGD diamonds on the rise, pig kidney transplant, UK’s gaming granny and France’s cross-bred croissants

Episode Transcript

Episode- 177

LEELA: This week… fake diamonds, pig transplants, a gaming granny and cross-bred croissants!

OPENING STING – LEELA: “Hey, hey, hey. Listen up. New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”


LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – the news pool for curious kids and adults! I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and, as ever, I’m joined by…

MAMA: Her mother! Or producer. Okay, Or sidekick on this here podcast.

LEELA: Which is your one-stop-shop for the most interesting and important news happening around the world.

This week…

Fake diamonds are on the rise, but it’s not all as dodgy or criminal – or even as fake – as it sounds…

A US man and a genetically modified pig kidney make history… in a groundbreaking transplant.

In the UK a grandmother who’s turned into a gamer wins a fan-following – despite, or because, of her grumpiness.

And in France, the beloved breakfast treat – the croissant – is crossbred (pun intended) with… well, you’ll just have to listen to the end to find out what fusion food bakers are serving up in Paris.


LEELA: OK then, let’s dive on in. First up, it’s the…

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

MAMA: So, this week’s big story is about a very special mineral.

LEELA: A mineral? I thought we were talking about diamonds???

MAMA: Believe it or not, a diamond is a mineral. A mineral known for its durability.

LEELA: Ummmm… I thought they were known for their beauty.

MAMA: Ahhh, yes, that too. And because diamonds are precious minerals that can be cut and polished, it’s also known as a gem.

LEELA: OK, now we’re in more familiar territory… More like the ‘Diamonds’ as sung by Rihanna. Shine bright like a daimond.

MAMA: Haha, yes, and if it were not for our pesky copyright issues, we’d play it right now! But no, I was thinking of LGDs, actually.

LEELA: Uhhh… Is that a song or a rapper?

MAMA: LGD – lab grown diamonds.

LEELA: Honestly its sound like a creepy like a abd name.

MAMA: Yeah, I know right. Ladies and gentlemen put your hands together for LGD.

LEELA: Lab grown diamonds. Anyways, lab grown weren’t we talking about minerals just now? I mean, aren’t diamonds naturally accruing, found on the Earth and made up of innumerable (as in WAY too many to be counted) carbon atoms.

MAMA: That’s right! In nature, diamonds are formed when carbon deposits, deep inside the earth-like 100 miles below the surface! are exposed to extremely high temperatures. But in the past decade or so, scientists have found a way to create or “grow” diamonds in a lab, by recreating the same high pressure and heat.

LEELA: Ah ha! Hence, “Lab grown,” I understand.

MAMA: In fact, companies here in India are already producing around 3 million LGDs every year, which is approximately 15% of global production!

LEELA: Really? I bet our correspondent from Mumbai, India – Krisha Bang – can tell us more about this story. Over to you Krisha!

KRISHA: Thanks, Leela.

So, yes, the LGD industry only got started in the late 90s.

But since then, scientists have come up with innovative new ways to “grow” diamonds from scratch, so to speak.

But some of your curious minds may ask, “Why would people buy fake diamonds instead of real ones?”

Well, first of all, they’re not fake!

They’re essentially the same chemical composition and crystal structure as diamonds created by nature.

And unless you have a special kind of magnifying-glass-tool, you can´t tell the difference.

Plus, it takes MUCH less time to get one.

You see, all diamonds from the Earth, as far as we know, are quite old.

Most diamond formations probably took place in the first couple billion years of the Earth’s history.

But to fast-forward that process….

And grow one in a lab, it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the carat, which is the unit of measurement to weigh a diamond.

And best of all, they’re like 90 percent CHEAPER than diamonds from the Earth!

So, I guess you could say, in the words of Rihanna, an LGD really DOES shine bright like a diamond!

From Mumbai, India, I’m Krisha Bang reporting for Newsy Pooloozii!!!

LEELA: Thanks for that sparkly report, Krisha!

MAMA: Yeah, thanks Krisha. One more benefit of LGDs, dare I say one of the most important, is that they remove the need for human labor in diamond mines.

You see the diamond mining industry has a history of human rights abuses that typically happened in West African countries. That’s why sometimes diamonds mined from there are known as “blood diamonds.”

LEELA: Gosh! That is a good reason! Go LGDs!

MAMA: And staying with things done in a lab or should I say the miracles of science…

[SOURCE: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-64783843



NATURE STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The call of nature. Get on your safari suite. Or squeeze into your scuba gear. And get ready to hop into a jeep. Or submarine. Submarine. Because Mother Nature is calling! Nature.”  

MAMA: This is nature and tech and science – along with a little bit of luck –

LEELA: Or a lot, maybe…

MAMA: Yes… All rolled into one!

LEELA: Well what are we talking about? These.


LEELA: Well, pig’s KIDNEY to be more precise or exact. And a genetically modified one at that.

MAMA: Yes, a 62-year-old man from Massachusetts in the United States.

LEELA: Named Richard Slayman.

MAMA: Is making history as the FIRST living person to receive a genetically edited pig kidney, in an animal-to-human transplantation procedure known as xenotransplantation.

LEELA: Yes, Mr Slayman had “end-stage kidney disease.” End-stage meaning, well, there wasn’t much else doctors could do about it.

MAMA: Ideally, he would have received a donation of a human kidney. But there’s a shortage of those.

LEELA: Enter the pig. Well, enter the magic of science really.

MAMA: Yes, Slayman had the surgery on March 16, but now he’s reached a massive milestone of being discharged from the hospital. Which he’s said was “one of the happiest moments” of his life.

LEELA: This isn’t the first time a human has received an organ from another species as we’ve reported on this podcast before.

MAMA: That would be episode 81, as it happens! In the last two years two other sick patients received heart transplants from gene-edited pigs, but died less than two months later and never made it home from the hospital.

LEELA: Of course, now comes the hard part for this latest patient making sure his transplanted organ keeps working.

MAMA: I bet there are a lot of fingers being crossed for that one!

[SOURCE: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2024/04/05/pig-kidney-transplant-rick-slayman/73214776007/


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: Taiwan’s feels almost 700 aftershocks after a powerful 7.4 earthquake hit the east of the country. 13 people were killed, a relatively low number given the power of the quake – though dozens are still waiting to be rescued.

US President Joe Biden says he believes that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making a “mistake” in his handling of the war on Hamas militants. Last week Biden warned ongoing US support for the war depended on Israel allowing in more food and medicine.

Tens of millions of people across Mexico, the US and Canada, watch in wonder as day turned to night. Yes, I’m talking about the Great Solar Eclipse on April 8 which left many feeling a sense of awe at Earth’s place in the universe.

And in Thailand, people get ready for the world’s biggest ever water fight, otherwise known as the festival of Songkran. If you want to hear more about it then do have a listen to our special report on Songkran in Episode 146 of Newsy Pooloozi!

[SOURCE: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2024/04/07/solar-eclipse-time-2024/73216068007/



TECH STING – LEELA/MAMA: “It’s time for…. Technology News, technology news, tech news!”

 MAMA: This week’s tech news is about a 75-year-old grandmother in Scottland in the United Kingdom… who happens to be Kinda famous for playing Fortnight.

LEELA: (Laughing)

MAMA: What so funny about that. Older people can play games you know.

LEELA:  Playing Fortnight? As in, she’s a gamer granny?

MAMA: You are correct my dear! Proving the young AND young at heart can enjoy modern technology.

LEELA: I know just the person to tell us more… our English tech correspondent, Jackson Hosking, who’s quite the Fortnight fan himself.

JACKSON: Thanks, Leela.

To friends, she’s Cath Bowie. To family, she’s gran.

But in the fiercely competitive world of Fortnight, she goes by the handle Grumpygran1948, and she’s taking the gaming world by storm.

But how and why is a 75-year-old granny playing video games? Funny story that.

Her grandson got a PS4 a few years ago, and she noticed him playing and playing and playing…

One day she thought she’d see what the fuss was about.

Well, not surprisingly, she got hooked.

And eventually, she got a PS4 of her own!

Well, after a few years of playing, she began live streaming her games, much – by the way – to the embarrassment of her grandson.

Then guess what happened?

People started noticing her skills and all her funny comments.

I mean, when she says “sweaty” she’s NOT talking about perspiration.

Well, soon enough this got the attention of US YouTuber SypherPK, who asked to play with her.

After a few “duos” with SyperPK, Grumpygran1948’s popularity shot through the roof!

Now she plays up to six hours a day (as you do) and she has thousands of loyal fans too.

Sounds like a dub to me!

From London, England this is Jackson for Newsy Pooloozi

LEELA: Thanks, Jackson. And for all you non-Fortnight players out there – dub means win. Of course.

[SOURCE: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-68635687


MAMAMIA: And finally, let’s see what the lucky dip machine has for us our last story 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 oddball, no doubt!”

LEELA: The lucky dip machine is clearly hungry.

MAMA: What?

LEELA: Look at this. We have a story from France about its beloved croissant that brings new meaning to the word… “crossbred!”

MAMA: Oh, good one!

LEELA: And for this we have an on-the-spot report from Paris, France where – get ready – we’re taking you to a bakery. I can smell the bread already…

MAMA: Yummmm! I can smell it, I think we’re handing this oddball over to our new France reporter, Maya Neuquelman.

MAYA: What do you get when a croissant and cookie have a baby?

A “crookie,” of course!

And this innovative pastry is taking Paris by storm…

How do you make this yummy treat? It’s simple.

You just split a partly-baked croissant in half, put in some cookie dough, put it back in the oven and… taaaadaaah, or should I say, “voila’” – you have a crookie.


I’m now at the bakery – Maison Louvard – where they created the first crookie.

“Un crookie s’il vous plaît…”

It costs almost six euros… and now I’m gonna try it.

Hmmm, delicious, or should i say, “Trop bon”. It’s soft, it’s chewy, it’s sweet!

Of course, this isn’t the first-time bakers have experimented with France’s most iconic breakfast…

The simple moon-shaped bread originally came from nearby Austria.

Since then, the croissant has been stuffed with all sorts of things from chocolate to ham and cheese, spinach and even dried fruit.

Then came the “cronut” – a croissant in the shape of a donut!

Well, France needs all types of croissants, as millions of people from all over the world will be coming to Paris for the Olympic Games this summer.

Surely, many more hungry mouths will discover the delicious crookie!

In Paris – this is Maya Neuquelman reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: That was soooooooo fabulous!

MAMA: Totally adorable!

LEELA: Thank you, Maya for that on-the-spot and oh-so-yummy report. Only… you’ve made me a little hungry…

MAMA: Just a little.


[SOURCE: https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20240305-the-surprisingly-complicated-history-of-the-croissant


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 – LDGs, or lab grown diamonds, are on the rise. But diamonds made by Mother Nature are naturally found where?

Deep in the Earth

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – Diamonds are not really rocks. Because they can be cut and polished, they can be considered gems. But at the basic level, what are they?


MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – A US man from Massachusetts makes history as the first living person to be discharged from the hospital after receiving a genetically edited pig kidney in an animal-to-human transplantation procedure known as what?


LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – A Scottish grandmother is becoming a popular Fornight gaming star, winning lots of loyal fans with her handle, “grumpygran1948.” What’s the gamer word for win?


MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – A new “crossbred” bread is taking Paris by storm – yes, the “crookie” is what you get when a croissant and a cookie have a baby. But which country is actually home to the famous croissant?


And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on or may be give a little pop quiz to your class, then go to the Lucky Dip page of our website,  newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool like a swimming pool pool-o-o-z-i, and take this quiz online in your own time!

LEELA: And before we end this episode of Newsy Pooloozi, we’d like to take a moment to thank “the happiest bunny” who left us a review on Apple Podcast, saying, “I love this podcast so much! I think it’s a really well-made podcast and I think you should have more episodes and keep making them. I enjoy this podcast a lot and listen to it every day. Thank you for making it!”  Aaaahhh!

MAMA: Well, thank you, Happiest Bunny, for taking the time out to write in that review!


 LEELA: What about you? If you enjoyed this dip in the coolest pool of news and information then you can also leave us a review on whatever app you listen to on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Alexa or wherever you listen.

MAMA: And don’t forget to hit subscribe, too, so our episodes keep dropping nicely into your playlist every other week.

LEELA: We’d also like to thank our small but dedicated team for all your hard work and support!

MAMA: Yes, Julie Noce and Jyoti Chauhan we’re talking about y’all!

LEELA: And Krisha Bang and Michaela Cabrera – thanks for your excellent writing of our diamonds and crookie stories! Alright – stay curious everyone! We’ll see you next time in the happy, splashy Newsy Pooloozi!