Sep 8, 2021 Episode 63
US flash flood havoc, tuna back from brink of extinction, first Asian superhero “marvels” box office, Japanese artist “out of the box”
OPENING STING – LEELA: “New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi your weekly dose of world news.
I’m your host, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt. And my sidekick here is…
MAMA: I’m Lyndee Prickitt.
LEELA: Otherwise known as the big news story explainer and, well, my Mama!
This week on Newsy Pooloozi we explain why there’s still havoc, or destruction, being caused by Hurricane Ida since it was downgraded to a storm well over a week ago!
Scientists monitoring biodiversity are warning that nearly a third of all species on earth are under threat of extinction. But there is good news, no, really!
Hollywood’s first Asian superhero is saving the day on screen AND off – smashing box office records during the Labor Day weekend in the US, boosting hopes for movie theaters hit hard by the pandemic.
And, ever heard the phrase “thinking outside the box?” Of course you have! Well, there’s a Japanese artist who’s taking the phrase quite literally.
But first it’s time for…
BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”
MAMA: So it seems like every day this past week there’s been some NEW mention of Hurricane Ida, which hit the southern state of Louisiana before last week.
LEELA: Which, as we reported last week, Ida was downgraded from a super-duper windy and dangerous hurricane to a regular old storm by the time it crept inland, away from the coastal areas. So what happened?
MAMA: Right well, the hurricane might have died out, but the remnants
LEELA: As in the remains, the leftovers, the last traces of it, the dregs.
MAMA: Right, the last little bits of the wind and rain took everyone by surprise, because with that came flash floods and tornadoes.
LEELA: Hold on – we all know that a tornado is a narrow, violently spinning column of air that goes from the clouds of a thunderstorm to the ground. But what’s a flash flood, anyway?
MAMA: Well, you know that a flash is something that’s sudden and brief, right? Well, that’s what a flash flood is – a gush of water that comes on suddenly, causing floods.
LEELA: But it’s not really brief. I mean, it doesn’t go away quickly.
MAMA: Well, OK. Not like a flash of lightning. That’s true. But it means that before people have time to think about it, the roads start to flood.
LEELA: Oh – so they might not have time to get inside.
SFX OF RAIN GETTING AND FLOOD WATER GETTING NOISIER
MAMA: Or even to a safe and high place if they’re in a car or on a bike. Also, when water comes so fast, it’s powerful and can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Streets and train tracks turn into rivers, especially underground subway trains, as the water cascades, or flows, down the platform onto the tracks.
MAMA: Yes. So far around 50 people have lost their lives to the flash flooding alone.
LEELA: But what I don’t understand is, wait, where’s that map of ours? Those flash floods happened in New Jersey and New York up in the northeast of America. But… look… Louisiana is way down in the south and kind of a bit over this way, near Texas to the west. How did Ida’s remnants get from a Louisian to all the way up there?!
MAMA: Good question. Let’s cut across to Florida, where Chaska Power who’s no stranger to storms can tell us more.
CHASKA: Living in Florida means I’ve had my share of storms and hurricanes, let me tell you.
You’re right that last week we all thought we’d seen the end of Hurricane Ida after it’d slammed into Louisiana and went up north.
But it’ continued its destruction.
In Annapolis, near Washington DC, a tornado ripped up trees and toppled electricity poles.
Thousands more people lost electricity for hours and hours as the storm continued up north, with tornado watches in effect.
Sure enough, one struck the popular tourist destination of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
But it was the deadly flash floods that left New York and New Jersey struggling.
It’s actually rare for such storms to strike America’s northeastern seaboard.
But as climate change means the surface layer of our oceans are warming, scientists say hurricanes are becoming more powerful.
Not just that they can carry more water now too.
So these flash floods are likely to be the new normal.
That means many officials are trying to figure out how to rebuild their city’s infrastructure to handle such sudden storms.
And by infrastructure they mean things like roads and bridges, of course.
But even building safer hospitals and schools, never mind planning clear emergency evacuation routes.
I think it’s time I find out what my city’s planning!
What about you?
In Florida I’m Chaska/Lani Power reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.
LEELA: Thanks a lot, Chaska! And the rain isn’t stopping! A series of smaller storms keep popping up, threatening more flash floods down in Louisiana, where half a million people haven’t had electricity for a week!
MAMA: And the latest news? Another hurricane is on the way!
LEELA: Uh oh! Well… it is hurricane season, I guess.
MAMA: Yes and September is often the harshest month. Luckily, while Hurricane Larry is making big waves out in the Atlantic Ocean, it’s expected to ease as it passes over Chaska and everyone else in Florida!
LEELA: Phew. Then again… You never know!
MAMA: True. Let’s stay with science and the environment for our next story.
LEELA: Or what we like to call…
SCIENCE STING – LEELA: “The world of wow, wow, wow… In other words – science!”
MAMA: I have good news and bad news.
LEELA: Uh-oh. OK. Hit us with your bad news first.
MAMA: Well, scientists monitoring biodiversity, you know what that means, right? Biodiversity?
LEELA: Yeah, but, well… I’m not really sure how to put it into words.
MAMA: I get it. That happens to us all! Basically biodiversity is the variety – or diversity – of all the living organisms on earth (in other words, biology), so it’s the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat. And usually the more biodiversity, the better.
LEELA: OK, got it.
MAMA: Well, these scientists monitoring biodiversity at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature are warning that nearly a third of all species on earth are under the threat of extinction.
LEELA: Oh, nooo…. !
MAMA: Sadly, yes. 39,000 plant and animal species are under threat, including more than a third of all shark and ray species and the komodo dragon. It’s the heaviest lizard on Earth.
LEELA: And the creepiest.
MAMA: Well, to you maybe. But despite being big and scary they’re usually trapped on small islands made even smaller by –
LEELA: Let me guess, climate change!
MAMA: Yes. There are fears its habitat could be affected by rising sea levels. But there’s good news.
LEELA: Pheeeeew! Bah-bah-da-daaaah!
MAMA: Tuna fish has been brought back from the brink of extinction!
LEELA: Oh! Awesome! (Yummy sushi!)
MAMA: Yep, just ten years ago conservationists and sushi lovers were worried the fish was being fished off the planet. But governments and environmentalists have been working with the fishing industry to limit how much fish they catch, so they can help build back the population.
LEELA: And what about the illegal fishermen!
MAMA: Yes, they’re cracking down on that too. And it’s working! Proving we can turn things around if we don’t just hope for the best and do nothing, but actually get a plan in place and monitor it. Experts say this tuna news is a “powerful sign” that despite increasing pressure on our oceans, species can recover.
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: After pulling out of Afghanistan, the US says it’s concerned after the Taliban unveiled its new all-male government including men linked to attacks on American forces. The Islamist group seized control of the country in a sweeping offensive more than three weeks ago.
There are massive, deadly clashes going on in Ethiopia – a country in east Africa. The 10-month old conflict, between the military and rebels from the northern Tigray region, has killed thousands of people and pushed even more into famine.
There’s unrest in West Africa too. As soldiers in the capital of Guinea marched into the president’s palace, arrested him, and took control of the country in what’s known as a coup.
Red rover, red rover, let Percy go over! Yes, NASA’s Mars Rover, Perseverance, has successfully collected its first rock sample from the Red Planet. It’s a big milestone for the mission and for humanity. Percy will collect several dozen more samples, which, of course, won’t be hauled back to Earth for another decade or so.
And great medical news from Israel. One-year-old twin girls who were born conjoined at the back of their heads have been separated. The rare 12-hour surgery took months of preparation. But now the sisters can see each other.
LEELA: Whew! Thanks, as ever, for thaaaat whippity-zippity-zappity-whappity wrap of world news, Mama.
MAMA: Always a pleasure going around the world of news in 80 seconds, Leela.
ACE STING – LEELA/MAMA: “Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture and Entertainment. Darling.”
LEELA: When I say “marvel,” you say…?
MAMA: Ah, to be filled with wonder or astonishment at the verb. But the noun would be a wonderful or astonishing person or thing.
LEELA: Mama – I’m not talking about the definition. I’m talking about the comic! Marvel Comics.
MAMA: Oh, sorry. I’m more of a word girl than a superhero fan.
LEELA: OK… Anyway – superhero was the word I was after. So, we got there in the end. I say marvel and action-filled, fantasy-land superhero epic comes to mind. Not usually Asian superheroes with family problems. Until Shang-Chi came on the scene.
MAMA: OK – him I have heard of that! I mean, him.
LEELA: Well, boy has he made a heroic showing at the box office! For more on this let’s head over to our entertainment correspondent, Lani Power – who’s half-Asian herself, for more on this story.
LANI: It’s funny your mom says she’s a “word girl” because that was one of my favourite superheroes growing up!
But you’re right, Leela.
When you think of Marvel comics, the story of an Asian-American superhero exploring his cultural identity and dealing with crazy family issues while fighting to save the world, doesn’t pop into your head.
But that’s exactly what Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is.
SFX OF KARATE
It is so cool to finally feel represented in a Marvel movie.
And it includes Michelle Liu and Awkwafina – two of my favorite actors.
This is the 25th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and it broke new ground by introducing actor Simu Liu as its first Asian superhero on the big screen.
Now it’s smashing box office records for Labor Day weekend and is the second biggest debut of the pandemic year so far, behind fellow Marvel movie, Black Widow.
But Black Widow had a home-viewing option, so interest in going to see it dropped pretty quickly.
That’s why Shang-Chi is expected to keep kicking box office records for a while as it won’t start home streaming till mid-October.
In Florida I’m Lani Power, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.
LEELA: Thanks a lot for that, Lani! Looks like Hollywood’s newest hero is saving the day on AND off screen!
MAMA: Good one!
LEELA: And now…
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: Oh yeah – this is an odd artist who’s taken the expression – think outside the box – quite literally. Cue the music, Mama.
LEELA: So we all like a bit of up-cycling, right? Using scraps of this and that from around the house to make all sorts of creations – dolls, houses, race tracks, even pop-its and homemade board games, right? I know I do!
MAMA: Yes, the house is full of them.
LEELA: I know you secretly throw them away!
MAMA: Noooo, they’re in storage.
LEELA: Hmmph!. Well, Monami Ohno wins the prize for best up-cycler ever.
Actually. She’s not an upcycler – in fact, she’s an artist.
She’s a Japanese sculptor who happens to use – no, not stone, not marble or clay, not even a paste made out of waste.
She uses old cardboard boxes, of course.
MAMA: Cardboard?! We sure do have enough of it around!
LEELA: Oh, yes we do! Did you know the earliest form of cardboard can be traced back to 17th century China. They were using thick paper as a packaging material even back then. It didn’t reach Europe until the 19th century.
But, no, wowzers! According to CardboardBalers.org, in the United States alone, 850 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are thrown away annually. That’s around 1 billion trees! Or put another way, the average American uses around seven trees per year in paper and cardboard.
MAMA: Geeze-Louise! I mean if everybody in the neighborhood uses seven a year there would be no trees left. Huh! At least it’s biodegradable stuff.
LEELA: True. Or you could be like Monami Ohno and get a pair of long tweezers, sharp scizzors and glue and create all sorts of sculptures from giant reptiles and robots, to cardboard saxophones, tanks, jets and even fast-food (which sometimes tastes like cardboard, so it’s kinda befitting).
But seriously, she exhibits and sells these cardboard creations.
Amazingly, though, she doesn’t rely on an exact blueprint, but just draws a rough sketch on the cardboard and starts cutting and gluing.
So what are you waiting for?
I for one am gonna get started on my very own cardboard art.
The only drawback is the thing that makes cardboard special – it won’t last forever, now will it?
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 – It’s the middle of hurricane season in the US and the remnants of Hurricane Ida are still causing destruction. What’s remnant?
A remnant is the remains, the last traces of something, the leftovers.
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – The remnants of Hurricane Ida most caused destruction, or havoc, with flash floods. What are those?
A flash flood is – a gush of water that comes on suddenly, causing floods.
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – Scientists monitoring biodiversity are warning that nearly a third of all species on earth are under threat of extinction. But what exactly is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – The Marvel Cinematic Universe broke new ground with the first ever Asian superhero movie, Shang Chi, which is breaking box office records. And how many Marvel movies have come before this?
This is the 25th Marvel movie.
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – A Japanese artist uses cardboard for her sculptures. When and where can cardboard be first traced back to?
Cardboard can be traced back to 17th century China.
And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on, then go to the Lucky Dip page of our website, newsyjacuzzi.com, and take this quiz online in your own time!
LEELA: And that almost brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi!!!!!
But first thanks to Anaira and Amaira for putting a stellar review up in iTunes India.
MAMA: They wrote “This is an absolutely amazing podcast! An incredible way to explain the Afghan situation! Thank you for making news available in such a fun way, we love Newsy Pooloozi and think both of you are really amazing.
LEELA: OMG – thank you sooooooooo much for taking the time to post that. Anyone else want to have a go? Please….
If you enjoyed this dip in the whirlpool of news and information then do subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Be like Amaira and Anaira and leave us a review – pretty please?!
Alrighty then, see you next week in the Newsy Pooloozi!
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