Floods & droughts, treasures revealed, power of sleep & sweat, wearables for pets

Aug 31, 2022 Episode 114

Floods & droughts create global havoc but reveal treasures too, power of sleep, sweat recharges wearables and wearable fans keep pets cool

Episode Transcript


LEELA: This week – floods and droughts, temples and warships, the power of sleep and sweat – plus wearables for your pets!

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


LEELA: Hello, hello, welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – the world news pod for curious kids and adults.

This week… floods are creating havoc around the world, so are droughts – buuuut some interesting treasures are being revealed as rivers and lakes dry up.

Plus, we know sleep is important but did you know there’s an Indian Sleep Champion?! We’ll talk about the power of sleep AND, as it happens, sweat. Which can be turned into… electricity!

And a Japanese pet lover is ensuring dogs stay chill and cats keep cool.

I’m Leela Sivasankar Prickitt.

MAMA: And I’m Lyndee Prickitt.

LEELA: And this is Newsy Pooloozi.

MAMA: Your weekly world news pool.

LEELA: Let’s dive on in with…

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

MAMA: So we know it’s been a hot summer all over the northern hemisphere and in some places temperatures went off the charts.

LEELA: Like your home state of Texas. And here in India! You sure do attract a lot of heat, Mama.

MAMA: Seriously, man. And even a few degrees hotter for longer was next door in Pakistan.

LEELA: We’re talking HOT. The city of Jacobabad was the hottest city on Earth when temperatures hit 124 degrees Fahrenheit! That’s 51 degrees Celsius. Talk about sizzle.


MAMA: Yet now – get this – both Texas and Pakistan are hit again.

LEELA: But this time by epic floods.


LEELA: Some parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth area got 10 to 13 inches – that’s a foot – of rain pouring down in one day.

MAMA: Meteorologists described the storm as a one-in-a-thousand-year event.

LEELA: And, halfway around the world in Pakistan

MAMA: Well, there it was a case of an unrelenting – as in not easing up – monsoon, or seasonal rain.

LEELA: A third of the country is underwater. And, in case you didn’t know, Pakistan is more than TWICE the size of California. So that’s a lot of flooding.

MAMA: And yet… other parts of the world are parched.

LEELA: Which is a fancy way of saying from intense heat.

MAMA: Lakes and rivers are drying up, leading to some unusual discoveries.


LEELA: In China people are walking up to old temples and pavilions that used to be surrounded by water.


MAMA: And a 600-year-old Buddhist statue that was submerged for years is now visible. And over in Europe…

LEELA: In Serbia dozens of German warships, sunk during World War II, are rearing their ugly heads.

MAMA: Not just ugly – but hazardous too as most of them are full of old explosives. Luckily, the drought discovery in Spain is a little more pleasant.

LEELA: As our Barcelona correspondents, Nina and Marcky Grañena, are about to explain.

NINA: So, did you hear about Spain’s Stonehenge? It’s finally visible again!

MARCKY:  What’s “Spain’s Stonehenge” and what do you mean it’s FINALLY visible?

NINA: Spain’s Stonehenge – also known as The Dolmen of Guadalperal – is a monument made out of big rocks in western Spain that’s still standing after thousands of years.

MARCKY:  The dole… whatttt?

NINA: Dolmen, basically big rocks, like giant stone surfboards, sticking up out of the ground.

MARCKY: But a thousand years ago, they didn’t have cranes or machines or anything. So, how did they get these huge surfboards to stand up on end?

NINA: Exactly. No one knows. And that’s what makes it so cool.

MARCKY: Ok yes, totally. Go on.

NINA: So back in 1926, this German archaeologist discovered the dolmens. People started doing research and learning about the history of the rocks.

MARCKY: So, what were they used for? They look like gigantic grave stones….

NINA: They kind of were. People think they may have been burial markers or a solar temple.

MARCKY: How did they end up under water then?

NINA: Well, in the 1960’s, Franco the Dictator –

MARCKY: Booooo!!!!

NINA: So, Franco decided to turn the valley where they were located into a water reservoir.

MARCKY: Oh man!! So, they were all submerged underwater!?

NINA: Yes. And now that we’re having another super bad drought here in Spain, the water in the reservoir has dried up.

MARCKY: And the dolmens are finally visible again! Ha! I got it.  Yeah, I guess it’s cool that these artifacts are there, but the drought has been super bad for the farmers.

NINA: I know! They should put the dolmen in a museum, and when people pay to come see them, they can give the money back to the farmers!

MARCKY: Great idea!

MARCKY AND NINA: From Barcelona this is Nina and Marcky for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Thanks a lot for that, you guys. This is the second story of an emerging wonder in Spain.

MAMA: That’s right. When the drought first began in April we reported on Spain’s “ghost village” that had reappeared. That’s episode 93 if you want to have a listen.

LEELA: Go on! You’ll find it easy enough on our website – NewsyPooloozi.com.

MAMA: That’s Pooloozi – as in a swimming pool. Pool-oo-zi.

LEELA: I repeat – pool-oo-zi.


MAMA: We all know sleep is good for us.

LEELA: As you always say…

MAMA: Yes! But did you know there was a Sleep Champion of India?

LEELA: I did not. Is this a ploy to get me to sleep earlier?

MAMA: No, I’d settle for on time. You know what happens when you’re really tired at the end of the day…

LEELA: Hmmph. Maybe.

MAMA: Well, it’s official. A new study reveals that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Admittedly that’s more likely to affect adults, but you get the idea.

LEELA: Yes… This is important:


MAMA: You’re good at this. But seriously, the study, presented to the European Society of Cardiology

LEELA: That’s the branch of medicine that deals with the heart.

MAMA: Right, well, it found that nine out of 10 Americans don’t get good sleep at night and the scientists predicted that if everyone slept well, seven out of ten heart diseases could be avoided.

LEELA: And the sleep champion bit?

MAMA: Ah, right. Well, a 26-year-old from Kolkata, India managed to have an uninterrupted 9-hour sleep for 100 days in a row, winning the Sleep Champion title and 5 lakh rupees or just over $6000.

LEELA: OK… I could maybe be (yawns) persuaded to get good sleep for that kind of…

MAMA: But if you don’t find it as easy as Leela or the Sleep Champion from Kolkata – to get to sleep each night then have a listen to our podcasting friend, Abbe…

KOKO SLEEP PROMO (not transcribed)

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: Memorials are coming in from around the world for Mikhail Gorbachev – last leader of the former Soviet Union – who died peacefully at the age of 91. The Russian is credited for bringing an end to the Cold War and setting up a set of reforms at home.

Brazil’s so-called “loneliest man in the world” has also died. Known as Man of the Hole because he dug deep holes, some for hiding and some trapping animals, he was the last remaining member of an indigenous group who had no contact with the outside world. For the past 26 years he’d lived in total isolation.

NASA cancels its rocket launch to the moon – again – this time because of an engine problem. NASA’s Space Launch System is the most powerful rocket ever built and will eventually be used to send astronauts back to the Moon.

And France authorities are using artificial intelligence and satellite sky maps to spot patches of blue that could be swimming pools. Why? Well, you have to pay a higher property tax if you have a pool in France, so many people thought they could hide their play-pond. But not anymore – over 20,000 pools have been detected and more are expected.

LEELA: As ever, thank you so much for that whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap of what’s making headlines elsewhere in the world, Mama.

MAMA: You’re most welcome. Now…

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

MAMA: So, we all know that wearables are tiny little tech gadgets that are built into something we can wear, like a watch or a Fitbit that can check our heart rate, how many steps we’ve walked.

LEELA: Never mind telling time or even play music while you roller-skate. Oh yeah. (Sings Taylor Swift)


MAMA: Well, what if while you run or roller-skate – you break a sweat and USE the sweat to energize the wearable?

LEELA: Ehhh… excuse me?

MAMA: Yep, thanks to some clever scientists in the US state of Massachusetts if you’ve got low battery issues, no sweat, they’ve got you covered.

LEELA: Huh… sounds like we need to head to our Boston correspondent, Ari Kelly, for more on this story. Take it away, Ari.

ARI: Thanks, Leela.

So, did you know that when water evaporates – energy is created?

And believe it or not, it’s the same with your skin, which is constantly moist from sweat.

So, why not harness that sweat-evaporation-energy and turn it into (pause)… electricity?

Well, researchers at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, have invented a biofilm – that sticks to the skin like a Band-Aid – which can do just that.

But the really cool part – or some might say gross part – is the biofilm is made of bacteria that does the work of converting the evaporation into electricity.

Just a little bit of electricity, mind you.

Not like this or anything.


But enough electricity to power medical sensors or small personal electronics.

However, the team is going to explore larger films that can power even more sophisticated devices.

Where exactly that bacteria-biofilm will be placed on the body to capture maximum sweat-energy has yet to be decided.

In Boston, I’m Ari Kelly, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.

LEELA: Thanks a lot, Ari!

MAMA: Yeah, thanks. This is similar to a device invented by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, which uses silver flakes that clump together and generate a small electrical current thanks to sweat.

LEELA: And I have it on good authority that the Lucky Dip machine is staying with sweat and wearables for our final story…

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: This story is about some hotdogs.

MAMA: Oops – warning all vegetarians.

LEELA: No, not that kind of hot dog! I mean a literal hot dog – like, a sweaty pooch.

MAMA: Oh, right. That kind of makes more sense…?

LEELA: So earlier we were talking about wearables – which are tech gadgets you can wear.

MAMA: Yeah, like digital watches that play music, make phone calls, track your steps, monitor your heart rate.

LEELA: Or even keep you cool. I’m talking about small fans that you wear like headphones to circulate air around your face.

MAMA: You know – I thought they were kinda dorky until, well, heatwave 2022 and I’m like, bring on the wearable fans.

LEELA: Exactly. Well, ever thought about having them custom made for your pet.

MAMA: Ah, no.

LEELA: That’s because we don’t take our cat our much. But if you’re a pet lover who’s constantly walking your dog, or even cat, shouldn’t they have some way to cool down too?

MAMA: I guess…

LEELA: Well, a Japanese clothing maker thinks so. Roll the music, Mama.


LEELA: The owner of a clothing brand, Rei Uzawa, has teamed up with vets to help pets keep their cool in Japan’s scorching heat.

Together they’ve created little fans that fit into mesh-netted outfits, which blows air all over the animal’s body.

Not surprisingly the device, which comes in five different sizes to fit all kinds of animals, isn’t super cheap – costing around 74 dollars.

But the orders are coming in fast.

How fantastic is that?

MAMA: Fantastic! I like it. That’s totally paw some Leela.

LEELA: I make that joke so many times…

MAMA: I’m just following your footsteps I mean I’m following your paws

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

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 1 –Pakistan is facing massive floods due to an unrelenting monsoon, or seasonal rain.  What is unrelenting?

Not easing up

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – A third of Pakistan is underwater. There is a lot of flooding. What US state is Pakistan twice the size of?


MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – And yet other parts of the world are facing droughts with huge patches of land parched – which means?

Dry from intense heat

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – A new study presented to the European Society of Cardiology reveals that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. What is cardiology?

The branch of medicine that deals with the heart


MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – A bacteria biofilm is developed to power wearable electronics by harnessing body sweat. That’s because when any kind of water, even sweat, evaporates – what is created?


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

LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! Did you enjoy it?

MAMA: Did you learn something?

LEELA: Do you wanna discuss what you heard with your friends?

MAMA: Well, why don’t you tell them about Newsy Pooloozi?

LEELA: Go on – think of the jokes you can make off this episode alone. Alrighty then – see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!