Sep 9, 2020 Episode 11
It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s FLYING CARS! In this week’s episode, hear all about how the skies are going to crowd with flying cars, jetpack flyers and delivery drones 🚀
Also, remember our exclusive feature of the coronavirus poo fighters way back in episode 2? Well, we’ve got an update. And it’s a good one. Victory is nigh — much needed as the coronavirus scare hit very close to home this week 😷
And from the world of sports, hear about India’s unofficial religion—cricket. Especially since the Indian Premier League (IPL) is back 🏏
Like this episode? Then don’t forget to check out our previous story on the escalating race tensions in the US, Nigeria’s ballet boy wonder, how to NOT get eaten by lions and more!
P.P.S. Really liked this episode? Then how about a review? You’ll surely make our day. Just look us up on your favorite podcasting platform (be it Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or Deezer) and share your thoughts.
OPENING STING: LEELA: Newsy Pooloozi
LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi I’m your host, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt. And this is my… Mama…
MAMA: Otherwise known as Lyndee Prickitt
LEELA: This week the nasty old coronavirus gets a little too-close-to-home, for us here at Newsy Pooloozi, as cases in India massively increase…
We look at the success of the poo-fighters the scientists studying our poo to stop the spread of disease…
It’s game-on for India’s cricket league…
And we hear four stories you won’t believe, about science and technology literally taking us higher!
But first let’s get a run-down on all the stories making headlines around the globe…
STING: Around the World in 80 seconds…. Whooooaaa… Hold on tight
MAMA: Extreme weather is battering the Western side of the United States.
Fires are raging along the Pacific Coast from California up to Oregon and Washington state. One fire was started at a party after spray-can of confetti didn’t open properly.
As if fires aren’t enough, a heat-wave has hit the West coast with some of the highest temperatures ever with 114 degrees F (45 degrees Celsius) in Las Vegas. But weirder still… Denver, Colorado had broken records with a 101-degree (38 degrees Celsius) and then three days later day there was six inches of snow!
And over in Europe, a mysterious case of poison is creating problems between two powerful countries. Germany reports that a well-known critic of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, was poisoned. It seems likely that the Russian government is behind the attack, leaving both countries unsure of how to respond.
And temper, temper… Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was the favorite to win the US Open but he’s been sent home for bad behavior. What happened? He whacked a ball out of frustration, not thinking it hit one of the judges standing on the court.
LEELA: Whooo… Thanks for that fast flash around the world. And now… it’s time to tackle… the Big News Story of the Week.
MAMA: So here in India the coronavirus shows no sign of going away or being under control.
LEELA: You can say that again…
MAMA: So here in India the coronavirus shows no sign of going away or being under control.
MAMA: We almost have as many cases as the US. In fact, in just 24 hours, there’ve been 90,000 new cases of Covid-19.
LEELA: And thank goodness it wasn’t you!
MAMA: We were worried there for a few days, weren’t we?
LEELA: Oh boy, were we ever! I was (shudders).
MAMA: Yeah… should we tell everybody?
LEELA: On the very day I had my first play date in nearly six months…
MAMA: just when we thought we could start taking a few “socially distanced” chances…
LEELA: You got a fever that night!
MAMA: Yeah. Obviously, it wasn’t from the playdate, but it did have us worried, didn’t it? Well, you and daddy worried. I was just a lump of jelly on the bed. And that’s the crazy thing about living during a pandemic your paranoia goes through the roof. Remember what paranoia is?
LEELA: Being really, really worried. About every, little thing. More than normal worry. Super worry. That was me!
MAMA: In normal times, you get a fever, you take some medicine, drink lots of water, eat lots of vitamin C and sleep.
LEELA: But you got tested!
MAMA: Yeah, I had to make sure I didn’t pass it on to anyone, right? That’s the only way to stop a virus. Or slow it down.
LEELA: You had long tips shoved way up your nose!
MAMA: Ewww, don’t remind me. But the test came back negative. Phew!
MAMA: Many people aren’t so lucky. Speaking of slowing down the virus let’s talk about that really cool story we did, early on in the lockdown, about scientists analyzing our, umm, sewage to try and contain the spread of the virus.
LEELA: The poo fighters!
MAMA: Yep, that’s the story! Well, there’s an update, a part two!
LEELA: A sequel, like the movies have.
MAMA: Exactly. But first, let’s have a listen to that original report.
EPISODE 2 – POO FIGHTERS REPORT
SOUND OF FLUSHING
MAMA: So, for a long, long time people who study diseases, have known that our poo, sorry… our excrement, or bowel movement, or our stools, our waste… boy there’s a lot of words for this… our poo, OK? contains all sorts of valuable information about what’s going on in our bodies. Like when we’re really sick, sometimes doctors not only want to get a sample of our blood, but a stool sample also, your poo, to see what’s bugging you. Literally, what bugs are inside you, that may be making you sick.
LEELA: I have bugs inside me?
MAMA: We all do. At least three types: parasites, bacteria and viruses. Most are harmless, some are even good for us. But the bad ones can be very bad and make us sick. Now, back to…
SOUND OF FLUSHING
LEELA: Mama! (laugh!)
MAMA: Well, it’s part of the story, I promise!
When we do our business and flush the toilet, where does the waste go?
LEELA: Down a pipe?
MAMA: That’s right. And all the pipes from all the houses collect together into bigger pipes that’s called a sewer. Well, if you take a sample of the sewage from a neighborhood, you can tell if some people there might have coronavirus.
Here’s the key… Most people don’t get tested until they have symptoms that can be two weeks after they get this pesky thing… But if someone’s sampling the poo, I mean, sewage from the neighborhood, they can know a lot sooner.
LEELA: OK… So….
MAMA: What good does that do? It means we can find out if the virus might be spreading in an area before lots of people start to get sick. And that means that… IF a good sewage testing system is in place… we might be able to relax some of these yucky rules we’ve been living with, like lockdowns or even social distancing, and masks, and no school, no play dates, no fun…
LEELA: What a relief that would be!
MAMA: That’s right. Scientists here and there have been doing this for a while. But now, in the United Kingdom, they’ve created a standardized test – that means a system everyone can use – which if used across the country they reckon can spot increases in cases 10 days earlier than what’s happening now!
So, think of it this way: poo is important and sewage samplers are the new soldiers in this fight against the virus!
LEELA: Poo fighters!
MAMA: Errr… Uhhhhh…. yeahhh???
SOUND OF FLUSHING
MAMA: And here’s an update on that story…….. Well, not only are there more cases of other countries using this technique, like the Netherlands and Italy, and a study in Canada too, but there’s a super example of this being successfully used in a very contained neighborhood… University of Arizona in the US was able to stop the spread of COVID-19 in its tracks during the first week of on-campus classes.
LEELA: It went down like this… On a Tuesday the poo fighters sampled some the sewage from several dorms those are the buildings where college students live The poo fighters ran scientific tests on the sewage and found… the presence of the nasty coronavirus at one location.
The next day the poo fighters ran more tests to confirm the results. Hours later medical staff arrived at the dorm, dressed in protective gear, and tested all the students. Indeed, two tested positive.
They had no idea they had the virus, because they had no symptoms. They were immediately quarantined. And so far, the virus has not spread, thanks to the University of Arizona’s Poo Fighters!
MAMA: Go, Poo Fighters!!! Right… let’s get out of the sewer and into the stadiums!
SPORTS STING: “It’s time to play ball… Score… Sports
MAMA: So, as we’ve covered on Newsy Pooloozi, many professional sporting leagues around the world have restarted even though they’re playing to empty stadiums
LEELA: Or to cardboard cut-outs of fans!
MAMA: Right. But Fans of cricket have had to wait.
MAMA: No… not, that kind of cricket! This kind…
SFX: CRICKET COMENTARY
MAMA: It’s the most popular sport in India and many other parts of the world. And for our American listeners who might not know:
LEELA: Cricket is that rather gentlemanly English game, a little like baseball, except it’s much… slower.
MAMA: A single match can go on for days!
LEELA: And days…
MAMA: Really. Between 3 and 5 days. But 12 years ago, India came up with a shortened version of the game… that’s just around three hours. It’s made up of star players from around the world, 8 teams, in a tournament that’s usually played around April.
LEELA: But not this year…
MAMA: Yep. But now they can. And all because of a bubble.
LEELA: A bubble? Soap bubbles or bubble-gum bubbles??
MAMA: Well, a bio-bubble, apparently, that’s according to our cricket correspondents
LEELA: Oh, the twins! Nirbhay and Adhyant.
MAMA: They’re the ones.
LEELA: Over to them then!
Adhyant: That’s right, Indian Premier League is about to begin!
Nirbhay: But… It’s not going to be played here in India.
Adhyant: Nope. It will be held in the United Arab Emirates.
Nirbhay: That’s a country in the Middle East.
Adhyant: And all because of a bubble!
Nirbhay: A bio-bubble to be exact.
Adhyant: Do you even know what that is?
Nirbhay: Of course. A bio bubble is when an area is sealed off from the outside world.
Adhyant: That means no one else is allowed in.
Nirbhay: No one but the players and their crew.
Adhyant: And some cooks.
Nirbhay: Yes, They’re super important too.
Adhyant: This bio-bubble is the hotel, along with the cricket practice pitch and match venue.
Nirbhay: The idea is to minimize the player’s interaction with the outside world, reducing their risk of contracting Covid-19.
Adhyant: Of course, everyone in the bio-bubble had to undergo Covid tests before entering.
Nirbhay: Then they couldn’t meet anyone else outside of it.
Adhyant: But are these bio bubbles fool-proof or perfect?
Nirbhay: I don’t think so. Last week 2 players of the Chennai Super Kings, and 11 of their staff, tested positive for Covid-19!
Adhyant: Despite the bio-bubble safety measures!
Nirbhay: There’s also been a case in the Delhi team’s support staff.
Adhyant: Let’s hope there are no more cases, so the games can begin.
Nirbhay: Of course, there won’t be crowds in the stadiums. But the matches will be aired on TV.
Adhyant: I bet a lot of people will watch.
Nirbhay: Last year the IPL had over 450 million viewers!
Adhyant: Woah! That’s way more than I can count.
Nirbhay: Me too!
Adhyant: From Bangalore, that’s all from me, Adhyant…
Nirbhay: and from me, Nirbhay
Both: Reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!!
LEELA: Thanks for that report, guys!
Let’s have some more “uplifting” news. It’s time for…
STING: For the world of wow, wow, wow… in other words Science!
LEELA: Wait… Or is it tech news?
MAMA: Or the odd ball?
LEELA: It’s all of those!
MAMA: Best of all… we literally get to use the word literally correctly!
LEELA: Yep, we have not one… not two
MAMA: Not even just three stories…
LEELA: But four! Four stories about science and technology, literally taking humanity “higher”!
MAMA: And they go from the plausible, like you can easily imagine it, to the ridiculous! Where should we start?
LEELA: Hmmmm… Let’s save the most ridiculous for last.
MAMA: OK… So, we’ll start with Japan a country known for its sharp technology and some of the fastest, smartest trains on earth. So, it’s no wonder they want to go faster and…
MAMA: That’s right. So, what have they done?
LEELA: Recently at a top-secret testing location, a pilot took off in a flying car!
MAMA: Yep, it’s actually about the size of two cars, but powered by 8 electric motors, with 4 little propellers – two in the front and two in the back. And more like helicopter than a plane, it takes off vertically. Do know what I mean by that?
LEELA: Up and down?
MAMA: Yep. So, it doesn’t need a runway. They reckon they’ll launch these flying cars in just two years!
LEELA: But mama, what’s the difference between a flying car and a really small plane?
MAMA: Hmmmm, good question! It’s all in the name, really. And technically speaking our next story is about a teeny tiny airplane, called a drone…
LEELA: But we could call it a……. tiny self-driving car!
MAMA: Exactly! The lines of the categories are getting blurred… So, we all know the online shopping and delivery service, Amazon, well in America they’ve just received approval to use drones electric hexagonal, or six sided drones, to be precise to deliver packages to your doorstep from the sky! Plop!
LEELA: I could get my new roller-skates dropping down!
MAMA: Well, maybe. It’s for items that aren’t so heavy just five pounds or less. Their main aim is speed 30 minutes or less from when you ordered it.
LEELA: Ah… So, when I finish my latest Babysitters Club book, I won’t have to wait for the next?!
MAMA: If you have money in your piggy bank – that could work. But, while the American Aviation Administration gave the certificate approving the first fleet of these Prime Air drones, that’s just the first step. They want more safety guarantees from Amazon before deliveries actually begin. But it’s a matter of when not if…
LEELA: So, in a few years… the skies could be scattered with these drones flying around. Wow…
MAMA: I know, right… Flying cars, delivery drones
LEELA: And that’s not all!
MAMA: I know, we’re only halfway through the list! Look… Is it a bird?…… Is it a plane???
LEELA: Is it a flying car? Is it a drone?
MAMA: It’s none of those things!
LEELA: It’s a human! Flying in a jetpack!
MAMA: At least that’s what some American Airlines pilots flying near Los Angeles, California said last week…
SFX – PILOTS
LEELA: That’s crazy!
MAMA: I know! So just to be clear, they think they saw a human in a jetpack, which is a device worn over the shoulders like a backpack using jet propulsion that means spitting out special gas or liquid, at such a high speed, it propels or thrusts the person wearing it into the air.
And, I mean, this is where we need some regulations. Know what I mean?
It’s just another word for rules. Just like we need some traffic rules and regulations, so it’s not crazy and chaotic on the roads –
LEELA: And dangerous!
MAMA: Right. We’ll need the same for the skies!
LEELA: Traffic lights in the skies.
MAMA: Sounds like the name of a song… Should I sing?
LEELA: No, thank you………
MAMA: As if that’s not all odd enough…………
LEELA: We’ve saved the wackiest for last!
STING: Step right up, Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? And odd ball, no doubt!
MAMA: It’s every child’s fantasy…
LEELA: Or fear. I used to be afraid a balloon might take me away.
MAMA: Exactly, we’re not talking a big fancy hot air balloon! But smaller balloons filled with helium, like the ones at birthday parties that float up.
LEELA: But a bunch, a whole bunch! Imagine holding a bunch of balloons and they take you up… up… Up, you go…. Mama!
MAMA: But that’s just a silly fantasy
LEELA: or fear!
MAMA: From the movies… not real life………
LEELA: Oh, yes it was!
MAMA: Totally right. A man called David Blaine floated over the Arizona desert in the United States, holding onto about 50 rather large helium balloons.
MAMA: Of course, he is what’s known as an illusionist, which is a fancy word for magician. So, who knows…?
LEELA: But it’s been filmed.
MAMA: Yes, but just because you see a video of something doesn’t mean it’s real. Remember that. Still. It seems from all reports that he really did pull this off, hanging on with just one arm nearly 25,000 feet in the air, almost as high as that plane in Los Angeles we heard about, for about half an hour, before he released the balloons and started falling and falling until he opened a good, old fashioned parachute to come gently back down to earth.
LEELA: Ah, earth. Solid ground. I like it here!
MAMA: Come on… Wouldn’t you like to fly?
LEELA: Actually, I would loooove to fly.
MAMA: Ok so, if you could use just one of those contraptions, which one would it be? The flying car, the jet pack, or the balloons?
LEELA: Jet pack, for sure. Because then you’d really feel like you were flying.
MAMA: Yeah! Me too. What about y’all listening? Whatacha reckon? Which of these would you like to do the most
LEELA: Yeah, drop us a line and let us know!
MAMA: You can email at firstname.lastname@example.org or, of course…
LEELA: Go to our snazzy new website!!!
STING: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top… five fab facts heard today. Here goes”
Fab Fact Number 1
LEELA: Human excrement, otherwise known as poo, can be analyzed or studied to check for signs of parasites, bacteria and viruses.
Fab Fact Number 2
MAMA: Scientists can analyze the waste water or sewage from a community to track diseases, like the coronavirus.
Fab Fact Number 3
LEELA: A sewer is the underground collection of pipes from houses and drains in a neighborhood.
Fab Fact Number 4
MAMA: Cricket is an English bat-and-ball sport that can last for 3-5 days per game, while the Indian Premier League is an annual tournament between 8 teams that plays a shorter 3-hour version of the game.
Fab Fact Number 5
LEELA: A jetpack is a device worn over the shoulders, like a backpack, using jet pro-pul-sion – that means spitting out special gas or liquid, at such a high speed, it propels or thrusts the person wearing it into the air.
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this high-flying episode of Newsy Pooloozi!!!!!
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