French bed bugs, Oz “Voice” vote, mixed-up world cup, camouflage frog

Oct 18, 2023 Episode 162

France’s bed bug infestation, Australia’s Aboriginal “Voice” vote, a mixed-up world cup and the curious camouflaging of a flying frog

Episode Transcript


LEELA: This week… Bed bugs in France, Australia’s “Voice” vote, a mixed-up world cup and the curious frog camouflage

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 Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and this is my sidekick, Lyndee Prickitt.

MAMA: (coughs) That would be Mom to you, dear.

LEELA: Oh, yes, I guess that’s true too.

So, this week…

Bloodsuckers are taking over in France – no, not vampires. But bedbugs, which is worse, because they’re real! And the infestation is causing national panic.

Down under, Australians reject a plan to give a greater voice, and political rights, to the Indigenous people there. We have a special report from Australia.

In sports news, FIFA announce a crazy world cup is being planned for 2030. Bet you won’t guess just where it’s gonna be hosted.

And, finally, hear about the curious case of the flying baby frog that camouflages itself as… something rather gross to avoid getting gobbled up. What? Well, you gotta listen to the end to find out!

OK – let’s dive on into the coolest news pool around. First up, it’s …

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

MAMA: Remember when you were little, when I was tucking you in at bedtime, I used to tell you “Sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bug’s bite!”

LEELA: Yes, of course! But actually, I was never really sure where that came from.

MAMA: Well, a long time ago, people used to sleep on mattresses stuffed with corn husks, or hay, or feathers or other soft things that might come with bugs attached.

LEELA: Ah ha! But now we sleep on spring mattresses, so no more bed bugs, right? (coughs)

MAMA: Wrong. They exist alright. They’re tiny, flat, wingless creatures that like to suck your blooooood… muah aha hahaha.

LEELA: Ugh! Mama! That’s gross!

MAMA: Yep, but sadly, true. And even sadder – you can find them just about anywhere. They like to hide in between the creases of a mattress or deep in the seams of a suitcase – which means they hitch a ride and can travel from a hotel room to a home rather easily. Want to mention a few you know trauns and airplanes seats most big cities all over the world deal with keeping them under control, along with other pests, like rats and cockroaches!

LEELA:  Yuck!

MAMA: And getting rid of these pests isn’t easy and often needs the help of exterminator.

LEELA: Extermi-what?

MAMA: Someone who helps you remove pests, like bugs. They usually spray a strong chemical on the affected areas, and after a little while –

LEELA: No more bugs!

MAMA: That’s the idea. And it’s what they’re doing in Paris right now, along with other cities in France. Because… There´s a bit of a problem with bed bugs there right now.

LEELA: And when you say “bit of a problem” you mean…?

MAMA: Well, People started realizing it during Paris’ super chic Fashion Week, can you believe? Along with pictures of the latest dresses and suits, people started posting videos of bed bugs found in their hotel rooms. And in movie theatres, and on buses and trains too. And even in schools.

LEELA: Yick!

MAMA: Let’s bring in our new Paris correspondent, Maya Nickleman to explain what’s really going on.

LEELA: Well, welcome on board, Maya. Take it away.

MAYA: Thanks, Leela.

Yes, France is battling a wave of bed bugs.

Some schools shut down, while they called in the exterminators to get rid of the creepy crawlies.

Luckily, they don’t spread disease.

Technically bed bugs are not dangerous, but their bites do itch and sometimes cause a rash.

But all the coverage about the infestation certainly has people squirming with anxiety!

People are even wondering if this will still be a problem at the summer Olympics… IN EIGHT MONTH’S TIME!

My prediction?

Of course not!

Please don’t forget, it was the French who gave the world great scientific minds.

We French know a thing or two about science.

So, I’m sure we can get rid of a few bed bugs.

The government is taking steps to make sure the problem is squashed out sooner than later.

Recently, the Transport Ministry said there were no bugs on trains and buses anymore – they even brought in sniffer dogs to make sure.

So please, rest assured, the next time you’re in Paris, the bed bugs WON’T bite!

In Paris, France I’m Maya Nickleman, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Hey, thanks a lot, Maya. I’ll be thinking of you as I drift off to sleep and wonder what’s crawling around my bed tonight…

MAMA: Hopefully nothing. You never know.

LEELA: You do.

[SOURCE: https://blogs.libraries.indiana.edu/wyliehouse/2018/01/18/sleep-tight-dont-let-the-bed-bugs-bite-a-myth-debunked/



MAMA: Yes, I’ve been bit by the odd bed bug before and it’s itchy and creepy, I agree. Now to some more serious news down under where Australians have gone to the voting booths to decide if its indigenous people should have more of a say, or a voice, in politics.

LEELA: And in case you didn’t know, indigenous, means originating or occurring naturally in a particular place. Basically, they’re the original inhabitants – aka, the native people.

MAMA: And in Australia they’re also called the Aboriginals or First Nation people. And they believe they need a greater voice in the decision-making of their country.

LEELA: And that’s why there was a referendum called “The Voice.” But hang on, what’s a referendum?

MAMA: Ah, you know most people go to the voting booths to elect a leader, right?

LEELA: Yep. Those are elections.

MAMA: But sometimes they go just to decide on one specific issue – a single political question – that the government wants to put directly to the people.

LEELA: Got it.

MAMA: So, for more on this story, let’s go to Australia for a special report from our correspondent, Saffron Barns.

LEELA: Well, over to you, Saffron.

SAFFRON: Thanks, Leela.

This weekend, the people of Australia were asked to vote in a referendum.

The question being asked was: “A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognize the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

The answer was a big no.

The results of the referendum were not really a surprise, because polls the week before was showing that the no vote was in the lead.

Many people are saying what these results really show is that the No Campaign had a better marketing strategy-like “if you don’t know vote no.”

Well, I think it really shows that people don’t like change.

It’s actually really hard to for a yes vote to win in a referendum.

Australia has had 44 referendums in the past and only 8 have been passed.

From central coast Australia, this is Saffron Barns reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.

LEELA: Thank you so much for that report, Saffron.

MAMA: Thanks Saffron.

[SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/voice-to-parliament-referendum


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: Israel is blocking essential supplies to Palestinians living on the Gaza in retaliation for a Hamas attack over a week ago that left 1,300 Israelis dead. Hamas is firing missiles into Israel. At least 600,000 Palestinians have fled the northern Gaza Strip since Israel sent warnings about a massive retaliation. A Retaliation is a counterattack against someone who has harmed you.

In the US Republican senator lost a vote in his bid to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives after opposition from members of his own party. The House has had no Speaker since Kevin McCarthy was ousted two weeks ago in a right-wing revolt. And, yes, without a leader the House is unable to get any work done, like passing bills or approving requests for emergency aid.

And Nasa launches a treasure hunt mission to the asteroid, Psyche. The unmanned spacecraft lifted off from Florida and – if all goes as planned – will arrive at the asteroid in 2029. The space rock has been nicknamed the ‘golden asteroid’ because it’s thought to contain massive amounts of iron, nickel and gold!

LEELA: As ever… thank you very much for that – what style should I do this in today…?

MAMA: How about that whippity-whappity

LEELA: Stop please stop mama.

MAMA: Alright do in your way

LEELA: whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap of what’s making headlines elsewhere in the world, Mama.

MAMA: So fast well anytime, Leela. And now…

SPORTS STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “It’s time to play ball… Score… Sports News!”

MAMA: So, even though it’s seven years away, people are already talking about the 2030 soccer championships otherwise known as the football World Cup.

LEELA: Oh! Why?

MAMA: Because it’s gonna be a wacky world cup. As if Qatar hosting the last one in the middle of the desert – for which they had to move the schedule to ensure it was played when it wasn’t ridiculously hot wasn’t wild enough last year in 2022. Well, for the first time in history, the Football World Cup is going to be held on three different continents!

LEELA: Wow! I know the very next men’s World Cup in 2026 will be held in three different countries – Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. That’s still just one continent!

MAMA: I know, right? Well, let’s get more on the story from Nina and Marcky Granena, from Spain, Because that’s one of the six countries that will host the 2030 games.

LEELA: Take it away guys!

NINA: Thanks, Leela. There’s a lot of planning going into the 2030 World Cup. You have 48 teams playing in six different countries on three different continents. What could possibly go wrong?

MARCKY: I think it’s exciting! They’re trying something never done in the history of the World Cup! And it’s not just different countries, and continents, but it’s also hemispheres!

NINA: How is this thing going to work, anyway?

MARCKY: So, the first three games will be played in South America in the countries of Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina. Uruguay will host the opening game, in fact.

NINA: Is that because Uruguay won the very first World Cup in the year 1930?

MARCKY: Yes! Exactly. And in 2030, seven years from now, the World Cup will turn 100 years old!

NINA: What a great birthday celebration that’ll be!

MARCKY: Then, after three games in South America, the fun moves to Europe and North Africa.

NINA: Ah ha! That’s where we come in! Spain, Portugal, and Morocco will host the rest of the games. But can you imagine trying to pack for that trip?

MARCKY: It will be challenging, that’s for sure!

During the months of July, when the Cup is typically held, its winter in South America.

It’s cold in July in Uruguay!

NINA: But July in Spain, Portugal and Morocco is boiling hot! I mean, talk about extremes!

MARCKY: Personally, I plan to attend the games. I’ll be 16 by then!

NINA: Well, you better get a job now and start saving for all those flights!

From Barcelona this is Nina Granena and Marky Granena for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Thanks for that report, you guys. I’m sure you can at least make the Spain match if you start working now, Marky.

MAMA: And finally, let’s see what the lucky dip machine has for us 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: So, Mama.

MAMA: So, Leela.

LEELA: Brace yourself, we’re talking about reptiles. Frogs to be precise.

MAMA: Not my favorite animal out there, but they do eat mosquitoes, so they are welcome in my yard anytime.

LEELA: Well, have you ever heard of the “Wallace’s flying frog?”

MAMA: Oh! A flying frog? Now I might draw the line at that actually!

LEELA: Yes, these creepy creatures usually reside in the tropical jungles of Malaysia and Indonesia – not far from us here in India.

MAMA: Well, far enough, though. Thank goodness. I don’t fancy encountering a flying frog. But do they, I mean, really fly?

LEELA: Well, they really leap and then gliiiiiiide. That’s why they’re also called gliding frogs. And some can travel up to 52 feet or 16 meters from tree to tree!

MAMA: Wowzers!

LEELA: That’s thanks to the webbing in between their toes. But it turns out that’s not their only impressive… or should I say curious… quality.


LEELA: So, they can also camouflage themselves.

MAMA: OK, but that’s not really so impressive, is it? I mean animals disguise their appearances to blend in with their surroundings all the time in the animal kingdom, don’t they?

LEELA: Exactly. Lots of animals do this…different kinds of lizards.

MAMA: Like chameleons!

LEELA: Right. And birds.

MAMA:  Like owls.

LEELA: Very good. And frogs.

MAMA: Okay, All to stop getting eaten. Marvelous.

LEELA: Oh, it gets better. You’ll never guess what the baby Wallace’s flying frogs try to look like.

MAMA: Uh, go on…

LEELA:  Well, when they’re babies, they’re brown blobs… with white spots. Which looks a lot like, well, any guesses?

MAMA: Ummmm…

LEELA: Well, these researchers reckon they’re trying to disguise themselves as… animal droppings.

MAMA: Ooooh! You mean like… Poo or poop.

LEELA: Whichever you prefer. But yes!

MAMA: O my goodness ok well gross but clever, I mean, let’s face it, that’s definitely something any creature tries to avoid even hungry ones.

LEELA: Uh huh. Of course, when they grow older, they change colors and become bright green, with webbed yellow feet.

MAMA: Ahhh, those built-in parachutes you are talking about on their feet. Fascinating frogs.

LEELA: Yes, from poop to parachutes. What incredible, creepy little creatures!

[SOURCE: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/there-is-so-much-more-to-flying-frogs-than-flying/




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 – Bedbugs are out of control in France. They aren’t dangerous, but there is national anxiety growing over them as they are creepy but why?

Because they suck human blood when they bite and then your skin is itchy.

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – It’s so bad some schools have shut down due to a massive infestation, meaning teams of exterminators are being called in. What is exterminator?

Someone who helps you remove pests, like bugs, usually by spraying a strong chemical on the affected areas.

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – Australia rejects a plan to give greater political rights to the native people who originated there first. What are those people called?

Indigenous people, Aboriginals and a First Nations people

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – The 2030 World Cup will be played on not one, but three different continents. When and where was the last FIFA world cup?

In 2022 in Qatar

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – According to a study from Austria, Wallace’s flying frogs camouflage themselves as poo, when their babies in order to protect themselves. What is the other name for this extraordinary frog?

Gliding frogs

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 almost brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! But we have an announcement to make – next week is the Indian of Dussehra, which happens exactly 20 days before the even bigger festival of Diwali – and both weeks we’ll be taking a break from the news.

MAMA: Yes, so we’ll see you the week after next. And by the way, if you want to know more about Dussehra, then do check out our Episode 118 for the low-down on this Hindu festival.

LEELA: OK, then, we’ll see you the WEEK AFTER NEXT in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi! Stay curious until then!