Hyperloop swooshes, broom goes “vroom,” robot monster wolf, leopard pest, baseball’s first female GM

Nov 18, 2020 Episode 21

Buckle up and hear how future travel will swoosh thanks to Virgin’s Hyperloop, how brooms go “vroom” in Brazil, Japan’s monster wolf robot, India’s leopards and baseball’s first female general manager.

Episode Transcript

OPENING STING – LEELA: “New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”




LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – a whirlpool of news and information! I’m your host, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt.


MAMA: And I’m Lyndee Prickitt.


LEELA: This is a world news podcast for curious kids…


MAMA: And we know a few adults like it too.


LEELA: For this episode you’re gonna have to buckle up, because it’s a fast and wacky, science and techy episode of Newsy Pooloozi this week…


First up, is the hyper loop that’s the high-speed transport pod that could revaloosheniz travel.


Also, Japan’s “monster wolf” (howls) the robot built to scare away bears…


The Indian leopards who don’t stay put, making it hard for conservationist to save them…


In sports a woman makes major history in baseball’s major league


And the two oddball stories from Brazil – that seem to have come straight out of Hogwarts…


But first up, get ready to woooohysh………


STING: It’s time to tackle… the Big News Story of the Week.


MAMA:  And when Leela says, “Whoosh” –


LEELA: Whoosh!


MAMA: She means…












MAMA: (Laughs) We have a wide variety of whooshes! And none of them are quite right… Let’s say this sound-effect is more the sentiment of our big story than the exact sound.


LEELA: Whoosh!


MAMA: By now you might know we’re talking about the Hyperloop.


LEELA: I think they should have called it the hyper-whoosh.


MAMA: OK, ok… And in case you were caught up in the US election or Diwali festivities or, you know, life and didn’t hear about the biggest advance in the transportation industry, well, we’re here to tell you all: folks, the future is upon us…  After years of development and months of test-runs


LEELA: Two people have become the world’s first passengers to ride the high-speed transport system known as the Hyperloop.


MAMA: Have a listen…




MAMA: It’s been developed by the transportation and music company, Virgin, and it looks a bit like super-sleek train carriages in a tunnel, but they aren’t on tracks.They’re levitating.


LEELA: Leva-what?


MAMA: Levitating that means hovering off the ground.


LEELA: What?! The pod is floating above the ground?


MAMA: Levitating, yes. So high-powered electromagnets push these levitating pods through a tube. At crazy fast speeds. Like 670 mph or 1000kmph!


LEELA: How fast do we go in cars?


MAMA: On highways we might get to 80 or 90 mph. Of course, race cars go faster…


LEELA: And by train?


MAMA: The fastest trains go 160 mph.


LEELA: And planes???


MAMA: Even transportation planes only go around 570mph.


LEELA: So, the Hyperloop is even faster than planes?! Whooooaaa… I mean, whoosh!


MAMA: Indeed. Now the groundbreaking test-run that we just heard, which took place in the US state of Nevada, was only on a short 500-meter track.


LEELA: What? That’s tiny! I can run a 100-meter race in less than a minute.


MAMA: Easily. Yep, it’s just third of a mile long… So, they only managed to get up to speeds of 100mph. But it’s a start. And next will be a six-mile-long tube, or should I say test-tube. And the company thinks it will get a certificate saying this is a safe form of travel in the next five years.


LEELA: So, we could be travelling across the world in these by the time I’m in high school.


MAMA: Not quite. It’ll probably be ten years before that happens. And then it’s most likely to be short jumps like there are already proposals for a Mumbai to Pune hyperloop or Bangalore Airport to the city center. Or DC to New York city. London to Manchester.


LEELA: Trips that used to take 2 to three hours, will only take half an hour!


MAMA: That’s the idea. Though some scientists think the human body can’t really handle such speeds


LEELA: Ahh… g-forces…


MAMA: Hmmmm… without a lot of training, anyway. And the average person might get a little…


SFX – queasy noises


LEELA: Get a little queasy… seasick… or loop-poop?! Get it???


MAMA: Alright, alright! I don’t know about that. Let’s hope they figure that out, because saving time isn’t the only cool thing about the Hyperloop it’s also environmentally friendly as it produces less greenhouse gas compared to cars and planes. So, at the very least, it could totally improve the way we move cargo or products like food and clothes and cars all across the world.


LEELA: I can’t wait to go whoosh! Still think they should call it the hyper whoosh though!


MAMA: I’ve given someone important a call, shall I? I’m sure someone will consider it… There are several companies one in Canada another in Spain testing this technology out…




LEELA: As if that wasn’t enough science for you, we have more from… the world of wow, wow, wow!


STING: For the world of wow, wow, wow… In other words, Science!!!!


MAMA: Once upon a time India was famous for its tigers.


LEELA: Especially the majestic Bengal tiger one of the biggest and most beautiful tigers on earth.


MAMA: So, not surprisingly, it was a favorite animal for hunters in the 19th century. Between being hunted down


LEELA: And humans moving into their habitats…


MAMA: Conservationists have been working super-hard to try and protect this big cat from becoming extinct, or gone from the face of the earth.


LEELA: But India’s less well-known cat… the leopard… needs to be protection too. As our correspondent, Aarav Skills explains.


AARAV: That’s right Leela. Bengal tigers get a lot of attention and protection in India. A lot of land is turned into reserves, with keepers regularly checking on the tigers. Leopards, on the other hand, also be protected animals. But to many people, they’re considered pests.


Why? Because unlike the Bengal tiger, leopards don’t stay in the protected forests! They venture out.

Where? Close to farms and villages. Because they prey on domestic animals, like dogs, goats and even cattle. And so, the farmers hunt them down even though they’re on India’s list of critically endangered animals!

Conservationists say because leopards don’t stay in the forest, they’re harder to track.

Not by humans but by the cameras and software used to track them. This is the problem.


If the leopards can’t be followed and counted, then it’s harder to know where they are and how to protect them. Experts think 364 leopards have died this year alone.This is Aarav skills reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.


LEELA: Now it’s time for….


Sports STING: It’s time to play ball… Score…  Sports news!


LEELA: Records are being broken and ceilings shattered in the sporting world.


MAMA: Yes, already this year we had the first woman who went on field as a baseball coach for a game.


LEELA: But this news is epic. to tell us more about this major league major score is Porter Robbins, our sports correspondent in Los Angeles.


PORTER: You said it, Leela. Kim Ng is making history. She’s the first female general manager in Major League Baseball, after being hired by the Miami Marlins. That’s not all.


She’s also the first Asian-American general manager in the major leagues. Of course, it’s a no brainer, really. Ng has 30 years of experience. She’s worked for the Chicago White Sox, the New York Yankees and the LA Dodgers. The Yankees won THREE World Series titles during her four years as assistant general manager there!


The appointment of a woman with three decades of experience to a general manager post is being hailed as a groundbreaking moment.


But let’s hope in the future, an appointment like this will be business as usual.

In Los Angeles, this is Porter Robbins for Newsy Pooloozi.


LEELA: It’s time to check in with the other big news stories happening all over the world…


STING: “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: Another vaccine is showing 95% protection against COVID-19 in clinical trials. The news of the Modern vaccine comes after similar results last week from Pfizer and Biotech. And is good news as countries struggle to cope with a surge in the coronavirus.


SpaceX’s Dragon capsule arrives at the International Space Station with four astronauts, including Victor Glover, the first Black astronaut to move in for a long stay. While this is SpaceX’s second chauffeur service, it’s the first time the company delivers a crew for a six-month stay.


A two-million-year-old skull is found in South Africa. Researchers say the remains come from the Paranthropus robustus, which is believed to be a ‘cousin species of our direct ancestor, Homo erectus.


Staying in Africa, the only known white giraffe in the world is fitted with a GPS tracking device secured to one of its horns in hopes of protecting it from hunters. Rangers will constantly monitor the giraffe’s movements in a Kenyan conservation park.


And finally, three suspects are arrested in connection with a brazen robbery of a German castle last year that stunned the art world as around a hundred of Europe’s most priceless treasures were stolen. Police are still looking for two more suspected thieves… as well as the treasure.


LEELA: Many thanks for that fast and….  whoooshy….  wrap of big news stories happening around the world.


STING: “It’s time for… Technology News, technology news, tech news!”


LEELA: Well, you’ve heard about scare crows, right?


MAMA: And everyone’s probably also heard about Japan and their love of robots?


LEELA: Well, this is not a story about robotic scare crows. Not quite, anyway.


MAMA: Right, because farmers in this area of Japan don’t have a problem with crows so much as….


LEELA: (Growl like a bear!) Bears!


MAMA: Yes, earlier we heard of Indian farmers finding hungry leopards a pest, well in the rural areas of western and northern Japan bear sightings are at a five-year high. There’ve been dozens of attacks this year, two of them fatal meaning two people have died after being attacked by bears.


LEELA: And don’t they become more dangerous now, Mama, as they search for food before going into hibernation?


MAMA: Yes! Also, authorities reckon there haven’t been as many acorns and nuts in the wild this year, and that might have driven the animals to venture closer to towns in search of food.


LEELA: Enter: The Monster Wolf!




MAMA: Okay, this is no ordinary scare-crow, I mean, scare-bear… It’s a high-tech robot covered in a shaggy robe and a face that looks a bit like a Halloween costume complete with glowing-red eyes but when its motion detectors are activated, it moves its head, flashes lights and makes sixty different sounds, ranging from wolfish howling to, errr, machinery noises, go figure.


LEELA: But it’s working…


MAMA: About 70 of these Monster Wolf robots have been sold, including two to the town of Taki-kawa, purchased in September. City officials said there have been no bear encounters since.


LEELA: Go, scare-bears! I think we need some of these in India!


MAMA: Yeah, it’s a much more humane, kind, way to deal with dangerous, hungry animals.


LEELA: And if Monster Wolf scare-bears weren’t weird enough…


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: Brazil. A country in South America where art and innovation often come together. And sometimes the results are…


LEELA: Wacky… (Sing it!)


MAMA: Wonderfully wacky. And we have to examples of this. We couldn’t decide which story was the best, so we’re doing both.


LEELA: Mine is better than yours.


MAMA: Oh well, yours is good, but mine I mean, the one I’m going to present is more timely. Yours is like three weeks too late. It would have been perfect for Halloween.


LEELA: Don’t think of it as Halloween think of it as Hogwarts’s.


MAMA: Actually, they’re both pretty Harry Potter, come to think of it. OK who’s going first?


LEELA: You. (Sing: Best for last…!)


MAMA: Hmmm… OK. So, what does a talented artist, who used to earn a living helping create the magical world of Rio De Janiero’s famous carnival, do when a pandemic comes along? When there’s no carnival, hardly any tourists and so… NO more work…? Well, what’s the one area that’s booming? Protective gear. Why not get Jorge Roriz (hor-hay’ hor’eese) to paint your portrait or at least the bottom half of your face onto a mask. And never BE hidden because of your protection again.


LEELA: Duhh-du-du-duhh! Good one, mama. But I think our listeners will agree that my oddball story is even more wacky.


MAMA: Yeah, may be. Take it away, Leela.


LEELA: Well, that other Brazilian city, Sao Paulo, is famous, not for a carnival, but for bad traffic. And what do you do if you’re clever and in a hurry?


MAMA: And probably a Harry Potter fan. Or a witch.


LEELA: Mother. Well, you get yourself a broomstick, attach it to a wheel that has a motor. Presto. You’ve got a broom that goes “vroom-vroom.” Just like Harry Potter and the rest of the Hogwarts gang.


MAMA: Except you can’t fly.


LEELA: Yes, there’s that. But the two Brazilian buddies that created this contraption, say it takes a bit of balance. But eventually it can go up to 37 miles, or 60 kilometers, per hour!


That’s pretty good going for us Muggles – or non-magic people, as Harry Potter fans know.


MAMA: And when can we buy this Muggles Mobile?


LEELA: I prefer the name, Vroom Broom. Right now, there are only two. But the Brazilian boys have plans to make more and sell them for around $700 dollars.


MAMA: So basically, it’s an electric unicycle. But with a broom to help you balance and steer.


LEELA: And look really cool.


MAMA: You think?


LEELA: Oh yeah! And if you want to see it check out our website and we’ll post the pictures there, on our lucky dip page.


MAMA: That would be newsyjacuzzi.com


LEELA: While you’re there, drop us a line and tell us WHICH oddball story you think is the best. (Mine!) Pick me, pick me.


MAMA: It’s so mine.


LEELA: Mmmm-mmmm…


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



MAMA: Levitating means to rise or hover above the ground, like the new Hyperloop transportation pod.



LEELA: Virgin’s Hyperloop transportation pod uses high-powered electro-magnets to push the levitating pods through a sealed tube at super-fast speeds, while producing much less greenhouse gas than airplanes.



MAMA: The Bengal tiger, which is native to the Indian subcontinent, is one of the biggest and most beautiful tigers on earth. But after centuries of being hunted, and losing much of its natural habitat to humans, it is an endangered animal.



LEELA: India’s leopards are also a protected animal. But many farmers find leopards a pest… as they venture close to villages and prey on domestic animals.



MAMA: Bears become more active and more dangerous in late November as they search for food before going into hibernation. When they can’t find that food, they venture out of the forest and closer to human settlements.


LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi!!!!! But before we go…


MAMA: Big, big thanks and hugs to our listeners who’ve taken the time out to rate and review us!!


LEELA:  Because we’re a world news podcast, we have listeners all over… And, well, iTunes…


MAMA: … iTunes keeps each country separate, so you don’t get a global picture. Anyway today let’s see the latest from the USA…


LEELA: Avani Marie writes: “What a team you both make! Can’t wait to hear more episodes!”


MAMA: Meric, Avani Marie! And Marie 7874… this was posted a while ago, but we haven’t read it out


LEELA: Sorry Marie!


MAMA: She writes… “Finally, some news my children can listen to without freaking out. They love this news show and look forward to it every week. We love the round the world news snippets and fun little tidbits in each episode. Highly recommend this for any families with children.” Thank you, Marie. (singing!)


LEELA: We don’t just love to read these, but these reviews really help other people find us too.


MAMA: So, you’re doing a double kindness.


LEELA: That’s a double dose of karma! So, keep ‘em coming, please, oh, pretty please.

And don’t forget to let us know which oddball you liked the most the merry masks or vroom broom. Leave us a note on our website: newsyjacuzzi.com


See you next week in the Newsy Pooloozi!