Korean Thanksgiving, asteroid rocks, Taylor “Swiftposium,” Oz surfing snake

Sep 27, 2023 Episode 159

Korean’s say Happy Chuseok, NASA brings asteroid rocks to Earth, Australia to host Taylor “Swiftposium,” Oz bans surfing snake

Episode Transcript


LEELA: This week… Koreans say “Chuseok jal bonaeseyo!,” NASA says hello asteroid rocks, Australia says Taylor will teach you and… snakes are not allowed to surf!

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


LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – the coolest pool of news and information in your feed every week! I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt.

MAMA: And I’m Lyndee Prickitt.


LEELA: And happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Or, I mean, “chuseok jal bonaeseyo,” which is Korean for have a good Chuseok! No idea what that means? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you all about this Korean harvest holiday.

Big space news this week too – a seven-year old mission is complete and asteroid samples have landed on Earth.

Australia takes inspiration from Taylor and get ready to host a “Swiftposium” inspired by her music!

And finally, an Australian surfer is told his pet is not allowed to join him catching some waves. Sounds a bit strict. Well, you gotta listen to the end to find out why!

All right – let’s dive on into this episode of Newsy Pooloozi. First up is…

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

MAMA: So, most of us know the Thanksgiving festival in the US and that it’s America’s version of a harvest festival with turkey and cranberry sauce thrown into the mix, right?

LEELA: And pies. How can you forget the pies. Pumpkin, pecan, apple, sweet potato and marshmallow…

MAMA: Yes, food is a big part of the holiday. We’re not the only ones.

LEELA: “Chuseok jal boneseyo,” or should I say, have a good Chuseok!

MAMA: Yes! Chuseok – which literally translates as “autumn eve.”

LEELA: Oh, wow – like Christmas Eve. Autumn Eve – I like that.

MAMA: Yeah, so it’s basically the Korean Thanksgiving. As in their big, mid-autumn festival to give thanks to their ancestors for a plentiful harvest. Many people will travel to their hometown to pay respects to their ancestors. And of course now, it’s mostly now a time when friends and family gather to eat good food and hang out.

LEELA: And probably avoid talking politics, just like in America’s Thanksgiving…!

MAMA: Probably.

LEELA: More importantly – it’s also a day off school if you live in South Korea!

MAMA: Uh, okay right. But it’s also, a time to tap into tradition, like ganggangsullae.

LEELA: Gang-gung-whattalay?

MAMA: Ganggangsullae is a ceremonial dance performed by only women and girls under the full moon on the night of Chuseok. They wear traditional Korean dress called the hanbok, join hands in a big circle and sing special songs.

LEELA: Oh, sweet. And is it right that the reason they dance in a circle is because it’s representing the full moon?

MAMA: Ohh very good yes! So back in the day, the activity was meant to help produce a bountiful autumn harvest. And once it even helped put off invading Japanese troops in the 1500’s!

LEELA: Ummmm… did they not like the song or something?

MAMA: Uh, no. I mean, not entirely. You see the Korean Admiral asked the women to dress in military uniforms and do the dance on a hilltop, which meant the Japanese overestimated the strength of the Korean troops.

LEELA: Cool story. Women rock.

MAMA: Today, it’s even made the United Nations cultural heritage list.

LEELA: Eww la la!

MAMA: Another old-time activity usually carried out by Korean women, that is still practiced today, is making songpyeon.

LEELA: Oh, I know what those are – aren’t they the little half-moon shaped rice cakes?

MAMA: Yep, and how do you know?

LEELA: Korean classmates and friends, of course.

MAMA: Ohhh alright. And they’re usually stuffed with delicious, sweet fillings and roasted sesame seeds or chestnuts.

LEELA: Yumm!

MAMA: So, speaking of Korean friends, let’s cut across to our South Korean correspondent, Yeonwoo Doh, to tell us how she celebrates this holiday.

LEELA: Well, take it away, Yeonwoo!


LEELA: Awesome, Yeonwoo! Thanks so much for sharing more about this holiday with us. Though, you know, you’ve kinda made me hungry now…

MAMA: Yeah, thanks so much Yeonwoo! Now lets have some latest…












SPACE NEWS STING – MAMA/LEELA: “Now let’s have the latest… space news!”

MAMA: So, seven years ago, NASA sent a very fancy, special probe up into space – about 200 million miles away – to an asteroid called Bennu.

LEELA: And in case you don’t know, asteroids are basically small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun.

MAMA: That’s right. Well, 3 years ago, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft reached the asteroid and managed to collect 8 ounces of asteroid rocks. Then turn around and head back to Earth.

LEELA: And it’s just safely landed!

MAMA: Yes, on Monday the probe jettisoned the capsule. And in case you don’t know, jettison means to throw or drop something from an aircraft or ship.

LEELA: Thank you very much.

MAMA: Your welcome. Which it did over the US state of Utah where helicopters located it before it was carefully Flown to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where it was taken to a special safe lab designed to keep its extraterrestrial contents uncontaminated, or pristine, so it can be studied.

LEELA: Whow! I wonder if it will reveal any secrets about outer space.

MAMA: Neee-neeww-neee-neeew. OK. So, the samples are likely to give us new insights into the formation of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago.

LEELA: And so maybe even how life began…?

MAMA: Yes. You got it! Oh. And because there’s an outside chance of Bennu hitting our planet in the next 300 years. So, you know, knowledge is power.

LEELA: Ohhhhh…

[SOURCE: https://www.reuters.com/science/nasas-first-asteroid-sample-track-sunday-parachute-landing-utah-2023-09-23/


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: Thousands of ethnic Armenians are fleeing their homes in a disputed area in-between Azerbaijan and Armenia. This comes after Azerbaijan defeated the breakaway region’s fighters in a conflict dating back decades.

Russia is seeking to rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council which expelled it after it invaded Ukraine. The council will vote next month on letting Russia back in – in what’s seen as a test of its reputation in the world.

In the US screenwriters – who’ve been on strike for five months – might have reached a deal with studio bosses that could mean they’ll start writing TV shows and movies again. The writers are upset with their pay and the use of artificial intelligence in the industry.

And India’s space agency says chances of its moon lander waking up after a freezing cold lunar night which last around 14 Earth days are dimming. But they’re gonna keep trying to awake the rover, which had already traversed over 100 meters of unchartered territory.

[SOURCE: https://www.reuters.com/world/armenia-calls-un-mission-monitor-rights-nagorno-karabakh-2023-09-24/







ACE STING – LEELA/MAMA: “Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture and Entertainment. Darling.” 

MAMA: This one is over to you, Leela because it’s all about… well, you know who!

LEELA: Yes, as if we didn’t know Taylor Swift wasn’t huge already… Well, Australia is about to let the world know how much they love Taylor and just how huge she is.

MAMA: Ah, a big statue in Sydney Harbor?

LEELA: No, no. Don’t be silly. Something way more intellectual than that.

MAMA: Intellectual? That’s what I always think of when I think of Tay-tay.

LEELA: Hey – what are you saying?! Her lyrics are very deep and meaningful, just like she is. So, you know what the word symposium means, yeah?

MAMA: Yeah, it’s a conference. A meeting where experts have discussions about a particular subject.

LEELA: Correct. And so, a “Swiftposium” it is…

MAMA: Australia’s hosting a whole conference or symposium just about Taylor Swift.

LEELA: Do not surprise, she slings. The University of Melbourne, to be exact, though seven universities across both Australia and New Zealand are participating. And not just on Taylor Swift. But topics inspired by her many, many deep and varied songs.

MAMA: I see. Like?

LEELA: Well, the lyric, “When my depression works the graveyard shift,” from Anti-Hero, of course, will inspire people to read out research papers on mental health.

MAMA: Ok… That sounds worthy.

LEELA: And “If I was a man, then I’d be The Man,” from the song, The Man.

MAMA: Whodda guessed!

LEELA: That will be all about gender. And “This city screams your name,” from a song called Cornelia Street amazing, will open up discussions about the impacts of international touring and large events on urban landscapes and the cultural identity of cities.

MAMA: Ohh la la, that sounds very impressive. Like, perhaps, a certain American popstar called… Taylor Swift – who’ll be on tour in Australia early next year, right?

LEELA: Yep, in February. Right around the same time the Swiftposium will take place.

MAMA: Well, go figure.

LEELA: For the record there have been several university courses – from Texas to New York to Belgium – dissecting her music. And in November, Indiana University will host a two-day conference for “Swifties and Swifty-adjacent thinkers.” Mama we’ll going to Indiana this November. But this is the first time a conference about more than her music will be held.

[SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/sep/22/taylor-swift-swiftposium-academic-conference-australia-university-of-melbourne


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: You know guys surf, right?

MAMA: Sure do.

LEELA: And women and girls surf too.

MAMA: Like you!

LEELA: Exactly. And we’ve seen with our own eyes a dog on a board?

MAMA: Oh, that was so sweet. We saw that in Thailand.

LEELA: And on video – that cat.

MAMA: Oh my gosh, I remember that one. Crazy.

LEELA: So, you could say anything goes when you’re hanging 10 – as in hanging your ten toes off the side of a surfboard – out in the ocean, right?

MAMA: Yeah, I’d say so.

LEELA: Well, not in Australia!

MAMA: What?!

LEELA: Yup, not all pets are allowed. Especially not the ones that sound like this…


MAMA: Oh, man! Well, when you put it like that, yeah… I don’t want that on the water.

LEELA: For the story, let’s go to our Australia correspondent, Caitlyn Brooks, who has this week’s oddball. Take it away, Caitlyn!

CAITLYN: Thanks, Leela! That’s right.

Recently, on the gold coast in Queensland, a surfer has been “hanging 10” out on his board with something a little unusual joining him…


Yep – his pet snake!

And not just any little grass snake. Or even a water snake.

This is a python we’re talking about!

One of the largest snakes in the world.

To be fair, Higor Fiuza’s pet python, Shiva, is only about 4 to 5 feet long.

And used to be seen frequently, chilling out in the waves.

But because Fiuza liked to boast and post about his pet’s surfing – authorities got to know about it from social media and fined him $2,300 Australian dollars, that’s $1,500 US dollars.

You see, when you own an exotic pet, you must have a permit to keep it.

And Fiuza did have a permit to keep Shiva – at his house.

Not out in public!

Think the fine is a bit of an overreaction?

Well, think about it.

How would you feel if you saw a python slithering your way in the water?


But actually, this fine wasn’t done for the benefit of the swimmers – but the snake!

Yep, snakes are cold-blooded animals, so they would have found the Rainbow Bay water extremely cold.

Plus, authorities said, the only snakes that should be in the ocean are sea snakes.

Fiuza says his snake appeared to enjoy the water, because she didn’t hiss out on the waves, like she did other times she was annoyed.

Then again… maybe she was just too terrified being in a such a strange environment to open her mouth or hiss!

In Newcastle, Australia, this is Caitlin Brooks, reporting for Newsy Poolooziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

LEELA: Epic story, Caitlin! Thanks so much. But frankly, I don’t even like to even think about that fact there are snakes – even regular sea snakes – in the water to be honest…

[SOURCE: https://news.sky.com/story/australia-man-who-took-pet-snake-surfing-fined-12964218


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 – Koreans are getting ready to celebrate Chuseok – the Korean Thanksgiving, or autumn harvest festival. But what is the literal translation of the Chuseok?

Autumn Eve

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – During Chuseok Koreans often go to their hometowns to give thanks to their ancestors, eat special food and many women and girls will do the ceremonial Ganggangsullae, which is what?

A special dance performed by only women and girls in traditional dresses under the full moon on the night of Chuseok.

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – NASA confirms the safe return of samples from the asteroid Bennu, which were dropped off the probe on Monday. What’s the fancy word for when something is thrown or dropped off an aircraft or ship?


LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – In February the University of Melbourne will host the “Swiftposium”– an academic conference inspired by Taylor Swift, which takes its name from what word that means a gathering of experts to discuss a particular subject?


MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – Also in Australia, a man who took his pet snake surfing was fined for doing so. Luckily the snake was only a few feet long – though its breed is one of the largest in the world, which is?


And if you’re an educator and you want to test your kids’ listening skills… then have a look at our quiz online. Go to the Lucky Dip page of our website,  newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and let the kids take this quiz online or surprise them with an in-class pop quiz!

LEELA: But a fun one. And that almost brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! But – yes, oh, yes, we have another review to read out.

MAMA: Yep – this comes from “Prickitt fan” – who wrote: “Love today’s cat-centric episode and very excited to learn about the possibility of vaccines for cat allergies. Thanks!”

LEELA: Oh, yeah, so were we! That review is of course talking about Episode 155 – “Pets to the Rescue” – three weeks ago.

MAMA: Thanks so much for taking the time to review us, Prickitt Fan!

LEELA: Yep. You know how to make our day!

MAMA: Sure do.


LEELA: If you enjoyed this dip in the coolest pool of news and information then why not tell a friend about us? Think of the cool conversations you can have about surfing snakes!

MAMA: Or tell your teacher about Newsy Pooloozi – and how it’s a great place to enhance your worldliness, your vocabulary and listening skills.

LEELA: What? We do all that. Naaah… Well, I never…

MAMA: You know it’s true.

LEELA: We just have fun, that’s all!

MAMA: OK – that too.

LEELA: Alrighty then, see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!