Meta sued, “auto fashion,” 2400-year-old toilet, smelly art, snake cafe
Mar 29, 2023 Episode 144
Meta sued over social media addiction, “auto-fashion” revs up upcycling, China’s 2400-year-old toilet, “Pungent Paints” launched, Malaysia’s snake cafe
LEELA: This week – We have five wacky world news stories… four are real but one will fool you. Happy April Fools – will you spot the spoof?!
OPENING STING – LEELA: “Hey, hey, hey. Listen up. New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to our special April Fool’s episode. For three years in a row, we’ll be following our April Fool tradition of presenting you four real stories and one that will fool you.
MAMA: Thing is – real world news can be so wacky – will you be able to spot the difference???
LEELA: Will you be able to guess which one it is??? No pressure!
MAMA: Without consulting Google for help!
LEELA: Hands off your devices! Ears only. Still no pressure.
THEME MUSIC UP
LEELA: I’m Leela.
MAMA: And I’m Lyndee. And you’re listening to Newsy Pooloozi – the coolest pool of news and information.
LEELA: So, without further ado – Drum roll please here are our stories this week.
The owner of Facebook and Instagram is being sued and regulated over claims it’s addicting students to its social media platforms.
A top US designer hits the accelerator and upcycles car-parts, getting them revved up for the runway.
An ancient toilet is found in China, flushing out old notions of sanitation and civilization.
New state-of-the-art Pungent Paints give artists a smelly edge to their creations.
And move over cat cafés, you’ll never believe what one Malaysian pet owner is serving up.
LEELA: Alrighty then, let’s dive on in. First up, it’s the…
BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”
MAMA: Big news indeed in the media world and for many teenagers, too, who are addicted to social media!
LEELA: Ah, it’s not just teenagers who are addicted to social media, Mama.
MAMA: That is so true. It can happen to anyone – but younger minds might not have the skills or maturity to know how to break free from a bad habit.
LEELA: For the record – not all social media use is a bad habit.
MAMA: Ok, that is true but try telling that to law-makers in the US state of Utah where social media firms are now required to get parental consent for children to use their apps and verify users are at least 18 years old.
MAMA: Not just that, but in an effort to protect young people parents will get full access to their children’s online accounts. And kids will be prohibited – as in not allowed – to use social media after 10:30 at night until 6:30 in the morning.
LEELA: Ok, that kinda makes sense. But access to your kid’s accounts?!
MAMA: Well, I guess each family can decide what’s right for them. But basically, the state of Utah says it wants to help prevent children from being lured to apps that have deliberate features that make them well, addictive, never mind full of ads that might not be appropriate for them.
MAMA: That’s not all. Meta – the owner of Facebook and Instagram –
LEELA: Oh, I know this one. It’s being sued by none other than the school board in the same county that the company is headquarted – San Mateo, California – over more claims it’s addicting students to its social media platforms.
MAMA: Yep – and for contributing to a mental health crisis among teenagers. Now, people are wondering what’s next if the Utah “Social Media Regulation Act” – as it’s called – will be adopted by other states.
LEELA: You heard it here first, people!
MAMA: And now, shifting gears completely.
SFX OF CAR ENGINE REVVING UP
MAMA: And now shifting gears completely… the latest in sanitation news.
LEELA: Excuse me?
MAMA: You know, this.
SFX OF FLUSHING TOILET
LEELA: Oh… Do we have to?
MAMA: Well, it’s also hot archaeology news too that’s really “flushing” out earlier theories about sanitation and civilization.
MAMA: Yep, you’ll never believe what was found in China.
LEELA: I don’t think I want to know…
MAMA: A 2400-year-old flushing toilet! As in not just a “chamber pot” or a bed pan – or a hole in the ground where most people would have done their business.
LEELA: Ewww! It was empty, I hope.
LEELA: Wait – does it still work?
MAMA: OK, no. So, it was just part an ancient pot but with a wide, bent pipe leading to an outdoor pit, for you know, flushing away someone’s business.
LEELA: Actually, that’s kinda cool.
MAMA: Yeah… It was found by a research team in the ruins of an ancient palace in the central Chinese city of Xi’an.
LEELA: I guess back then that it would have been a luxury item?
MAMA: Indeed. Most likely reserved for high-ranking officials and probably a servant would have poured water into the toilet, to flush it out, every time it was used.
LEELA: Oh, so not full-on plumbing then.
MAMA: Well, it’s still an impressive level of sanitation over 2000 years ago, which shows how civilized that part of the world would have been. And, yes, before you ask, the researchers are analysing soil samples from the collected vessel. You know, in hopes of finding out what people ate during that time.
LEELA: Fascinating. But let’s hope people don’t accuse us of talking a lot of… muck!
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: Tensions are mounting in Israel as Prime Minister Netanyahu put off plans for overhauling the supreme court. It’s a proposal that has left the country bitterly divided with mass protests from those who oppose and support the move.
France is also under the grip of angry protesters opposed to President Macron’s pension bill, with clashes breaking out across many cities. Labor unions are demanding his government rethink proposals to raise the retirement age by two years to 64.
In the US, search and rescue teams are helping those whose homes have been destroyed after a huge tornado swept through the southern states of Mississippi and Alabama. President Biden says the government will do everything it can to help.
And Humza Yousaf is Scotland’s new first minister, meaning he’s in charge of the Scottish government. The 37-year-old Scottish National Party leader is not only the youngest first minister but also the first from an ethnic minority background and the first Muslim to lead a major UK political party.
LEELA: Well thank you so much for that – oh, let’s go punk rock today… that… whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap.
MAMA: (Coughs) Most welcome, Leela.
ACE STING – LEELA/MAMA: “Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture and Entertainment. Darling.”
MAMA: Yep, last year we did a story, in Episode 96 about an exhibit of the 17th-century painting, The Sense of Smell, by Brueghel, that included the smells found in the artwork. It’s called immersive art experience.
LEELA: Yes. And as National Geographic reported in December, it’s not just scented art exhibits either.
MAMA: Correct. There are now tours that have you sniffing your way through a city.
LEELA: It’s called immersive art. And it just got smellier, or should I say, more pungent?
MAMA: Using state-of-the-art olfactory chemistry – as in the science behind our sense of smell – the
world’s leading fragrance chemists –
LEELA: Yes, that’s a real job title.
MAMA: Have developed a line of smelly paints.
LEELA: You know, like those scented Magic Markers.
MAMA: Their company is rather appropriately called “Pungent Paints” and they have three ranges.
LEELA: First is, of course, flora and fauna.
MAMA: So that’s everything from red rose, white jasmine and lavender to the smell of freshly cut grass.
LEELA: Which is a shade of green, go figure.
MAMA: They also have a food range, beige for sweet smelling apple pie, dark brown for coffee and –
LEELA: Get ready to hold your nose!
MAMA: Silver for fish. Speaking of holding your nose, I’m afraid they also have their rancid range too.
LEELA: That’s a fancy word for something that’s rotten.
MAMA: Luckily, it’s just cow dung and rotting fruit. But the chemistry-meets-art company say they want to develop the whole range of olfactory experiences to help make artwork come alive. Though right now there is a smell-span of only 3 months – so painters and exhibitors have to act fast.
LEELA: But the Pungent Paint people promise that more aromas are to follow.
MAMA: Let’s hope they expand their food and flowers range! And leave the rancid stuff alone.
MAMA: And finally, let’s go over and see what the lucky dip machine has in store for our last story 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: Odd and awful. At least it is for me!
MAMA: Oh, let me guess – is this story about creepy crawlies?
LEELA: Yes, and so if you don’t mind, I’m handing the mic to Shaiba Jamsheed, our correspondent in Malaysia who’s gonna take this one for the team. Cue the music, Mama. Thank you, Shaiba.
SHAIBA: So, Malaysia is known for many things – from its multicultural society to its beautiful beaches, never mind exotic, tropical creatures.
Well, now it can add “Fangs” to the list.
SFX OF SNAKE HISSING
Yes, fangs as in the big, usually sharp front teeth of snakes that contain… venom!
But Fangs – spelt with a capital F – is more than that.
SFX OF SNAKE HISSING
So, apparently snake lovers have very few places to hang out and, you know, talk snakes.
Well, they end up finding other enthusiasts in the snake section of pet stores.
Not very comfortable, is it?
Never mind that most shops won’t allow you to pet and hold their slithery stock.
SFX OF CAFÉ AND HISSING
That’s why the Malaysian snake lover, Yap Ming Yang, decided to open up his Fangs… as in a snake and reptile café, of course.
Corn snakes, leopard geckos, and even bearded dragons are in glass tanks all over the café.
And, yes, visitors can even remove the reptiles from their tanks and let the scaly and slithery creatures snuggle up to them.
Hissssssssss-terical, wouldn’t you say?
In Malaysia, I’m Shaiba Jamsheed, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.
LEELA: Horrible! Just horrible. I mean, not your report – that was great, thanks Shaiba. But who on Earth…!
MAMA: Isn’t it good we don’t all like the same things?!
LEELA: Yeah, maybe… But I’ll stick with going to a cat café, thanks a lot.
SFX OF MEOW
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 – The owner of Facebook and Instagram is being sued over claims it’s addicting students to its social media platforms and contributing to a mental health crisis. What is the name of this parent company?
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – US fashion designer Jeremy Scott turns scrap auto parts into striking haute couture ballgowns. More haute “car”ture if you ask me. What’s haute couture mean?
It literally translates as high – for haute – and dressing making – for couture – so basically super expensive high fashion.
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – A 2,400-year-old flushing toilet is said to be discovered in a ruined palace in the central Chinese city of Xi’an in an ancient, ruined palace. What did people use if they didn’t have such a fancy implement?
A hole in the ground, a chamber pot or a bed pan
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – Smelly art is all the rage in IMMERSIVE art these days – what’s the other word for paint that smells strongly?
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – Snakes, lizards and desserts meet in Malaysia’s first reptile café, named after the big, usually sharp front teeth of snakes that contain venom – which are called what?
LEELA: And that almost brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! But first…
MAMA: We have a message from Connor & Nora, who wrote:
LEELA: We love your podcast and we look forward to Wednesday mornings so we can listen on the way to school. You guys are so funny, and you make us laugh. 🤣Keep up the good work!
MAMA: Awww that awesome – thank you so much you guys!
LEELA: Ohh ohh I forgot to say right before keep up the good work there is a laughy emoji
MAMA: I knew you are gonna say that but anyway thank you guys so much for that We also have more reviews that have dropped in on apple podcast which is super exciting too. More on that next week.
LEELA: And what do you reckon? Any guesses on which of our five wacky world stories was the April Fool fake?
MAMA: If you think you know, why not drop us a line – either on social media or send us an email to email@example.com.
LEELA: Or visit the “Contact Us” page of our website. Newsypooloozi.com as a swimming pool of news.
MAMA: That’s p-o-o-l o-o-z-i.com
LEELA: What do you reckon, Mama? Is there a free Newsy Pooloozi t-shirt for the first 3 winners?
MAMA: Oh, that’s interesting. Why not! But rather than the first three, we’ll put all those who reply into a hat and pick 3 of them. Because you know we have listeners all over the world, all with different time zones, so…
LEELA: We gotta be fair. Got it. Well, what are you waiting for? Let us know what you think was our fake foolish story for this year’s April Fools! We’ll announce the winners next week. Until then – keep being curious, folks!