Apr 26, 2023 Episode 148
India dethrones China as most populous country, SpaceX Starship explosion, Australia’s “Take 3 for the Sea,” Belgium’s screechy seagull imitations
LEELA: This week! India’s population, Starship’s explosion, Take 3 for the Sea and a screechy Belgium competition.
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 for kids.
MAMA: (coughs) And adults like –
BOTH: it too!
MAMA: Quite right.
LEELA: I’m Leela. That’s my sidekick, Lyndee, known to me as Mama. And we’re Newsy Pooloozi
It’s official – even if it is a guess – India tops the charts. At what? Wait and see.
SpaceX’s test launch of the world’s biggest rocket goes wrong – but not everyone thinks it’s a bad thing.
We’ll tell you what Take 3 means in Australia and for the world, actually.
And have you heard this? Yes, it’s a screechy competition in Belgium – but you’ll have to “sea” the “gall” of the competitors to believe it!
Alrighty then, let’s dive on in. First up, it’s…
BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”
MAMA: One thing any regular listener of this podcast would know is we are recording from New Delhi, India.
LEELA: Which is a crowded country as we’ve also told you many times before.
SFX OF PEOPLE AND TRAFFIC
MAMA: In its many mega cities, of course.
SFX OF COUNTRYSIDE AND TRAFFIC
LEELA: But even in the countryside. You don’t go too long before seeing another person, let me tell ya.
MAMA: Imagine a country that’s a third of the size of United States.
LEELA: But with more than 4 times the amount of people!
MAMA: Well for a long time India has been on China’s heels as the most populous country in the world but now it’s official caught up!
LEELA: India is the most populous country in the world! OK, when we say official, we mean an official guess.
MAMA: New data from the United Nations is predicting India’s population will reach 1.4257 BILLION people by the end of April.
LEELA: Like in a few days.
LEELA: Whoa – and if the world has a total population of just over 8 billion people that means MORE than an eighth of humanity live here. I feel so… tiny…
MAMA: Yes, an eighth of humanity living in a place a third of the size of the USA.
SFX OF RECORD NEEDLE SCREECH
MAMA: Wait a minute! Oh – no – I totally goofed up the math there! Oh, embarrassing. This is a correction: the world has more than 8 billion people meaning nearly a SIXTH of humanity not an 8th! live right here in this country that’s roughly a third of the size of America.
LEELA: No wonder it’s so crowded here!
MAMA: The good news is that the rate of growth here as in the fertility rate – Is slowing down.
LEELA: That means the population growth here isn’t expected to crazy bigger.
MAMA: Exactly. In the 1950s the average Indian woman had 5 to 6 kids. Now the average woman has two children. That’s what better health and better education – of woman in particular – gets you.
LEELA: Of course, rural India is still has a long way to go on that score, as my mother – who’s the editor of Village Square India – will tell you.
MAMA: Oh, you have been listening to what I talk about at dinner! I’m so happy. Yes, the more woman is educated and take control of their own reproductive choices, the more likely they are to plan for a family size that suits them. And then you don’t have to rely on government regulation to control your population. Like India did in the 70s with its forced sterilizations and China did with its one child policy but don’t get me started…
LEELA: Let’s not.
MAMA: I’ll save the rest of it for dinner discussion. Shall i?
MAMA: And now, going up up and –
MAMA: Yes, it’s time for…
SPACE NEWS STING – MAMA/LEELA: “Now let’s have the latest… space news!”
MAMA: Only, sadly, it’s not good news.
LEELA: Not for Elon Musk anyway.
MAMA: Or is it? Ok, let’s cut across to the United States where our space correspondent, Anna Kelly, is standing by with the story.
LEELA: Take it away, Anna!
ANNA: Thanks, you guys.
Yes, last Thursday wasn’t a good day for billionaire Elon Musk or his company SpaceX.
See, they’ve spent years designing and constructing the BIGGEST and most POWERFUL rocket ever built — eventually meant to send people and cargo to the moon and Mars.
But when they tested the UNMANNED Starship rocket — things didn’t go as planned.
Blast off from the south of Texas was great.
SFX OF STARSHIP LAUNCH
But just FOUR minutes later, there was a PROBLEM.
SOUNDBITE OF SPACEX REPRESENTATIVE (not transcribed)
The rocket began to rumble and tumble and then… EXPLODED, plummeting into the Gulf of Mexico.
SFX OF SPLASH
SOUNDBITE OF SPACEX REPRESENTATIVE (not transcribed)
The cause of the failure is still not clear.
But, putting on a brave face, here’s what Musk tweeted:
“Congrats @SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship! Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months.”
Learning from mistakes – That’s the spirit!
That’s what tests like this are for, right?
It’ll be interesting to see what comes next!
In the US, I’m Anna Kelly reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!
LEELA: Thanks a lot for that report. Keep us posted on how the next test launch goes!
MAMA: Yes, and it’s interesting to note what another billionaire the Indian car mogul, Anand Mahindra – has said about Elon Musk. He said his most important contribution isn’t its company Tesla or SpaceX, but, quote, “his powerful attitude to risk. Most would be terminally daunted by such a quote-un-quote ‘failure.’ But when you set up each initiative as a learning experiment you extend the frontiers of knowledge and progress.”
LEELA: I’ll think about that the next time I do badly.
MAMA: You should. And as a quick update to this story the Federal Aviation Administration in the US is investigating the launch amid claims of smashed windows and rained ash on the habitats of endangered animals. Looks like there’s even more lessons to learn from this launch.
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: Fighting between the army and a paramilitary group continues with the death toll increasing in the East African nation of Sudan. Amid the chaos in the capital Khartoum, a former politician wanted for crimes against humanity has been freed from prison.
Four large asteroids are set to dash past earth two are the size of airplanes. But while they’ll be close encounters, experts say they’re almost certain to pass by harmlessly.
Staying with space, after five months heading to the moon, a Japanese lander has most likely crashed on the surface of the moon. The Tokyo-based iSpace had hoped the lander would release an exploratory rover, as well as a tennis ball-sized robot developed by a toymaker.
And scientists have found when animals travel across long distances, the bigger they are the more slowly they go. Why? To avoid overheating, of course. Clever beasts.
LEELA: Well, thank you so much for that… wrap of what’s making headlines elsewhere in the world, Mama.
MAMA: That’s it? That’s all you got.
LEELA: I like to shake things up a bit, you know. Keep ya guessing.
LEELA: Whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity – OK – couldn’t resist.
MAMA: That’s my girl! And now…
NATURE STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The call of nature. Get on your safari suite. Or squeeze into your scuba gear. And get ready to hop into a jeep. Or submarine. Submarine. Because Mother Nature is calling! Nature.”
MAMA: So, with summer just around the corner that means… summer (sings) “holiday!”
LEELA: Okay okay Mama…
MAMA: Which for many of us not lucky enough to live year-round on the coast it means a trip to the seaside. As the Brits would say.
LEELA: Oh, yeah. Beach life, here we come!
MAMA: Unfortunately, that also means a lot of nasty waste and garbage left behind.
LEELA: And eventually, if it doesn’t sink or biodegrade, it ends ups in Great Plastic Garage Patch – also known as the Pacific Ocean trash vortex, as in a swirling whirlpool of plastic trash.
MAMA: There are two in fact – one way off the coast of California and one on the other side of the specific close to Japan. Both are sad markers of what humanity on this beautiful Earth. If you haven’t seen pictures of these, it’s worth a quick Google.
LEELA: But, even before that rubbish ends up in those swirling garbage patches, trash can really harm sea life.
MAMA: Yep – in fact it was seeing this effect inspired three Australian eco-warriors to start a rubbish removal campaign, called Take 3.
LEELA: And here to tell us more about this is our new Australian correspondent – Saffron Barns, who lives right next to the beach on Australia’s Central Coast. Take it away, Saffron!
SAFFRON: Thanks, Leela!
Have you ever seen those horrible photos of sea turtles with straws up their noses?
If you haven’t, I don’t recommend it – it’s very sad.
But our plastic waste is ending up in the oceans, devastating marine life leaving them tangled up, choking, starving and, even, dead.
Well, this inspired a marine biologist, an environmentalist and an educator here in Australia to join forces and create Take 3 for the Sea – an action group with a simple idea.
Whenever you go to the beach – don’t just clean up after yourself but pick up three other pieces of rubbish you find on the beach.
They say, “We owe it to the turtles to make plastic pollution a thing of the past.”
So far 30 million pieces of rubbish have been removed from the oceans, and 129 countries have participated in the take 3 for the sea campaign.
Not bad work.
I have to say, every time I got to the beach – even though I can’t stand sand I think of those turtles and always try to “take three.”
What about you?
The central coast of Australia, I’m Saffron Barns, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.
LEELA: Awesome story, Saffron. I have to say, I’ve never heard of Take 3 before, but what a great idea!
MAMA: Seriously. I’ve stopped using plastic straws and taking those little shampoos from hotel rooms after seeing so many of them washed up on the beaches.
LEELA: You don’t even use plastic toothbrushes anymore!
MAMA: Not if I can help it. Just have a look at those Great Pacific Garbage Patches and see if you can!
LEELA: 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: Oh, yes. This is odd. No music necessary, Mama. This has a rhythm all its own…
SFX OF SEAGULL SCREECHING COMPETITION
LEELA: Ah, the sounds of seagulls at the beach… or ummm, humans in a bar in Belgium imitating the intrusive bird.
SFX OF SEAGULL SCREECHING COMPETITION
MAMA: Good heavens, why?
LEELA: Well, many people think opportunistic, pesky pests with wings are frowned upon by the public – go figure. Never mind the food-stealing birds can eat up to 20% of their body weight in food each day, did you know?!
MAMA: I did not.
LEELA: Nevertheless, seems a group of animal lovers, off the coast of Belgium, set about getting humans to imitate them to boost their image… by hosting the… “European seagull screeching contest!”
MAMA: As you do.
LEELA: And they didn’t just imitate the shrieky tweets, oh no. Seeing the 50 or so competitors were not only judged on how well they imitated the seagull’s sound for a possible 15 points but they got an extra five points for how well they imitated their behavior. And, boy, is it funny.
SFX OF SEAGUL SCREECHING COMPETITION
LEELA: Yes, we have links to the videos in our transcript. You really should have a look.
MAMA: Oh, my stars. I’m watching it now. Yep… This is one to see, folks. Or should I say, sea and gulp. Get it? Seagull seagulp….
LEELA: Oh, dear….
MAMA: And Leela what’s your best seagull
LEELA: Making seagull voice
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 – India is set to dethrone China to become world’s most populous nation with population of 1.425 billion people, according to the UN. That’s a fair chunk of the world’s total population, which is what?
Just over 8 billion.
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – The good news is India’s fertility rate IS slowing down here. In the 1950s the average Indian woman had 5 to 6 kids. Now she has many children on average.
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – The largest and most powerful rocket ever built – SpaceX’s Starship rocket – blows up minutes after its test launch. Who owns SpaceX?
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – An organization in Australia called Take 3 for the Sea is inspiring people to take away three pieces of trash with them whenever they go to the beach, which can not only harm animals but end up where?
Great Plastic Garage Patch – also known as the Pacific Ocean trash vortex.
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – A town off the Belgian coast hosts the European seagull screeching contest to improve the image of the food-stealing, pesky pests, who can eat how much of their body weight in food each day?
And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on and we know you do come on see how you do listening, then go to the Lucky Dip Blog page of our website, newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and take this quiz online in your own time!
LEELA: That all the seagull listening. And as we come to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi…
MAMA: We want to take a minute to ask you if you like to read? Or even be read to?
LEELA: If so – The Children’s Book Podcast is a good one for you to try!
THE CHILDREN’S BOOK PODCAST PROMO (not transcribed)
LEELA: Alrighty then, that’s all from us. We’ll see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy aPooloozi!