New covid school rules, SpaceX landing, Indian asteroid discovery, Salzburg music festival, and 3D dinosaurs

Aug 5, 2020 Episode 06

We explore the likely “Covid Code of Conduct” when school reopens, hear the show goes on in Austria, how private space travel is making history, about the two Indian schoolgirls who discovered an asteroid and how you can get 3D dinosaurs in your living room, really!

Episode Transcript

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




LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi. I’m your host, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt.


MAMA: And I’m Lyndee Prickitt. I mean, Leela’s mom. I mean the producer. Ok… the sound effects editor.


LEELA: And the big-story explainer…


MAMA: Oh, yeah, that too…


LEELA: But let’s just keep it to Leela’s Mama for now. She’s half-Texan, half Yankee. That-makes me, quarter Texan and quarter yankee. And… sabse ache… half Indian! So…


MAMA AND LEELA: “Namaste, y’all!”


LEELA: This week on Newsy Pooloozi we’ll hear… Part 2 in our back-to-school series we talk to educators around the world to find out what the new school rules will be… when they reopen.


Two Indian school girls discover something… out of this world! While two astronauts come back down to earth, making history and… find out with me how you can get a dinosaur in your living room! Really!!


But first…


STING: LEELA: But first let’s hear wrap from the biggest news stories of the week… Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds!”


STING: Around the World in 80 seconds…. Whooooaaa… Hold on tight


MAMA: A tropical storm has hit the United States Eastern coast with dangerous winds and the chances of more flooding. It’s officially hurricane season. So even though this storm, given the name Eeesah-ee-has, has died down a bit, weather experts say it could easily pick back up and do more damage.


Scientist are calling Australia’s devastating wildfires in the last two years “one of the worst wildlife disasters in modern history”.  They say nearly 3 billion animals were killed or displaced, which means their home are destroyed, so even if they survived, they might not last long to a lack of food and shelter.


But in happier news… She might be the most famous bird in the world, but she has no name. A 7-month-old royal albatross chick in New Zealand has attracted millions of viewers who’ve watched as conservationists ensure she grows strong enough to live in the wild. A competition is underway to give her a name before she flies away.


And Disney is postponing the debut of its movie Mulan, based on a Chinese folklore, dealing a new blow to theatres, which were hoping the action-packed drama would fill cinema halls again. The next film installments of Avatar and Star Wars are also on hold. 

LEELA: Whoo… Thanks for that fast flash around the world. And now… it’s time to tackle… the Big News Story of the Week.

MAMA: Last week we had a debate about whether schools should reopen or not, remember?


LEELA: Yep. It was like playing tennis taking turns to hit the ball, I mean, make our points.


MAMA: Exactly. Now, you’ve just restarted school and you’re not in class, are you?


LEELA: Nope, I’m in your office at home!


MAMA: And what fun it is! Still… many of our listeners are still on their summer break and there’s a chance that their schools will reopen in the fall. There’s a chance yours might too if the infection numbers in our area come down. Because, as you pointed out last week, there are soooo many good reasons why kids should be back in class. even if…


LEELA: It won’t be like before.


MAMA: No ma’am.


LEELA: But… what WILL it be like?


MAMA: Well, we’ve talked to educators all over the world some of whom have reopened and we have come up with a potential set of school rules, you can expect when you go back to school…

Let’s call it the Covid code.


Number 1: smaller classes.


SOUNDBITE: They divided the class in two parts some children were coming on Monday Wednesday and Friday the other children were coming Tuesday and Thursday and the week after they alternated …  so that everyone got some information some content


MAMA: That was Marion Hopfgartner, an education specialist and founder of TLI Pedagogics Association of Europe, talking about what they did in Austria, a country right in the middle of Europe that managed to get the pandemic under control relatively early.


MAMA: Number 2 Social Distancing example A


SOUNDBITE: They’ve created this elephant and this baby elephant distance should be between you and the other child.


MAMA: And how big is baby elephant? Well, we’re in India, so we’ve seen a few. But in case you don’t know it’s about the length of a grocery cart or shopping trolley. You think that’s a good idea for helping kids remember to keep their distance?


LEELA: Yes! ma’am


MAMA: Well, you might like this ropey idea even better.


MAMA: Number 3: Social distancing.


SOUNDBITE: Ginger: “The children had a rope sectioned off…”


MAMA: That was Ginger Bihm, a teacher at a school in Texas that ran an experimental summer school session. Admittedly it was for English as a Second Language classes because they’re much smaller, so they could see how these protective measures worked.


LEELA: Aaaahhhhh so, like, all the kids had a separate part of the rope to hold that was for just them?


MAMA; Yeah!!


MAMA: NUMBER 4: masks or not. So, Interestingly the teachers had to wear masks or face shields or visors, but for the children it was optional. But they had other measures in place too.


MAMA: NUMBER 5: Stay Home if you are sick, you I’ll be checked at the gate


SOUNDBITE: GINGER: Every day as child arrived at the school their temperature had to be taken…


MAMA: NUMBER 6: If you gotta go you gotta wait until your classes turn


SOUNDBITE: GINGER: Now their obvious provisions in place for regular bathroom breaks for hand washing as well as hand sanitizer all over the school


MAMA: NUMBER 7: The Hybrid Model

Now back in India, as you know, schools are shut. But Meenakshi Sahni,

the principal of Modern School, one of New Delhi’s leading private schools, says when they open it will probably be a hybrid model. That means a mix of two things.


SOUNDBITE:  Meenakshi Sahni, Principal, Delhi Modern School: Which would mean real time and virtual teaching or remote teaching happening at the same time for the same lessons because the rate of absenteeism could go very high and we wouldn’t want our students those who are absent for safety concerns to lack behind in anyway.


MAMA: That means that distance learning or virtual school is gonna be around for a while


LEELA: Ahhh! So that mean I could be doing online schooling in your office for a long time???


MAMA: Yes… Yaaaay… there’s one other method that’s cropping up though.

NUMBER 8: The rule that means you can ignore all the other rules, if you are one of the lucky ones… it’s called learning pods! Where a few families decide to join forces so a small group of children can be taught together.






LEELA: Oh, boy. I never thought I’d miss this sound so much…


MAMA: Soooo… since we’re on the subject of new rules for the new normal……




LEELA: Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture, and /or Entertainment.


SFX: Opera Singing


MAMA: It should be festival season, museums should be packed, quirky contests should be running, but everything is on hold… Except… one massive music festival decided… the show must go on!




MAMA: It’s the Salzburg music festival which kicked off on Saturday… I know orchestral or opera music is not too many children’s taste and it might not have been a festival you would have attended, especially if you’re, you know, not in the city of Salzburg in the country of Austria, which as we’ve already mentioned is in the middle of Europe.


But all eyes are on this festival, because like we heard with the plans for how schools might reopen, organizers of cultural events – maybe even in your own town are watching to see how this goes down.

Of course, masks will be a must.


LEELA: What? Singing in a mask won’t sound good!




MAMA: (Laughs) You’re absolutely right. The performers are sorted into three categories, based on how possible it is for them to physically distance. All singers are in the “red” category, meaning they can interact as normal, but they will be regularly tested to make sure they are virus free.


LEELA: I’m not sure it’ll be fun to sit with a mask on for an hour of opera!


MAMA: The opera bit or the mask? I’m just Kidding! We love opera. So, good news there too. Because social distancing will mean that the auditoriums are only half-full – in fact they’ll look like checkerboards with big gaps everywhere that means… once seated, the masks can come off. Cool, huh?


LEELA: OK. Let’s go… Please… Can we go, please…?


MAMA: I wish. But before you get too excited, you know how you love to get a special treat in the intermission some juice or candy? That’s off the table the festival organizers have said no intermission drinks or food will be served… to try and minimize the mingling.


LEELA: Ahhh… what’s mingling?


MAMA: Oh, hanging around and chit-chatting, usually shoulder-to-shoulder. But that won’t be allowed


LEELA: Ah. Well, better than nothing… But Boy, this whole covid-19 thing’s like a silly soap opera!




LEELA: Now for some news that’s out of this world.


MAMA: Phew! No more singing then?


LEELA: Hey, My singing is not bad. In fact, It’s time for…


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


MAMA: That’s right. There’s a rover that blasted off from earth on its way to Mars… But some astronauts that were up in a space in the international space station, just came home!


LEELA: More on those stories in minutes… First closer to home for us here in India we have some exciting space news too!




LEELA: Guess what was found by two super smart, super sharp, school students I mean, future astronauts as they hope to be…??? Named Vaidehi Vekariya and Radhika Lakhani


MAMA: That comet called NEOWISE?


LEELA: No… Something way cooler and way harder to spot. Let’s cut across to our south of India science reporter, Maia Sodha.


MAMA: Hey Leela, just when the rest of us were out trying to spot the comet NEOWISE…

Two school girls from the Indian state of Gujarat found something better! Vaidehi Vekariya and Radhika Lakhani are both in 10th grade. Because they’re so clever, they were selected to take part in program by Space India and NASA.


The project allows students to look at digital images of space taken from a telescope in Hawaii. Using a super app, they looked and looked at what you or I might think are just dots.

But, nope. These girls found…  an asteroid! Asteroids are small rocky objects that orbit the sun.


This one is near Mars. But it’s slowly shifting its orbit and moving towards… Earth!

Don’t worry, though – that won’t happen for about… one million years!

From Mumbai, I’m Maia Sodha reporting for Newsy Pooloozi


LEELA: Thanks, Maia!! Wouldn’t you love to meet those girls? They rock! But that’s not the only space news we have today, is it?


MAMA: Speaking of rocks… (little chuckle) NASA launched its most advanced rover to Mars to go search for Martian rocks. And what’s a rover?


LEELA: It’s a spidery-looking space vehicle that goes exploring… or, to be more precise, roving!


MAMA: Nice one. It had a bumpy start but it’s on a nice smooth path now should land on Mars in 7 just months.


LEELA: But that’s not all.


MAMA: That’s right. There’s a third space story. Two Nasa astronauts splashed back down to earth in the ocean near Florida, called the Gulf of Mexico, after being up in the International Space Station. They made history… but do you know how?


LEELA: Because they have the coolest name for a capsule, they travelled back down to earth in, called the “Dragon Endeavour”!


MAMA: (laugh) No…. But the capsule which is what that thing is called is relevant or I should say connected to this…. Because It wasn’t made by NASA or any other government space agency, but a private company called Space X. So, these two guys became the first astronauts to be carried into orbit and back down to earth by a private company. What do you think about that?


LEELA: If it’s private can we go?!


MAMA: That’s the idea… The more people entering the space market, the more likely it is that one day… maybe not in my lifetime, but I’m sure in yours, people will be taking vacations to outer space.


LEELA: Oh, I’m TOTALLY UP for that! UP – get it? Up, up and away!!!




MAMA: And… coming back down to earth


LEELA: And, going back in time…


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

LEELA: And this week, guess what?


MAMA: What?


LEELA: Our tech news is also our…. Odd Ball to end the show with because… this is supposed to be some odd technology…


MAMA: What? You planned this one this week… What have you got up your sleeve?


LEELA:  You all know, Jackson Hosking our tech reporter, right? He’s been on this podcast a lot! He says there’s a dinosaur in his kitchen!


MAMA: Ahhh, is he playing with his stuffed toys at the table…


LEELA: Mama, he’s our TECH reporter not Peppa Pig’s little brother!


MAMA: Ok, is he playing with his robotic dinosaur then?


LEELA: no, no, no… way cooler than that?


MAMA: Alright, let’s get him on.




LEELA: Apparently, there is a Tyrannosaurus in his kitchen, Mama! Hope it never saur-us! Get it…? Dinosaur. saw us…?


JACKSON: Hey you girls!


LEELA: Hey, Jackson!


JACKSON: Hey you guys. Are y’all up for a blast from the past? How about a T-Rex or Triceratops… stomping through your home? It can be done! Trust me!


LEELA: …I trust you… but I don’t know if I understand you…


JACKSON: Technology, my friend. Thanks to the clever people at Google who’ve added dinosaurs to their feature of 3D animals, you can have them right there in your house.


LEELA: 3D Animals? Aren’t all animals in three dimensions, Jackson?!


JACKSON: Very funny. I mean 3D – as in seeing their height and width and depth – on your smartphone or device, instead of the normal flat image we usually see. And, not just that – you can see these crazy creatures as IF they’re in your own room.


LEELA: Uhhhhh?


JACKSON: How do we combine our everyday real world… with a 3D image of an extinct dinosaur…?I’ll tell you how! Get your phone or device out.




MAMA: Here…. There you go…


JACKSON: In the search bar of the Google app, type the word dinosaur… or choose a specific dinosaur.

And if you don’t have the Google app, simply do the same search at Google.com When I type in dinosaur, I see a picture of a T-Rex in the search results and it reads: “See a Tyrannosaurus in your space”.


LEELA: Hold on a second Jackson, let me do that…


JACKSON: If a 3D result is available, you’ll see the words… ‘View in 3D’next to a picture of a mall cube or box.


LEELA: Yep, I see that…


JACKSON: Click on those words: ‘View in 3D’


LEELA: Hold on… I have to give it access to use my camera… Can we do that, Mama?


MAMA: OK, I guess we can always change it later.


LEELA: Ok Done.


JACKSON: Now wait for it to load…. wait for it… This may take a few seconds.


LEELA: OK, we got it.

JACKSON: Cool. Now, tap the screen and follow the instructions, pointing the phone’s camera

towards where you want the animal to appear… In my case, our kitchen, after lunch, with a sink full of dirty dishes. … And then BAM!!!


LEELA: Aaaahhhhh!!! Get it out…. Ahhh! It’s looking at us! Mama!


JACKSON: Watch out, Leela!


MAMA: It’s just a device its 3D augmented reality pretends


LEELA: Oh, my goodness


MAMA:  Yeah, it’s cool, it’s cool isn’t it?!


LEELA: No, it’s not!!! Ahhhhuhuhuhuhu (quivery voice)


JACKSON: This huge Tyrannosaurus appears on the scene! At first just his massive foot thuds into view, taking up most of the screen… You can make the dinosaur bigger or smaller… and move it around… by touching the screen. My tyrannosaurus stomped its way directly to the kitchen sink as if it was about to wash-up, or rather SMASH-UP, the dirty dishes! That would’ve pleased my Mum!!


LEELA: HA! Yeah, right! Whoa… it’s about to eat my Secret Seven books!


LEELA: It’s OK. I’m not looking anymore… Scaaaarry!


MAMA: That is cool. Not just that it’s in 3D which makes it look so real but that it’s appearing like it’s in our own room, you know?


LEELA: Yeah… actually it’s really kind a cool. Besides the fact it’s scary.


JACKSON: Totally… You can also access all these fun facts too. Also, it’s not just about dinosaurs… There’s a whole list of creatures that you can try by searching for Google 3D animals I’m gonna do a tiger next. What about you two?


LEELA: Jackson, I thought that no story could be better than your shocking pub story two weeks ago… But this one is the best.


JACKSON: Pretty…. Sizzling, don’t you think?!


LEELA: (laughs) Sizzling – very good very good!


MAMA: Yeah, that dino was really wired!


LEELA: Oh, no, here we go again. Thanks, Jackson. That was Jackson Hosking, our tech reporter from the south of England. And that ALMOST brings us to the end of our sixth episode of Newsy Pooloozi!!!!!

You may remember last week we asked for…


MAMA: Well, we actually begged, basically, begged


LEELA: (laughs) Yeah, kind a… OK. We begged you to send in your suggestions for those new KFC chicken nuggets that don’t come from chickens or eggs… But from… a laboratory. Well, we got a lovely email from Shaiba Sattar in India… Ewww la la… who suggests we call it Digi-meat.


MAMA: Digi meat! I like that.


LEELA: Yeah, me too. It’s really nice! Yeah! Digi Meat. Thank you for that, Shaiba!




LEELA: And we even got a voice mail…. Check this out…


SOUNDBITE: This is Marc Brahim from South Carolina. And I think the perfect name for chicken nuggets is feat. Its f e a t for fake meat


MAMA: Oh…. A mixture of the two-word fake and meat – feat. Very clever.


LEELA: Yeah…. Impressive. Best of all was hearing from y’all. So, a big, big thank you. Keep your correspondences coming!


LEELA: I do! So, drop us an email to… contact@newsyjacuzzi.com  And don’t forget… If you enjoyed this dip…. in the whirlpool of news and information… then do subscribe to our podcast, and while you’re at it… Give us a good rating.  Or better still, leave us a review on: Apple Podcast, Radio Public or where ever you get your podcasts. See you next week in the Newsy Pooloozi!