Aug 23, 2023 Episode 154
New space race to the south side of the Moon, wildfires and floods – international weather woes, Spain’s soccer champs, Texas snake fight
LEELA: Hello – we’re baaaaaack! Yes, summer is over, and we’re back to bringing you the most important – and weirdest – world news.
OPENING STING – LEELA: “Hey, hey, hey. Listen up. New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – the news pool for curious kids and adults! I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and, as ever, I’m joined by the big story explainer and sound effects finder – otherwise known as my… mama!
MAMA: Hello, hello. Boy it’s good to be back!
LEELA: I know. I mean, we really needed a break, but I’ve missed this weekly dive into world news.
MAMA: Figuring out what the most important and interesting stories are.
LEELA: And which ones are the most amusing, or just plain weird, which we absolutely have to share.
MAMA: Totally. And then figuring out you know how to deliver them in the simplest.
LEELA: And funniest!
MAMA: Way we can. Yes, we do try to be amusing. It doesn’t always work…
LEELA: Not when you sing anyway.
MAMA: Hmmmm. Or when you tell me not to sing… Yes, no wonder I’ve missed this.
LEELA: And in case we have any new listeners who don’t know we’re broadcasting from New Delhi, India because that’s, you know, where we live. Most of the year, anyway.
MAMA: Yes, we’re an international family and that’s why we love world news. So, should we? You know, get on with it?
LEELA: Oh, yeah! This is not a chitty-chatty podcast.
MAMA: No. Not usually.
LEELA: This week…
The space race to the south of the moon is unofficially on with Russia reeling after its Luna-25 crashes.
Plus, we look at the abnormal weather battering America and beyond.
In sports news Spain reigns supreme in soccer but will victory be betrayed by a kiss?
While in Texas, a surprise snake-fight more than startles a woman mowing her lawn.
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: So, the space race is on. And the field is widening. Do you know what I mean when I say, “space race?”
LEELA: Yeah, like back in the 1960s when, Russia, or I should say the Soviet Union, and America we’re trying to be the first to land on the Moon.
LEELA: And America won.
MAMA: Well, they got humans on the Moon first, yes. But then they Kinda wrapped things up a few years later as space exploration was considered too expensive to really pursue.
LEELA: But not anymore! And now billionaire business people are in on the action too.
MAMA: Exactly. And there’s the European Space Agency, never mind China and to some degreed Japan all making significant advances in space.
LEELA: And India!
MAMA: Exactly! India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission was the first to find evidence of water on the Moon back in in 2008.
LEELA: And you woke me up in the middle of the night a few years ago when the Chandrayaan-2 robotic probe tried to actually land on the moon, but it didn’t sadly.
MAMA: Naahh, that was so sad. All that effort… But on the other hand, just think how impressive it is so-called “developing country” like India – where so many people don’t go to flash schools with smart classrooms and slick science labs –just think was able to achieve.
LEELA: What can I say: India is impressive.
MAMA: Yes ma’am. And tonight, they’re at it again, hoping to land Chandrayaan-3 near the south pole of the moon.
LEELA: Didn’t Russia’s Luna-25 just try to do that but crashed?
MAMA: Yes. Again, it’s so sad. All that expense and effort… It was their first lunar mission in decades. And, of course, they were probably hoping to land there first.
LEELA: But now India will beat them to it!
MAMA: Well. We’ll see. Everyone is hoping.
LEELA: And why is everyone so fixated on the south pole of the Moon anyway?
MAMA: Well, firstly it’s an unexplored area. But mostly water. Scientists think water is stored on the Moon’s surface in the form of ice.
LEELA: Oh, frozen solid in those deep shadowy craters shielded from the sun.
MAMA: Yeah, exactly. And why is water on the moon so important, besides telling us more about our solar system’s history and make-up?
LEELA: Ah, because it means we could one day – if need be – live on the moon and have local access to water?
MAMA: Yep. And even in the meantime when astronauts want to go there and study the moon. See getting equipment up there means overcoming Earth’s gravitational pull. Guess how much new commercial space companies charge to do that, to take just one kilogram payload, or supplies, up there?
LEELA: Ah, a million bucks?
MAMA: Good guess. You’re got that answer bang on. You have been looking at my notes?
LEELA: What? That was a total guess.
MAMA: Well. Guess what, do the math that means a single liter bottle of water costs A MILLION DOLLARS?
LEELA: Whoaaaa. So that’s some expensive drink. So actually, the cost of the so-called “space race” could actually save money in the end.
MAMA: Yeah. I Guess that’s one way of looking at it.
MAMA: And now we’ve been hearing about abnormal, wacky weather around the world for a while now. But it’s not often you hear about it effecting the peaceful, paradise Islands of Hawaii the US archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
LEELA: Archipelago is a fancy way of saying a group of islands out at sea. In case you didn’t know.
MAMA: Thank you. But, boy, has Hawaii taken a beating because of wildfires that have killed well over a hundred people and consumed parts of Maui, the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands.
LEELA: Including devastating the much-loved tourist town of Lahaina.
MAMA: And some rumours as to why the fire have started has been spreading like, well…
MAMA: Everything from making Maui a smart city, to the involvement of artificial intelligence and even energy weapons have been blamed for the wildfires.
LEELA: Yet, still, the exact cause of the fires hasn’t been determined.
MAMA: But some big factors are being identified, like the dry terrain from non-native grass, for one. But Hawaii is also a very hilly and mountainous place. And what’s at the top of the mountain?
MAMA: Well, not very often in Hawaii, which is pretty warm. What about this?
SFX OF WIND
LEELA: Ahhhh – wind.
MAMA: Yes, and as that wind whips around the mountaintops, high air-pressure sends those it across the mountains. But then the wind heats up and dries up as it moves downhill. And guess what happens when that wind squeezes through narrow passages, like canyons?
MAMA: It gets faster! And if there’s already one small little fire in the dry grass plains below the hot embers get picked up and carried along and…
LEELA: The fire spreads. Fast.
MAMA: Yep. Now the big worry is how the destroyed areas are going to be rebuilt with many residents desperate to Hawaii retain the old charm.
It’s not the only place hit by wildfires either… In north America Canada is also under the grip of wildfires with thousands evacuated from their homes, particularly in native reserves. Further afield, the dry summer season is also seeing wildfires in Algeria, Spain and Greece. Now let’s move to Mexico and California where it’s a different story of wild weather.
LEELA: And we’re not talking wildfires, as you’d expect. Oh, no. Dry, drought-prone California is experiencing flash floods!
MAMA: I know. It’s the first tropical storm to hit the region in nine decades. But thousands are people without electricity and streets of Northern Mexico and Sothern California are flooded.
LEELA: Luckily, it’s weakening as the storm moves up north and to the West, but even inland areas are at risk of floods.
MAMA: Stay safe everyone
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: Eight people stuck in a cable car in Pakistan, dangling hundreds of feet above a ravine for several hours, are dramatically rescued using. It was a slow and dangerous operation involving helicopters and zipwires and a lot of bravery.
It’s back to the future as a cargo ship fitted with giant sails sets out on its maiden voyage from China to Brazil. The British-designed huge and extremely rigid sails will not only cut down massively on fuel consumption but also reduce the ships carbon footprint, potentially helping the shipping industry become greener.
And it’s not often that a burnt-out shell of a car is sold for nearly 2 million dollars. But it happens when it’s a Ferrari driven and wrecked by Ferrari’s first ever racing driver. Experts reckon the new buyer will restore it so it can race again.
LEELA: Well, thank you so much for that Oh, it’s been a while, can I still do this… that whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap of what’s making headlines elsewhere in the world, Thank you Mama.
MAMA: You still got it, girl. The pleasure was all mine.
SPORTS STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “It’s time to play ball… Score… Sports News!”
MAMA: Well, the parties are still going on in Spain after the Women’s National Soccer team won the World Cup!
LEELA: Go, Spain go! Only, sadly, they had to beat England to get there, and I hate to see England lose…
MAMA: I know. It was a nail-bitter, though. And here to tell us more about the win and the post-play celebrations which have, ummm, created a little controversy are our Spanish correspondents, Nina and Marky Granena.
NINA: Yeah, what an amazing goal from Olga Carmona in the first half of the game against England on Sunday!
MARCKY: And even though it was the only point of the whole game, the rest of the match was a nail bitter, I can tell you.
NINA: The Spanish “La Roja” team that means “The Red One” managed to hold off the English “Lionesses” – as their team is called.
And did you know? Spain is now the second country along with Germany to have both women’s and men’s world cup titles.
MARCKY: After the final whistle blew, the Spanish players piled on top of each other and then danced until the trophies were handed out.
But there was an unfortunate… let’s call it “incident…” during the award ceremony.
NINA: Ugh. Yes. The president of the Spanish football federation, a man, was going down the line congratulating everyone. But when he got to Jennifer Hermoso, he grabbed her head and gave a big kiss on her mouth!
MARCKY: Brahhhh…. Not cool. I seriously doubt he would have done that to Ansu Fatti, or any of the men’s team.
NINA: Right? And that silly act of machismo took all the attention away from the fact that the women’s team had just won the world cup!
MARCKY: Pffft…. Well, for now, Senior Rubiales has offered an “apology”. I’m putting that in air quotes, by the way.
NINA: And Jennifer is doing her best to get past it.
There’s obviously a long road ahead for sports equality.
MARCKY: No doubt. But until then, let´s all lift up the women’s team and appreciate their amazing accomplishments! Well done La Roja!
In Barcelona, this is Nina Granena and Marcky Granena for Newsy Pooloozi!
LEELA: Thanks for giving us slow down on that guys.
MAMA: 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: This is not a nice story if you hate snakes. Actually, even if you like them, this is not nice story.
MAMA: OK… I’m bracing myself.
LEELA: Yes, once upon a time just the other day in your home state of Texas, Mom, a woman was out in her yard, minding her own business, mowing her lawn.
SFX OF LAWN MOWER
MAMA: Very good.
LEELA: Oh, it was all very good until a SNAKE fell from the sky!
MAMA: Excuse me!
LEELA: You heard me right. A snake just fell from the sky.
LEELA: No this is not a supernatural tale, but a very slithery story of a hawk that dropped its prey.
MAMA: Oh, a hawk was flying past with a snake in its mouth and, what, yawned or something, and dropped the poor thing.
LEELA: Or maybe the snake was wiggling around. And what are the chances of it landing and wrapping itself right on the arm of the only person nearby?
MAMA: Slim to none, I would have thought.
LEELA: Quiet. But, defying the odds, that’s what happened. And sadly the story gets worse.
MAMA: How does it get worse than a snake falling from the sky and wrapping itself around your arm.
LEELA: Because the hawk a Harris hawk swoops down to retrieve its prey, doesn’t it!
LEELA: And a bloody snake-fight ensues literally that is, I am not swearing. It gets bloody. After tearing up the woman’s arm eventually, that hawk flies away with the snake.
MAMA: Ahhh… That sounds painful.
LEELA: Yes, And while there was blood and, yes, snake venom everywhere, the woman has for the most part been OK, despite the injured arm.
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 second (I repeat, SECOND) largest island in Hawaii is reeling from the devastation of wildfires. What is the name of the island?
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – What is the name of a collection of islands in the middle of the sea?
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – Russia and India were both trying to land their probes on the south side of the Moon first, but sadly Russia’s Luna-25 crashed in its attempt. Why is the south side of the moon so important?
Because it might have frozen water.
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – The original space race to get humans onto the moon was between whom?
The US and Russia, or the Soviet Union, to be exact.
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – Spain wins first their Women’s World Cup in soccer, beating England 1-0. What is the nickname of both teams?
Spain is called La Roja as in “The Red One” and the English players are nicknamed the “Lionesses”.
And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on – or your class if you’re a teacher then go to the Lucky Dip page of our website, newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and take this quiz online in your own time!
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! Thanks for listening.
MAMA: And for not forgetting about us over our VERY LONG break.
LEELA: Totally – we missed y’all!
LEELA: So why not write to us and say hello?! We’d love to hear from you and know what you were up to over the summer. In the meantime, stay curious! We’ll see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!