Newsy Pooloozi is one year old – hear our bloopers and top stories!

Jun 30, 2021 Episode 53

Hear our bloopers and the countdown of our top ten stories this year!

Episode Transcript




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




LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – a whirlpool of news and information. I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt. And…


MAMA: I’m Lyndee Prickitt.


LEELA: My mama, co-host and producer. This week on Newsy Pooloozi –




TOGETHER:  Happy Birthday to us. Happy Birthday to us. Happy Birthday to Newsy Pooloozi – OMG, we’re one year old! – Happy Birthday to us.


MAMA: Not bad going for what started as a lockdown project, hey?


LEELA: Though we have been locked down for pretty much the whole year.


MAMA: Longer. So for those who don’t know why a WORLD news podcast became our passion –


LEELA: Well, I’m half-American, half-Indian and I was born in Britain, which means I have family all over the world.


MAMA: And when we couldn’t see them or all the cool places they live, well, we had to bring the world to us.


LEELA: Enter: Newsy Pooloozi – baa-baa-baa-daa-daaah!


MAMA: I mean, what else could we do locked up in a hot New Delhi apartment?


LEELA: Believe it or not, we got sick of baking cookies and bread!


MAMA: So we produced a world news podcast instead.


LEELA: As you do. Because we love sniffing out the coolest stories from all over the world.


MAMA: And not just politics and disasters.


LEELA:  science, tech, arts, culture, sports, politics and even some odd news nuggets to make sure you’re informed with a smile.


MAMA: So we thought for our one year anniversary we would look back at some of our – and your – favorite stories we’ve covered on Newsy Pooloozi.


LEELA: And many, many thanks to all those people who wrote in and told us what their favorite stories were.


MAMA: Especially the early birds and our most loyal listeners. That would be Jonathan, Krystal, Caroline, Ambika, Tobi, Saisha, Debbie, Chase, Haley, the twins at Thoughtful Minds, the Books are Back Podcast, April of the April 8 songs and stories, librarians Susie and Helen and, of course, Marty and Asha! Y’all are prompt and kind. So we’ve repurposed the lucky dip machine so that it would tabulate –


LEELA: That’s a fancy word for adding up.


MAMA: All the nominations that y’all sent in, so that we could create the top 10 Newsy Pooloozi stories from year one. Counting down this week and next – as a birthday treat.


LEELA: But first… (Singing) Bloopers.


MAMA: Yes, many of you have asked how easy – or hard! – it is to record every episode,  every week, under our bed.


LEELA: What, you didn’t know we recorded under the bed?


MAMA: It’s a very high bed.


LEELA:  It’s the best-sound in the house – like a little sound proof box.


MAMA: Though my back sometimes complains.


LEELA: And we have to turn off the AC and fan for the best sound,  which means it gets really –




MAMA: And we sometimes get hot and bothered.


LEELA: And impatient.


MAMA: And cranky. But we also laugh.


LEELA: A lot.


MAMA: And make a LOT of mistakes.


LEELA: A lot.


MAMA: So – without further ado – and as requested by you – here are the best of the bloopers from our first year.


LEELA: (whispers) And don’t worry – we took the impatient and cranky comments out.


MAMA: And the accidental or on-purpose burps and farts. Most of them anyway.


LEELA: Most? Mama!


BLOOPERS MIX (not transcribed)


MAMA: All right then – enough of the bloops. Let’s get on with your top ten stories from our first year of Newsy Pooloozi!


LEELA: Five this week. And five next.






LEELA: It’s dreamy, Mama. Just listen to this report from our chocolate correspondent, Ameyaa Kholi.


AMEYAA: I don’t know about you, but I loooooove chocolate!


If my mum let me, I’d have chocolate morning, noon and night.


But she doesn’t let me, of course…!


Some of my favourite chocolate comes Switzerland, a country in the middle of Europe.


It’s full of beautiful mountains and yummy chocolate factories!


Well a few days ago, the most fantastic thing happened at the factory for the chocolate maker called Lindt.


They were roasting “cocoa nibs” – they’re the little-bitty pieces of cocoa beans from which all chocolate is made.


All of a sudden…


The system that removes hot air from in the cooling room malfunctioned!


That’s a fancy way to say… it stopped working properly.


Somehow the chocolate nibs were sucked out of the building and…


Into the town!


And… it was a windy day!


So… the cocoa nibs were flying everywhere: landing on cars and streets… sprinkling chocolate all over the place!


It was snowing cocoa!!!


Sadly… it didn’t last very long.


Soon it was all gone, as if it were just a dream…


But the pictures prove it was real.


Within minutes of this chocolate spread, residents of the town were posting pictures on social media.


Some were even writing poetry about this magical malfunction.


In chocolate heaven, this is Ameyaa Kholi for Newsy Pooloozi!


LEELA: Thanks, Ameyaa! Told ya, so, Mama! It was like a dream.




MAMA: Nine.


MAMA: Winter weather is taking its toll everywhere, especially in the US where a massive winter storm is sweeping across the north and south of the country with a 150 million Americans under weather warnings – that’s almost half the country!


LEELA: And, we know it’s winter and that cold weather is to be expected… But down in Texas?


MAMA: Yeah, my home state is more known for sunshine and sweat. Not to say we don’t have to dress warmly and turn on the heating over the winter months, but we aren’t usually dealing with inches of snow or temperatures – in some parts of the state – colder than, get this, Anchorage, Alaska.


LEELA: Exactly how cold, are you wondering? Well, the capital, Austin – which is in the middle of the state, so not that far north at all – is facing temperatures in the single digits. That’s less than ten degrees!


MAMA: Yep in Austin it’s been 9 degrees Fahrenheit and further north in Dallas went down to minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s minus 18 degrees Celsius!  As you can imagine, it’s making conditions on the roads – where people aren’t used to driving in this weather – really dangerous and leaving many stranded at airports where flights aren’t taking off. Not just that, but people all over the country are without electricity as the grids just can’t keep up with demand.


LEELA: Two million people in Texas alone have been without electricity already. Like our Austin reporter, Olivia Mitchell, who’s trying hard to keep warm. Over to you, Olivia.


OLIVIA: You said it, Leela.


I’m here dressed head-to-toe in my ski  gear!


No, there’s not that much snow – but my thick snow-suit is the warmest outfit I have!


I just want to go outside and play.


Because all this snow is pretty unusual for us here in  central Texas.


But my parents are worried I’ll get too cold and won’t be able to warm back up.


You see, we have no electricity at the moment.


Not because of the snow storm.


But there were just too many people needing electricity all at the same time!


The electricity grid just can’t handle all of us.


Luckily my home has gas, so we can keep making cups of tea and hot chocolate to keep warm.


But it is a little scary…


Still, I like to keep thinking of a saying we have here in Texas: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes and it’ll change!”


In Austin Texas, I’m Olivia Mitchell, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi




MAMA: Eight.


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


LEELA: Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: that stands for…


LEELA AND MAMA): Art. Culture. And entertainment. Dahling.


MAMA: This week we go to Spain where an Opera House reopened after the lockdown, for a concert by a quartet – that’s four musicians to you and me.


LEELA: But it was no ordinary show!


NINA: Here in Barcelona, things are getting back to normal after the coronavirus…


people are going back out side, and theatres are opening back up.


In fact, El Liceu Opera House just had their first concert in a while…


But you´ll never guess who was in the audience.


No one famous.


Not even one single person.


Nope. Not animals either….


Any more guesses?


It was plants! Yes, those green things we put into pots…


were placed on the same velvet red chairs that humans normally sit on.


Why did they do this? Well, there’s this artist named Eugenio Ampudia.


He wanted to do a cool project to celebrate mother nature since we’ve all been locked up for so long!


“I believe we are at the end of an era – that means certain paradigms must be changed.”


So he took almost 3,000 plants to the theater for a concert… there were 4 people playing instruments…


Guess what the song was called?




The event was hailed as “a breath of fresh air” by organizers and attendees.


This is Nina Granena in Barcelona for Newsy Pooloozi.


LEELA: Thanks, Nina…  “Breath of fresh air” – good one! That’s plants for ya!




MAMA: Seven.


SPORTS STING – VARIOUS VOICES : “It’s time to play ball… Score… Sports News!”


LEELA: So, there’s no denying that the pandemic has hit the sporting world hard.


MAMA: Games have been cancelled, seasons delayed and fans lost on Saturdays and Sundays without games to go to.


LEELA: But in America, that’s only half the story.


MAMA: Yep, politics is playing a starring role in the major leagues too this year.


LEELA: In fact, I think it’s safe to call it the “crazy leagues” this year.


MAMA: Nothing is normal in American sports right now.


LEELA: So, let’s go to our US Sports reporter, Porter Robbins, for a wrap on the unusual happenings in US sports.


PORTER: You said it, Leela. Nothing is normal in the major leagues this year! Here’s a rundown of the weirdest things happening so far.


SFX: Whistle




PORTER: In baseball the players on are on the pitch. But there are no fans in the stands because of the pandemic. And so, what have many teams opted to do instead??? Place card-board cut-outs of pictures of their biggest fans in the seats obviously!!!


Yes, in the stands are card-board-cut-outs of fans! Or sometimes animals. It might sound crazy, but since they can’t sell tickets… this is the next best way fans can support their team.






PORTER: The National Basketball league took a more high-tech approach to get fans in the stands.

Ticket holders could log into a video conferencing app and then be seen on virtual stands during the live broadcasts. I’d call that a slam-dunk!






PORTER: It’s not just the pandemic effecting the games. Black Lives Matter the movement fighting against racial inequality is making its way onto the court too. Well, onto the shirts of basketball players to be precise. Instead of their names… they have slogans printed.

Like, “Justice Now” and “Say their names,” referring to the people killed by police.




PORTER: And forget that famous baseball song, “Take me out to the ballgame. “It should now be, “Take me out to the polling place. “That’s right. The Dodgers Stadium is one of baseball’s most famous ballparks. And this November it’s going to be turned into a voting center to help in America’s general election. Several other teams have made similar offers. Why not? It’s not like any fans will be in the way! Reporting from Los Angeles, California this is Porter Robbins, for… Newsy Pooloozi!


LEELA: Thanks for that round-up of unusual sports news, Porter.




MAMA: Number 6. And, please note, this last nomination is actually a segment, which contains several stories within it.


LEELA: OK – it’s a bit of a cheat, but it’s your nomination!


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

MAMA: A lot of people might not know this but India is one of the most polluted countries on earth. As Leela knows well having lived here most of her life. Take it away, Leela. Ahh…. Leela… where did you go… Leela… OK… I guess I’ll just read her bit. The World Air Quality Report listed the capital region, Delhi, where we live, as the most polluted city in the world. Here to tell us more is our Delhi correspondent Leela Sivasankar Prickitt. Wait, what? Oh, that’s where she went! All right! Take it away Leela…


LEELA: Hello, I’m here in the middle of India’s capital, New Delhi. There should be the piercing blue skies of autumn… But not now. The lockdown effect is over, people are back on the streets, cars are whizzing past, construction is underway just about everywhere. And if we open up our handy little app, we’ll see the latest figure on the Air Quality Index is 371 hazardous.


And it’s not just Delhi. Six other cities in India are also on the list of the most polluted cities in the world… It’s so bad I have to wear a mask half of the year!


In fact, at school back when schools were open, we had a flag system that informed us if it was safe to take a break outside or not. If it’s a green flag yay, we can play. But if it’s yellow, hello, time to get inside… And if it’s red it’s dread-full…. Inside all day, doors shut tight. Back to you in the studio. Reporting from New Delhi, this is Leela Sivasankar Prickitt racing back to the studio.




MAMA: Oh! Hello! Well, thank you for that report madam. So, anyway, as you know… while most of the world moves from summer clothes to autumn attire… Here in Delhi, we move from masks to protect us from COVID to masks that protect us from the toxic air. What does the pollution do to us? Here’s what slam poet Naina Lavakare, who’s an air pollution activist in New Delhi, has to says:


SOUNDBITE Naina Lavakare: “Pollution first effects the sinuses. That means a runny nose, that means a sore throat and a lot of snot, polite folks call phlegm. When? All year round in a place where the air is not sound. But when air quality is really, really bad like it is in this great land. Then it makes everyone really, really mad. Because it causes big problems with your breathing and your lungs or worse. It’s a curse. Because tiny particles not seen by the eye. They get into the lungs, they don’t just make your cry into your blood, they travel deep and that can make you sick for more than weeks and weeks.”


MAMA: It’s not just India, of course. Pollution has been rampant in China. And many cities in the Middle East too.


LEELA: And the people in California and Oregon know about this too!


MAMA: And Australia yes, when wildfires burn the air becomes smoky and toxic. And it spreads for miles and miles.


LEELA: And that’s what’s happening here, right?


MAMA: Well, that’s one of the issues. Farmers nearby are using fire to clear their fields. Unfortunately, India’s pollution is a bit like a monster with many, many heads.


LEELA: Mama, Like Ravan!


MAMA: Ha, yes! Ravan is the multi-headed demon-king of Hindu mythology. And there’s one in Greek mythology too, a multi-headed water snake called Hydra. And the point about having many heads, means…


LEELA: They’re tough to kill!


MAMA: Exactly. You might slay one head of the monster, but there are others waiting to get you!


LEELA: Aaaahhhhh… Mama….


MAMA: (laughs) So one head of India’s pollution monster is the smoke from burning fields, then comes Diwali.


LEELA: Which is like India’s Christmas one of the biggest celebrations here: “The Festival of Lights.”


MAMA: Right. Which people celebrate by bursting fireworks and lighting thousands of candles, or diyas, and while that used to be fine… Well, India has 1.3 billion people – that’s four times the amount of people in the US all living in a country that’s a third of America’s size.


LEELA: Crowded…


MAMA: So that’s a lot of smoke going into the air.


LEELA: But only for one day.


MAMA: Well, it’s about a week that the air gets so bad it’s off the charts past 999 on the Air Quality Index.


LEELA: Uhhhhh…. Ok, and the next monster head is?


MAMA: Well, so many people still light fires to cook with the old, old fashioned way, believe it or not.


LEELA: Or just to keep warm.


MAMA: Yep, that’s another monster head up here in the north of India it gets cold for a few months’ and the homes aren’t really built to be warm. So, while fires keep us warm and are lovely to look at, they’re super dirty. Especially again when there’s sooooooooooo many people doing it.


LEELA: Is that it for the monster heads?


MAMA: No way we’re only halfway there. There’s the natural dust, sweeping in from the desert that adds to the pollution although it makes your throat dry.


LEELA: And your nose full of buggers.


MAMA: Ewww…Totally but at least it’s not as deadly as smoke pollution. But then there’s construction work after all this is a developing country, so we’re still building roads, highways, homes, shopping malls, business parks you name it. And the West did that gradually over a century it’s all happening in just a couple decades here! And then……….


LEELA: There’s more?!


MAMA: Oh, yeah. There’s smoke and waste from factories and manufacturing plants. And then the last one but it’s a doozy.


LEELA: Cars!


MAMA: And motorcycles, scooters, some buses, and especially the trucks.


LEELA: I’ve lost count how many heads this gnarly monster has!


MAMA: But there is some hope to fight at least one of the heads of the pollution monster.


LEELA: Thank goodness!


MAMA: Thanks to science and innovation, in fact.


LEELA: Oooohhh, that means it’s time for…


SCIENCE STING: For the world of wow, wow, wow… in other words Science!


MAMA: And here to tell us how science, biology and chemistry in fact could provide a pollution solution…


LEELA: Is our other Delhi correspondent, Anaira Mirza… Take it away, Anaira!


ANAIRA: As you now know, one of the biggest causes of pollution is farmers burning their crops.

In the perfect world, once farmers harvest a crop, they should leave the stubble to lay fallow.

That means leaving it to decompose or rot naturally for a whole season.


And even though that sounds gross, the old crops are full of nutrients, so it’s super good for the soil.

But India’s farmers often only own a few fields! So, there’s no time to let them lay fallow.

That’s why they burn down the stubble, so they can quickly plant new seeds and grow more crops.


It’s known as a vicious cycle! But help is at hand. Indian scientists have spent five years cooking up a special mixture like a witch’s brew! Because these different types of fungus are added to water, jaggery, or unrefined sugar, and gram flour!


This mixture is sprayed all over the crops and mixed all up. And, then, guess what?

The stubble like magic decomposes naturally! And all those good nutrients stay in the soil!

In less than a month new seeds can be planted. Presto!


No fire, no smoke, no pollution… just an organic solution! And who says chemistry is no fun?!

In New Delhi, I’m Anaira Mirza for reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!


LEELA: Thanks, Anaira!


And that’s all for this week’s special birthday episode of Newsy Pooloozi.


MAMA: We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at some of the stories you’ve liked best from our first year.  You heard  10, 9, 8, 7 and 6.


LEELA: Do join us next week as we reveal the top FIVE  stories you’ve loved hearing the most – on the swirling, whirling, whippety, wappity, zippity-zappity whirlpool of news and information, otherwise known as Newsy Pooloozi!


LEELA: Now, where’s the cake?