Thankful for vaccines, violins and the super squid bot, plus India’s excess sugar and US Thanksgiving

Nov 25, 2020 Episode 22

Gratitude for COVID-19 vaccines, but what’s it really mean? Plus hear about the violin thank you, the virus survivor who got bit by a cobra, the super robot squid, Thanksgiving in America and the strange advice to eat more sugar!

Episode Transcript

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




LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – a whirlpool of news and information with me… Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and –


MAMA: with me, Lyndee Prickitt.


LEELA: So, we want to know, are you feeling thankful? We sure are and we’re not alone!


It looks like not just one, but several vaccines for COVID-19 are around the corner! We’ll look at what that mean for the likes of you and me.


And talk about being grateful we’ll tell the tale of the British man who survived the virus, two tropical diseases and now a –




You guessed it snake attack!


We’ll hear how another COVID survivor said thank you to hospital staff.


Speaking of gratitude it’s Thanksgiving in America which means it’s time to eat!


That’s not all, we’ll also have a report on the coolest tech story of the year the Super Squid Bot!

And as if that weren’t enough, we’ll end with a very “sweet” oddball story let’s call it dessert!


Alrighty then, let’s dive on in! First up is… the… Big…


STING: It’s time to tackle… the Big News Story of the Week.


MAMA: For the past few weeks we’ve been reporting news about vaccines that’ve done well in test trials.


LEELA: Hooray!


MAMA: Indeed. But what does it actually mean?


LEELA: The end of lockdown! The return to normal life: classrooms, playdates, going on swings and slides!


MAMA: Whooooaaa… Hold on there, cowgirl. Sadly, it’s not that easy. It’s not actually the vaccine that will return our lives to normal but the vaccination.


LEELA: Ahhh….


MAMA: In other words, getting everyone the vaccines require a LOT of work and organization and cooperation. It’s a massive undertaking.


LEELA: Then?


MAMA: OK, let’s back up a sec. So, you know that a vaccine is a substance, or a potion, used to get your own body to produce something called –


LEELA: antibodies!


MAMA: Right, which do what?


LEELA: Fight the disease.


MAMA: But developing the vaccine is just the first step in the vaccination journey.


SFX – “All aboard”


MAMA: So, each vaccine is different. One of them the Pfizer vaccine has to be kept soooo cold….


SFX – Blizzard


LEELA: Burr!


MAMA: Yeah, but you can’t pack a blizzard, so something called dry ice is needed the whole way of the journey.  And, get this, there might not even be enough dry ice in the world right now.


LEELA: So then? No dry ice, no vaccine?


MAMA: Right again. So remote areas and developing countries, like India, will lose out. Luckily other vaccinations are easier to store. But still… how do we move these vaccines around the world and around the countries? You’ll have to get a lot of sanitized glass just to transport it for a start. Then you’ll need a lot of nurses, never mind needles, to give the shot.


LEELA: Aaaaiiii yaaaiiii yaai!


MAMA: And… most vaccines are going to need two doses.


LEELA: Two shots? Gulp!


MAMA: So that’s twice the journey and twice the work.


LEELA: And doctors and nurses get it first.


MAMA: Then the old and weak… Experts predict it won’t be till the middle of next year that the majority of us will get vaccinated. And life might life be back return to normal.


LEELA: Oh, brother….


MAMA: I know… But when you start to feel sorry for yourself… It would be a good idea to keep the tale of Ian Jones in mind…

LEELA: Oh, yeah, the bad luck of the British charity worker in India. For this… I gotta get to my piano.




LEELA: Well, once upon a time just a few days ago! a British man moved to India to run a charity for Rajasthani crafts people. Well, India is known to have a mosquito or two… and unfortunately the mosquitoes here can carry diseases, like Malaria.


MAMA: And Dengue fever.


LEELA: Would you believe Mr. Jones got both of those?! And that’s not all… He also got… the nasty old coronavirus! As if that weren’t enough… Well, one evening his dog, Rocky, started barking. So, Mr. Jones did what any dog lover would do, he reached out to soothe the pooch, When…




LEELA: A cobra, frightened by the sudden movement, bit him. Twice! But he’s made of tough stuff. He survived and hopefully the loss of his eye sight and some leg movement will just be temporary.


MAMA: Whooo what a story


LEELA: So, I’m never gonna complain about my bad luck again!


MAMA: I hear ya. And neither is the man who’s playing this…




LEELA: He’s an American music teacher who was in intensive care at a hospital with Covid-19 for a month.


MAMA: Unable to speak because he had medical tubes in his mouth, he chose to show his thanks and appreciation to the hospital staff in the best way he could.




LEELA: Speaking of gratitude…!


MAMA: It’s Thanksgiving in America… this is the last in our series about autumn festivals around the world.


LEELA: And in case you didn’t know Thanksgiving story… take it away, Mama.


MAMA: Well, the story goes… In the year 1620. There was a group of religious and economic refugees, called the pilgrims, that fled England for a better land. America, the 66 days journey across the Atlantic Ocean in a ship called the May flower wasn’t easy and when they arrived, they were sick and weak. And not alone.


There were natives. who looked a big different to them but were helpful and kind, teaching the pilgrims how cultivate corn and get sap from yummy maple trees and which poisonous plants to avoid? And as a show of thanks, a massive feast was planned at the end of the harvest season the next year 1621. Sadly, such friendly encounters didn’t continue as the settlers took over the native people’s land. And it was not until almost 250 years later that Abraham Lincoln encouraged the yearly dinner of thanks, the last Thursday of Nov. But it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that made it an official holiday in 1939.  And, here’s a little detail you might not know he moved the date forward a week… hoping to give the flagging economy a boost extra time to shop in the run up to that other holiday… Xmas. Regardless of its history, for most thanksgiving it’s a time to take stop and remember what your thankful for. Like we do, right?


LEELA: yep, And that’s not all…


MAMA: Oh, no it’s not… As with most festivals… for many people including our podcasting cousins from the terrific Book Power for Kids series thanksgiving is a time to see family and…


LEELA: ….and EAT!!!


POWER KIDS (untranscripted)


LEELA: Thanks, you guys!


MAMA: And that concludes our special coverage of autumn festivals around the world. Can you remember what kicked it off?


LEELA: Oh, ummm, Ok… The Hungry Ghost Festival in east Asia, The Sow-in Festival which became All Hollow’s Eve which became Halloween (sing it).


MAMA: Then Mexico’s day of the dead.


LEELA: And of course, India’s Diwali.


MAMA: And England’s Bonfire Night.


LEELA: And now Thanksgiving. Oh, I love this time of year!!


MAMA: So do I specially the food, And as a special treat we’ve put together an Autumn Festivals Quiz have you been paying attention? Well, go to our website newsyjacuzzi.com and have a look at the Lucky Dip page and you’ll find it there.


LEELA: Or on Facebook.


MAMA: Yes, of course we’ve not really mentioned our little Facebook Community but do head there and check it out!


STING: “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: They say the test of a democracy is the smooth transition of power… Well US President Trump has accepted that a formal transition should begin for Joe Biden to replace him. President-elect Biden, who has been appointing members to his team, says “America is back” and ready to lead the world.


The world’s largest maker of latex gloves will shut more than half of its factories after almost 2,500 employees tested positive for coronavirus. There’s been a big demand for the company’s personal protective gear, but they growing concerns about the working conditions of the low-paid migrant labor it relies upon.


It might take 1 to 3 billion years for diamonds to form naturally… But Australian scientists have cracked it in record time. Squashing the substance carbon using the pressure of something like, say, 640 elephants standing on the tip of a ballet shoe it’s managed to manufacture sparkling diamonds. Previously that was only superman could manage something so magical.


And as if we didn’t know we were living in strange times, the annual tradition of the Oxford English Dictionaries choosing a word or two that sums up the year has expanded its list for 2020 to include a whole selection of words, from Covid-19, lockdown and support-bubbles to bushfires, Black Lives Matter and moonshot.


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


MAMA: So last week we had a story about “scare bears” these wacky Monster Wolf robots from Japan that are placed around villages and farms to scare away wild bears.


LEELA: Well, this week we have another wild robot story… And it’s not about scaring away a predator… but spying on them.


MAMA: Well, on all animals. Underwater animals to be precise.


LEELA: Enter the super duper… wait… let’s not steal our reporter’s thunder… Swimmer, surfer and ocean lover: Porter Robbins it’s over to you.


PORTER: Thanks, Leela. So, you probably know, the ocean is one of the few places on earth that hasn’t been totally explored. Because the water pressure makes it hard for humans to travel deep down. High-tech underwater cameras and robotic devices have helped in recent years.


But they’re too slow and clunky to really move around much. But not for much longer! Thanks to the super Robot Squid! You see, here in California, some clever designers decided to take their inspiration from…  wait for it…


SOUND  from a squid!


They’re one of nature’s fastest swimmers. And they’re super versatile. That means they can go easily backwards-and-forwards, changing directions and pace quickly. They use their strong muscles to draw IN water and then rapidly push it back out. That basically creates jets of water, which propels them forward at rapid speeds.


You could even say… they whoosh! So, the designers at the University of California in San Diego built a soft robot that moves like a squid. It’s kind of looks like one too. Except this one has fairy lights on its tentacles that can shine green or pink, which is pretty cool. It was first tested in a lab and then went for a swim at the San Diego Aquarium. The designers are still perfecting the Squid Bot before it heads out to sea. In Los Angeles, I’m Porter Robbins reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.


LEELA: Thanks, Porter. Let us know when the super squid bot heads to the beach. And finally… Our lucky dip story is super sweet this week…


MAMA: A little too sweet, in fact!


STING: Step right up, Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? And odd ball, no doubt!


MAMA: Well, folks, this is a story that defies belief.


LEELA: De-what?


MAMA: You know, defy. What you sometimes to do me…




MAMA: Challenge. Resist. Disobey. Like when you don’t set the dinner table… Or when you eat one too many pieces of candy even when I’ve said enough.


LEELA: Ahhhhhaaaa…no, no, that was the mouse…


MAMA: We don’t have mice! (mumble)


LEELA: But defies belief?


MAMA: That means challenges our belief in something. In other words you’re not gonna believe this story.


LEELA: Ah, gotcha! But isn’t this the story about India producing too much sugar?


MAMA: Yep!


LEELA: Oh, what a dream come true!


MAMA: Well, too much of a good thing specially sugar… a bad thing. As our correspondents Amaira and Anaira Mirza will tell you.


LEELA: The twins! Amaira and Anaira, hello! What could possibly be wrong with too much sugar???


AMAIRA: Hello Leela! You know too much sugar isn’t good for you.


ANAIRA: Sure, you get a burst of energy…


LEELA: You mean, a “whoosh?!”


AMAIRA: You love those whooshes! But after the…




ANAIRA: Comes that… (pause) tired feeling.


AMAIRA: Eating too much sugar isn’t good for your body.


ANAIRA: And it can rot your teeth. Yuck!


AMAIRA: But India has a problem this year.


ANAIRA: It’s the world’s second largest producer of sugar.


AMAIRA: But this year, India has produced too much sugar.


LEELA: Uh-oh… I think when you produce too much of something, especially a crop, that’s called a glut, right?


ANAIRA: That’s right. And this year there’s going to be 13 percent more sugar produced than last year – 31 million tons to be exact.


AMAIRA: So, guess what the people at the Indian Sugar Millers Association are suggesting?


LEELA: The Indian Sugar Millers Association? Ummm…. Have a party with lots of candy?


ANAIRA: Uh… No! There’s a pandemic happening, remember? No one is having parties!


LEELA: So, they’re gonna make extra candy for themselves?


AMAIRA: No… Wrong answer.


LEELA: They’ll feed the extra sugar cane to the cows and pigs? oink oink!!




LEELA: I know, I know! I’ve heard sugar can be turned into something called ethanol, which can be used as fuel to, you know, run cars and buses.


AMAIRA: That would be super cool. But no!


LEELA: Ok Ok, then what is it?


ANAIRA: Leela, the Indian Sugar Millers Association has started a campaign to get Indians to eat more sugar!


LEELA: What?!


AMAIRA: Yes, I know! They’re putting an article and conducting workshops in hopes that people will be inspired to make and eat sweeter recipes this festive season.


ANAIRA: But they aren’t mentioning that eating too much sugar can cause obesity and diabetes, which is a big problem in India!


AMAIRA: But we have our own idea for the Sugar Association, don’t we?


ANAIRA: We sure do!


AMAIRA: Scientists at the University of Chicago have designed table ware made from sugarcane and bamboo.


ANAIRA: Unlike traditional plastic cups and plates which can take over 400 years to break down this would take only 60 days to biodegrade!


LEELA: Now that’s the sweetest idea I’ve heard all week! Thanks, you guys!


TWINS: your welcome Leela!


STING: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top… five fab facts heard today.



LEELA: A vaccine is a substance used to help your body produce antibodies which fight disease.



MAMA: The American “Pilgrims” fled religious and economic persecution in England aboard a ship called the Mayflower and sailed for 66 days before reaching America in 1620 and establishing the town of Plymouth.



LEELA: In 1621 a major feast took place between the American pilgrims and a group of native Americans, which is considered the first Thanksgiving, though it didn’t become an official holiday until 1939.



MAMA: Squid are one of nature’s fastest and most versatile swimmers, easily changing direction, using their strong muscles to draw in and push out water, propelling them forward at rapid speeds.



LEELA: When there is too much of something, particularly a crop or manufactured product, that is called a glut.


LEELA: And that ALMOST brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi!


MAMA: But not until we say…


TOGETHER: Thank you!


MAMA: I was much more high pitch than you. Thanks to “Addicted to Politics @Olivia and Katherine, who write: “This is one of the best podcasts in the world! I listen with my mother. It is one of the only kids podcasts she will listen to. I like this podcast because it’s so fun and funny!!”


LEELA: And “Ari from At Your Level” says, “Love this podcast! My mom and I listen together and really enjoy it. Keep up the good work.”


MAMA: Reca Ashauntae writes… “OMG! I love this! It’s such a cute podcast to share with your kids.”



LEELA: Thank you…

MAMA: Thank you…



LEELA: It is thanksgiving after all! If you enjoyed this dip…. in the whirlpool of news and information… then why don’t YOU also subscribe, rate and review?? Go on!!!! Don’t forget the Autumn Festivals Quiz on newsjacuzzi.com or our Facebook page!


See you next week in the Newsy Pooloozi!