US race tensions, mysterious blue holes at sea, Nigeria’s ballet boy and the anti-lion head butt
Sep 2, 2020 Episode 10
Hear about race tensions in the US and the Black Lives Matter movement from special guests Jackson and Avery Ausmer, who co-host the “Hey Black Child” podcast for kids. Here’s a link to their splendid show.
Also find out all you need to know about:
👉 The ocean’s mysterious blue holes 🌊
👉 Nigeria’s dancing sensation 🩰
👉 How ridiculously expensive sheep can be 🐑
👉 A “cheeky” way to stop lions eating cows 🐮
Like this episode? Then don’t forget to check out our previous story on Greenland’s melting ice caps, haunted houses in times of coronavirus, cocoa snow and more!
OPENING STING – LEELA: “New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to our TENTH episode of Newsy Pooloozi. I’m your host, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt. And this is my sound-effect engineer and big story explainer… my mama.
MAMA: Hello, hello…
LEELA: She’s from Texas. But we live in India… So…
LEELA AND MAMA TOGETHER: Namaste y’all.
LEELA: This week on Newsy Pooloozi we’ll hear about
The tensions in America… over racial in-equality…
The mission that’s underway to discover more about the mysterious blue holes in our oceans…
Nigeria’s ballet boy who’s taken the internet by storm…
A Scottish auction that’s rammed through the record books…
And the cheeky way farmers in Botswana are trying to stop lions eating their cows.
But first, let’s get a super quick rundown of what’s making the news around the globe…
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!”
MAMA: Thousands of students in the Eastern European country of Belarus are refusing to start the new academic year. They’re joining the almost daily protests against what are calling a rigged election of their president, who’s already been in office for 26 years.
Tributes are being paid for US actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for playing the Black Panther, who died of cancer at only 43 years old. He’d been diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, but hadn’t made the information public, so news of his death has fans and colleagues stunned.
And Hamburg University in Germany is offering to pay students to be actively in inactive. To qualify they have to answer four questions, including what do you not want to do. Organizers say it’s not about encouraging in idleness but refocusing people’s goals.
110-year-old man and his 104-year-old wife have been awarded the Guinness book world record title of the oldest married couple. The romantic duo, who come from the South American country of Equator, have been married for 79 years. That’s as long as most people live!
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: I’m afraid it’s another doozey this week. There’s a lot of tough and unpleasant stuff happening in United States right now.
LEELA: Can’t run away from bad news, right Mama?
MAMA: Uhhhhh… We might want too sometimes… But knowledge is power. Why? We’ve got to try and understand the problems if we’re gonna get anywhere in solving them and making the world a better place. So that’s why we’ve got some very special help this week.
You remember when I told you about the brutal killing of the Black man George Floyd by police officers in the American state of Minnesota few months ago.
LEELA: Yeah… That wasn’t nice.
MAMA: No… It deeply upset a lot of people, who say this has been happening too many times and just shows the deep prejudice that still exists in America against people of color. Many people took to the streets to protest. You know what a protest is, right?
SFX: Sound of people
LEELA: Yeah, like a parade, with lots of people waving signs and marching in the street, except… people are angry about something.
MAMA: Right. They want to vent their anger and draw attention to something they feel passionate about. It’s a way to let the public especially the leaders know what you think.
Now, let’s cut across to America where we’ve teamed up with some other kid podcasters the host of Hey Black Child to get their take.
HEY BLACK CHILD INSERT (no transcript)
LEELA: That was great! Thanks Avery and Jackson oh, and your mom! So, Mama, is this why those professional basketball players refused to play last week?
MAMA: Yep. Though they’ve now agreed to resume their playoffs after they secured a deal to convert their facilities into voting locations.
LEELA: Oh, oh, oh, like we heard in last week’s podcast!
MAMA: Right. Using their big stadiums will help provide safe socially distanced voting booths, get it?
LEELA: Oh, yeah. The LA Dodgers baseball team offered that first. Right?
MAMA: That’s Right. And now loads of other professional teams are doing the same. So that’s some progress. You see, a lot of people say sports and politics, or entertainment and politics, shouldn’t mix. But sometimes it all corners of society to stand up and demand change. And, it should be applauded, after all, for being a peaceful way to protest.
But, you know, the most important thing is really the hardest thing. And it’s that we listen to other people’s points of view even when we think they’re wrong or it makes us angry. It’s hard, Leela. But when we stop listening, we stop functioning as a healthy society. And that’s what’s dangerous.
Alright. I think we should splash some water on our faces and go into the deep blue.
LEELA: And now it’s time for…
STING: For the world of wow, wow, wow… In other words, Science!!!!
MAMA: So, you’ve heard of black holes, right?
LEELA: Yeah, they’re those things in space that suck up anything near them. And their black.
MAMA: Exactly, the gravity pull is soooo strong that it even light can’t get out. Hence the name, black hole. But have you ever heard of blue holes???
MAMA: Well, they’re here on earth.
LEELA: Gotta be in the ocean if they’re blue!
MAMA: Yep. But a much darker blue than the water around them.
LEELA: So deeper water?
MAMA: Bingo! A deep hole a huge underwater sinkhole. Strangely just when you think we know everything about our planet very little is known about these blue holes.
LEELA: Ahhh… And that’s why we have to cut across to our reporter, Marc Brahim (pronounced Bra – heem), right?
MAMA: He’s in America’s south where, off the coast, a big expedition is underway…
MARC: Believe it or not, blue holes were only discovered by fishermen or divers last century. That’s part of the reason why so little is known about them. But there’s another big or should I say, small reason.
The mouth of the hole usually isn’t very wide.
So marine biologists those are scientists who study the ocean couldn’t easily send a big capsule down to investigate. That’s made these blue holes a fascinating mystery. Until now. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are about to head into one of the deepest blue holes ever found.
Imagine a 20-story building upside-down in the water that’s how deep it is. It’s off the coast of Florida and confusingly called the “green banana” even though it’s not green and there are no banana trees nearby. It got the name about fifty years ago after a captain saw a green banana skin floating in it.
And the name stuck. For years people have written about this mysterious blue hole, wondering what it could be. Well, soon a small triangular-shaped platform, called a lander, will be carefully lowered
inside the famous blue hole.
Together the lander and divers will collect samples of water, sand and sediment from the bottom.
Scientist believe most of these underwater caverns are ecological hot spots, meaning they have a lot of different plants and animals. In other words, they might be an important oasis in an otherwise dead or barren seafloor. In America’s deep south, I’m Marc Brahim, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.
LEELA: Thanks, Marc! Keep us posted on what they find.
ACE STING – LEELA/MAMA: “Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture and Entertainment. Darling.”
MAMA: This is one of those stories that proves that old fashioned art sometimes called ‘high art’ or even ‘real art’ is not only found in fancy galleries or prestigious theatres.
LEELA: That’s right. Anyone who loves a form of traditional art whether dance or drama, music or painting they can be great at it with practice.
MAMA: And practice and practice. Our Africa correspondent, Janki Shah, who’s a bit of an artist herself, has this report.
JANKI: The setting is familiar one here in Africa. It’s a grey, drizzly day on a muddy side street. Empty bottles are stacked up against a tall stone wall. A woman sits on a tiny stool in the background, probably about to wash a bucket-of-clothes by hand.
But that’s where the drab and ordinary ends. Because really the only thing you see is the beauty and grace of a dancer. A teenage boy dancing in the street. But his act is not street dance. But the light and graceful moves of ballet. He is 11-year-old Anthony Mmesoma Madu from Nigeria in West Africa.
And the contrast, or difference, between the grim street and his beautiful ballet…Is mesmerizing!
And that means it captures your attention… as if by magic! He’s barefoot and the wet street looks rough in some places, slippery in others. But he spins on one foot or pirouette’s without missing a step.
When he was five, Anthony had told his mother he wanted to be a dancer. It wasn’t easy, as ballet isn’t very popular in Nigeria. But eventually they found the Leap of Dance Academy, where Anthony is known to be a perfectionist. That means, if he doesn’t do the steps perfectly, he tries over and over until he gets them just right.
So, it’s no wonder the video, posted by his dance teacher, caught the attention of award-winning actors and dancers. But more importantly, it’s earned him a scholarship with the prestigious American Ballet Theater in the U.S. Proving anything is possible with practice. And maybe a little help from YouTube.
I’m Janki Shah, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.
LEELA: Thanks, Janki. I just love that story. I wish I could dance like Anthony…
MAMA: Well, you can if you practice…
LEELA: Yeah… hey, Mama, watch my pirouette’s
SFX: DANCES… FALLS
MAMA: Nice… Whooooaaa… Yeah… you need a bit more practice. It’s not as easy as Anthony made it look.
LEELA: Yeah… Moving on…
STING: Step right up, Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? And odd ball, no doubt!
LEELA: Oh, you got that right. But not one oddball… but a special treat for our tenth episode: two oddball stories have come out of the lucky dip machine!
LEELA: Yep. Two for the price of one. Because there’s a theme. But I can’t tell you what it is yet, because that would give away my punch-line.
MAMA: Oh, these are jokes?
LEELA: They sure do seem like it. So… Just a few days ago, there was an auction in Scotland.
MAMA: Which is…?
LEELA: An auction is when something is sold to the highest bidder.
MAMA: Right, because usually when you buy something
LEELA: Like, for instance, this stuffed animal.
MAMA: OK. So, you just go to a store and pay what the price tag says. But what if lots of people want the same item? Gimmmeeee.
LEELA: No, I had it first.
MAMA: No mine! …. So, then the seller says, ok, I’ll sell it to whomever gonna give me the most money? So, people all start shouting out amounts…
MAMA: Ewww, clever. So, whoever has the highest amount that’s called a bid they get to buy it.
LEELA: Right, well, this auction in Scotland was selling something kind of like my stuffed animal.
LEELA: It was a sheep auction animal are often sold at auctions. But you’ll never guess how much money one single ram was sold for.
MAMA: Ummu… a 1000 pounds.
MAMA: A thousand dollars? Which is a bit more than a 1000 pounds.
MAMA: 25,000 but probably not, because that the price of a car.
LEELA: Not even close.
MAMA: What? Wow…. So, like a six-digit number.
LEELA: Wait, l thinks so, let me count Yes!
MAMA: What? That’s like how much a house might cost. 100,000 pounds?
LEELA: 368-thousand pounds!
MAMA: Whooooaaa… That’s over 3-and-a-half crore rupees…. Almost half a million dollars. For a sheep!
LEELA: Not any ordinary sheep.
MAMA: Obviously. What is it, a singing sheep?
LEELA SINGING – bahaa, bahaa black sheep…. Mary had a little lamb
LEELA: (laughs) But no… but it would be awesome if it were. Sadly, this was no singing sheep. It just looked like the best sheep or I should say ram ever. With the perfect qualities to produce a LOT more perfect sheep. That’s what the three farmers, who joined together to buy him, bought him for.
MAMA: Ahhh… a breeder. Yep. Auctions that sell animals for breeding are insane. You know the record is a horse that cost $70-million dollars! You could buy a private jet and a small island for that money!
LEELA: Well, the second story is about as cheap as it comes. A cheap head-butt, to be exact.
MAMA: Ahhheemmm… Leela.
LEELA: But, Mama, really. I promise I’m not making this up. In the African country called Botswana, farmers have a BIG problem with lions.
SFX: Animals sound
LEELA: Not eating them but their cattle.
MAMA: Oh. And that means their livelihood, or the way the earn their money.
LEELA: Yeah, so you know what they do, Mommy? Hunt down the lions and kill them.
MAMA: Hmmmm, not surprised.
LEELA: But that’s kind of sad, too, because eventually they’ll be no more lions. Like what happened in India.
MAMA: Yep. Hunters killed most of India’s lions. Disease is killing the last few.
LEELA: Well, a team of con-serv-actionists
MAMA: Scientists who want to save or conserver wildlife.
LEELA: From Australia went to Botswana with a crazy idea. Mama, you read this… (PAPER)
LEELA: This is what Dr Neil Jordan from the group said…
MAMA: “Lions are ambush hunters, so they creep up on their prey, get close and jump on them unseen. But in one case, the impala (that’s the animal the lion was hunting noticed the lion. And when the lion realized it had been spotted, it gave up on the hunt.”
MAMA: Ahhh… I get it, so if a lion’s prey – the impala or this case, the cow – looks at the lion, it’s game over. The lion goes away.
LEELA: Exactly. So that gave them a crazy idea…. What do you think they did?
MAMA: Well, given the cheeky phrase you used at the top of this report, I’m guessing –
LEELA: They drew an eye on each of the cow’s butt cheeks! Making it a…
MAMA: Head butt. (cough) Did it work?
LEELA: Well, a scientific study is underway. Half of a herd of cows is going to be stamped with the eyes to see if they make it back home each night. They’re also using fancy GPS devices to monitor the cows and lions, so they can learn more about where the cows are most at risk.
MAMA: You know, actually Leela, this isn’t the first time a predator goes away when it thinks it sees the eyes of its prey. Remember in your butterfly book it says there are some patterns resembling eyes on butterfly wings that are known to deter birds. And actually, now that I think about it, I’ve heard here in India, woodchoppers in the forest wear masks on the back of their heads to ward-off man-eating tigers. So, I guess the logic is the same. Wow. So, this is so fascinating.
LEELA: But this particular story is more than fascinating… It’s pretty cheeky too, wouldn’t you say?
SFX: Animals sound
STING: “And its time to wrap up the podcast with the top… five fab facts heard today. Here goes”
FAB FACT NUMBER 1
LEELA: A black hole is region of space(time) where the gravity pull is soooo strong that nothing, not even light can escape from it.
FAB FACT NUMBER 2
MAMA: A blue hole is an underwater sinkhole. Little is known about them, but it’s suspected these underwater caverns are ecological hot spots, meaning they might an oasis in an otherwise dead or barren seafloor.
FAB FACT NUMBER 3
LEELA: An auction in which items (like a house or an old piece of furniture or even an animal) are sold to the highest bidder, in other words the person willing to pay the most money for the item.
FAB FACT NUMBER 4
MAMA: The highest amount ever paid in an animal auction was $70 million dollars for a race horse.
FAB FACT NUMBER 5
LEELA: Lions are ambush hunters, who creep up on their prey and jump on them by surprise. But if the prey makes eye contact… many big cats give up the hunt if they’ve been seen.
MAMA: Before we wrap up today, we have some special announcements.
LEELA: Oh yes, we do. To celebrate our TENTH episode, we’ve built a website!!! An online home all our own!
MAMA: Yep, an easy place to find ALL our podcasts, profiles of our special correspondents from around the world, whose voices you’ve been hearing, and…….
LEELA: Our Lucky Dip page! You’ll never know what the claw machine will pick up and drop off for you there.
MAMA: Sometimes it’s a picture or a post about a story that inspired us or your, the listener to do something. Like when we reported on Google’s 3D Dinosaurs, we got several pictures of the prehistoric creatures in people’s home.
LEELA: Or when we made French donuts after doing our story on the floating cinema in Paris.
MAMA: And… you can find those Fab Facts from each show there too. So, take a look!
LEELA: but that’s not all.
MAMA: No ma’am.
LEELA: We’re even changing our logo! It’s super cool.
MAMA: There was a lot of debate we have to say, right?
LEELA: Oh, yeah!
MAMA: And maybe the odd tantrum. Mine, of course. Hmmmm.
LEELA: But the decision was made. So, go check it all out at newsyjacuzzi.com!!! There’s even a comments page, go on!!!
LEELA: And so that’s a wrap on Episode 10 of Newsy Pooloozi!!!!!
If you enjoyed this dip…. in the whirlpool of news and information… then do subscribe to our podcast on… Apple Podcast, Spotify, Alexa or wherever you get your podcasts.
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See you next week in the Newsy Pooloozi!