Wacky archaeological discoveries, 4-day work-week, Ariana’s gran rocks it, baseball’s spring training, UK soccer sock drama

Mar 27, 2024 Episode 176

Ancient and medieval discoveries that will wow you, 4-day work-week debate, Ariana Grande’s grandma breaks records, baseball’s spring training, and UK soccer sock drama

Episode Transcript


LEELA: This week… ancient and medieval discoveries that will wow you, the 4-day work-week debate, Ariana Grande’s grandma rocks it, baseball’s spring training, and soccer’s sock drama.

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!

MAMA: It’s your one-stop-shop for the most interesting and important news happening around the world.

LEELA: I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt. And this here is my sidekick mom.

MAMA: Hello – I’m Lyndee Prickitt. Hello hello


LEELA: This week…

Researchers uncover amazing ancient and medieval tools… like the stone wall cavemen used for hunting, the 1700-year-old egg that still has yolk and a map that proves how well people got along.

The results are in! After three years of studying whether a four-day work week is doable, we have an answer. Stay tuned to find out!

Heard of the popstar who samples her grandma? Yes, words of wisdom and love help Ariana Grande and her gran break records.

Major League Baseball is wrapping up its spring training before the official start of the season. We’ll have a special report about the warm-up tradition from Arizona.

And, finally, two soccer teams from the UK give new meaning to the phrase, “pull your socks up!” You gotta listen to the end to find out why!

Alright 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: Well, the past might be done, but it’s certainly not over.

LEELA: Oh, no. We are still discovering and learning new things about the way the old world – or cultures from long ago – actually worked.

MAMA: We sure are. And this podcast we have three, count ’em, three, discoveries that are making news. And by that I’m talking about things that archeologists and researchers have found or uncovered that shed light on the way we behave as a species.

LEELA: Archeologists being the people who do exactly that – dig up ancient dinosaur bones and old pieces of pottery and stuff.

MAMA: Yes, exactly.

LEELA: So, what are we talking here? What kind of things have been dug up this time?

MAMA:  Well, one of the coolest things wasn’t actually dug up, but was found something called an astrolabe.

LEELA: A who-what-which-how lab?

MAMA: An astrolabe was a very old-fashioned map of the universe and the stars that was a popular tool for scientists back in the 11th century. The Greeks first invented the astrolabe, but it was the Islamic world that perfected it.

LEELA: A maps like on paper.

MAMA: Not at all. Actually, it’s a super complex instrument that the New York Times recently called a “1000-Year-Old Smartphone.”

LEELA: Oh, cool! But, like, that’s just a metaphor, right? As in something to help us modern people understand how important and complex that thing was. Right? It was an actual iPhone.

MAMA: Exactly. The astrolabe that we’re talking about consists of a couple of bronze plates, about the size of a small pizza. It’s covered in Arabic engravings which told the researcher who was studying it that it was likely from southern Spain, when it was under Muslim rule. To use the device, you turn the plates in different directions, based on your latitude.

LEELA: Latitude being the distance of a place north or south of the equator, usually expressed as a degree, or you could think of it as where you are in relation to the north or south poles.

MAMA: Very good. So, these plates have markings on them that can tell you what time the sun sets and rises, the position of the stars, and lots of other important astrological stuff. But that’s not why it’s cool.

LEELA: Go on….

MAMA: Wow, it’s so cool because of all the different cultures and people who used the thing. You see, this was a device that originated from a Muslim owner. But when historians took a closer look, they noticed it had Hebrew markings on it as well.

LEELA: Hebrew is the official language of Israel, right?

MAMA: That’s right. And when the researcher found those Hebrew markings, they knew the object had passed from Muslim to Jewish owners. Which meant the two groups were living and working alongside each other, along with Christians there too.

LEELA: That IS remarkable, especially considering the current situation happening right now in Gaza. But I guess that’s another story.

MAMA: So true. But it is a pleasant reminder that it IS possible to get along!

LEELA:  OK, so what else have scientists or researchers uncovered lately?

MAMA: Well, another find, in this time underwater, was a tool that cave people used to hunt!

LEELA: What? An underwater hunting device? I’m so confused right now.

MAMA: Let me explain. Researchers discovered a wall, underwater in the Baltic Sea, made out of stones about the size of tennis and soccer balls.

LEELA: Still not seeing a hunting tool.

MAMA: No, this “stone wall” was set up right alongside a lake… which is now underwater. But 10,000 years ago, researchers believe, prehistoric hunters set up this wall near the lake to direct animals, like reindeer, into a specific area. Si you know they can hunt them.

LEELA: Like a funnel?

MAMA:  Yes, that’s right. And in that way, the wall was actually a tool that hunters used.

LEELA: Wow – that’s pretty sophisticated for cave people.

MAMA: I know, right?

LEELA: OK, next?

MAMA: Okay well, the last one on our list, is no “yolking” matter.

LEELA: Huh? Is that a fancy word? No, wait. Are you making a joke?

MAMA: Eggs-actly. Because researchers, conducting an archeological dig in Britain’s Buckinghamshire, found, wait for it, ana egg a 1700-year-old egg.

LEELA: Ooh! How eggciting!

MAMA: That’s the spirit. Yes, they found the egg in 2016 and have been studying it since then. And recently they released some amazing information about it. Namely that the insides of the egg are still intact!

LEELA: As in, like there’s still a yolk and egg white? That’s eggceptional!

MAMA:  Eggactly!! The shell wasn’t damaged. And when they looked at it up-close with a special tool, called a micro-CT scan, they saw that the liquid was still inside.

LEELA: After all of these years! Why didn´t it just dry out? Like, evaporate?

MAMA:   So far, there’s no clear answer. Scientists are… scrambling to explain how it was possible.

LEELA: I guess eggspectations are high.

MAMA:  Yep. You can’t eggnore science!

LEELA: Mama, this story really cracks me up.

MAMA:  We better end it here, this is getting egghausting.

LEELA: Yes. And I don’t know how we started this… I think it’s a chicken and egg thing.

MAMA: Baddabumbumm. OK. Moving on…

[SOURCE: https://www.npr.org/2024/03/16/1238815651/this-medieval-astrolabe-has-both-arabic-and-hebrew-markings-heres-what-it-means







TOP-UP TIME STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “Go on give me a top up, please? It’s top-up time. Top-up time! Top-up time! Top-up time! Top-up time! Top-up time! Now? Yeah, now. It’s top-up time.”

 MAMA: Yes, almost exactly three years ago, in Episode 40 on March 31st  of 2021, we did a story about the possibility of a four day work week.

LEELA: Wow… We’ve been doing this podcast for over 3 years…?!

MAMA: Almost 4, in fact. Totally totally Wowzers, ehh?

LEELA: Wow, indeed.

MAMA: So, yes, 3 years ago there was a program in Spain to study whether working four days instead of five would be better or worse for companies and their employees.

LEELA: And the answer is…?!?

MAMA: Well, since then, a LOT of other countries have done similar studies. And several of those studies have published their findings.

LEELA: Alright then. Let’s shoot over to our Spanish correspondents Nina and Marcky Granena for a “top up” on this story!

NINA: Thanks guys. Ah yes. I remember that story very fondly.

The year was 2021. The professional world was still in the grips of COVID protocol pandemonium!

MARKCY: Businesspeople everywhere were wondering: Do we have to work in the office, or can we do it at home?

NINA: And people were starting to question their work-life balance.

MARCKY: That means people started to wonder, how else can we make our work lives less stressful?

NINA: That’s when the four-day work week idea was hatched.

MARCKY: Cities and towns around the world began testing the four-day work week. From Belgium to the United Arab Emirates.

NINA: The rules were simple, worked the same hours for the same pay, but during four days a week instead of five.

MRACKY: And country after country and study after study, the results were the same. It works!

NINA: From South Africa to the United Kingdom.

MARCKY: From Spain to Canada.

NINA: Workers said they were happier and less stressed because they had an extra day to do whatever they wanted.

MARCKY: Like running errands or starting a hobby.

NINA: And the companies and bosses were happy because believe it or not, workers were actually more productive.

MARCKY: That means they did more things in less time.

NINA: Exactly, so the four-day work week idea is a real win-win for companies and workers.

MARCKY: But I’m still confused about one thing.

NINA: Which is?

MARCKY: How do we convince the adults that us kids deserve a four-day school week? I mean who doesn’t want a better school video game life balance, right?

NINA: Uh, good luck with that.

NINA & MARCKY: From Barcelona this is Nina Granana and Marky Granana for Newsy Pooloozi.

LEELA: Thanks a lot, you guys for that story. I am all for it. I’d like to see how this fits in with the school week and if it can travel all the way to India.

MAMA: Okay so you want a four-day school week?

LEELA: I think that would be very nice, yes.

MAMA: Okay I don’t know about that but um watch this space everyone.

[SOURCE: https://abcnews.go.com/Business/4-day-workweek-work-companies-share-results-after/story?id=107635577&utm_source=pocket-newtab-en-intl]


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: In the US a major bridge in the eastern state of Baltimore came crashing down after a cargo ship rammed into one of its pillars. It happened in the middle of the night, so there weren´t many cars on the bridge, but six construction workers who were making repairs are presumed dead.

In Russia people are reeling after a major terrorist attack at a theatre in the capital Moscow. The Islamic State militant group said they organized the attack in which nearly a 140 people were killed and hundreds more hospitalized.

In case you didn’t know, Spring officially arrived as the sun has crossed the celestial equator, which means the length of day and night are pretty much equal as longer summer days draw nearer.

And, finally, in North America people are gearing up for a major solar eclipse on April 8. During this cosmic event, the Moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun, which will be seen clearly across 15 U.S. states, parts of Canada and Mexico.

[SOURCE: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2024/03/25/isis-behind-moscow-atttack-france-us-say/73090798007/


https://www.space.com/how-long-will-total-solar-eclipse-last-april-8 https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2024/03/25/faa-solar-eclipse-advisory/73095937007/]

LEELA: Well thank you so much for that – wait for it… that whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap of what’s making headlines elsewhere in the world, Mama.

MAMA: Anytime, my dear. So, Leela.

LEELA: So, Mama.

MAMA: I know you’re a Swifty through and through.

LEELA: Better believe it.

MAMA: But I’ve been impressed with how you’ve begun listening to other artist.

LEELA: Why, thank you.

MAMA: Such as Ariana Grande, who I believe you have some news about.

LEELA: I sure do. Play the sting, Mama.

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

LEELA: Pop star Ariana Grande is known for being a dotting granddaughter to her nonagenarian gran called Nonna.

MAMA: Sweet. (Nonagenarian means a person in their 90s.

LEELA: So dotting is Ariana, in fact, that she’s twice before included her gran’s voice on her tracks.

MAMA: Those would be 2013 Daydreamin and 2019’s Bloodline.

LEELA: And just recently when she was looking for a way to end her new album, Eternal Sunshine… who did she turned to?

MAMA: Nonna?

LEELA: You got it. She was looking for inspiration and so started to flip through her voice notes of her phone. She says she often records her grandmother talking because she’s the “most hilarious person in the world.”

MAMA: And you quote that’s really sweet.

LEELA: Yep. And sure enough, looking for a way to end her last song, ordinary things, and what did she find about her grandmother talking about her grandfather saying.

MAMA: “And when he’d come home and I’d see him… It was like seeing daylight… It’s not that we never fought… You can overcome that, you know?” Ahhhh…

LEELA: And so… At the age of 98 years young Marjorie “Nonna” Grande is the oldest person to top the chart on Spotify, getting nearly 3 million streams on its first day of release.

MAMA: Not bad for a nonagenarian. Alright. From musical entertainment to sporting entertainment…

[SOURCE: https://people.com/ariana-grande-grandmother-98-becomes-oldest-artist-to-chart-billboard-hot-100-8611486


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

 MAMA: Here in India, there’s no question that the most loved, most watched and most played sport is…?

LEELA: Cricket, of course!

MAMA: That’s right! But over in the U.S. baseball – which originated from cricket – is considered the national pastime. And right now, the new season is about to begin. Which means spring training is about to wrap up.

LEELA: I’ve heard of this. Spring training is what they call the warm-up or practice period before the official season starts, right?

MAMA: Yes, ma’am. And in Arizona in the western United States, spring training is big league.

LEELA: Well, I know just the person to tell us more. Our new North America correspondent, Luke Burchard, in Arizona. Take it away, Luke!

LUKE: If anyone out there is a baseball fan, like me, then they would know that the baseball season is just around the corner. That means spring training is just finishing up.

I’m lucky to live in one of the two states where spring training is held. In baseball, there are 30 teams, 15 here in Arizona for Spring Training and 15 in Florida.

It can get really hot in Arizona during summer, sometimes reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit! (About 49 degrees Celsius!) But in spring, the weather is perfect for baseball players to shake off all those winter cobwebs, and warm-up for the official season.

We have 10 stadiums, with the Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs, and Oakland Athletics all having their own. The rest of the teams share facilities in towns across the state.

My favourite part of spring training is getting to see the players up close! The atmosphere is relaxed and fun, and there are lots of chances to get autographs!

In Mesa Arizona, anxiously waiting the start of the baseball season, this is Luke Burchard reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Thanks a lot for that story, Luke.

MAMA: Yeah, thanks Luke and staying with sports I believe the Lucky Dip Machine has a rather odd sport story for us.

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:  So, in keeping with our sports theme, today’s oddball is about a group of people who got caught with their socks down.

MAMA:  I believe the phrase is “caught with your pants down,” as in you’re trying to run out of the house, but you haven’t even finished getting dressed – as in not being prepared for something, which is embarrassing.

LEELA: But I really DO mean socks. Because that’s exactly what happened during a recent football match or, I should say, soccer between two women’s teams from England.

MAMA: Then maybe the phrase you’re looking for is, “pull your socks up,” meaning, get it together, girl. Alright, for more on this topic let’s go to our UK correspondent, Maya Bull.

LEELA: Over to you, Maya!

MAYA: Thanks, you guys.

Talk about not caring about what you wear…

Well, the official colors for the London football team Chelsea are royal blue and white.

So, on the day of their match against big rivals, Arsenal, Chelsea’s uniform, or kit – as it’s called here were blue shirts and white socks.

Now, Arsenal’s colors are red and white. And so, they showed up to the match in red shirts and… white socks.

Yes, they were both wearing white socks.

And believe it or not, it’s a big no-no when both teams are wearing the same color socks. Sounds silly, right?

Well, think about it – when you’re running around with your eyes low to follow the ball, the color of socks matters.

Because if both teams are wearing the same color, there’s the risk you might accidentally kick the ball to your opponent!

Home team Chelsea got to keep their white socks on, while Arsenal had to run around – off the pitch – to quickly find some socks that were NOT white.

Well, thank goodness for gift shops!

Arsenal was able to buy black socks for their players from the Chelsea gift shop.

But… did I mention the socks had the Chelsea logo on them? Cringe!

They had to use tape to cover the logo.

Not surprisingly, Arsenal lost the match 3-1.

I guess you could say Chelsea really socked it to ‘em.

In England I’m Maya Bull for Newsy Pooloozi.

LEELA: Thanks Maya. That must have been a tough match having to play in your rivals’ socks!

MAMA: Yeah, I guess you really don’t know someone until you walk in their shoes, or socks, as it were.

[SOURCE: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-arsenal-delayed-kit-clash-womens-super-league-b2513519.html


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 – An incredibly rare and old bronze map that has markings in different languages is discovered, showing how well old civilizations worked together. What’s this kind of bronze map called?


LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – To use the device, you turn the bronze plates in different directions, based on your latitude. What is latitude?

The distance of a place north or south of the equator, usually expressed as a degree, or you could think of it as where you are in relation to the north or south poles.

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – Ariana Grande’s grandmother, “Nonna,” who’s a nonagenarian, is the oldest person to top the chart on Spotify. What’s a nonagenarian?

Someone in their 90s

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – Spring training for Major League Baseball is wrapping up ahead of the new season. What are the two states where the 30 teams head for this pre-season warm-up?

Arizona and Florida

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – Sock drama in the UK’s soccer league means Arsenal women’s team had to change their white socks to black. What is the other color of their kit or uniform?


And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on, or test your students who are listening to this,

then go to the lucky dip page of our website, newsypooloozi.com, That’s pool as in a swimming pool that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and take this quiz online in your own time!

LEELA: And that almost brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! But first… reviews, reviews, reviews! Someone I know – who has access to iTunes – has been very late reading out the reviews.

MAMA: Yes… Profuse apologies. I promise to be better!

LEELA: OK – first up is Ruby BYGFVF, who gives us five stars and says, “best way to learn news.”

MAMA: Thanks, Ruby!

LEELA: AND… Another 5-star review from the login of

MAMA: Okay,that was Leela getting extremely excited that this review is from somebody who calls

themselves T-Swift Book Dog Music Lover.

LEELA: Did you hear that, Taylor Swift? They like Taylor Swift and lover. Like that’s such a good pun.

Anyway, sorry, who writes?

MAMA: Your podcast is so much fun. I love that it’s not just US news like many are. I love you so much, Leela. You guys are such a great pair and so nice. This is so much fun. And I love all the different sections you have. Would 100% recommend to everyone, love from Etta from Washington, USA.

LEELA: O.M.G. – that was an amazing review. Thank you SO much for taking the time out to write all that.

MAMA: Seriously! every little bit of it has totally made our week.


LEELA: Woo! So, what about you? Go on – leave us a review and we PROMISE to read them out loud don’t we?

MAMA: Yes, yes, we really do. I promise to be better.

LEELA: OK. Before we go, special thanks to our co-producer, Julie Noce and our production assistant, Jyoti Chauhan.

MAMA: Thanks tons, you guys!

LEELA: And we’ll catch you next time in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!