Mar 8, 2023 Episode 141
Ozone hole getting smaller, UN ozone video game, UK museums run out of space, whales have nosey lips
LEELA: This week – Ozone achievements and tech games, no room for old stones in UK museums and loud, lippy whales.
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!
This week we look at one of the world’s biggest environmental achievements – closing the hole in the ozone. What ozone, you say? We’ll tell you all.
Plus, not only does this accomplishment prove what the world can do to fix an environmental problem, but it inspires a new video game too.
In the UK archeologists are digging up so many artifacts that the museums are running out of room.
And we tell you the strange story about the whale with the nosey lips!
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… mom!
MAMA: Hello, hello. I’m Lyndee Prickitt.
LEELA: 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: It feels like we’ve had a lot of bad environmental news for a while now.
LEELA: You’re telling me.
MAMA: Well, here’s a change, then. A good news story that shows what can happen when everyone joins together to try and fix a problem. So, Leela.
LEELA: So, mama.
MAMA: Ever heard of the hole in the ozone?
LEELA: I confess, I’ve never heard of the ozone. Never mind that it has a hole.
MAMA: Right. So, let’s take the ozone first. It’s actually an invisible layer that acts like a shield in the atmosphere, you know, the air all around us. And, basically, without it we’d be toast.
LEELA: Uh, as in burnt to a crisp?!
MAMA: OK, not quite. But there would be a lot more cases of skin cancer, which can be deadly, and eye cataracts, which are cloudy patches on the eyes.
LEELA: Like Marmee, I mean, your mom had?
MAMA: Yes. It’s something quite a few older people get. But without the ozone shield, loads more of people would get it.
MAMA: Aaaannnd, crops and plants, never mind tons of micro-organisms, would get severely damaged, messing up the whole —
LEELA: Cycle of life!
LEELA: So, uhhh (laughs nervously), about this hole in the ozone…
MAMA: Yes. Your generation isn’t the only one who’ve had these big scary environmental worries. When I was little it was all about the growing hole in the ozone.
LEELA: So, what caused it, how big is it and should I be worried??
MAMA: Good questions. Turns out it was gases like chlorofluorocarbons (or CFCs) in spray cans and refrigerants were the biggest problem.
LEELA: Like our refrigerators?
MAMA: Actually, A refrigerant is a chemical compound, typically a fluid, used air conditioning systems and fridges – anything that needs to stay cool.
LEELA: Uh-oh. That’s a lot of household appliances then.
MAMA: Exactly. And then they discovered that when these CFCs slowly rise into the stratosphere, they’re broken down by strong ultraviolet radiation, release chlorine atoms, and then react with ozone molecules.
LEELA: Uh, excuse me.
MAMA: Yeah, I know basically, they deplete the ozone layer – creating a hole.
LEELA: Yikes. “Here comes the sun, du-du-du-du.”
MAMA: But it’s not alright!
LEELA: I say!
MAMA: But the super cool thing that most of the world saw this problem and collectively agreed to ban CFCs. Many years ago, and, ta-dah, the ozone hole has actually shrunk!
MAMA: Just shows what people can do it and put their mind to it
LEELA: Rip ozone hole
MAMA: Ohhh rip I got it rest in peace got it good okay I’m a bit slow
MAMA: Now, staying with the ozone, but believe it or not, moving into this…
TECH STING – LEELA/MAMA: “It’s time for… Technology News, technology news, tech news!”
LEELA: To be precise, this is gaming news.
MAMA: Believe it or not the United Nations, which has a whole secretariat as in a department dedicated to the ozone, just launched an ozone catastrophe simulator game.
LEELA: It’s part of something called the Reset Earth education platform.
MAMA: As you would, But this features a new character called Apollo.
LEELA: Who’s a girl, by the way. With her own metaverse where she spends her time vlogging about, well, resetting the Earth.
MAMA: But it’s the players who get to act like power brokers and politicians, choosing policies and laws to save their world from an ozone hole.
LEELA: Sounds familiar… So, it’s for kids 13 to 18 years old. But I reckon I could play…
MAMA: Really? Alright may be we need discover this game and give it a try
LEELA: Ohh yeah…
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: China says it will increase its military spending by more than 7% this year, while warning of “escalating” threats. However, it’s military budget of around $225bn dollars is dwarfed by the US, which is four times greater.
Credit card debt is rising fast in the US, reaching an all-time high of 1 trillion dollars. Part of the reason for this is the rising interest rates and inflation.
After ten years of negotiations, a monumental High Seas Treaty is signed to protect the oceans. 30% of our seas will be protected areas by 2030 in effort to safeguard and recuperate marine life.
And speaking of the seas, an aquanaut is embarking on a quest to live in a small underwater house for 100 days off the coast of the Florida Keys. He wants to research the impact such deep and pressurized confinement has on the human body.
MAMA: So, you know Britain is a really old place, right? As in civilizations have been there for a few thousand years.
LEELA: Yeah. Many buildings are, like, several hundred years old. Some even a few thousand years old!
MAMA: Exactly. So, it’s no wonder the place full of old relics and artifacts.
LEELA: Yeah, archaeologists have a “field day” there. Literally!
MAMA: Well – hold on folks.
SFX OF CAR BREAKS SCREACHING
MAMA: There’s a problem and you’ll never guess what it is.
LEELA: Ahhhh, I think for more on this we need to go to our south of England correspondent, Jackson Hosking.
LEELA: Well, take it away, Jackson!
SFX OF WALKING IN FIELDS
JACKSON: So, I’m regularly out in the fields of England and I can tell you – there are a lot of old buildings and stones, a lot of left-over bridges and walls, all from a long time ago.
Ancient artefacts are being unearthed here all the time.
Usually during construction work.
There’s even a career in this, can you believe it?
So, we know archaeologists’ study human activity through the recovery and analysis of the material civilizations left behind, right?
Well, there’s now commercial archeologists they’re hired by building contractors to do a dig of a place BEFORE a new construction is built on top.
And they find all sorts of things.
Like the big, ancient mosaic – that’s art made of stone, glass and ceramic pieces – was unearthed when London’s epic skyscraper, the Shard, was built.
And when a high-speed railway was being built in Northamptonshire, they found a wealthy Roman trading settlement.
So, what happens next?
Well, the most impressive pieces land up in museums.
But guess what?
They’re running out of space!
And most pieces are just collecting dust in warehouses.
Experts say in four or five years there’ll be no room left at all.
I think it’s time to build a skyscraper made out of these ancient stones, don’t you?
In the south of England, I’m Jackson Hosking, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi.
LEELA: Epic idea, Jackson! It could be like a vertical town with apartments, malls, rooftop parks and of course a lot of museums all in one.
MAMA: Ohhh I like that idea. Thanks a lot Jackson for that report.
LEELA: Yeah thanks Jackson.
MAMA: And finally, let’s see what the lucky dip machine has for our last story 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: Oh, yes. This story turns our understanding of lips and noses upside-down. At least in the world of whales.
MAMA: Oh, is this a tall tale of a “lippy” whale?
LEELA: You could say that. Because we’ve known for a long time that whales are the loudest or you could say lippiest animals on earth, right?
SFX OF WHALE
MAMA: Totally. Loud and haunting, I’d say.
LEELA: They can blast out 180 decibels of sound, did you know? That’s louder than a jet plane! Well, the mystery as to how they make these loud cries is now solved.
MAMA: Do tell.
LEELA: So, these fabulous aquatic animals are some of the longest-living mammals on earth, did you know?
MAMA: I did not know that actually.
LEELA: Yep, killer whales can live beyond a 100 and bowhead whales can reach more than 200-years-old!
LEELA: So, experts weren’t exactly sure just how whales can make such loud sounds to communicate because, you see, they don’t use their vocal cords like humans do.
We just suck in and out a lot of air and go – hold on, I need to step away from the microphone for this – (screams) ahhhhhhh!
MAMA: Okay Thank you for that.
LEELA: Anytime. But that’s not what whales do.
MAMA: No, might be hard underwater.
LEELA: Exactly. So how they communicate so loudly? Well, a group of whale biologists have realized that whales – get this – use an extra pair of lips to make sounds.
MAMA: Whales have two pairs of lips? They really are “lippy!”
LEELA: Yep. But that’s not all! Guess where these extra lips appropriately called “phonic lips” phonic as in sound guess where they are?!
LEELA: Up their nose!
LEELA: Yes, the whales blast air through – what I think should be called – their “nose lips,” which slap back and forth to create a vibration which makes the noise.
MAMA: Well, I never.
LEELA: Impressive, I’d say. If not a bit smelly.
MAMA: Or, you know, it’s all a bit fishy, if you ask me.
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 – One environmental crisis the hole in the ozone is being fixed thanks to a world-wide effort. What is the ozone?
The ozone is an invisible layer that acts like a shield in the atmosphere as in the aur all-around of us.
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – One major factor in reducing the hole in the ozone is the world-wide reduction of gases like CFCs, which were typically used in spray cans and refrigerants. What does CFC stand for?
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – Archeologists in the UK are worried as museums are running out of room to contain all their finds. What do archeologists’ study?
Human activity – through the recovery and analysis of the material civilizations left behind.
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – The mystery around how whales which are some of the longest-living mammals – make such loud sounds is solved by scientists. How long can bowhead whales live?
More than 200-years-old!
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – Whales, make noises louder than a jet plane, can reach up to how many decibels?
And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on, then go to the Lucky Dip page of our website, newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and you know what I’m gonna say take this quiz online in your own time!
LEELA: (saying in cat voice) that’s a cat how you spell Newsy Pooloozi pool-o-o-z-i.com
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi!
MAMA: If you enjoyed this dip in the coolest pool of news and information then HIT that subscribe button on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Alexa, Google podcast or wherever you get your podcasts.
LEELA: While you’re at it… Give us a good rating. Or better still, leave us a review! Go on – we’ll read it out loud if you do… Alrighty then, see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!