Jul 1, 2020 Episode 01
It’s a whirlpool of news for kids at Newsy Jacuzzi! Welcome to the first-ever episode of our family-friendly news and information podcast for kids. 🎙️
This week’s big news story is the pesky coronavirus resurgence – we hear what resurgence means from lil Leela, followed by what’s happened so far as far as coronavirus is concerned from Lyndee.
Other newsworthy features from this episode include:
👉 Tech story: discover a techno “taste display” from Japan 🇯🇵
👉 ACE (that’s arts, culture and entertainment) news: all about baby sharks 🦈
👉 World of WOW (aka science): do you know what glacier mice are? Psst… here’s a hint: glacier mice aren’t really mice at all 😮
👉 Sports: Baseball is back! ⚾
👉 Oddball story of the week: Forest Finn and his tale of a real-life treasure hunt in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico 💰
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Hello, welcome to the first podcast of Newsy Jacuzzi – where we’ll dive into this week’s news from all over the world.
I’m your host Leela Sivsankar Prickitt.
And this is my sound-effect side-kick and big story explainer… my mama.
MAMA: Hi y’all
LEELA: She’s from Texas. But we live in India, so… Namaste!
LEELA AND MAMA TOGETHER: Namaste!
LEELA: This week we’ll take a look at the nasty old coronavirus
The latest from the sporting world that’s getting ready to rev up again
And… our Lucky Dip story just for the fun of I, takes the phrase “monkying around” to another level…
But first, let’s hear a wrap of the biggest news stories of the week from my Mama, because she can talk really fast… Hold on tight it’s…
STING: Around the World in 80 seconds…. Whooooaaa… Hold on tight…
MAMA: Around the World in 80 seconds
WORLD WRAP – AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 SECONDS
STING: Around the world in 80 seconds
MAMA: There was a violent clash between two of the world’s biggest countries on one of the highest battlegrounds on earth. 14,000 feet up icy mountains, Indian and Chinese soldiers fought over land that both believe is theirs. Soldiers on both sides have died and the tense stand-off continues.
Next stop, England… near one of the world’s most famous prehistoric sites called Stonehenge – which is this super cool circle of huge stones placed together long before humans had the tools or trucks to make it easily… another prehistoric structure has been found.
Archeologist, who study these super old sites, think that ancient people dug out a bunch of deep pits that might have circled around a special area.
The American Museum of Natural History will remove a statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance. Why? Well, after all those protest earlier this month over racial injustice, statues of leaders who stood for racial discrimination are seen as offensive.
And it’s official – the Japanese now have the fastest supercomputer – Fugaku. It’s named after Japan’s tallest mountain, Fuji, and it’s almost three times faster than its nearest competitor, IBM’s Summit.
LEELA: Who… Thanks for that fast flash around the world. And now… it’s time to tackle… the Big News Story of the Week.
Surprise, surprise – we’re going to talk about the coronavirus.
LEELA: Isn’t that really old?
MAMA: Good point, little journalist… But… there’s been a resurgence. Do you know what that means?
MAMA: Well, surge means to push forward [push L]… Actually, more like a wave coming at you, which is what happened with the virus. It went like a wave across the world. So just about every country on earth – as you know – went into a lockdown.
LEELA: Boy, do I know.
MAMA: And India had the most extreme lockdown in the whole world, as you also know… But now that the lockdown here and everywhere has lifted, there’s a resurgence of infection. So re means again, so a resurgence means corona is pushing forward again. Say resurgence.
MAMA: Great. So in America many states that were beginning to end their lockdown measures – like my home state of Texas, are experiencing a resurgence. And now there are more infections then ever – in fact there’s a new record of 40,000 people from all over the US people the virus in one day.
Even Europe, which seemed like it was over the worst, has seen an increase in cases of Covid-19 – that’s the specific, or actual, name for the coronavirus.
And, by the way, do you know why it’s called Covid 19?
MAMA: Let’s break it down.
The ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. The 19 just stands for 2019, as in last year, when they discovered this thing.
Actually, it’s full name was ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ – and novel is the important part there.
You know what novel means?
LEELA: The book you’re writing?
MAMA: Ahh, that’s the other definition. In this case novel means new. That’s one of the reasons it’s so deadly because experts just didn’t know how it spreads, what it does to the body and, worse, how to fix it. Now, while doctors and researchers are learning more every day – it’s still pretty overwhelming.
Especially in places, like here in India – the second most populated country in the world – where there aren’t enough hospitals. Unfortunately every day the number of people getting the virus is increasing… Over half a million people have been infected so far. But guess what?
SFX – TRAINS
MAMA: To help cope… 500 train carriages are being turned into hospital wards right here in the capital, New Delhi. But the trains will stop moving first, of course.
LEELA: Now from hospital trains to..… tasting technology…. It’s time for…..
STING:: Time for Tech News, tech news, tech news, technology news
LEELA: You won’t believe the tech gadget coming out of my imagination…
I mean the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory…
NO, no, no…. I mean Japan, of course!
Scientists at Meiji University – based in both Tokyo and Kawasaki, Japan – have created something I’d call a “taste pop” – but they call a “taste display” or a Norimaki Synthesizer.
It’s a tube about the size of a popsicle with five little tips at the top that can create the taste of any chosen flavor when you press your tongue against them.
How cool is that?
The researchers have created a range of flavors: from sweet (like gummy candies) to salty (hello chips!) a bitter flavor (not sure that’s for me), and, of course, sour tastes.
And by moving the little sliders around, you can even… a mix of all those (like sushi, yummm).
The only tough bit would be deciding WHICH flavor to have first!
MAMA: That is magical. Does it do smells.
LEELA: Nope –just taste. And no spicy flavors yet, so, sorry Indians friends, we’ll have to stick with our own masalas for now.
MAMA: So when can we get one?
LEELA: Good question… Right now it’s just a prototype – like this podcast. But I hope both will take off soon!
MAMA: By the way, you’ve mentioned four of the tastes that we humans can distinguish with the hundreds of little bumps on our tongue – “receptor cells”. But did you know there’s a fifth flavor?
LEELA: Nope. (or: Really?)
MAMA: Yep. It’s called Umami. It wasn’t even given a name until 1908. Some people just call it “savory” – but that’s confusing because we often think savory means salty. But no… it’s a rich almost meaty taste, think of soups, gravies, cheeses, and, of course, soy sauce.
LEELA: And here I thought we were doing our tech story…
MAMA: Technology is now just a part of life, every facet of it, even taste buds.
LEELA: Now comes the ace part of our podcast.
MAMA: Oh, cool. Wait – ace as in, like, great?
LEELA: Nope. Ace as in A C E, which stands for: Arts, Culture and/or Entertainment.
MAMA: Ahh, so it’s an acronym – the first letter of each word: A C E, got it. That’s ace, as the British would say.
LEELA: [English accent] Too right, mate. That’s what I was gonna say…
So for today’s ACE story we go to our entertainment reporters, twins Adhyant and Nirbhay.
MAMA: Take it away, boys.
A: Everybody knows this song, right?
B: Of course – Baby Shark has nearly 6 billion (billion!) views on YouTube.
A: That’s more than the Masha and the Bear’s song, Recipe for Disaster, and Gangnam Style!
B: Second only to the grown-up song, Despacito.
A: What do all of these songs have in common?
B: They all get stuck in your head!
A: All… Day… Long…
B: But that’s not the story…
A: The big news is that the doo-doo-doo baby shark is about to get his own TV show!
B: Yep, the TV channel Nickelodeon has just announced animated (that means cartoon) series called ‘Baby Shark’s Big Show!’.
A: The series will follow Baby Shark and his best friend William on funny adventures in their underwater community of Carnivore Cove.
B: Baby Shark’s Big Show! will debut (that’s means the first show) this December.
A: But we don’t have to wait till then.
B: In July Nick Jr. will play short little Baby Shark shoes for one week.
MAMA: That was awesome.
LEELA: They’re so sweet…
MAMA: So I hear you have a special word for science
MAMA: Well, it’s time for our science story, but I think you have a…
LEELA: Ah! Yes! And now for the World of Wow!!!
MAMA: That would be science.
LEELA: Although this could easily be our oddball story, too, because it’s about little critters called, “glacier mice.”
MAMA: Glacier mice? Mice? As in rodents? Those little mammals with creepy long tails that gnaw on things?
LEELA: That’s what I said. But not what I mean… Well, if you’ve never heard of rodents called “glacier mice” that’s because they’re not really rodents at all!
They’re just moss balls.
Yep, you heard me right: balls of moss growing on glaciers.
They were first recorded by an Icelandic researcher – almost 70 years ago – who thought they looked like mice… and the name stuck.
(Of course in Icelandic it’s pronounced a little differently: yuckla meece.)
They’re fuzzy bright green blobs in a world of white.
MAMA: But aren’t glaciers cold and barren places?
LEELA: What’s barren mean?
MAMA: Ah, barren means infertile, can’t produce anything – nothing will grow there. So how the heck is moss growing on glaciers?
LEELA: Well, that’s what glaciologist – (as in scientist who study glaciers, get it?) – are still trying to figure out.
First of all, they have no roots – they’re not attached to anything – they just rest on the ice.
A study released last month, tracked the movements of thirty little moss balls for over ten years and found they move together very slowly, as if in a herd.
But they’re still trying to figure out WHYYYYY!
MAMA: Maybe they just like each other.
LEELA: Yeah, like…. Hey mate, mossy, I’m over here… Don’t leave without me!
MAMA: Of course I won’t, darling. We mossballs must stick together. Everything else here is too blanched and boring, plain and dull!
LEELA: And in SPORTS news… Baseball is back! For more on this we go to our sports reporter, Porter Robbins, in Los Angeles, California. Over to you, Porter.
PORTER: That’s right, Leela.
The game called America’s “national pastime” will soon be back in action.
It will be one of the first professional league games to return to the pitch.
You see, big events with lots of people were cancelled because coronavirus is mainly spread by SPIT – I mean, uhhhhuuuum, “droplets in the air”. *
Which is pretty hard to avoid when you have thousands of cheering fans crowded into stadiums.
But even the players can’t exactly be socially distant!
Also, all that running and throwing, kicking and dribbling, well, it takes a lot of breath and a lot of spit flies about, I mean, “droplets of air”.
Well… after a lot of discussion and debate about how to play safely, some sports are gearing up to play.
Baseball being among the first.
But it won’t be an ordinary season.
Among many alterations (that’s an official word for “changes”), the season will be super short.
Instead of 162 games, the teams will only play 60 games.
(That would be “a third” of the normal season for all you folks who love your fractions. )
So basically instead of being the marathon season it usually is, it will be a sprint.
Players will soon report to spring training and the season will begin in the fourth week of July.
This is Porter Robbins from Los Angeles, California reporting for “Newsy Jacuzzi!”
MAMA: Way to go, Porter!
LEELA: Yep, he likes to play baseball almost as much as he likes reporting on it!
LEELA: And finally… Our lucky dip story (muffling SFX) takes us to the Rocky Mountains in the United States of America, where a real-life treasure chest – full of gold and jewels – was recently found on a pukka treasure hunt.
MAMA: And for anyone who doesn’t know, the Rocky mountains is a massively long mountain range –
LEELA: 3000 kilometers!
MAMA: Yep. That’s nearly 2000 miles of mountains in America’s west, that goes across several states from Montana at the tippy top all the way down to New Mexico.
LEELA: That’s the geography, but for the gist of the story… I gotta get to the piano!
LEELA: Ten years ago a man called Forrest Fen wanted to send people on an adventure in the great outdoors.
What better way, he thought, then a treasure hunt!
Mr Fen is an antique collector – meaning he has a lot of really old furniture and precious things, like gold and diamonds and rubies. So he could easily pack a small ten-inch chest with treasure…
The treasure is supposed to be worth around two million dollars – and that’s a lot of bubble gum to buy!
He wanted to inspire people to head outside and hunt for the treasure.
So he wrote a book called the Thrill of the Chase – mainly about his life – but also a poem with hints about where the buried treasure was. Like this:
MALE VOICE: “So hear me all and listen good, Your effort will be worth the cold. If you are brave and in the wood, I give you title to the gold.”
LEELA: For ten years people looked and looked. Mr Fen thinks as many as three-hundred and fifty-thousand people (that’s a lot!) hunted for the treasure.
And it wasn’t easy – the Rocky Mountains can be treacherous (that’s a fancy word for rough and dangerous).
Five people are believed to have died looking for this treasure.
But finally someone found it.
Only we don’t know who. The mystery treasure hunter simply sent Mr Fen a picture of the treasure chest – with the lid wide opened – proof of their discovery.
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this special first – and hopefully not the last – episode of Newsy Jacuzzi!!
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… and let us know if we should carry on and produce another episode.