Nov 11, 2020 Episode 20
Festival season is underway in India – Happy Diwali! Meanwhile, England’s bonfire night marks a big explosion that never happened. And in science news, clothing giant H&M turn old clothes into new yard… aaaand in Finland, they prove dirty daycares are good for kids!
P.S. We got the BEST fan mail ever, which we cover in this episode. Wanna read instead? No worries, here you go! To our listeners, thanks a bunch and keep the fan mail coming. 🤗
OPENING STING – LEELA: “New, new, newsy – Newsy Jacuzzi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to our 20th episode of Newsy Jacuzzi.
I’m your host, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt.
MAMA: And I’m Lyndee Prickitt.
LEELA: Twenty episodes – can you believe it?!
MAMA: It means we’re for real. Safe to say this is no longer a lockdown project, but something here to stay.
LEELA: So, let’s dive on it… This week on Newsy Jacuzzi we’ll hear just a little bit about the US election because, well, we think maybe everyone’s had enough.
Plus, it’s festival season here in India and the biggest festival of the year, Diwali, is around the corner, so we’ll find out what that means in this vast country. Over in England they were celebrating too we’ll hear why Bonfire Night marks a blast. that never happened. In science news we’ll found out about a high-tech loom that turns old clothes into new yarn. And if that’s not enough, we’ll also share proof that DIRT is good for you. So, let’s begin…
STING: “The Big News Story of the Week”
MAMA: And one might argue the big story of the week is that Democrat Joe Biden been elected the new President of the United States of America.
LEELA: AND that his Vice President is none other than Kamala Harris whose mom was Indian and is the first woman, never mind person of color, to be VP AND that’s she’s made the coolest comment ever…
KAMALA BITE: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.
MAMA: And neither is our big story of the week that President Donald Trump is refusing to accept the election results.
LEELA: Oh no, no, no.
MAMA: We’re gonna leave all that right here because…
LEELE: It’s Diwali! (in singing voice)
MAMA: In fact, festival season in India kicked off a several weeks ago with Ganpati, or the Ganesh festival in Mumbai, then the Durga Puja up in Kolkata…
LEELA: But Diwali’s the biggest.
MAMA: True, I’m just saying India is such a huge and diverse country with Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, Jains… And that even amongst the majority Hindus there are a lot of different festivals.
LEELA: But Diwali’s the biggest.
MAMA: To many people, yes.
LEELA: And since there are about a billion Hindus on this earth, we thought we’d mark the occasion and give a little explainer to those who don’t know much about it.
MAMA: Well, Take it away, Leela.
LEELA: Well, Diwali is the festival of lights. It’s celebrated either in October or November, depending on the cycle of the moon. In north India, Hindus believe lamps, called Diya’s, were lit to guide the return of Lord Ram, or Rama, and his wife Sita back home, after being in exile for 14 years
MAMA: And some also believe the lights, or Diya’s, are lit so that the goddess Lakshmi will find you and bless you and your home.
LEELA: But only if it’s clean and you’ve been well behaved!
MAMA: There’s that… Now in different parts of the country, other Hindus associate Diwali with Lord Krishna or other gods. Regardless, simply put
LEELA: It’s the victory of light over darkness!
MAMA: But don’t take our word for it.
LEELA: Let’s hear from our correspondents Adhyant and Nirbhay.
LEELA: Thanks, guys!
MAMA: Love those boys! Now let’s hear from South Indian Sadhana Nagaraj from Bangalore, whose family also light up their home and decorates their doorstep with a colorful rangoli designs in preparation for Diwali.
LEELA: Which you can see on our website.
MAMA: Yep, we’ll put pictures up of that. And other Diwali celebrations up on our website, Here’s what her family do on the main day.
LEELA: Yuuuummy! It’s fair to say, like most festivals around the world, food is an important part of Diwali!
MAMA: Indeed. But there’s another part that’s pretty interesting. A lot of people want blessings not just for their family and homes, but for their business and professions as well. With special ceremonies even to blessed financial books or book of accounts as they call here
LEELA: And for more on that let’s go to Reyansh Zaveri, whose family comes from the western state of Gujarat, though they live in Delhi.
REYAANSH: Diwali is the best.
LEELA: You said it! Then again, I have a lot to choose from!
MAMA: Yes, you do. Thanks, Reyansh.
LEELA: And to the twins and Sadhana!
MAMA: Do you want to sing your Diwali song Leela?
MAMA: Just asking… Well, here’s to light over darkness. You really are spoiled for choice – you’re half Indian and half America… born in Britain… You gotta lot of holidays to mark, girl.
LEELA: Yep… And there’s another festival this time of year, celebrated only in the United Kingdom. Bonfire Night!
MAMA: And it might be one of the only festivals marking something that DIDN’T happen.
RAN: Remember, remember, the Fifth of November Gunpowder treason and plot I see no reason why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot
LEELA: Oh… what was the gunpowder plot???
MAMA: Good question. And I know just the person who can answer it…
LEELA: Ah! That would be our England correspondent, Jackson Hosking!
JACKSON: Well, Leela. Over 400 years ago, in 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes was caught in the act, about to blow up the Houses of Parliament…using a really big stash of gunpowder. The building he was planning to destroy is where the British government still meets today.
So, the planned attack clearly didn’t happen, there was NO explosion. That’s because someone in the know betrayed Guy Fawkes and around 13 other people, by telling the authorities about their Gunpowder Plot.
The story goes that Guy Fawkes was captured standing over the barrels of gunpowder that he and the rebels had secretly collected in the basement, under the part of the palace known as the House of Lords.
Their plan to blow up the building included killing the Protestant king, King James I, and his government…and replacing the king with a Catholic ruler. By doing this they hoped to give Catholics a better life in Britain.
After his capture, Guy Fawkes was kept prisoner in the Tower of London and then executed as a warning to any other rebels, all those year ago.
Today, people in Britain celebrate this moment in history, and the failure of the plot, by lighting bonfires and setting off massive impressive firework displays, usually at big, organized events.
But of course, with Covid-19 restrictions and England under a new, second, Lockdown, celebrations were a lot more muted this year that’s Jackson Hosking reporting from England for Newsy Jacuzzi
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: A vaccine for COVID-19 might be around the corner. The developers of the vaccine that seems able to prevent more than 90% of people from getting the coronavirus described it as a “great day for science and humanity.” Pfizer and Biotech hope to supply 50 million doses by the end of this year.
Staying with the pandemic, mink have been identified as animals capable of transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19 to humans. After multiple outbreaks at mink farms in the European country Denmark, officials there are ordering millions of the animals to be culled or slaughtered.
In happier animal news… More than 100 whales stranded on a beach in the island nation of Sri Lanka have been rescued. It is not known why whales beach themselves, but when they appeared the navy, environmental protection officers, police and local residents helped guide them back into the water.
And scientists have rediscovered a rare species of chameleon thought to be lost. And where did nearly twenty of the colorful lizards not seen for a century show up? Well, in the African island of Madagascar – just chilling out in a hotel garden.
LEELA: Thank you for that packed wrap of world news… Now it’s time for some pretty impressive magic, I mean, recycling. It’s time…
STING: For the world of wow, wow, wow… In other words, Science!!!!
LEELA: So, have you ever wondered what happens to your old t-shirt you throw away?
MAMA: Me? I give mine and yours away. I mean I try to, mostly.
LEELA: Super-duper. But we don’t always… and what happens then?
MAMA: Hmmmm… trash can? Rubbish heap.
LEELA: Right… and even if we all only throw away a couple of items a year, well, there are almost 8 billion of us on this earth. So, ummm… that’s a lot of clothes landing up in landfills!!
MAMA: Yeah, but they’re biodegradable at least, they’ll break down and decompose over time.
LEELA: Ehh-ehhh (SFX – WRONG BUZZER) Not all of it.
MAMA: Oh…. Cotton is natural. But not polyester or nylon, which are synthetic, basically made of a type of plastic… You’re right… 60%, or more than half, of all the world’s clothes are synthetic.
LEELA: Correct. Meaning that a polyester shirt will take at least 20 years to decompose at best but could take 200 years! And worse – those micro-plastics get into our water supply!
LEELA: Never fear… a magic recycling machine is here.
LEELA: Yep, the clothing giant H&M teamed up with some clever scientists from Hong Kong to turn our old synthetic clothes into new clothes.
Here’s how it works: The Loop machine first sanitizes the clothes.
Then the old clothes are shredded into tiny bits and divided into different clumps of fiber.
Then get this that fiber is pressed and pulled, this way and that way, and eventually is turned into yarn to reuse and sew brand new clothes!
Best of all Loop is pretty small, quite quiet and clean. So other shops, or even malls, can set this up to help more people recycle their clothes! And if you want to see the magic machine for yourself, we’ll put a link on our website to a super cool video that shows loop in action. Won’t we, Mama?
MAMA: I can do that. We’ll put it on our Lucky Dip page of our website newsyjacuzzi.com
LEELA: And now for an odd, little story… about why getting those clothes of yours dirty never mind your face and hands isn’t such a bad thing…
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: An odd ball of dirt, more like!
MAMA: Excuse me?
LEELA: Yep, according to our correspondent Ameyaa Kohli, who’s partly Finnish, they do things differently in Finland when it comes to education.
LEELA: Oh, yeah. They don’t even start real school till they’re seven. And in their day cares, they like a bit of dirt. Don’t they, Ameyaa?
AMEYAA: You got it, Leela. It’s what our grandparents have been saying all along…. It’s much better to spend time outdoors than be stuck inside.
SFX: BIRDS SOUND
A study by Finland’s Natural Resources Institute proves it. How? Listen to this. That’s the sound of children playing outside which is good.
SOUND EFFECT OF “CORRECT” DING
But they’re playing on concrete! Which is bad!
SOUND EFFECT OF “WRONG” BUZZER
So instead…. The researchers put in green grass, plants and even some of the squishy leaves and dirt found on forest floors! And what comes with that? Bugs! Some that are so teeny-tiny you can only see them with a microscope. They’re called microbes.
Bad microbes can make us ill. But the good ones make us stronger and better able to fight illnesses.
And so, guess what happened to the children in this study? They got more good microbes on their skin and in their body. And so, they became healthier!
That’s not all…They could also concentrate better. The only bad part was… Well, they had to wash their clothes A LOT more. This is Ameyaa Kohli, reporting for Newsy Jacuzzi.
STING: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top… five fab facts heard today. Here goes”
FAB FACT NUMBER 1
MAMA: India is a diverse country of many different religions, including Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, Jains and more.
FAB FACT NUMBER 2
LEELA: Diwali is the Hindu festival of light that celebrates the victory of light over darkness!
FAB FACT NUMBER 3
MAMA: Polyester and nylon are synthetic fabrics made of microplastics, which can leach into our water over time.
FAB FACT NUMBER 4
LEELA: Sixty percent of all the fabric in the world is made of synthetic material, which – at best – can take 20 years to decompose. But at worst can take 200 years!
FAB FACT NUMBER 5
MAMA: Microbes are bugs that are so small they can only be seen with a microscope. They are all around us especially in dirt. And while some bad microbes can make us ill, there are many good ones that make us stronger and better able to fight illnesses.
LEELA: Before we say goodbye…
MAMA: Oh, yeah…
LEELA: We’ve had… The. Best. Piece of fan-mail. Ever.
MAMA: Leela, why don’t you read the first bit.
LEELA: OK – it says: “I have a little poem I wrote about this boiling-hot Jacuzzi! I request you to read it out too! I’m Sahasra Sridhar and I’m 11 years old. I live in Chennai, and I REALLY LOVE NEWSY JACUZZI! (that’s in all caps) It’s SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICALLY SCINTILLATING!
MAMA: And, here’s the poem:
“Newsy Jacuzzi – the boiling hot spa of news!
4th day of the week
It’s what I seek
Skip going out to play
Cause its NEWSY JACUZZI DAY!
The world of WOW
Elections, and how
They found a McDonalds nugget in space!!
A – C – E
My humble plea!
MORE THAN ONCE IN SEVEN DAYS
That’s what my whole family says!
Wednesday – Jacuzzi day
Dive in! It’s time to say
Wow! Cool! I didn’t know that!
Eat up all this news and your brain will get fat!”
Seriously! How cool was that? I’m still in awe…
LEELA: I wish I could write like that.
MAMA: Phooof. In case you want to see it for yourself, Sahasra was kind enough to write it out for us so we could put it on our website too. It’s there. Check it out. Go to newsyjacuzzi.com and click on the Lucky Dip.
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Jacuzzi!!!!!
If you enjoyed this dip…. in the whirlpool of news and information… then do subscribe to our podcast on… Apple Podcast, Podcast Republic, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
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See you next week in the bubbling hot Newsy Jacuzzi!