Dec 2, 2020 Episode 23
It’s beginning to look like… an alien left something in the Utah desert? Hear about the mysterious monolith, White House pets, big holiday for Sikhs, Oz girl’s kick-start and an Indian tale of perseverance.
OPENING STING – LEELA: “New, new, newsy – Newsy Jacuzzi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Jacuzzi a whirlpool of news and information. We’re your hosts, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and –
MAMA: I’m Lyndee Prickitt.
LEELA: And we’re still feeling festive!
MAMA: Oh, yes, we are.
LEELA: Will tell you why and it’s not just because of Xmas.
And forget about decking the halls with Christmas cheer, we’ll find out what’s been decking the desert out in Utah (nee-naw, neeeee-newww).
We’ll also talk about who the US President-elect, Joe Biden, is selecting for his close team and the answer might surprise you.
We’ll find out how one Australian girl has kicked-the-competition with her innovation to keep hands clean.
A story of perseverance you won’t believe we’ll also tell you what perseverance really means! But first up is… wait for it… wait for it…
STING: “Now it’s time to tackle the Big NEWS story of the week!”
MAMA: Well folks, you’ll be pleased to know our big story of the day is not about politics. Nor about the virus surging in America after Thanksgiving… No, it’s way more interesting than all of that… If not a bit mysterious. Right, Leela.
LEELA: Yep… Now you see it. now you don’t…
MAMA: This big news story is all yours. Take it away, Leela.
LEELA: Well, it goes a bit like this… Deep in the US state of Utah in the red-rock desert that looks a lot like Mars – appeared a shiny metal… thing!
MAMA: A thing appeared in the desert? That’s your story?
LEELA: And then disappeared.
MAMA: A thing.
LEELA: A silver shiny thing not natural to a red desert. So, some wildlife officials were in a helicopter in the middle of November, surveying the area counting sheep, actually when this “thing” caught the light of the sun.
MAMA: OK. So?
LEELA: So, they went down and checked it out. Driven into the red rocky earth was this three-sided shiny thing, super tall, like the height of two people. And glimmering in the sunlight. Like a door for a large… Martian, perhaps!
MAMA: Uh ha. And was there any evidence of any, ummm, extraterrestrial life?
LEELA: No… The officials didn’t find any clues. Still, it’s clear it took some planning and work to make it and get it there.
MAMA: Probably an artist. Or a prankster. Sounds a lot like the object seen in an old movie, 2001 Space Odyssey. Must be a tribute to that.
LEELA: But here’s the thing: it’s now gone!
LEELA: So, after news of the silver monolith that’s a fancy word for an upright stone that serves as a pillar or monument a photographer found the pillar and starting snapping pictures… when four men arrived “as if from nowhere” and took it down!
MAMA: So, did these men say anything?
LEELA: One man reportedly said, “This is why you don’t leave trash in middle of the desert.” And another said, “Leave no trace.” What does that mean?
MAMA: Oh, like don’t leave any evidence of it left behind. Must not have been the ones who put it there then….
LEELA: Yes, it was probably some locals who didn’t appreciate the dozens of people who started showing up looking for this thing. They were driving all over the ancient desert parts of which have never been messed up by cars or people before..
MAMA: Ahhh, that makes sense.
LEELA: But the bigger question still remains WHO put it there. The major players in the art world who might do such a thing are all denying it!
LEELA: Get this, though. Halfway around the world in the Eastern European country of Romania, another silver mono-lith has appeared. Daaa nnnaaa naaaa naaaa
MAMA: Copycat probably.
LEELA: Yeah. Or…
SFX OF SPACE AND ‘ALIENS’
MAMA: So, Leela.
LEEALA: So, Mama.
MAMA: Are you feeling a little jingly-jangly festive-fangly???
LEELA: Oh, yeah Thanksgiving has passed and that means…
SFX OF BELLS
LEELA: It’s time to start decking the halls!
MAMA: And what are you gonna deck the halls out with?
LEELA: Well, we’ve packed away the Diwali Diya’s and the thanksgiving nuts and pumpkins. Now it’s all about red and green baubles, silver and gold tinsel, holly and don’t forget the mistletoe!
MUSIC – DECK THE HALLS
LEELA: And that would be boughs of holly, not, huh-huh-hmmm, “bells” of holly.
MAMA: Am I the only one who’s thought it was bells of holly??? Seriously, 30, 40 years now…
LEELA: Actually, I thought it too… Now, in case you didn’t know…
MAMA: A bough not like what you put in your hair, but as in b-o-u-g-h – is a rather old-fashioned way of saying branch.
LEELA: (Sing) Deck the halls the with branches of holly, fa la la la la… tis the season…
MAMA: And in case you didn’t know… to deck the halls means to decorate, deck out.
LEELA: And there’s more unusual words.
MAMA: Oh, yeah…
LEELA: (Sings) Don we now our gay apparel, fa la la la la…
MAMA: Don is super old fashion way of saying to put on and wear don your hat and coat, my dear, it’s cold outside. And gay means
MAMA: And apparel
LEELA: As in what you wear… Clothes. Whew it’s almost liked another language!
MAMA: It is. It’s the language of our past. Our ancestors. Our history. And that’s kind of the point about these Christmas carols as old Christmas songs are called particularly the religious ones about the Jesus being born, and even the secular, or non-religious, songs about Santa, Jingle Bells, Decking the Halls it’s about the tradition of Christmas and being reminded of that, slipping into that time and space.
LEELA: Time travel!
MAMA: Yeah, Kinda.
MAMA: You and those whooshes!
LEELA: I love to whoosh.
MAMA: OK, ok. So, this week is not just about decking the halls for the start of the Xmas season either.
LEELA: It’s about cooking. Baking cookies.
MAMA: Oh, yeah, that! Oh, my gosh Leela just made the most amazing brown sugar and pink salt roasted marshmallow cookies. I do love this time of year. But it’s not just Xmas coming up.
LEELA: Oh, no it’s not. There’s the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, which we’ll hear about next week. And the Sikh people had their major holiday this week too.
MAMA: That’s right. A man we now call Guru Nanak in the year 1469 at a time when India was suffering because of division, brutal injustices and a lot of fighting. He condemned it all and offered another way that accepted everyone. Even women equally! He was the first of ten gurus.
LEELA: And his birthday is celebrated on the full moon after Diwali. Right about now, so you can imagine what a big week it’s been for Sikhs.
MAMA: Because helping the community even non-Sikhs is a big deal in their faith, their temples, called Gurudwaras, are open all year with food being cooked constantly for anyone who wants or needs a meal. And on Gurunanak’s birthday, Sikhs will volunteer to help cook, clean and serve the meal. As well as offer prayers.
LEELA: And then they get to go and have their own feast!
MAMA: Yes, like all the festivals we’ve reported on all over the world food is an important part.
LEELA: I think we need to go to our reporter Kabir Apar Singh to tell us more.
SFX: GURUDWARA SONG
KABIR: On Guru Nanak’s birthday we like to have a BIG family feast. But it’s also important for us to remember those who don’t have food. That’s why many Sikhs not only go to the temple called a Gurdwara to sing prayers. We also give alms or donations to the poor.
And many Sikhs also help cook, clean and serve food to those in need. You see, food is very important to Sikhs! In New Delhi, I’m Kabir Apar Singh reporting for Newsy Jacuzzi!
LEELA: Thanks a lot, Kabir!
MAMA: Ahhh so sweet!
LEELA: Now it’s time for…
RUN STING: For the world of wow, wow, wow… In other words – science!
MAMA: Here’s an interesting story about a young girl who wants to be a scientist.
LEELA: But proves you don’t have to be really old and your head full of knowledge to come up with a good idea.
MAMA: That’s right. 8-year-old Gracie Howard caught the attention of some of the brightest minds in her country, Australia, after entering a national innovation competition for kids, called Origin’s Little Big Idea.
LEELA: And did she make an exploding volcano?
MAMA: No, no, no.
LEELA: Did she make a robot… that can dance?
LEELA: Did she help create some cure or vaccine for COVID-19?
MAMA: Well… Not precisely. But she did come up with the simple and you might say ingenious solution to a pandemic problem.
LEELA: Oh, that problem of germs spreading?
MAMA: That’s the one. You know, like when you’re standing at a street corner, waiting for the traffic to slow down so you can walk across.
LEELA: But it doesn’t so, you push the button to get the little green light!
MAMA: You push with your finger –
LEELA: Shortly followed squirting some hand sanitizer.
MAMA: But why not build a contraption that lets you just walk up and give that little pole a little kick.
MAMA: That’s what the judges thought. And now Gracie Howard is $ Australian 10,000 richer too! Just enough to start making the button a reality in her home town.
LEELA: And maybe, like, buy herself a treat too…
SFX: “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: US Attorney General William Barr says his justice department has found no proof of fraud in the 2020 election. His comments are seen as a big blow to President Trump, who hasn’t accepted defeat, filing lawsuits in the states in which he lost.
The destruction of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has surged to its highest level since 2008, according to the country’s space agency, which is monitoring the rainforest from above. The Amazon is important for all the carbon it stores, slowing down the pace of global warming.
Fighting broke out in the parliament of the Asian country Taiwan as opposition lawmakers protested over changes to food safety rules. What did they do to show their unhappiness? Threw pig guts at the prime minister to keep him from speaking.
And two months ago, we brought you the story of the… world’s loneliest elephant’ Kaavan who was rescued after years of mistreatment in a Pakistani zoo. Well, we’re happy to report that after a lot of effort inside Pakistan and out including from the American singer Cher the elephant is now in a new, loving wildlife sanctuary in the country of Cambodia.
LEELA: Wee-wee! That was fun! Thank you for that fast and fabulous wrap of news happening around the world. And in case you want to hear more about that sweet elephant, have a listen to episode 12 and you can hear our story of when he was first rescued.
MAMA: Hey, that’s a good idea! Find episode 12 the wildfires episode, I think wherever you get your podcasts or just go to our website.
LEELA: That’s newsyjacuzzi.com.
MAMA: and Leela you’ve heard me say, probably a dozen times already in your life, “a winner never quits and a quitter –
LEELA: “…never wins!”
MAMA: That’s right. That’s called perseverance. Which is a fancy word for persistence.
LEELA: Which is fancy word for never ever giving up.
MAMA: Yes, sometimes it’s really hard but often the only way to get what you want is when you persist at something, or persevere.
LEELA: Like when I want to watch cartoons and keep going on and on about it…
MAMA: Hmmmm, yes, you have some persistent qualities… And hopefully as you get older, you’ll use that persistence in achieving something you really want.
LEELA: Like the “water man” from the Indian state of Bihar.
MAMA: Exactly. I thought since we’re coming up to exam season for the older kids listening… This is one story of persistence everyone needs to hear. And for that we’re going across to our correspondent…
LEELA: Reyansh Zaveri. Take it away, Reyansh!
REYAANSH: Thanks, Leela. So, we all know how important water is to drink. Without it we would die.
But it’s also super important for farmers. Without water their crops will die!
And then they won’t be able to earn money or feed their family.
That’s what happened to Loungi Bhuiyan, a farmer from the north Indian state of Bihar.
Long ago he realized his village wasn’t getting enough water for their fields. There is a hill that feeds rainwater into a river but they were three kilometers away that’s almost two miles.
So, what did Bhuiyan decide to do?
Dig a canal, from the river to a small pond in their village, of course. All by himself! With no tools except a hammer and chisel! For almost thirty years!!! Everyone thought he was crazy and laughed at him, calling him a “madman”. Never-the-less, he persisted!
And this year his canal reached the river and today he’s farming his fields with plenty of water.
I’d call that perseverance! In fact, the canal is now named after him of course! That’s not all.
The Mahindra vehicle company has gifted him his very own tractor to make the canal even wider.
And no one is laughing at him anymore. In New Delhi, I’m Reyansh Zaveri reporting for Newsy Jacuzzi!
LEELA: Awesome story! Thanks, Reyansh
MAMA: Thanks, Reyansh
LEELA: And finally, we have some big political news that’s, well, a bit worrisome!
STING: Step right up, step right up… Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? And odd ball, no doubt!
LEELA: The lucky dip machine has thrown out a political story this week.
MAMA: We know US President-elect Joe Biden says he wants his core team to reflect America’s diversity. We know he’s put many people of color into prominent roles. And he’s hired a team of women to run his media and communications department. He’s also talked about the need to mend fences and bridge the gap between Democrats and Republicans.
LEELA: But that’s not our big, oddball story.
MAMA: Oh, no. Well, not entirely. The news is far more barking mad than that… He’s not only bringing one, but two dogs back into the White House. Both German Shepherds Major and Champ. Not just that, but Major will be the first rescue pup to reside in the president’s home.
LEELA: Ahhh… the big news also isn’t that the 78-year-old loves playing with his big dogs so much, he took a fall for them.
MAMA: Playing tug-of-war with Major, to be precise, getting a teeny tiny fracture called a hairline fracture on his ankle.
LEELA: But even that’s not the BIG news.
MAMA: No ma’am. This is it…
SFX – CAT
LEELA: The Bidens are getting a cat! Ahhh!!! But… wait… cats and dogs can’t live together in the same house… Aaaaah!!!!
MAMA: Uniting Democrats and Republicans is one thing. But trying to bridge the almost-ancient and
LEELA: And epic divide between cat and dog lovers??!!! That’s ambitious!
MAMA: Let’s hope the soon-to-be leader…
LEELA: hasn’t “bitten off” more than he can chew!!!
SFX OF DOGS BARKING
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: A monolith is a single upright stone or structure that serves as a pillar or monument.
FAB FACT NUMBER 2
LEELA: Christmas carols are religious songs about the birth of Christ or the Christmas season, though there are many seculars, or non-religious, Christmas songs as well.
FAB FACT NUMBER 3
MAMA: The founder of Sikhism is Guru Nanak, who was born in India in 1469 and offered followers an alternative to a more equal way of life.
FAB FACT NUMBER 4
LEELA: Perseverance means to persist at something, to never give up.
FAB FACT NUMBER 5
MAMA: A teeny tiny crack or fracture is called a hairline fracture.
LEELA: And that ALMOST brings us to the end of this festive episode of Newsy Jacuzzi!!!!! Before we go…
MAMA: We have some thank you… this time from Britain
LEELA: First up by #1Curtis, who writes – “A Great show! This Newsy Jacuzzi Podcast is entertaining, interesting and informative! The sound effects are great! I definitely recommend taking a listen!”
MAMA: And then from Eve and Faye writes – “A pure delight! My girls and I love listening every Saturday morning in bed. It’s our time together and enjoy the weekly news roundup! Wonderful”
MAMA: Oh, my gosh. That is just so awesome. I love that we’re part of their Saturday morning ritual.
LEELA: Yeah, you just want to sleep on Saturday mornings….
MAMA: (coughs) All families are different…! We have other snuggly times… Just not in the morning!
LEELA: Right now,
MAMA: Not on the podcast either… (hug/squeeze pooing sound) Let me go…!
LEELA: And if you enjoyed this dip…. in the whirlpool of news and information… then do subscribe to our podcast on… Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.
While you’re at it, give us a good rating and leave a review.
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See you next week in the Newsy Jacuzzi!