Sep 30, 2020 Episode 14
We jump into the ring of the US presidential election. We also hear about McDonald’s embrace of the “re-use” cup culture in Britain, the Spanish athlete who takes being a “good sport” to a higher level and move over Mighty Mouse… find out how a hero rat is saving lives! Oh, and for International Podcast Day – we share our favorites!!!
OPENING STING – LEELA: “New, new, newsy – Newsy Jacuzzi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Newsy Jacuzzi – a whirlpool of news and information from around the world. I’m your host, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt.
MAMA: And I’m Lyndee Prickitt
LEELA: My mama! This week on Newsy Jacuzzi…
We’ll jump into the ring of the US presidential election and find out why it matters…
We’ll hear how McDonald’s is embracing the recycling cup culture in Britain…
About the Spanish athlete who takes being a “good sport” to a higher level…
And move over mighty mouse… find out how a hero rat is saving lives…
Whhhooo… Well, the news is bubbling away, so let’s jump on in…
First up, we have…
SFX – BOXING BELL
LEELA: The presidential election is heating up in America. Wait… what was that? Ewww… ouw…. what… that doesn’t sound pleasant…
SFX – BOXING, PUNCHES
MAMA: Yep. Basically, an election is a bit like boxing: there’s a lot of punching and jabbing not with hands, but with words; there’s a lot mess; and you’re never entirely sure who’s gonna win till the very end.
LEELA: Doesn’t sound very pleasant to me.
MAMA: Actually, it’s not… But that’s the beauty and the curse of the system everyone shouts out their views. But in the words of the most famous ever British prime minister, Winston Churchill, “Democracy is the worst form of government… except for all those other forms that have been tried.”
MAMA: Now, what is democracy?
LEELA: Everyone gets a vote! To elect their leaders.
MAMA: Right. And that’s important because our leaders decide the rules… like how kids will be educated, what textbooks you’ll read, how much money should be spent repairing roads, how much money you earn goes to the government to help pay for those roads, what countries you want to be best buddies with, whether or not you go to war…
LEELA: So, it’s pretty important to vote for your leaders.
MAMA: So true! And if you don’t vote, you shouldn’t really complain about how things are being run. Now, as we said, the big election at the moment is in America… And because it’s a pretty powerful country, the whole world is watching.
LEELA: The boxing match!
MAMA: Ha-ha, yes! So, we better make sure everyone knows who’s in the ring… Ladies and gentlemen… for the Republican party of America, we have the mega Donald Trump… who’s the current president of America and hoping to be re-elected for another term… And in the other corner, we have a former vice president of America… the Democratic candidate, Jolly Joe Biden.
SFX – CHEERS
LEELA: So, Donald Trump is the one in all red. And Biden is in blue.
MAMA: Yeah, they’re wearing the colors of their political parties red for republicans and blue for the democrats.
LEELA: Wait, is that an elephant on Trump’s shorts?
MAMA: Yep, political party have colors and symbols…
LEELA: Like football teams.
MAMA: Exactly. We humans like our symbols. But did you know it stems from helping people who can’t read be able to select the party they want to vote for on the ballot.
LEELA: Ahhh, that still happens in India sometimes, right?
MAMA: That’s right. So, in this election, Trump is a Republican and they’re the elephants.
LEELA: How very grand. Wait…. the Democrats are donkeys?!!!
MAMA: I know. Actually, there’s a pretty funny story behind how they got those names, but we’re gonna save that for another time. Now the latest news is that both candidates just finished a debate on live TV. And you know what a debate is, right?
LEELA: An argument where no one shouts.
MAMA: In theory.
LEELA: Where you take turns arguing your point.
MAMA: Right. Many points as it happens for this debate. And it’s on TV so that the voters can watch and know what the candidates believe in. That’s really important. Would you vote for a candidate because you like the way they look or because you like what think?
LEELA: What they think.
MAMA: But you have to know what that is, don’t you? And sometimes, have you ever heard your friend tell you how much they love one pizza restaurant the best and you totally agree. Until… another friend tells you about an even better place? And you’re like, Ohhh… Well, that’s what a debate is. Both people put forward their arguments.
LEELA: Ah! But… we don’t have that here in India for the prime minister…
MAMA: No… And the UK only started doing them ten years ago. Part of the reason is the public in India and the UK don’t actually vote on the leader of their country, the prime minister.
MAMA: I know. The leader is decided by whichever political party gets the most votes it then gets to choose who the prime minister will be.
LEELA: That doesn’t seem fair.
MAMA: Well, some people think it’s crazy that the leadership election hogs the limelight, when you should be caring more about your local law makers who might actually impact your life more. But, it’s debatable…
LEELA: Like everything!
MAMA: Absolutely. But that’s the beauty –
LEELA: and the curse –
MAMA: of democracy. OK… all this politics is making me hungry.
LEELA: Ah, then our next story just the mere mention of the name might make you even hungrier!
SFX of McDonald’s
LEELA: McDonald’s. I’m sure you’ve all heard of them. Personally, I’m a McNuggets and Oreo Cookies McFlurry fan myself!
MAMA: I like the fries.
LEELA: But enough our menu choices! This is actually an environment story… Yep, McDs is going greenish.
MAMA: At least they’re entering the fight against single use plastics that means using a plastic bottle or cup only once and then throwing it away which harms the planet. Because, believe it or not, most plastic is NOT recyclable. It’s been a big scam to make the public think it is.
LEELA: But back to McDonalds!
MAMA: Uhm, yes!
LEELA: When it comes to their coffee cups, they’re saying forget about recycling… and hello to re-USING… as our tech reporter, Jackson Hosking is about to tell us!
JACKSON: Thanks, Leela. For the record, I’m a large fry, plain hamburger with bacon and a Malteser McFlurry fan!
As you well know, at McDonalds, you can eat in or take-away Well… here in the UK soon … there will be a “BRING BACK” option too. Early next year, McDonalds plans to introduce RE-USABLE coffee and hot drink cups, at their outlets
in the United Kingdom.
The idea is that customers pay a deposit on a reusable cup and lid… a deposit is a small amount of money that they get back when they return the cup…. McDonalds has partnered with another company, called Loop, to help collect and clean the cups. It’s a bit like, when you go to a regular restaurant and the knives and forks go back to the kitchen and get cleaned before being used again.
When it comes to disposable cups, this cycle of rinse-and-repeat can prevent a lot of waste.
Because you might not know this but inside many disposable paper cups is a thin plastic layer to stop the liquid seeping through… And because paper and plastic need to be separated before recycling, those disposable cups are often rejected by recycling plants.
They can end up in landfill instead! Although McDonalds uses special recycling centers to separate the plastic lining from the paper, but it takes a lot of effort.
Apparently, these new cups not only can be recycled, but they can be cleaned and reused about a hundred times! And here’s another clever idea – customers can either return their cup to the same McDonalds restaurant, or take it with them and drop it into a Loop bin closer to home, maybe at the local supermarket – and get their deposit back.
If the re-use idea is successful, McDonalds may try it with other food and drink packaging too.
Maybe other fast-food chains will be encouraged to do the same. What do you think, Leela?
LEELA: Well, I think if that happens that would make one might large loop! Thanks for that report from England, Jackson! And now it’s time for….
SPORTS STING – LEELA/MAMA/PORTER: “It’s time to play ball… Score… Sports News!”
MAMA: This is a story that’s gonna makes you smile. Recently there was a race in Spain… it was a triathlon….
LEELA: One of those crazy hard races where you first have to swim, then ride a bike, and then run. It’s So difficult!
MAMA: But listen to what happened to two of the athletes… James from England and the Diego, from Spain… in the final section of the race
LEELA: That would be the running part. It’s the ultimate example of good sportsmanship! Take it away Nina…
NINA: Thanks, Leela, and like you said, this was a hard race! Let me describe what happened… James was about 100 meters away from the finish line… he was going to win 3rd place! But he accidentally missed the turn… he made a mistake and turned right instead of left, then crashed into a fence.
Now the guy behind James, named Diego, did not make the same mistake and continued on toward the finish line… he had passed James and now he was going to win 3rd place!
But just before he crossed the finish line, Diego stopped. He stopped and let James catch up again, and cross the finish line before him. After the race Diego said he thought it was only fair because really, James was ahead of him and had just made a mistake.
The judges thought it was so nice of Diego, they gave him an “honorary” trophy and third place prize also. And that will go down as one of the best EVER examples of being a Good Sport!
LEELA: Thanks a lot, Nina!! The moral of the story is… to look where you’re going in a race!
LEELA: Just kidding…! The moral is, being a good sport has its own rewards.
MAMA: Which is?
LEELA: It makes feel good!
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
STING: Around the World in 80 seconds…. Whooooaaa… Hold on tight.
MAMA: US President Trump has nominated a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US supreme court. Amy Coney Barrett is an appeals court judge in Chicago, whose views on society are very different from the ones Ginsburg championed. Her nomination is likely to be approved by the senate, even though the Democrats want to wait till after the election.
It’s a grim moment in the coronavirus pandemic, as a million people have now died from Covid-19 all over the world. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the pandemic has reached a “perilous turning point” in Britain… calling for a fresh set of restrictions for the next six months.
Wildlife documentary icon, Sir David Attenborough, breaks Instagram records as the fastest account to reach a million followers in just 44 minutes! The 94-year-old has decided to embrace social media, with his first post saying, “Saving our planet is now a communications challenge.”
And, move over mummies… archaeologists in Egypt have discovered 27 more ancient coffins near one of the world’s oldest pyramids. The wooden coffins are beautifully covered in ancient Egyptian writing called hieroglyphs and haven’t been opened since they were buried more than 2500 years ago.
STING: LEELA: Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture and/or Entertainment.
MAMA: We get to talk about us!
MAMA: OK. Not just us. Today is international podcast day!! And if ever there were an int’l podcast, it’s us… We’ve had Jackson in England, Nina in Spain, Natalie in America, and we’re in India…
LEELA: I think international podcast day is about celebrating ALL podcasts, not just the international ones, right, Mama…?
MAMA: Ok ok But we could be here for hours then! I mean, you and I are probably two of the biggest podcast fans around.
LEEEA: I’m a total podcast nerd!
MAMA: OK, so why don’t you share some of your favorites?
LEELA: (Coughs) Uhhhhh…. Hmmmm
MAMA: Go on… share some favorites… You see, as we’ve mentioned before, Leela gets a little protective about the podcasts she listens to like a child who won’t share a toy for fear of… fear of what exactly? Why don’t you want to share the joys of Wow in the World, The Alien Adventures of Fin Caspian, or Smash Boom Best, Elanor Amplified or the Past and the Curious, Circle Round… OK… OK! Stop tickling me… But why? Why don’t you want anyone to know?
LEELA: Because I think they’re mine and nobody else’s. I mean nobody else listening to right them
MAMA: Because it’s like they’re talking to just you? Only you?
LEELA: Kinda… They just feel like mine.
MAMA: Hmmm. Well, that is one of the great things about audio it’s so personal.
LEELA: And like a book… you can imagine it all in your head. What they look like, what they doing, where they’re going…
MAMA: Especially true for the storytelling podcasts.
LEELA: Yeah, but unlike a book you can be doing something ELSE at the same time like working on my comic book, coloring, doing my chores…
MAMA: Cooking, cleaning, driving… Yep, me too. I love the multitasking aspect of podcasts. And it’s all screen free!! So, we can give our eyes a rest, while being informed. For instance, for every single story we’ve done in this week’s episode of Newsy Jacuzzi, we could recommend a complimentary podcast that we like easily.
LEELA: That could take a while.
MAMA: Yes, that’s true I’ll give you just two examples then…
MAMA: Well, November 3rd the US presidential election was our big story of the week. And since we were talking about the debates one of your favorites podcast, go on let’s share this one it’s a debating show called…
LEELA: Though alright. Smash bomber
MAMA: And what happened in that
LEELA: Ok, so there two people who take on topics to see which is better like tacos vs pizza, cat vs dogs, swimming vs soccer it’s so good I love them
MAMA: Also, I’d say try the Curious Kid series on US presidents. That’s another podcast parent-child team.
LEELA: Yeah, Olivia and her dad!
MAMA: Yup, they explore all sorts of general topics
LEELA: From allergies to pianos… the history of books…
MAMA: And whole series on each of America’s past presidents. Super insightful. And for our McDonald’s story about recycling and reuse, well, I’d highly recommend an episode called, “Why have we been recycling for 30 years” from one of my favorite podcasts, Planet Money they bust wide open the myth that plastic is recyclable.
LEELA: And there are soooo many science podcasts for kids too…
MAMA: Would you like to share some…? Come on, give a shout out!
MAMA: Ok, Well, I’ll tell you a secret you can go on our website and find her favorites listed there!
LEELA: You have not?
MAMA: No, no, I’m just kidding. But I will say, in honor of Int’l Podcast Day we’ve finally agreed to give in and set up a Facebook community page. Where we can share the stories, we cover and chat about the ones coming up.
LEELA: You’re not going to be on your phone all day, are you, Mama?
MAMA: Fair question… but only during working hours I promise. Because a lot of listeners have said they want to be part of what Newsy Jacuzzi is doing bringing fun and engaging stories from around the world
LEELA: Sometimes the tough ones too.
MAMA: Yeh. And breaking them down, making them understandable to kids and even engaging for grown-ups.
LEELA: And fun!
MAMA: Yes. Fun too
LEELA: And farty!
MAMA: Excuse me?
LEELA: Well, we like to use a wide variety of sound effects.
MAMA: Yes, but only where necessary.
MAMA: oh! Leela! I’m in charge of the sound effects, OK??!!
LEELA: Who said it was a sound effect?
MAMA: Oh, gross. Time to move on.
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: Move over mighty mouse… this story is about a hero rat. But first, Mama you’re gonna have to explain a few things, please.
MAMA: Sure, watch got?
LEELA: First, what is a landmine?
MAMA: Oh, Crickey! That’s a serious question. Well, it’s a bomb that’s hidden in or under the grass. Usually meant to be used against enemy tanks rolling into an area.
LEELA: During wars?
MAMA: Yes. But the problem is they’re hidden so well, that people easily forget where they are… even after the war.
LEELA: Ah ha. OK. Got it. That explains this oddball then: a rat that’s received a gold medal… for bravery.
LEELA: Over the past five years, a large rat called, Ma-gawa, has saved hundreds of lives sniffing-out landmines in Cambodia.
MAMA: Ahhh… Cambodia not far away from us here in India then. A country that was torn apart by civil war that’s when people within the same country fight each other. But that war ended almost 50 years ago, Leela.
LEELA: Well, That’s the thing, Mama. I’ve been told there are still loads of leftover explosives that can be anywhere even parks and playgrounds!
MAMA: Ewww God That’s scary, isn’t it? I don’t like to imagine that!
LEELA: Well, then you’re not going to like this nugget of news: over 60 million people live in fear of landmines and old explosives from past wars… without any warning
MAMA: 60 million that’s practically like everyone in the UK!
LEELA: Yeah. And without any warning… poof! But… enter… a troop of African giant pouched rats… to save the day! They have superior sniffing skills to identify the chemicals in landmines. So, they’re better at finding them than basic metal detectors, that have to be held by a human I would not want that job!
MAMA: No ways!!
LEELA: And they beep at any old piece of metal, which might not even be a bomb. The rodents, however, are easy to train AND they’re so light they don’t set off the explosives, even if they mistakenly crawl across one.
MAMA: Hurray for the African giant pouched rats! It’s a big name
LEELA: And the best on of all is six-year-old Ma-gawa, who has sniffed out 67 explosives in Cambodia.
LEELA: That’s why she’s the first rat ever to receive a medal from the British animal charity, the PDSA.
MAMA: I can see why!
LEELA: Although I’m not really sure what a rat will do with a gold medal.
MAMA: Well, I’d like to say this will make me look at rodents a bit differently, but… I’d be lying…
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: Political parties often have colors and symbols. In the US the Republicans color is red and the symbol is an elephant.
FAB FACT NUMBER 2
LEELA: But the US Democratic party color is blue and their symbol is a donkey.
FAB FACT NUMBER 3
MAMA: Paper coffee and tea cups are actually lined with a thin layer of plastic to prevent them from leaking. But this plastic is hard to pull away from the paper, making recycling them so difficult it rarely happens.
FAB FACT NUMBER 4
LEELA: A triathlon is a very long race that consists of swimming, cycling, and running over various distances.
FAB FACT NUMBER 5
MAMA: Over 60 million people in the world live in fear of landmines and old explosives left behind from past wars going off or exploding.
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Jacuzzi!!!!! But before we go… We want to say a big shout out to our English listeners today… especially those who’ve taken the time to rate and review us and review us on Apple Podcast… First there was 9-year-old Jude
MAMA: Who says, this was fun but also educational. Good sound effects plus a killer script. Love it- hope for more. Aaaahhhhh That’s awesome.
MAMA: And from ‘fancy that’ that’s a pretty fancy handle, fancy that says This is a perfect podcast for kids and adults of all ages. Fabulous diversity of stories so much learning wrapped in so much fun and deft production.
MAMA: it means quick and clever
LEELA: Ewww!! Well, if you enjoyed this dip…. in the whirlpool of news and information… then do subscribe to our podcast on… Apple Podcast, Spotify, Alexa or wherever you get your podcasts.
While you’re at it… Give us a good rating. Or better still, leave us a review – on: www.newsyjacuzzi.com See you next week in the Newsy Jacuzzi!