Full Transcript - Episode 4
Leo the Arsonist, crypto-criminals, elephant dung, and wunderlust...
J: Good morning São Paulo!
G: And anywhere else.
J: And anywhere else. Yes, Brazil, basically.
J: Er, podcast number four.
G: Number four. Here we are!
J: Today we have, er, What Caught My Eye this week. We have a few articles from that. We have an interview – with, er, Pablo Jacinto.
G: And who’s Pablo Machinto?
J: He’s a lawyer. He-he plans to travel around the world in a Winnebago, I think.
G: Ah, very nice.
J: Or a car or something like this.
G: He’s got the Wanderlust, eh?
J: He’s got the wanderlust. He wants to travel, and travel, and travel.
G: Oh, I look forward to s-talking to him, then.
J: So, qu-quite an interesting individual. In addition, we’ll have some more tests from the grammar guru. At least from me, I-I have a couple of tests for you this week.
G: Oh good, I’ll look forward to those.
J: And, er, other than that, the normal, er, Samba Buzz buzz-iness.
G: Yeah, we’ll have a bit of a buzz going, I’m sure.
J: There you go.
G: Get the buzz on…
G: So Jay, er, what caught your eye in the news this week?
J: I have a news article, that I don’t honestly know if it’s serious, or funny, or controversial… I don’t know what it is, because it’s almost so absurd, it’s-it’s a little bit of everything.
G: It must be about Trump, then.
J: No, er, actually not. What do, Bolsonaro, Leonardo di Caprio and Amazon all have in common?
G: Alright, this sounds like a joke. I would…um… I don’t know.
J: Er, they all have in common that-that Amazon is burning and somehow they’re all incriminated in this. The Brazilian president, Bolsonaro, this week said that somehow Leonardo Di Caprio is to blame for all the Amazon fires that are going on. So the Amazon is burning and, somehow, an actor from Hollywood is responsible for this.
G: Hm, that makes perfect sense, really.
J: Of course, maybe in-in Jair’s world, I don’t know, it’s possible, b-but of course there’s no evidence to support the fact that-that Leonardo Di Caprio was involved in this.
G: So what would make him say such a thing then, if there’s no evidence?
J: Well, he has given support, financial support, to some NGOs that are fighting the fires.
J: And somehow this-this was redirected to the fact that he’s causing the fires. Now th-that has nothing to do with it.
J: I-I wouldn’t actually kn-know why…what financial incentive he would have to destroy the Amazon forest. That-that makes no sense to me.
G: I was wondering what incentive Bolsonaro would have to suggest such a thing actually, but I guess he doesn’t like the idea of people interfering in Brazil, maybe?
J: Well, I dunno. Either that or perhaps he’s supporting farmers who are burning the rainforest so th-that they can increase their soya production.
G: Ah. Could be that. Although, I was watching the other day that, um, a program showed that some fire-fighters become arsonists actually. A lot of fires are started by fire-fighters.
J: Fire-fighters arsonists? I-I did hear a story or two about that.
G: So I don’t know exactly what causes that. I think maybe it’s th-the sheer exhilaration of fighting a fire that they-they miss it when they’re not doing it, or something. But it’s-it’s it’s a psychological phenomenon that’s been i-identified around the world.
J: Well, yes or…who knows? It could also be that they’re actually stim… they’re trying to get a pay raise.
J: So then they justify that they should get more money because there are so many fires.
G: Right. That would make sense.
J: They could…er, it’s possible… I-I actually do know about one strange case in California where a local fire-fighter, who was somewhat of a hero for always being the first responder by the fires. Now it turns out that he was able to go undetected for a period of about 5 years because he was a fire-fighter and knew how to start the things without being caught.
J: So, in a way, the-he was always first on the case to-to put out the fire because he set the fire himself.
G: Although I don’t think this is Leonardo’s motivation in this case, no?
J: No, I-I see… I don’t see Leonardo -i-i-in-involved in this in any way. That’s just absurd. What else did you have for me?
G: Um, I have a-an item here that follows on from something, er, we were discussing a couple of weeks ago, actually. It’s, er…
J: In pod two?
G: In pod two. It’s been announced today that the National Agency of Sanitary Vigilance…
J: Ok, that’s…
G: …this is a translation of a…
J: Sanitary vigilance? Is that meaning that people who watch the toilets?
G: I don’t know but it’s um…it’s a group here in Brazil that, um, are responsible for approving the sale of medical products.
G: And they have announced today that they have approved the sale of cannabis-based products for medicinal use.
G: And they have given a three-year license. So this is a first for Brazil.
J: But…but now does that mean that the-the politicians have approved the laws for this as well?
G: Um, I wouldn’t like to say what the relationship between the Sanitary Vigilance Agency and the politicians is but, um, implicitly, I guess there’s somebody involved, yes.
J: So, it’s possible that we have, let’s say, locally grown, medicinal marijuana?
G: Ah, no, because in actual fact they have not permitted the growing of medical marijuana – only the manufacture, so…
J: So-so y-you can have it and you can use it but you just can’t grow it.
G: Exactly. So the manufacturers will have to import-import the, er, marijuana from other countries – possibly your home state of Colorado, who knows?
J: It’s possible. I-it’s good business for Colorado as far as I’m concerned.
J: But that’s a little bit absurd that you can actually use it here but you can’t actually grow it.
J: Hm. Makes you wonder. Anyway…
G: Anyway, so that’s er, I thought I’d include that one as it was related to what we’ve been talking about previously. Um, what about elsewhere? Have you got anything else to include, this week?
J: Yeah-yes, there was something. There was one thing that caught my eye that I-I had to go quite far to…all the way to North Korea for this. Now you might ask – ‘why North Korea?’ Well North Korea is currently under international sanctions because they want to limit North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons.
J: Right? So there’s a lot of financial and, er, sanctions and consequences against trading and, let’s say, letting North Korea earn more money. This week there was a United States citizen that was arrested because he-he’s a crypto-currency developer.
G: A crypto-currency developer?
J: A crypto-currency developer.
G: So what’s a crypto-currency developer?
J: Well, a crypto-currency is like a virtual currency.
J: Like Bitcoin or something like that. Everybody knows Bitcoin.
J: And, he developed a different kind of crypto-currency and then he proceeded to g-go tell the Chi… the North Korean government how to avoid being detected. So they can basically whitewash, or they can launder, their illegal money through crypto-currency.
G: Ok, so, I-I guess th-the details around that are kind of complex, probably, in terms of…?
J: Well they are, but l-let me give you a couple of details here…erm…because I-I think the-the numbers are quite shocking for me. They estimate that, er, Pyongyang has – that’s the capital of North Korea – has close to, er, 700 million US dollars in crypto-currency at this moment.
G: Through this one guy?
J: Through-through this one guy and through this one holding. So that-that’s close to one billion US dollars…
J: …that they potentially laundered. So I think one thing that’s quite curious is that this man who developed the crypto-currency goes to North Korea, gives them intelligence on how to avoid being detected, and then they can continue to whitewash the money and avoid international sanctions. Of course, this is quite serious and the United States Justice Department is not going to let this guy go anytime soon.
J: So that was my international news. Did you have anything-anything else, Gee?
G: I have a question actually. Um, are you familiar with what ‘dung’ is?
J: Dung? Yes, dung I know. Dung is poop. That’s crap, or…or excrement.
G: Yes, basically. Um, have you ever tasted any beer that you thought tasted like dung?
J: No. I try to avoid those kinds of beers.
G: I-I have. I’ve tasted quite a few and, my goodness, it’s not good! Anyhow, I never thought I’d see the day but somebody in South Africa, a couple… they have turned their hand to making gin from elephant dung!
J: Er, how is that possible?
G: Well, let me explain. They live very close to where the elephants, er, reside and they go around and they collect buckets, or bags full of this dung that the elephant deposits…
J: That can’t taste very well for the gin, though?
G: Well, then what they do then is they clean it, apparently. They remove the s-s, er, sand and the soil and then what remains is the material that the elephant has consumed and a lot of the things the elephant consumes are not digested apparently, so the plant and the fruit material – it remains intact in many cases.
J: Now this is very curious because we suddenly go from laundering money to laundering dung!
G: Exactly. That’s a great – great link there. Yes, so, having laundered the dung, they then sterilize it and then they…
J: I hope so because…
G: …they dry it and leave it in storage and it becomes almost like a source of herbs and spices.
J: Oh, that sounds… B-but that does remind me… I think there’s a coffee that has – not with elephants, but with, I believe, wild cats in Minas. Th-there’s this particular kind – maybe it’s a bird – I d-don’t actually remember what animal but it’s…anyway some animal ingests the coffee beans, then the-through the excrement they go, and they filter, they clean, they launder, and that gives it, let’s say, an added aroma, or an added taste, to the coffee. And th-they sell it for actually quite expensive…
G: I have heard about that for monkeys.
J: H-how much – how much does this elephant dung cost?
G: Anyhow, the elephant gin…
J: Oh, elephant gin!
G: …has a- has a name, and it’s called Indlovu, which apparently is the Zulu word for elephant. And it’s, er, it retails for $32 per bottle. So for any of you interested in trying some dung-based gin, then rush on down to your nearest South African supermarket.
J: I’m-I’m just trying to find out what the marketing strategy for that is. How-how would you actually market that?
G: Only the best! The biggest and the best.
J: The biggest and the best.
End of Part 1