December 2, 2011

NATO Airstrikes & Bankrupt Airlines

Flocab's back from the break,
Time to read the newspaper and try to create.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday,
Happy Thanksgiving and we hope you had a fun day.

The NBA is looking like they may come play,
They're locked out, but there could only be one way,
Listen, they might play on Christmas.
Was that one of the presents that you had on your gift list?

NASA had their eyes on the stars,
They launched a super-size rover over to Mars.
And it's named "Curiosity,"
Speeding through space with grace at a velocity.

That generates about as much heat that's in Egypt,
They got to vote there this week, can you believe it?
After decades without a voice,
Egyptians are happy that they got to make a choice.

But in Pakistan, happy's not the word,
Since the NATO airstrike raid that occurred.
Just when their relationship was starting to improve,
Pakistani soldiers got...

Here's news that isn't much better:
If you play a lot of soccer and you love to do "headers,"
There's a study saying it could hurt your brain,
So you should think first when you use it in the game.

And if you're about to hop on a plane,
American Airlines just filed a claim
For Chapter 11: They're going bankrupt
Saying fuel prices is what they have to thank, but,

We know, that's just how it is,
Why Obama's with the Dutch premier discussing biz.
It's Flocab and we're spitting for the kids,
That's another Week in Rap, now we take it to the bridge.

It's almost time for the Year in Rap! Want to write your own Year in Rap? Enter our writing contest that we're hosting with The New York Times Learning Network. Learn more here.

Black Friday shoppers

With turkey and cranberry sauce still lingering in their digestive tracts, millions of Americans took to the malls. According to the National Retail Federation, 226 million shoppers waited on lines to get into stores at midnight on Black Friday, while another 28.7 million people waited online at their computers, snagging Cyber Monday deals. To put those numbers in perspective, there are about 300 million people in the United States. That's a lot of shopping! (About $52.4 billion dollars in sales, to be specific.) What are the pros and cons of so much shopping during this time of year? Learn more.

NBA players won't be lingering around the Christmas trees in their extra-tall pajama pants this year. The 149-day NBA lockout has come to an end, and the first three games of the season will be played on Christmas day in New York, Dallas and LA. And it's probably for the best, since the players won't have as many presents to open: the NBA lost about a half billion dollars during the lockout and players ultimately agreed to lower salaries. Do you think that teams will be able to play well during the shortened season? Learn more.

Is there life out here?

The White House recently announced that they have no evidence of extraterrestrial life. But that doesn't mean they've given up looking for it. This week in Cape Canaveral, NASA launched the rover Curiosity , which will begin searching for evidence of life on Mars when it arrives in August. Now that Curiosity is safely hurtling through space, the next challenge will be landing. Engineers equipped the rover with a mix of parachutes, rockets and a sky crane to land safely on the red planet, but over half of Mars missions have ended in failure. Scientists aren't exactly holding their breath--since Curiosity won't land for over eight months--but they have called the upcoming landing "our six minutes of terror." Do you think Curiosity will find evidence of life on Mars? Learn more.

Egyptians waiting in line to vote

Egyptians turned out in droves this week to vote in their first fair election in decades. Citizens celebrated their chance to finally have a real voice in government after years of dictator rule, and many waited for hours to cast their vote. But almost immediately, the liberal parties and young activists who led the revolution to oust Mubarak are learning tough lessons about democracy: when you want every person to have a choice in government, the candidate you like might not win. Early results showed that the conservative Islamists were victorious in the polls. Do you think that the new Egyptian government will allow for a diversity of political views? Learn more.

Since killing Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil, the United States' relationship with Pakistan has been on the rocks. And it certainly wasn't helped by a NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. President Obama and NATO have called the airstrikes a tragedy, and are engaged in talks with Pakistan's military to improve relations. As anger and protests spread through Pakistan, the White House is trying to determine whether President Obama should offer a formal apology. President Obama has already unofficially spoken out against the strike. Why do you think an official apology matters? Learn more .

Brain damage incoming?

"Heading" a soccer ball may make you the coolest kid in gym class, but scientists have found that repeatedly bouncing the ball off your head can lead to brain injury. If you've done it once or twice, don't fret: the study showed that brain injuries comparable to concussions mainly occurred when players "headed" 1000 - 1500 balls per year. That might seem like an absurd amount of bounces, but for someone playing soccer year-round, that is only a few "heads" per day. Be careful out there! Do you think soccer officials should now make "heading" against the rules in soccer? Learn more.

If you've flown American Airlines recently, we're sorry to tell you that your fiscal suffering over onerous baggage fees, pricy in-flight sandwiches and general flight cost increases were all for naught. American Airlines is still going bankrupt. The airline filed for bankruptcy to relieve debt from high fuel prices and labor contracts. Now it's possible that American may merge with US Airways. But if you've got tickets booked, no need to fear. The bankruptcy proceedings shouldn't affect current flight schedules. What are possible effects of two major airlines merging? Learn more.

In our global age, problems in one nation can easily become problems for many nations. So it's not surprising that the European debt crisis is hurting the global economy. This week, President Obama met with Dutch Premier Mark Rutte to discuss ways to improve the Eurozone and prevent further negative impact on the American economy. The negative effects of a global economy have been highlighted recently in the news. What are some positive effects? Learn more .

What was the digital equivalent of Black Friday?
Cyber Monday
When will the NBA season resume?
Christmas Day
What is the name of the recently-launched Mars Rover?
What nation had its first fair elections in decades?
Where were 24 people killed in a NATO strike?
What can "heading" a soccer ball cause?
Brain injury
Which airline filed for bankruptcy?
American Airlines
Who met with the Dutch premier to discuss improving the European economy?
President Obama
It's almost time for the Year in Rap. Want to write your own Year in Rap?
Enter our Year in Rap writing contest with the New York Times Learning Network here .

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