January 27, 2012

The State of the Union & Solar Flares

Welcome back students,
Flocab's about to break down what the news is:

This weekend you may have watched football,
If you picked New England or New York, that was a good call.
These two teams are going to the Super Bowl,
But both of their wins kind of ended on a blooper, though.

How about Italy? The cruise ship flipped,
And they just found more bodies inside of it.
Now they're about to pump out fuel,
Or an environmental disaster will ensue.

In the Midwest mother nature was cruel,
And in Alabama her storms even killed two.
It's tornadoes, winds and bad weather,
And it's time to hide when they all happen together.

You may have hoped Joe Paterno got better,
But he died this week, wearing a Penn State sweater.
He had cancer but some think it must be,
The scandal that happened with Jerry Sandusky.

Trust me - we just survived a solar storm,
So you may have seen an aurora or something out of the norm.
It's the biggest we've had since '05,
Sending mad radiation, but we're all still alive!

Representative Giffords is saying goodbye,
It's been a year since she almost died.
Remember Tucson, the attack?
That's a day we're wishing we could all take back.

Obama tried to keep it on track,
At his union address
, but he still caught flack.
The Republicans aren't big fans,
You can tell cause they hardly ever clapped their hands.

Shout out to all y'all in the stands,
That's another Week in Rap gone according to plan.
And we out!

Can Tom Brady win this time around?

In 2008, an underdog won a major national contest, taking the country by storm. And four years later, in 2012, it's time to see whether the winner can maintain dominance. For once, we're not talking about the presidential race. Four years after the Giants surprised the nation (and devestated Patriots fans) by winning the Super Bowl, the rival teams are up for a rematch in this year's game. Tune in on February 5 to see who wins. Which team do you think will win? Learn more.

The Costa Concordia remains in the water.

The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia faced tragedy when it crashed into the coastline and capsized. Two weeks later, search efforts are still in progress to find the 16 people who remain missing, despite the fact that Italian officials have conceded that there is no hope of finding survivors. Now the focus is moving toward pumping fuel out of the ship to prevent an oil spill, which could cause serious environmental damage. Meanwhile, the captain who infamously abandoned ship is under house arrest, and is being charged with manslaughter. How long do you think divers should continue searching for the missing? Learn more.

Tornado warnings were issued in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

With hurricane season over, residents of the South and Midwest are now finding themselves bracing for tornadoes. Two people were killed in Birmingham, Alabama early Monday after a massive storm passed through the area. Neighboring states were put on tornado alert. Ironically, the storm forced officials in Montgomery to postpone a meeting to study Alabama's emergency response to the deadly storms from April 2011. Do you know what to do in the event of a tornado? Learn more.

Joe Paterno on the field in 2008

Joe Paterno, the former Penn State football coach, died from lung cancer last weekend. Paterno served as head coach for 46 years and became a beloved figured in the Penn State community during that time. But this November, after his assistant head coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested and charged with child sexual abuse, Paterno was fired. Penn officials believed that Paterno had knowledge of Sandusky's behavior and had not taken proper steps to report him. Before his death, Paterno said that he had regretted not doing more to stop Sandusky. Do you think that the scandal at the end of his life will sully Paterno's legacy? Learn more.

Timelapse photography of the auroras

Even if your town saw clear blue skies last Sunday, a massive storm was underway...in the sun! But when the sun starts storming, we're not talking thunder, lightening or even deadly tornados--we're talking massive firey flares that send radiation and plasma spewing throughout the solar system. But you can leave your fire-and-brimstone-proof umbrella in the closet; even though this is the strongest solar storm since 2005, the radiation levels did not negatively affect the Earth. Instead, stargazers were treated to fantastic auroras on Tuesday, as the flares became visible in the northern night skies. Were you able to see the auroras where you live? Learn more.

President Obama embraces Rep. Giffords at the State of the Union

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot last January at a Tucson, Arizona community meeting. Six other people were killed at the event. Giffords miraculously survived her head wounds, and has made a strong recovery, but this week, she announced her resignation from Congress to focus on her recovery. Her injuries affect her ability to speak, and so a friend read a final letter to Congress on her behalf on Wednesday. When she reached the line, "I will recover and reutrn," Giffords received a standing ovation from everyone in the room, a rare unanimous congressional decision. How do you think Giffords will continue to influence the nation outside of office? Learn more.

A word cloud of the State of the Union

President Barack Obama gave his third State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday. In his speech, the president placed emphasis on creating jobs, developing a fairer taxation system and improving the American energy industry. It is customary for members of Congress to stand when the president proposes an idea that they agree with. Republican members of Congress did a lot of sitting. In the word cloud above, the size of the word indicates how frequently it was used in the speech--the larger the word, the more Obama said it. After examining the word cloud, what were other important issues in the State of the Union? Learn more.
Which two teams are headed to the Super Bowl?
The New York Giants and the New England Patriots
What do Italians want to prevent from happening at the site of the sunken cruise ship?
An oil spill
What type of natural disaster hit the South and Midwest?
Which former Penn State football coach died?
Joe Paterno
Solar storms caused what to appear in northern skies?
Which U.S. Representative stepped down this week to focus on her recovery?
Gabrielle Giffords
What speech did Barack Obama give this week?
The State of the Union
Another Week in Rap has gone according to...
...plan! Come back next Friday when we do it again.

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