July 13, 2012

The Higgs Boson & Cutting Gym Class

Whaddup? It's Week in Rap, better get in step,
It's "Summertime" like Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff.
We're recapping all the news from the last two weeks,
'Cause last week, we barbecued and we hit the beach.
In San Diego, for the Fourth,
They planned a big fireworks show of course.
It sounds crazy, but I ain't lying,
All the fireworks went off at the same time.
Whoa - it's so hot people are dying,
So much heat from the Midwest to the East.
Romney and Obama trying to raise cheese,
It seems Mitt Romney's in the lead.
Get up out of your seat for this news:
Obesity is on the rise, y'all need to move,
But gym class is getting cut, that's tragic,
50% of high schoolers don't have it
But soldiers stay in shape, I mean
You ever run a training course for the Marines?
Well, now it's open to women,
For front-line combat, this might be the beginning.
And listen: You know Lance is a champion,
But were drugs enhancing him?
A court case claims that he was doping,
But he's fighting the case, yeah, not joking
Remember the first time you kissed... a trophy?
Federer did it again, yeah you know he
Won Wimbledon, and Serena did too
And here's some really big, really little news:
Physicists found a particle, yeah they did,
The tiny "god particle" - yeah that's big.
It's the little reason that things have mass,
Higgs boson, that's the name it has.
To that little particle, we tip our hats,
It's been another Flocab Week in Rap.

Watch the full San Diego fireworks show. It really only takes 15 seconds.

On at least one July 4th of your life, with hot dogs in belly and a picnic blanket spread out at the shore, this question has crossed your mind: "What if all those fireworks went off at once?" Thousands of people quickly came to know the answer in San Diego last Wednesday. And thanks to camera phones and YouTube, we all know. Why do you think fireworks are traditionally used to celebrate July 4th? Learn more.

These folks seem okay with the heat.

At least 42 people were killed as a result of a massive heatwave that swept the US from the Midwest to the East Coast. Heat waves are especially dangerous for elderly people without air conditioning who are unable to leave their homes. The heat wave broke more than 200 temperature records around the country, and it looks like more triple-digit temperatures are on tap for this summer. How do you stay cool and safe during a heat wave? Learn more.

"Give me five! Or ten. Or a few thousand."

Now that Mitt Romney doesn't have to spend his energy earning the Republican nomination, it is go time for presidential election fundraising. Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee raised $106.1 million in June, while President Obama raised only $71 million. Romney started off July with multi-million dollar fundraisers in the Hamptons, and his campaign has stated that it hopes to raise a total of $800 million for the election. If you had $800 million to spend on our nation, what would you do? Learn more.

Drop and give me five. Or ten. Or a few thousand.

Do you enjoy gym class? Whether you like it or not, we know that exercise is good for you. That's why it's troubling that nearly half of all the high school students in the United States don't take gym class in the average week. Many elementary schools and middle schools are also falling short of state requirements for physical education as well. Despite rising childhood obesity, schools claim that they don't have the budgets or time in the school day to get kids moving. Do you think that school leaders should more strongly prioritize physical education? Learn more.

A female Marine

Jogging with a heavy backpack in 100 degree weather, assembling jumbled weapon parts into working arms and not being able to talk unless you're seriously injured... Just a day in the life at the Marine Corps' Infantry Officer Course. There, men spend 86 days going through what is called "the corps' most grueling school". Throughout the training, officer candidates must pass exhausting physical and mental challenges. Starting in the next session, women will be admitted for the first time. It is part of a study to determine whether women will be able to serve more extensively in combat roles, or on the front lines. Do you think women should be able to serve on the front lines of battle? Learn more.

Will Lance win this time?

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has accused Lance Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs. But Armstrong says that he "has been subjected to 500 to 600 drug tests without a single positive test" and he has filed a suit against the USADA claiming he is innocent. If Armstrong is found guilty, he could be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. Do you think of biking as a sport? Learn more.

Being Number 1 twice in one day doesn't make you Number 2. It just makes you Serena.

Roger Federer won his 17th Grand Slam singles tennis title at Wimbledon, and Serena Williams won her 14th singles title. Later that day, Serena was number one again, winning the doubles title with her sister Venus. Have you ever won a trophy? Learn more.

A representation of the Higgs boson

Last week, scientists at the CERN particle collider in Switzerland made an important discovery. For the first time, physicists observed something called the Higgs boson particle. What's so great about this tiny particle? Scientists believe it may be what actually allows atoms to have mass. And without it, atoms probably wouldn't exist. That means that without this little guy, the universe as we know it wouldn't exist. That's probably why some people are calling the Higgs boson "the god particle" or "the key to the universe." If the Miami Heat got a parade, do you think the scientists who discovered "the key to the universe" should get a parade too? Learn more.
Where did all the fireworks go off at the same time?
San Diego
What was the weather like in the Midwest and East last week?
Which presidential candidate raised more money in June?
Mitt Romney
What are roughly 50% of high school students not taking each week?
Physical education
What is now available to women?
The Marines' most challenging training course
Who has been accused of doping?
Lance Armstrong
Who won Wimbledon?
Roger Federer and Serena Williams
What is the name of the particle that physicists discovered?
The Higgs boson
To that little particle...
We tip our hats. We'll be back next week, and every other week this summer.

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