March 2, 2012

Leap Day and a Hunger Strike

It's already March - what can we say?
At least this year we got to enjoy a leap day.
Now it's time for the Flocab replay
Of the headlines that we had for the week - hey!

You may have started off with the Oscars
Roll out the red carpet for "The Artist" cause it got first
Place for best picture, the first silent movie
To win since the very first awards show, truly

Some UVA students think they have a duty,
To protest the pay for employees at their school see.
They're on a hunger strike to raise the minimum wage,
But many think that wage is competitive with today's.

In Syria the situation ain't changed,
Assad has a plan, but the West says its a sham.
Voters passed a referendum on a new constitution,
But it doesn't seem to be the optimal solution.

In Ohio it's another school shooting,
It makes us all wonder what's wrong with the youth, and
Let's take a moment of silence for those
Victims of violence all around the globe.

Back to politics, okay here it goes,
Mitt Romney is back on top of the polls.
He took Arizona and his home state, Michigan
If he keeps up at this pace, he says, "Hey, it's a win."

We had talks with the North Korea kids again
Were they successful? I don't know, it depends...
They said they’ll stop nuclear activities,
Well that seems to be a breakthrough, but who knows what it'll be.

Another cruise ship got stuck
If you take a vacation better have great luck.
Flocabulary got the news wrapped up, that's what's up,
We'll see ya next week, yup yup!

Leap Day!

Could you imagine celebrating the New Year in the middle of the summer? How about the Fourth of July in the snow? If you can't, you can thank Leap Day. Our normal calendar year is 365 days, but it actually takes the Earth 365.25 days to rotate around the sun. So every four years, we need to add an extra day to our calendar to keep the months lined up with their normal seasons. Of course calendars are completely man-made, so you really could make any kind of calendar we want. How did you use your extra day? Learn more.

Silent film star Charlie Chaplin

In an era of 3-D, HD and computerized special effects, none other than a silent film took home the Best Picture prize at the Oscars. "The Artist" paid homage to the silent film era. In fact, it was the first silent film to win best picture since 1929. That was the same year that the first "talkie," or movie with sound, came out, and movie audiences never looked back. Well, that is, until now. Have you ever seen a silent film? Learn more.

University of Virginia

Twelve students at the University of Virginia are on a hunger strike. Made famous by Mahatma Gandhi, hunger strikes are a form of non-violent protest where activists don't eat to draw attention to an issue. The UVA students have been fasting for the last twelve days to demand that the university raise minimum wage to $13 an hour. The student protesters believe that this salary is a more fair "living wage." Thus far, the university has not agreed to salary changes. But the university has expressed concern for the health of hunger strikers. Do you think hunger strikes are an effective form of protest? Learn more.

Syrian protesters

Syrian President Bashar Assad held a referendum on a new constitution to try to placate those who think he should step down. But his opposition, and nations in the West, thought that the vote was a sham. And it certainly hasn't stopped the violence. To the dismay of the global community, the Syrian government has continued to shell rebels in the city of Homs. Hundreds have died in the attacks. Do you think that Assad will step down? Learn more.

Tragedy struck an Ohio high school on Monday morning. T.J. Lane, an Ohio teenager, went on a shooting rampage in his high school cafeteria. The community is mourning the three students who died. It seems that the shooter didn't know his victims, and that he chose them at random. It is likely that Lane will be tried as an adult. What do you think schools can do to make sure everyone feels safe? Learn more .

He can't wait to really clap.

After stiff competition against Rick Santorum these past few weeks, Mitt Romney won the Republican primaries in Michigan and Arizona. But if one thing is clear from this long presidential primary season, it's that no ending is clear. Next Tuesday, 10 states will hold their primaries. Some say that this "Super Tuesday" will bring a clear forerunner into view. But at this point, we're not betting on it. After so much disagreement about candidates, do you think that Republican voters will support whoever wins? Learn more.

North Korean nuclear facilities

North Korea agreed to suspend its nuclear activities in exchange for food aid from the United States. The communist nation had previously been enriching Uranium and conducting long-range missile tests. Both of those activities were signs that North Korea was trying to build nuclear weapons. But just two months after the death of Kim Jong Il, North Korea has agreed to halt both of these activities. Still, some are skeptical that North Korea will follow through with disarmament. Why do you think the United States doesn't want North Korea to have nuclear weapons? Learn more.

The Costa Allegra prior to its fire

This has not been a good year for cruise ships. First, the Costa Concordia crashed into the coast of Italy. Then this week, the Costa Allegra was stranded in pirate-infested waters off Somalia after a fire destroyed the ship's power supply. After three days afloat without power, a French fishing boat towed the ship to safety. But while they waited to be rescued, many passengers had to sleep on deck because rooms were excruciatingly hot without air conditioning. Do you think that these recent cruise accidents will hurt the cruise industry? Learn more.
What special date occurred this week?
February 29, or Leap Day
Which film won Best Picture at the Oscars?
The Artist
What form of protest is happening at UVA?
A hunger strike
What did the West think about Syria's constitution referendum?
They said it was a sham.
What tragedy happened at a high school in Ohio this week?
A school shooting
Who won the Republican primaries in Arizona and Michigan?
Mitt Romney
Which country agreed to halt its nuclear program?
North Korea
What happened to a cruise ship this week?
It got stuck in the Indian Ocean.
See you next week!

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