November 11, 2011

An Asteroid, But No Extraterrestrials

It's Flocab back in your stereo,
Bringin' you that Week in Rap, yep, well here we go.

Hold up! Well, this sounds fake,
The state of Oklahoma had a record earthquake.
Wait! They're used to getting hit with tornadoes,
But a magnitude 5.6 is more fatal.

Ay yo, wanna know what's worse?
An asteroid that's coming close to the earth.
They're saying it's a quarter-mile wide,
But it isn't gonna hit us so there's no need to hide.

A lot of people took their money for a ride,
'Cause they didn't like the service their bank provides, right.
Everyone was looking for an answer,
Then 85,000 folks wanted to transfer.

Joe Frazier got beat by cancer,
He hit like a boxer but moved like a dancer.
Not only did he win Olympic gold,
He was the first to knock Muhammad Ali out cold.

This week some of y'all got to vote,
Did you take advantage of the opportunity, though? "No."
Two governors in two states,
But in 2012 is when they're really raising the stakes.

Calling out to all fans of outer space,
The White House got news you might not wanna face.
If you wanna meet an alien race,
They say they've got no proof, good luck cracking the case.

Hey! Let's take a trip over to Greece,
The Prime Minister resigned and said peace.
Italy's could be next to leave
The European economy is in a squeeze.

It's getting colder but I hope you don't freeze,
Another Week in Rap from the Flocab MCs!

When it comes to natural disasters, Oklahoma is known for its tornadoes. In fact, the state is even home to the Twister Museum . But a different sort of natural disaster struck this week. A magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook Oklahoma on Saturday, and was followed by a strong aftershock on Sunday. The quake knocked down a section of highway and parts of peoples homes, but luckily no fatalities or injuries were reported. Mostly, people's nerves are rattled. Do you know what to do in the event of an earthquake? Learn more .

NASA's photo of 2005 YU55

Summer blockbuster devotees (and dinosaurs) should be familiar with this scenario already: A giant asteroid is heading toward Earth...and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it! This week, it was really happening. An asteroid named 2005 YU55 came even closer to the Earth than the moon. But Earthlings are safe--the asteroid swished by without any impact. And you can rest easy: scientists predict that no other space object will come this close to the Earth until 2028--and that one isn't on a path to hit either. What can scientists learn about Earth from studying asteroids? Learn more.

Many Americans are unhappy with their banks for a variety of reasons. Some are angry about big banks' role in the recession of the last few years. Others are miffed about myriad fees that banks are charging customers to store their money. So a grassroots movement decided to educate people about alternative banking options, and they declared Saturday, November 5 as Bank Transfer Day. The goal was to protest big banks by take money away from them and investing in local credit unions instead. Organizers say that the switch will send a message to big banks, though some finance experts have argued that the switch will ironically help big banks by removing their least-profitable customers. What are the costs and benefits of keeping your money with big banks? How about credit unions? Learn more.

Joe Frazier, earlier this year

In the boxing world of the 1960s, Muhammad Ali was king. But in 1971, in what is now known as "The Fight of the Century," Joe Frazier became the first boxer to beat the supposedly indomitable Ali. Frazier, also known as Smokin' Joe, had won an Olympic gold medal in 1964, though he was most known for his Heavyweight title he earned after beating Ali. This week, Frazier died from liver cancer. What other athletes are known for famous rivalries? Learn more.

Gov. Steve Beshear

With so much media attention focused on the 2012 presidential election, it's easy to forget that states and communities have important issues to vote on each year. This election day, Mississippi and Kentucky each held gubernatorial races. The leadership didn't change very much, with Gov. Steve Beshear gaining re-election in Kentucky, and Phil Bryant getting promoted from Lieutenant Governor to the top spot in Mississippi. A controversial measure in Mississippi to declare that life begins at conception, a challenge to federal reproductive rights, was voted down. What issues or positions were up for a vote in your community this week? Learn more.

The turnout for the first ever elections in Tunisia topped 70% of the population. How many Americans vote? Far more vote in the presidential election years, but many counties reported record low turnout this week, some as low as 10%. New Orleans, for example, recorded a 20% voter turnout. Why do you think so many Tunisians voted recently compared to so few Americans? Learn more .

In an effort to better engage with citizens in a modern way, the White House launched a website called "We the People," which allows anyone to create or sign a petition. And if the petition gains enough signatures, the White House has guaranteed an official response. After over 17,000 petitioned the government to disclose knowledge of extraterrestrials, the White House kept its word. But those with hopes of thrilling tales from Area 51 will be sorely disappointed. The official response stated that the "U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race." What question would you like the White House to respond to? Read the full E.T. petition and response here .

George Papandreou, during less trying times

We've been reporting on the unrest in Greece for the last few weeks. Greece's debt has been hurting the entire European economy, with particular economic trouble spreading to its next-door neighbor, Italy. After a referendum vote almost took down the entire Greek government, Greece's prime minister, George Papadreou has agreed to step down. And Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi will likely be the next to go. Meanwhile, the European economic chaos has spread to the U.S. stock market, where the Dow Jones took a nose dive this week. Do you think it is a good idea to change leadership of a country in a time of crisis? Learn more.
What tornado-prone state had an earthquake this week?
What space object came very close to earth?
An asteroid
What did people transfer from in a form of protest?
What Olympic gold medal-winning boxer died this week?
Joe Frazier
What position was up for election in two states?
Who announced that scientists have not found extraterrestrial life?
The White House
The prime minister of which country agreed to resign?
What country near Greece will also likely see a new leader?
It's getting colder, but we hope you don't...
freeze. See you next Friday, everyone!

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