November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy & Countdown to Election

It’s November - it’s almost the end,
Of the year here’s Flocab back once again,
With the scoop on the news.
But first can we,
Say peace to those hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Millions from Carolina to Maine,
Are without power and flooded by rain.
And NYC - will it ever be the same?
It’s the worst damage the city has ever sustained.
How does this affect the presidential campaign?
Obama was at the front lines doing his thing.
Romney had an event, but flipped it to a food drive,
Each candidate tried to do what they could do while
Syria, we were all hoping for a change,
With a four day truce the UN had arranged.
But they still fired shots so up goes the tension,
If other countries get involved we may need intervention.
Did I forget to mention - Happy Halloween,
Either Wednesday or Thursday or somewhere in between.
The election’s been dominating the scene,
So social media and people making memes,
Are a key part in each candidate’s campaign,
If we all use our voice there’s things we can change.
Especially if you live in a swing state,
You know, one of the nine that may decide who we take,
As the next president - yep it could all come down,
To the purple states, better known as the battleground.
Here’s a little something that’ll sound kinda crazy,
Disney bought Lucasfilm you know they made the,
Star Wars movies, and in a few years,
They’ve got a brand new one planned but some people have fears.
It’s Flocab saying peace to our peers,
Next week the winner of the election will be clear.

Storm surges from the hurricane were so strong that boats were washed ashore.

Hurricane Sandy was one of the largest storms to hit the Mid-Atlantic. It started out as a tropical storm in the Caribbean, but reached hurricane status on October 24. However, as it made its way north, it was drawn into another weather system and given more energy. Dubbed "Frankenstorm," Sandy made landfall on the evening of October 29 in New Jersey. According to the National Hurricane Center, at landfall there were maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. The superstorm caused massive storm surges, flooding, and widespread power outages. The storm has been blamed for more than 70 deaths in the US. Do you think enough safety measures were taken before the storm? Learn more.

Many subway stations flooded in New York City.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it became clear that the merciless storm caused historic damage to New York City. The storm is being blamed for 24 deaths in New York City. Power outages left parts of Manhattan and 90% of Long Island in the dark. Many households are still without power. A hundred houses in Queens were destroyed by an electrical fire. New York City's subway system experienced the worst damage in its 108-year history due to flooding. In New Jersey, the damage was so severe that Governor Chris Christie said the losses were "incalculable." Atlantic City was the hardest hit, as it was where Sandy made landfall. Entire neighborhoods in New Jersey were destroyed, and as of Wednesday, more than two million households were without power. How long do you think it will take for the area to fully recover? Learn more.

President Obama visits the Red Cross Digital Command Center.

With Superstorm Sandy pummeling the mid-Atlantic, both candidates suspended some of their campaign events. President Obama took four days off the campaign trail to lend his support to recovery efforts in areas hit by the storm. He and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, one of Obama's harshest Republican critics, have even formed a partnership in recovery efforts. Romney had planned to hold a rally in Ohio, but held a "storm relief event" instead. As of Thursday, however, both candidates have aggressively returned to the campaign trail. Obama visited Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado on Thursday, while Romney spent the day campaigning in Virginia. Do you think this storm will help either candidate in the election? Learn more.

War has destroyed many areas of Syria.

The country of Syria has been in the grip of a civil war for over a year. When the UN declared a cease fire last week, many hoped that some form of peace would prevail at least temporarily. However, after four days, the truce fell through. The war between supporters of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad and those who want to overthrow him is now posing a greater threat to Syria's neighbors as well. There is a high risk of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan being drawn into the war, as violence has already spilled over Syria's border. What do you think should be done to stop the war in Syria? Learn more.

Obama answering voter questions on Twitter

The presidential election is days away. Even more than the last election four years ago, the candidates are relying on social media to gather support. According to a report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the 2008 election was the first time that "more than half the voting-age population used the internet to connect to the political process during an election cycle." Now, social media has become a quick and convenient way for candidates to reach and inform voters. During the debates, voters used social media to discuss political issues. Campaign teams for Obama and Romney can use social media to analyze their influence on voters. Have you seen political activity in social media? Learn more.

It's difficult to predict election results in swing states.

In every election, there are certain states that candidates can rely on to vote for them. For example, New York is usually a "blue state" on political maps, as it historically votes for the Democratic candidate. Texas, on the other hand, usually votes Republican, and is a "red state." However, in each election, there are a group of states that could vote either way. These "purple states" are known as swing states, and they can be very influential in elections. When electoral votes are incredibly close, a Republican or Democratic win in a swing state can decide the election. Key swing states include Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, Iowa, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida and Minnesota. Ohio is probably the most influential of the swing states in this election. Polls are showing that Ohio has a 50-50 chance of deciding the election. Which candidate do you think Ohio will vote for? Learn more.

A diehard Star Wars fan

The Walt Disney Company, known for classic movies like Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Toy Story, has now bought Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion. Lucasfilm, owned by George Lucas, is famous for the "Star Wars" movies. Some of the series' fiercely dedicated and loyal fans are not so happy with Lucas for selling his company. A new "Star Wars" trilogy is on the horizon, with Episode 7 in early stages of development. This time, Disney will be calling the shots. "I'm doing this so that the films will have a longer life. I get to be a fan now," said Lucas in an interview. Are you looking forward to the new Star Wars movie, even if it's made by Disney? Learn more.
What was the name of the hurricane that hit the east coast this week?
What did Romney do because of the hurricane?
He held a food drive instead of a campaign event.
How long did the cease fire in Syria last?
Four days
What popular outlet are the candidates relying on this year?
Social media
Candidates are focusing a lot of their campaigns in what kind of states?
Swing states
What company bought out Lucasfilms?
OK, time for the BONUS Round...
To answer these questions, you'll need to read the infoboxes.
How strong where the sustained winds when Sandy made landfall?
80 mph
Which swing state has a 50-50 chance of deciding the election?

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