November 4, 2011

7 Billion People & October Snow

Happy Halloween, now we're in November,
Flocab's got news you oughta remember.

Listen, the Northeast saw snow,
But it wasn't like, "Awwww," it was like, "Whoa!"
Three people died and many lost power,
And it's only getting colder by the hour.

Now we're heading over to the Middle East where it seems
Like we may have made a step toward peace.
Palestinians are now a member of UNESCO,
But that caused beef between them and the US, though.

Wanna go to Afghanistan? Let's go.
You better be packing a bullet proof vest, though.
A suicide bomber killed 17,
One of the deadliest attacks that we've seen.

Next time you go to a soda machine,
Know that targeting the youth seems to be the new theme.
And Thailand's trying to stay clean,
But the flooding's gotten worse, so what does that mean?

Well it could bring fever, malaria,
And even other stuff that is much scarier.
Mother Earth's been taking care of ya,
But 7 billion people now occupy the area.

So... Okay you can do the math,
But a few decades back we had about half.
Tony La Russa's had his last laugh,
He won the World Series then retired quick fast.

Europe's economy, well it might crash,
Greece is acting rash cause they ran out of cash.

Flocab is on Facebook, friend 'em!
If your peeps need the news, you know where to send 'em!

Prospect Park in Brooklyn during the storm

Fall dressed up as winter this Halloween. An unseasonable storm dumped several inches of heavy snow last weekend in the Northeast, forcing a fleet of Batmans and princesses and zombies to cover their costumes in heavy coats. And it wasn't just people who were totally unprepared for this weird wintry wallop: the heavy snow knocked down thousands of trees that were still heavy with leaves. Over 3 million people lost power for several days. Did you experience the strange October snowstorm? Learn more.

UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member this week. UNESCO is a United Nations organization that aims to promote peace and security by supporting education, science and culture. The admission of Palestine into UNESCO is controversial because Palestine is in the midst of fighting to be recognized as its own state. The United States and Israel are concerned that UNESCO member status is a step toward official recognition of Palestinian statehood, something these countries strongly oppose. Though Palestine was approved for UNESCO membership with a vote of 107-14, the organization will now lose over 20% of its funding that previously came from the United States. Do you think that Palestine should have been admitted into UNESCO? Learn more about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in our new Middle East song.

A Taliban suicide bomber crashed into a NATO bus in Afghanistan, killing 17 people, including 12 Americans. The attack comes as the United States and NATO are in the process of withdrawing troops from the region. And it calls into question the current Afghan government's ability to make peace with the Taliban. Do you think this attack should affect the U.S. schedule to leave Afghanistan? Learn more .

By this point, you know--whether you like to admit it or not--that soda isn't good for you. But soft drink companies also know that kids and teenagers love it anyway--and they're hitting American kids with more soda advertising than ever before. A new study found that the amount of soft-drink ads that children and teens saw on TV doubled from 2008 to 2010. And in addition, African-American and Hispanic children saw 80 to 90% more soda ads than white children. Should soda companies be allowed to market aggressively to children? Learn more .

Since July, floods have ravaged Thailand. Nearly 400 people have been killed by floodwater, and the destruction of millions of acres of crops has been devastating to people's food supply and livelihoods. The prime minister is working to speed up the process of draining water in an effort to keep Bangkok, the city's capital, dry. These are the worst floods Thailand has seen in 50 years, and they've been intensified by heavier-than-average monsoon rains. Besides water damage and agricultural destruction, what other dangers do floods pose? Learn more .

This population growth chart from the year 2000 doesn't even go up to 7 billion!
Get cozy: this week, the 7 billionth baby was born. There are 7 billion living people on Earth today. Try to imagine 7 billion of anything... basketballs, cars, sandwiches... It's nearly impossible to wrap your mind around such a massive figure. But even more astounding than the number of people in the world is the new rate of population growth. In 1800, there were only 1 billion people in the world. And in 1960, there were 3 billion. The world population is growing faster than ever. With 8 billion people predicted around 2027, people in all fields--from government to science--are considering the impact of so many people on the Earth. What about daily life might change as more and more people populate the Earth? Learn more.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa

The Cardinals won the World Series with panache. The Texas Rangers could nearly taste the champagne in the bottom of the 9th in Game 6. But with one strike left, Cardinal David Freese hit a triple that tied up the game. The Cardinals won Game 6, and then went on to win the World Series the following night. Some sports commentators have said that Game 6 was one of the best baseball games of all time. Three days later, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa decided to go out on top; he announced his retirement after 33 years with the major league. What is the best sports game you've ever watched? Learn more.

Police forming a barricade against protesters

Greece's economic turmoil isn't just threatening the future of the Greek government; it's threatening the very future of the European Union. After Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a referendum on a European debt deal, Greeks revolted and European markets tanked. (17 European nations share the same currency, so Greek's economic turmoil affects everyone else.) Some say that the current Greek government might be overthrown by the end of the week. Do you think that it is a good idea for Europe to share one currency? Learn more.

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What type of weather surprised the Northeast last week?
A snow storm
What organization admitted Palestine as a member?
In what country did a suicide bomber kill 17 people?
What type of companies are aggressively advertising to children?
Soda companies
What natural disaster has been affecting Thailand since July?
How many people are now living on Earth?
7 billion
Which baseball team won the World Series?
The St. Louis Cardinals
What country's debt problems have affected the whole European economy?
What month rhymes with remember?
It's November! Catch y'all in a week.

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