Todd and I have a lot of new ideas for elllo and I am finding it impossible to have enough time to update the blog consistently and create new content for elllo. So for now, I am going to focus my efforts entirely on the main site and use this blog for news about work we are doing on elllo and occasional contests.
This is the end of the post
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Virus vaccinations, a wildfire forecast, and a turnaround on a texting ban. Hi I'm Carl Azuz. We've got the details on all of these stories in today's edition of CNN Student News. Welcome.
First Up: Isolated by the Flu
AZUZ: First up, President Obama asks Americans to take "common-sense" steps to prepare for the return of the H1N1, or swine flu. "I don't want anybody to be alarmed, but I do want people to be prepared." Those were the president's words yesterday when he addressed the issue. He said the government is doing everything it can to prepare for a new outbreak, including making H1N1 vaccines. Mr. Obama says those vaccinations won't be mandatory, although he does recommend them. He also says that if people do get sick, they should stay home from work or school. But what if your school is your home? As Elizabeth Cohen explains, this is a situation facing college students who have contracted the virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH COHEN, SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Swine flu seems to like college campuses, and especially the University of Kansas, where there are nearly 350 suspected cases. Freshman Arielle Spiridigliozzi is one of them. When she first got swine flu...
ARIELLE SPIRIDIGLIOZZI, FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF KASAS: I was like, am I gonna die?
COHEN: Arielle of course didn't die, but she was pretty sick. Her temperature climbed to 101 degrees.
SPIRIDIGLIOZZI: Everything hurts, you're just laying in bed and your body's just aching and you're coughing and your chest just is burning.
COHEN: Cold comfort, but Arielle wasn't alone. Her roommate Kaitlyn Perry contracted the virus, too. So, they were ordered into isolation together in their dorm room. We decided to go in and talk to them to see how they're feeling. But before we go into their room, we decided we better make a call to the CDC.
COHEN: Hi, Dr. Jernigan. How are you?
DR. JERNIGAN, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I'm doing fine.
COHEN: The doctor at the CDC tells me two things: One, I don't have to wear a mask, but the sick students do. Two, I should stay at least six feet away from them at all times. I join the dorm staff who are delivering food to the sick young ladies.
COHEN: What's it like being cooped up in here?
SPIRIDIGLIOZZI: It's so boring.
KAITLYN PERRY, FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS: We've watched like seven movies.
SPIRIDIGLIOZZI: We've watched so many movies.
COHEN: Is it scary, for the first time in your life on your own and you get sick?
SPIRIDIGLIOZZI: Yeah, because you're like, mom and dad aren't gonna come in and wake you up every three hours to take your medicine and make sure you're taking that Advil so your fever doesn't raise. Like, it's on your own, and what happens if you don't wake up, or you sleep through your alarm clock? But I mean, I know I've been checking on Kaitlyn and she's been checking on me.
PERRY: I think we're doing all right.
COHEN: College campus, students living with each other 24/7, often in close quarters are breeding grounds for swine flu. So far, 19 campuses across the country have reported cases. The university is following the CDC's guidelines that say if infected students are without a fever for 24 hours, they can leave isolation. So with fingers crossed, Kaitlyn and Arielle take their temperatures.
PERRY: 98.7! l don't have a fever!
SPIRIDIGLIOZZI: 98.2! Holler! Yeah, no fever!
COHEN: Hours later, Kaitlyn and Arielle are free from their confinement, able to leave their dorm room and finally begin life at college.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIK NIVISON, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! What U.S. state has the highest population? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Alaska, B) California, C) New York or D) Texas? You've got three seconds -- GO! With more than 36 million people, California is the most populated state in the U.S. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Some of that population has been ordered to evacuate because of a deadly wildfire. As of Tuesday morning, the Station Fire had burned more than 120,000 acres. That is larger than the entire city of Philadelphia. But officials are feeling more optimistic about efforts to fight the flames. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says part of the reason why is the people doing the fighting.
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, (R) CALIFORNIA: We are very fortunate that we have the best and the most aggressive, best-trained, the most courageous firefighters in the world. And that's why we are able to push back very heavily. But while all those fires are burning, we are already thinking about working to help victims rebuild their lives.
AZUZ: Mike Sarkissian, who rents a home in the area threatened by the fire, shot some incredible video of the blaze. Take a look at this.
MIKE SARKISSIAN, RESIDENT: So, here we are in the Tujunga Canyon watching this fire go through, trying to protect the buildings. And here's a picture of it coming up probably through one of the closest spots of the property that could catch a building. So, I'm going to tape it just so you guys can see how fast this thing progresses.
AZUZ: Moving south of the border, residents of the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas are bracing for Hurricane Jimena, as the storm moves up the Baja Peninsula. You can see some of its effects in this video. Jimena began yesterday as a Category 4 storm, but slowed to a Category 3 by the afternoon. However, weather officials say the hurricane could still be strong when it hits land. That's expected to happen Thursday morning. Experts warn though that any change in direction could affect when and where the storm will hit.
Is this Legit
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this Legit? There is a nationwide ban on texting while driving. Not Legit! Some states do ban text messaging for all drivers, but much of the U.S. doesn't have a ban.
AZUZ: One highway safety group, however, thinks every state should. It's calling for a nationwide ban, something this group was opposed to in the past. What's behind the u-turn? A new study, which says that texting significantly increases your chances of getting in a wreck. Also, a public service announcement that's been going around the Internet, which shows the potential danger of texting from behind the wheel. Jason Carroll explores how the group's new position could impact the push for a ban. Teachers, this report does include some graphic images from that PSA. We encourage you to preview it before showing it to your class.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some drivers call it fallout from life on the road in the digital age: texting while driving. A graphic public service announcement produced in the UK, widely seen on the Web in the United States, illustrates a violent end. This spot is part of the reason a group once opposed to new laws banning texting while driving has reversed its position.
VERNON BETKEY JR, GHSA: We're certainly in favor of the ban, and we're willing to support a texting ban.
CARROLL: Vernon Betkey Jr. is chairman of the Governor's Highway Safety Association, a national group representing state highway safety officials. In July, the group came out against laws banning texting while driving, Betkey saying, "...New laws would be impossible to enforce." But Betkey did an about-face following a meeting with the group's members, who'd seen that PSA and some alarming studies.
BETKEY: I think that as a result of those discussions, a decision was made to re-adjust our policy.
CARROLL: Senators, including Charles Schumer, who have proposed a federal law requiring states to ban texting while driving, say the highway association's new stance could go a long way.
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: They saw that this was so important to do because it's so dangerous, that they took the leap and it's going to give our legislation a major boost.
CARROLL: Another boost: recent studies like the one from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which found a truck driver's risk of crashing 23 times higher while text messaging. Another study done by Professor David Strayer at the University of Utah found another disturbing result.
DAVID STRAYER, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH : Text messaging is a level of impairment that exceeds what we see with someone who is driving while they're drunk.
CARROLL: Exceeds it?
CARROLL: Strayer's researchers found a driver with an alcohol level 0.08, legally drunk in most states, is four times more likely to crash. Texting, that driver is eight times more likely. Currently, just 18 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving.
CARROLL: So, what is your prediction at this point?
SCHUMER: I think we can get a bill done within the next several months.
AZUZ: Many of you already have your driver's license, and if you don't, you're probably looking forward to when you do. What do you think? Should texting from behind the wheel be banned across the U.S.? And how about that PSA? Some of you might have seen it already. Do you think it's effective in getting across its message, or does it go too far? You can sound off with all your thoughts on our blog at CNNStudentNews.com. Please remember, first names only.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, that desk you're sitting at? It's dumb. At least compared to this one! You've heard of a smart board? Check out the smart desk, the latest technological teaching tool. It lets students get hands on with science, art, geography, and it can fit up to five sets of fingers at a time. These desks are designed for elementary students and they're being used in classrooms in Greece.
AZUZ: It might not sound very sentimental, but we still think it's a touching story. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. A famous mouse house is adding some x-factors. We'll explain that and run down the cast of characters in CNN Student News. Let's go!
First Up: Wildfires Worsen
AZUZ: First up, a fast-moving wildfire explodes, doubling in size and raging a path across Southern California. One official says the Station Fire, which we reported on yesterday, has "a mind of its own." The blaze had grown to more than 85,000 acres by Monday morning, but it was only about 5 percent contained. Authorities have ordered a mandatory evacuation for anyone in this fire's path. Some people who didn't evacuate were actually trapped. Rob Marciano looks at the threat that this fire poses and the toll that it's already taken.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: Two firefighters killed when their vehicle rolled down a mountainside. Part of a treacherous battlefield in these hills north of L.A., where the easiest approach is often from the sky. Helicopters and planes attacking what seems to be an endless wall of fire.
MAN ON STREET #1: I'm afraid.
MARCIANO: On the ground, more than 10,000 homes sitting in the fire's path.
MAN ON STREET #2: All we can do is hope for the best.
MARCIANO: Police blocking off neighborhoods and ordering thousands of people to evacuate, a warning the governor urged them to take seriously.
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, (R) CALIFORNIA: This is a huge and is a very dangerous fire.
MARCIANO: Not everyone listened. Some, like this man, stayed behind, armed only with a garden hose.
MAN ON STREET #3: I'm trying my best.
MARCIANO: But most grabbed what they could, and left the firefighting to the professionals.
MAN ON STREET #4: We left them a shovel and our hoses.
MARCIANO: The nearly 3,000 firefighters in the fight taking mostly defensive positions, digging in and letting the fire come to them.
MIKE DIETRICH, U.S. FOREST SERVICE INCIDENT CHIEF: The weather, the fuels and the topography are dictating our firefighting actions.
MARCIANO: Their biggest problem this time not wind, but unrelenting heat and too much fuel. The area hasn't seen a major fire in 60 years, and is loaded with dense brush. Up north, wind becoming a very serious threat. Eerie pictures from the town of Auburn, near Sacramento, where a number of homes and buildings burned to the ground. That fast-moving fire eating up 500 acres in just a few hours. Back near L.A., neighbors can only gather on corners and wait, hoping to avoid the same fate.
MAN ON STREET #5: There's still fires here. Like I said, we've got a fire coming down the canyon behind us here too, so we're pretty much surrounded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Of course, the details of this story continue to develop as firefighters continue to battle against the Station Fire. Get the latest updates on their efforts; you can always find them online at CNN.com.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Which of the following would you find about 250 miles above the Earth's surface? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it the: A) Stratosphere, B) Moon, C) International space station or D) Skylab? You've got three seconds -- GO! The ISS orbits about 250 miles above your head, traveling at over 17,000 miles per hour! That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: And that is also where you'll find the space shuttle Discovery, at least for the next several days. It met up with the international space station on Sunday. While it's there, astronauts plan to unload over seven tons of cargo and take three spacewalks to install some equipment and replace some experiments. There's also a scheduled swap. One astronaut from the ISS is heading back to Earth, while one from the shuttle is staying in space.
Afghan Vote Count
AZUZ: Back on the ground, officials in Afghanistan are counting votes from last month's presidential election. But the results might get held up because of a growing number of complaints about the voting process. As of Sunday, nearly 2,500 complaints had been filed. Authorities say more than 560 of those are serious enough to affect the outcome of the race. In order for the results to be certified, the complaints have to be resolved. With around 48 percent of the votes counted, current President Hamid Karzai is in the lead.
Disney Buys Marvel
AZUZ: And back here in the U.S., Mickey Mouse is teaming up with... Wolverine? It might not sound like a match made in heaven, but it's a match made in Disneyland. The Walt Disney Company has agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment, which is home to Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-men and more than 5,000 other characters. Disney says it's hoping the new additions will help the company appeal to you, specifically you guys out there. But it's not gonna be cheap. The Marvel move is costing the mouse house about $4 billion.
Campus Health Care
AZUZ: From comics to college. When you hit campus for your freshman year, there are gonna be some things you'll want to have with you: clothes, computer, TV, maybe a friend? Health insurance probably isn't at the top of your list. It may not even on it. But at some universities, coverage is required. Brianna Keilar takes us to school on some of the reasons why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Freshman move-in day at the University of Maryland. Thousands of students jamming into teeny, tiny dorm rooms. This scene repeats itself every August here, but something's different this year. Like a growing number of colleges, UMD is requiring students to have health insurance, starting with this freshmen class.
KEILAR: Do you think there will be a lot of germs?
MELISSA EPSTEIN, STUDENT: Absolutely! I brought a big container of hand sanitizer, and I plan on using it.
KEILAR: Doctor Gail Lee, the clinical director of the school's health center, says without coverage, students can suffer academically.
DR.GAIL LEE, CLINICAL DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: It can affect their ability to stay in school. It can affect the fact that they might have to go to work to pay off their medical bills.
KEILAR: Historically, Lee says 1 in 15 UMD students have been uninsured. But now, if freshmen don't prove they have health insurance, the university automatically puts them on its student plan.
LEE: It covers a lot of the things that we think are important for students. For example, it covers immunizations. It would cover them if they are a study-abroad student.
KEILAR: For previously uninsured students, it's an added cost of about $100 per month, increasing in-state tuition and fees by 8%.
MAN ON THE STREET: Moving Day!
KEILAR: But for some families, like the Epsteins, it's a bargain alternative to keeping their freshman daughter Melissa on the family's out-of-state insurance. Why the student plan for Melissa?
HOWIE EPSTEIN, MELISSA'S FATHER: We were able to save probably about $400 a month by putting her on her separate plan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: A lot of people are looking into strategies to save money, whether it's with health insurance or horticulture, growing your own plants and foods. According to officials, so-called "recession gardens" are cropping up all over. Christine Romans talks with some folks who are willing to get their hands dirty in an attempt to save some green.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some nice ones back there.
ROMANS: Here are the real green shoots in the economy. Karen Simonson and Grisella Feliciano work together in the business office at the Queens Botanical Gardens. Before this spring, there wasn't a green thumb between them.
GRISELLA FELICIANO, GARDENER: Since we didn't know how to do it, we figured if we'd do it together it would, you know, save time and just be easier for both of us.
ROMANS: With help from Simonson's daughter Rebecca, they found abundance in a recession.
REBECCA AGURTO, GARDENER: I planted the tomatoes and the string beans and the peppers.
ROMANS: Theirs is one of 43 million food gardens this year. The National Gardening Association says 19 percent of the households growing their own fruits, vegetables and herbs are doing it for the very first time. Vegetable seed sales are up 30 percent. Ball, the popular maker of canning supplies, also saw sales jump 30 percent. And one of the oldest seed catalog companies, a 19th and early 20th century stalwart, is finding new and newly frugal 21st century gardeners.
GEORGE BALL, W. ATLEE BURPEE & CO.: It's not that a vegetable is going to make you money. It's that you're not going to be spending that money in the produce section or the farmer's market or the supermarket. If you spend, say, a hundred dollars on vegetable seeds, you're going to save $2,500, on average, in savings at the supermarket. That's money you can spend on your child's college fund or, you know, buy something, or get the house down payment further advanced.
ROMANS: Saving money, taking control, getting back to basics, and bringing green to your greens.
DAVID ELLIS, AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: You're controlling how you're growing it. And often, homegrown produce, which you can pluck right off the vine, is very, is really much tastier than vegetables that have been harvested a couple of weeks ahead in the supermarket.
ROMANS: New gardener Simonson says fresh and pesticide-free produce is what got her gardening in the first place.
KAREN SIMONSON, GARDENER: Having my daughter, I've become a little more conscious about what she eats. And being that she's eight years old right now, I thought it was a good activity for us to do together.
ROMANS: And recession or no, next year they'll do it again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Before We Go
AZUZ: And finally today, from harvesting food to harvesting energy. This may look like a normal workout. That may look like a normal knee brace. But the technology connected to it is anything but normal. That's because with every step this man takes, he is generating energy! The brace stores it up and transfers it to batteries. About one minute of walking makes enough power for 10 minutes of talking on a normal cell phone.
AZUZ: A walking power generator? Sounds like a big step for technology. We have to hit the road, but the cool thing is, we broadcast on Wednesdays, too, so we hope to see ya then!
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's the last day of the month, the first day of the week, and for some of you, the start of a new school year. So, welcome to CNN Student News. With your commercial-free source for classroom news, I'm Carl Azuz.
First Up: Japan Election Day
AZUZ: First up, a big shift in political power as Japanese voters weigh in at the ballot box. The Liberal Democratic Party has run Japan's government for decades. Not anymore. Early results from yesterday's parliamentary elections show that the Democratic Party of Japan won in a landslide. The country's current prime minister announced his resignation based on this outcome. That's because the position, which is similar to the U.S. president, is filled by someone from the majority party. Kyung Lah explores some of the reasons behind the transition in Japan's ruling party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAN ON STREET: Bonzai!
KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the sound of a political earthquake in Japan. A landslide victory for the opposition, the Democratic Party of Japan, booting out the prime minister and his ruling party. Supporters wept as candidates for the Liberal Democratic Party lost seat after seat in the parliament. A crushing defeat for a party that had run Japan's government almost continuously since 1955.
Here at the opposition party headquarters, they're watching the final vote tally to come in. At the end of it, the opposition expects to win Japan's parliament by 3 to 1, a mandate by the voters. A change that's long overdue, says longtime Japan watcher Richard Jerram.
RICHARD JERRAM, MACQUARIE CAPITAL SECURITIES: It's tremendously exciting. You've got a change of government, probably on a lasting basis, for the first time in 50 years. You've got the prospect of changing how they run the government by reducing the bureaucracy and trying to increase the political influence on policymaking. So politically, it's very exciting.
LAH: What led voters to line up at polling places was a sense of frustration over domestic scandals, but more importantly, the economy. Voting for an untested party like the opposition is a sign of how much anger there is about the slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
YOSHIKO SHIRAISHI, VOTER [TRANSLATED]: "I want them to change something," says this voter, punching her card for the opposition.
MASAYUKI NAKAMURA, VOTER [TRANSLATED]: "The money's been going the wrong way," says this man. "I hope the money will now go towards jobs and creating a safety net."
LAH: Voters are now counting on sweeping change to match the sweeping political victory of Japan's new ruling party. Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIK NIVISON, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for some Fast Facts! When a U.S. Senate seat opens up, how is it filled? It depends on the state. In 37 states, the governor picks the senator's replacement. The remaining 13 states can schedule a special election to replace the senator, but when and how those special elections are held can vary by state. Massachusetts, the state that Senator Ted Kennedy represented, has a special election. It's held 145 to 160 days after the Senate seat becomes vacant.
AZUZ: It's a situation that's taking place right now after Senator Kennedy's death last week at the age of 77. Funeral services were held in Boston on Saturday. President Obama and the first lady attended, along with past presidents and many of Kennedy's colleagues in the U.S. Senate. People gathered to honor the late senator, both in the streets of Boston and on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Senator Kennedy was laid to rest Saturday evening in Arlington National Cemetery.
We just mentioned how Massachusetts selects a Senate replacement. But recently, someone asked that the state's law be changed: Ted Kennedy. He wanted his seat to be filled quickly. Jessica Yellin looks at why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Before he died, Sen. Kennedy sent a letter to his state's top officials writing, "I believe it is vital for this commonwealth to have two votes in the Senate." He asked that state law be changed to allow the governor to appoint someone to Kennedy's seat as soon as it became vacant. Massachusetts' new senior senator echoed that request.
SEN. JOHN KERRY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: He's asking simply for a temporary ability to appoint someone who will not run, who will not get in the way of other people who want to run, who will be there for a moment only.
YELLIN: Currently, the state is required to hold a special election, which would happen January 19th at the earliest. That's probably too late for a vote on health care reform, the issue Kennedy called "the cause of my life." In this climate, Democrats need every vote they can get. The math is not good. With Kennedy's death, Democrats are one vote shy of a 60 vote super majority. They could try to pass reform using a special tactic called "reconciliation," that requires only 51 votes. But Senator Robert Byrd is ill and top Democrats worry at least six of their own Senators plus independent Joe Lieberman could vote no, depending on the contents of the bill. If they pick up no Republicans and lose all fence sitters, Democrats have barely enough votes to pass health care reform. Massachusetts' governor is pressing lawmakers to change the law and give Democrats that vote.
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: I'm hoping that the legislature will turn to it and turn to it soon, and if they send me a bill, I will sign it.
YELLIN: State leaders have not made clear whether they favor a temporary appointment, but top national Democrats tell CNN they believe lawmakers will ultimately support it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mr. Snidman's current events classes at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in Ladue, Missouri. How many more space shuttle missions has NASA scheduled? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Three, B) Six, C) Twelve or D) Fifteen? You've got three seconds -- GO! NASA is planning six more shuttle missions, with the last one launching in September 2010. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Those six planned trips we mentioned don't include the current mission of the space shuttle Discovery, because it already took off. The shuttle launched just before midnight Friday night, and was scheduled to meet up with the international space station last night. Discovery will be connected to the ISS for eight days, transferring supplies and equipment to the orbiting station. This marks just the second time that thirteen people -- the full crews of Discovery and the ISS -- will be on one spacecraft at the same time.
AZUZ: Coming back down to Earth, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency because of a raging wildfire in Los Angeles country. This move will help free up resources to help fight the blaze. As of yesterday afternoon, no deaths had been reported, although several people had been injured. The flames are threatening more than 12,000 buildings in the area, forcing thousands of people to evacuate. More than 1,800 firefighters were battling the blaze, which Gov. Schwarzenegger says is one of more than half a dozen wildfires burning across the state.
AZUZ: Experts say residents in southern California also need to keep an eye on Hurricane Jimena. Yesterday afternoon, the storm was a Category 4, with winds of 135 miles per hour. It was approaching Baja, California, which is actually part of Mexico, and moving through the Pacific Ocean heading north. Jimena is the 10th named storm of the Pacific hurricane season. That's a totally separate list from the Atlantic season, which so far has seen storms like Bill and Danny.
AZUZ: Following up on last Friday's story about schools reducing bus service to save money, here's what some of you guys had to say about it. Katie says "schools have to do whatever it takes to survive in our economy. If it takes budget cuts and fewer school bus stops, then that's what they have to do." But Syera disagrees, writing that "some students might not have rides to school; they should not have to walk. And some students don't own a bike." Janai felt the same way, noting that "not all parents had other options -- besides the bus -- on getting their child to and from school." Thomas wrote this on Facebook: "Cutting busses... Encouraging students to walk to school... It's helping both the environment and improving your health." But back on the blog, Austin said, "You hear about all kinds of money being spent on other somewhat useless things. Can't they give just a little more to the school systems?" Tell us what you think about all this on our blog at CNNStudentNews.com. And for the blog, please remember, it is first names only.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, trying to set world records can be a slippery slope, especially when it involves an attempt at the world's biggest slip 'n slide. Or slip 'n scoot. Maybe slip 'n crawl. Are you sure you guys know how this is supposed to work? Looks like organizers pulled out all the stops to break the record. They laid out a 575 foot slide, they turned on the water, then they sent 235 people down the hill.
AZUZ: It's just too bad that wasn't enough to break the record. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz. You guys have a great day.