December 20th, 2007
11:07 PM ET

COMPLETELY Caught Off Guard

The December 21st edition of CNN Student News gave me the biggest surprise of my career to date.  I honestly had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER about the joke that every other member of our staff was in on.  They'd told me we were going to finish up with some memorable quotes that people – other people – made throughout the year, and I bought it.  And the worst part is the fact that they'd been planning this since before Thanksgiving, when our company's VP came up with the idea.

They were all laughing HARD when they rolled the segment and saw me staring at the monitor in utter shock.  And when it came to the dancing, all I could think to myself was, "Make it stop!"

Well, I guess it is a good way to wrap up the show for the holidays.  And whatever you celebrate, I hope you have as much fun with the break as our staff did embarrassing the Santa hat off me.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Behind the scenes
December 18th, 2007
10:44 PM ET

The Price of Pop

In today's show, we told you about San Franciso Mayor Gavin Newsom's proposed fee on some soft drink sales. And you heard Dr. Sanjay Gupta mention the possibility that, if the tax DOES pass, it might get passed on to consumers.

Now, I'm a soda-holic. I don't drink coffee or tea or even juice. But morning, noon and night, chances are a soft drink can is in my hand or close by. So if this fructose fee became law, I don't think it would affect my buying habits too much. But what about you guys? Do you think the proposed fee is a good idea? Would it change how much soda you buy or drink?

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
December 16th, 2007
07:26 PM ET

Funniest Video on Our Show

That's what I'd like to know:  What do you think was the funniest video you've seen on CNN Student News this year?  ...a dancing policeman, maybe?  How about the guy with the longest leg hair?

For our last show of the year, I'm gonna feature three segments from our "Before We Go" and "Off the Beaten Path" reports.  I've already picked the first two, but the third is up to you:  What kind of "kicker" video do you want to see on the last show of 2007?

Filed under: Feedback
December 13th, 2007
10:13 PM ET

Naming Names


Ex-Sen. George Mitchell, left, was hired by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, right, to probe steroid use.

In Friday's story about the Mitchell report on performance enhancing drug use in baseball, you hear the names of several Major League All-Stars who are allegedly linked to steroids. I really don't like publishing these names, after all, they haven't been convicted of anything, they're just listed in the report. And anyway, c‘mon! These guys are supposed to be our heroes. The Boys of Summer who every baseball fan lives and dies with each season. Why do we have to drag them through the mud like this?

Well, here's one reason: Consider the number of young people who are reportedly using HGH or steroids to get ahead in their sport. Maybe this report will make a high school player stop and think before doing it. Of course, I can see a young athlete asking, "If they do it, why shouldn't I?" but I hope they'll see there isn't a happy ending, no matter the results on the field.

Tell us how the discussion went in your class.

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Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
December 12th, 2007
11:15 PM ET

A Walk on the Wild Side

...and we're not talking about the Zubaz pants we showed you in Thursday's show.  It's been a little while since we took a walk Off the Beaten Path, so please be sure to tune in this Friday to check out what's weird in the news.

And coming up next Friday (the 21st) - drumroll please - my very own, top three picks for the BEST OFFBEAT CLIPS OF THE YEAR.  I won't say just what they are yet, but I will say this:  They'll be awesome, and they'll include a chihuahua.  So even if you're off school by then, please be sure to check us out at CNNStudentNews.com.

Filed under: Uncategorized
December 11th, 2007
10:44 PM ET

Baggy Pants: Trendy or Tacky?

Bet you could name about a dozen fashion trends you've seen over the years.  For a while at my middle school, students would clip suspenders to their pants and wear them hanging down – it was like they were carrying around a seat harness.  In high school, I had a pair of light green, pleated jeans that I wore about twice a week (no idea what I was thinking – they didn't match anything).  And I remember seeing some dude walk in with a pair of full-leg, suede, horseback-riding chaps:  After all, nothing says 'Wild West' like homeroom!

But the baggy pants look has been around for years; it was going strong when I was in high school.  What do you think of it?  Do you ever let your jeans slouch?  And what do you think of the Atlanta school board decision to ban pants that are sagging?

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
December 10th, 2007
06:33 PM ET

Holiday Spirit!

Sounds like something you'd hear at a pep rally.  "Gimme an H..."

But this time, it's personal:  What are you doing to get in the holiday spirit?  Now I've asked you what you thought was the best Christmas gift EVER, and we're currently hoping teachers will send in I-Reports on what your class is doing to help others over the holidays.  Currently, CNN's Media Operations department is collecting holiday letters to send to U.S. troops overseas, and a very good friend of mine is assembling care packages for troops through the "Any Soldier" project. 

That brings us to you:  Are you doing anything special for others this holiday season?

Filed under: Uncategorized
December 6th, 2007
10:57 PM ET

Does a Candidate's Religion Matter?

You heard it in Wednesday's show:  Some Americans ask, "Who cares?" when a political candidate's faith comes up.  Others say faith is keywhen it comes to candidates.  We'd like to know what matters to you.  Do you teachers take religion into account when voting?  Will your students?  Many high schoolers will be old enough to vote by the time they graduate, and we're curious as to whether a candidate's religion will factor in to their ballots.

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
December 5th, 2007
08:20 PM ET

Omaha Mall Tragedy

A police car sits outside the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska

We changed our rundown, or lineup of stories, several times as we prepared Thursday's program. As details emerged from the tragic shooting at a mall in Omaha, Nebraska, that story quickly rose to the top of the show.

Considering malls are a quintessential teenage hang-out, if this incident happened on a weekend or after school, it could have been much worse.

We always consider how such a story will play out in class when we put the show together, and hope you'll use our questions to help guide the discussion about this story. Let us know how it went.

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Filed under: Behind the scenes • Feedback • News Coverage
December 5th, 2007
05:43 PM ET

The Secret to Shoutouts

Well, technically, there is no secret.  We've gotten a lot of questions lately about how Shoutout dedications are scheduled, and for the most part, we go in order of the teachers who've e-mailed us their requests through our home page.  (Currently, we're working off requests that date back to early September, so it may be a while before we get to your class.  But your teacher is always welcome to e-mail us at CNNStudentNews.com.)

Thank you for all of your requests and patience!

Filed under: Behind the scenes
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