November 30th, 2008
06:47 PM ET

Punished with Music!

It may not sound like punishment at all until you hear what the music was.  And then you might feel sympathetic for members of Revolving Reverence, who had to sit through an hour of it because they played their own songs too loudly!

The judge says he did it because he noticed that too many people were just paying the fine and not really learning anything from their offenses.  So tell us what you think about his unique penalty - and whether that would make you turn the volume down...

Carl Azuz, Anchor

P.S.  I was also in a high school rock band - I used to murder the drums.  And yes, we once got in trouble for playing too loudly, and we totally deserved it:  We weren't as good as Revolving Reverence.

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
November 24th, 2008
10:04 PM ET

SPAM, Turkey, and Monkeys

...maybe the monkeys don't exactly fit here.  After all, they're only serving some of the food mentioned in Tuesday's show.  The turkeys are trying to avoid being on a plate, and for the SPAM, well, I guess it's kinda late.

But whatever you're eating this Thursday (tofu?), we hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving break and have a GREAT time while you're off from school.  We'll be off the air from Wednesday through the weekend, but Monday will find us right back at it, filling up on news after filling up on turkey.

What kind of plans do you have for Thanksgiving?

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Behind the scenes • News Coverage
November 20th, 2008
10:12 PM ET

Controversial Civics Survey

All right, so I got a little wound up over Friday's story about the results from a civics quiz given by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).  It found that elected officials failed at a higher rate than those who haven't held public office.  ARE THEY KIDDING?!  Shouldn't elected officials know more about civics than the folks who elect them?

I went to the site and took the quiz before I posted this blog entry, and I passed handily.  And to be fair, the ISI says that some elected officials are among the best scorers.  But the fact that a higher percentage of them failed than those who haven't held public office seems, in a word, nuts.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

P.S. Have a great weekend, by the way.  And if you're off all next week for Thanksgiving, we hope you have a wonderful turkey day!  CNN Student News will broadcast next Monday and Tuesday, and we hope to see you then.

Filed under: News Coverage
November 19th, 2008
10:05 PM ET

Nebraska's Safe Haven Law

As I write this, Nebraska's lawmakers are working to change their state's controversial safe haven law.  They're going to make it so that only infants less than 30 days old can be legally abandoned at state hospitals.  But when we aired the story, there was no age limit - meaning that people as old as 17 could be left at hospitals by their parents.

In many places, this is a crime known as abandonment.  Safe haven laws, in general, let parents who think their children are in danger leave them at hospitals without being charged with the crime.  But unlike other states with safe haven laws, Nebraska didn't initially set an age limit.  So to give you an idea of what has happened:  On Tuesday, a 15-year-old girl was left at a hospital in the central part of the state; last week, a 14-year-old and his 17-year-old sister were abandoned at a hospital in Omaha.

Many of you are around these ages.  We'd like to hear your opinions on this story.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
November 18th, 2008
10:13 PM ET

Footless Karate Kid

Five staff members here at CNN Student News have at least one thing in common:  We all took karate when we were kids.  And we all achieved different belts:  yellow, orange, blue, brown, black...  You name it; one of us had it.

So what was amazing to us about the girl in Wednesday's program was that she was missing parts of her feet - but that she'd gone farther in karate than ANY of us had!  Her second-degree black belt was a beautiful testament to success despite the odds.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
November 17th, 2008
07:25 PM ET

You're Drinking WHAT?

In the time I've worked here, I've seen stories as NASTY as they are funny.  One that comes to mind involved coffee that was processed through civet cats.  Here's what I mean:  Civet cats eat certain coffee beans.  Then, they pass the coffee beans (you know what I mean).  Afterward, the beans are cleaned up, roasted and sold for a fortune.  Mmmm.

I've never tried cat box coffee, and I wouldn't want to be the first to take a swig of NASA's recycled wastewater.  It's produced by a machine that takes sweat and urine (as in SWEAT AND URINE), filters it, and squirts out fresh drinking water.

Is it harmful?  Probably not.  Good for the environment?  It definitely recycles.  Gross?  Well, that depends on whether you'd drink filtered urine.

Still want to be an astronaut?

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
November 13th, 2008
09:57 PM ET

If You Could Go Anywhere...

...anywhere in history, that is, where would it be?

On Friday, we take you to what's billed as "virtual Rome" - a virtual-reality exhibit that aims to show tourists what Rome was like when the Colosseum was new.  Really cool idea, though I wondered why all of the characters in the exhibit had British accents.  (Shouldn't they have had Latin/Italian accents?)

Anyway, it got us talking about where we'd go if we could virtually travel to any city in history.  And that got us wondering about where you'd go if you could virtually travel to any city in history...

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
November 12th, 2008
09:44 PM ET

Texting while Driving?!

On the list of bad ideas, this one's right up there with cow tipping.  (Never done that, but if I'm ever running with bulls, I'd better be in Spain.)

Even though teens really take the heat in Thursday's report, I've definitely seen older, corporate types fiddling with their Blackberries while driving, responding to their e-mail. 

I KNOW you've passed people on the road who've had trouble controlling their cars just because they're talking on cell phones.  Isn't it a much worse idea to text?  If you do it while you're behind the wheel (or if you've ever done it before), tell us why.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
November 11th, 2008
10:02 PM ET

Inauguration Scalping

Some friends of mine went to the Coldplay concert in Atlanta on Monday night.  They sat in the fourth row back, took some AWESOME phone pictures, and paid a couple hundred bucks for the tickets.  I just looked up the round-trip cost of an airline ticket from here to Rome, Italy; that's going for about a thousand bucks.  And we reported last school year on Miley Cyrus tickets selling for more than $1,000 each.

But it seems unbelievable that some brokers are asking TENS OF THOUSANDS for a spot at President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration - an event that's supposed to be free.  Of course it's more historic than any concert or vacation, so it makes sense that some people would pay to be there.  But would you be willing to spend more than $20,000 to see it up close?

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: News Coverage
November 11th, 2008
12:02 AM ET

Thanks to Veterans

My grandfather served in World War II.  One of my uncles is a Marine (retired); another is an Airman (retired).  I'll thank them today along with any other veterans I meet - we hope you'll do the same for the veterans in your life.

And if you'd like to give a Shoutout here to any veterans you know, we welcome it!  May God bless all who've served.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
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