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Northeastern U.S. Expects Blizzard; Exploiting the Tragedy?

Aired February 8, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: We usually talk about how Fridays are awesome, but people up in the northeastern U.S. might disagree today. The area was expected to get slammed with the blizzard. Some experts say, it could be historic. What`s going on is two storms, one moving across the country, the other coming up the East Coast. And they are merging into a nor`easter. Those storms usually show up in the northeast. But that`s not where the name comes from. It`s from the storm`s wind, which is out of the north east. When a nor`easter hits, it can bring waves, rain, it can cause flooding. You are also going to see strong winds and heavy snow. That`s what the north east was preparing for. Forecasters say, there could be a foot of snow in New York and Boston could get 24 inches of snow in 24 hours. The city`s mayor says New Englanders are used to these kinds of storms, but he also reminded people to use common sense and stay off the streets.

Sometimes when we cover tragic events in our show, one of the daily discussion questions we ask is about finding ways to raise awareness for the victims. But some of those victims might think the media spotlight lasts too long, so the question then becomes, when my honoring someone turn into exploiting them? It`s a question people are asking about Newtown, Connecticut.


CARINA RUSH, PRODUCER: I think we want to tell a beautiful gripping story about a family struggle.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s film producer Carina Rush who came with her team to Ridgefield, Connecticut this week, just 20 miles from Newtown, to survey the location for a new film called "Illness." It`s about a 13-year old boy struggle with mental illness.

RUSH: What happens to them is kind of triggered by the Newtown story.

HARLOW: But Ridgefield`s top official says, no way.

RUDY MARCONI, FIRST SELECTMAN OF RIDGEFIELD: The bottom line to us is anything whether it`s based on, inspired by mental health that concerns Newtown and that tragedy, the wound is still - still way too fresh for anything to be done like that.

HARLOW: It begs the questions, where should the line be drawn. We`ve seen Sandy Hook Elementary kids perform at the Super Bowl, and the Newtown choir sing at a Nicks game. Sabrina Post directs the choir of Newtown children that recorded "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to raise money for a youth organization here. Her kids choir will perform "Call me Maybe" For Ryan Seacrest Grammy Red Carpet preshow on E!

(on camera): Where is it too much exposure, exploitation, and where is it beneficial to the kids and the town?

SABRINA POST, SABRINA`S ENCORE PRODUCTION: Anything we can do giving our talents to help that specifically, is to me a really great thing. And the line should not be drawn as long as it benefits that purpose.

HARLOW (voice over): And then there`s us, the media. Where do we draw the line? There are important stories to tell here, and some in Newtown have welcomed us. But others have told me, it`s just time to leave. And that`s completely understandable.

MARCONI: You have to answer that question, have you crossed that line? Has the media gotten to the point where it now is the world Newtown is the news item, and it allows you to go the front of the page and get the recognition. I think we all have to do some soul searching.


AZUZ: We`d like to get your take on this. It`s both our media literacy question of the day and our blog question at How long should the media follow a story like this? Talk to us on our Web site.

Today`s first "Shoutout" goes out to Mrs. Griffin`s social studies class at Guilford Middle School in Greensboro, North Carolina. The 1960 lunch counter sit-in protests started in what city? Was it Atlanta, Birmingham, Spokane or Greensboro? You`ve got three seconds, go!

We`re guessing Ms. Griffin`s students got this one: the civil rights protests started in their hometown, Greensboro, North Carolina. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout".

That`s where we started our coverage of black history month. Today, we are looking at some of the other cities that played important roles in the civil rights movement.

First stop, Montgomery, Alabama. In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested after she refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. That led to bus boycott lasting more than a year. It ended when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that having separate seats for blacks and whites was unconstitutional. Next up, Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops to help integrate central high school. The soldiers escorted nine African American students into the school. From the capital of Arkansas, to the capital of the nation. Civil rights activists marched through Washington, D.C. in 1963. The crowd of thousands made its way to the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Delivered his famous "I Have A Dream" speech. 1965 takes us back to Alabama. To the city of Selma, and the Edmund Pettus Bridge. There was a series of marches for voter rights. The first one, on March 7th, ended in violence when the marchers were attacked by police. The event, later called "Bloody Sunday", helped the civil rights movement gain public support and led the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Last stop, Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King was there in 1968, standing on the balcony of the Loraine Motel when he was shot and killed. His life ended, but his legacy lived on. This side of the hotel is now the National Civil Rights Museum.

Chinese New Year Day changes from year to year, but this year it`s on February 10th. It`s the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar, and the longest - 15 days. Here are some other facts about Chinese New Year. On the Chinese calendar, every year is connected to an animal. On February 10th, good bye, year of the dragon, hello, year of the snake. Now, Chinese New Year is all about fun, family, food and the color red. That goes back to the origin of the celebration. Legends talk about a mythical creature, named Nian. This beast ate villagers, livestock, crops and kids, but the Nian was scared of loud noised, fire and the color red. You can guess how the villagers got rid of the beast after they figured that out.

Nowadays, red is all over Chinese New Year celebrations. Red lanterns, red decorations, red envelopes filled with lucky money. Now, during Chinese New Year, people travel from all over to be with their families, and that reunion kicks off with the New Year`s Eve feast. In the Chinese language, the name for every food is connected to another word. For instance, the fish symbolizes abundance. So eating fish is thought to bring abundant good luck. But you want that luck from start to finish, so the fish has to be served with the head and tail intact.

You`ve probably seen this lion dancers before? But did you ever wonder about the mirrors on the lion`s head? Tradition says, if any evil spirits are around, they`ll see their reflection in the mirrors and scare themselves away. There are also dragon dancers during Chinese New Year. The big difference? It only takes two people to do the lion dance, the dragon takes about 15. But when you are ringing in a new year, that can`t hurt to have some help from your friends.

Time for a "Shoutout" extra credit. Which of this is a prime number? You know what to do. Is it six, 15, 23 or 17,498. Put another three seconds on the clock and go!

Prime numbers can only be divided by themselves and one. And the only one of those that meets those criteria is 23. So, that`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout" extra credit.

If I say math, and you say, D minus, don`t worry. This is just a primer on a prime number, bigger than anyone`s ever seen. You could call it the Optimus prime number, the prime minister of integers, the dominator of denominators. Hey, that might not be right, but it sounded cool. The point is, this is the ultimate integer. So far, that`s evenly divisible just by itself and the number one. So, you can count on it being a little bigger than three, five, seven or 11. Factor in the fact that it took a computer to find it and then a reported 39 days to prove it`s indeed prime, and you can`t subtract a thing from this accomplishment. So, what is it? I can`t tell you. And it`s not just because I didn`t ace math, it`s because it`s more than 17 million digits long. We can tell you that it`s two to the power of 57,885, 161 minus one. But that doesn`t make it any clearer. What is clear to mathematicians, is that this isn`t the biggest prime out there. Euclid said back around 300 BC that there are an infinite number of primes. Will number crunchers continue their quest to find them? Euclid bet on that.

All right, before we go, some of the best basketball shooting we`ve seen for a little guy. But don`t get mad at me for saying that. This toddler starting sinking shots right after he learned to walk. The goal may not be regulation, but it`s tied to speculation that he could be the next big thing after he`s potty trained, anyway. His father says, he`s glad this video went viral on Youtube. Though, he`s surprised at everyone`s reaction since the kid does this so often. So, they didn`t have to jump through any hoops to get it on camera. And certainly, nabbing a lot of attention. Just imagine, if you had a twin. You know, the first move they learn? The double dribble, of course. It`s time for us to go. We`ll rebound and see you again Monday. Have a good weekend.