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Hurricane Damage in Puerto Rico and St. Croix; A Look At the Past and Present of Typewriter; The Potential of Origami Robots

Aired October 4, 2017 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Reporting from CNN Center, I`m Carl Azuz. It`s good to have you watching our midweek broadcast of CNN 10.

U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, the scene of the deadliest shooting in modern American history. As

investigators pick up pieces of evidence there and try to figure out the suspect`s motive, residents of Puerto Rico are picking up the pieces left

by Hurricane Maria, the devastating storm made landfall there on September 20th.

That`s where President Trump was Tuesday, surveying the damage, meeting with Puerto Rican officials and discussing the U.S. government`s aid to the


Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth. The island`s 3.5 million residents are American citizens, but they don`t vote in U.S. presidential elections.

They have no voting members in the U.S. Congress and most Puerto Ricans don`t pay a federal income tax.

Hurricane Maria left all of them without electricity and most still don`t have it. More than half of people there also don`t have access to clean,

drinking water. Some Puerto Ricans, like the mayor of the capital San Juan, have criticized the U.S. federal government for making an inefficient

response to the hurricane. Others like the island`s government have praised the government for quickly addressing the island`s concerns.

The White House says thousands of members of the U.S. National Guard have been in Puerto Rico since before the storm hit and thousands of containers

of food, water and medical supplies have been sent to Puerto Rico. But with the shortage of truck drivers, diesel fuel and working phone lines,

officials have had trouble getting the aid to those who need it.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The thing about Puerto Rico is that it was already on the edge. Many here are sick,

older and poorer than the mainland, with long waits and a severe shortage of specialists and an economic recession. There was no reserve here,

nothing to keep them from toppling off the edge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hurricane just causes a lot of stress. You have people, you know, coming late from work, trying to get gas, and stress

builds up.


AZUZ: That`s just what`s happening on one of the Caribbean islands that was struck by Hurricane Maria.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The approach to St. Croix reveals a storm-tossed island still littered with

debris. The airport, an improvised operation with a military presence. Outside, civilians wait to be evacuated, joining the thousands now fleeing

to the U.S. mainland aboard what the authorities call mercy flights and mercy ships.

Among them, 19-year-old Taylor Thomson, her 11-year-old brother Alex, and their dog Whisky.

TAYLOR THOMSON, HOPING TO EVACUATE: Because everything is destroyed, homes, cars, businesses. That`s absolutely terrible, because you can`t get

ahold of people you know. I haven`t talked to my friends since the storm passed. I have no idea if they`re OK, if their house is standing. So, you

just don`t know anything. But it`s awful.

WATSON: Hurricane Maria`s devastating winds left a path of destruction, uprooting trees, ripping down power lines, and according to federal

officials, damaging more than 2,000 structures.

Everywhere you look, people are cleaning up, including Dan Zebroski and his son`s friend Tyler, who are also hoping to make a little money collecting

scrap metal.

DAN ZEBROSKI, SAINT CROIX RESIDENT: Look at this, this is history. This is hurricane season`s history. Nothing like this has ever happened.

WATSON (on camera): The U.S. Virgin Islands have long been an American tropical paradise, but now, two back to back monster storms have devastated

the tourism industry which makes up the backbone of the island`s economy.

(voice-over): The cruise ship currently docked here provides temporary housing for disaster relief workers, instead of tourists. Curfew sits in

at 6:00 p.m., an effort to stop looting that erupted after the storm.

YVETTE ROSS EDWARDS, ATTORNEY: Yes, this was blown up, a piece of it cracked off, kind of a symbol as to where my officer is now.

WATSON: Attorney Yvette Ross Edwards shows me her office, soaked by rain after the storm damaged the building`s roof.

(on camera): Realistically, how long would it before you can get back to work?

ROSS EDWARDS: I am looking at not until January. That`s how long I`m looking.

WATSON (voice-over): Until then, she and her employees have to live without salaries, and yet the island still is not out of the danger zone.

ROSS EDWARDS: And unfortunately, we`re just getting passed the middle of the hurricane season. So, we have almost two more months to go, and that`s

the sad part of that.

WATSON: Let`s hope nature gives this battered corner of paradise some time to recover.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

A century ago, Remington, Royal and Underwood were all famous brands of what?

Razors, watches, looms or typewriters?

All of these companies were famous for producing typewriters, machines that were invented in the 1800s.


AZUZ: Technology has certainly changed, but there are some classic typewriter characteristics that endure today. The QWERTY keyboard, for

example. It was patented in 1878, and one theory is that the letters were laid out that way to keep the typewriter`s mechanical keys separated, so

they wouldn`t jam up. That hasn`t been proven.

But the machine`s popularity was. Even now, some folks still have a special place in their hearts and livelihoods for typewriters.


PAUL SCHWEITZER, GRAMERCY TYPEWRITER CO.: In the `60s, and `70s and `80s, you look in the New York yellow pages, there were six pages of typewriter

companies right here in Manhattan. Now, if you look, there`s only two or three or four of us left.

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Paul, last of a breed.

SCHWEITZER: When I`m out on the service call --

WEIR (on camera): Yes.

SCHWEITZER: -- this is me.

WEIR: This is you.

SCHWEITZER: Going out. I can carry some of my tools, screwdrivers, cleaning rugs, and some of my smelly chemicals.

WEIR (voice-over): His dad had the same kit back during the depression, going office door to door.

When Paul came back from the Navy, his pop made him buy suit to give him a tryout. Fifty-five years later, the little shop is his now. His son

helping out, and it is a portal back in time.

SCHWEITZER: This is all steel. I mean, this is a heavy duty machine.

WEIR (on camera): Can I feel the weight?


WEIR: Wow.

(voice-over): He revised models from the `30s that could anchor a vote.

(on camera): Would you mind if I took this for a little test run for old time`s sake?

SCHWEITZER: Yes, no problem.

WEIR (voice-over): And models from the `70s, it will snap you right back to Mrs. Schmelinski`s (ph) 10th grade typing lab.

SCHWEITZER: Very good. Good typing.

WEIR (on camera): Not bad, right?


WEIR: Did you notice my posture there?

SCHWEITZER: No, very good. It`s good to see some of the younger generation still knows how to type.

WEIR: It`s good to hear you refer to me as the younger generation. I`ll take that.

(voice-over): To be honest, I came here to feel sorry for Paul -- one more refugee of progress in a dying industry. But --

SCHWEITZER: There`s still a lot of younger people who are rediscovering typewriters.

WEIR (on camera): Come on, Paul. Really?

SCHWEITZER: Door bell just rang. Can I just get that for a minute?

WEIR: Yes, please do. Yes. Go right ahead.

SCHWEITZER: Can I help you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was wondering if you guys saw a correction tape. I have an IBM Selectric and I refuse to use anything else.

SCHWEITZER: Hey, you want to tell these people that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These machines are more reliable than my computer.

WEIR: Is that right? Is that why you use it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it also can`t get distracted. They do one thing. They type. You can`t check your Facebook, can`t do your email. Or maybe

I`m a romantic at heart, but everything about the typewriter is just more fluid to me.

WEIR: And how long will Gramercy Typewriter be around?

SCHWEITZER: No, this can go for many years to come.


AZUZ: If we want robots to help us do things, it`s not very efficient to have a different one for each task. That`s a quote from the leader of this

MTI project on what you could call origami robots.

Basically, this involves a small machine that`s able to position itself into a plastic exoskeleton. When that exoskeleton is heated, it changes

into a predetermined shape. Then, the robot is able to move, sail or even glide to a new place.

Now, there are many layers to this story and some heated questions. What happens if it`s cold? Is this research gold? Will it be put on hold?

Will the idea get old or do they intend for it to be sold?

Lastly, how do they keep the robot in the fold?

I`m Carl Azuz and it`s time for CNN 10 to power down.