Widespread Flu Outbreak; Library of Congress Collects Tweets; Consumer Electronics Show Highlights New Tech



Consumer Electronics Show Highlights New Tech>

season. The 113th Congress is the most diverse ever. The Library of

Congress has collected over 170 billion public tweets since 2010. In Las

Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Show highlights the new technology of the



CARL AZUZ, HOST: If you`ve ever posted something on Twitter an thought "I should delete that," we have another reason. You might be able to get rid of it on a Twitter feed, but someone else is holding onto it forever.

The explanation`s coming up. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS.


AZUZ: First up: coughing, sneezing, fever, running nose. There`s nothing unusual about that stuff this time of year. But if it feels like you can`t go anywhere without seeing these symptoms of sickness, you might be right. Flu season is here and from what we`re seeing, it`s a bad one.

Check out this map. All those states in red, that`s where officials are reporting widespread outbreaks of the flu. There are more than 40 states with that. Normally, flu season hits its peak around late January, early February. By the end of December, more than 22,000 had checked into the hospital with flu-like symptoms. Doctors say it`s hard to predict just how bad the flu season might get but some are concerned there are so many cases this early in the season.

A couple weeks ago, I sat down with CNN`s Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- he`s our chief medical correspondent -- to talk about the flu. One of the things I asked him is, "How do you know when you`re too sick to go to school?"


AZUZ: With what symptoms should a student stay home? Like, you wake up, you`re not feeling well. At what point should you say, "I`m not going to school"?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Fever`s going to be one of the things that`s going to be a hallmark. Usually when you talk about a fever that`s above 101.3, 101.4, that area. That`s a true fever.

If you have some of the classic symptoms including sore throat but also specifically muscle aches are something that distinguish flu from a regular cold. You should probably stay home with both. That`s one way you can tell the difference.

AZUZ: How effective is a flu shot?

GUPTA: Flu shots can be very effective. You know, there`s numbers that vary every year, but it`s in the 70 to 80 percent range. It`s not 100 percent but it is pretty good and really the best thing that we have.


AZUZ: All right, now, Dr. Gupta and I talked about a lot more regarding the flu. We discussed how the flu spreads, how to keep it from spreading. There`s something you can do and it`s pretty easy. Check out the interview. It`s in the Spotlight section of our homepage, that`s cnnstudentnews.com.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s shoutout goes out to Ms. Bzdawka and the students at Achieve Language Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Jeannette Rankin wa the first woman elected to what U.S. government body?

Here we go: was it the Supreme Court? Senate? House of Representatives? Or Joint Chiefs of Staff?

You`ve got three seconds. Go.

Rankin was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1916 and then again in 1940.

That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.


AZUZ: When Jeanette Rankin first walked into the Capitol as a U.S. representative, she certainly stood out. She was the only woman there. If she were a member of the 113th Congress, the one that just started this year, she`d have a lot more company.

Ninety-eight women: 78 in the House, 20 in the Senate. In fact, the Senators from California, New Hampshire, and Washington are all women. That`s just part of the diversity that this Congress represents. With nearly 100 female members, there are more women serving together in Congress now than there ever have been before.

The 113th Congress also includes 43 African-Americans, 31 Latinos, 12 Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. The House and Senate have 7 gay or bisexual members. The Senate has its first Buddhist member. And the House has its first member who is a Hindu.

Some interesting former jobs among the members of Congress as well. Five had former careers in professional sports. Two were physicists. And one worked as a Santa impersonator before running for Congress. That might explain why he owns six reindeer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can ID me.

I was established in 1800. I`m part of the legislative branch of the U.S. government. I`m home to more than 150 million items, which makes me the largest library in the world.

I`m the Library of Congress and my collections include a lot more than just books.


AZUZ: The Library of Congress does hold more than 34 million books, but it also collects recordings, photographs, maps, sheet music, and for the past two years, tweets.

Back in April of 2010, the Library signed a deal with Twitter to get access to all public tweets since the site was founded. That means if you tweet something and it`s public, meaning it`s not a direct message, the Library of Congress is going to get it. This includes everything ever publicly tweeted.

So far the Library has collected more than 170 billion tweets; millions more, as you might expect, roll in every day. But collecting all these tweets is only part of the Library`s challenge. What it`s working on now is figuring out a way to make all of that data available to the public.

Researchers all over the world use the Library of Congress to their work. Library officials say they started collecting tweets because society was communicating more over social media than it was through letters or journals.

So the Library of Congress is starting to focus more on the digital world. Consumer Electronics Show has always been about technology. This thing is the largest gadget conference in the world. It`s going on right now in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dan Simon hit the convention early for a look at what could be some of this year`s trends in technology.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s a January tradition here in Las Vegas as crews work furiously to get the booths and exhibits ready for the start of the Consumer Electronics Show. More than 150,000 people are expected to roam these vast halls the next couple of days to get a glimpse of the technologies that might hit the store shelves in the coming year.

TVs are always the biggest crowd-draw at CES. Last year, the companies were pushing 3D TVs. They didn`t really take off with consumers. This year, they`re hoping that a technology called Ultra HD will win over consumers. These are screens that have over four times the resolution as a typical HD TV. But they`re expensive. Some of these sets cost almost as much as a car.

And speaking of cars, they`re becoming a bigger deal every year at CES. This year you`ll hear the term "connected car" a lot. That means using your smartphone for a lot of different things, including using the phone to start the car on those especially cold winter days.

Another big theme, home automation. Run your home from wherever you are. This category used to be for people who were really wealthy. Now these products are a lot more affordable, and it`s about being able to control your lights, your thermostat, your appliances while on the go.

And of course look for the latest innovations in PCs, tablets, and cameras. More than 3000 companies are on display here, all of them really vying for one thing: attention.

Dan Simon, CNN. Las Vegas.


AZUZ: Well at the end of yesterday`s show, we told you about a blog. We posted a question asking whether your New Year`s resolutions were holding up.

Marie resolved to stay in shape and not to eat as much. She`s happy to say she`s partly kept it by eating right and going to the gym.

Alex wanted to tackle procrastination. But with homework to read a novel, that resolution hasn`t been holding up so well.

Addison wants to spend more time with the family, friends, and dog instead of video games. Says it`s so hard!

Elizabeth resolves not to complain at all. "Life is wonderful and I should be grateful for it," she writes.

Bardock is committed to winning the spelling bee. "I know I will one- hundred percent" and of course spelled everything right in that post.

Ethan didn`t make any resolutions so he has a 100 percent success rate. OK, Ethan.

Keisuke resolves to help people in Fukushima, Japan, and study English to let people know more about Fukushima.

Justin was working on getting another job so he could be more independent.

Greta wants to learn more about gymnastics to be come a gymnastics teacher.

And Somil and Aaron resolve to watch CNN Student News every day and they`ve been doing it. I`m thinking extra credit on that.

Before we go, we`re going to stir up the waters a little bit. Actually, we`re going to let these guys do it.


AZUZ (voice-over): People on a boat in this YouTube video were just planning on doing some whale watching. Instead, look at this. They were witnesses to a stampeding pod of dolphins. I guess the marine animals are actually attention hogs. We`re not sure exactly what caused the stampede; these dolphins aren`t just out for a leisurely swim. It`s pretty obvious they`re moving with a porpoise.


There`s a probably some crazy idea for why this kind of thing happens and maybe you could blow holes in the theory, but there`s no reason to make waves. After all, this kind of story is just fin and games.

Remember, we`re looking for your iReports describing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in just one word. You have less than one week to get those in. All the details in the spotlight at cnnstudentnews.com.

I`m Carl Azuz. We`ll see you tomorrow.


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