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  • Hey, I'm Carl Azuz for CNN Student News.

  • It's good to see you this January 26th.

  • First up, except for Canada and continental Chile,

  • the dangerous Zika virus is expected to spread to every country in the Americas.

  • That's according to the World Health Organization,

  • and it's because the mosquito that transmits the virus

  • is found throughout the Western Hemisphere.

  • Zika was first discovered in Central Africa in the 1940s.

  • 80 % of people who catch it have no symptoms,

  • others might get a fever or rash for a few days.

  • But Zika has been linked to an increase in babies born with microcephaly,

  • which can cause abnormally small heads and severe delays

  • in children's development. There's no treatment and no cure.

  • So the US Centers for Disease Control is urging pregnant woman

  • to avoid many countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

  • There are also concerns about this years Summer Olympics in Brazil.

  • Though officials say there will be fewer mosquitoes around

  • when the games are played in August, a winter month in Brazil.

  • The mayor of Washington DC says it will be days

  • before snow is removed from some parts of the nation's capital.

  • Some schools in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York

  • are still closed after a major weekend snowstorm.

  • Across the Pacific, millions are dealing with similar weather.

  • A cold shock spreading record low temperatures across East Asia.

  • Frost in a place known more for its flowers.

  • Hong Kong saw record low temperatures over the last few days,

  • accumulating ice, trapping hikers on one of the city's famous mountain trails.

  • Dozens were treated for hypothermia in the coldest weather

  • the city has experienced in decades. Hong Kong wasn't alone.

  • Across Asia we've seen bitter winter weather,

  • nowhere hit harder than in Taiwan.

  • State media there reported at least 85 people, most of them elderly,

  • died from hypothermia or cardiac conditions

  • likely caused by the frigid air. It's an island where most of the homes

  • don't have central heating, it's people simply not used to the cold.

  • And the winter weather caused travel nightmares across the region.

  • Take the South Korean island of Jeju.

  • It's a popular destination for tourists,

  • many of whom were forced to camp out in the airport over the weekend.

  • Over a thousand flights were cancelled,

  • affecting around 90, 000 travelers. And in Southern China, a similar story.

  • Train tracks were shut down and highways were closed

  • due to snowy conditions in the eastern and southern portions of the country.

  • Areas known more for good food and balmy weather than for snow.

  • Hundreds of flights were canceled, too,

  • on the first weekend of the incredibly busy Chinese New Year travel season.

  • This weekend was the day of weather first's for many in East Asia.

  • Just asked these school kids, gingerly stepping through snow

  • on the Japanese island of Amami Oshima.

  • No one who lives on the island has ever seen it snow there before,

  • because it's the first time it's happened in 150 years.

  • Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.

  • This roll call, like, every roll call is brought to you by Yesterday's

  • Transcript Page at cnnstudentnews. com.

  • Rock Valley Middle School is in Iowa,

  • it's the home of the Rockets who totally rock it in Rock Valley.

  • To the southeast, Pine View Middle School is in Florida,

  • it's the home of the Panthers, the big cats of Land O' Lakes.

  • And on the island of Taiwan,

  • we're making a stop in Taipei today to say hello to the students

  • of Grace Christian Academy.

  • We're kicking off a two- part series today on the past,

  • and potential future, of transportation.

  • Planes, trains, and automobiles.

  • If you think that cars have come a long way since the gilded age,

  • and rockets have come a long way from the space age,

  • you might be amazed at how little has changed,

  • and how much could change in the decades ahead.

  • We first got seriously moving with the help of steam power.

  • In 1802 a British mining engineer Richard Trevithick

  • built the first large scale steam powered locomotive.

  • In 1879, a German engineer, Karl Benz,

  • developed the first internal combustion engine,

  • burning fuel like oil and petrol to power pistons.

  • And so the car was born. Only five years later in 1884,

  • the first electric car whirred into life,

  • thanks to a British inventor, Thomas Parker.

  • His vehicle was battery- powered and was tested on the streets of London.

  • Man famously first took flight in 1903, in North Carolina in America,

  • with the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, and their propeller plane the Wright Flier 1.

  • The flight was just 12 seconds, barely seven meters off the ground,

  • but immutably historic.

  • 1940 saw the invention of the jet engine by a British engineer, Frank Whittle,

  • first used in fighter planes towards the end of the Second World War.

  • And then commercial passenger liners from 1949,

  • with the British De Havilland Comet.

  • Fast forward 50 years or so, there's now a greater sense of urgency

  • amongst scientists to find cheaper, more energy efficient,

  • quicker ways of getting us around.

  • Richard Varvel is an engineer,

  • he spent his entire career designing rocket and jet engines.

  • Varvel and his colleagues are taking a unique approach.

  • A hybrid rocket and jet engine, the SABRE.

  • The fundamental problem is that a state of the art rocket engine,

  • it's performance in terms of its fuel consumption is too high.

  • So the sort of central principle behind the engine

  • that we're working on is to basically synthesize a rocket engine

  • with an air breathing engine like a jet engine.

  • For this to be worthwhile, the air breathing engine

  • has to operate up to speeds maybe twice as high

  • maybe as a sort of conventional jet engine can reach.

  • So the holy grail of space flight has been to get a machine

  • that can fly into space and come back again,

  • and do it cheaply and safely and reliably.

  • And in fact there has been no real progress in terms of the way

  • in which we get into space since the very start of the Space Age.

  • So the actual technology we're working on is designed to solve that problem.

  • Although the SABRE is being designed to take us into orbit,

  • it may usher in a new era of travel back on earth, the Hypersonic Age.

  • The LAPCAT plane, as they call it, promises staggering speeds

  • of more than 3, 000 miles an hour.

  • Or put another way, flying from London to Sydney in four hours.

  • What we have to do now is build an actual running engine.

  • And that we're planning to do by the end of the decade.

  • And that will then hopefully sort of destroy

  • all the other naysayers that think that this can't be done.

  • So yesterday was a holiday,

  • but we're not gonna judge you if you didn't realize it was bubble wrap appreciation day.

  • This happens every year on the last Monday in January.

  • It's all about the plastic package cushioning

  • that both protects whatever's being shipped and happens to be really fun to pop.

  • CNN visited the factory and found that bubble wrap is only part of its story.

  • Inside Sealed Air's headquarters, in Saddle Brook, New Jersey,

  • they make it by the truckload every hour.

  • But there's something new happening.

  • In their lab, they're creating boxes that self- inflate,

  • bubbles that inflate on site, and packaging that takes the shape

  • of a product once it's cracked, much like a hand warmer.

  • This is not made out of plastic.

  • It's made out of mushrooms. Mushroom that I can eat?

  • Mushroom that you can eat. Doesn't smell. It doesn't smell like mushroom.

  • Does it taste like mushroom? No. No.

  • But bubble wrap started it all. And like other brilliant inventions,

  • it was made by accident. The story begins in 1957

  • when these guys were trying to make wallpaper.

  • It didn't quite stick, but from that failure, bubble wrap was born.

  • What is the secret to making bubble wrap?

  • I'm not gonna say that. Come on down.

  • This would be one of the resins that we're using on the product.

  • And this is essentially plastic? This is plastic.

  • And then it gets sucked up into these tubes to- From here

  • we will suck it up into any one of the three lines.

  • To form the bubbles, the plastic is melted down at 500 degrees

  • into a consistency like molasses.

  • Once we vacuum form the bubble then we extrude another layer of material

  • to seal the air inside the bubble.

  • It's cut down to size by a million dollar machine.

  • And there are over 100 different kinds of bubble wrap,

  • customized for almost every major shipping company in the world.

  • Bubble wrap is actually only 3 % of the company's revenue.

  • Their newer, innovative packaging isn't so easy to pop.

  • So this is kind of a thing of the past,

  • and this is a thing of the present and future.

  • That's exactly right. No bubble wrap!

  • So if you wrap a bobble- head in bubble wrap,

  • does that make it a bubble- head?

  • If you pop bubble wrap with your teeth, does that make it bubble gum?

  • If you drop it, do you bobble it or bubble it? If skip it,

  • are you thinking outside the bubble? And if you do nothing but pop it,

  • are you bubbling with a bobble or bobbling with a bubble, or bobbling with a bobble?

  • I hate to burst your bubble y'all, but that wraps things up for us today.

  • Stop by tomorrow, we'll keep the puns popping.

Hey, I'm Carl Azuz for CNN Student News.

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January 26, 2016 - CNN Student News with subtitle

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