The Hit List: February 4, 2019

  1. Storms in Alabama and Georgia have killed at least 14 over the weekend. Most bodies were found after tornadoes ripped through Opelika, Alabama, just outside of Auburn. Several others have been hospitalized.
  2. Two California girls, 8 and 5, are safe and sound after going missing Friday. A search team found them early Sunday morning — they were cold and tired, but okay, and had granola bars to eat during the ordeal. The girls told the search team they used survival skills learned from their 4-H club. The search team eventually found them from finding granola bar wrappers and tracking boot prints nearby. No word yet on why they went missing.
  3. An Oregon man survived five days while stranded in his car stuck in snow by eating Taco Bell Fire Sauce packets. Jeremy Taylor says he downed three of them for sustenance during the ordeal. His dog was with him the whole time. Both he and his dog were fine when they were found — though very hungry, Fox5 New York Reports. He got stuck after offroading on a US Park Service road that had not been sufficiently plowed. When more snow accumulated overnight, the driver remained stuck.
  4. A researcher in Georgia has found a giant alligator. The beast weighs in at 13-feet, four inches, and is estimated to weigh over 700 =pounds. When fond, the ‘gator had bullet wounds that appeared to be very old, and due to other illnesses, was euthanized.
  5. Park visitors are happier people. Researchers have found spending just twenty minutes in open green space boosts pretty much anyone’s self-reported happiness. It doesn’t matter whether you go alone, sit passively, or play a game — just getting out does the trick.
  6. Nova Meat is tackling concerns about eating too much meat with 3-D printed vegan steaks. The Spanish company uses a custom 3-D printer ink made of rice, seaweed, and peas — all in about 10 minutes. Then the steaks are seared on a pan and hit with spices. No definitive word on texture or flavor.
  7. Police in Mount Holly, North Carolina shot and killed a man fleeing a house fire he is assumed to have started, after jumping out a second story window wielding a sword. The cops fired when he tried to escape. They were on the scene after a domestic disturbance had been reported at the home. The sword-man’s name hasn’t been released.
  8. Tesla will unveil an SUV on March 14 — called the Model Y. It’ll be the fifth model from the electric car company.
  9. SpaceX has successfully docked its Dragon space ship with the International Space Station, without help from crew inside or the the ISS’s giant robotic arm. It’s a big move for the partnership between NASA and privately-held SpaceX. A crewed Dragon mission is slated for later this year into 2020.
  10. The drilling arm on the InSight lander on Mars is off to a slow start. After burrowing only a half-meter into the ground, the digger got stuck on some stones. Mission management hopes it’s only a snag — the goal is to go 16 feet deep, a record on the Red Planet, and measure internal temperatures.