Good morning. Experts say a seven-day forecast accurately predicts the weather 80% of the time, at most. That hasn’t stopped three states from issuing warrants calling for the arrest of Punxsutawney Phil for inaccurate weather prediction, including a suggested death sentence in Ohio (really, guys?).
“Some people can’t believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first.”
– Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting
Coronavirus: A Cause for Concern?
Twenty-eight different countries have seen at least one confirmed case of the coronavirus, including the second death outside of mainland China (in Hong Kong). As of Tuesday night, Johns Hopkins’ real-time online tracker shows more than 24,500 confirmed cases and 493 deaths.
Seasonal Flu: between 1.2 and 1.4 others on average.
Swine Flu (H1N1): between 1.3 and 1.7 others on average.
Can it be stopped? Several groups are reportedly working on a safe, widely available vaccine. Just last week, the chair of infectious diseases at the University of Hong Kong revealed his team had already isolated the virus and produced a corresponding vaccine. However, due to a robust testing process, experts say a mass-produced cure for the coronavirus is likely a year away.
So… what are people saying?
Coronavirus Spreads, and the World Pays for China’s Dictatorship
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
Iowa Caucus Results
On Tuesday, the Iowa Democratic Party released partial results from Monday’s caucus – the results were delayed due to technical errors. As of Tuesday night, 62% of counties had reported results, showing Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders in a close race at the top, followed by Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.
The top court in Iran upheld a death sentence for Amir Rahimpour, an Iranian citizen and electrical engineer accused of providing the CIA with details about Iran’s nuclear program. Last summer, Iran arrested 17 people accused of spying for the CIA, allegations President Trump dismissed as “totally false.”
President Trump gave his State of the Union address last night in the House of Representatives. The event saw friction between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – you can check out the full speech here.
Per the WSJ, International Exchange – the company that owns the NYSE – has made a takeover bid for eBay that reportedly values the online marketplace at more than $30 billion. Shares of eBay rose more than 7% in response to the news, while International Exchange stock fell over 5%.
Macy’s announced plans to close 125 stores over the next three years, about one-fifth of its locations. The company will also eliminate about 2,000 corporate jobs – over the past five years, the retailer has lost more than half its market cap, which now sits at $5.1 billion.
Disney released its Q1 fiscal 2020 earnings report on Tuesday, beating analysts’ expectations in both earnings and revenue. CEO Bob Iger also said the number of Disney+ subscribers had more than doubled since November, reaching 28.6 million.
Walk of Fame
Jim McKay of Austin, TX unexpectedly discovered a portal to a family’s cherished past on a trip to a local Goodwill store. Jim purchased an old VCR player and brought it home, only to discover a tape was already inside the machine. In the video, 11-month-old TyRe Alexander can be seen carefully taking his first steps as his father cheers him on with joy. Jim knew he needed to find the family who owned the VCR previously so that he could return this beloved memory to them.
After posting a video on Twitter (that garnered 19k retweets), Jim was able to locate TyRe’s mother. She immediately picked up the phone, called her son, and put him in touch with Jim. Now 26 years old, TyRe was able to watch the video of himself walking for the first time, a memory TyRe says he’ll always cherish. Jim knew that this moment was an irreplaceable treasure, and was overjoyed to be able to give this family a gift they will never forget.
After winning the Super Bowl, most NFL players take time off to celebrate and make vacation plans with their family (Disney World, anyone?). However, Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi had different plans in mind. After making celebratory snow angels in confetti with his teammates on the field, Derrick’s next step was to be an angel for some lucky animals in Kansas City.
Derrick offered to pay all adoption fees for the pets at local animal shelter Kansas City Pet Project, which can run anywhere from $75 to $300 per adoption. Winning the Super Bowl gave Nnadi and his foundation the platform and cash bonus to cover the cost of adoptions, making it that much easier to pair each animal in need with a loving family and a place to call home. These lucky pets will forever be indebted to a man of generosity and kindness, who embodies what it means to be a team player.
Quick study… a group of online archivists have created a database of more than 5,000 scientific studies on the coronavirus, open for anyone to browse and download without a paywall.
Saving skin… a team of Canadian researchers is developing a handheld 3D skin printer which treats severe burns by printing new skin cells directly onto the wound.
Grandpa Shark (doo-doo)… researchers have discovered rare cartilage remains of a 330-million-year-old shark in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park, plus teeth from 15 to 20 other species from the same period.
At what age did the world’s oldest spider pass away?
The oldest spider in the world was an Australian trapdoor spider who lived to be 43 years old before dying to a wasp attack. The previous world record holder was a 28-year-old tarantula found in Mexico.