4 Compelling Stories From Home, Away & Far Far Away
ALASKA — From ktva.com
News that “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer has struck a chord with fans around the world, including some who might prompt a question from others: What is the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer?
Trebek has a long history with the nonprofit farm starting in the late 1980s or early 1990s according to Mark Austin, its current director. Trebek has visited on several occasions, most recently in 2013 and 2015 when he brought his family. Trebek has said he considers the musk ox his “spirit animal.”
Austin said Trebek is a big financial supporter of the farm, donating $10,000 annually for the last several years. He also personally signs every certificate the nonprofit issues when someone “adopts” an animal.
NATIONAL — From usatoday.com
What’s the most joke-worthy name for an NFL kicker, and especially one heading to a team burned by special teamer who missed a field goal that could have sent his squad to the next round of the playoffs had it not hit an upright and a crossbar?
The answer is Blewitt. Chris Blewitt. (Yes, pronounced ‘Blew It.’)
The free agent has no NFL experience after kicking for the University of Pittsburgh, and now he’s signed a contract with the Chicago Bears, who watched Cody Parkey miss a kick that would have beat the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this year.
INTERNATIONAL — From bbc.com
The Cook Islands in the South Pacific is considering a name change to reflect its Polynesian heritage. The nation was named after British explorer James Cook who landed on the islands in the 1700s.
A committee is considering 60 options in Cook Islands Maori including ‘Rangiaroa,’ meaning Love from the Heavens and ‘Raroatua’ which translates as We Stand Under God.
A referendum was held in 1994, when voters opted against a name change. The committee’s chairman, Danny Mataroa, told Agence France-Presse: “When the committee members, which include Cook Islands historians and people with deep traditional knowledge, met we decided it was time we change the name of the country.” He added that the updated name should reflect the country’s history, its religious beliefs and its people.
OUT OF THIS WORLD — From nationalgeographic.com
With all the madness going on here on Earth, have you ever thought about going into space? Well, for a couple million dollars, you might be able to check off that bucket list-worthy to-do in the next four years.
Orion Span, a Houston-based space tech startup, has announced plans to launch the first-ever luxury space hotel into Earth’s orbit by 2021. The company says the so-called Aurora Station will be ready to accommodate visitors the following year.
The price of a ticket for a 12-day stay will be $9.5 million per person, which comes to $791,666 per night.