Hate it when planets lurk

Muck Rack Daily

Hate it when planets lurk
January 20th, 2016
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Muck Rack Daily
Hello from Muck Rack, where you can get a snapshot of what journalists around the world are reading, thinking and commenting on right now.
Breaking bulletins and such

Hold on to your telescopes, because today's top trending news suggests a ninth planet is creepily lurking at the edge of the solar system (only just published, but at 12,000+ shares already). "I f**king hate it when planets lurk," admits Poynter's Kristen Hare. "The guy who demoted Pluto thinks there is a giant 9th planet on the edge of the solar system," explains Sarah Wire with the LA Times. Or as Washington Post's Alexandra Petri bills it, "in which Mike Brown does what the galactic empire never could: destroys a planet, then produces a bigger better one." Although Andy Kravetz with the Peoria Journal Star asserts, "They might have found a 10th planet out there. I still count Pluto. Don't hate on the little guy." And David Brauer wonders, "So do we name the 'massive perturber' planet Trump or Palin?" Plenty of journalists remain skeptical, of course. "How can there just be another planet out there we’ve never seen before?" demands Dashiell Bennett with Bloomberg News. "Researchers spot #planet9 but nobody has ever seen it ... I think we truly are living in a bad TV sci-fi movie," gripes Storyful's David Clinch. And article co-author Joel Achenbach warns, "Our Planet Nine story updated with cautionary note from NASA: 'The Sagan Rule applies. Find it.'"

In other revelations, scientists report that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history (although try telling that to Los Angelinos recently). "Aliens?? Possibly, but not all that likely," quips Mic's Matt Essert. And on the other end of the spectrum, there's still that severe snowstorm likely Friday through Sunday with D.C. right at its bullseye. "DC is doomed to icy torment, and Dostoevskian captivity with strangers, family, friends," predicts Elizabeth S. Bruenig at The New Republic. And in truly discomfiting developments, an AP exclusive indicates the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been razed by the Islamic State after surviving centuries. "Awful. I stopped there on some grim road trip in 2006, and it was such a respite. Christians, Muslims praying there," shares correspondent Ellen Knickmeyer.

And then there was that speech. You know the one we're speaking of (or rather, not). Here's some of the most mystifying lines, or if you prefer, the whole bizarre thing. Or should we say, squirmishes?

Question of the day

Our last question asked: Speaking of surprises, NPR recently featured a find on what's left of an old volcano that emerged from the sea about 7 million years ago. What was discovered (or rather, re-discovered) there? Those would be giant stick bugs (Dryococelus australis) which were long presumed extinct after rats scurried off a stranded foreign ship and feasted on them in 1918.

Congrats to Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times for being the very first to answer that correctly (although Sabrina Buckwalter also was very quick to point out the tiny, unusual land mass is known as "Ball's Pyramid"). Honorable mentions go out to these wonderful people for getting it right, too: Yael L. Maxwell (who calls them "super cool"), Ken Walker (whose answer was "Giant insects thought (hoped?) to be extinct"), and Mark Gibbs (who wonders "Did the Aussie government deport them, too?").

As for today's question, here it is: The deep-seated and long-standing enmity between skiers and snowboarders got especially ugly this weekend in Aspen when what happened?

Click here to submit your answers to @MuckRack. IMPORTANT: If you choose not to click that link, please include the word "answer" in your tweet so we can find it (the link will automatically do so for you)! 

... We’ll announce the winners in the next Daily!

Featured journalist: Rick Neale

Wednesday's spotlight falls on Rick Neale, the South Brevard Watchdog Reporter for Florida Today. Neale has been a USA Today correspondent as well as reported in Ohio for Gannett's Port Clinton News Herald and Fremont News-Messenger. He got his start in the industry, however, stringing articles "for practically free" for The Suburbanite in Akron, Ohio. As for his advice to aspiring journalists, it's this: "Here's what I told the UNLV chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists: Seek internships immediately, even if you volunteer for free." And his favorite fictional journalist? "Hunter S. Thompson, technically speaking." Check out Neale's latest bylines in his Muck Rack portfolio here, starting with his riveting read on "The Shawshank Fugitive," which has received 500+ shares so far.

Remember: If you also want to be featured here, you should 1) set up your own journalist portfolio 2) get verified and 3) let us know by emailing Kirsten.

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email Kirsten (kirsten [at] sawhorsemedia [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!
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