heroics

Trucker saves family from massive car crash

August 18, 2014

Last Monday, a truck driver saved a woman and her 1-year-old granddaughter, and the story is now gaining national attention.

David Fredericksen saw a Lincoln Towncar crash into an 18-wheeler and burst into flames. He instantly jumped out of his truck to save the Towncar's two passengers trapped in the wreckage.

Though the Towncar's driver broke her leg, all involved survived the crash. Fredericksen told Jalopnik that he doesn't consider himself a hero and was just trying to make sure the passengers were alive. "Other people would've done what I did," Fredericksen said. "I'm just glad that they didn't die, you know?"

Fredericksen's dashboard camera recorded the event, and his son explains the situation in more detail in the video description. --Meghan DeMaria

This doesn't look good

KFC is testing the Double Down Hot Dog

1:29pm ET

KFC's new "Double Down Dog" is exactly what it sounds like: a hot dog with fried chicken in lieu of a bun, covered in cheese.

#NewKFCDoubleDown number 4: Sold! There are 46 more at KFC Fort Triangle Branch. Grab one now!

A photo posted by KFC Philippines (@kfcphilippines) on

The monstrosity is currently only for sale in the Philippines. Replacing bread with fried chicken seems pretty American, though, so perhaps one day you'll be able to live the Double Down Dog dream right here in the states.

snowpocalypse

Blizzard threat prompts states of emergency across Northeast

1:25pm ET
Preston Rescigno/Getty Images

New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts declared states of emergency Monday as a massive blizzard churned into the region.

The storm, which could dump more than two feet of snow in some places, has forced airlines to cancel at least 3,400 flights and prompted travel bans that will go into effect Monday evening. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all non-emergency vehicles off the roads by 11 pm and urged people to leave work early if possible.

"I don't think it's draconian," he said of the road closures at a press conference Monday. "I think it's necessary."

space stuff

A huge asteroid will fly by Earth today

1:09pm ET
iStock

A giant asteroid is headed straight toward Earth, but NASA says not to worry.

The asteroid, 2004 BL86, will come about 745,000 miles from Earth, which is roughly three times as far away as the moon is. That may sound far away, but today's event marks the closest known asteroid of its size to pass near Earth until 2027.

Check out a livestream of the asteroid event here — and if you've got clear skies at home, scientists estimate that the best time to watch the event is between 8:00 p.m. Monday and 1:00 a.m. Tuesday. If your skies aren't affected by the Northeast blizzard, these NASA sky charts will help you figure out when is the best time to look for the asteroid today.

space stuff

NASA's next mission might be sending a helicopter to Mars

12:31pm ET

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory hopes to send a remote-controlled helicopter to Mars. The camera-equipped helicopter could triple the distance that Mars rovers travel in a Martian day and would "pinpoint interesting targets for study," according to NASA.

Flying the helicopter over Mars won't be easy, though — the planet's atmosphere has low density, and the copter will need to maintain stable flight on its own. But the scientists have been developing the Mars helicopter for month, and they've already made a full-scale prototype.

The scientists are testing the prototype in a vacuum chamber with Martian conditions to see what needs to be improved before it goes into flight. They also have to make sure it has a functional landing system before they can send it to Mars. Check out the JPL roboticists' explanation of how the helicopter will do what Martian rovers can't in the video below. —Meghan DeMaria

Greece votes

Alexis Tsipras sworn in as new Greek prime minister

12:28pm ET

Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's left-wing party that won a decisive victory in Sunday's election, was sworn in Monday as the nation's new prime minister.

Tsipras' Syriza party won 149 of 300 seats in parliament behind an anti-austerity message and vows to renegotiate Greece's monumental debt. Earlier Monday, Syriza joined with the right-wing Independent Greeks to form a coalition government.

casting call

Emma Watson will play Belle in a live-action Beauty and the Beast remake

11:42am ET
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Disney's live-action remake of the 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast has found its Belle. Emma Watson, best known for playing Hermione in the Harry Potter series, will star in the film.

Waston confirmed the news of her casting on her own Facebook page. "I'm finally able to tell you... that I will be playing Belle in Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast!" she wrote. "It was such a big part of my growing up, it almost feels surreal that I'll get to dance to 'Be Our Guest' and sing 'Something There.' My six year old self is on the ceiling — heart bursting. Time to start some singing lessons. I can't wait for you to see it."

After the box-office successes of recent movies like 2010's Alice in Wonderland and last year's Maleficent, Disney has been busily mining its animated history for new live-action films. A live-action adaptation of Cinderella is bound for theaters in March.

Coming soon to a computer near you

The NFL is finally launching a YouTube channel

11:11am ET
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For years, as other professional sports leagues made highlight reels and clips readily available for fans to consume online, the NFL maintained a tight grip on its video stash. That will soon change, as the NFL on Monday announced it would be launching a YouTube channel to host game action, interviews, and clips from the NFL Network.

The move is part of a broader multimillion dollar deal with Google, which owns YouTube, that will give the tech giant the right to host the NFL Network. Under the deal, Google will also prominently feature NFL videos in its search results.

Death and taxes

IRS insists living man is dead — but still takes his money

11:02am ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Siegfried Meinstein of Upper Arlington, Ohio, is 94 years old, but he is definitely still alive. But since April of last year, the IRS has insisted the World War II vet is dead, despite all evidence to the contrary, including the eyewitness account of an IRS agent.

Originally the Meinstein family thought the problem may have originated with the Social Security Administration, which mistakenly decides about 1,000 people are dead each year. Yet though the SSA is actually well aware that Meinstein is still alive, the IRS refuses to back down. In the meantime, the agency continues to cash Meinstein's checks.

"If they keep insisting, what is it you say?" said Meinstein's son, Ron. "'Eventually, they'll be right?'"

don't mess with texas

BLS: Texas is responsible for most new jobs since 2007

10:48am ET

Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Texas Workforce Commission indicates that Texas alone is responsible for the net job growth of the last seven years. While the other 49 states plus the District of Columbia have seen a 0.2 percent decline in available employment, Texas has added more than 1.4 million new positions:

(AEI)

While the oil industry has contributed significantly to the job boom in Texas, other areas of work — like construction, finance, mining, and office work — are surging in the Lone Star State.

Science!

Study: Many breast cancer patients don't understand the disease

10:38am ET
iStock

A new study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston found that many breast cancer patients don't understand what, exactly, the disease's characteristics are.

The study, published Monday in the journal Cancer, surveyed 500 women with breast cancer. The researchers found that only 20 to 58 percent of the women understood the tumor stage, grade, and type of tumor with which they were diagnosed. African-American and Hispanic women in particular didn't correctly identify their tumor characteristics.

Rachel Freedman, author of the study, said that patients not understanding breast cancer makes it harder for them to follow their treatment plans and make informed medical decisions. Freedman noted that the study "identified a critical need for improved patient education and provider awareness" about breast cancer.

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