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A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Celebrate National News Engagement Day

News Engagement Day"Imagine a day when everyone engages with news in some form or fashion. That’s the idea behind 'National News Engagement Day,' a day to encourage people of any age to read, watch, like, tweet, post, text, email, listen to, or comment on news."

An initiative of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, "National News Engagement Day" — Oct. 7, 2014 — was created to make engaging with news a priority in society again.

At the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, we took part in the celebration by offering a prize drawing for the top scorers in our news quiz. Inspired by National Public Radio's "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" members of the K-State community can compete in the quiz by discerning fact from fiction and choosing the correct story amid other fake stories.

There were 126 entrants in the quiz, which was open Oct. 6-8. The answers (and the number of participants who selected each response) are below.

 

Mark Haub indeed saw significant weight loss after his Twinkie diet. Both the U.S. Senate race and a respiratory illness have been in the news, but the ballot will not see Joan Wagnon appear, nor is there an unnamed illness targeted young adults.

True

For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, professor of human nutrition, ate a Twinkie every three hours instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.

His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most -- not the nutritional value of the food.
The premise held up: he shed 27 pounds in two months.

For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub's pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.

His body mass index went from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is normal. He now weighs 174 pounds.

"I'm not geared to say this is a good thing to do," Haub said. "I'm stuck in the middle. I guess that's the frustrating part. I can't give a concrete answer. There's not enough information to do that."

Blue Bar
47 (37%)
False 

The Kansas ballot for the U.S. Senate in November will have a Democrat on it, thanks to Secretary of State Kris Kobach's intervention.

Kobach placed Kansas Democratic Party Chairwoman Joan Wagnon on the ticket to replace Chad Taylor, who won the party's nomination in the August primary but dropped out of the race last month.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to tell my story to Kansans," Wagnon said on Thursday.

Wagnon, a former mayor of Topeka, will face incumbent Republican Pat Roberts and Independent candidate Greg Orman, of Olathe.

After Taylor, the Shawnee County District Attorney, withdrew from the race, Kobach said he had not properly submitted his request to be removed from the ballot. The Kansas Supreme Court overturned Kobach's decision, clearing the way for him to name any candidate he wished.

Blue Bar
35 (28%)
False 

A new respiratory illness is plaguing young adults in the Midwest.

The virus, which has not yet been identified, has placed hundreds of patients, predominantly in their teens to mid-20s, in hospitals from Denver to St. Louis.

"We first noticed it over the summer, when it was just a few cases," said Dr. Kathryn Ogilvy, director of pediatric medicine at St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Kansas City, where the first cases were diagnosed. "The number of admitted patients is growing, but not as quickly as it once was."

Most at-risk are people who have not had a flu shot in the last 12 months and who live in group housing.

"We are encouraging college students in dorms to get their flu shots early this year," said Marybeth Lundgren, spokeswomen for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Symptoms include chills, a skin rash that causes itching, and a feeling of contant thirst, Ogilvy said.

Blue Bar
44 (35%)

 

Hundreds of thousands marched to promote awareness of climate change, but fake news websites have propagated rumors of an apocalyptic winter and new policies at the Vatican. Beware of vague, nebulous titles such as "senior administrator of meteorologists."

False 

Pope Francis announced in a morning mass the opening of the doors of Vatican City, including the famous Apostolic Palace, to the homeless of Rome for shelter.

The pontiff added that, in addition to the Vatican being open for anyone who needed shelter, the Vatican would provide food, fresh water, and bathing facilities to anyone who needed it.

“Our aim is to heal the sick, feed the poor, take care of the orphans and widows, and preach good news that God is reconciled with mankind,” Pope Francis said to a Roman newspaper last week. “I open up my home to those without homes, in hopes of fulfilling this very thing.”

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27 (21%) 
False 

Meteorologists and weather science experts at the National Weather Service (NWS) say that there is a 99 percent chance that we will start to see a massive cold-front sooner in the year than has ever happened, which will produce not just record-breaking snowfall, but according to Dr. Boris Scvediok, a doctor of global weather sciences, record-shattering snow storms affecting the entire United States.

“For the sake of comparison to the past winter, let's say that your area received a total of 20 inches of accumulative snow for the season. Because this year the snowfall is predicted to start by the end of September or the beginning of October, you can expect to multiply that number by up to five, 10, maybe even 20 times in some areas," Dr. Scvediok told the Associated Press. “The Northeast, Ohio Valley, and Midwestern states will definitely get hit the hardest.”

Edward F. Blankenbaker, senior administrator of meteorologists, also told the media that this will be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of snowy winter.

"Everyone needs to make sure they have their weather emergency kits prepared and ready to go," Blankenbaker said. "There will undoubtably be mass power outages, which along with freezing temperatures and enough snowfall to immobilize entire cities, will most likely, and unfortunately, be a very dangerous recipe. Safety always comes first and the time to prepare is right now.

Blue Bar
56 (44%)
True 

More than 300,000 people marched through the streets of New York City in what organizers called the largest climate-change demonstration in history.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, former U.S. vice president Al Gore, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and actors Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio joined thousands of protesters at the march.

The People's Climate March and the summit are part of Climate Week NYC, an annual event "to get people together to make the business case for climate action," said Sylvain Biville of the Climate Group, which organizes the week. The Climate Group's goal is "a prosperous, low-carbon future," which the group says will be achieved by "a rapid scale-up of low carbon energy and technology."

Blue Bar
43 (34%) 

 

It might not be a household name in the U.S., but Alibaba raised billions in its initial public offering, topping the likes of Visa and Facebook. While Google is trying to keep a strong presence with Google+, merging with social media sites of years past isn't part of the strategy (except on satire news sites). Congress has no plans to stem destination weddings; in fact the most recent H.R. 7643 was a bill introduced in 1980 about small businesses.

 True

A Chinese company named "Alibaba" made a splash on the New York Stock exchange, becoming the largest initial public offering ever by raising almost $22 billion.

The e-commerce company, which started in 1999 with $60,000 cobbled together by founder Jack Ma, a former English teacher, is now valued at $231.4 billion. That makes it larger than Amazon.com and EBay combined.

A week prior, Ma had spoke to investors in New York telling a story about travelling to Silicon Valley 15 years ago when Alibaba was in its infancy to raise $2 million from venture capitalists, according to two people who attended the presentation. But the move was unsuccessful.

To a big laugh from the crowd, he said he was back to ask for a bit more this time.

 Blue Bar
54 (43%)
False 

Google announced in July its intentions to buy the brands and websites of MySpace and Livejournal, as well as several other smaller, mostly defunct social media sites, to add to their Google+ environment. Google says it is buying up all these “ghost town” websites to create smaller niche audiences within its infrastructure.

"When we launched Google+ a few years back, we had plans on it becoming bigger than any social media site ever," said Larry Page, CEO of Google, in a statement. "What we failed to realize is that in the aggregate these smaller, niche networks can be just as valuable to users."

Although many people jumped immediately onto the Google+ bandwagon, the company found there was little they could do to steer people away from Facebook. In fact, so few people actually used their Google+ accounts, that Google decided to force people into using it by combining YouTube with their Google+ services, something that didn’t sit well with most YouTube users.

 Blue Bar
56 (44%)
 False

While facing the lowest approval rating in history, members of the U.S. Congress cut short their summer recess and returned to Washington one week early, in order to pass a number of emergency measures.

“The growing conflict in the Middle East, and our own economic crisis closer to home mean that we all have to make sacrifices,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner.

One proposed economy-saving measure causing a great deal of uproar is H.R. 7643, The Defense of Domestic Marriage Destination Act, introduced the day after Labor Day. The bill prohibits destination weddings that take place outside the borders of the United States and its territories in an effort to keep revenue from enriching other countries.

“We’re losing billions of dollars each year because newlyweds refuse to keep American money inside America,” said Rep. Steve King, Republican from Iowa’s 4th District. Airplanes, hotels, food – all of this capital is being outsourced to foreign countries, and these are just ‘tip-of-the-iceberg’ issues,” he added.

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17 (13%) 

 

Most quiz-takers have been following the Royals success this year. But Ray Rice remains suspended, and Clint Bowen currently has the reins at KU.

 False

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who originally gave Ray Rice a two-game ban for allegations of domestic abuse, reversed his decision and is allowing Rice to return to his role as running back for the Baltimore Ravens.

“What we have here is a case of misconduct of a player outside of the confines of the NFL,” Goodell said in a press conference Sunday morning. “If there was any criminal wrong doing, we entrust the courts to deliver justice where it need be paid.”

Rice, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, will resume practice Wednesday.

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6 (5%)
 True

The Kansas City Royals snapped the longest current MLB playoff drought by making the playoffs for the first time in 29 years. Other teams have had longer droughts in the past, but all current teams have been to the playoffs at least once since the Royals’ last appeared in 1985.

"It's a great thing,” said Billy Butler, a 2004 draft pick and eight-year veteran. “I'm proud to bring this organization something they envisioned when they drafted me.”

The last time the Royals reached the playoffs, Ronald Reagan was in his second term as president and Madonna was starting her first-ever music tour.

Blue Bar
106 (84%)
False 

University of Kansas has quickly followed up their announcement of the firing of head football coach, Charlie Weis, with a move to publicize a replacement.

Athletic director Sheahon Zenger called a press conference for Wednesday morning to introduce the 27th head football coach — Mike Stoops.

“The Stoops family has a rich history of successful football coaches,” Zenger said. “Mike’s brother [Oklahoma head coach, Bob Stoops] has developed one of the nation’s leading programs. We are excited to give Mike the same opportunity here at the University of Kansas.”

Mike Stoops is the former head coach of the University of Arizona and current defensive coordinator at Oklahoma. The move will take effect after the current 2014-15 football season.

Blue Bar
14 (11%) 

 

While health officials think the fear is far-fetched, Ebola's ties to terrorism has made the rounds in political and news circles. Terror threats from Nerf and athletic-team recruiting tactics, however, are beyond far-fetched. They're fake.

True 

Ebola’s exponential spread has rekindled fears that terrorists may seek to turn the virus into a powerful weapon of mass destruction. Such talk has occurred on Capitol Hill and in national security circles. National security and infectious disease experts agree the obstacles to a large-scale assault with Ebola are formidable.

There is historical precedent. During the cold war the Soviet Union was growing up large amounts of microbes for potential use in bioterrorism. The Japanese cult — Aim Shinrikyo — tried to collect Ebola virus samples during an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases, Anthony Fauci, provided a congressional committee with a report showing three ways Ebola could be used as a weapon: First, developing a small "bomblet" that would spread the virus up to 30 feet upon detonation. Second, recruit individuals for suicide missions to become infected then spread the disease. Third, and the least likely, genetically modify the virus to enable spreading through the air.

 Blue Bar
73 (58%)
 False

Toy manufacturer Nerf has a new line of foam-based biological weapons capable of causing what the company calls massive outbreaks of fun, but international security officials are not amused. According to Nerf company officials the biological weapons represent the next logical step in foam warfare — offering kids all the enjoyment of deploying a disease causing agent while still being safe for indoor play.

According to international security officials these toys are showing up in schools run by groups that have been linked to known terrorist organizations. Security officials believe these organizations are recruiting and indoctrinating school children for the purpose of carrying out future acts of terrorism.

The realistic rapid-fire mega-poxx-eighty-six inoculator - a distribution device - capable of delivering thirty-five vials of brightly colored toy biohazards with pump-action precision is of particular concern.

 Blue Bar
18 (14%)
 False

Counter-terrorism intelligence officials confirm that Islamist militant groups have adopted a recruitment policy patterned after processes used by athletic teams in the United States.

The connection came to light this week when highly touted terrorist prospect Mansur al-Hawrani claimed on a You Tube video that he is carefully weighing recruitment offers from several radical Islamist militant groups. The 19-year old al-Hawrani says nearly every major terror network in the world has contacted him and he is close to narrowing the list down to his top five.

In the video al-Hawrani expresses his pleasure at being blessed to have the opportunity to help build something truly special. Al-Hawrani plans to visit the training camps of his top five picks and will announce his decision in a YouTube video in the next few weeks.

Blue Bar
35 (28%) 

 

When keeping a critical eye on news-of-the-weird, your sources become key. While the video of a super-cute Beagle retrieving lost items was a hit, it was also just a marketing ploy by KLM. Gingers, also, are safe from extinction. But live turtles being smuggled in sweatpants? That's indeed true.

False 

Dutch airline KLM has started using an adorable, vest-wearing dog to return lost property, sending him down the concourse to literally sniff out rightful owners after they've disembarked at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

In a release Tuesday, the company said they're able to successfully return 80 percent of the items they find on planes, from iPhones to toy stuffed animals, using a combination of vigilance, social media, and at least one pup named "Sherlock."

"Our main goal is to return lost items to the owner as fast as possible," Sandra List, a member of KLM's "Team Lost & Found" said in a video explaining the new program.

Dirk van Driel, Sherlock's trainer, said the pup is trained for "muscle strength, endurance, and of course socialization. When you see the reactions of the passengers, that really is amazing."

Blue Bar
46 (37%)
True 

A Canadian man taped 51 live turtles to his legs and groin and tried to hide them under sweatpants in an attempt to smuggle the reptiles over the Detroit border crossing, according to federal prosecutors in Michigan.

The man was captured as part of a surveillance operation conducted by US Fish and Wildlife Service agents. An official with the service said there has been an increase in turtle smuggling in the last year, which they attribute to demand in Asian food and collector markets.

“These turtles, by the time they get to the end-collector, they can be worth anywhere from $1,300 to $1,500 a turtle,” said Ed Grace, deputy chief law enforcement officer with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Prosecutors say Kai Xu and Lihua Lin attempted to smuggle several species of North American pond turtles out of the US and into Canada.

Blue Bar
50 (40%)
False 

The red hair gene could be on the way out as it is thought to be a response to cloudy weather in Scotland, something which the country could see less and less of.

Dr. Alistair Moffat, managing director of Galashiels-based ScotlandsDNA, said: "We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and in the North of England is adaption to the climate.

"I think the reason for light skin and red hair is that we do not get enough sun and we have to get all the Vitamin D we can.

"If the climate is changing and it is to become more cloudy or less cloudy then this will affect the gene.

"If it was to get less cloudy and there was more sun, then yes, there would be fewer people carrying the gene."

Blue Bar
30 (24%) 

 

ESPN's report on the Redskins nickname has added interesting perspective to that issue. And while concussions and Lebron James' conditioning routine are certainly topics of interest to sports fans, neither of those stories is true.

True 

A large but shrinking majority of Americans favor letting the Washington Redskins keep their nickname. In a poll released in early September, 71 percent of the public does not think the name is disrespectful of Native Americans.

The same poll conducted 22 years earlier found that 89 percent favor keeping the name. Support for the Redskins name has fallen substantially. The data reflects a smoldering battle over the name’s acceptability even as a growing number of Native American groups, political leaders and media have denounced it as a racial slur.

“We are gratified to see that opposition to slurring Native Americans is building throughout the country,” said Ray Halbritter, a representative of the Oneida Nation.

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86 (68%)
 False

As part of a recent league-wide emphasis on concussion prevention, the NFL officially announced a new rule Monday aimed at protecting quarterbacks. The new rule, which prevents a team from sacking a quarterback, does not go into effect until the 2016 football season.

“It’s full contact until a defensive player reaches the quarterback, then it becomes two hand touch,” the league said in a statement, which went on to explain that considerable penalties and fines will be imposed upon anyone failing to follow the new rule.

Recent lawsuits have highlighted the issue of the long term affects of concussions on former NFL players. The new rule marks the first major step taken by the league to protect its players.

Blue Bar
16 (13%)
 False

In an effort to become more competitive, four-time NBA Most Valuable Player Lebron James, started a new exercise routine to better prepare him for his return to Cleveland.

“The water resistance really helps to build muscle and body control,” James said of his new underwater workouts.

James starts each day by strapping on a scuba tank and mask for a 2 hour workout at the bottom of his custom built pool. Specially designed weights keep him submerged as he lifts, runs and swims along the bottom of the pool.

“I’m 29 years old, I want to play for another 10 years.” James said. “I have to push myself more than ever.”

Blue Bar
24 (19%) 
 

 

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