5 things to know for your day -- Monday, February 10, 2014

Georgia prepares for another icy winter mess. Michael Sam is open, out and proud. And a Danish giraffe becomes lion chow.

It's Monday, and here are the "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

1. WINTER WEATHER

Better safe than ... well, you know:

Proactive is the word of the day in Georgia, where Gov. Nathan Deal has already mobilized state emergency response agencies ahead of a potentially ugly mix of snow, sleet and ice expected to start tonight. School districts across north Georgia have started calling off classes and after-school activities.

"This is a whole different ballgame. What we had two weeks ago was a minor event. This is likely to be a major event," Meteorologist Glenn Burns.

Two weeks ago, 2.6 inches of snow paralyzed metropolitan Atlanta and state emergency officials caught plenty of grief for how they handled the situation. This time, no one will complain if all these preparations turn out to be precautionary overkill.

2. MICHAEL SAM

"Openly proud gay man":

Missouri Tiger Michael Sam isn't the first guy to make such a proclamation, but he probably will be the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL. Not only is Sam an All-American, but he was named the top defensive player in the Southeastern Conference. That's no small feat, coming from the college football conference that sends more players to pro football than any other.

3. GIRAFFE DEATH

Fed to the lions:

His keepers at the Copenhagen Zoo called him Marius. Now he's just called dinner. The zoo euthanized the 2-year-old male giraffe yesterday despite an online petition to save him. Zoo official said his genes are already well-represented in the gene pool at the zoo and Marius was taking up space they could use for more "genetically valuable giraffes."

"When giraffes breed as well as they do now, then you will inevitably run into so-called surplus problems now and then," Bengt Holst of the Copenhagen Zoo.

Marius now becomes dinner for the zoo's carnivores - lions, tigers and leopards. The zoo figured: No reason to let 450 pounds of meat go to waste.

4. CASTAWAY

Movie script-ready:

The folks in Hollywood have to be drooling over this one. The story of Jose Salvador Alvarenga drifting across the Pacific for more than a year before washing up in the Marshall Islands may just be true after all. The details are incredible, that's for sure. His first meal? Pancakes, which he scarfed down one after another while his rescuers tried to learn more about him. And how did they communicate with him? Using charades and Spanish skills learned entirely from the animated children's series "Dora the Explorer."

5. WINTER OLYMPICS

Tools of the trade:

Rifles, stones, skis and blades. It reads like a crazy shopping list at the hardware store, but it's actually the things Olympic athletes will use in their quest for winter sports glory. Medals will be awarded today in the biathlon, alpine and freestyle skiing, short track skating and - our favorite Winter Olympic sport - curling!

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