Top of the List: Manti Te'o, the best places to work, and snow swimming

Here are the stories people were talking about on January 17, 2013

1.   MANTI TE’O  Linebacker Manti Te’o has gone from Heisman Trophy finalist to the center of a bizarre scandal.  The Notre Dame football player gained a lot of attention last year when his online girlfriend Lennay Kekua died of leukemia just hours after his grandmother passed away. 

Te’o said Kekua was his inspiration for a record season.  Now it seems that she never existed. Te’o calls it a hoax saying he was "the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies."  

Timothy Burke helped break the story for Deadspin.com. On Anderson Cooper 360 last night, Burke said the stories didn't add up.

"When we finally were able to track back and see all these pictures -- these pictures that had represented Lennay Kekua--and we found the actual alive person doesn’t have leukemia and never has met Manti Te’o in person, that sort of opened everything up.," Burke said.

Notre Dame’s Athletic Director said the school's investigators discovered online chatter from those behind the hoax discussing and taking joy in what they had accomplished.  He added that the pain of hearing about Kekua’s death was real for Te’o.

2.  ENERGY CRISIS  According to a new government study, energy room visits due to energy drinks have doubled in the last four years.  Most of the patients were teens and young adults. In 2011, 42 percent of the incidents involved the drinks combined with alcohol or drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin.  The report doesn’t specify the symptoms that brought patients to the hospital, but does call the energy drink craze a "rising public health problem."

3.  BEST PLACES TO WORK  If you Google the story, you’ll see that Google tops the Fortune Magazine list of best employers for the fourth time.  SAS, a data analytics firm came in second, followed by CHG Healthcare Services, The Boston Consulting Group and Wegman’s Food Markets.

4.  MAN’S BEST FACEBOOK FRIEND  A Canadian family is getting a new pooch after the parents agreed to their children’s unlikely challenge: if they could get a million likes on a facebook photo, could they get a dog?  Little did they imagine it would happen, and in only 13 hours! 

On Good Morning America this morning the father said, "I knew we had a few hundred friends on Facebook. I didn’t think it was possible it would spread so far."  The family says they plan to get Golden Retriever, Labrador or a mixed breed.

5.  COLD BLOODED COMPETITION  Finland is putting snow swimming on the map with the 2013 Snow Swimming Championships.  Swimmers came out in their swimsuits to brave the darkness and bitter cold in an attempt to take home the honor.  The bone chilling competition is a winter ritual in the Land of a Thousand Lakes, but we think we’ll stick to making snow angels. 

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