The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.
Hey, Bubba, watch me land this plane!
Actually, it wasn't some yahoo behind the stick of a 727. Professional pilots deliberately crashed the plane for scientific study.
At least 38 people are dead after two ferries collided during a holiday celebration Tuesday in Hong Kong's harbor. Survivors recounted the fear and chaos that followed the collision. One passenger told CNN affiliate i-Cable:
The water was suffocating me. My friend tugged with all her might and got my leg out. I was wearing a life jacket, so I floated up to the surface. I had swallowed a lot of water. I really thought I was going to die. Thinking about all those at the bottom who were stuck, they're not here anymore.
Rescuers worked for several hours the pull a calf out of a mine shaft Monday in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, CNN affiliate WTAE reports. Professional and volunteer workers used an excavator to retrieve the animal from a 16-foot hole.
The calf's mother momentarily charged the dozens of people crowding the old mine shaft, according to WTAE. "We were a little nervous. Before darkness fell, she (the cow) kept trying to get up in here. Fortunately, she stayed away," Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Kromel said.
Update 8:32 p.m.: Adam Greenberg struck out on three pitches from Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Greenberg was pinch-hitting for Marlins left fielder Bryan Petersen at the top of the order with the Marlins leading 2-0.
The Marlins Stadium public address system played Aerosmith's "Dream On" as Greenberg, wearing No. 10, walked up to the plate and took his place in the left-hand batter's box. He took a strike from Dickey, swung at and missed the second pitch and waved at a pitch around his chin for the third strike.
The crowd cheered loudly for him as he returned to the dugout, where his one-day-only teammates congratulated him and slapped the beaming ballplayer on the back.
The world of baseball and its fans greeted the moment with a wave of warm-and-fuzzy tweets:
Original post: Adam Greenberg signed a one-day contract with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of taking a single at-bat in the night's game against the New York Mets.
Greenberg, now 31, was hit in the head by a pitch in his first and only Major League Baseball plate appearance, with the Chicago Cubs in
2005 and has not played in the majors since. A hit-by-pitch does not count as an official at-bat, so Greenberg technically has never batted in the major leagues.
He petitioned the Cubs to let him come back for one official at-bat with them, but team officials turned him down. The Marlins agreed last week to help Greenberg make his dream come true. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said he plans to use him as a pinch-hitter in the middle of Tuesday night's game, perhaps in the pitcher's spot in the lineup, according to MLB.com.
"I'm ready to help the team," Greenberg said in a tweet on the Marlins' account. "The Marlins are an amazing organization. ... I couldn't be more thankful."
The Weather Channel wants viewers to be on a first-name basis with the foulest of winter weather. The cable channel announced Tuesday that it will give names to the worst winter storms much like the National Hurricane Center does for tropical storms.
“Naming winter storms will raise awareness, which will lead to more pro-active efforts to plan ahead, resulting in less impact on the public overall,” Tom Niziol, the Weather Channel's winter weather expert, said on the channel's website.
Niziol wrote that winter storms are commonly given names in Europe, but he said that the lack of a single authority over winter storms in the United States, like the hurricane center is the central authority on tropical storms, is one reason why the winter blasts are not named.
That's where the Weather Channel thought it could step in, Niziol wrote.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef has lost 50% of its coral since the mid-1980s, much of that because of a ravenous species of starfish that can each consume some 12 square yards (10 square meters) of coral in a year, scientists reported Tuesday.
According to a study by the Australian government's Institute of Marine Sciences and the University of Wollongong, the coral cover on the world's largest coral reef ecosystem suffered damage from tropical cyclones (48%), the crown-of-thorns starfish (42%), and coral bleaching (10%).
If current trends continue, the reef will lose another 50% of its coral in the next 10 years, the scientists said.
Stopping the starfish infestation is the one thing humans can do that can save the reef, they said.
"We can't stop the storms, and ocean warming (the primary cause of coral bleaching) is one of the critical impacts of the global climate change," John Gunn, chief executive officer of the institute, said in a press release. "However, we can act to reduce the impact of crown of thorns."
"The study shows that in the absence of crown of thorns, coral cover would increase at 0.89% per year, so even with losses due to cyclones and bleaching there should be slow recovery," Gunn said in the release.
Reacting to the study, the World Wildlife Fund said Australia must reduce fertilizer runoff as a first step to controlling the crown-of-thorns starfish.
Gunmen in Mubi, Nigeria, on Tuesday attacked a student facility at the Federal Polytechnic University, leaving several casualties, according to Yuhau Shuaib, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency.
Shuaib said the exact number of casualties is unknown.
CNN will provide more details as they become available.FULL STORY
Authorities in Oregon are investigating how a hog farmer was eaten by his animals.
The remains of Terry Vance Garner, 70, were found in his hog enclosure Wednesday, according to local news reports Monday.
The farmer had gone to feed the hogs, some weighing as much as 700 pounds, about 7:30 a.m., according to a report from CNN affiliate KMTR. After Garner was not seen for several hours, a family member went to check on him and found his dentures in the hog pen. Other remains were found, but the hogs had eaten most of the farmer, according to the report.
The sheriff's department is looking into the death.
President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney hold their first debate Wednesday from the campus of the University of Denver. Watch CNN.com Live for all the latest coverage from the election.
Today's programming highlights...
10:10 am ET - Ryan in Iowa - GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan spends his day campaigning g in Iowa, starting with a courthouse stop in Clinton. He'll later visit a coffee house in Muscatine at 1:30pm ET, then drop by a campaign office in Burlington at 3:45 pm ET.