Posts by Alyssa Newcomb
Sydney's famous beaches, popular with surfers, looked more like a scene out of a horror movie today when the waters were stained blood red from an algae bloom.
Bondi Beach, as well as nearby Clovelly Beach and Gordon's Bay, were closed while authorities tested the water.
The beaches reopened in the late afternoon after the red algae, which was identified as Noctiluca scintillans or sea sparkle, begin to fade, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Algae blooms are most prevalent in hot, humid weather, the newspaper reported. Australia is currently enjoying the transition from spring to its summer, which begins in December.
While red algae isn't toxic, people were advised to avoid swimming in the algae-colored water because its high ammonia levels can cause skin irritation.
South Korean rapper PSY's "Gangnam Style" has become the most watched video in YouTube history.
On Saturday, the video had been viewed 805 million times, surpassing Bieber's "Baby," which had 803 million views, the YouTube trends blog reported.
The 34-year-old rapper has become a global phenomenon with his catchy song and signature horse-riding dance moves.
"Gangnam Style" gained an audience outside of PSY's native South Korea in early August and had a meteoric rise to the top spot.
It doesn't seem that people are tiring of it. According to YouTube, the video is watched between 7 million and 10 million times a day around the world, from India to Brazil to the United States.
A real-life Grinch was arrested after he spoiled the holiday cheer at a parade, telling children that Santa isn't real.
The unidentified 24-year-old man, who had his hair gelled to look as though devil horns were protruding from his head, was arrested by police in the Canadian town of Kingston last week during the annual Santa Claus parade, authorities said in statement.
The St. Nicholas naysayer faces criminal charges of causing a disturbance by being drunk and breach of probation.
"It was pretty despicable that someone, during this time of the year, would tell kids Santa isn't real - which of course we would argue," Const. Steve Koopman told the Toronto Star.
It was not known how the man, who has surely landed on Santa's naughty list, pleaded to the charges.
A 12-foot-long tiger shark messed with the wrong person.
Mariko Haugen, a taekwando black belt, was enjoying a swim in Maui, Hawaii, when she was confronted by the creature.
"She saw it a few seconds before it hit - and she gave it her best Tae Kwon Do black belt punch in the nose," Don Haugen, Mariko's husband, wrote on Facebook.
Haugen's husband and another man saw the attack and helped carry her to safety.
She received more than 100 stitches to close wounds on her right hand and thigh.
Now back home in Folsom, Calif., Don Haugen told ABC News affiliate KXTV that he's trying to put his wife's misfortune, or fortune, depending on how one looks at it, into perspective.
"I've always reassured my family. We spend tons of time in the ocean. We love the ocean. I've always told my kids there's zero reasons to fear sharks because what is scary is breast cancer," he said. "Getting bitten by a shark is one in 4 million to visitors to Hawaii, so we should not have to worry at all."
"The New York City subway system…has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night," MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said in a statement. "Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region."
In addition to flooding in a handful of tunnels and bus garages, Lhota said a portion of the Hudson line on the Metro-North Railroad had lost power.
"We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery," he said. A time frame for when one of the world's largest public transportation networks would be back up and running was not yet available.
The subway system, which averaged 5.2 million weekly riders last year, was preemptively shut down Sunday evening.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he hoped the closure would keep New York-area residents from being "up and about."
"[Trains are] not intended to be submerged," he said. "And we want people to stay at home."
Hurricane Sandy is a massive, deadly storm that has already taken dozens of lives in the Caribbean. But northeasterners tucked away in their homes waiting for the storm to hit have been lighting up Twitter and Facebook with everything from Sandy humor and fake images to their first real glimpses of the storm.
The "frankenstorm" has been mentioned on Twitter more than 4.2 million times in the past 24 hours and that number is expected to rise dramatically throughout the day.
Streets began to flood in Atlantic City, where Sandy is expected to make first landfall tonight.
Fake images, such as this one showing an ominous New York City skyline have been making the rounds online, leading to some confusion.
One of the most shared tweets came from Lindsay Lohan, who questioned all of the Sandy hoopla.
Teen mothers have taken to a Facebook page called "I Hate Teen Moms" to fight back against comments they are "sluts" and a "burden on society." "I'm not struggling at all because I do my responsibility & I also work hard for it still able to have time for my child more than 8 hours a day. I receive no help at all from anyone," a woman identifying herself as a 17-year-old teen mother wrote.
The "I Hate Teen Moms" page, which has garnered more than 26,000 "likes," includes rants and name-calling that the administrator insists are simply "satire and dark humor" that is not violating Facebook's terms of service or breaking any laws.
The social networking site declined to take down the page because it wanted to protect "expression," ABC News' affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle reported.
"This page is against children having children. That is the main point of this page," the administrator wrote.
Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission waited four hours for the wild rhesus macaque to appear in an area where it had been seen in recent days and tranquilized him with a dart, said Baryl Martin, a Fish and Wildlife official who has been on the monkey's trail.
Martin said the monkey appeared to be "doing all right" and was being evaluated by a veterinarian.
Earlier this month, the 40-pound monkey jumped on a woman's back at her home and bit her twice, Martin said, underscoring the need to catch the fugitive primate.
The wild rhesus macaque enjoyed some celebrity during his years of freedom. He was mentioned on "The Colbert Report" and a Facebook page in his honor garnered more than 86,000 likes.
Once the monkey receives a clean bill of health, Martin said he will likely be sent to a local exotic animal facility until a good home can be found for him.
Kateri Tekakwithawas named the first Native American saint today by Pope Benedict XVI in a ceremony held in St. Peter’s Square.
Some 80,000 people came to the open-air ceremony as the 17th century Mohawk-Algonquin woman and six others were canonized.
"It's so nice to see God showing all the flavors of the world," Gene Caldwell, a Native American member of the Menominee reservation in Neopit, Wis., who attended with his wife, told the Associated Press. "The Native Americans are enthralled."
The canonization ceremony happened at the same time the world's bishops descended on the Vatican to discuss ways to revive faith in parts of the world where it is falling by the wayside.
Among some of the select faithful who were chosen to receive communion from the pope was Jake Finkbonner.
The Washington boy was near death for months with a flesh eating bacteria, but made a miraculous recovery that the Vatican credited to Tekakwitha.
Authorities said the woman has made off with credit cards, drivers licenses and social security cards from seniors in at least two assisted living facilities in the Orlando, Fla., area.
"[The way she is disguised] she pretty much could walk around and steal anything she wanted to," a Winter Park police spokeswoman said.
Last month, the woman attempted to charge $4,000 to a 92-year-old man's credit card at Target and managed to rack up a $600 tab at the Apple store, police said.
Authorities released surveillance video on Friday in hopes someone will recognize the suspect.
"It's very, very scary," the spokeswoman said. "And its somebody who is purposefully taking advantage of a vulnerable population."