Blog Posts by Eliza Murphy

  • Minnesota Principal Urges Students Not to Wear Leggings

    Dave Adney, the principal of Minnetonka High School in Minnetonka, Minn., has gained a lot of attention for an email he sent to the parents of his students on Nov. 12 suggesting they support his "goal of keeping things covered up."

    The email was intended to alert parents to a recent wardrobe issue the school has been dealing with during the colder months: Female students were wearing tight, spandex leggings.

    "As the weather gets colder we have noticed a fashion trend with our young women," read Adney's email. "Many of them choose to wear leggings usually made of spandex or another form of tight fitting material. In past years this has not been a major problem since fashion norms called for a long sweatshirt, jersey or sweater to be worn in conjunction with the leggings. This fall another pattern has emerged and we are requesting parent support."

    Janet Swiecichowski, the executive director for communications with Minnetonka Public Schools, said the principal's email

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  • Cheeto the Kitten's Rescue Photos Go Viral

    Chase Conner was acting in an independent film called " Before the Fall" in the mountains of Virginia about a month and a half ago when he stumbled upon something that quickly stole the show from any of the actors.

    Conner, 28, and another crew member discovered a malnourished orange kitten wandering alone.

    "There were some scenes the director wanted to shoot up in the mountains. I take photos, too, so on the times I wasn't shooting, I would take pictures with my DSLR," Conner said of his digital single-lens refle x camera.

    "I walked around the corner and one of my crew members was feeding this little ball of fur. We pet him and he could barely stand up. He was nothing but fur and bones."

    Conner knew he couldn't leave the poor animal that way so he decided to take matters into his own hands, doing what he could to nurture the kitten back to health, while he himself was living in a rustic cabin and in and out of hotel rooms.

    "I picked him up and went into town for flea

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  • College Sweethearts Marry Nearly 50 Years After Breakup

    They say true love stands the test of time. And for Emilie Danielson, 70, and Terry Britton, 69, that has certainly proven true.

    On Nov. 11, 52 years after they originally met as college freshmen attending Chapman University in Orange, Calif., the blushing bride and her now very grateful groom finally had the opportunity to say their "I do's" to one another.

    The couple first began dating in 1960 and admittedly fell fast and hard for each other.

    "We would walk down to this tiny little church down the road and make out like crazy in the back of the pew," Danielson told

    But over the years, although the passion was strong between them, they somehow lost touch and can't even explain today how or why it happened.

    "We do not know how we lost touch. That's the weirdest thing," Danielson said. "We dated for two years. The second year we decided to leave [Chapman] and go to junior college to save money for a year. And then something happened, but we don't know what

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  • Man Finds His Doppelganger in 16th Century Italian Painting

    What started out as a leisurely stroll through the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Nov. 11 with his girlfriend, quickly turned into quite a surreal experience for Max Galuppo, 20, of Bloomsbury, N.J.

    Galuppo, a Temple University student, found his doppelganger in a 16th century Italian painting by an unknown artist titled "Portrait of a Nobleman with Dueling Gauntlet."

    "It was really weird. He goes to Temple so we'd been saying for a while we wanted to go to the art museum," his girlfriend, Nikkie Curtis, told "We went into the armor exhibit and he loved the helmets. He was completely oblivious to it, and I walked past it and was like, 'Do you see this painting right now? It looks just like you.'"

    Courtesy Nikkie CurtisAlthough Galuppo's resemblance to the dark haired, huskily built, bearded face seems obvious to the 735 Reddit users who have commented on the photo since Curtis uploaded it to the site late Sunday night, Galuppo, at first, said he failed to recognize the similarity.

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  • Nicole Westbrook Goes Viral With 'It's Thanksgiving' Song Video

    Nothing says Thanksgiving like a sparkly turkey costume, singing middle-schoolers and a turkey leg doubling as a microphone. Or at least that's how the holiday is celebrated in 12-year-old Nicole Westbrook's now incredibly viral "It's Thanksgiving" music video.

    With more than a whopping 3 million hits since it was originally posted on Nov. 7, Westbrook, of Lake Balboa, Calif., cannot believe the attention her turkey day tune has already had.

    "I had no idea how big this would get," Westbrook told "It's so overwhelming but at the same time it's so great. I've never experienced this before. I haven't listened to any of the comments, so I don't know how exactly people are taking this, but it's so big right now so it's great."

    Westbrook is the latest musical protege to emerge from producer Patrice Wilson with PMW Live, a site he created for independent artists to "get their music out into the world." Wilson, also responsible for the wildly successful viral hit

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  • Navy Dad Secretly Returns, Surprises Son as Darth Vader

    Although his son's name isn't really Luke, Navy Reservist, Justin Whyte, 33, of Wichita, Kan., really is this 5-year-old boy's father, and dressed up as Darth Vader to surprise him for his 'Star Wars' themed birthday party.

    Last May, Whyte secretly returned home from training in California on his 96-hour break, just in time to surprise his son, Aiden, for a light-saber battle he'd never forget.

    "My son was turning five and my husband was not supposed to be home," Susie Whyte, 31, told "My kids were told over and over we won't see him until Christmas. We snuck my husband home from the airport. My son asked about doing the Darth Vader bit, and he thought it was his older cousin, who is 13 and very tall."

    Famie West PhotographyThe children, Emily, 6, dressed as Princess Leia, and Aiden, 5, dressed as Luke, had not seen their father for two and half months and had no idea it was Whyte in the Darth Vader costume instead of their cousin.

    "Most of the family knew he was going to be there,

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  • Dudley the Dog Gets Ready for the Day Like a Human

    Thanks to a class project Charli Kilpatrick, 22, was assigned in one of her University of Texas communications classes, her chocolate Labrador Retriever, Dudley, has become an instant Internet sensation.

    In the video, Dudley is portrayed just like a human-being (with a shiny coat of fur) waking up to an annoyingly loud alarm clock, getting dressed, brushing his teeth, and watching a little TV.

    "I did it for a class project at UT," Kilpatrick told "The project was to create a short film or blog about marketing and circulating. The goal was to get 1,000 views by December. I sat down and had no idea how I'd get a thousand views by then. But I saw another video similar to it with a dog eating, and I thought I could take it a little farther.

    "I knew dogs do well, and there's no language barrier, and who doesn't like dogs?"

    The video of Dudley's dog day has had more than 1.4 million views since it was originally posted to YouTube on Oct. 14. Its success shocked

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  • Women Face Their Fears By Skydiving in Their Underwear

    Imagine throwing all your inhibitions to the wind, literally.

    That's exactly what Jennifer Hoffman and Marisa Gallegos, founders of Esme & Eve Photography in Los Angeles, are doing. They're going skydiving in nothing but their underwear.

    On Nov. 17, Hoffman and Gallegos, along with five other brave women, plan to jump from an airplane near Lake Elsinore, Calif., wearing nothing but parachutes and their lingerie. The jump is part of Esme & Eve's "Be Bold. Take the Leap" initiative, in which they urge women "to face their fears, take a risk and push against whatever is holding them back from carrying out their dreams."

    Each of the women participating in the jump has lived through something traumatic, such as a death in the family, coping with being a rape victim, or overcoming an eating disorder. They're coming together to find ways to put those difficult times behind them.

    "All these women have terrific stories," Hoffman told "I get really motivated by these

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  • Woman Finds Lost Diamond Ring 17 Years Later

    The Lynch Family

    A woman from Bridgewater, Mass., got a very sparkly surprise just in time for her 21st wedding anniversary when she was reunited with her diamond engagement ring 17 years after she'd lost it.

    Valerie Lynch, 48, remembers removing her wedding bands to slather up her children with sunscreen at her sister's house as if it were yesterday.

    "I brought the kids who were 2 and 3 at the time, and my nephew was 4, to my sister's house in Plymouth, not far from the waterfront," Lynch told "I took off my rings to put sunscreen on them, and I put the rings on the platform by the slide on the swing set."

    Lynch had barely made it to the waterfront before realizing her rings were gone.

    "There were no cell phones back then. I flew back to my sister's place, looked all over the place. I was hoping it would be right there. I just panicked. I was freaking out about telling my husband," Lynch said.

    The following weekend, she enlisted the help of friends and family to scope the

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  • Top 6 Weirdest Items Americans Voted on in 2012 Election

    Most of the ballot initiatives that Americans took to the polls to vote on this Tuesday were no laughing matter. But in some states, voters were asked to weigh in on issues that are too weird not to mention. Take a look at the top six weirdest items American's voted on in the 2012 election.

    PHOTOS: 'I Voted' Stickers From Across the U.S.

    Required Use of Condoms in Porn Movies

    In Los Angeles County, voters were asked their opinion on whether or not actors in the adult film industry should be required to wear condoms and practice safe sex while shooting scenes in L.A. The Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, also called Measure B, was introduced in response to repetitive allegations of sexually transmitted disease outbreaks among adult film industry workers.

    "Self-regulation has failed miserably when it comes to the porn industry," Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told Reason TV.

    However, adult film producers beg to differ. "This isn't

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