Posts by Eric Pfeiffer
- Eric Pfeiffer at Yahoo News1 hr ago
More than 800,000 people and a few celebrities are lobbying Argentina to send its last captive polar bear, which they say is depressed by his solitary existence in a less-than-ideal enclosure, to Canada.
“We plead that you intervene on this issue and ask the officials in Mendoza who have the polar bear Arturo prisoner to accept Arturo's transfer to the reserve so he can live in suitable conditions,” reads a petition on the Change.org website, which has more than 600,000 signatures. A similar petition from Greenpeace has gathered more than 200,000 signatures so far.
Polar bear experts say Arturo, who's been dubbed "the world's saddest polar bear," can be regularly seen pacing in his enclosure, baring his teeth, tilting his head and rocking back and forth, all considered signs of stress in polar bears.
- Eric Pfeiffer at Yahoo News17 hrs ago
The escalating controversy surrounding a planned execution in Arizona has caused one judge to cynically suggest that states return to the practice of using the guillotine and firing squad rather than lethal injection.
“The guillotine is probably best but seems inconsistent with our national ethos. And the electric chair, hanging and the gas chamber are each subject to occasional mishaps," Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in an opinion on the court’s decision to temporarily halt the execution of convicted murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood. "The firing squad strikes me as the most promising. Eight or 10 large-caliber rifle bullets fired at close range can inflict massive damage, causing instant death every time."
Kozinski made his comments in protest after Arizona refused to release important details to Wood about his execution, including where the chemicals to be used in the process are obtained.
- Eric Pfeiffer at The Sideshow1 day ago
How long does it take to track down a long-lost, high school class ring? Twenty-five years and three days — at least for one lucky and surprised man.
While making an arrest at a Wal-Mart store in Scarborough, Maine, police noticed that a ring worn by a suspect held in custody didn’t match her name.
The ring, which had a football emblem, was engraved with "1987" and the name “Jerry Portier.”
A crime analyst at the Scarborough Police Department spent three days tracking down the ring’s rightful owner, who said it had been missing since 1989 when Portier lost it while he was away at college in Massachusetts. Portier now lives in Arizona.
“His first words were, ‘You’re kidding me,’" Det. Ron Nelsen told local affiliate WMTV.
After confirming that the ring belongs to Portier, Scarborough police say they shipped the ring to him just in time for his next class reunion. That’s, of course, assuming it doesn’t get lost in the mail.
Follow Eric Pfeiffer on Twitter (@ericpfeiffer).
- Eric Pfeiffer at The Sideshow1 day ago
Isn't it ironic?
A memorial tree planted in Los Angeles to honor the late Beatles musician George Harrison needs to be replaced after it was infested with real-life beetles.
Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge made the announcement over the weekend, according to the Los Angeles Times. The tree was planted near the Griffith Observatory in 2004 to honor the musician who passed away in 2001.
Bark beetles are common in Los Angeles and regularly feed on pine trees, the same type of tree planted at the Harrison memorial.
Clearly a fan, LaBonge was reportedly in attendance for the final tour stop of another former Beatle; Ringo Starr was performing with his band at the nearby Greek Theatre on Saturday.
Harrison spent his final days in Los Angeles and was honored with the plaque including a written tribute, which reads:
"In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener."
Todd Akin fires back on ‘legitimate rape,’ says news media and Karl Rove made him ‘villain of the whole world'Eric Pfeiffer at Yahoo News5 days ago
Two years after declaring that some rape is "legitimate," former Congressman Todd Akin is making headlines again.
Akin now says that he was the real victim, after his headline-grabbing comments derailed his Senate campaign and made him a national punch line. Akin was a member of Congress for more than 20 years before most of the political class even knew he existed.
But the Missouri Republican became the center of a national political debate in 2012, when his Senate campaign was turned upside down after Akin made his infamous comments about cases of “legitimate rape” and whether or not rape victims could “shut that whole thing down” and prevent themselves from becoming pregnant.
“Legitimate rape is a law enforcement term, and it’s an abbreviation for 'legitimate case of rape,'” Akin said in an interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd. “Do you know of anybody who thinks that rape is legitimate? That doesn’t even make sense. I know of no conservatives who think rape is legitimate.”
- Eric Pfeiffer at The Sideshow6 days ago
A helicopter flying over a region of Sibera referred to as the “end of the world,” recorded footage of a mysterious, giant crater in the middle of the ground estimated to be 260 feet in diameter.
At first, skeptical observers thought the images must be a fake. After all, it appears to be something out a summer science fiction blockbuster, with the giant hole appearing to descend infinitely below the surface.
But Russian officials confirmed the crater’s existence and say they are sending a team of experts to investigate the site located in an area known as the Yamal peninsula. Scientists from the Center for the Study of the Arctic and the Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences plan to take samples from around the scene.
So, what is responsible for the giant crater?
- Eric Pfeiffer at The Sideshow6 days ago
As NASA prepares to launch a powerful new satellite into space, a team of experts from America’s space agency said it's increasingly likely that alien life will be discovered within 20 years.
In a posting on its site, NASA said the new research tools will show that “finding life beyond Earth is within reach.”
“I think in the next 20 years we will find out we are not alone in the universe,” NASA astronomer Kevin Hand said during a panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Hand pointed to growing evidence suggesting that some form of alien life may be in our own galactic neighborhood on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons that is home to massive amounts of water.
NASA announced that it plans to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite and James Webb Space Telescope in 2017, which will work in conjunction with other existing technology to search for habitable, Earth-like planets within the Milky Way galaxy.
- Eric Pfeiffer at Yahoo News6 days ago
Sheriff Joe Arpaio may have at least temporarily been dethroned as Arizona’s most controversial law enforcer.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu made national headlines on Tuesday after a group of about 80 people gathered in Oracle, Ariz., to protest the arrival of a bus carrying immigrant children from Central America. Another group of about 50 people showed up to support the children.
Protesters were tipped off by a post to the Pinal County Sheriff Department’s Facebook page which said about 40 to 50 children were being transported to the "Sycamore Canyon Boys Ranch" in Oracle, Ariz.
"We already have our hands full fighting the Drug Cartels and Human Smugglers,” Babeu wrote in the Facebook post. “We don't need unaccompanied juveniles from Central America being flown into Arizona — compliments of President Obama. Local residents have every right to be upset and to protest. Our federal government has failed to enforce any immigration laws.”
- Eric Pfeiffer at The Sideshow11 days ago
A woman in Santa Fe, New Mexico, had just left her home early Thursday morning when her car suddenly stalled. A good Samaritan pulled over to help, but when he opened the hood of the car he didn’t find a dead battery. Instead, he found a very much living 9-foot, 20-pound python..
“It was looking right at me. It flicked its little tongue, and I kind of freaked out a little bit,” Jackson Ault said of the discovery.
So Ault and the woman, who wasn't identified, called the local police to help. The first officer on the scene wasn’t anymore interested in dealing with the snake (believed to be a Burmese python) than Ault.
But then police Lt. Louis Carlos showed up and the story suddenly became much less frightening and far more adorable.
“Cool, I want to hold it!” Carlos told local affiliate KOAT about his reaction to seeing the snake. “It was easy for me to just go in there, pick her up and hold onto her and let her feel the warmth of my hands and my body.”
- Eric Pfeiffer at Yahoo News12 days ago
Some people wait in line for five hours just to get their fix at Austin’s famous Franklin Barbecue. And who can blame them? The establishment is less than 10 years old but has been cited as the nation’s best.
Of course, President Obama is not “some people.” After a campaign-style speech in Austin on Thursday afternoon, the commander in chief made a stop by Franklin Barbecue and was quickly ushered to the front of the line.
It’s common practice to let a president cut to the front of the line at a dining establishment. After all, the president arguably has the busiest schedule on the planet. Plus, having a president standing in one place only creates headaches for everyone else who is just trying to get some food.
The real etiquette test comes in how the president and his staff carry themselves after cutting to the front of the line.