Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • New Saturn video created from Voyager and Cassini spacecraft images

    Netherlands-based director Sander van den Berg has taken images from NASA's Cassini orbiter and Voyager spacecraft to create an amazing new video of Saturn entitled "Outer Space."

    At first, the compilation of images looks like relatively simple computer-generated imagery of the gas giant. But the images become awe-inspiring when you realize they are all actual photos taken by NASA.

    The collection of moving images is set to "That Home," performed by the British jazz and electronic band The Cinematic Orchestra.

    45 seconds into the video you can see space debris crashing into Saturn's rings. About a minute into the video, the images take on an almost psychedelic turn, as van den Berg captures images of gas geysers on the solar system's second largest planet.

    You can view some of Cassini's raw images of Saturn posted by NASA, and some of the original images of Saturn's ring system taken from Voyager 1.

    It was recently announced that Voyager 1 is on the verge of leaving the known solar system and had entered an uncharted void near the edge of the Milky Way known as the heliopause.

    [Related: Northern Lights video captured from the International Space Station.]

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  • Pizza Hut unveils cheeseburger crusted pizza

    The cheeseburger stuffed pizza (Facebook)

    Not content to shock customers with its hot dog stuffed crust fare, Pizza Hut has just unveiled two new decidedly odd pizza creations, including one surrounded by mini cheeseburgers.

    What's arguably most interesting about the pizza mashups (there's also one featuring chicken fingers) is that none of them are currently being offered in the U.S. yet that's where they seem to be getting the most attention. Several U.S. media outlets, like the Colbert Report, have devoted segments to mocking the comestible oddities.

    The new "Crown Crust Burger" pizza is being sold in the Middle East, while the hot dog stuffed crust option is only available at U.K. locations. The entire Pizza Hut Middle East fan page is kind of weird, including a picture of a delivery man literally emerging from an oven with smoke rising off his body.

    Aside from the inherent shock value of offering strange and frankly ridiculous food combinations, does anyone think these new pizzas actually look good? You can decide for yourself in the video below:

    The Serious Eats blog adds that the actual Crown Crust Burger pizza itself comes equipped with toppings designed to match the cheeseburger stuffed crust, including cheese, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, pieces of beef and an unidentified "special sauce."

    Eater.com adds that the chicken finger stuffed crust option also comes with the ambiguous "special sauce," and green peppers.

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  • Florida man mistakes girlfriend for hog, shoots her

    A Florida man mistook his girlfriend for a hog, shooting her (AP/Mike Groll)

    A Florida couple was on a weekend camping trip that ended in an airlift to the emergency room.

    Steven Egan, 52, was hunting with his girlfriend, Lisa Simmons, in the northern part of the state when he mistook her for a hog and shot her.

    "He saw a hog and thought he shot it and went to look for it," Maj. Steve Clair of the Flagler County Sheriff's Office told ABC News.  "He heard her and thought it was a hog and just shot."

    The mistake was not actually related to her appearance. Rather, Egan had earlier shot at a hog that continued to evade him. He reportedly instructed Simmons to stay at their campsite while he pursued the evasive animal, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office However, Simmons ventured away from the campsite, apparently searching for oranges that had fallen from nearby trees.

    When Egan heard rustling in the woods, he fired in her direction without first making visual confirmation with his intended target. Instead, Simmons was struck in the legs by a .30-caliber bullet from Egan's gun. She was airlifted to the nearby Halifax Health Medical Center where she is listed as being in serious condition.

    Authorities say they aren't planning to charge Egan in the accidental shooting.

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  • A customer collapsed while eating a burger at the "Heart Attack Grill" (AP/Matt York)

    No one can accuse The Heart Attack Grill of false advertising.

    A woman collapsed into unconsciousness at the Las Vegas restaurant while eating a "double bypass burger," drinking a margarita and smoking a cigarette.

    The unnamed customer was the second in just over two months to collapse at the restaurant while eating one of the famed burgers named after various forms of cardiac arrest. Back in February, another customer was caught on video being carted out by paramedics after suffering a heart attack while eating a "quadruple bypass" burger.

    The Heart Attack Grill's owner Jon Basso tells ABC News that the woman is currently recovering in the hospital. Basso told ABC that he himself has eaten at least one single bypass burger each day since his restaurant first opened seven years ago.

    "It's a lifestyle issue," Basso said. "We attract the avant-garde of lifestyle seekers."

    The Heart Attack Grill offers free meals to any customer who weighs over 350 pounds and features a butterfat milkshake, nonfiltered cigarettes, "flatliner" fries and four burgers, each rated on an ascending scale of "a single bypass" to the "quadruple bypass."

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  • Family of black bears invades local news set

    WNEP-TV meteorologist Kurt Aaron was on the set, ready to deliver his news station's 11 p.m. weather forecast when he spotted an uninvited guest on the set: A large black bear.

    "I hear this sound and I turn around and the bear is literally 10 feet in front of me.," Aaron said live on air after the bears were spotted. "And I ran like I stole something. I'm not going to lie."

    The mother bear and her three cubs walked onto the outdoor weather set in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The family of bears continued to walk through the outdoor set, which is built to resemble an actual forest.

    Black bears have been known to venture outside their natural forest habitat when searching for food, particularly in places occupied by people.

    "They walked right up on me. Black bears. Look how big mama bear is," Aaron said, while the bears continued to walk in front of the cameras.

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  • Dogs get $5,000 wedding with all the amenities

    Scruffy Rubin and Snickers Carter getting married (Wade Byars/The Desert Sun)

    In this canine love story, ring around the collar was the intended effect.

    Scruffy Rubin and Snickers Carter had a wedding many couples dream of, featuring 100 guests, a wedding cake, open bar, receptionist and even security. But while the newlyweds are reportedly happy together, that are not actually human.

    The Desert Sun reports that actual humans Ernie Rubin and Ann Carter got together to throw Scruffy and Snickers a $5,000 wedding at the Palm Desert Resort Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif., on Sunday.

    "I'm not losing a son, I'm gaining a daughter-in-law," Carter told the paper.

    [Slideshow: More of the doggie wedding photos]

    The ceremony was officiated by "priest" Harry Farber, who wore a black collar featuring novelty dog bones.

    As the two dogsdressed in custom couture dress and doggie tuxedowalked down a faux grass carpet aisle , they were accompanied by a ring bearer, flower boy, groomsman and usher. However, it's worth noting that the groomsman was a Pug named Max.

    [Related: Check Out This Amazing Father Daughter Wedding Dance]

    A live band serenaded them with a rendition of "You Light Up My Life."

    And while all of that sounds pretty over-the-top, Rubin and Carter turned the canine ceremony into a good cause by asking guests to donate to the Orphan Pet Oasis Humane Society of the Desert in North Palm Springs.

    "In planning this event Ernie and Ann wanted to make sure that a charity was involved and they felt strongly about what we do at the society," society representative Jennifer Hamilton told the Desert Sun.

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  • New species of purple crab discovered in the Philippines

    Click image to see more photos (Hendrik Freitag)

    Four new species of crab have been discovered in the Philippine island of Palawan. And one of the crabs truly stands out with its unusually bright purple shell.

    National Geographic reports that the Insulamon palawanese may use its uniquely colored shell to help identify its own kind.

    "It is known that crabs can discriminate colours. Therefore, it seems likely that the colouration has a signal function for the social behaviour, e.g. mating," Hendrik Freitag of the Senckenberg Museum of Zoology in Dresden, Germany told AFP.

    "The particular violet coloration might just have evolved by chance, and must not necessarily have a very specific function or reason aside from being a general visual signal for recognition," Freitag told National Geographic. Freitag's report on the new species of crabs was published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

    [Slideshow: Newly discovered purple crabs]

    Despite the big news, the newly discovered crabs are quite small in stature, each from about an inch to

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  • 400-year-old diamond may fetch $4 million at auction

    The 400-year-old Beau Sancy diamond (Remy de la Mauviniere/AP)

    Next month, Sotheby's will auction a 400-year-old diamond that is estimated to be worth between $2 million and $4 million.  The "Beau Sancy" is one of the world's oldest known diamonds and weighs 34.98 carats.

    The diamond will be on public display in Paris, London and Zurich until it goes up for auction in Geneva on May 14. View more photos of the Beau Sancy.

    The Beau Sancy once belonged to France's Queen Marie de Medici and was originally cut from a gem mine in the Indian city of Golconda. It was owned by the last Emperor of Germany, Wilhelm II, before being acquired by a private European owner.

    [Related: World's first all-diamond ring; worth $70 million]

    Diamond website overabillion.com says the Beau Sancy gets its name from 16th century French financier and diplomat Nicholas Harlay de Sancy. The gem is described as a "perfect, colorless, rounded pear-shaped diamond."

    More popular Yahoo! News stories

    Armored catfish wreaking havoc in South Florida lakes

    Virginia teacher arrested

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  • Armored catfish wreaking havoc in South Florida lakes

    An armored catfish (Image credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Sun-Sentinel)

    A species of "armored catfish" are damaging South Florida's lakes, causing coastal erosion and even burrowing holes that trip up humans walking along the water's edge.

    Catfish are usually one of the more popular breeds of aquatic life, with their smooth skin and flavorful meat. There's even a highly unconventional form of fishing known as "noodling," in which people use their bare hands to capture catfish.

    But the Sun-Sentinel reports that the Loricariidae (armored catfish) are far less welcome. The non-native and invasive species have rugged scales along their backs and spiky fins. Catching the South American natives can be difficult, as the armored catfish reportedly are not baited by fishing hooks and must instead be caught by nets or even spears.

    "There are some people who get totally upset, and I can understand why," Ralph LaPrairie, a fisheries biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Sun-Sentinel.

    The Loricariids are a popular aquarium fish, as they use their suckered mouths to clean algae from tanks. But that same behavior that is helpful in fish tanks actually erodes local shorelines up to 10 feet as the fish devastate aquatic plant life. They have also been wreaking havoc in Texas waterways for a number of years.

    "One, it's a safety issue. Two, it's a curb-appeal issue," Chip Sollins, owner of Lake Erosion Restoration, a contractor in Boca Raton, Fla., told the paper.

    Invasive fish are a growing problem across the U.S. with wildlife officials in Maryland offering a $200 gift certificate raffle to residents who capture and kill snakehead fish, which have been devastating local wildlife in tributaries along the Potomac River.

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  • Virginia teacher arrested for allegedly firing blanks at students

    Manuael Ernest Dillow has been charged with firing blank rounds at 12 Virginia students. (Kingsport Times)A Virginia teacher has been charged with 12 felony counts after allegedly pulling a blank firing gun on his students and firing several times.

    "One for each student who was in there. And basically the charges result of inciting fear into the students," Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman told KSDK.com.

    The incident occurred just days after the five-year-anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings, during which 32 people were shot by a mentally ill student.

    The Kingsport Times reports that Manuael Ernest Dillow, 60, was teaching a welding class at an Abingdon, Virginia, vocational school when he reportedly "gathered" the attention of his students by forcing them to line up.

    "He then pulled a 'blank firing handgun,' black in color, from the back waistband of his pants and discharged the weapon between four and ten shots in the direction of the line of the students," according to a police statement. "The 'report' of the firearm was similar to that of a firearm that fires a projectile, thus placing the students in fear, according to statements. No students were physically injured as a result of the incident."

    Sheriff Newman said Dillow apparently borrowed the gun, which is not capable of shooting actual bullets, from another school department.

    The Washington County Sheriff's Office says the charges levied against Dillow are all class 6 felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine. Dillow has since been released on a $20,000 bond.

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