Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • Georgia town of Toomsboro up for sale; population: 700

    A map of Toomsboro, Ga. (Wikicommons)Two businessmen are looking to sell the small town of Toomsboro, Ga.

    And if you're one of the roughly 700 residents currently living in Toomsboro, you may be surprised to learn that one of those businessmen thinks your town might be better served as a Hollywood movie set.

    Several years ago, developer David Bumgardner bought up most of the town's businesses, which include a convenience store, florist and post office.

    The Coastal Courier reports that Bumgardner originally wanted to turn the 1.9-square-mile Toomsboro into a tourist stop. But now, Bumgardner is teaming up with local preservationist Bill Lucado to sell the entire town.

    The blog Southern Exposure posted several photos of Toomsboro back in 2009.

    Lucado tells the paper he thinks Toomsboro would be a "perfect fit" for a movie production company in need of a set location or a music company looking to build a new venue.

    Selling small towns is unusual but not unheard of. In March, it was announced that the entire town of Buford, Wyo., was being put up for sale by its sole resident. The 2000 U.S. census listed Toomsboro as having a population of 622.

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  • $195 million Sea Shadow stealth ship for sale, only $10,000 deposit required

    The $195 million Sea Shadow is up for sale. (U.S. Department of Defense)The U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has placed its famous Sea Shadow stealth ship up for auction. And while the high-tech military sea vessel cost more than $195 million to develop, its opening bid was for the relatively tiny sum of $50,000, with only a $10,000 deposit required.

    The Courier Mail reports that the ship was made famous to a broader audience when it served as the inspiration for the home of James Bond's villainous foil in the film "Tomorrow Never Dies."

    The General Services Administration auction for the ship is scheduled to end this Thursday, with the current bid at the time of publishing up to just over $100,000.

    However, before you begin finalizing your plans for global dominance, there is one major catch to the auction: The ship will be dismantled and reduced to scrap before being handed out to the auction's eventual winner.

    "The ex-Sea Shadow shall be disposed of by completely dismantling and scrapping within the USA," reads the item's description on the GSA website. "Dismantling is defined as reducing the property such as it has no value except for its basic material content."

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  • Six $1 million Powerball tickets sold at one Arizona gas station

    Six winning Powerball tickets worth $1 million each were purchased from a single Arizona gas station last week.

    KTVK reports that only one of the six tickets bought at the QuikTrip station has been redeemed so far. Last week, it was announced that there were eight $1 million winners in the Powerball drawing.

    "What we do know is that these were not Quick Pick tickets," said Arizona Lottery spokeswoman Karen Bach. "They were individually selected numbers on a play slip or, in this case, multiple play slips."

    There have been a number of incredible lottery stories in the news recently. And while none of these $1 million Powerball winners can compete with the record-breaking $656 million Mega Millions jackpot, the odds of having six winning tickets sold at just one location seem comparably staggering.

    Bach says the Arizona Lottery doesn't know if the other five winning tickets were purchased by one customer or if there are potentially five other individual winners still out there.

    "We can't speculate," Bach told KTVK. "We do not know who has those tickets in their possession. Until they redeem them we have no way of knowing."

    Regardless of who claims the tickets, the QuikTrip owner will receive a $30,000 prize of their own once all six winning tickets have been claimed.

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  • Man builds Star Wars themed ‘CAT-AT’ for friend’s forceful felines

    Man builds "CAT-AT" for his Star Wars loving friend (Billy Appletini/Reddit)

    In "The Empire Strikes Back," the Rebel Alliance has their secret base on the ice planet of Hoth attacked by AT-AT's: Giant, four-legged, mechanical walkers that rain down destructive laser attacks and whose armor is seemingly impervious to retaliatory efforts.

    32-years-later, one industrious Reddit user has created a replica version of the AT-AT that serves as a "furnished luxury cat condo" for his friend's two kitties. "My buddy loves Star Wars, and he has two cats," Reddit user BillyAppletini wrote. "So, I built him this, and put it in his apartment." More on the construction of the CAT-AT:

    "I wouldn't consider myself a great woodworker or an artist - but I will take credit for being committed to a joke. I wrecked my house for a month building this, which was about 27 days longer than I wish it would have taken. The trickiest part was keeping any of my friends from coming inside my place for that whole time - I knew they wouldn't be able to keep it a secret!"

    "I was originally going to forge an Amazon receipt and make it look like my buddy's cat ordered it on his Amazon account and have it delivered while he was at work, but enough was enough - when it was complete, I had to get it out of my loft and clean up."

    You can see more photos of the CAT-AT, including a view from inside the cat condo, after the jump.

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  • Newborn fawn naps on doorstep of California home (VIDEO)

    Photographer James Chang captured some delightful video of a newborn fawn resting on the doorstep of his parents' California home.

    At first, Chang was worried that the fawn was injured and called 9-1-1. He was told not to worry and to simply give the baby deer some space in case its mother was nearby.

    "I freaked out, because I thought it was hurt and needed help," Chang told KSBW News.

    But sure enough, after a short amount of time, Change noticed the fawn's mother eating grass across the street. Chang's own mother told the Today Show the adult deer eventually walked across the street and gently "nudged" her fawn, who then slowly rose to its feet and began its "newborn wobbly walk" back into the wilderness.

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  • ‘Real life Barbie’ stirs debate over cosmetic surgery

    Do Barbie dolls create unrealistic expectations for young women? (Valeria Lukyanova/Tumblr)A recent article about 21-year-old Ukrainian model Valeria Lukyanova has caused an uproar across the Internet, as people debate whether or not the "real life Barbie" achieved her appearance through cosmetic surgery. It has also stoked a larger debate over whether or not excessive pressure is placed on young women by the media and popular culture to fit within a certain cosmetic mold.

    Lukyanova's Tumblr account features some pictures of the model without cosmetics, but in most of the photos she appears to be wearing a lot of makeup. In addition, several readers are questioning whether the photos have been altered, and there's speculation as to whether Lukyanova underwent extensive plastic surgery at such a young age to get her look.

    So, are young women really altering their bodies in an attempt to look like Barbie?

    Writing for Discovery News, Benjamin Radford says "little research" has actually been done on whether girls actually look up to Barbie as a physical ideal. Radford cites an article from the journal Adolescence, in which authors Tara Kuther and Erin McDonald write that, "the extant literature about Barbie dolls tends to be opinionated and based on essays and popular media articles" rather than actual scientific research and analysis.

    In fact, Radford points to a 1995 British study, which found that young girls are actually fond of "torturing" and destroying their Barbie dolls, seeing them as disposable toys rather than a real-life approximation of feminine beauty.

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  • Bear falls safely from tree after police tranquilized it (PHOTO)

    A young bear is seen falling from a tree after being tranquilized. (Andy Duann/CU Independent)

    In a truly memorable moment, a bear can be seen falling from a tree after being tranquilized by police in Colorado.

    The young bear, estimated to weigh between 150 and 200 pounds, had wandered onto the University of Colorado at Boulder campus and climbed into a tree, according to the CU Independent, which captured the stunning image.

    "[The bear] was tranquilized by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department and it fell onto some mats that the Rec Center provided," CU Police Department spokesman Ryan Huff told the paper. "It is now in a cage and it will be relocated at a higher elevation."

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  • Woman allegedly calls in bomb threat over $14 electric bill

    Deidra Reed is facing a felony charge after allegedly threatening to blow up Oklahoma Gas & Electric over a $14 utility bill.

    "I remember flipping out, but I don't really remember what was said," Reed told local TV affiliate News9.

    According to an OG&E employee who has agreed to testify against her, Reed reportedly called the electric company and said, "I am going to blow OG&E up 'cause y'all are charging me for electric I haven't used."

    In her interview with News9, Reed is wearing a T-shirt that reads, "I [Love] Haters."

    "The detective actually told me he heard [the call in question], so I can't really argue with it if it's me," Reed told the station.

    "I don't have a criminal record," Reed said. "I'm struggling to pay $40 a month for rent. How the hell am I [going] to buy some bomb equipment? I don't have [the] know how to make a bomb."

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  • Marines discharge sergeant who criticized President Obama on Facebook

    The Marines announced they are discharging Sgt. Gary Stein after the 9-year veteran used his Facebook account to criticize President Obama.

    "I love the Marine Corps, I love my job. I wish it wouldn't have gone this way. I'm having a hard time seeing how 15 words on Facebook could have ruined my nine-year career," Stein told the AP.

    Stein will receive an other-than-honorable discharge (OTH), which means he will lose most of his post-service military benefits, the Corps said. In addition, the OTH discharge means Stein will not be eligible to re-enlist in any other branch of the armed forces.

    The story has ignited a debate over the First Amendment rights of men and women serving in the military.

    Stein said he was only exercising his constitutional rights to free speech on March 1 when he wrote on a Facebook page designated for Marine meteorologists, "Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him."

    Though Stein amended his original post to say he would only refuse to follow any "unlawful" orders, he reportedly resisted offers from the Corps to retract his statement.

    "The Marine Corps gave him the opportunity to think about his actions, yet Sgt. Stein continued to undermine the chain of command," said former Army colonel and military prosecutor Tom Umberg.

    Umberg was not directly involved in Stein's case but said he believes his behavior was deliberate.

    "I think his purpose was to leave the Marine Corps in a dramatic fashion in order to begin a career in talk radio or what have you."

    Stein's attorney Gary Kreep, who also serves as executive director of the United States Justice Foundation, said he would pursue administrative appeals within the Marine Corps.

    "As long as he wants to pursue this, we will be supporting him," Kreep said.

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  • ‘Polite’ burglar offers to trade items with people he robbed

    Travis Foreman discusses the "polite burglar" who broke into his home. (Image:

    Hours after breaking into a Washington State home, a burglar dialed up the victimized homeowners' cousin, asking if he could stop by to swap some of the stolen items for a few personal items he'd left behind.

    KOMO News reports that the only thing the alleged burglar asked in return from the homeowners was that they not call the police to report the actual crime.

    "It's very unusual," Sgt. Kevin Crane of the Bremerton Police Department told KOMO. "I've never seen this happen before where a burglar contacts the victim trying to make a deal to exchange things he left behind for some of the items he stole from the victims."

    Earlier on Tuesday, the burglar had fled the scene of the crime after he broke into the residence only to find one of the occupants, a former Marine, was at home and holding a gun. "Get out! I have a gun!" Travis Forman allegedly said, according to KIRO TV.

    The robber, Shane Jackman, reportedly said, "Yes, sir!" before running away.

    Among the items left behind in the robbery were papers identifying the alleged burglar by name. After realizing he'd left behind some of his own items at the scene of the crime, Jackman then used a cell phone he'd stolen from the house to call Foreman's brother in California.

    "He says, 'Hey, I got the guy on the line that apparently stole your stuff. He said he's crying, he's distraught and says he wants to give your stuff back,'" Foreman told KIRO.

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