Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • The dream app: Site says it wants to change the way we think about sleep

    The curators of DreamsCloud say analyzing your dreams is like training a muscle (DreamsCloud)

    The average person will spend five years of life dreaming — that’s more than 100,000 dreams over a 70-year lifetime. Still, not many of us spend more than a few passing moments reflecting on what those nightly dreams say about our waking life.

    But would you give them more credence if you could get free feedback from licensed psychologists and other dream experts?

    The curators behind DreamsCloud says dreams are the world’s common language, and they’ve got some evidence to support it: Hundreds of thousands of users already have shared their personal dreams across the site and its mobile app.

    Here’s how the site works: You upload a description of your dream to the site or mobile app and within 24 hours you receive a “reflection,” i.e. analysis, of your dream from the DreamsCloud team of experts.

    “We believe that the social media platform can be used to communicate, interact and help society better understand their dreams,” DreamsCloud Chairman and co-founder Jean-Marc Emden told Yahoo

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  • Details surrounding LAX shooter beginning to emerge; charged with murdering a federal officer

    Paul Anthony Ciancia in an undate photo provided by the FBI (Yahoo News)

    Paul Anthony Ciancia, the 23-year-old man accused of opening fire inside one of the nation’s largest airports on Friday, was reportedly angry at the government and told his family he was prepared to die.

    U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said that Ciancia entered Los Angeles International Airport on Friday morning carrying a .223-caliber M&P-15 assault rifle and an estimated 150 rounds of ammunition.

    His shooting spree resulted in the first-ever death of a Transportation Security Administration officer, 39-year-old Gerardo I. Hernandez. Five others were wounded in the incident before Ciancia himself was repeatedly shot and then apprehended by law enforcement.

    Birotte said that Ciancia has been charged with murdering a federal officer and commission of violence in an international airport, both felonies.

    "He looked at me and asked, 'TSA?' I shook my head no, and he continued on down toward the gate, eye witness Leon Saryan, 65, said of his encounter with Ciancia. “He had his gun at the

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  • New book details how Obama questioned his own ability to win re-election

    President Obama reportedly struggled after a subpar debate against Mitt Romney. (AP)

    After President Barack Obama’s mediocre first debate performance against Mitt Romney in 2012, he reportedly told advisers, “I just don’t know if I can do this,” when they urged him to turn around his re-election campaign.

    In “Double Down,” journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann say that Obama followed up his presidential debate by conducting a “dismal” mock debate with then-Sen. John Kerry.

    “If we don’t fix this, we could lose the whole f------ election,” Obama adviser David Plouffe reportedly said following the mock debate.

    Obama’s advisers attempted to shift his tone and approach in advance of the second presidential debate, leading Obama to respond, “I can’t tell you that ‘Okay, I woke up today, I knew I needed to do better, and I’ll do better.’ I am wired in a different way than this event requires. … I just don’t know if I can do this.”

    For her part, Michelle Obama reportedly did not suffer from the same reservations as her husband, telling a group of female Obama campaign

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  • TSA agent killed in LAX shooting, suspect ID'd

    A Transportation Security Administration agent was killed and several more people wounded when a gunman opened fire on Friday morning at Los Angeles International Airport.

    The FBI has identified the shooting suspect as 23-year-old Paul Ciancia. According to law enforcement officials, Ciancia was apprehended on the scene after opening fire at an airport security checkpoint. The TSA officer killed in the attack has been identified as 39-year-old Gerardo I. Hernandez.

    Ciancia reportedly suffered a non-lethal gunshot wound and is being treated in a local hospital.

    Personal details about Ciancia are still emerging. According to public records obtained by Yahoo News, Ciancia has a known address in Pennsville, N.J., about 15 miles from Wilmington, Del. The AP said Ciancia had contacted his brother by text message on Friday saying he was considering suicide. Additional reports indicate when Ciancia was detained by law enforcement he was carrying literature critical of the federal government and

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  • New book says Obama team considered Hillary Clinton as replacement for Biden on 2012 ticket

    A new book claims that President Barack Obama’s advisers explored the possibility of replacing Vice President Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton on the president’s re-election ticket.

    Excerpts from “Double Down,” by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, add to rumors going back to shortly after Democrats took an electoral beating in the 2010 midterm elections.

    Obama advisers, led by then-White House chief of staff William M. Daley, reportedly conducted “extensive focus groups” and polling well into 2011. However neither Biden nor Obama were actually part of these conversations, according to the book.

    For his part, Daley confirms his role, but he says it was only “due diligence” and never advanced beyond standard research.

    “I was vocal about looking into a whole bunch of things, and this was one of them,” Daley told The New York Times. “You have to remember, at that point the president was in awful shape, so we were like, ‘Holy Christ, what do we do?′”

    In an interview on "CBS This Morning," Daley

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  • You can now take a zombie-themed diver certification course

    No one is safe from the zombie apocalypse ― even underwater. (Woody Tinsley)

    Zombies are everywhere these days ― even underwater.

    From the premiere of George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968 up through “The Walking Dead” of today, the question has been asked time and again, “What would you do if the zombie apocalypse became a reality?”

    PADI master diving instructor Woody Tinsley has helped add another layer to the zombie mythology by offering scuba divers the opportunity to navigate the water while simultaneously fending off the undead in his Zombie Apocalypse Diver course.

    “I cease to be an instructor and take on the role of a leader of a group of survivors trying to escape the zombie apocalypse,” Tinsley told Yahoo News in an interview from central Connecticut where the course takes place. “We cover areas like supply gathering, fishing and medical first aid.”

    Tinsley has been using the PADI system of diver certification for years but says he came up with the unique course after he and some friends challenged themselves to come up with new and

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  • Could this barge be home to Google's next big operation? (KPIX 5/CBS San Francisco)

    A 250-foot long barge with four stories of shipping containers floating in the waters of the San Francisco Bay may actually be the home of Google’s next big marketing push.

    KPIX 5 reports that several experts close to local government authorities that oversee such operations say that the barge is likely home to a major marketing effort, a “kind of giant Apple Store,” in support of Google Glass.

    The barge itself is reportedly referred to as “the secret project” by locals, with the shipping containers largely concealed under a bed of black netting.

    The theory goes that upon completion, Google will pull the barge up to San Francisco’s Fort Mason, where the floating data center would then become open to the public. For it’s part, Google has declined to comment on the speculation.

    CNET agrees with the speculation, pointing out that Google obtained a patent for such an operation in 2009 . But why a floating data-center? They say the water provided a natural cooling center for a massive

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  • Jack Daniel's takes on tiny distillery over label dispute

    The world’s best-selling whiskey maker is accusing a tiny distillery of getting too close for Southern comfort.

    On Friday, Jack Daniel's filed legal actions against Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey. The owner of the Jack Daniel's trademark (Brown-Forman Corp.) said the square shape and lettering on the Popcorn Sutton bottle is "confusingly similar" to that of the larger brand’s familiar logo.

    "Defendants' use of the new Popcorn Sutton's trade dress in connection with their Tennessee white whiskey is likely to cause purchasers and prospective purchasers of the product to believe mistakenly that it is a new Tennessee white whiskey product in the Jack Daniel's line," reads an excerpt from the lawsuit obtained by The Associated Press.

    "We've taken action against many individuals and companies all over the world for infringing in the Jack Daniel's trademark," Brown-Forman spokesman Phil Lynch told the AP. "We are vigorous in our defense of all our trademarks, and especially Jack

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  • Watch an enormous 200,000-mile canyon fire race across the sun (VIDEO)

    NASA has compiled a new video showing a 200,000-mile-long “fire” as it rips across the surface of the sun in dramatic fashion.

    The eruption is actually a magnetic filament of solar material that erupted across the atmosphere of the sun back in September. The resulting corona appears to be a giant canyon of flames.

    NASA physicist David Hathaway explained in an interview with Space Weather that a magnetic filament actually contains cool, dense gas that is suspended above the surface of the sun.

    "When you look down on top of them they appear dark because the gas inside is cool compared to the hot photosphere below,” Hathaway said. “But when we see a filament in profile against the dark sky it looks like a giant glowing loop -- these are called prominences and they can be spectacular."

    As NASA explained on their Goddard Space Flight Center YouTube page, “In reality, the sun is not made of fire, but of something called plasma: particles so hot that their electrons have boiled off, creating

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  • Things you probably didn’t know about Ted Cruz: From avocados to ‘The Princess Bride’

    Ted Cruz is a man of diverse tastes (Yahoo News/original image AP)

    Love him or hate him, it’s safe to say Ted Cruz is currently the most compelling figure in U.S. politics today.

    The first-term Texas senator led the Republican charge against Obamacare that resulted in a 16-day government shutdown and ignited the passions of millions. And if political insiders are to be believed, Cruz is already gearing up to run for president in 2016.

    But for someone who has wielded so much influence in such little time, most people know very little about Cruz as a person.

    A few publications are aiming to change that. On Thursday, Cruz sat down with the Des Moines Register for a Q&A and revealed a few facts about himself:

    His dream job: “I’d love to be the starting point guard for the Houston Rockets, and I’m confident that there is no universe in which that will ever come to pass.”

    Favorite movie: A self-described “huge movie buff,” Cruz says his favorite movie is 1987’s “The Princess Bride.” And that revelation led to a series of very obvious Internet references to

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