Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • Paralyzed snowmobile rider makes trip to South Pole

    A Nevada man who was paralyzed in a 2010 snowmobiling accident has successfully reached the South Pole on a modified "sit-ski." Grant Korgan, 33, traveled 75 miles through sub-zero temperatures to reach his destination, done in part to mark the 100th anniversary of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition.

    "Although my body has been broken, my spirit never will be. I am unbreakable!" Korgan said in a statement posted on the crew's Web site.

    Over the past year, Korgan trained with a team on practice missions in Alaska, Norway, Lake Tahoe and South American, according to the Associated Press. The South Pole trip was arranged to help raise money for the High Fives Foundation, which helps injured winter athletes reintegrate back into their chosen sport. The group is also supporting the Reeve Irvine Research Center, which studies repair, regeneration and recovery from spinal cord injuries.

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  • NYC police developing “electronic frisking” device

    The Department of Defense and the New York Police Department (NYPD) are developing a remote controlled device that could detect if individuals are carrying concealed firearms or explosives.

    In this video, Fox News looks at the device, which can see through clothes, backpacks and even walls. The "electronic frisking" device uses electromagnetic energy waves and terahertz that bounce of metallic objects, sending back an image of suspected guns and explosives.

    Although the current range of the electronic frisking device is limited, developers are working to expand its reach to 75 feet, meaning police could begin electronically scanning citizens without their knowledge or consent. That possibility has raised concerns with civil libertarians like NYCLU's Donna Lieberman, who told Fox:

    "Of course it's worrisome because it implicates privacy when the police department tells us that anytime we walk down the street we're going to be subject to a virtual pat down even though we're not suspected of doing anything wrong.

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  • Florida police officers paid to drink alcohol, eat Doritos on the job

    The "Intoxilyzer 8000"The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has fallen under scrutiny for paying several employees to drink alcohol on the job in order to test a breathalyzer.

    Last October, the department allocated $300 for Jim Beam whiskey, Doritos and drink mixers. The Herald Tribune reports that it was part of an effort to preserve the embattled "Intoxilyzer 8000" from being phased out. 15 law enforcement employees were then invited to department headquarters in Tallahassee to drink and eat on the job.

    The department set up a video camera to record the events, while FDLE crime analysts, staff assistants and Capitol Police officers drank. Blood tests were then taken and sent to a local lab with a total price tag of $8,000 for the effort.

    FDLE's Laura Barfield then appeared in a Sarasota County courtroom hearing to present the test results as evidence that the Intoxilyzer results were accurate.

    However, it's unclear whether the test results will even be accepted. "That doesn't really address the

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  • Pet dog saves two children from deadly snake

    River the dog, with Michelle and KayleeAn Australian family's dog is being called a hero after it rescued two young girls from a snake attack.

    18-month-old River spotted a two-foot-long brown snake hiding under a children's swing just as 7-year-old Michelle Lynch and 2-year-old Kaylee were headed its way. The brown snake is considered the second-most deadly land snake, whose venom is strong enough to easily kill an adult human.

    "Michelle loves River, and River loves Michelle. Kaylee thinks that River is a fantastic toy," said Ben Lynch.

    The snake reared its head at the two girls, ready to attack, when River jumped to their defense.

    "River came bursting out and jumped on the snake," Michelle Lynch said of her rescuer. Unfortunately, River was bitten in the attack and began to suffer from paralysis a few hours later. The Lynch family took River to the vet, where he is receiving anti-venom and is expected to make a full recovery.

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  • Video: Woman ok after bite from zebra during Texas safari visit

    The hungry zebra moves in for a snack

    In this video, a young woman named Megan is bitten by a zebra while on a visit to a Texas wildlife safari.

    Obviously caught off guard, Megan screams and appears very upset over the attack. Thankfully, Megan doesn't appear seriously injured and can even be seen laughing during the final seconds of the video. Zebras are herbivores, so it appears that the Zebra was going for Megan's potato chips, not Megan herself. Still it's a good reminder that you shouldn't leave your windows open while on a wildlife safari, particularly not when you're looking away from the window and eating food.

    Though it hasn't been officially confirmed, the video appears to have been taken at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in San Antonio, Texas. Their homepage even features a zebra bearing its teeth with a park gift card wedged between its jaws. Of course, it's all done in jest:

    Another YouTube had a far less traumatizing experience at the ranch, even mocking the behavior of the zebras in her video:

    Other

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  • Plane passengers accidentally told they are about to crash into ocean

    British Airways has an "oops" momentPassengers aboard a trans-Atlantic British Airways flight were startled when a recorded message was accidentally triggered at 3am, telling them their flight was about to crash into the ocean.

    "We were about three hours into the flight when an automated message came over saying, 'This is an emergency. We will shortly be making an emergency landing on water,'" flight passenger Duncan Farquharson told the Daily Mail.

    The automated message, which began while the plane was at about 35,000 feet in the air during its voyage from Miami to London, apparently was triggered when one of the plane's pilots accidentally bumped it in the cockpit's tight quarters.

    Farquharson says the passengers then braced for the worst, assuming they were all about to die. "We looked at each other and figured we were both about to die," Farquharson said. "Families with children were distraught and people were in tears. It was very distressing."

    Another passenger, Michelle Lord, told the Telegraph: "People were terrified, we all thought we were going to die. They said the pilot hit the wrong button because they were so close together."

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  • Fake iPad 2s made of clay sold at Canadian stores

    One of the clay tablets sold to an unwitting customer as an iPad 2As many as 10 fake iPad 2s, all made of slabs of modeling clay, were recently sold at electronic stores in Vancouver, British Columbia. Best Buy and Future Shop have launched investigations into how the scam was pulled off.

    The tablet computers, like most Apple products, are known for their sleek and simple designs. But there's no mistaking the iPad for one of the world's oldest "tablet devices." Still, most electronic products cannot be returned to stores. For the the stores and customers to be fooled by the clay replacements, the thieves must have successfully weighed out the clay portions and resealed the original Apple packaging.

    Future Shop spokesman Elliott Chun told CTV that individuals bought the iPads with cash, replaced them with the model clay, then returned the packages to the stores. The returned fakes were restocked on the shelve and sold to new, unwitting customers.

    "Customers don't expect to receive this kind of product from Future Shop, so it's a very serious matter and something we are addressing right away for anyone who has been impacted," Chun told CTV British Columbia.  "It really saddens Future Shop that people stoop to be this opportunistic and make money in this kind of organized way."

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  • Russia doesn’t know where Mars probe crashed

    Two days after a failed Mars moon probe re-entered Earth's orbit, Russian officials admit they don't know exactly where it crashed.

    On Sunday, it was reported by several news agencies that parts of the craft had fallen into the Pacific Ocean. But now, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin tells the AP that the information was based on "calculations" and that there aren't any actual eye witness accounts of the debris landing.

    The unmanned probe was carrying toxic fuel that was expected to disintegrate upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere along with most of the craft itself. The Phobos-Ground probe was originally intended to travel to one of Mars' twin moons (Phobos), collect soil samples and then fly back to Earth in 2014. The ambitious project fell short when the probe never made it out of Earth's orbit, where it had been stuck for the past two months.

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  • Video: Lionel Richie’s “Hello” reimagined as movie montage

    In the video clip below, Lionel Richie's 1984 number one hit "Hello" is reinterpreted using clips from some classic and infamous movies.

    The montage uses the backing music from Richie's song and recreates the vocals using clips from films and actors like Back to the Future, Toy Story, Elvis Presley, Woody Allen, Tom Cruise and ending with a hilarious exchange between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone from Total Recall.

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  • Principal Ted HorrellA high school principal in Tennessee issued a letter of apology to students and parents after publicly saying his school's black students were "less smart" after scoring lower than other students on recent academic tests.

    "The hope was we would share with the students, this is where we are as a school," Principal Ted Horrell said. Local affiliate WREG reported that Horrell took the unusual step of sharing the school's test scores in a live forum with the students. There were reports that black students were taunted after the assembly.

    "[My daughter] felt he presented this information to basically reflect the African-American students were all the reason the scores were down," Germantown High parent Deborah Cannon told WREG.

    In his apology letter, Horrell wrote, "I unintentionally offended a number of students on this campus. I apologize to all the students and parents who were offended."

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