Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • Malty Cyrus ‘We Can Bark’ (VIDEO)

    If you’re one of the nearly 50,000,000 people who have clicked on the Miley Cyrus video for “We Can’t Stop,” then you’re well prepared for this new parody video from The Pet Collective.

    And even if you haven’t taken in the source material, rest assured, “We Can Bark” features dogs in slow motion, dogs diving into swimming pools and dogs napping. In other words, it’s a hit!

    “Maltey and her friends party all day, then bark all day and all night,” the Pet Collective told Yahoo! News. “They're living the doggie dream life, laying in the sun, swimming in the pool and dancing anytime they want!”

    What do you think? Can Malty Cyrus compete with Corgi Rae’s four million plus YouTube hit? It may be a pet’s world but there can be only one top dog. Though there’s always room for more keyboard playing cats.

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  • Harvested seaweed could help protect Texas shoreline against future hurricanes

    Seaweed could provide a natural defense against future hurricane damage (WikiCommons)Texas officials are hoping that the harvesting of seaweed might actually help protect the city of Galveston from hurricanes.

    In 1900, Galveston was a booming metropolis and arguably one of the more important cities in the United States. But a massive hurricane submerged the city, killing about 6,000 people on its way to becoming the greatest natural disaster in American history.

    And now, the Galveston Park board of trustees has agreed to invest about $140,000 on a project that will use harvested seaweed to strengthen sand dunes so that they can better withstand the impact of future storms.

    "It's part of our ecosystem, so any kind of beneficial use we can find for that material would be highly advantageous, both from an environmental and management standpoint, to make sure our beaches are clean and enjoyable for all of our beachgoers," board executive director Kelly de Schaun told the Houston Chronicle.

    Over the years, the natural sand dunes along Galveston’s shoreline have eroded,

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  • Man catches 200-year-old, 40-pound fish

    Henry Liebman holds his record-setting rockfish (AP)A fisherman in Alaska took home a catch for the ages recently when he reeled in a 40-pound shortraker rockfish that experts believe is at least 200 years old.

    The Daily Sitka Sentinel reported that Henry Liebman of Seattle was deep-sea fishing off the coast of Alaska on June 21 when he hooked the record-setting shortraker fish from a depth of approximately 900 feet.

    “I knew it was abnormally big (but I) didn’t know it was a record until on the way back we looked in the Alaska guide book that was on the boat,” Liebman told the paper.

    Shortrakers, which have hues of orange, pink or red on top of their white bodies, are one of the most commonly sought fish in Alaska and can live at depths of more than 2,500 feet.

    Troy Tidingco, Sitka area manager for the state Department of Fish and Game, said the fish is still being analyzed but he believes it is at least 200 years old. Tidingco said that would beat the current record of 175 years. Researchers are able to determine the age of a

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  • ‘Star Wars’ fans’ short film to air as national TV commercial

    The "Star Wars" saga is so ingrained in our collective consciousness that even a potato chip container is enough to spawn some hilarious and impressive fan films.

    A few months ago, Pringles potato chips and Lucasfilm asked fans to create an original short film set in the Star Wars universe using the snack food as a centerpiece.

    “We looked for creativity that was rooted in a deep appreciation of the 'Star Wars' movies and the characters—references and details that could only come from a fan, and that could best be appreciated by other fans,” Lucasfilm’s Global Integrated Promotions Manager Kelli Martin told Yahoo News.

    Now, many "Star Wars" fans will roll their eyes at the idea of using their beloved franchise to sell potato chips. And to be sure, the theme has been worn thin in recent years. Nearly everyone with an Internet connection has their own take—a Yoda pun here, a Darth Vader reference there. There’s so much "Star Wars" shoved in our faces these days that it’s hard for

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  • Archive reveals early 1900s aerial photography of U.S. cities

    Ruins of San Francisco, Nob Hill in foreground, from Lawrence Captive Airship, 1500 feet elevation, May 29, 1906. (George R. Lawrence/Library of Congress)Ruins of San Francisco, Nob Hill in foreground, from Lawrence Captive Airship, 1500 feet elevation, May 29, 1906. (George R. Lawrence/Library of Congress)
    A number of panoramic photographs from more than 100 years ago shows how one man’s creative thinking helped influence photography—especially aerial photography.

    In 1893, photographer George R. Lawrence inherited a camera studio and launched his new company with the motto, “The Hitherto Impossible in Photography is Our Specialty."

    Lawrence was particularly interested in aerial photography, according to the Library of Congress, and in 1901 he began using a series of creative approaches that eventually led to capturing images from thousands of feet above Earth.

    Lawrence first turned to wooden ladders, but he wanted to go higher, so he started using balloons to get his unique photographs. Airplanes were not an option, because it was still more than two years before the Wright Brothers' maiden flight in 1903.

    The high-flying innovator would travel the skies above communities across the United States to capture images of developing cities.

    A 1909 photograph showing Atlantic City from 800 feet in the air (Library of Congress)

    A near-death experience inspired Lawrence to move

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  • Saturn Awards honor year’s best in genre entertainment

    Creatures from across the galaxy attended this year's Saturn Awards. (Saturn Awards)

    You might not know about the Saturn Awards, much less that they were first given out in 1972 as a way to honor achievements in sci-fi fantasy and horror—genres that often were overlooked and underappreciated by mainstream critics.

    But the 39th Saturn Awards ceremony on Wednesday night in Burbank, Calif., showed just how far genre fare has come. While the red carpet featured such eclectic stars as Ewok and R2-D2, mingling in the crowd were Oscar-winning directors William Friedkin and Quentin Tarantino and actor Bryan Cranston.

    More importantly, some of the night's biggest winners are widely considered among the best in entertainment, period, including Marvel’s "The Avengers" and AMC’s "Breaking Bad."

    "Genre films make money now," Joss Whedon, director and writer of "The Avengers," told Yahoo News before the ceremony. "But we still need events like this. Otherwise, a lot of the accomplishments go overlooked.”

    The celebratory night, however, began on a somber note with a tribute to

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  • Own a tablet? You probably think you know more than your friends

    A new poll suggests that owning a tablet computer affects a person's self-perception (Reuters)Own a tablet? Well, this story might be old news to you. Then again, you might be lying.

    A majority of Americans think they are smarter and better informed than their peers. But the number who hold themselves in higher regard swells among those individuals who use a tablet such as an iPad or Kindle, according to results of a study conducted by Wakefield Research for Next Issue Media that were provided to Yahoo News for an early peek.

    “Owning a tablet may be one way to boost your news-confidence,” or so says the study on news consumption and habits that is scheduled for release late Wednesday.

    Fifty-six percent of all those surveyed believe they are more knowledgeable about current events than their friends. However, there was a significant spike in that feeling among tablet users, with 69 percent saying they believe themselves to be more knowledgeable than those around them.

    And apparently there’s pressure with always being right. A majority of tablet owners in the same survey, 52

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  • Giraffe chases Jeep during South African safari

    A group of friends on safari in South Africa had a startling surprise when a wild giraffe began chasing their Jeep. The high-speed chase went on for several miles before one of the passengers screamed at the giraffe and banged her hands on the side of the vehicle. The giraffe, standing at well over 10-feet-tall, then turned around and went on its way.

    On YouTube, Henk Roos described what happened to his group of friends:

    “After an amazing wedding we went on a game drive and a hormonal Giraffe started to chase our jeep,” he wrote. “After about 5km of being chased I started recording the chase on my phone. You can see how he gets closer and closer after every turn. We started to run out of road and the ranger banged on the side of the jeep to scare him off. We started to make a noise and he stopped.”

    Responding to one of the video viewers, Roos said the giraffe suddenly became aggressive and was “hormonal.” This has elicited several negative comments in response, but in fact does make

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  • New Jersey man falls into coma, wakes up in Poland

    In March, Jacinto Rodrieguez found himself deported to Mexico after falling unconscious in an Iowa hospital. (AP)Sixty-nine-year-old Wladyslaw Haniszewski had lived in the U.S. for about 30 years. But when the New Jersey resident fell into a coma he awoke to find himself in his native country of Poland.

    The New York Daily News reports that Haniszewski fell victim to a growing phenomenon in which uninsured immigrants are deported by U.S. hospitals that do not want to get stuck paying for their treatment.

    “Imagine being carted around like a sack of potatoes," said Polish Consul General Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, who argues that Haniszewski was placed on a chartered flight while still unconscious, never giving his consent to being shipped to a hospital in a country he had not lived in for decades.

    The practice of medical repatriation has reportedly become increasingly common. One immigration advocacy group told The Associated Press in April that it has documented at least 800 cases of individuals being deported from hospitals without consent over the past six years in at least 15 states. However, the

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  • Some anti-cigarette ads can trigger desire to smoke: Study

    A weak message in anti-smoking ads may actually trigger viewers to smoke. (AP)

    A new study finds that some anti-cigarette messages in public service announcements have an unintended result: They trigger viewers' desire to smoke.

    The findings were published in the most recent issue of Media Psychology.

    Certain "scenes portraying smoking objects or behaviors can be helpful by making antismoking PSAs more relevant and engaging the target audience,” write the study’s authors, Sungkyoung Lee, Ph.D., and Joseph N. Cappella, Ph.D., of the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.

    “However, inclusion of such images can [sometimes] distract viewers from processing audio and non-cue visuals, which are often the most important content audiences need to take away.”

    The key, the authors write, is whether the anti-smoking message is powerful enough to capture the viewer’s attention. In such cases, the images of smokers will reinforce the notion that cigarettes are harmful. But when the anti-smoking

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