Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • Cat named ‘Tuxedo Stan’ running for mayor of Halifax, Canada

    Could Tuxedo Stan be the next mayor of Halifax? (Twitter)Halifax, Canada, may no longer be a real city, but it's attracting international headlines.

    That's because a third-party candidate running for mayor of the regional municipality has a lot going for him: He's elegantly dressed, he has a clear platform and he's popular in the polls. Oh, and he's a cat.

    "Tuxedo Stan," an adorable black-and-white cat, is head of his own political party, "The Tuxedo Party," whose platform is to improve the general welfare of cats in the area, "because neglect isn't working," according to the cat's Facebook page.Some of Stan's supporters showed up to support him at the mayoral debate (Facebook)

    And Stan seems to be connecting with potential voters, with more than 55 percent of respondents in a recent CBC News online poll saying they would consider voting for him.

    The ambitious feline does face an uphill climb. For instance, his nonhuman status prevents him from appearing on official ballots. Nonetheless, Stan has caught the attention of his two-legged competition, including fellow mayoral candidate Waye Mason, who wrote on Twitter, "I'm

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  • Florida grandfather wrestles gator to save pet dog

    Steve Gustafson wrestled an alligator like the one seen in this photo to save his pet dog (Yahoo! contributor network)A 66-year-old retired corporate lawyer in Florida jumped on top of a 7-foot alligator  all in an attempt to save his "best friend," a small terrier dog named Bounce.

    "I just knew that my best friend was going to be dead," Steve Gustafson told the Orlando Sentinel. "And I took off."

    The grandfather was hanging out in his backyard of his home at The Villages, a retirement community near Orlando, while the 9-year-old West Highland terrier wandered close to the shore of a nearby pond.

    That's when Gustafson said he heard Bounce yelp and saw the alligator carrying his dog away in its mouth.

    "For whatever reason, I don't know, I just yelled, 'you're not going to get her!' and just leaped on the gator…just like you do some silly belly flop in a pool," Gustafson told the paper. "The only difference was I landed on top of a gator."

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  • Ori Feibush sits outside his coffee shop. (Steven M. Falk/Daily News)A business developer in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Point Breeze is facing legal action after voluntarily cleaning up more than 40 tons of trash from a vacant lot neighboring his local business.

    As the old adage goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Ori Feibush says he visited the local offices of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority four times, sent in seven written requests and made 24 phone calls to the agency asking them to take care of a major eyesore: an empty lot next to his coffee shop was home to more than 40 tons of debris.

    Not only did the agency fail to act but it also denied Feibush's offer to clean up the mess himself.

    But the Daily News reports that Feibush went ahead with his plans anyway, reportedly spending more than $20,000 of his own money not only to remove the trash but also to level the soil; add cherry trees, fencing and park benches; and repave the sidewalk.

    "This was a lot of garbage," local resident Elaine McGrath told the paper. "Now it's gorgeous. I'm excited."

    However, the city agency was less excited, demanding that Feibush return the vacant lot to its previous condition and saying it is considering legal action against him.

    "Like any property owner, [the authority] does not permit unauthorized access to or alteration of its property," Paul D. Chrystie, director of communications at the Office of Housing and Community Development told the paper. "This is both on principle (no property owner knowingly allows trespassing) and to limit taxpayer liability."

    And the situation is not without irony. Feibush says he received a citation in August 2011 from the city for litter on the same lot that the city now points out is not his property.

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  • Have bacon will travel: on the road with the ‘bacon barter’ guy

    Josh Sankey posing with the Voss family during his "bacon barter" journey. (Instagram)Last week, we told you about comedian and actor Josh Sankey, who is attempting to travel the country using only bacon to pay for his lodging and meals along the way.

    Yahoo News caught up with Sankey midway through his journey, where Sankey was "living the life" in a local mansion, where he had just traded 50 packages of Oscar Mayer's Butcher Cut bacon for a night in the lap of luxury.

    "I've still got about 2,000 pounds of bacon left," Sankey, 37, said in a phone interview with Yahoo News. "I doubt we'll have much left at the end, but we're planning to cook it all up at a big party in Los Angeles."

    New Jersey native Sankey is scheduled to complete his cross-country "bacon barter" adventure next week, arriving in Los Angeles on September 23. His voyage began when he left New York, not knowing where he would be sleeping that night.

    "That first night we pulled into Maryland at three in the morning, and I started to wonder if this was such a good idea," Sankey said with a laugh. "But some

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  • Death row inmate says he’s too overweight to be executed

    Attorneys for Ronald Post say he is too overweight to be executed (Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Corrections)Lawyers for a 480-pound death row inmate in Ohio say their client is too overweight to be put to death.

    "Indeed, given his unique physical and medical condition there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain to him, as well as an execution involving a torturous and lingering death," reads the filing made on behalf of Ronald Post, 53, who was convicted of shooting to death hotel clerk Helen Vantz 29 years ago.

    Post, who is set to be executed by lethal injection on January 16, 2013, says that his executioners would encounter several problems, including difficulty finding a viable vein for injection and the likelihood that with his unusual weight he would break any gurney used in the process.

    The Ohio prison system relies on lethal injection in cases resulting in execution.

    Ohio is tied nationally with Kansas for the 13th highest obesity rate in the country, with 29.6 percent of its residents listed as overweight.

    However, in a statement, Post's federal public defender, Joseph Wilhelm, said the confession used to convict his client was also exaggerated.

    "Post's case is about more than his weight, and his life should be spared for reasons wholly unrelated to his obesity," the statement reads.

    The Associated Press reports that this is not the first case in which a death row inmate has attempted to use his weight to escape execution.

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  • Judge jails woman who refused to delete Facebook account

    Paula Asher in court over her Facebook page ( Kentucky woman who was issued a DUI after she caused a car accident with four teenagers is being sent back to jail after a judge ordered her to delete her Facebook page.

    Local NBC affiliate WAVE3 reports that Paula Asher wrote a dismissive status update to her Facebook page after the accident, stating, "My dumb (expletive) got a dui and I hit a car…lol."

    Asher was allegedly under the influence at the time of the accident and fled the scene before police arrived.

    The parents of the four teens injured in the crash asked District Judge Mary Jane Phelps to have the offending Facebook page removed and the judge complied.

    However, while Asher has apologized to the judge and the families for her offensive post, she has not deleted her Facebook account. And as a result, Judge Phelps has sentenced Asher to a two-day jail sentence for contempt of court.

    "I really wasn't trying to make fun of (the crash)," Asher said.

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  • The Space Needle in downtown Seattle is a tourist attraction. (Anthony Bolante/Reuters)Pacific Northwest residents are well regarded as some of the friendliest folks in the nation. But that doesn't necessarily mean they want visiting guests to stay forever. To that end, some of the city's 3.4 million residents will be celebrating "Stay Away From Seattle Day" on Sept. 16.

    The tongue-in-cheek holiday even has its own Hallmark page, in which the world's most famous greeting card maker describes the day as follows:

    "Because frankly Seattle doesn't want you coming around, stinking up the joint. And last time you tracked mud all over the carpet and some of the special occasion dinnerware went missing. Seattle will let you know when it's ready to see you again. Until then, keep your distance. You think we're kidding but really this day was championed by Seattle residents tired of sharing their space with tourists."

    Now, that may be a slightly misleading description of "Stay Away From Seattle Day's" true origins. As King5 News reports, the faux holiday was actually created by a comedian from Pennsylvania who has never even visited Seattle. And even he stopped promoting the holiday 15 years ago. But what does creator Tom Roy really want to do? Well, visit Seattle, naturally.

    "Everybody talks about Paris," he told the station. "I want to go to San Francisco, I want to go to Seattle."

    As King5 notes, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce does not endorse the holiday.

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  • Dyllan Naecher after being arrested (Tazewell County)The next time your boss catches you browsing Facebook while on the job, tell them you just may be helping to solve a crime. After all, the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office used Facebook to track down a missing sex offender after his girlfriend "liked" the department's page on the social networking site.

    Local CBS affiliate WJHL reports that Dyllan Naecher, 29, is a convicted sex offender in Maryland. He was allegedly hiding out with his girlfriend Samantha Dillow, 22, in Virginia. We still don't know exactly what motivated Dillow, but for some reason she decided to "like" the local police department's Facebook page.

    Tazewell County police then used the geographic stamp left by Dillow's "like" to pinpoint her residence.

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  • Ex-Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s 1978 ‘Dating Game’ appearance (VIDEO)

    Ex-Gov. Jennifer Granholm during a 1978 "Dating Game" appearance (YouTube)In the Internet age, almost nothing stays hidden forever. Current TV host and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is the subject of a humorous video flashback, after someone posted video of her 1978 appearance on "The Dating Game."

    "Let's give a hand for the cute and curvaceous Jennifer Granholm," says the show's host, Jim Lange, when the future governor first appears on-screen.

    Granholm is sharing in the laughs after the video was reportedly posted on Facebook by one of the three male contestants who appeared with Granholm on the show.

    "I'm still laughing so hard my stomach still hurts," Granholm told the Detroit Free Press about the clip.

    In the appearance, Granholm has very big hair and is wearing a puffy-sleeved blouse with gray suspenders.

    The British Columbia native was 19 years old at the time and an aspiring actress.

    You can watch the video appearance below:

    That should make sense to anyone who caught Granholm's unusually expressive speech before the Democratic National Convention early this month.

    "I'm a Democrat of the liberal persuasion, and I have always admired Jennifer Granholm," said Marty Nislick, who spotted the video on Facebook and posted it to YouTube. "And she was 19 years old, so I think she could be excused for being on a stupid show."

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  • New monkey species discovered; only second such find in 28 years

    A new species of monkey called the Lesula has reportedly been discovered (JA Hart, Gilbert Detwiler/Reuters)Scientists in the Democratic Republic of Congo claim they have discovered a new species of monkey, making it only the second such discovery in nearly 30 years.

    The claim is published in the journal Plos One, in which the team of U.S. scientists have named the find Cercopithecus Lomamiensis. The team says the monkey, which locals call the Lesula, has been known among inhabitants of the Congo's Lomami forest basin for years but had never been seen by the outside world until now.

    "We never expected to find a new species there," said the project's lead scientist, John Hart. "But the Lomami basin is a very large block that has had very little exploration by biologists."

    The Lesula has large yellow eyes, a long narrow nose and a pink-colored face under its golden fur. It is reportedly very shy, requiring Hart's team to set up remote monitoring devices to detect the animals in their natural habitat.

    Interestingly, the team first made its apparent discovery when scientists came across an unidentified monkey tethered to a post and belonging to the daughter of a local schoolteacher.

    "Right away I saw that this was something different," Hart said. "It looked a bit like a monkey from much further east, but the coloring was so different and the range was so different."

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