Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • NYC garbage man sifts through tons of trash to find woman’s wedding ring

    Losing a wedding ring can move folks to great feats. (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)The saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure," took on a near literal meaning after a New York City garbage man sifted through tons of trash to find one woman's missing wedding ring.

    But how did an expensive wedding ring end up in a trash pile? The New York Daily News reports that Danielle Carroll lost her ring, which was already a replacement for an earlier misplaced wedding ring, while at work. The 45-year-old teacher says she and her young students were using a "slippery hand cleaner" which must have caused her ring to slide off into a trash bag.

    "I was so busy that day and cleaning my hands constantly that I didn't notice I had lost the ring," she told the paper.

    Carroll tells the paper she awoke at 3:30 a.m., suddenly realizing the ring was missing. She and her husband raced outside to retrieve it from the trash but the NYC Parks Department had already picked up the garbage.

    Carroll left a note on a nearby Parks Department garbage truck, which read, 'Hello, I believe my

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  • Taiwanese minister wants men to sit down to urinate

    Should men sit down when urinating? (PR Newswire)Is it an unnecessary form of emasculation or a reasonable expectation of men in the modern age? The minister of Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has said that men should sit down when urinating.

    The BBC reports that Stephen Shen has stirred debate online by suggesting the change in bathroom habits would lean to a cleaner environment. Shen has instructed local governments to put up notices in public restrooms "advising" men to sit when using the toilet.

    "We want to learn from Japan and Sweden," Yuan Shaw-jing, EPA director general of environmental sanitation and toxic substance maintenance, told the BBC. "In Japan, we heard 30 percent of the men sit."

    In June, Sweden's Left Party put forward a motion requiring men to sit down when using the toilet. Along with improved public hygienic standards, the Left Party cited research that it claims shows men "empty their bladders more effectively" when sitting down.

    Taiwan's EPA said it has no authority to force men to

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  • Eiffel Tower named Europe’s most valuable monument: What else made the list?

    The Eiffel Tower has been rated Europe's most valuable monument. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)The Eiffel Tower isn't just the most widely known landmark in Paris. It's also just been rated the most valuable landmark in all of Europe.

    A new study by Italy's Monza and Brianza Chamber of Commerce values the Eiffel Tower at about $544 billion, placing it far ahead of other historic locations, including Rome's Coliseum (about $90 billion), Milan's duomo (about $81 billion), the Tower of London (about $70 billion), Madrid's Prado Museum (about $58 billion) and even Great Britain's Stonehenge (about $10 billion).

    Outside Europe, the White House in Washington is ranked as one of the world's most valuable landmarks, valued at over $101 billion. But that's still less than 20 percent of the estimated value of the Eiffel Tower.

    Because none of these landmarks is actually up for sale, the values were calculated by estimating the inherent worth of the landmark to its home country, including the number of annual visitors and monetary value it brought in through tourism.

    The 1,063-foot-tall

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  • Surgeon rides kid’s bike through traffic in race to hospital (VIDEO)

    Dr. Catherine Baucom rides to the rescue. (BRASS Surgery Center)Dr. Catherine Baucom was stuck in traffic while making her way to the BRASS Surgery Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Wednesday. So the determined doctor left her car behind and cut through the traffic jam on a 7-year-old's pink bicycle.

    "Catherine called, she was outside my house.  She said 'Hey do you have a bike?'" colleague Dr. Brian Barnett told WAFB. "I walked outside and said yeah, it's a kids bike. I got the air pump out and aired the tires up as much as I could."

    The nearly 6-foot-tall surgeon then donned the girl's helmet and peddled away.

    "It was hot pink and small," Dr. Baucom said, "The helmet was pink with princesses."

    Dr. Baucom then cut through traffic on Baton Rouge Interstate 10 before being stopped by police. When she explained the unusual circumstances surrounding her mode of travel, police immediately escorted her through traffic and to the operating room.

    "They said we can escort you and he essentially drove past me and then he turned around and was videotaping

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  • Celebrate National Waffle Day with waffle-flavored vodka

    Would you celebrate National Waffle Day with this flavored concoction? (Georgi Vodka)September 24 is National Waffle Day, a day to mark the breakfast delight enjoyed by millions of people around the world everyday. To help celebrate the occasion, Georgi vodka has a line of waffle-flavored vodkas.

    The new flavors are being debuted at two locations on Friday: The Holiday Inn Express in Stony Brook, New York, and Kennedy's Restaurant in New York City. Along with the new spirits, the Holiday Inn Express will be serving complimentary vodka-flavored waffles to all guests and patrons at least 21 years old.

    "We try to think of flavors that other vodkas don't have," Martin Silver, President of Star Industries, maker of Georgi vodka, told Yahoo News. "I took my sales team out for breakfast to think of new flavor ideas. I asked them what they wanted to eat and they said pancakes and waffles. And we pretty much decided right then to give the waffle flavors a try."

    Georgi has a number of waffles flavors, including banana waffle and chocolate chip. The flavors join a collection of

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  • Family of four stranded at airport for six days (VIDEO)

    The Saxton family spent six days at SLC Airport before getting a flight home (ABC News 4)A Virginia family spent six days stranded at Salt Lake City International Airport before a generous donor purchased them a flight back home.

    "We just sit and walk around and wait for our flights," Curtis Saxton told local affiliate ABC 4. "We've been here for every flight, rolled over for every flight," said Saxton. "We're still at the bottom of that list."

    Curtis Saxton and his wife Nicole Bennett, along with their 13-year-old daughter Sadee and 4-year-old son Dominic, had used a relative's buddy pass, to fly from Virginia to Utah.

    Buddy passes are technically lower-end version of standby flights, meaning that the Saxtons were forced to wait until all passengers, including regular standby requests, had been seated.

    And with so many Americans traveling on summer vacations, there just weren't any seats available on their return JetBlue flight. So the family was stuck at SLC Airport from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21.

    Even worse, they were forced to sleep on airport benches and because of

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  • Stunning image of Russian girl is not a photograph

    This drawing has stunned viewers with its photographic quality. (Samuel Silva/vianaarts.deviantart.com)Samuel Silva, a 29-year-old attorney in Portugal, has shocked and delighted countless viewers online this week when he uploaded a stunning painting that many mistook for a photograph.

    As Colossal notes, the artwork, which was created using only Bic ballpoint pens, is based on this photograph by Russian photographer Kristina Tararina.

    Silva, who describes his incredible artwork as nothing more than a hobby, even answered questions on his website deviantART after the illustration of the girl first drew attention on Reddit.

    Using only eight different colors, the self-taught Silva told readers that he completed the drawing in about 30 hours. "Ballpoint pens are as underestimated as they are a powerful medium," Silva writes on his site. "It's not about what you use, it's about how you use it."

    Silva has also uploaded some of his other lifelike illustrations, which include portraits of tigers, a Japanese palace garden and a newborn baby.

    And he promises a wider variety of artwork in the

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  • Tourists convicted of pretending to kiss Buddha statue in Sri Lanka

    A Sri Lanken Buddhist prays at a local temple. (AFP)Three French tourists were convicted in a Sri Lankan court after taking pictures of themselves in which they pretended to kiss a Buddhist statue.

    The BBC reports that the three tourists, two women and one man, were given suspended jail terms by the court in the southern Sri Lanka town of Galle after a photo lab that developed the pictures contacted police.

    "Sri Lankans consider this statue to be sacred. They desecrated it. This is uncivilized behavior," Heritage Party spokesman Udaya Gammanpila told AFP. "We condemn this action of the three French tourists and urge Westerners to please respect our culture and act decently."

    The trio received a sentence of six months hard labor in prison, suspended for five years, meaning they will not actually have to serve any time in jail. They were also reportedly given a small fine of 1,500 rupees ($11) by the court.

    Under Sri Lankan law, the three French tourists were convicted of violating a law that prohibits offending "the religious feelings of

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  • California man still in prison two years after conviction overturned

    Daniel Larsen had his conviction overturned but remains in prison. (Innocencemarch.com)Daniel Larsen had his felony conviction overturned more than two years ago. But the California man continues to sit in a California prison while the state attorney general appeals a federal magistrate's decision to release the 45-year-old from jail.

    "It's reflexive, it's just what they do," Larsen's attorney Jan Stiglitz told Southern California Public Radio. "They have never been willing to sit down and interview our witnesses."

    On Monday, the California Innocence Project and Larsen's fiancée delivered 100,000 petition signatures from individuals demanding an immediate release for Larsen. The California Innocence Project is a program at the California Western School of Law, which works to release wrongfully convicted men and women from prison.

    So how did Larson end up in prison in the first place?

    In 1999, he was convicted of being a felon in possession of a concealed weapon. Police witnesses claim they saw Larsen throw a knife under a car. He was already on strike two of California's

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  • Virginia auto shop fixes bullied gay teen’s car for free (VIDEO)

    After having his car vandalized four times, Jordan Addison said it would cost $2,500 to fix the damage. And Addison says he believes he was targeted for being gay.

    "The first time there were some homophobic slurs keyed into the side of it," the Roanoke, Virginia, college student told WDBJ7-TV. "Then the second time I had [die] keyed into it."

    Addison says the vandals damaged his car both when it was parked at his home and on campus. And despite wanting to have the car fixed, Addison wasn't sure he could afford it. "[F]or a college student that's a lot of money," he said.

    But the manager of a local auto shop stepped in and not only repaired Addison's car for free but also enlisted the help of several other auto specialists to give the car a substantial upgrade.

    "Once I saw the vandalism that was done to it I said that's uncalled for we're gonna fix your car that's the least we can do," said Richard Henegar Jr., manager of Quality Auto Paint and Body.

    Henegar says his shop and 10 other

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