Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • New Mexico store selling ‘meth candy’ inspired by ‘Breaking Bad’

    "Meth candy" has become a popular seller for a candy store in N.M. (Facebook)A candy store owner in Albuquerque says her "meth candy" is a major hit. The blue-colored rock candy is intended to play off the successful AMC drama "Breaking Bad," which is set in the same New Mexico city.

    "I've been at this for 30 years," Debbie Ball said in an interview with Yahoo! News. "It started in 1982 when some holy-roller types protested me for 'sex-themed' candy shaped like people's parts. It's because of controversy like this that I'm still in business."

    And the Candy Lady owner is doing more than just randomly trying to cash in on the show's popularity; her sugary concoction has in fact appeared in the program.

    ''We supplied the show when it first started,'' Ball tells the Associated Press. ''It's just rock candy with blue dye and it looks like the real thing.''

    Ball sells bags of the sugar rock candy for just $1 each, along with shipping and handling costs for orders made over the phone. "Hopefully this will be good for business and good for the show," she told Yahoo!

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  • ‘Last Supper’ painting may include two Leonardo da Vinci self-portraits

    Could both of these "Last Supper" figures be da Vinci self-portraits? (Original image, Wikicommons)Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" may include two self-portraits of the legendary Renaissance artist, according to a British art expert.

    Ross King says the nose, beards and hairstyles of two of the apostles standing to the right of Jesus in the portrait, Thomas and James the Lesser, match a portrait of Leonardo that was made several years after he created his masterpiece.

    King told the Independent that while historians have long-suspected Leonardo placed images of himself in his works, no one has thoroughly researched "The Last Supper" for such evidence.

    The 15-x-29-foot painting has been the source of endless speculation, though most of the analysis has focused on hidden meanings within the painting itself, such as how each of the apostles is reacting to the revelation that one of them has betrayed Jesus.

    Still, King concedes that there is no definitive record of Leonardo's physical appearance but says the Greek physical characteristics were "rarities for an Italian man of that

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  • Billionaire Bill Koch builds private Old West town in Colorado

    Bill Koch's Old West town has a saloon and other buildings similar to this one. (Eric Pfeiffer/Yahoo! News)How does a billionaire with two politically active brothers and an Americas Cup title under his belt stand out? Bill Koch may have found the answer after building his own private Old West town in Colorado.

    The Denver Post reports the town, located in Kebler Pass, has a saloon, church, jail and train station among its 50 or so buildings spread out over 420 acres. The roughly 10-square-mile property is located about 125 miles southwest of Denver.

    And when the town's construction is complete, Koch will have his own mansion on a hill, overlooking the whole thing.

    "It's the kind of stuff I guess you would expect a billionaire to construct. It's like something out of a 'Gunsmoke' movie set," Ramon Reed, chairman of the Gunnison County Planning Commission, told the paper.

    Still, as impressive as the simulated Old West town is, Koch, 72, isn't interested in showing off his investment to the public. Instead, security guards stand in front of a locked gate to the town, making anyone not approved

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  • Watch Nellie the sea otter stack plastic cups (VIDEO)

    The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash., is widely known for its diverse collection of marine life. When I was growing up in the Pacific Northwest, it was one of my favorite destinations to see massive sharks and other amazing creatures on display.

    This week, the zoo released a video that is quickly going viral, showing Nellie the sea otter displaying some fascinating behavior as she stacks a series of plastic cups while floating on her back.

    It's all the more impressive as Nellie is not merely stacking the cups in a reflexive motion but consciously arranges the cups in a stack from largest to smallest. And yes, it's also quite adorable.

  • Dogshaming: a new blog to showcase your dog’s bad behavior

    Even a bad dog can sometimes be a cute dog. (dogshaming)Even the most committed dog lovers experience occasional moments of frustration with man's best friend. Thankfully, there's a new website called Dogshaming that lets owners post pictures of their guilty canines, along with explanatory notes.

    The blog hasn't even been live for a week but has already generated dozens of posts.

    Dogshaming's blog administrator even makes room for the occasional picture of a shamed cat, though notes this will not be a regular occurrence, because of both the site's mission statement and "there appears little evidence of actual shame in the accused."

    But if you are the owner of an otherwise beloved dog with a certain behavioral dalliance you think needs to be shared with the world, you can submit your own dogshaming example directly to the site.

    Another "bad" dog (Dogshaming)Bad dog or bad owners? (Dogshaming)[Via Laughing Squid]

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  • Binge-drinking students happier and more accepted than others: study

    A study released on Aug. 20, 2012, suggests binge drinking has social benefits for college-age students. (Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP)

    Researchers completing a new study on alcohol consumption have discovered that college-age students who binge drink are happier than those who don't.

    Those who engaged in binge drinking tend to belong to so-called high-status groups: wealthy, white, male and active in fraternity life. And those who did not belong to the high-status groups could achieve similar levels of social acceptance through the act of binge drinking. In fact, the study results suggest that students engaged in the heavy drinking practice to elevate their social status amongst peers rather than to alleviate depression or anxiety.

    "The present study offers another insight into the nature of a seemingly intractable social problem," the study released on Monday reads. "It is our hope that by drawing attention to the important social motivations underlying binge drinking, institutional administrators and public health professionals will be able to design and implement programs for students that take into account the

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  • Another relaxing trip to the movies (YouTube)Geoffrey Roth and his wife took their two boys to see the new Disney film "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." But the far more cinematic experience took place after the film, while the boys recounted their experience with the film's emotional ending.

    The children's movie tells the story of two parents who bury a box in their backyard that contains a list of everything they'd want in a child. The next morning, the couple, who are unable to conceive, find a 10-year-old boy on their doorstep, claiming to be their son.

    If you're planning to see the movie, be warned that the reaction from the two kids does spoil the film's ending. As Roth explains on his YouTube page, "The ads for The Odd Life of Timothy Green bill it as the 'feel good movie of the season.' As you will see by the reaction of my two sons, they beg to differ":

    And while the video is pretty entertaining, it is nonetheless a video of two children crying hysterically. As several commenters have asked, was it really appropriate

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  • Baldness cure could be for sale in just two years

    A cure for male-pattern baldness may soon hit store shelves. (CBS11 Dallas)A lotion that cures male-pattern baldness could be for sale in as little as two years. University of Pennsylvania dermatologist George Cotsarelis says the lotion works by inhibiting a single enzyme, prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), which he says is the "major" enzyme connected to hair loss.

    And the cure would also extend to men of all ages who have already lost their hair.

    "We really do think if you remove the inhibition, you get longer hair," Cotsarelis told the journal Science Translational Medicine.

    Cotsarelis and his team of researchers first applied the lotion to mice and found that it was effective in both stopping hair loss and in regenerating follicles that had already ceased to produce longer hairs.

    "During normal follicle cycling in mice, Ptgds and PGD2 levels increase immediately preceding the regression phase, suggesting an inhibitory effect on hair growth," the study reads. "We show that PGD2 inhibits hair growth in explanted human hair follicles and when applied topically to

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  • Tourist town threatening to sue weather service over bad forecasts

    A European town says inaccurate weather forecasts are hurting its tourist trade. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP)

    In some parts of Europe the debate over climate change has moved on to a debate over who gets to predict a change in the summer climate.

    The mayor of a Belgian seaside resort says his town may sue a private weather service after the station predicted bad summer weather.

    "We all know we're not in the Cote d'Azur or southern Italy," Knokke Mayor Leo Lippens told NPR. "But we have a fantastic climate here and to give the impression it is disgusting is disgusting and that I don't allow."

    The Belgian private weather service Meteo Belgique predicted that the region would have only two weeks of sunny weather in August, which Lippens says hurt the town's tourism business.

    "That's public disinformation and when you arrive at that stage, you ... should be closed down or financially responsible," Lippens said.

    Meteo Belgique owner Xavier Lizin disputes the claim, noting that his company has a published legal disclaimer against responsibility for forecasts. In addition he says he plans to

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  • Police seeking Walter White on meth charges

    The real (left) and fictional Walter Whites (Tuscaloosa Sheriff's Office/AMC)A man sharing the name and alleged profession of one of TV's most popular characters is wanted on meth charges.

    Walter White is accused of violating his probation in a methamphetamine manufacturing case. And as noted by Alabama.com, he has shot to the top of Tuscaloosa County's most wanted list.

    White, 55, shares a name, and alleged criminal profession, with Bryan Cranston's Walter White character in the AMC cable drama series "Breaking Bad." In the Emmy-award winning show, White is a former high-school chemist who turns to a life of crime to help pay for his cancer treatment and provide for his family.

    But unlike the fictional character, the real-life Walter White has a history with the law, having been arrested in 2008 on charges of trafficking methamphetamine, unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of precursor materials.

    Some outlets, including the Daily Beast, claim the real-life Walter White bears a striking

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