Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • Would President Obama handle an alien invasion better than Romney? (Eric Pfeiffer/Yahoo! News/AP)

    In the event that Bill Pullman isn't available, two-thirds of respondents to a new survey say that President Barack Obama would be better suited to handle an alien invasion than presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

    "We wanted the pulse on people's opinions," said Brad Dancer, senior vice president of research and digital media for National Geographic, who conducted the survey for the new series "Chasing UFOs." "We wanted to get a sense of how Americans view UFOs, what people believe and how mainstream pop culture may or may not be playing into their opinions on it."

    Nearly 65 percent of respondents said Obama would be better suited to handle a theoretical alien invasion than Romney.

    In fact, Obama trumped Romney across the board, winning a majority of support from women (68 percent), men (61 percent) and those aged 18 to 64 (68 percent).

    Romney's strongest bracket was with senior citizens, where he split the vote with Obama at 50 percent each.

    During a May visit to

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  • Texas man gets left behind during family road trip

    Texas man gets left behind during family road trip. (KRISTV.com)A Texas man found himself stranded in the middle of Tennessee during a road trip with his family. And he got out of the jam only after using Facebook to track down the van that had left him behind. The van was carrying his two children and was more than 100 miles away.

    "Somebody had been sleeping all night in the back, and they were gonna drive and I was gonna get in the back and sleep," the man, who refused to give his name, told KRISTV. "I went inside to get my change for the gas, and they thought I was already loaded up and closed all the doors and took off."

    It sounds a bit like the plot to "Home Alone," but in this case the adult is left behind while his kids hit the road.

    His first reaction was to call someone in the van. But he realized he'd left his phone inside the vehicle to charge. He called his own phone, but no one answered. After several tries, the phone started going immediately to voice mail.

    That's when the man feared the worst and called police. He says they weren't much help. But employees at a nearby Memphis La Quinta Inn let him use their computers, where he logged in to Facebook.

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  • 80 Teddy Ruxpin dolls transmit feelings from the Internet (VIDEO)

    After watching this video, your memories of Teddy Ruxpin may never be the same. Artist Sean Hathaway has created an interactive multimedia installation using 1980s talking dolls to "effectively take the emotional temperature of the Internet."

    Teddy Ruxpin was a phenomenon of the 1980s. The animatronic bear dolls were the top-selling toy of 1985 and 1986, speaking a handful of phrases and attempting to convey the sense of interactivity with their owners.

    But in this video, the dolls, which are pinned to a wall, speak random phrases streamed from various social media sites.

    "It's a celebration of communication. And our technological ability to be able to communicate every nuance of our lives with everyone in the world," Hathaway says. "But at the same time I think it's a tongue-in-cheek poke at the fact that we're not doing anything with all of that information that we're throwing out there."

    The various sayings, at times morbid, uplifting and mildly not safe for work, encompass a broad range of emotions in the teddy bears' monotone robotic voices. And it's all set to soothing instrumental music by Hathaway's collaborator, Carlos Severe Marcelin.

    "Literally every subtle increment on the scale of the human emotional condition is expressed but sadly due to the tremendous scale of information available many of these expressions are buried within a sea of noise," Hathaway writes on his YouTube page.

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  • Dad charged with assault for tossing McDonald’s fries at stepdaughter

    Do these fries look dangerous? (Richard Vogel/AP)James Hackett, 26, is facing a felony assault charge after allegedly throwing an order of "hot and oily" McDonald's french fries at his 11-year-old stepdaughter, according to a Lowell, Massachusetts, police report posted on The Smoking Gun.

    Interestingly, the report states that the unnamed girl was not harmed in the incident but states the action "could cause burning to skin and eyes." What is surprising in the report is how much more mature the 11-year-old girl sounds than her mother and Hackett. After stopping by McDonald's, the couple were reportedly arguing about money in the car when the girl "began to interject into the argument in an attempt to get the two to stop fighting."

    This was apparently too much for Hackett to handle, who then allegedly "picked up the container of french fries he had just purchased, which were hot and oily, and threw it at [the girl], striking her in the face and chest area."

    After making it back home, Hackett reportedly "fled the residence on an old

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  • Gunnar, the U.S. Navy seal, dies at age 38

    Gunnar, the U.S. Navy seal (Mehgan Murphy/AFP)

    He was a U.S. Navy seal best known for learning to use a screwdriver. And now Cold War veteran Gunnar has passed away on Monday. He was 38-years-old at the time of his death and enjoying some quiet living in Washington DC's National Zoo.

    To be clear, Gunnar was not a U.S. Navy SEAL, the elite military group that took out Osama bin Laden. Rather, Gunnar was an actual seal, used by the Navy during the Cold War to fetch items from the ocean floor at depths of nearly 500 feet.

    "In his career as a navy seal, Gunnar learned how to insert and remove equipment, use a screwdriver and turn a large wheel valve," the National Zoo said in a statement.

    And despite his military experience, Gunnar actually outlived the typical male seal lifespan by about eight years.

    Gunnar spent the last 33 years at the zoo, when he arrived there in January 1979 after being transferred from the Naval Oceans Systems Center in San Diego, California, where he was part of the Navy's Marine Mammal Program. Born in Iceland, Gunnar could reportedly hold his breath under water for 20 minutes at a time.

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  • ‘Fear The Brow’ athlete Anthony Davis trademarks unibrow

    Anthony Davis and his famous unibrow (Gerald Herbert/AP)

    Kentucky basketball star Anthony Davis is widely expected to be the number one selection in this Thursday's NBA draft. But he's already locked down one unique distinction: filing a trademark over his unibrow.

    "I don't want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it," Davis told CNBC. "Me and my family decided to trademark it because it's very unique."

    In addition to registering the likeness of his eyebrow hair, Davis has trademarked the phrases "Fear the Brow" and "Raise The Brow."

    Basketball figures have a history of using trademark law to cash in on popular sports phrases. In 1988, then-Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley trademarked the phrases "3-peat" and "three-peat," which reference a team winning three consecutive championships.

    Davis says he refuses to trim the unibrow because, "everyone's talking about it," though he admits he has been pressured to groom it to two brows. And though Davis recently signed on with the Wasserman Media Group, he says fans shouldn't expect any razor endorsements in the near future.

    "I might have a commercial where I'm acting like I'm shaving it and then I'll throw the razor down," he said.

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  • Canadian house purchased in 1982 for $15,000 now selling for $2 million

    Sherman Hines walks into his historic house in Nova Scotia. (CBC.com)Photographer Sherman Hines purchased his Nova Scotia home for just CA$15,000 in 1982. Now, he and his wife are selling the restored 7-room home for CA$2 million. And he'd prefer you turn it into a museum.

    But it's not a case of ego run wild. In truth, the home itself is a piece of history. Hines discovered that the home was one of the oldest in Canada, having been built in 1699 by French missionaries.

    "As far as I can find in any research I have done, it is the oldest building east of Quebec City," Hines told the CBC.

    When Hines first toured the 300-year-old house, he found it in disarray.

    "We drove up and I crawled around in this basement, it was full of mud and debris," he said. "I was doing kind of a duck walk around, I couldn't stand up, and I fell in love with it."

    After researching through historical maps, Hines realized the building had once been used by the French as a fortified church to protect them against British military forces. In the 30 years since purchasing the building, Hines has restored it to its former conditions and even used as much period furniture as possible.

    "Part of my fun is saving the buildings, the other part is finding the materials to fix them up with," Hines said.

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  • Attention cats: ‘How to Walk Your Human’ (VIDEO)

    Kodi the Kitten takes his owner for a walk (YouTube)Kodi the Kitten has provided a helpful tutorial video for his feline friends, "How to Walk Your Human."

    It's the latest informative message from the Adventures of Shorty & Kodi, two precious cats who love being in front of the camera.

    The seven-step system begins with "Establish dominance over the leash" and includes helpful reminders, such as "Step 3: Walk in front of them so they know you're in charge. (Also funny if they fall)"

    The video is especially entertaining for any cat owners who have attempted the seemingly futile task of taking their cat out for a walk on a leash. After all, once a cat knows it can go outside, what's to stop it from wanting to go outside all the time?

    And if you're skeptical as to whether walking your cat is an achievable dream, check out this heartwarming New York Times story, in which "My Cat From Hell" host Jackson Galaxy helps teach Mac the cat to learn to love the leash.

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  • A new survey looking at trends in office life finds that the average worker isn't fond of costume parties or group photos, and would gladly give up free coffee, alcohol and even lunch breaks for the opportunity to work from home, even just once a week.

    "These findings show what all of us who work in offices know—life at the office can often be challenging," said Kim DeCarlis, vice president of corporate marketing at Citrix, who commissioned Wakefield Research to conduct the survey.

    "This survey shows that companies will benefit by being more flexible in allowing employees to work from anywhere. Enabling people to blend their professional and personal lives can boost morale as well as productivity," DeCarlis said.

    However, the survey also found a series of hard-to-believe excuses that Americans deploy when wanting to take a "sick day" from the office, including:

    • "My bicycle ran out of gas."
    • "Gas is too expensive."
    • "I'm dieting."

    So what's driving the average American worker to generate such lame excuses to avoid coming to work? As with most things, the answers differ across gender and employment status.

    Men are most adverse to the office baby shower; 42 percent say that it is their "most disliked" work activity. Meanwhile, the least popular work function for women is "staff photos," according to 31 percent of respondents.

    And if you thought that too obvious an answer, your co-workers probably hate you, too. After all, the most unifying negative trait among those in the survey was a "know-it-all" co-worker, dreaded by 49 percent of those surveyed. Though you might want to keep those feelings to yourself, as 44 percent also said they can't stand "whiners" in the workplace.

    In perhaps the most passive-aggressive result of all, 30 percent of respondents said they scheduled their own time off around the vacations of their bosses in order to maximize the time spent apart. However, the results found this practice is more common among executives and managers (39 percent) than mid-level and junior-level employees (27 percent).

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  • Lion cub forms friendship with dog and rabbit (VIDEO)

    Simba the lion cub cuddles with Thumper the rabbit. (YouTube)

    A newly released video shows a rescued lion cub making an unusual pair of new friends: A dog and a rabbit. The actual video footage is 20 years old, but it's just been introduced to the public for the first time.

    In the video, 8-week-old Simba is playing with the animals inside the Glasgow, Scotland, home of two zookeepers. The Daily Mail notes that the video was shot sometime during the 1980s, when Simba was temporarily brought to the zookeepers' home after he fell ill while being raised at the now-closed Glasgow Zoo.

    After Simba recovered from his illness, he was eventually returned to the zoo. And his rapidly growing size also meant the budding friendship with Thumper the rabbit and Monty the dog could only be sustained for so long.

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