Blog Posts by Eric Pfeiffer

  • Hungry Jack syrup truck spills onto Buttermilk Pike

    A semitrailer of syrup spilled onto Buttermilk Pike. (WCPO)

    A highway truck accident never sounded so delicious. A semitrailer hauling Hungry Jack pancake syrup collided with a highway median at the Buttermilk Pike overpass in northern Kentucky, causing the truckload of syrup to spill all over the highway.

    "Every lane of southbound I-75 was covered in pancake syrup," Fort Mitchell Police Officer Mark Spanyer told the Kentucky Enquirer. "It was a royal pain in the butt."

    The semitrailer dumped hundreds of boxes of Hungry Jack syrup bottles.

    Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt in the accident, including the driver. Spanyer said the incident occurred on Thursday when the Hungry Jack driver maneuvered to avoid a car on the highway with a blown-out tire. While the driver was able to avoid the car, he then crashed into a median on the Buttermilk Pike overpass.

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  • ‘UFO’ over Middle East reportedly a Russian missile test

    A mysterious light seen over several countries in the Middle East on Thursday night has been confirmed by multiple sources as a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile test. There had been speculation that the strange sight, which was seen over countries in the region including Syria, Israel and Iran, might have been some sort of unidentified aircraft.

    The object was first seen when journalist Rob Stevens posted an image to his Twitter account. Stevens wrote, "Just Seen a strange UFO over Fheis. It hovered, and then made a swirl and disappeared."

    Ynet News reports that the missile test resulted in hundreds of calls to Israeli police stations. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the missile test originated in the Astrakhan region in central Russia and was spotted in several other countries along the way, including Armenia, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

    "It most likely spun out of control and its remnants and the fuel was what people saw," Israeli Astronomical Association Chairman Dr. Yigal Pat-El told Ynet News. "It reached a height of 200-300 kilometers and that's why it was seen from so many locations."

    The Jerusalem Post Yaakov Lappin also confirmed the test, tweeting: "Mysterious light explained. Russia announces it carried out successful inter-continental ballistic missile test."

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  • Man calls police on ‘cougar’; turns out to be house cat

    It's not a cougar, just Captain Jenks. (KVAL.com)

    Police in Salem, Oregon, responded to a call about a cougar invading a man's backyard. A neighbor who spotted the beast estimated it weighed 45 to 55 pounds. Police were quick to respond, as even a young cougar, or mountain lion, could pose a serious risk, were it to attack.

    However, after reviewing pictures of the alleged cougar, it turns out the unwanted visitor was nothing more than a domesticated feline. That's right, the mysterious terror was just a Maine Coon, one of the most popular breed of house cats in North America.

    Last month, police in Santa Monica, California, shot and killed a mountain lion that was roaming near a downtown promenade, sparking protest from animal rights activists.

    Maine Coon cats are a large breed and have been surrounded by folklore for centuries, with rumors that their oversize paws and expert hunting skills came about as a result of breeding with raccoons. And the Oregon resident who called police on this fluffy creature was not alone in mistaking its origins. Despite being known for its intelligence and playful nature, some people used to think the Maine Coon came about from average cats interbreeding with American bobcats.

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  • Feds plan to chop down Idaho man’s $14,000 treehouse

    Tremain Albright has spent more than $14,000 building and renovating a treehouse along the Kootenai River in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. But the Army Corps of Engineers says the house must be torn down or the city could lose more than $128,000 in federal funding.

    KTVB reports that the Army Corps of Engineers says the house is too close to a water levy in the river and could damage the levy if the tree were to collapse.

    "It's a sad day, I'm not real happy," Albright told the station. "It's very special. There's probably nothing else like it … within the state of Idaho."

    Albright says the money he spent on the treehouse was used converting it into a guesthouse, and he had received a special variance exemption back in 2007 that he thought was permanent. The Army Corps of Engineers will most likely cut down the treehouse on June 15.

    "I still feel like this is just an action of big government," Tremain said. "We were totally helpless. The city's helpless, and they are pretty much held under the

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  • World War I veteran’s missing medal turns up on eBay

    Martin Riley holds his grandfather's World War I Victory Medal. (BBC)The grandson of a decorated World War I veteran had searched in vain for years for his late grandfather's missing war medals. One of them finally turned up, a Victory Medal being auctioned for less than $2 on eBay.

    "I sent a message to the seller straight away. I suppose I should have bid for it because the starting price was only 99 (pence)," Martin Robson Riley, 45, told the BBC. "The seller replied and said he would send me the medal because I had more right to it than anyone else. I didn't pay for it. I'm so grateful."

    Riley said several medals awarded to his grandfather, Private Henry Riley, disappeared in the years after his death in 1927. Martin Riley's father discovered the medals were missing when he went to clean out his parents' house in 1981, sometime after his mother had died.

    The Victory Medal was awarded to British men and women who served in a combat theater at the conclusion of World War I.

    The eBay seller told Riley that he had made a bulk purchase of war medals during an auction in Cornwall. The Victory Medal belonging to Private Riley was just one of many included in the original auction.

    Riley, who works for the National Library of Wales, said he occasionally would put his grandfather's name and service number into search engines, which is how he stumbled across the eBay listing.

    "Every now and then I'd join the Great War forum and type hid name into an internet search, half hoping that his medals might turn up one day," Riley told Wales Online. "With there being six million issued, I suppose I thought the odds were very slim."

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  • ‘Slutty Wednesday’: NY high-school students protest dress code

    Stuyvesant High School is considered one of New York City's top public high schools, but some of the students there think a recently imposed dress code is just dumb.

    The New York Post reports that about 100 students decided to protest the code, which bans girls from exposing their shoulders, midriffs, lower backs, bras and underwear, by having a "Slutty Wednesday," during which they intentionally broke the conservative dress standards.

    "We work our asses off here, and school is about learning. Clothing is not important," ninth-grader Lucy Greider told the Post. Greider says she's been brought into the office 10 times this year for violating the dress code, which was introduced last fall. "A lot of the classrooms don't have a/c's and when it is 80 degrees outside and it is really hot, it's perfectly OK to show a little skin."

    A 2010 poll by the National Center for Education Statistics found that about 57 percent of public schools enforce some kind of dress code. In addition, 19 percent of public schools require school uniforms, a 12 percent increase over the previous decade.

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  • 66-foot concrete dock washes ashore in Oregon, may be from 2011 Japan tsunami

    A massive, 66-foot concrete dock mysteriously washed up on the Oregon shore this week. And officials are trying to figure out if the floating structure had traveled all the way from Japan after the March 2011 tsunami.

    Local affiliate KATU reports that the dock has a placard with Japanese writing that they are attempting to translate. In addition, the station traced a phone number on the placard to a business located in Tokyo.

    The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department sent a picture of the placard to the Japanese consulate in Portland for review.

    "We don't know where it's from," said Chris Havel with the parks department. "We don't know if it's from Japan or not but we have to eliminate those possibilities as we go forward."

    Even if the dock did travel thousands of miles to reach the shores of Oregon, it did not defy physics to get arrive there. While the structure is nearly 70 feet long, 7 feet tall and 19 feet wide and made of concrete and metal, it was also reportedly designed to float.

    The dock was first spotted floating offshore but has now made its way to land. Kirk Tite was walking along the beach on Tuesday with his two sons and described the dock as a "massive hunk of concrete and metal covered in sea creatures." They also found a Japanese symbol and imprint on tires attached to the dock, although those could simply indicate that the tires themselves were made in Japan.

    Click to see more photos

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  • Police say man assaulted child after water balloon fight

    Children in Houston, Texas, in a water balloon fight. (Kevin Fujii/AP)

    A 33-year-old Pennsylvania man was arrested and charged with two counts of assault after he allegedly beat up a 9-year-old boy who bested him in a water balloon fight.

    There seems to be no shortage of embarrassing details for Joe Mongeon, who witnesses say instigated the water balloon fight with the child. However, the The Times-Tribune of Scranton reports Mongeon became "enraged" after the young boy successfully targeted Mongeon with a water balloon of his own.

    That's when witnesses say Mongeon pushed the child to the ground and began kicking him. When the boy's mother, Helen Flynn, attempted to intervene, Mongeon allegedly punched her in the face.

    Thankfully, both mother and son seem to be OK. Both refused medical attention after Mongeon was arrested. Police later charged Mongeon with harassment, along with the counts of simple assault. He was released on Monday after posting a $5,000 bail.

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  • New study on mosquitoes and raindrops could change the future of robotics

    Mosquitoes are offering new insights into physics that could change the future of technology. (timnowackphotography.com)

    Dr. David Hu, professor of mechanical engineering and biology at Georgia Institute of Technology, says mosquitoes could provide clues to building flying robots of the future.

    In a new study, Dr. Hu and his team of researchers studied how mosquitoes survive the impact of raindrops that are more than 50 times their body mass.

    "This could directly impact the research for a robust flying vehicle," Hu told Yahoo News. "That's important. The dream is that these autonomous robots will be able to fly outdoors."

    The answer to how the tiny insects survive such a powerful impact could have applications in both science and medicine. Hu's team used high-speed cameras to capture images of the mosquitoes and raindrops at 4,000 frames per second. The average camera records at 24 frames per second.

    At first, researchers tried to determine how mosquitoes managed to avoid the countless raindrops that fall in any given storm. Instead, they discovered that the mosquitoes don't avoid the rain at all. When

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  • ‘The Wire: The Musical’ (VIDEO)

    HBO's "The Wire" is one of the most critically acclaimed shows in television history. But that doesn't mean it's former cast members are above poking a little fun at their former roles.

    In this new video from Funny or Die, "The Wire: The Musical," Michael Kenneth Williams (Omar), Andre Royo (Bubbles), Felicia Pearson (Snoop) and Larry Gilliard Jr. (D'Angelo Barksdale) all show up to perform "family-friendly" musical renditions.

    There are even anthropomorphic appearances from some of the show's non-human "characters," including the infamous "burner" cellphones, with lines like, "I'm just a burner, they can't trace me. Use me for drug deals, then replace me."

    If you're a die-hard fan of the show, you'll either love or hate being pulled from the story as the actors make light of story lines from the show's dramatic five seasons.

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