Blog Posts by Mia Fitzharris

  • The recent Ebola diagnosis of a man in Dallas has turned up the paranoia across the U.S. And now photos from a concert in Africa have scaremongers working overtime. Here they are, pictures of R&B star Akon performing at the International Day of Peace celebrations in Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is seen crowd-surfing over the hands of the 60,000 concertgoers in a giant bubble. Seems harmless enough, but some people are assuming that he chose this method of transportation as a way to avoid coming in contact with the deadly virus.

    Ah, Internet rumors.Ah, Internet rumors.

    It all started when the website the Source posted an article that read in part, "The Ebola virus is no joke, and to avoid contracting it from anybody, when Akon left the stage to crowd surf with the people that were attending his concert, he did so in a huge plastic protective bubble." Twitter took care of the rest of the assumptions about the man in the bubble. But let's take a step back and look at Akon's history with the giant

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  • Mom Follows Daughter Around School with Video Camera to Prove a Point

    It seems that parental humiliation of kids is a common theme on social media these days. Remember Tommy Jordan, who released a video in which he shot holes in his daughter's laptop after she posted a few status updates about how unfair her life was? That video has had more than 39 million views on YouTube. The latest parent to inflict social media punishment is Jeannie Crutchfield, from Casper, Wyo. When she found out that her 14-year-old daughter, Ricki Durant, had been skipping class, she decided to take matters into her own hands, and those hands were carrying a video camera. Crutchfield followed her daughter to school, through the hallways, making sure that she went to class, all while the camera was rolling. She posted the video to Facebook, where it has been viewed more than 100,000 times. In the video, Ricki is seen trying to walk away from her mom while Crutchfield asks her, "Why am I here, Ricki?" and a stream of other questions.

    There's probably nothing more embarrassing to a

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  • Jeff Goldblum Stars in Hilarious GE Light Bulb Commercial

    A great way for advertisers to have viewers remember their client's product is to use laughter. Just ask Geico, which had an insanely popular commercial in 2013 featuring a hump-day-loving camel. You remember it, right? "Guess what day it is?"

    There's a new ad to leave you in stitches — brought to us by General Electric. It features funny guy Jeff Goldblum promoting GE's new Link light bulb. In the over-the-top spot, the "Jurassic Park" actor plays Terry Quattro, a boastful, egotistical celebrity who owes his success to good lighting. In the commercial, the Terry tells the audience, "Now you can get successful-guy lighting at normal-guy prices."

    The Link light bulb lasts 22 years and costs $14.97, which works out to 66 cents a year. That, Terry explains, is what he spends on moist towelettes every 13 seconds. You can even control the lights by using the Wink app on your smartphone, which connects to a Wink hub that is plugged into the wall socket, Terry adds.  The video is going

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  • New Video Uncovers Life in IS-Controlled Syrian City of Raqqa

    A new video is giving a rare glimpse of the terrifying life inside Raqqa, Syria. The area was overtaken nearly 18 months ago by the Islamic State militant group (also known as ISIL and ISIS). The video originally aired this week on the French TV channel France 2. The video portrays a society of forced prayers, a ban on music and entertainment, and mandatory niqabs (restrictive full coverings) for women. A brave Syrian female student shot the undercover video, which shows men and women carrying weapons in the busy streets, even near children.
    At one point in the video, a man pulls up to the camerawoman in a car and chastises her about her too-transparent veil. He tells her, "God loves covered women."
    The video was shot in February and April of this year. Its purpose was to expose the conditions under which Syrian women now live, and also to tell the story of 150 French women who have moved to the area to marry jihadists or join their extremist husbands fighting there, to care for

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  • New 'Meow Mix' Country Anthem Pays Homage to Male Cat Owners

    Cats and the Internet go together like peanut butter and jelly, and Meow Mix is banking on that concept. The brand's advertising team came up with a new way to appeal to the less-talked-about cat owners — cat guys. In a new YouTube video titled "Country Cat," J.R. Moore (aka country music singer Justin Moore) sings about what he loves to do when he gets home from a long day of hard work. Spoiler alert: It's playing with his cat. The 2-minute video will have you tapping your foot, especially to this line: "Listen to that purrin' the records are turnin'…"

    This is the second Meow Mix music video in its "It's Meow Time" campaign, which features remixed versions of its famous jingle. The first was a trippy, electronic dance music version released in August. Whether you love or hate the two new videos, the company has come a long way since its original 1970s jingle.

    Good luck getting this country tune out of your head. If you're feeling inspired, you should upload your own version at

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  • Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake Now in 2 New iPhone Commercials

    Apple's announcement on Sept. 9 of the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus was big. Really big. Huge even. You get the point. It seems like all anyone can talk about are the phone sizes, and that includes best friends Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon, who appear in two new Apple commercials that were released on YouTube Monday night. In the first video, titled "Huge," the pair poke fun at the way everyone is obsessed with the size of the smartphones.

    If you can stop talking about the phones' sizes for a minute, you can watch the next Timberlake and Fallon collaboration, an ad titled "Cameras." This one is about the awesomeness of the phones' cameras, which feature slow motion and a new time-lapse setting.

    Both spots only feature Fallon and Timberlake's voices and hands, but still left us smiling.  We didn't expect anything less from the funny duo, who have famously appeared in several sketches together, like their "Hashtags" bit on Fallon's "Tonight Show" and the

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  • High School Football Player Gives Inspiring Postgame Interview

    It's no secret that some professional football stars haven't exactly behaved like great role models recently, so it's refreshing to meet a young player who seems to be heading in the right direction. Apollos Hester is a wide receiver on the East View High School football team in Georgetown, Texas, where they take football pretty seriously. Hester's team was able to win Friday's game with an amazing comeback (the score was 42-41). 

    During his postgame interview with a sports reporter from TWC Austin, Lauren Mickler, Hester's words proved just as good as his moves on the field. The only question Mickler asked was "What were you guys able to do to come back and win this thing?" Hester responded with a motivational speech which included this quote: "Keep smiling, no matter what you're going through. If you fall down, just get up. If you can't get up, your friends are there to help you. Your momma's there, your daddy's there, God's there... hey, I'm there to help you up."

    Mickler posted the

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  • IG Nobel Prizes Awarded for Theories on Jesus Toast and Banana Peels

    The Annals of Improbable Research Magazine announced the IG Nobel Prize winners at Harvard University on Thursday and seen on a live webcast. According to the magazine, the prizes are awarded for people who have done something to make people laugh, then think. The theme this year was food. Among the many categories, these made us laugh then think:

    For physics, four people from Japan won from measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin and between a banana and the floor when a person steps on it.

    For neuroscience, the winners in China tried to understand what happens in the brain of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast.

    For medicine, the prize was given out to several smarties from the U.S. and India who were able to treat uncontrollable nosebleeds using cured pork as nasal packing strips.

    And then there was the category for arctic science. The winners are from Norway and Germany. They won for testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are

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  • Unfortunately, sometimes high school looks a lot like a real-life version of the movie "Mean Girls." Case in point, a group of girls at Grand Prairie High School in north Texas tricked 17-year-old Lillian Skinner into thinking she was nominated for the homecoming court.

    The truth is, she wasn't actually nominated, but the story doesn't end there. Her two friends Anahi Alvarez and Naomi Martinez, who were nominated, heard about the cruel prank and came up with a plan. They decided that if either of them won, the winner would give the crown to Lillian. "We promised each other, and we were like, 'No matter what, no backing down. If one of us wins, we're giving Lillian the crown,'" Martinez told NBCDFW.

    Lillian, Anahi, and NaomiLillian, Anahi, and Naomi

    In order to get Skinner down to the field during the crowning ceremony, the friends told the school's principal, Lorimer Arendse, about their plans. Then the winner was announced, and Alvarez was crowned the queen. Moments later, Alvarez placed the crown on Skinner. "I was like, 'Wow,

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  • Cat Lover Spends 15 Years Customizing House for Feline Friends

    Detecting a home that houses multiple cats is sometimes very easy, but none have as much cat-itude as Greg Krueger's home in St. James, Minn. The 49-year-old has been constructing the perfect (read: purrrfect) habitat over the last 15 years for his four cat friends/roommates. The house features about 100 yards of overhead catwalks, elaborate staircases, and secret hideouts that feature comfortable padding and soft lighting. Some of the openings in the walls are shaped like cats, and one is in the shape of a bird. 

    His reason for building the feline palace is a combination of his passions. He says, "I just love trails and paths, and cats, of course, and so I've just linked those passions together." But there may be a more scientific reason for why Krueger spends hours thinking of new designs for his cat home. Last year, he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger syndrome. He says of his diagnosis, "Obviously, my house would not be like this if I didn't have Asperger's. If it

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