Blog Posts by Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo News

  • Pope Francis: Potty mouth

    Pope Francis calls for dialogue and cooperation to end Ukraine crisis (Reuters)

    Pope Francis dropped the Italian equivalent of an F-bomb during Sunday's address from the Vatican's Apostolic Palace.

    No need to wash out the pontiff's mouth with soap, though. It seems that the swear word was a simple slip of the tongue, NPR reports.

    Francis, speaking in Italian (not his first language, Spanish), said the Italian version of the king of bad words. He was attempting to say "caso," which translates into "example" or "case." The pope corrected himself immediately.

    A translation of the unfortunate error was posted to The Local: "If each one of us does not amass riches only for oneself, but half for the service of others, in this f*** [pause], in this case the providence of God will become visible through this gesture of solidarity."

    Hey, as they say, s--- happens. And the pope shouldn't feel alone. This is hardly the first time a person in a position of power said something uncouth. Vice President Joe Biden was famously heard describing the Affordable Care Act as a "big

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  • High school students rally to help math-rapping teacher facing cancer

    Some things are more important than prom.

    OK, almost everything is more important than prom. But one doesn't always expect teenagers to realize it.

    A group of high school students in Deltona, Fla., is using some of the money the kids would normally spend on their prom festivities to help a math teacher who is battling cancer for the third time, WESH reports.

    Under normal circumstances, the junior class at Pine Ridge High helps put on the prom and organizes fundraisers for the graduating students' big night. This year, the organizers renamed their group "Team Charlie" in honor of math teacher Charlie Lundell.

    It's unknown exactly what kind of money will be raised for Lundell, though Fox35 reports that thousands of dollars have already been raised. In addition to fundraisers, including a Dancing With the Teachers event, the students will apparently "do without some of the decorations and other extras" so they may help out their teacher, WESH reports. 

    Junior class president Katie Buday

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  • Under the Rock: Alcatraz's secret tunnels discovered

    A lot of dark secrets about Alcatraz have been revealed over the years, and now a group of scientists has found one more buried under the former prison's walls.

    Researchers from Texas A&M University, using ground-penetrating radar technology, discovered a network of tunnels underneath the San Francisco island prison. Experts had believed the tunnels were destroyed long ago. Professor Mark Everett explained the technology to BBC News.  

    From BBC News:

    "The cart has a transmitter and a receiver — it sends an electromagnetic wave into the ground that then reflects off all the different structures underneath.

    "Much like medical imaging would make a scan of the body, we are making a scan of the ground under the rec yard."

    But why were there tunnels under the prison, often called "the Rock"? Was Al Capone trying to pull a "Shawshank"? Not so fast, Hollywood.

    The tunnels were from the 19th century, when the island was used as a military fort. The researchers believe they also found magazine

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  • Woman receives FedEx box of strangers' sensitive documents

    Shipper claims it sent her cereal, not papers

    Paging Sherlock Holmes. Your talents of deduction are needed to help solve the mystery of a woman who says she received a FedEx box full of strangers' credit card information and medical records.

    Jerri Crabtree told CBS-Sacramento that she has no idea why the documents were sent to her. Oddly, neither does Reckner, the company that, according to the package label, sent the package.

    Crabtree said she found the FedEx box on the doorstep to her Carmichael, Calif., home. Her name was on the address label. Ditto her cellphone number.

    From CBS-Sacramento:

    “I thought it was mine, until you start going through pages and pages, and you realize it’s got somebody else’s name, somebody else’s social security number, their address, their phone numbers, their subscriber number, their health insurance information,” she said.

    All in all, not the kind of stuff you want to fall into the wrong hands. Crabtree reached out to CBS-Sacramento for some help in getting answers. The station spoke to David

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  • Kid treats warehouse-store audience to incredible piano recital

    What, no tip jar?

    A young boy entertained shoppers at what looks like a Costco store by showing off his incredible skills at the piano, playing a Hungarian folk song titled "Csardas" (here's another version).

    The boy, decked out in a varsity jacket and fedora, plays while standing and doesn't appear to break a sweat, tickling the ivories like a natural.

    At one point in the clip, another kid wanders into the camera's frame. This one seems less than impressed, preferring the siren call of soft-serve ice cream to a musical masterpiece. To each their own.

    One YouTube description identifies him as "Felipe." The video was first uploaded in 2011. It's just now starting to hit high notes on the Web.

    The kid's a little like Batman. We don't know who he is. We don't know where he came from or where he lives. We just know he's good at what he does and that he has excellent taste in hats. That's enough for us.

    Here's the full version:

    Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

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  • Reds and greens galore: Northern lights put on another show

    Their act hasn't changed that much over the past several thousand years, but the northern lights still put on a dazzling show whenever they take the stage.

    In this case, the stage was located near the U.K. and Northern Ireland. Residents were treated to a spectacular display of greens and reds — no special effects needed — on Thursday night.

    The northern lights, also called aurora borealis, materialize when gaseous particles in the atmosphere mix it up with charged particles from the sun. The particles collide with Earth's atmosphere, and the results are never a letdown, no matter how many times you've seen 'em.

    Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

    Related: Why are the northern lights certain colors?

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  • Jersey City man pays it forward for 30 days in a row

    Jemmie Adams. Photo by The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ

    "Pay It Forward" isn't just a so-so movie starring Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment. It's a philosophy on how to make the world a better place — and Jemmie Adams is one of its greatest ambassadors, reports NJ.com.

    In a recent profile, Adams spoke about his 30-day campaign to do kind things for strangers. Over the past month, he's given away money to help pay for gas, gifted Valentine's Day flowers to residents of an emergency shelter for women and children, and provided subway fare for people trying to get home after a long day's work.

    Adams explained to NJ.com's Barry Carter that he upped the number of people helped each day. On the first day of his experiment, he helped one person; the next day, two. And the stakes kept rising. On day 28, he kicked in $10 in gas money to 28 complete strangers. NJ.com has a complete list of his good deeds.

    Adams told NJ.com, "When you show someone kindness, they can take that kindness and give it to someone else."

    From NJ.com:

    "Once you fully and

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  • 'You just do what you have to do,' says woman who gave up coat to newborn

    Isabel Williams called 911, surrendered her shirt, scarf as well for baby born on NYC street

    A coat-less Isabel Williams stands on the far right.

    Every day, a lot of wild things happen in New York. But rare is the case when a baby is born on a bustling street corner and a good Samaritan literally gives the coat, and more, off her back.

    On Wednesday, "Good Morning America" reported about new mom Polly McCourt and her husband's attempts to get a taxi to the hospital before their baby made her grand entrance on the streets of the Big Apple.

    But where's a cab when you need one, right? A short time later, little Ila Isabelle McCourt came rushing into the world. Isabel Williams was there, dialed 911 and gave the new infant and her mother her coat, scarf and flannel shirt to keep the baby warm in the cold winter weather.

    Williams spoke with the New York Daily News about her unexpected encounter.  She remarked that the experience was "intense, but really cool," adding, "You just do what you have to do, you know?"

    From the Daily News:

    "I saw a lot of people with their phones out taking pictures. I ran over and asked if anybody had

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  • Monkey snatches camera, makes unwatchable documentary before attempt to eat it

    Camera was recovered — battery, not so much

    The lesson here: Leaving your GoPro camera within snatching distance of curious primates is not recommended.

    But the results do make for an amusing video.

    A tourist, apparently uninformed that monkeys are rascals — maybe he never read "Curious George" — left his camera unguarded while he filmed himself giving fruit away at Uluwatu Temple in Bali, Indonesia.

    In a plot twist you probably saw coming, a monkey grabbed the camera and hightailed it into the trees, while filming what may be the least watchable documentary in history (not counting "The Real Cancun"). Listen closely and you can hear the incredulous camera owner in the background.

    The monkey, apparently annoyed that the camera isn't edible, starts taking it apart, eventually removing the battery.

    The uploader wrote, "After few minutes of panic a sweet lady who works in the temple made a 'deal' with Mr. Monkey and trade my camera for some fruits. I lost the battery but got this awesome and unexpected video."

    Follow Mike

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  • The plastic bag may soon be extinct in California

    A proposed statewide ban could mean the end

    Plastic bags (Thinkstock)

    Is the bell tolling for the plastic bag in the great state of California? The movement to permanently ban the single-use bags is picking up momentum.

    Long the bane of anti-pollution advocates and considered by many to be a symbol of waste, plastic bags have already been banned in dozens of California cities, including Los Angeles and San Jose. However, California is now considering a bill that would ban the bags across the entire state.

    State senator Alex Padilla While California wouldn't be the first to institute such a ban (Hawaii won't allow them starting in July of 2015), it certainly is the biggest.

    State Sen. Alex Padilla is a sponsor of the legislation that would ban plastic bags, SB 270. Padilla told the New York Times, "It has become increasingly clear to the public the environmental damage that single-use plastic bags have reaped."

    Only a small portion of the plastic bags are recycled, "in large part because they jam sorting machines at recycling plants and so must be separated from other plastics,"

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