Blog Posts by Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo News

  • Bolt of lightning comes thisclose to striking Barcelona fisher

    Fishing during a lightning storm is probably (OK, definitely) not the wisest way to spend one's time. Bad things tend to happen when you mix electricity and water with metal rods.

    Just ask the Bishop from "Caddyshack."

    Suffice it to say that this video from Tesla Weather could have been a lot worse. Instead, the footage of an unidentified angler fishing near Barcelona is a case study in close calls.

    The footage, captured on June 15, shows a fisher who caught a very lucky break. About 50 meters away, a tremendous bolt of lightning struck the water, turning the dark sky an electric white.

    No word on what happened to the fisher, but we're betting he or she was more than happy that this particular big one got away.

    Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

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  • Northwestern's School of Journalism misspells own name on diplomas

    Well, this is embarasing embarrassing.

    Northwestern University's esteemed Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications — one of the nation's top graduate programs for aspiring journalists — issued dozens of diplomas with the program's own name misspelled.

    Someone, it seems, forgot that the word "integrated" includes an "n." The typo affected roughly 30 of the 250 diplomas awarded to future Woodwards and Bernsteins, according to the Washington Post.

    Those who received a diploma with a pesky typo will get a replacement, university spokesperson Desiree Hanford told media blogger Jim Romenesko.

    This isn't the first case of an educational institution messing up its own diplomas. Last year was a banner year for boo-boos. Radford University misspelled "Virginia" on its diplomas, and Stanford University issued diplomas with the wrong signature.

    And in 2012, a Maryland high school was forced to reprint 8,000 diplomas after someone pointed out that the word "progam" is

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  • All aboard! 8-year-old conductor guides locomotive with help from Make-A-Wish

    His name is Jonathan Dockins and, like a lot of kids, he loves trains. But this 8-year-old doesn't just play with toy choo-choos. This past Friday, he helped to conduct the real deal.

    Jonathan, who has a heart defect and has undergone 10 surgeries over the course of his short life, had the opportunity to conduct the famed California Zephyr with some help from Amtrak and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    "I just can't wait," the clearly excited "Jon Jon," as he's called, said ahead of bording the Zephyr, which travels between Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area. Jonathan, in train conducting gear, helped to run the show between Sacramento, Calif., and Reno, Nev.

    The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Amtrak pulled out all the stops to ensure that Jonathan had the day of his life. He arrived at the Sacramento station with a police escort. He was met by cheering crowds and drum lines as he made his way to the locomotive.

    "There’s just electricity," his mother Dee Dee, overcome with emotion, said.

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  • After horse falls into mud hole, it's the fire department to the rescue

    Photo of horse being rescued from mud hole. (Marion County Fire District No. 1)Photo of horse being rescued from mud hole. (Marion County Fire District No. 1)

    With their tall ladders, firefighters have been known to be called upon to rescue kittens trapped in trees. But what about horses stuck in mud holes?

    Firefighters and volunteers helped to rescue a horse that had slid down an embankment and into a mud hole near Salem, Oregon, on Sunday. After three hours, the operation  which involved heavy equipment and the help of a veterinarian  was declared a success.

    Missy the horse was rescued on Sunday. (Marion County Fire District No. 1)Missy the horse was rescued on Sunday. (Marion County Fire District No. 1)

    The Statesman-Journal reports that the horse, named Missy, fell into heavy mud up to her sides. Missy was unable to move, and the owner called in the fire department for assistance. The team of rescuers worked for two hours before determining that heavy equipment would be needed to free the horse.

    Missy was sedated by a veterinarian and pulled out of the mud by a front-end loader that belonged to a friend of her owner. Finally, Missy was safely returned to stable ground, according to the Statesman-Journal.

    Missy the horse back on solid ground. (AP Photo/Marion County Fire District No. 1)Missy the horse back on solid ground. (AP Photo/Marion County Fire District No. 1)

    A press release provided by the Marion County Fire District says this isn't

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  • Oklahoma meteorologist deals with earthquake live on the air

    "Oh, my gosh," KOCO's Danielle Dozier says.

    Shake, rattle and keep rolling, because we are live on the air, folks.

    An Oklahoma City meteorologist showed grace under fire when her television studio was struck by a fairly significant earthquake in the middle of her forecast.

    No sooner had Danielle Dozier said something about nightly winds than the studio started to rumble. "Oh, my gosh," Dozier said, before covering her mouth with her hand as if she'd just screamed an unholy string of four-letter words in the presence of the queen. "I'm so sorry — this is live on air," she continued.

    While the earthquake (one of four that morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey) certainly had an effect on Dozier's delivery, she handled things with relative calm compared to other broadcasters who've suffered through quakes while on the air.

    Consider the case of KTLA

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  • Man stops charging elephant with a wave of his hand

    Brave? Or a wee bit foolish? Definitely lucky.

    While visiting the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand, Tor Bowling, 27, came nose-to-trunk with a charging elephant and lived to tell the tale. The story was first reported by the New York Daily News.

    The elephant charges Bowling, who — amazingly — doesn't so much as flinch. Instead he raises his hand as if to say, "Hold it right there, Jumbo." The elephant does exactly that, putting on the brakes before trampling the tourist. The beast then retreats back into the trees,

    We think it's safe to assume that most people in the same situation would either scream, run or curl up into a ball and pray for a quick death. Bowling clearly isn't most people. He turns to the person filming the clip and gives a smile and a chuckle, like the entire thing was no big deal. Don't play chicken with this guy — you will lose.

    Bowling told the Daily News that he chose to see the experience as a positive. "I always think (everything that happens to me) is

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  • Video captures the amazing mating dance of the Galapagos albatross

    And you thought human beings had odd mating rituals. A 2012 video that's going viral shows the amazing courtship dance between two Galapagos albatrosses. 

    The dance is truly a sight to behold. Two birds face each other, bow their necks, peck at each other's beaks, honk loudly, lock their jaws and strut around in circles like a '70s-era John Travolta at a Brooklyn disco.

    The clip was filmed by Phillip Nails while visiting the Galapagos Islands several years ago with his parents. In the background, you can hear the gasps and chuckles of the delighted onlookers. To their credit, the albatrosses keep their composure despite the vocal audience. These two lovebirds have eyes only for each other.

    While the ritual might look a little silly, it's a sign of real devotion between the birds. The courtship dance is something that occurs when the birds return to the Galapagos each year after spending months at sea, the BBC explains. The birds, who mate for life and can live 50 years, track each

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  • Have you published 25 books? You might be qualified to teach at Santa Clara U.

    Santa Clara University (Wikimedia Commons)Santa Clara University (Wikimedia Commons)

    Like nearly all job postings, the ad seeking applicants for a quarterly adjunct lecturer position at Santa Clara University's English Department lists some desired skills and requirements.

    But forget about "must have basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel" or "excellent interpersonal skills are key" — the qualifications sought for this posting were as specific as they were over-the-top.

    According to the posting, the successful applicant should have published “at least 25 books on topics ranging from the history of Silicon Valley to the biography of microprocessing to interviews with entrepreneurs." Hmm, OK. What else? "E-books on topics such as home life in the US, home life in the UK, and water conservation.” 

    And the list goes on: The successful applicant should have a history of being "an editor of Forbes ASAP or a weekly columnist for ABC.com." Oh, and one last thing: He or she also needs to have experience hosting "television and radio productions for PBS, cable television, and ABC."

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  • Luxury Texas home dangles from cliff's edge

    A 4,000-square-foot luxury home valued at more than $700,000 is sliding over a cliff near Lake Whitney, Texas.

    Much of the ground underneath the home, reportedly built in 2007, has tumbled into the lake. Large portions of the home are now dangling over a cliff, KHOU reports. Debris and soil have reportedly been spotted falling into the lake, roughly 75 feet below.

    Additionally, large and ominous cracks are creeping up the walls of the home, which is currently unoccupied.

    Neighbors Connie Ash and Jackie McNamara told WFAA that they heard some sort of crash on Tuesday evening.

    "I immediately thought it was an earthquake or blasting; it was loud, really loud," Ash explained. "And then I saw smoke, dust, water ... I don't know, it was a huge cloud of stuff." The two neighbors called 911.

    Authorities, aware of the home's precarious situation, placed a sign in front of the house reading "EXTREME DANGER, STAY OFF PREMISES," according to KHOU.

    A crack in the land under the home was discovered

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  • VW produces eerie, interactive anti-texting PSA

    Persuading people to put down their phones while behind the wheel is an ongoing struggle for companies, police departments, your mom and just about everybody who has a vested interest in your not dying.

    And yet, people still do it. Perhaps this interactive PSA from Volkswagen will do a bit of good. In a video that's quickly going viral, a crowd of moviegoers enters a theater and gets ready to enjoy a flick (hopefully not "Blended").

    The lights dim and what looks like a commercial begins to roll. It's a first-person-POV video of somebody driving. Just motoring along, la dee da. Not much going on. The seconds tick by, the crowd is lulled into boredom, until everybody in the audience receives a "location-based" text message from someone behind the scenes.

    As soon as the moviegoers take their eyes off the commercial to reach for their phones, the car swerves off the road and crashes. The audience members gasp and then are silent as they ponder what just happened.

    The point is clear: Don't

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