The Sideshow
  • Squirrel takes on snake in backyard rumble

    Sure, squirrels can scurry and climb trees with the best of 'em. But when it comes to brawling, one doesn't normally think of the furry rodents as being the most intimidating of foes.

    Consider the above clip as the first step in changing the squirrel's reputation. Here's what happened, according to CBS 5. A Gold Canyon, Ariz., woman called 911 to report that a squirrel and a gopher snake were mixing it up in her backyard.

    The dispatcher sent firefighter Ryan Philips, who showed up to deal with the situation. But not before he took out his camera and recorded the brawl for all those who didn't have ringside seats.

    The squirrel more than holds its own against the gopher snake, going in for repeated bites and swipes. The CBS 5 report mentioned that the snake did get in a few nips but that the squirrel was the clear aggressor.

    Philips told CBS 5, "I'd say this round went to the ground squirrel. But I'm sure they'll be a rematch in the future."

    The snake reportedly had a few cuts when it

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  • A weak message in anti-smoking ads may actually trigger viewers to smoke. (AP)

    A new study finds that some anti-cigarette messages in public service announcements have an unintended result: They trigger viewers' desire to smoke.

    The findings were published in the most recent issue of Media Psychology.

    Certain "scenes portraying smoking objects or behaviors can be helpful by making antismoking PSAs more relevant and engaging the target audience,” write the study’s authors, Sungkyoung Lee, Ph.D., and Joseph N. Cappella, Ph.D., of the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.

    “However, inclusion of such images can [sometimes] distract viewers from processing audio and non-cue visuals, which are often the most important content audiences need to take away.”

    The key, the authors write, is whether the anti-smoking message is powerful enough to capture the viewer’s attention. In such cases, the images of smokers will reinforce the notion that cigarettes are harmful. But when the anti-smoking

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  • Black bear breaks into Knoxville Zoo

    File photo of a black bear (Thinkstock)A black bear (Thinkstock)

    The Knoxville Zoo must have a pretty good Yelp rating, because a black bear was spotted breaking into (not out of) the zoo on Monday night, KnoxNews.com reports.

    The bear climbed a 10-foot-tall chain-link fence around the zoo's perimeter before a zoo ranger spotted the unauthorized visitor and alerted staff. KnoxNews.com reports that the staff, suspecting the bear might be one of their own, did a count of their residents, but none were missing.

    The police were notified, and zoo rangers began to search the interior of the park. However, the bear was not seen again. According to KnoxNews.com, zoo spokeswoman Tina Rolen said rangers believe the bear climbed back over the fence shortly after making its covert entrance.

    The bear's current location is unknown. The zoo's Executive Director Lisa New told KnoxNews.com, "Of course our first concern is to ensure the safety of our visitors and animals. We are also concerned about the welfare of our wandering bear, who hopefully has made his way

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