The Sideshow
  • Evelyn and Remi Urbano's successful pitch for a new cat (Facebook)Dan Urbano's two kids really wanted a cat. So, Urbano jokingly made a bet offering to adopt a feline friend if they could get 1,000 "likes" on Facebook in support of their effort.

    The combined power of social media, kids and cat proved too much as the Boston-area children far exceeded their dad's challenge, generating more than 111,000 "likes" and 100,000 shares.

    To accomplish their feat, 7-year-old Remi and 1-year-old Evelyn posted a picture on their mother's Facebook page. In the photo, Remi is smiling while holding a whiteboard that reads:

    "Hey Facebook! My sister and I really want a cat. Our papa promises we can get one if we can get 1,000 likes. Please like this picture. Thank you!"

    Evelyn stands next to him with a huge grin on her face and appears to be pumping her fists with excitement.

    After the photo went viral, Urbano honored his end of the bet, picking up a pet from a local animal shelter.

    '"Never, ever did we think this was going to happen," their mom, Marisa, said in an

    Read More »from Dad buys kids pet cat after they win Facebook bet
  • Tiffany Chapin takes part in a personal safety course at Combat City (WKMG)

    UPDATE: This story has been modified from an earlier version.

    Combat Shooting Sports, a Florida gun range, has taken the concept of target practice to a whole new level. Customers can actually engage in simulated combat against other people, shooting real guns at each other.

    However, as local affiliate WKMG explains, the customers aren't using live ammunition. Owner Dave Kaplan gives visitors a choice: He can modify your own gun to fire Simunition rounds. Simunition rounds are filled with compounds similar to those found in paintball rounds. They've been used by military and law enforcement organizations in training exercises.

    "General dynamics created Simunition decades ago for the military and later law enforcement," Kaplan said in an email to Yahoo! News. "They recently created a civilian range program and we are probably the only facility doing person on person fighting. We are taking firearm training to a level previously held by professionals."

    And while most customers are going for fun, Kaplan says a growing percentage of his visitors are women who show up to improve their personal safety skills and knowledge.

    "Most women walk out of here very empowered, and that's the key," Tiffany Chapin, who teaches one of the safety courses targeted towards women, told WKMG.

    "We are insured, certified, and [use] proper safety gear from the Simunition corporation is always utilized," Kaplan told Yahoo! News. "People are using real firearms modified to preclude the firing of a live/lethal round."

    A trip to Combat Shooting Sports costs about $150, which includes the cost of the gun modification.

    After receiving their modified guns and donning protective gear, customers are broken up into teams and take part in various games ranging from capture the flag to hostage simulations. Games can last from about 10 minutes to more than an hour. But customers are allowed to stay for the entire day, according to the company's website.

    Read More »from Florida gun range lets customers shoot at each other
  • An advertisement for the new Pepsi Special (Pepsi Japan)Pepsi Japan launched a new line of soda on Tuesday that it claims blocks the body's absorption of fat.

    Pepsi Special is infused with indigestible dextrin, a synthetic dietary fiber. Even though dextrin has not been proven to have dietary benefits for humans, it has been successfully tested on rats. Which, apparently, is good enough for Pepsi and the Japanese government, which has formally backed the soda manufacturer's claims.

    The Japanese Ministry of Health says products carrying its FOSHU label are "intended to be consumed for the maintenance/promotion of health or special health uses by people who wish to control health conditions, including blood pressure or blood cholesterol."

    In order to received the FOSHU seal, products must meet the following requirements:

    • Effectiveness on the human body is clearly proven
    • Absence of any safety issues (animal toxicity tests, confirmation of effects in the cases of excess intake, etc.)
    • Use of nutritionally appropriate ingredients (e.g., no
    Read More »from Pepsi now selling ‘fat-blocking soda’


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