The Sideshow
  • Scott Hunt and his wood-powered truck (

    The National Geographic Channel has launched a new program, "Doomsday Preppers" (National Geographic Channel, Tuesdays at 9pm ET/PT) that places four to six families per episode in a theoretical, apocalyptic setting and chronicles how they respond under doomsday pressure.

    As part of the show, Nat Geo enlisted Scott Hunt and his partner David Kobler, who run the Practical Preppers, a disaster preparedness business. Hunt evaluated how well the show's contestants have prepared for their doomsday scenario and gives them advice on how to be better prepared to subsist on their own.

    "Most people rely on [calling] 911," Hunt said in an interview with Yahoo! News. "Most people don't have a plan. If there's social chaos, you won't be able to count on someone providing goods and services."

    From zombie outbreaks to Mayan prophecies, Americans have a seemingly limitless interest in how and when civilization might end. What they appear to spend far less time on, is thinking and preparing for such an event.

    "The biggest mistake people made on the show is going alone," Hunt said. "You have to sleep. You're making yourself vulnerable where one bad person could easily take you out."

    More than 800 people attended a recent prepping conference hosted by Hunt in Columbia, South Carolina.

    So, where would be the safest place in the world to bunker down in an extinction level event? Would you want to be near an ocean or major river? Or, maybe in the mountains, far away from population centers? Hunt says there's no one good answer to prevent against unforeseen disastrous events.

    "People can't move easily in a disaster and we've found most people don't have the financial resources or desire to pick up and move before a disaster," Hunt said.

    Hunt has prepared a Top 10 list of essential items anyone should have in order to survive for at least a few days in case of disaster. But he says the most important survival element isn't food or water.

    "The most important asset is a community network," Hunt said. "If you live in a major population center like Los Angeles, you're going to want to tap into the community for knowledge and resources."

    "We're trying to restore a back-to-community mentality," Hunt said.

    Read More »from Scott Hunt wants to help you prepare for doomsday
  • The escaped penguin, last seen near Tokyo Bay (Photo: Tokyo Sea Life Park)A determined, young penguin has escaped captivity by reportedly circumventing the walls of the Tokyo Sea Life Park and was last spotted swimming in Tokyo Bay, near the Japanese capital.

    "We first noticed the penguin might have fled when the director of a neighboring zoo e-mailed us Sunday with a photo," park official Takashi Sugino told the AFP.

    The 1-year-old Humboldt penguin was spotted by the zoo director, where it was bathing in the mouth of the Kyu-Edo river. The zookeeper then snapped a picture of the penguin, who almost appears to be waving to the camera, and sent it to officials at the Tokyo Sea Life Park.

    The BBC reports that park officials have had no luck bringing the missing penguin back home. They say the runaway Humboldt travels "at a tremendous speed," making him elusive to park officials. They have been unable to track down the penguin since he was last seen in the photo.

    "Since then, we don't have any specific information about the penguin's whereabouts," Takashi Sugino, an official of Tokyo Sea Life Park, told the Japan Times.

    Park officials still aren't exactly sure how the young penguin, part of a 134 penguin litter born at the park last year, escaped. The park's aquarium is enclosed by a six foot (2 meter) net they say would be impossible for the penguin to climb over. However, the Japan Times reports that the net has holes in it sometimes used by cats and other animals.

    Read More »from Escaped penguin outracing Tokyo authorities in bid for freedom
  • An X-ray shows the ring of 37 magnets swallowed by Payton Bushnell (KPTV)

    A 3-year-old with curious eating habits is recovering after swallowing 37 high-powered "Buckyballs" magnets. KPTV reports that after she ate them, the magnets formed a dangerous ring inside Payton Bushnell's digestive track, snapping her intestines together and ripping holes in both her small intestine and stomach.

    "They saw a circle had formed in her stomach, and they thought she swallowed a bracelet," Payton's mother, Kelli Bushnell, told the station.

    Buckyballs has released a statement on their website, reading:

    "Buckyballs was saddened to learn that a 3-year old girl in Oregon had swallowed high-powered magnets but we are relieved that she is expected to make a full recovery. This unfortunate incident underscores the fact that Buckyballs and Buckycubes are for adults. They are not toys and are not intended for children. We urge all consumers to read and comply with the warnings we place on all our products, on our website and in stores. Please keep these products out of the hands and reach of all children."

    A recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says there have been 22 cases of children swallowing magnets since 2009. And the New York Times reported that while swallowing a single magnet rarely poses problems, swallowing even just two can prove fatal. The Canadian government explains on one of its health information sites that once someone has swallowed more than one magnet, the magnets can literally travel through the intestines until they link up. Along the way, they can create dangerous blockages and even slowly tear through the intestinal walls themselves.

    Needless to say, Payton Bushnell survived, thanks to her doctors at Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. She's expected to make a full recovery.

    "Her mom and I prayed and hoped she'd get through it," Payton's father, Aaron Bushnell, told KPTV. "It's a miracle she is doing as well as she is."

    Read More »from 3-year-old girl recovering after swallowing 37 high-powered “Buckyballs” magnets


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  • School bans 'I Can't Breathe' T-shirts at tournament
    School bans 'I Can't Breathe' T-shirts at tournament

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A high school basketball tournament on the Northern California coast has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing protests over police killings of unarmed black men after a school was disinvited because of concerns its players would wear T-shirts printed with the words "I Can't Breathe" during warmups.

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