Blog Posts by Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo News

  • Lance Armstrong explains how to change a flat tire

    Bizarrely straightforward video from Outside magazine features disgraced cyclist demonstrating in a bike shop

    Not all online videos featuring unexpected celebrities are the same.

    This video from Outside magazine starring Lance Armstrong doesn't go for laughs. Instead, it's strangely practical. So much so that you might wonder if you've missed the joke.

    The disgraced cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories in 2012 and admitted to doping in 2013, appears in a tongue-in-cheek instructional clip in which he educates viewers on how to change a flat tire on a bike.

    His instructions are straightforward and pretty useful for amateur cyclists. And that's what makes the video, which went up earlier this week, so odd. It's just so... normal.

    There's one humorous allusion to rougher times, but for the most part, it's just Lance changing a tire, offering tips and getting his hands dirty, just as if he's a regular bike store employee and not one of the most infamous athletes of all time.

    How did Outside convince Armstrong to make the video?

    “We asked, he said yes — much to our

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  • Opera star entertains Paris Metro commuters

    Christophe Menager gives a comedic performance in a subway station under the City of Light

    Surprises during commutes are rarely pleasant. More often than not, they involve traffic jams, delayed trains or horrible weather that makes getting home a type of Greek odyssey.

    So, we imagine it must have been a nice treat for the Paris commuters who were lucky enough to come across opera star Christophe Menager giving a performance in a bustling Metro station.

    We don't know what Menager is singing about, but we do know that he's giving it his all. According to the person who recorded the two minutes of video, Menager "sometimes goes to the Metro to sing for the people that can't afford to go or wouldn't otherwise be interested in going to opera."

    Of course, the opera, especially as performed in subway stations, isn't for everybody. Some commuters stop to listen and interact, while others hurry past, eager to get to wherever it is they're going. Maybe the opera?

    Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

     

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  • FBI produces short film to warn students about spying on U.S.

    'Game of Pawns' dramatizes story of Glenn Duffie Shriver, who is serving four years in prison

    Move over, Warner Bros. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is getting into the movie business.

    OK, not exactly. But the feds did produce a short film , titled "Game of Pawns," detailing the story of Glenn Duffie Shriver, a recent American college graduate who was sentenced to four years in federal prison after he pled guilty to conspiring to give classified information to authorities in the People's Republic of China.

    After college, Shriver traveled to Shanghai in the mid-2000s. In need of money, he responded to a classified ad to write essays on American-Chinese relations.

    Things escalated. He was given more assignments (and money) and was eventually asked by Chinese officials to infiltrate the U.S. on their behalf by pursuing a career in the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Warning bells must have been going off, but Shriver continued down the road, scoring an interview at CIA headquarters. However, his nerves quickly got the better of him. After choking during a routine polygraph

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  • Man uses drone to take spectacular selfie atop hill in San Francisco

    We know, we know. You're sick of selfies. We're sick of selfies. Everybody's sick of selfies. We hear you loud and clear.

    But humor us, because this isn't your average, everyday, phone-held-out-at-arm's-length smiling portrait of some goober in front of the Eiffel Tower.

    Far from it. Amit Gupta used a drone to take a 15-second video selfie of two friends, himself, and their dogs from atop Bernal Hill in San Francisco.

    The footage starts with the camera-equipped drone floating a dozen or so feet away from the three men. Then, whoosh! The drone takes off, flying higher and farther from the city until the men and their mutts are mere dots on the horizon.

    All in all, it's a stunning bit of videography and evidence that the selfie isn't dead yet.

    Of course, this isn't the first time somebody has shot a selfie with a drone. The Verge offers a nice roundup of some other drone selfies (dronies?), each of them worth a look.

    Below, an explainer on how the uber-popular "Superman With a GoPro"

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  • Tourists forced to jump from runaway horse carriage in Savannah, Ga.

    So much for getting a little R and R down south.

    A group of New Yorkers traveled to what many would consider the far less hectic Savannah, Ga., for vacation only to find themselves careening through the streets in a runaway horse-drawn carriage.

    The scene, which was captured on video, shows the horse running rampant, bumping into cars, and generally causing mayhem. The driver was thrown from her perch and broke both her ankles in the fall, according to a report from Fox News.

    The five passengers, which included three children, all escaped from the incident with relatively minor injuries, WSAV reports, despite having to jump from the carriage while it was still in motion.

    Witnesses described the surreal scene to WSAV. Nicole Miller, who was eating a cafe with her husband, saw the horse gallop by. "All of a sudden the horse and carriage trucking by us. It takes a turn and we hear a crash."

    Another witness, Aaron Senne, told WSAV, "I heard the horse coming down and said it sounds like its

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  • Not-so-sweet Caroline: Woman billed more than $4,000 for Neil Diamond download

    Neil Diamond (Wikimedia Commons)

    Neil Diamond can sing. He can play. He can entertain. And he can also inspire a British woman vacationing in South Africa to download his greatest hits on her phone, leading to an incredible $4,350 bill, the Telegraph reports.

    Of course, the woman, Katie Bryan, wasn't aware what the download would cost her. The math instructor told the Telegraph she discovered the data charge when she returned to the U.K. and received her cellphone bill.

    Bryan, 43, told the Telegraph, "People were playing music through their iPads or on phones through an iPod dock. Someone had put on the Traveling Wilburys but I just fancied hearing some Neil Diamond. I don't know why. He's more my boyfriend's musical taste and I'm more of a James Blunt fan."

    And so Bryan downloaded Diamond's greatest hits for what she thought was £8.99 ($15). Alas, she didn't count on the data charges. The Telegraph reports that Bryan was charged "£8 per megabyte once her 10MB monthly foreign allowance had been used up." All told,

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  • Some landlords in SF offering tenants big bucks to move out. Here's why

    San Francisco skyline (Mike Krumboltz/Flickr)

    Landlords are supposed to want tenants to stay. Right?

    Welcome to San Francisco, where things don't always make perfect sense. Rent-controlled apartments, where city laws prevent the price of rent increasing by too much, don't come along every day in S.F. If a person has one and they've lived there for years, motivation to move out can be low. Why leave a place with below-market rent in a booming city where new residents are paying through the nose?

    Some landlords, eager to get long-term tenants out so they can raise the rent on a new tenant, are offering residents tens of thousands of dollars to hit the bricks, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. While the practice isn't new, it is seeing a renaissance in light of the recent influx of tech workers willing and able to pay more rent.

    This is a controversial topic in San Francisco, where the city has become divided over whether the resurgence of tech workers is hurting the city's culture.

    So what is a rent-controlled apartment and how

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  • 'Cheesetastic' '90s-style Easter Egg roll promo from first lady's 'Let's Move' campaign

    No, it's not an episode of 'Saved by the Bell'

    First lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" anti-obesity campaign released a totally '90s video promoting the White House's forthcoming Easter Egg roll.

    Creators of the video used radical graphics and standard-def 4:3 footage to make the promo look like a '90s sitcom. But instead of "Saved by the Bell" stars Mario Lopez and Tiffani Amber Thiessen, this "show" features Jim Carrey, Bo and Sunny, the "first dogs," Michelle and Barack Obama, Ariana Grande, and, last but never least, Cookie Monster.

    The party will take place April 21 on the White House South Lawn and will be live-streamed for those unable to attend.

    Online reaction to the delightfully cheeseball promo was, to use a phrase appropriate to the era depicted, "hella positive."

     

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  • Don't sneeze! Beekeeper wears 100 pounds of bees

    She Ping covered with a swarm of bees in southwest China (AFP)

    Whatever you do, don't sneeze.

    Beekeeper She Ping of Chongqing, China, managed to stand still while 100 pounds of bees (approximately 460,000 stingers) swarmed and crawled over his body, according to local media reports cited by Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

    And, yes, he did it on purpose. What can we say? The man loves bees.

    The feat was accomplished with queen bees. The queens drew hundreds of thousands of worker bees toward the intrepid She.

    Assistants use burning incense and cigarettes to drive bees away from the face of She Ping. (Reuters/China Daily)

    Helpers used incense and smoke to keep the bees away from the beekeeper's face until he was ready. We're willing to bet She buys his aloe by the gallon.

    Beekeeper She Ping (AFP)

    As for why She subjected himself to hundreds of thousands of swarming bees with the potential to leave marks, it was all done in the name of commerce. He told AFP that although he was "very nervous," he did it to promote his honey.

    "It hurt but I didn't dare to move," She told AFP.  "The main preparation is avoiding taking a shower, especially avoiding using soap because it can excite the

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  • Courage of three cancer-fighting girls captured in photograph

    'Sometimes strength comes in knowing that you are not alone'

    A photograph of three young girls battling different forms of cancer has drawn hundreds of comments and  thousands of likes and shares on Facebook.

    The photo, taken by Lora Scantling, shows 3-year-old Rylie, 6-year-old Rheann and 4-year-old Ainsley sharing a tender moment. They didn't know each other before the photo was taken, but their bond seems timeless.

    Rylie is battling kidney cancer. Rheann has brain cancer. Ainsley is fighting a form of leukemia. The three girls have already come a long way and are sure to continue to fight, knowing they aren't alone.

    "I just wanted something that showed the strength and the bond and that they weren't alone," Scantling told KOCO.com.

    Rheann's mom, Valeria Franklin, told KOCO, "The girls had a lot of fun. ... It was just very moving watching their bond form."

    You can follow Rheann, Ainsley  and Rylie on Facebook.

    Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

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Pagination

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