Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Earlier this week, a school principal was filmed  having a discussion with the parent of a teen whose iPhone 6 she had confiscated. According to CNET, Linda M. Carroll took the phone for disciplinary reasons, and says she will return it to the student in "a few weeks" as per the school's policy (the school is not identified, but CNET found a Principal Linda Carroll at Northeast High School in Philadelphia).

    There are a lot of unknowns here: We don't know why the phone was taken, or if there was any prior interaction with Carroll and the parent who filmed the video. Raven Hill, a spokesperson for the School District of Philadelphia, did provide this statement to CNET when queried:

    According to the Northeast High School student handbook, which every student receives at the beginning of the school year, all confiscated cell phones, cameras, electronic and other telephonic devices will be returned at the end of each academic quarter. There are no exceptions. In this case, the end of the

    Read More »from We want to know: Do school administrators have the right to withhold phones from parents?
  • Seven times people sent weird things to space

    Once upon a time, traveling to near space was a privilege reserved for monkeys and dogs in Russian spacecraft. Now, people can send up just about anything with a weather balloon – and record the whole experience.

    The most recent object to reach stratospheric heights was a doughnut, sent up by Norwegian hobbyist group Stratolys last week in a bid to be the ones to send the first doughnut into space.

    It’s getting pretty tough to be the first anything in space these days, as it seems like every week, we’re seeing more inanimate objects getting a view of the Earth that many of us could only dream of.

    Here’s a look at some of the other wacky things that people have sent where no doughnut has gone before.

    First GoPro HD Hero

    This one isn’t weird, but it does make the list for allegedly being the very first GoPro device sent into near-space using a weather balloon (two devices, actually). Recorded by a group of engineering students in California, the launch took place on June 5, 2010. It

    Read More »from Seven times people sent weird things to space
  • (Photo via CBC)(Photo via CBC)

    Poor Darwin the IKEA monkey just can’t seem to catch a break.

    The world’s most famous monkey in a shearling coat may soon find himself homeless, if Story Book Farm, the sanctuary where he currently resides, can’t find a new site to relocate to in the next two months.

    The founder of the sanctuary, who started Story Book Farm 14 years ago, is now selling the house and land where the sanctuary resides and will no longer be able to host the sanctuary there. In order to relocate, Story Book Farm needs to raise $250,000.

    Many people found out about the Sunderland, Ont. sanctuary as part of the IKEA monkey saga, the viral story that started when a tiny monkey in a coat was spotted at a Toronto-area IKEA in 2012. His owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, ended up being fined $240 for owning an exotic pet, and Darwin was sent to Story Book Farm, although not before the Internet made as many IKEA monkey memes as possible.

    Despite Darwin’s worldwide fame, it didn’t result in significantly increased funding

    Read More »from Darwin the IKEA monkey facing imminent homelessness as Story Book Farm faces financial troubles
  • The nugget found by Brown weighs about the same as the Butte Nugget, shown here. (Reuters)The nugget found by Brown weighs about the same as the Butte Nugget, shown here. (Reuters)

    Sometimes, it pays to be in a bad mood.

    Australian Mick Brown, 42, had just given up smoking, and was not handling it well, according to reports. His wife, in need of a break from his poor attitude, told him to get out of their house for a little while.

    Brown, who is reportedly a gold prospector, took a walk with his metal detector in an area where he’d previously hunted for treasure. While walking through the patch of land near Wedderburn, Victoria, he found a lump of gold measuring 87 ounces.

    That’s worth about $141,000 AUD (about $136,555 CAD).

    “I thought, bugger me, it is, it’s bloody gold,” said Brown to The Age

    “Sometimes they do say gold is worth twice its weight in gold if it’s a really nice looking nugget.”

    Brown said he’s dubbed the nugget the “fair dinkum nugget” because when people feel how heavy it is, they say “fair dinkum this is huge.”

    He says he’ll be using the money he makes off its sale to pay off a tax debt, and possibly put a spa bath in for his kids.

    Read More »from Grumpy husband discovers gold nugget when shooed out of his house
  • A photographer found a seal and octopus fighting in the water in Victoria, B.C. (Facebook/Bob Ianson)A photographer found a seal and octopus fighting in the water in Victoria, B.C. (Facebook/Bob Ianson)

    When out for a stroll at Ogden Point on Family Day, Victoria resident Bob Ianson managed to capture quite the rare sight with his camera.

    The amateur nature photographer saw a harbour seal doing battle with an octopus in the nearby breakwater, and immediately started snapping photos, according to the Times Colonist.

    "It was incredible, it looked like he was bringing it up to show off," he told the Times Colonist about his surprising seal sighting.

    "I've never seen anything like it. I guess we were there at the right time."

    A photographer caught a seal and octopus fighting in the water in Victoria, B.C. (Facebook/Bob Ianson)A photographer caught a seal and octopus fighting in the water in Victoria, B.C. (Facebook/Bob Ianson)

    Ianson shared the photos on his Facebook page, where his daughter, Jenn, explained that the seal was the clear winner in this fight.

    "He got some good chunks," she posted.

    Ianson said he saw the seal repeatedly bringing the octopus up to the surface, prompting more people to gather around and snap photos.

    This isn't the first time a harbour seal in the area has been seen with an octopus as its prey. The seals have been spotted hunting young octopi in the area over

    Read More »from Seal wrestling an octopus captured by photographer in Victoria, B.C.
  • As the snow comes down in Atlantic Canada and along the Eastern Seaboard, people are taking advantage of all that white stuff to get a little creative. Many have taken to Twitter and Reddit to share some of their amazing snow creations, and a few definitely deserve special mention:

    (Schaffer Art Studios/Facebook)(Schaffer Art Studios/Facebook)

    This creation courtesy of Schaffer Art Studios just goes to show you the amazing stuff you can do with snow and a little food dye.

    (Imgur/Xnipek)(Imgur/Xnipek)

    Star Wars fans whose minds drift to the ice-planet Hoth when they see a winter wonderland will be even more confused when they see this Tauntaun created out of snow. It's unclear how warm it is when you cut it open to sleep inside, however.

    (Sunima/Devianart)(Sunima/Devianart)

    Art student Sunima shared this snow dragon, created earlier in January with fellow art student JonarMS, on Devianart. Sunima said that the pair would have done more had the snow not been melting.

    (Reddit/plebian_lifestyle)(Reddit/plebian_lifestyle)

    While not a sculpture, Reddit user plebian_lifestyle spotted some strange faces in the aftermath of the snow. No mention of whether Pac-Man was

    Read More »from Let it snow: Amazing sculptures make the best of wintry weather
  • Airpnp, the app that lets you use a stranger's bathroom

    There's nothing worse than going out for the day in a big city like Toronto or New York City, only to find yourself needing to answer the call of nature without a public bathroom in sight.

    Unless you have the supernatual abilities of George Costanza to know all the best public bathrooms in any given area*, you may be interested in this unusual app: Airpnp, a service that, for a fee, lets you use the private facilities of someone in the area.

    As the name suggests, it's modeled after Airbnb, a service that connects people willing to offer accomodations with people willing to stay in those accomodations, for a charge.

    With Airpnp, however, many opt to charge very little, or waive the fee altogether.

    “It’s like a pay-it-forward," Duncan, a worker at an office with an Airpnp bathroom in New York City, told The New York Post. "There’s going to be some time in our life when we really need to go, and it would be really nice for someone to lend you their potty.”

    Currently there aren't many

    Read More »from Airpnp, the app that lets you use a stranger's bathroom
  • Ship glitter to people you hate with new online service

    Two Chinese singers stand on glitter during celebrations of the Chinese New Year in Chinatown. (Getty Images)Two Chinese singers stand on glitter during celebrations of the Chinese New Year in Chinatown. (Getty Images)

    Need an elaborate way to annoy co-workers and aggravate neighbours?

    Why not pay an Australian company to send glitter to them through the mail?

    Ship Your Enemies Glitter is a website that, for $9.99 AUD (approximately $9.75 CAD), will send an envelope full of glitter to whomever you choose.

    The website  which appears to be legitimate promises the victim person of your choice will receive an envelope containing glitter and a note, explaining what they did to deserve to have such a fate inflicted upon them.

    They also say that the note will also contain glitter, so when the recipient opens in, the glitter is guaranteed to go everywhere.

    According to the website, the founder was inspired to start the service after receiving one too many cards from distant relatives with glittery decor. Open the card, make contact, and bam, glitter on your hands and clothes for days. And that one sparkle you accidentally wipe on your face? Sorry, that's basically there until you're dead, because no

    Read More »from Ship glitter to people you hate with new online service
  • (Cartoon by Wes Tyrell)(Cartoon by Wes Tyrell)

    The shooting of 12, including an editor and cartoonist, at the offices of a satirical newspaper in Paris, France, has shaken people around the world, but has struck a particular chord with editorial cartoonists.

    On Jan. 7, after the news of the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices broke, many of those cartoonists responded in the best way they knew how: With their own cartoons sharing their feelings about the incident.

    Read More »from Cartoonists respond with art to shooting at Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris
  • Canadians poised to get more choice in mobile phone service

    The government announced today it would be auctioning off more of the wireless spectrum and reserving a portion for smaller companies

    (Reuters photo)(Reuters photo)

    Finally, there’s some good news for Canadians on the telecom front.

    Minister of Industry James Moore announced today that the wireless spectrum in Canada is being expanded and opened up to more competition.

    He said in Vancouver today that the government will be making more of the spectrum available via auction to companies – 60 per cent more, in fact.

    “Spectrum is essential to power our wireless devices, and our government is making it more available than ever before,” Moore said in a press release. “The end result is that Canadians will benefit from more competition, lower prices and better service in our wireless sector. The Harper Government is committed to delivering competitively-priced wireless services on the latest technologies.”

    In order to open up the market to more than the three main players in the Canadian telecom scene, 25 per cent of the available wireless spectrum will be reserved for telecom companies outside of the “big three.”

    “That 25 per cent is a real key

    Read More »from Canadians poised to get more choice in mobile phone service

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