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Brittney Elkins

Capybara love on 'My Crazy Obsession'

Happiness is a warm capybara.

A capybara named Gary was the focus of the season finale of My Crazy Obsession on TLC.

What’s a capybara? It’s a huge rodent, the world’s largest in fact, that looks like a three-way cross between an otter, a hamster, and a medium-to-large dog.

A capybara can range from 75 to 100 pounds, and Melanie Typaldos is obsessed with one in particular.

Melanie admits to spending more than 80 percent of her time with her capybara Gary. Melanie went so far as to bring an animal medium in to help her communicate more directly with her beloved capybara, and the episode ended with Melanie and Gary sitting on the bed watching television together.

“It is not crazy to be obsessed with capybaras. To know us is to be obsessed with us. You can quote me on that,” Gary the capybara, ahem, blogged recently.

Yes, Gary the capybara has his own blog and it is written from his point of view. Perhaps it is not entirely crazy to be obsessed with a pet. Who wouldn’t be obsessed with a pet that has so much Web savvy?

TLC’s My Crazy Obsession has aired much more bizarre fixations than capybara love. From a couple who is addicted to vacuums and washing machines, to a small community of very proud parents…. of Cabbage Patch Dolls. One man even preferred to hang out with his mannequin collection rather than real human beings.

While most of us may think these are the types of obsessions one should keep to themselves, My Crazy Obsession is all about letting your freak flag fly all over cable TV.

Katie Couric switches sides, heads to 'GMA'

Katie Couric will do a week-long morning news stint on Good Morning America

Katie Couric will return to the morning news desk next week but surprisingly not on the set of Today.

ABC announced Thursday that Katie Couric will be a guest co-host on Good Morning America next week while anchor Robin Roberts is on vacation.

Katie Couric was a co-host of Today for 15 years before leaving in 2006. Good Morning America is Today’s rival wake-up show, so it will be interesting to see how the two compete next week.

Today insiders told Foxnews.com that jaws were dropping all over the Today newsroom when the announcement was made. They also reported that producers are anxious to stay strong in the ratings next week and will be booking guests that will keep viewers tuned in to NBC.

The week-long stint on Good Morning America does not mark a permanent return to morning news for Katie Couric, but it is part of her growing relationship with ABC. Katie Couric will host a new talk show, Katie, debuting on ABC in September.

Mega Millions has lottery newbies hoping for $540 million jackpot

The largest jackpot in history has people flocking to gas stations

Mega Millions mania has hit the country in a big way.

The Mega Millions jackpot is now up to $540 million, making it the largest jackpot ever recorded for any lottery game in North America.

Like Charlie Bucket spending his last dime in hopes of finding a golden ticket, Americans are flocking to buy Mega Millions tickets, and vendors say that the rush is getting bigger as the deadline draws near.

Mega Millions rumors have been floating around, and headlines have people thinking about what they will do with their winnings before the numbers are picked. One conversation overheard on the streets of Chicago was about the winning numbers being drawn before noon on Thursday. Ticket sales are actually cut off at 10:45 p.m. Friday, 15 minutes before the numbers are drawn.

Newspapers all over the United States are giving Mega Millions players tips on how to spend their winnings wisely and which retailers are the “luckiest.”

If you’re rushing out to buy your Mega Millions ticket, here are a few things to remember. First of all, if you win, there’s a possibility that you won’t be the only winner. So that $540 million may be split in two.

Second of all, $540 million is the pre-tax sum. The government will be eager to get their hands on a large portion of your winnings.

Also, if the winner chooses the lump sum option, the jackpot will be reduced to $389 million before taxes.

Still, a $540 million jackpot, the largest in history, is hard to pass up. People who have never bought lottery tickets in their life have gambled the $1 in hopes of being the big winner.

So if you’re one of the millions who are eagerly awaiting the Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing, good luck! And in light of the equally electric Hunger Games mania, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Carson Daly apologizes to LGBT community for joke gone wrong

Daly insists he meant to make fun of himself, but hurt others instead.

Carson Daly apologized to the LGBT community this week for a joke he made about the JetBlue pilot who went berserk.

On his radio show, Carson Daly attempted to make a joke regarding the fact that the JetBlue flight was full of security officers on their way to a conference. Carson Daly said that with his luck, his flight would be full of people heading to the gay pride parade in San Francisco or a floral convention in Las Vegas.

“This morning on my radio show I attempted to make fun of myself and offended others by mistake. I sincerely apologized,” Carson Daly tweeted Wednesday.

Carson Daly went on to say that he has been a supporter of LGBT rights for a long time, and, “I’m saddened that my comments, however unintentional, offended anyone, specifically members of the LGBT community. The fact that I have hurt anyone is devastating. I’m not that guy. I’m proud to be an ally of the LGBT community and will continue to fight with them.” 

GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said that they will take Carson Daly up on his offer to help them fight for equality.

In light of this joke-gone-wrong, many news sources have cited the fact that Mark Kendall Bingham, a gay man, was among the passengers now considered a hero for his part in attempting to foil the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. It was believed that the flight was heading to Washington D.C., but Bingham and other passengers managed to prevent the hijackers from reaching their intended target. The flight crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Andrea Yates wants to attend church

Should the mom who drowned her five children be allowed to leave the mental hospital?

Andrea Yates, the mom who drowned her five children in the bathtub in 2001, wants to be able to leave the state mental hospital for two hours each week to attend church.

Andrea Yates is a former nurse and stay-at-home mom who had a history of psychiatric hospitalizations and suicide attempts before the fatal tragedies on June 20, 2001 when she drowned her children one by one.

Andrea Yates was convicted for the crimes, but after an appeals court found her innocent by reason of insanity, she was admitted to a mental hospital for treatment.

Andrea Yates’ attorney George Parnham told ABCnews.com, “She’s been approved by a certain church to attend Sunday services, and I anticipate that that recommendation will be forthcoming from her doctors.”

Andrea Yates confessed to killing her children after calling police to come to her home. When they arrived, they found one child face down in the bathtub, and the other four bodies were laid on a bed and covered with a sheet.

Andrea Yates said she killed her children because she didn’t want them to go to hell, and her defense team argued she was influenced by a preacher from Oregon.

Parnham says that the church Andrea Yates seeks to attend is completely different from the fire and brimstone ramblings of her former preacher, and he expects the doctors to file a letter sometime in the next week.

Prince Harry moves into the Kensington bachelor pad

The party prince moves into a modest one-bedroom apartment at Kensington Palace

Prince Harry has moved into his new bachelor pad digs at Kensington Palace.

Prince Harry, 27, moved into a one-bedroom apartment at Kensington Palace in London where newlyweds Will and Kate also have a residence.

The Duke and Duchess are currently renovating their unit in the mansion.

Prince Harry’s new place has been called modest. It reportedly includes a bedroom, small lounge, kitchenette and bathroom.

All this house swapping amongst the royals is hard to keep track of, but let’s try to break it down.

Prince Harry was living with his father, Prince Charles, at the Clarence House in London where Harry and William grew up.

When Princess Diana was alive, the young princes lived at Kensington Palace.

Will and Kate are living in the Nottingham Cottage while renovations are underway on their Kensington home.

Once Will and Kate move into Kensington Palace, Prince Harry will take over the adjacent Nottingham Cottage.

Phew! House swapping among the royals seems to be a never ending cycle.

Eagle Cam debuts first two eaglets in Decorah, Iowa

Eaglet number three expected any day now.

Eagle Cam voyeurs have been paying close attention this week as eaglets all over the nation are welcomed into the world.

On this chilly spring morning, the Decorah, Iowa Eagle Cam offers a stunning view of the mama Eagle with feathers ruffled, sitting on two of her eggs and one fur-ball chick. She occasionally pulls the dried grass and twigs of her aerie closer to her body to help keep her and the kids toasty warm.

Unaware that she’s being watched via Eagle Cam, she keeps a close eye (desperately ignoring the urge to use the cliché ‘eagle eye’) on everything happening around her.

The first Decorah eaglet of 2012 broke free from its shell on Tuesday. Its name is D12.

A second eaglet has since been born, and around 12 p.m. Central Standard Time Thursday Eagle Cam voyeurs had the opportunity to see mama get off the babies long enough for them to peck at each other a little. Shortly after she got up again to feed the eaglets, one appeared to be helping his unhatched sibling along by pecking at the egg.

The concept of the Eagle Cam has become wildly popular. The national emblem was just removed from the endangered species list in 2007, but eagle sightings are a rare and exciting as ever. To see the birth of fuzzy gray eaglets via Eagle Cam is an endearing example of a bridge between technological advances and the natural world.

In 2011, thousands tuned in to the Eagle Cam to see the Decorah, Iowa eaglets hatch. The eagles returned at the end of December to nest again. Since then, the Decorah Eagle Cam has had more than 11 million views.

Eagle Cam enthusiasts will have plenty of time to catch the last chick make his debut. Each hatch can take between 12 and 48 hours, and he should be greeting the world any day now.

Spike Lee sends elderly Florida couple into hiding

His retweet of horribly wrong information has confused Trayvon Martin’s killer with a completely different family.

Spike Lee is apologizing for reckless tweeting after posting an address he thought belonged to George Zimmerman.

Spike Lee retweeted a Florida address he thought belonged to the man who fatally shot unarmed Trayvon Martin. However, the address actually belonged to an elderly couple, the McClains.

Since Spike Lee posted the address, the couple has been harassed with hate mail. Elaine McClaine, 70, and her husband David McClain, 72, told news outlets they are “living in fear.”

Spike Lee certainly wasn’t the first to retweet the address, but he was the most followed person to do so. With 240,000 Twitter followers, Spike Lee quickly became the most viral source of the misinformation.

The McClains hired a law firm and had to move out of their home temporarily as threats of violence against Zimmerman, the real shooter, escalate.

“I deeply apologize to the McClain family for retweeting their address,” Spike Lee tweeted. “It was a mistake. Please leave the McClain’s in peace. Justice in court.”

According to The Smoking Gun, Marcus Davonne Higgins, a 33 year-old Los Angeles man, was the first to post the wrong address. To break it down, The McClains have lived at their address on Edgewater Circle for about 10 years. Although Higgins did not respond to TSG, the site found an old voter record for William George Zimmerman at the same property. That registration dates back to 1995 and is for a 41 year-old man.

Higgins has repeatedly referred to the 28-year-old shooter, George Michael Zimmerman, as George W. Zimmerman.

William George Zimmerman, as it turns out, is Elaine McClain’s son and has not lived at the Edgewater Circle address for seven years. Although Elaine was previously married to a man by the name of Zimmerman, there is absolutely no relation between the two families.

So, an unfortunate sharing of names in a small Florida town was the first problem. The dissemination of wrong information by a man half a country away was the second. Higgins tweeted “EVERYBODY REPOST THIS” with the wrong man’s name and the wrong family’s address and sent it to Spike Lee, Will Smith, 50 Cent and LeBron James.

Spike Lee was the only one of this group to follow suit and to inadvertently incite mob-like attention on an innocent family.

The McClains’ lawyer had stated that the family was hoping for an apology and a retraction, and that’s what they got.

The “real” George Zimmerman is currently in hiding.

Duggars believe overpopulation is a lie

Michelle Duggar enlightens us all with some very intriguing facts.

The Duggars became famous for having 17, then 18 and finally 19 kids (and counting).

Now the Duggars are making headlines again, but this time no one is pregnant.

Michelle Duggar, mother of 19 Duggars ranging in ages from 2 to 24, believes overpopulation is an outright lie.

“The idea of overpopulation is not accurate,” Michelle Duggar told the Christian Broadcasting Network recently.

She said the entire population of the world could fit inside of Jacksonville, FL. Insert any number of valid arguments to the contrary here.

“I agree with Mother Teresa when she said, ‘to say that there are too many children is like saying there are too any flowers,’” Michelle Duggar said.

The Duggars recently experienced the miscarriage of what would have been their 20th child.

The Duggars buy used cars and clothing to help curb their environmental impact. Still, with the number of public appearances the family of 21 makes, it is difficult to argue that their carbon footprint is anything less than above average.

Recently, the Duggars travelled to Chicago to encourage Christians to vote for Rick Santorum. They shuttled around the city making appearances at churches on both the North and South sides and even travelled over to a nearby county.

On a family road trip, the Duggars had to have a bus for the family, and another for clothing and supplies. Michelle Duggar may be able to get away with an unfounded argument that overpopulation is a lie, but there’s no doubt that a family of 21 is leaving a dinosaur-sized footprint on the environment.

According to Michelle Duggar – who has apparently never seen a two-room hut that serves as home to a family of 13 – other countries whose death rates are higher than birth rates want Americans to have more children.

So, there you have it. They are environmentally conscious, and they’re not worried about the world their grandchildren will inhabit. If only the rest of us were as enlightened as the Duggars.

Adrienne Rich dies at age 82

The award-winning poet and icon of the feminist movement passed away Tuesday.

Adrienne Rich, the award-winning poet and icon of the feminist movement, died in her Santa Cruz, California home Tuesday.

Adrienne Rich was 82-years-old when she passed away after complications from rheumatoid arthritis.

Among the first contemporary poets of the early feminist movement, Adrienne Rich became known for her works based on both personal reflection and piercing social commentary.

Adrienne Rich lived openly as a lesbian for most of her adult life, and her socially conscious work influenced a generation of gay rights and anti-war activists. However, a 17-year marriage to Alfred Conrad, which ended in 1970, gave her three sons. Her experiences as a mother inspired her to write Of Woman Born, a feminist critique of motherhood.

Adrienne Rich believed art and politics should co-exist. In 1997, she refused the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the United States government to artists in protest against the Clinton Administration’s policies regarding the arts and particularly literature.

“Art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage,” Adrienne Rich said in regards to her decision to refuse the honor.

Adrienne Rich will be remembered as more than a literary figure. Her lifetime of work explored women’s rights, racism, sexuality and economic and political justice. She was a key influence for feminists, gay rights and anti-war activists, and she taught new generations of writers at Swarthmore College, Columbia University School of the Art and City University of New York.