Mark Phillip's Blog

"Lucky" doesn't begin to describe these folks!

Posted By: Mark Phillips · 4/1/2014 2:01:00 PM

What do you do if you win a $1 million lottery prize? If you're Virginia couple Calvin and Zatera Spencer, you keep buying tickets—and you keep winning. The odds-defying pair first won a $1 million Powerball prize on March 12, reports USA Today. They followed that up March 26 with a $50,000 win on the Virginia Lottery's Pick 4 game using 10 tickets, all with the numbers 6-6-6-6. The day after that win, they bought a Virginia Lottery Scratcher ticket that won them another $1 million prize.

"I've been here for 12 years and this is the first time I’ve seen someone win three major prizes within such a short period of time," a Virginia Lottery spokesman says. Mathematicians say the triple win can be explained by the laws of improbability, "which are powerful enough in themselves to produce extraordinarily unlikely events," theLos Angeles Times finds. The Spencers plan to ...

Gassy Cows Cause Barn Explosion

Posted By: Mark Phillips · 1/29/2014 2:00:00 PM

A herd of dairy cows nearly lifted the roof off their barn in central Germany yesterday when methane released by the animals caused an explosion. Police in Hesse state said in a statement that a static electric charge apparently triggered the detonation, and a spurt of flame, at a farm in Rasdorf. The roof was slightly damaged and one cow suffered light burns. No people were hurt. Police say 90 cows are kept in the shed and it wasn't clear why quantities of methane had built up, though bovine belching and flatulence releases large quantities of the gas. 

Today, let's talk.

Posted By: Mark Phillips · 1/28/2014 2:55:00 PM

Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:

  • Text message sent*
  • Mobile and long distance call made*
  • Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
  • Facebook share of our Bell Let’s Talk image
  • Find out more at

Seahawks Fans Literally Cause Earthquake—Again

Posted By: Mark Phillips · 1/14/2014 2:04:00 PM

Seattle Seahawks fans jumped to their feet Saturday night during Marshawn Lynch's electrifying touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints—and their screaming and stomping caused a small earthquake. That sentence was true on Jan. 8, 2011 ... and on Jan. 11, 2014. In the weirdest kind of deja vu, seismologists with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network say they believe Saturday's fan-generated quake was bigger than that of 2011, whose energy a nearby seismometer registered in line with a 1- or 2-magnitude quake at the time.

"This signal looks bigger than the one three years ago," the PNSN's director tells the Seattle Times, but it'll be a few days before the network knows for sure. But the PNSN was ready for this one: reports it installed two seismometers in CenturyLink Field (one of the NFL's loudest stadiums, per the Times) in advance of the game, one on the field and one in ...

Yeah, This Is Global Warming in Action

Posted By: Mark Phillips · 1/8/2014 2:00:00 PM

Given the deep freeze engulfing much of North America, you may have heard more than one person scoffing about global warming. Jokes aside, climate change is still very real, LiveScience insists. In fact, scientists believe much of the cold weather can actually be explained by global warming. For one thing, hot air holds more moisture than cold air, which makes for more snowfall and sea ice. Plus, as the Arctic ice cap melts thanks to rising polar temperatures, it pushes Arctic air south. Even the cold air now being swirled around by the polar vortex is probably due to ocean heat that's changed the wind's pattern.

For those still skeptical, one meteorologist explains it thusly: "Weather is like one play in a football game. Climate is the history of the NFL." Despite snowstorms, winter temperatures on the whole have risen, lakes freeze later in the season, and ice is much thinner than it ...