May 6, 2016

Old City mural to showcase destruction of Knoxville history

A new mural in the Old City will soon bring the destruction of Knoxville history to life.

The mural, which will be located in the southern gateway to the Old City, will depict the rich history of the destruction of the city's history at the hands of developers and property owners.

The extensive piece of public art will replace the 12-by-64-foot Knoxville Music History Mural showcasing 42 local musicians that was recently painted over by the owner of 118 E. Jackson Ave.

"We're really excited about this project," said Amanda Eades, the director of Keep Knoxville Not So Beautiful. "We want to spotlight some of the individuals who have gone out of their way to demolish important historical buildings and artifacts."

The new mural will portray the Knoxville Music History Mural being painted over. But Eades says several other acts of historic destruction will also be featured.

"Whether it's a downtown church knocking down a historic building it owned and then never doing anything with the empty lot it claimed to need so desperately, or the University of Tennessee destroying Victorian homes to make way for a science building, this mural will capture those important moments," said Olive Trout, an artist working on the project.

Downtown occupants say they are excited about the new work of art.

"Knoxville has a rich, vibrant history of losing its history," said Lauren Kimmelton, a resident of Gay St. "Tourists and locals alike are going to come take their picture in front of this mural and take a little bit of the loss of culture and beauty home with them. It's really going to shape how they understand the city."

Eades said her long-term goal is to develop a small park next to the new mural. The park would be filled with dumpsters, and trash, rubble and debris from destroyed historic buildings.

May 5, 2016

Residents enjoying irony of Trump sticker on foreign car

Dozens of motorists spent their morning commute Thursday amused by the irony of a Donald Trump bumper sticker on the back of an imported Toyota pickup truck. "He's bought a Japanese pickup truck that was manufactured at a plant in Mexico, all while supporting a candidate who wants to build a border wall and bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States," said one commuter. "You have to admit, there's a certain logic to it. It's just that no one knows what it is." Phil Unger, the imported truck's owner, recently told friends he appreciates the billionaire presidential candidate's status as an outsider. This is not the first time Unger has been an important source of irony. In 2013, he believed the government was too incompetent to run a website, but simultaneously capable of confiscating all the guns.

May 3, 2016

Hands holding pieces of hail hit West Knoxville

Parts of West Knoxville and Farragut were hit with upturned palms holding dime and quarter-sized pieces of hail Monday. The hands cupping tiny pellets of frozen rain were part of a series of isolated storms that passed through the region. Rulers measuring the size of hail and various coins placed next to hail for scale were also reported throughout the region. "Probably the biggest threat with these hands holding hail is that people are going to get cold fingers," said East Tennessee meteorologist Tanisha Mitchell. "And also, if your drink is warm, watch out! You could put some of that hail in there and cool it down." This is not the first time Tennessee has been hit with hands clutching pieces of hail. In 2011, hands with hail in them dented vehicles and damaged roofs all over the state.

May 1, 2016

East Tennessee mosquito lottery opens

A lottery to see the synchronous mosquitoes light up Daryl's arms, legs and face opened Friday and will close tomorrow, May 2. The coordinated insects, which simultaneously bite uncovered flesh until you scratch your face off, have surged in popularity in recent years. As interest has increased, local officials have started managing visitation to the stagnant pools of murky water where the insects breed. This year, East Tennessee is using a lottery system to choose lucky snacks for the mosquitoes for the first time. "I hope I win," said Darcy Koetsier of Clinton. "I love fending off the mosquitoes with a newspaper and can of Raid each year. Nature makes me appreciate the indoors so much more." A drawing to determine winners will take place on May 10.

April 29, 2016

Knoxville opens new iPhone rehab center

A new iPhone addiction treatment center in Knoxville will offer a residential retreat for people who are unable to look away from tiny screens.

The center will include the Hey The World Is Up Here Lodge, a 100-bed spiritual retreat that opened last week. It will also include There's Not An App for That Behavior Health, where people can receive day treatment and intensive outpatient therapy for not being able to get through a stoplight cycle without responding to a text or checking Instagram.

"The work of not looking at a screen every five minutes is mentally and emotionally demanding," said Aimee Griffin, an internationally-renowned behavior psychologist in the field of no screens at the dinner table. "When healing from the chaos of smartphones and other dependencies, we seek create a peaceful, emotionally safe place to learn to walk from one side of the University of Tennessee campus to the other with your head looking at the actual world."

Located on 30 acres in South Knoxville, the retreat center will offer such amenities as sunlight, air, grass and trees. Two guests will share each room. The 24-hour on-site staff will ensure that WiFi remains disabled and provide guidance in the recovery process.

The facility is modeled on a therapeutic model called Maybe What If We All Just Didn't Look at Our Phones for a Little While? The program has proven especially effective in such places as 2006 and Jupiter.

Griffin says the facility's treatment team will work with each guest to create an individualized plan for relapse-resistant recovery, such as not looking at Twitter all the time, or throwing your phone into the river.

"Our guests' eyes will adjust from the glow of a glossy LCD screen to sunlight, and their fingers' muscle memories will be retrained to do something other than swipe and slide," said Griffin. "We are confident that after a few weeks people will learn how to look at each other's faces again."

April 28, 2016

Violent, destructive toddler predicted for central breakfast nook Thursday

Forecasters are warning that two-year-old Emmas could bring severe lying in the floor screaming about oatmeal to the breakfast nook Thursday morning. According to the National Weather Service, a strong toddler front could produce kicking, yelling, screaming and crying, with possible precipitation in the form of hot cereal, bowls and spoons. "Emmas are very unpredictable," said East Tennessee meteorologist Tanisha Mitchell. "One minute they are laughing and blowing you kisses, and the next minute the bowl is the wrong color or the raisins they asked to be in the oatmeal are in the oatmeal." Meteorologists are urging anyone in the vicinity to take cover until Emma turns at least four. The American Red Cross says it will offer assistance to those in the area affected by the toddler.

April 26, 2016

TNReady test unable to define 'ready'

The state of Tennessee's new and improved TCAP test for English language arts and math was unable to supply the definition of the word "ready" on question 17, sources said Monday. When asked to provide the word that best corresponds to the following definition - "a suitable state for an activity, action, or situation; fully prepared" - the TNReady test responded with C, salubrious. The correct answer was A, ready. The test also failed to make its mark heavy and dark. "TNReady has shown marked improvement over the course of the semester, but will require further development and support to meet performance expectations with respect to output, quality standards and delivery of goals," said Lauryl Mackin, Knox County Schools Director of Fill in the Bubble Completely. Educators say they aren't sure when TNReady will learn the meaning of the word "ready."

April 24, 2016

Henley Bridge lit blue and white to honor people who complain on Facebook

Knoxville's Henley Bridge was lit with blue and white lights Friday evening to honor the brave men and women who find a way to complain about anything on Facebook. According to city officials, the colorful display was meant to show solidarity with people on social media who cannot be pleased. "Whether it's being mad about Andrew Jackson being taken off the $20 bill, or being mad about a bridge being lit purple for a few hours to honor Prince, we are so lucky to have these indignant nitpickers," said Knoxville director of sweet merciful heaven what are they whining about now Katricia Irvin. "Where would our city be without them?" Knoxville complainers told reporters what a waste of taxpayer money and what about Rita from the K-Mart we didn't see lights on for her.

April 22, 2016

Nocturnal bathroom hikers prepare to step on Legos barefoot

Night is a special time at the Bryants' home in North Knoxville - most people are dreaming soundly in their beds, nocturnal animals are out and about, and the trail to the bathroom looks different under the cover of darkness.

Tonight the Bryants will host a special night hike to the bathroom for people who drank too much water before bed.

"Night hikes are a chance for us to explore the path from the bedroom to the bathroom with our other four senses," said Evi Bryant. "During the day we can simply watch where we are going with our eyes. But at night we have an opportunity to enjoy the wonders of nature through activities like stepping on Legos barefoot or tripping over the laundry basket that our husband left right in the middle of the hall for no apparent reason."

Residents say the hike affords them a rare occasion to injure themselves before the sun has even risen.

"This is our most memorable park experience," said ranger Andy McFall. "The vibrant walk takes groggy bathroom hikers who are barely even awake through a mine field of toys the children left out. Your toes will not know what stubbed them and your mouth will say words you didn't know it knew."

Programs are designed for adults who briefly consider just wetting the bed, but ultimately get up and shuffle to the bathroom.

"Night bathroom hikes are very educational," said Bryant. "They allow us to learn about the adaptations animals have that people wish they had, like indestructible shins, and bottoms that can withstand the cold rush of water from a toilet seat that was left up by a soon to be deceased husband."

The Bryants host weekly night bathroom hikes on the first Friday of the month (August - December), and every other Friday (March - July). Admission is free for middle-aged adults.

April 21, 2016

Knoxville finds key to city in other pants

After days of searching for its lost key to the city, Knoxville finally found the small metal object in the pocket of its other pants. Knoxville had been incapable of leaving for work due to not having a way to lock the deadbolt on the front door. "I would have just asked Powell to keep an eye on things, but last time I did that he invited Clinton and Oliver Springs over," said Knoxville. "It took me a week to clean up the mess. And the stain on the carpet never came out." The city celebrated the find by losing its iPhone. Not all local cities were sympathetic. "I never lose my key to the city," said Oak Ridge. "But, in fairness, it glows in the dark."

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