June 26, 2016

Thin line rope all that separating civilization from lawlessness

A thin cord run between poles to indicate where the line should be at Dollywood is all that is separating civilization from a post-apocalyptic hellscape, a spokesperson for human progress said today. The red rope, perilously hooked to portable metal posts, and woven back and forth in an orderly fashion, is only one impatient four-year-old using it as a jungle gym away from collapse. Social scientists say that if the line rope toppled, it could all but end the social order. "You think about all the progress we've made in science, education and the arts," said Mark Braden, a University of Tennessee sociology professor. "But if that rope were to detach, it would all fall apart. People think it would take an asteroid crashing into earth to destroy civilization. Those people have never waited in line an hour to ride a roller coaster."

June 24, 2016

Thermostat negotiations enter tense fourth week

West Knoxville apartment dwellers are expected to enter a tense fourth week of thermostat negotiations today.

Representatives of the perpetually cold Lauren Reed and perpetually hot Nate Brodek of Maple Shores Apartments said talks between the couple are at a stalemate.

According to sources close to the couple, talks have been ongoing since May, when Brodek turned on the air conditioning and Reed's nose and toes contracted frostbite.

Brodek has called for not having to sit around in his underwear and be all sweaty inside his own home. Reed has asked for a base temperature of not having to wear three layers of clothing indoors in the summer.

Chris Seaward, a spokesperson for the couple, said that negotiations are proceeding slowly. But he added that a professional temperature mediator has been called in, and that work on a draft agreement is ongoing.

"The current state of the draft agreement reflects how close people who are cold all the time and people who are hot all the time are to reaching a consensus on key topics," said Jasmine Bird, who was brought in last week to help the couple resolve thermostat hostilities. "For example, progress was made on a non-binding 'then put on a damn sweater' resolution, on which we are hammering out some final details."

Bird added that work on a non-passive aggressively changing the temperature while the other person has gone to take a shower clause is moving past initial stages.

Bird said she is confident the couple can come to an agreement before October, when negotiations will have to start all over again.

"Obviously everyone would like to have a settled thermostat temperature," said Reed, president of the Seriously, Baby, It's About To Start Snowing In the Living Room Foundation. "But people understand that it's a time-consuming process and some additional wrinkles have gotten thrown in this year with it being almost 100 degrees outside a few times already."

June 23, 2016

Infamous O.J. Ford Bronco to recreate slow-speed chase in Pigeon Forge traffic

It was 22 years ago that the nation watched a white Ford Bronco lead police on a two hour slow-speed chase down a California interstate. Now O.J. Simpson's infamous SUV is headed to a Sevier County museum. There it will reenact the famous 1994 slow-speed chase by just driving through Pigeon Forge. City officials say the chase reenactment could take months, or even years. "If you thought that Ford Bronco drove slowly down the Interstate, just wait until it drives through Pigeon Forge," said Sevier County traffic engineer Denisa Lakin. "We understand the realities of slow-speed chases all too well here. And also just slow speeds." City officials said the museum that will house the Bronco is scheduled to open in November. Officials hope five months will be enough time for the vehicle to navigate the city's traffic, but they aren't holding their breath.

June 21, 2016

Sunsphere named city's Gold Ball on a Stick Laureate

Mayor Madeline Rogero Monday announced the appointment of the Sunsphere as the first Gold Ball on a Stick Laureate of the City of Knoxville. The Sunsphere, which is often gold and a ball and on a stick, will serve up to two years in the new position. Nominations for the appointee were considered by a committee of the Knoxville Shapes Alliance. The basketball at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame was also considered for the position, but was ultimately not selected due to being orange and in a basket. "I can't imagine a more fitting selection for our first Gold Ball on a Stick Laureate," Mayor Rogero said. "Like many in Knoxville, I have admired the Sunsphere's ability to be a gleaming sphere on top of a stick for years. This position will give it a platform to continue being shiny and tall and confusing to travelers." This is not the first time Knoxville has designated an official representative. In 2009 a duck in Fountain City was named the city's Angry Bird Laureate.

June 19, 2016

TN wine enthusiasts eager to buy products they can already purchase

Wine that you can already buy across the street at the liquor store is now on its way to a grocery store near you. Tennessee supermarkets are making preparations to sell wine starting July 1. Knoxville grocery stores are stocking their shelves with the selections you can already purchase at the liquor store that you can literally see from the supermarket's parking lot. "It's going to be so great for our customers to be able to buy products they can already buy at hundreds of locations around town," said grocery store district manager Samantha Martin. "What a game changer." Avid wine drinker Teagan Dudley is one local resident who couldn't be happier. "Before this I had to make the difficult journey 100 feet away to get wine," said Dudley. "But now it will be right here. Being able to buy just a fraction of the wine that I used to have available is going to be so convenient."

June 17, 2016

Knoxville man suffers walking three blocks after not finding street parking

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in the United States has to walk more than a block to reach their destination every 43 seconds. A Knoxville man knows that painful reality all too well.

James Toibin of Holston Hills suffered a major walking three blocks Wednesday on Gay St. downtown after he was unable to find a parking space right outside his destination.

"I was circling the block looking for street parking and it hit me," said Toibin. "I knew I wasn't going to find a spot. So I had to drive all the way over to the Market Square Parking Garage and park in there. It hurt so bad."

Fortunately for Toibin, there were people nearby who were able to call paramedics to assist him in his time of need.

"I saw him and immediately realized what was happening," said Joelle Scheevel, a registered nurse. "I said, 'That poor man is going to have to walk three blocks to get to his restaurant. He'll never make it.' So I called 911 and administered CPR until help arrived."

Toibin is grateful that he survived, and says he encourages other motorists to be aware of the symptoms of having to walk three blocks. Such signs include complaining about how far it is, complaining about how dangerous downtown Knoxville is, complaining about how hot it is, complaining about how we'd be there already if we were in West Knoxville and complaining about panhandlers.

"I was blessed," said Toibin. "Paramedics were able to give me a ride so I didn't have to walk. But the next person might not be so lucky."

Doctors say that while walking three blocks to your destination could strike anyone, there are several steps you can take to lessen the risk, including shopping online, taking a taxi from your car to your final destination, and just parking on the sidewalk right outside the place where you're going.

June 16, 2016

In appeal to nostalgia, Rhapsody changes name to Dial-Up

Seeking to tap into nostalgia for the late 90s and early 2000s, the Rhapsody music streaming service has changed its name to Dial-Up. Executives say the company's product will essentially function the same, but will now take a lot longer to load. The company added the service will now also be accompanied by an obnoxious, high-pitched metallic sound. "We'll have the same great playlists, albums and artists as before, but it will take you all day to listen to your favorite song," said Rhapsody president Jess Honeycutt. Rhapsody is not alone in shamelessly appealing to nostalgia for personal gain. Last week Hillary Clinton changed her name to Bill Clinton to woo middle-aged voters.

June 14, 2016

New guidelines reveal how much sleep parents need by age

A decent night's sleep makes for livelier, better-behaved parents. But according to new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Naps, most parents aren't getting nearly enough sleep at night due to their children. "Adequate sleep duration for adults who have children on a regular basis leads to improved ability to not fall asleep in your Cheerios and drown at breakfast," said sleep expert Justin Eady. "Not getting enough sleep each night is associated with leaving your keys in the refrigerator because you were so tired and having to call a taxi to take you to work." Experts recommend that all children be turned off at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime, and in some cases that they be sent to nana's house until next weekend.

June 12, 2016

Being chased by chainsaw-wielding bear highlights dangers of flip-flops

News that an East Tennessee man was chased by a bear wielding a chainsaw has once again drawn attention to the dangers of wearing flip-flops. Casual summer footwear enthusiast Michael Sevo was walking to his car Saturday when a carnivore armed with a power tool began chasing him. Sevo narrowly escaped his pursuer, no thanks to the Y-shaped strap between his toes impeding his running ability. "Doctors are always saying flip-flops are bad for your feet," said Sevo. "And now I know it's true. I stubbed my toe trying to outrun a homicidal wildebeest." According to researcher Shatoya Earley, preliminary research from the University of Tennessee shows the flip-flop's lack of protective covering can cause -11 damage reduction in the event of a crossbow attack from a level 7 ranger. "Flip-flops do not provide adequate protection against attacks or even accidents," said Earley. "Someone could accidentally drop a safe on your feet. Or a mad scientist could throw acid on your toes. Or a stranger could try to play this little piggy with you. Your best bet is to always use caution in these situations."

June 10, 2016

Synchronous jumping draws thousands to beaches

It's a special time at beaches all across America, when you can see groups of people jumping into the air at the same time and taking a photo.

The naturally occurring phenomenon occurs each summer on North American beaches. Scientists say there is no other event quite like it in the Western Hemisphere.

"It doesn't seem to be a mating ritual," said University of Tennessee wildlife biologist Hamed Asaf. "It doesn't seem to help with acquiring food. Maybe they think it will scare away large predators. Or that the photo will get a few likes on social media."

The jumping has proven so popular that thousands of people visit beaches to watch each year. This summer beaches implemented a lottery system awarding tickets at random to 1,800 people. Officials say the new system helps control the crowds and has made the experience less frustrating.

"I hate fighting for a spot just to watch college students all jump at once," said Alicia Lambert. "This new lottery works so much better."

Many people travel from all across the country, and even from other countries, to see the jumpers launch themselves into the air in unison.

"I've been hearing about it for years, but it's just one of those things you have to see to believe," said Jason Monaghan, who drove from Michigan to Myrtle Beach to see the famed seaside leapers. "I'm glad I can finally cross this off my bucket list. You never know what you're going to see in the great outdoors."

"It's pretty impressive," said Knoxville resident Donna Widmayer. "It's really hard to describe just how spectacular the whole thing is. You'll have six or seven people jump in the air and tuck their legs behind them at the exact same time. And then they'll capture the whole thing in a photo and all tag themselves on Facebook. It's nature at its most breathtaking."

The viewing event continues until beachgoers decide to stand in a circle and take pictures of their feet instead.

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