December 3, 2013
The University of Tennessee is testing drones to deliver bulldozers to historic Fort Sanders Victorian homes in the time it takes to watch an episode of "Modern Family." Grant Dickie, UT's vice chancellor for destroying historic buildings, recently outlined his plan to transform the Fort Sanders destruction industry. Dickie said the contraptions, called seeyawouldntwanttobeyavictorianhouseacopters, can carry bulldozers to the scene of a historic Victorian home within seconds. "It will work, and it will happen, and it's gonna be a lot of fun," Dickie told the razed rubble of a vintage George Barber home. UT has been introducing new ways to get annihilation to Fort Sanders faster. The college said last month it will be teaming up with Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center to level more of the neighborhood for the sake of progress.
December 1, 2013
Millions of Facebook users today announced their appreciation for the end of a month-long series of status updates detailing what social media operators are thankful for. "Some people celebrate 30 days of thanks," said enemy of gratitude Meg Raysman. "But I've been having 30 days of angst. I'm really glad it's over. People are thankful for some pretty stupid things. Like cats. Why would someone be thankful for a cat? All they do is cough up hairballs and make me sneeze." Those participating in 30 days of thanks posted a thing to be thankful for each day of the month of November, causing some social media users to swell up with rage. "You're thankful for your iPhone?" said Sasha Patty. "Did you really run out of legitimate things to be thankful for already?" Facebook users reported that the social media website hasn't been this annoying since a married couple merged their two separate profiles into a single, shared ChristineandBenHolland identity.
November 29, 2013
The close-knit community Fourth and Gill is attempting to come to terms with the brutal murder of a medium-sized, orange winter squash.
Neighbors of the quiet neighborhood discovered the dismembered pumpkin in a compost heap in the backyard of Linus and Sally van Pelt of Luttrell Street Thursday evening.
Police said the pumpkin had been stabbed, cut open, and that its insides had been removed and baked into a pie.
Forensic investigators said the murder occurred in the van Pelt's kitchen sometime in the early hours of Thursday morning. A carving knife found in the family's dishwasher is believed to be the murder weapon.
The van Pelts were arrested shortly before midnight Thursday and are being held without bond.
Many neighbors reacted to the vicious homicide in disbelief.
"I think we're all just in shock," said longtime Luttrell Street resident Chris Fortney. "You never think something like this can happen in your own neighbor's backyard. You just never know people as well as you think you do. I mean, you'd expect this kind of thing over on Deery Street. But not here."
Neighbor Emily Nance agreed.
"This used to be a street where you could leave your pantry door unlocked. What's happening to the world?"
But one childhood friend has come forward who believes Linus van Pelt has longtime resentment toward pumpkins.
"He has some rage issues, going back to something that he calls the Great Pumpkin," said the former associate, who revealed his name only as Schroeder. "The Great Pumpkin was a mythical god that Linus believed would rise out of the pumpkin patch. It never came. Linus must have never gotten over it."
Police said they plan to increase their presence in the Fourth and Gill neighborhood for the foreseeable future.
"It was pretty bad," said police spokesperson Tinah Miller. "We haven't seen anything like this since we found that pumpkin with a face carved into it on Halloween. Some people are just animals."
November 28, 2013
An Anderson County woman is rushing dozens of critical, backhanded remarks to her family's Thanksgiving dinner today in a major indirect hostility buildup aimed at preventing her adult children from experiencing cheer and happiness. The tiny barbs of Ruby Brooks' stockpile each carry subtle resentment designed to get under the skin. According to high-ranking family officials, each comment is disguised as a reflection of care and concern, but is in reality a deadly weapon capable of raising blood pressure and eliciting silent rage. Reportedly among the arsenal are RS-12M Topol Intercontinental Ballistic Maybe I'll Have A Grandchild Before I Die Missiles and BGM-109D Long-Range Tomahawk It Looks Like You've Been Eating Well Missiles. According to one source, I Was Just Calling Your Phone To See If It Was Still Working Bunker Buster Bombs could also be deployed in the avoidance of conflict.
November 26, 2013
University of Tennessee linguists made a startling discovery Monday when they uncovered a local man with a lexicon of more than 50 curse words for snowy weather. The team of linguistic anthropologists, led by Arica Lawrence, learned of the treasure trove of impressively vast and rich bad language after John from down the hall heard the weather report. "We were intrigued by the elaborate combinations of swear words John uses to describe winter weather," said Lawrence. "The string of crude, vulgar, sometimes blasphemous obscenities was incredible. For example, he has a sequence of irreverent adjectives, adverbs and nouns describing powdery snow that doesn't stick very well. But then he has another set of expletives that he uses to describe rain mixed with snow." Other members of the scientific community are skeptical, noting that John has 50 swear words for just about everything.
November 24, 2013
A rotund, North Pole-dwelling gift-giver stunned the Internet Saturday when he posted a half-nude photograph on Twitter. A shirtless Santa Claus tweeted a photo of himself with the caption, "Have you been naughty or nice?" The photo was deleted an hour later, but the photo had already been retweeted more than 1,000 times. Claus told reporters this morning that a combination of too much eggnog and his amazement at his 190-year-old body contributed to the tweet. Twitter users announced that they would be switching back to landlines immediately. "I think I'm just going to buy my own gifts this year," said one Twitter user. "There's no unseeing that belly. It really does seem to jiggle though, I'll give him that." This is not the first time an arctic resident has caused controversy. In August, Frosty the Snowman stunned the scientific community when he denounced global warming as a hoax.
November 22, 2013
Five-time Black Friday runner Gayle Mayes is right where she wants to be heading into next week's Black Friday Shopping Marathon.
The 39-year-old long distance shopper will compete in her first competitive shopping season since recovering from the gaping head wound she received five minutes into the 2012 race in the electronics department of a West Knoxville big box store.
Mayes' return comes two years after she won tremendous savings in the 2011 Black Friday Shopping Marathon. That year she scored big with a Toshiba 65-inch LCD TV for $998 and a 15.6-inch Compaq Presario CQ57 for $198.
"I want to prove that that 2011 wasn't a fluke year," said Mayes, who has her eyes set on a 75-inch 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV and an iPad Air Wi-Fi 16GB. "I'm a tough customer. And if anyone tries to take a cheap shot at me this year, I will stuff a Nintendo 3DS XL down their gullet."
Mayes is a relative newcomer to the sport of competitive shopping. She ran her first race at the age of 34 after she agreed to camp out all night with her boyfriend for a new camera. The couple broke up after Mayes pinned her suitor beneath a Christmas tree and made off with the last Canon PowerShot.
Now Mayes says she is ready to get back into action, having followed an intensive training regimen designed to help her recover from the injury. Last weekend, she practiced knocking customers to the ground with her shopping cart in three Turkey Creek retail stores and finished second overall at finding a parking spot at West Towne Mall in 15 minutes or less. Mayes set her career record in 2010 when she saved more than $2,000 on Christmas gifts that were obsolete in less than a calendar year.
"Last year, I turned my back on a woman wielding an Xbox 360 holiday bundle like a medieval mace, and that's how I got hurt," she said. "This year I'm wearing a helmet and concealable, lightweight body armor. And I have a special shopping cart with retractable spikes. Hopefully I can end 2013 on a high note."
November 21, 2013
Members of the Knoxville Americana band The Black Lillies were robbed of several pounds of beard Wednesday after playing a gig in Oklahoma City at The Blue Door. Surveillance video shows the burglar stealing the thick tufts of man fur right off the faces of band members outside the venue after the group had played its show. "This is going to really impact our upcoming performances," said multi-instrumentalist and former bearded man Tom Pryor. "Our beards were specially programmed for us." Band members said they will play upcoming shows with rented beards. "It's sad to see someone just walk up and steal a person's beard right in the middle of No Shave November," said Pryor. "That's like a year and a half of work that I'll have to replace. It makes me sick to my stomach."
November 19, 2013
A newly-released Gallup poll found that 95 percent of Americans prefer being slathered with meat sauce and then devoured by hungry grizzly bears to the legislative branch of the federal government. In addition, more than nine in 10 say they would rather be forced to hear Gilbert Gottfried say things with his voice than to have Congress exist. This despite believing, as eight in 10 do, that the United States legislature serves some sort of essential function. The Gallup national telephone survey similarly found that a vast majority of American adults consider being sealed in a flaming barrel full of venomous snakes and pushed over Niagara Falls to be preferable to the House of Representatives and the Senate. "This new report is crystal clear," said University of Tennessee statistics professor Julianne Garner. "It shows that the vast majority of Americans recognize that we have a moral obligation to protect each other from Congress."
November 17, 2013
Snake-handling barbers may not be a fixture of mainstream hairstyling, but their controversial methods are still practiced in scattered pockets across Appalachia. Case in point? Last week Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers confiscated 50 venomous snakes from LaFollette barber Jacob Myrick, who runs the They Shall Take Up Serpents Barbershop in Campbell County. Officers said they found out about Myrick's barbershop after a customer sat on a Cottonmouth when he came in for a beard and moustache trim. Myrick, who has appeared on National Geographic's "Snake Stylists" program, is a second generation snake-handling barber. He says he's really not all that different from other barbers. "I cut, I snip, I shave, I talk about fishing and the Vols, just like any other barber does," he said. "Just every once in a while I do it while waving around a Timber Rattlesnake."