August 30, 2015
A spokesperson for people who are offended about everything announced today that gender neutral pronouns are a new thing that should make you upset. The affrontedness came after the University of Tennessee's Office for Diversity and Inclusion suggested that students consider using more inclusive pronouns such as "ze." "This completely voluntary non-policy is a slippery slope," said a spokesperson who wants you to know he is male for the Perpetual Offendedness Council. "First people can't say 'he' or 'she,' and the next thing you know there will be unisex bathrooms. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go use the designated men's bathroom at my house. It has a urinal so everyone knows exactly who can use it." "We wouldn't want anyone to get their feelings hurt by a pronoun," agreed a person whose feelings have been hurt by entirely optional, slightly different pronouns. "I haven't been this angry since some politically correct jackass wished me happy holidays."
August 28, 2015
A jury has found an Old North Knoxville man guilty of vinyl siding in a case of "seriously, does he not know this area is zoned under an H-1 historic overlay?"
The verdict against Carl Henson, 26, was presented shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. Henson was found guilty on 16 charges, including satellite dish visible from the public right of way, painting over historic masonry, and more modern street lighting with high intensity fixtures on metal standards. Henson was also found guilty of having a chain link fence along the front walk that is greater than three feet high.
The verdict was reached in just over five minutes, ending an emotional four hour trial on a Facebook neighborhood group.
The trial drew community attention as neighbors around Old North Knoxville work to prevent the spread of architectural violence.
In a statement to the media, a next-door neighbor thanked prosecutors and members of the jury.
"I am so grateful to each of you," said Dawn Arribas through tears. "This case gives all of us in the community an opportunity to talk to each other and our children about the way we treat the most vulnerable among us, these late 19th century houses in an H-1 overlay.
Other neighbors made similar statements.
"I'm just thankful that this man's heinous crimes will be punished," said Jenna Trask, who lives two houses down from the crime scene. "This was an innocent house. And he hasn't shown an ounce of remorse. That man is a monster. He'll get what's coming to him."
Henson will be sentenced on September 28. He could face up to 25 years of tsk tsking.
"We will continue our ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of not using synthetic siding on Queen Anne Cottage-style homes," the neighborhood said in a statement.
This is not the first time Old North Knoxville has seen violent criminal activity. In 2014, someone in the neighborhood suggested that gentrification is bad.
August 27, 2015
A new Knoxville program could help hundreds of families consume more than their fair share of natural resources and dramatically increase their energy bills. The Holding the Door Open Initiative hopes to provide simple energy-inefficient upgrades to homes all across Knoxville. "By simply leaving the front door wide open, families can make their homes hotter in the summer and colder in the winter," said Knoxville director of waste creation management Dani Sachjen. "It's a great way to pay even more for your utility bill. Plus your mom will shout, 'Close the door! Were you raised in a barn?' and then you can roll your eyes at her. Everyone wins." Other aspects of the program include leaving all the faucets running, transitioning to gasoline-powered appliances, and driving bags of trash from the house to your family's garbage can.
August 25, 2015
Professional compliment angler Jim Hansen of Lancing, Tenn. reeled in a 12-pound those pants don't make your hips look fat Sunday to claim the title of Your Butt Doesn't Look Big Champion. The award is one of professional compliment fishing's most prestigious. Hansen won with a three approval margin over Doug Mason of Kentucky. "I'm not even that great at fishing," Hansen told reporters, in an attempt to gain even more compliments. "Actually I'm not that good at anything. And my house is such a mess." Hansen had a four-day total of 42 compliments. "I'm emotionally drained," Hansen added. "But at the end of the day I feel pretty validated. That last 'Oh my gosh, you're crazy, you are so not ugly Jim' that I caught really put me over the top."
August 23, 2015
The University of Tennessee is trying out an innovative pricing structure that will let college administrators set their own price for education. "As a way of thanking students and alumni for supporting us for the past 221 years, we are offering students the chance to pay us what we want from now through the end of the 2016 spring semester," said UT director of tuition management Richard Zermatt. "When it's time to pay their tuition bill, students will be asked, 'How much would we like you to pay?' And then the university will give them a number with several zeroes behind it." "We want to be in the driver's seat," continued Zermatt. "We want us to decide what this education is worth to you. And it's probably worth a lot. Our mission is to educate, inspire and build a few new buildings while we're at it."
August 21, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week declared the Columbia House extinct and removed it from the list of endangered species list.
The Columbia House was a subspecies of animal known as the Mail Order Music Club. It once roamed the entirety of the United States, where it charged one penny for eight CDs, plus a chance to get even more music -- free!
Government wildlife managers believe the Columbia House's population began to decrease in the late 90s after a predator known as the Napster was introduced into its habitat. The Columbia House follows the BMG Music Service, which scientists declared extinct in 2009, and the Blockbuster Video, which remarkably held on until 2014.
"While heartbroken to see it go, I was a bit stunned to learn the Columbia House was still among us at all," said physical music product conservationist Bryan Brackeen. "Frankly I thought the CD was extinct, too. I guess life always finds a way."
Many environmentalists took the news hard.
"There are so many species our children will never know," said Dale Jackson of Knoxville. "Gone forever are the majestic MySpace and the highly intelligent Encyclopedia Britannica. Gone are once ubiquitous species like the Floppy Disk and Payphone and Fax Machine. Even with its defense mechanism of frustrating the hell out of everyone, we still lost the Dial-Up Internet. And now the Passing Notes In Class and the Landline Telephone are on their last legs. Only a few remain in zoos around the world."
Hundreds of people gathered around the country to mourn the passing of the Columbia House, many of whom had sentimental ties to the animal.
"This is a sad day," said hair metal zoologist Kris Levinsohn. "How will kids score Poison and Def Leppard's entire catalogue for free by signing up several friends and family members who all just happen to live at the same address? I haven't cried this hard since the Mixtape went extinct."
August 20, 2015
The Haslam administration is considering a controversial plan that would outsource the interpretation of law in the state of Tennessee to a spherical toy used for fortune-telling. Gov. Bill Haslam says the move could save taxpayers millions of dollars. "Our job in state government is to provide the very best services we can at the lowest cost to taxpayers," Haslam said. "Sure, we could keep paying so-called judges to interpret laws and to mediate disputes. Or we could shake up this oversized black and white ball, ask it a yes or no question, and get an immediate answer. And if it gives us a 'reply hazy try again,' then we'll just rephrase the question." Critics called the plan "insane." "It's just a plastic ball filled with liquid and a die," said Knoxville attorney Ada Gardner. "Obviously a fortune cookie would make more sense. That way, every verdict would end with 'in bed' and you could giggle about it."
August 18, 2015
A 30-percent larger than life Peyton Manning sculpture made from chocolate has been devoured by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The statue was created by Tim King, a professional sculptor from Colorado. Brady's consumption of the sculpture was made public as part of an information dump related to the NFLPA's Deflategate lawsuit against the NFL. "First a 38-year-old Brady thinks he can play eight more seasons in the NFL, and now he's eating rival quarterbacks," said NFL insider Dwight Barger. "We're assuming he probably hollowed the sculpture out quite a bit so he could finish it all. He always needs a little extra help to win." Brady told reporters he probably could have finished eating the sculpture sooner if all his Super Bowl rings weren't so heavy.
August 16, 2015
A Knoxville toy enthusiast today reported he or she no longer knows if he or she is male or female due to Target's recent decision to remove gender signage. Last week the company announced it would be phasing out gender-specific product categories. Riley Knight, 10, told reporters it is now unable to distinguish between the genders of toys, and by extension of him or herself. "First my parents named me Riley and now this," he or she said. "If only there were some other place close to me, maybe near my body, that I could look to determine what my anatomical sex is." This is not the first time the nation has been confused about gender. In 2011, chaos ensued after Smurfette was given blue skin instead of pink skin in "The Smurfs" movie.
August 14, 2015
According to a report issued by the University of Tennessee this week, only 20-square-feet of the college campus is currently not being built, rebuilt, bulldozed, upgraded, repaved, repainted or renovated.
University officials said that a small patch of grass near Hess Hall and a single parking spot near the Sigma Chi fraternity house remain unscathed by heavy machinery. The rest of the campus will continue to be under construction until it isn't.
"From Lake Ave. to White Ave. to Cumberland Ave. to 17th Street to 20th Street to the Student Union Plaza to Sutherland Ave. to the corner of Volunteer and Lake Loudoun Boulevards to Tom Black Track to Estabrook Road, we are making sure that our student's hard-loaned tuition money is going right back into the local construction economy," said university director of constructing construction Barry Rigoglioso.
Perpetual construction officials said they are excited for fall semester to begin next week so they can laugh at people driving through campus.
"We look forward to sending hundreds of commuter students through our endless maze of one way streets and constantly changing detours," said university director of nope, you can't go that way Jill Oakes. "And just wait until that first home game with Oklahoma. We may park a few backhoes in the middle of the street that day just for funsies."
And while many students and professors and commuters and business owners and sports fans are skeptical, area cranes and forklifts have voiced their support.
"This is great," said a Caterpillar D10N bulldozer. "I have gotten to push so much dirt around. At the rate it's going, I will probably retire here."
University officials said they have made a note of the 20-square-feet that is not under construction and will see what they can do.
"I'm sure we could put something in those places, maybe a tiny athletic field or a dining hall for very skinny people," said Rigoglioso. "We'll figure something out."