December 2011 Archives

December 30, 2011

Six ways to a fatter belly in 2012

Including dietary objectives in New Year's resolutions is a popular thing to do for many people. Setting these goals at the beginning of the year is a good way to start making new habits. If you need a little help your list of resolutions, here are six suggestions to help you increase your waistline in 2012.

Potato chips: A study by researchers at Joe's apartment found that potato chips are salty and delicious. The study, published last year in the "Journal of Sodium Training," involved 10 men using a variety of brands of potato chips, while electrodes measured the stimulation to their abdominal fat. When eaten in combination with little or no exercise, the thin, deep fried slices of potato elicited significant gains in belt size.

Red meat: A compound inside of red meat called saturated fat is known to increase the rate of unhealthy cholesterol in the blood. Eat large amounts to increase your overall calorie intake.

Candy: Candy is one of the top foods that will help increase your flab because you can eat it by the bagful and never get full. Be sure to eat candy between meals whenever possible. After 17 or 18 servings, you'll be hungry again within minutes.

Soft drinks: If you are going to drink anything other than beer in your quest to pack on the pounds, then make it a soft drink. Soft drinks help with weight gain by increasing the intake of sugar. The accumulative benefits of soft drinks are enormous; other benefits include bone loss and tooth decay.

Movie theater popcorn: Researchers found movie theater popcorn offerings can include up to 1,200 calories and, 1,500 milligrams of sodium, and between one and three days' worth of saturated fat. Wash it down with a soda for maximum spare tire inflation.

Ice cream: Ice cream is a great food to include in your diet because the cold dish is naturally sweet tasting and can be dug right out of the carton with a spoon. Unnaturally high in sugar, milk fat and corn syrup, the calorie count of this flabtastic snack is also incredibly high.

December 29, 2011

Tennessee considers drug testing everyone

NASHVILLE - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he expects lawmakers will pass a bill requiring drug tests for all Tennessee residents. The Blountville Republican plans to push for the legislation in an upcoming session. "I'm in favor of drug testing for people who are receiving any kind of government benefits." Ramsey said. "And after all, that's everyone, whether it's testing for those receiving unemployment compensation or whether it's for CEOs of Tennessee companies who are receiving tax breaks and federal grants or whether it's on people who are driving on our roads and checking out our library books. We should even be testing elected politicians who are receiving a paycheck from the government. We don't need to be supporting that kind of lifestyle with government money. This is taxpayer money that we're trying to protect here."

December 27, 2011

New Tennessee law makes voting illegal for Democrats

A new Tennessee law that goes into effect on Jan. 1 makes casting a ballot in an election illegal for voters who are registered as Democrats. Tennessee is one of 15 states that will make it illegal for Democrats to vote in 2012. The first election to be governed by the new law will be the presidential primary on March 6. "At first we thought we would just require federal or state issued photo ID for people to be able to vote," said a spokesman for the House Republican Caucus. "But then we thought, 'What the hell? Let's cut out the middle man and all the red tape. We'll just make it illegal for Democrats to vote at all. It's not like they're going to challenge it or anything. They're Democrats.'"

December 25, 2011

Cease-fire called in War on Christmas

Secular forces have declared a cease-fire to encourage peace talks with those who celebrate Christmas, a senior commander said, a move that appears to show the deadly Enemies of Christmas army's willingness to strike a deal. It was unclear whether all militants claiming to be under the anti-Christmas banner would obey the directive, which has been in effect for a day. The Enemies of Christmas have been behind much of the violence that has ripped across the United States in the three years since the holiday was declared illegal in 2009. Estimates indicated that as many as 30,000 people have been killed in guerrilla attacks and army offensives since the war began. Property damage is believed to be in the trillions. In East Tennessee alone, West Town Mall and the Turkey Creek shopping district have been destroyed in anti-Christmas attacks.

December 23, 2011

Environmental groups urge Santa to stop giving coal to naughty children

Twenty-four Tennessee environmental organizations submitted a letter to Santa Claus on Thursday urging the rosy-cheeked philanthropist to discontinue his annual tradition of leaving a stocking full of coal for naughty children.

Customarily on Christmas Eve, Claus distributes toys to the good children of the world by breaking into their homes, usually by way of a chimney. Naughty children, however, are left lumps of coal.

"The time has come to phase out the use of coal as a source of punishment," states a copy of the letter that was sent to the press. "Renewable forms of discipline are becoming inexpensive and more widely available, making the way forward clear. As citizens of Appalachia, we are particularly troubled by your continued use of coal. Mountaintop removal mining is a practice that is both destructive and that has been linked to circulatory and respiratory illnesses."

The letter goes on to ask that Santa conduct a feasibility study on moving stockings toward geothermal or solar chastisement, two sustainable forms of Christmas punishment that don't pollute the atmosphere.

"There are plenty of ways to send a stern message to crappy kids while at the same time protecting the environment for them," said ecological activist Amy Dunlap. "How about leaving a wind turbine in the stocking? Or maybe some steam? Those are viable alternatives that will ensure that children behave themselves and that they continue to have a planet for many Christmases to come."

"This letter is another sign of the growing public support for moving toward a sustainable model for behavior modification," said Dan Staton, Protect Our Mountains Tennessee field director. "Santa Claus can show true international leadership by being the first mythological holiday toygiver to ban coal distribution."

"Santa can achieve economical protection of public health and the environment from the impacts of coal mining if he will take this bold step," added Veisa Fredericks, Tennessee Clean Air Network deputy director. "Prevention of pollution is the most cost-effective action available to pudgy Christmas gift givers, all the more so when irreplaceable resources are on the line."

December 22, 2011

Red panda appointed Director of Awwwww

Mayor Madeline Rogero today announced the appointment of Dolly the red panda cub as the Director of Awwwww for the City of Knoxville. Dolly was the 99th red panda born in captivity at the Knoxville Zoo. She was recently named "Oh My Gosh Oh My Gosh She Is So Cute Yes She Is" for the East Tennessee region. "I am thrilled to have someone with Dolly's professional background and commitment to soft, furry adorableness join the administration," Rogero said. "Her snuggle wuggleness and practical approach to warm fuzzy issues will prove invaluable." Dolly joined the staff of the zoo in June as Senior Manager of Cuddles shortly after her birth to father Madan and mother Kumari. She was instrumental in increasing baby talk among zoo patrons by 300 percent in the third and fourth quarters of 2012.

December 20, 2011

Not too late to send me money, Sarah Palin says

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin reminded the nation that there is still time to send her your hard-earned money in case she does eventually decide to run for president. Asked in an upcoming television interview about the likelihood that she will pretty please possibly become a candidate in the upcoming election, Palin said that it's not too late for hardworking, real Americans like her to join the race. "Golly gee willikers, it's never too late to run for president," said Palin. "And if for some reason I did decide to run, I would need substantial cash. My $100,000 speaking fee and $7 million book deal are hardly enough to someday possibly run a campaign." Palin was forced to resign as governor of Alaska in 2009 by the lamestream media. She was appointed Secretary of Cognitive Dissonance by President Barack Obama in early 2010.

December 18, 2011

Knoxville home revealed to be made of trick birthday candles

A Knoxville home that caught fire three times in one week was found to be made out of trick birthday candles that re-light after being blown out, according to Knoxville Fire Department spokesman Capt. John Nickleton. The Knoxville Fire Department was first called to a two-story home in West Knoxville on Dec. 14. Firefighters returned to the house a second time on the night of Dec. 15 and a third time in the early morning hours on Dec. 16. "At first we were suspicious of arson," said firefighter Daniel Cummings. "But then it all started to make sense. We realized the home was carved out of trick birthday candles. And the foundation was made of cake. It was weird, and a little creepy to be honest. I think a witch may have lived at the residence."

December 16, 2011

Santa Claus trades in reindeer for flying motorcycle

A benevolent gift giver residing at the North Pole has traded in a team of flying reindeer for a 1959 Triumph Bonneville T120 motorcycle.

Santa Claus confirmed to reporters yesterday that he will now deliver gifts on Christmas Eve in the gently used flying motorcycle.

The motor vehicle was last used by a half-giant named Rubeus Hagrid in 1997 to escape a squadron of Death Eaters. The motorbike and its sidecar were damaged during the chase. It suffered further injury due to a botched Reparto spell. It is believed that a wizard named Arthur Weasley repaired the bicycle sometime after the great Second Wizarding War.

"My friend Hagrid traded the bike to me for my nine reindeer," said the plump toymaker. "He can't resist magical creatures, especially ones with bright red noses that can steer through inclement weather. If there is ever another wizarding war, they will be an excellent asset."

Claus admitted the decision was due in part to his recent mid-life crisis.

"I'm getting up there," he said. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't getting restless. At first I thought I wanted a flying pickup truck with a gun rack on the back. But this is even better. It gets surprisingly good gas mileage and I can keep all the presents in the sidecar. Plus, chicks dig it. Mrs. Claus gets so jealous."

Claus was quick to point out that the world's children will not be deprived of the flying caribou. Through a special agreement with the National Park Service, Hagrid has agreed to house the reindeer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The half-giant has also accepted a position as the park's Director of Magical Wildlife.

"Flying reindeer once thrived in East Tennessee," said park ranger Jennifer Lucas. "By the mid-1800s over-hunting and a loss of habitat eliminated many of the animals. We're thrilled to be able to reintroduce these benevolent creatures to the Smokies. Hopefully we can keep them from straying into Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Reindeer love outlet malls. They are the bargain shoppers of the wild."

December 15, 2011

East Tennessee version of Mount Rushmore to feature sculpture of Johnny Knoxville's nipples

The state of Tennessee has approved funds for the construction of a large sculpture which will be carved in the face of Mount LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The monument will be similar to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and will feature 60-foot sculptures of prominent people from East Tennessean. Architects recently finalized plans for the landmark and say it will feature carvings of Cas Walker's scowl, "Popcorn" Sutton's beard and Quentin Tarentino's ego. "This is an exciting day for Tennessee," said Gov. Bill Haslam. "People from all over the country will soon be able to stare up at the majesty of a 60-foot tall Johnny Knoxville with a baby alligator clamped to his nipples. I have never been prouder." The sculpture is expected to take five years to complete. Construction is set to begin in February.

December 13, 2011

Area children living in poverty prefer 'merry Christmas' to 'happy holidays'

The estimated 23 percent of Tennessee children who live in poverty prefer to be wished a "merry Christmas" rather than "happy holidays," according to a recent survey. The results are part of a Tennessee Department of Health survey of 3,023 state children released on Monday. All children surveyed were living under the federal poverty level of $22,050 for a family of four. "I personally get offended when someone passes my emaciated frame on the street and wishes me a happy holiday," said eight-year-old Chloe Gaskin. "The least people can do when they see me dumpster diving for food and clothing is to wish me a merry Christmas." Seven-year-old Connor Cohen agreed. "When the bank is foreclosing on your family, the last thing you want to hear as you're moving into your car are the words 'happy holidays.' Honestly, the first time I ever saw the words 'merry Xmas' I wanted to throw up. It's a good thing I hadn't eaten that week."

December 11, 2011

UT officials admit to using supercomputer mostly for playing 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3'

University of Tennessee officials awkwardly confessed today to using its Cray XT5 supercomputer primarily to play a ported version of the recently released "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" first-person shooter video game. Dubbed Kraken, the university-managed computer has been up and running at Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 2009. But scientists admit they have mostly been using the eighth fastest computer in the world to battle the pixilated forces of Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Makarov. "While originally intended to help address problems like understanding climate change and helping to design more effective medicines, the real strength of this computer is in gaming," said UT Executive Vice President of First-Person Shooters Craig Wolfe. "This new 'Call of Duty' game is amazing, but you should see it processed at a peak performance of 1.17 PetaFLOPs. My Playstation 3 can't come close to competing with that."

December 9, 2011

Piece of lint lodged in Jim's bellybutton now Republican frontrunner

A piece of fluff trapped in a 54-year-old Oliver Springs man's bellybutton is the preferred nominee of 31 percent of Republican voters, according a national poll released Thursday by the University of Tennessee. Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich came in second at 26 percent.

The poll also showed that the conglomeration of T-shirt cotton, dead skin cells, fat, sweat and dust would beat President Barack Obama in a head to head match-up.

Recent surveys by CNN, the New York Times and Fox News have also shown the piece of lint leading the Republican field.

"The problem with the current crop of Republican presidential candidates is that they keep talking about the things they believe and the things they plan on doing," said political strategist Doug Montgomery. "If they could stop that, most of them would have a much better shot at winning. Well, except for Ron Paul. Snowballs in hell and all that."

Montgomery said the piece of lint's rise, like that of the previous 4,382 other Republican frontrunners, has been powered by conservatives who remain skeptical of former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney.

In addition to Gingrich and Romney, Republican candidates who have seen their backing swell and recede in polls include: a rusty spoon discarded in an overgrown field, a piece of half-eaten freedom toast and a mildewed bath towel slept on by a Texas family's German Shepherd.

"The question for the piece of lint, as was the case for the kernel of corn that Timmy put in his nose and the pot of tepid coffee, is whether it is just the flavor of the month or whether it can sustain its popularity until the primaries," Montgomery said.

The poll of 1,147 registered Republican voters was taken Dec. 1-7 and has an error margin of plus-or-minus two percentage points.

"If the piece of lint doesn't work out, I think the Republicans may nominate Ronald Reagan's corpse, if it will stop turning over," said Montgomery. "Personally, these are the days I look back fondly at Dick Cheney shooting a guy in the face. Those were sunnier times."

December 8, 2011

Forecast: chance of scattered Al Gore humor expected in East Tennessee today

Residents of Knox County and surrounding areas will see a gradual increase of snow mixed with Al Gore humor in the upcoming days, according to the National Weather Service. In the past three days, half an inch of Gore-related quips have fallen over the Knoxville area, and East Tennessee's armchair scientific community said another one to two inches could be in store should the city see more snowfall. National Weather Service forecaster Blake Fowler attributed the jokefall to a cold front moving across East Tennessee combined with an utter unawareness of how climate change actually works. "What we're seeing is a low pressure system mixed with the granular scientific expertise of people who last took a science course in 1988. It's fairly typical at this time of year." Meteorologists also anticipate a steady melting of area milk and bread supplies, as well as possible scattered references to the former Vice President's non-existent claim to have invented the Internet.

December 6, 2011

Bomb rights advocates seek changes to Tennessee laws

Local supporters of explosives rights are praising an Arizona law that removes prerequisites that bomb owners get permits before carrying their weaponry in public. The advocates plan to increase pressure on the Tennessee legislature to ease some of the rules on carrying grenades, landmines and warheads when state lawmakers reconvene in January. Supporters would like to open all parks in the state to IEDs and make it easier to carry grenades on airplanes and into schools and hospitals. Advocates would also like to see legislation that would make a hydrogen bomb carry permit optional, in what would be the biggest change to Tennessee's explosives laws in 30 years. "Explosives crimes are perpetrated by criminals, not by law-abiding citizens carrying military-grade weaponry," said one supporter. "The majority of bomb-related crimes are carried out by criminals who would never get a permit to begin with. If I'm in line at the bank and a robber pulls out an atomic bomb, I should be able to defend myself. That's my right as an American."

December 4, 2011

Knoxville woman's Christmas cards save ailing post office

BEXHILL DRIVE - Martha Applegate of Knoxville's Bluegrass community enacted a bipartisan plan today to keep the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service solvent and continue six-day mail delivery for at least two more years. The plan calls for Applegate, 52, to mail Christmas cards and an annual holiday letter to everyone she's been meaning to send one to. "The plan will lift the agency from the brink of bankruptcy," said Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee. "I just hope I get one of the letters. She dresses her dogs up in Santa costumes and sends the pictures. It's a solid mixture of adorable and absolutely sickening." The Postal Service lost a record $8 billion last year. Even larger losses were expected for this year before Applegate got involved.

December 2, 2011

South Knoxville man awakens from Thanksgiving-induced coma

A man from the Knoxville community of Vestal has regained consciousness after spending seven days in a coma. Shawn Parker, 43, slipped into a comatose state on Nov. 24 after being struck by a hit and run Thanksgiving dinner.

Parker was discovered by rescuers shortly after he gorged himself on a third plate of turkey, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and macaroni and cheese. He was pulled to safety after his unconscious body was found partially submerged in a bowl of banana pudding.

"When I found him he was slumped on top of the dessert table," said Parker's fiancé, Janette Hendrix. "He was completely out of it. I immediately called 911 and then had another piece of pumpkin pie while I waited for the ambulance. Nom nom nom."

Medical professionals were able to resuscitate Parker at the scene by forcing a mixture of cranberries and apple stack cake into his lungs. But he remained comatose until last night.

"We found that he had gained at least eight pounds during the course of the extended meal," said responding paramedic Alesha Finley. "He also suffered bruises and scrapes on his abdomen after his waistline expanded, causing his belt to rupture. This man has been through a lot."

Parker shocked his family when he suddenly spoke and asked for fourths late last night.

"Out of nowhere he called out with 'turkey' and then it was 'more sweet potatoes' and then it was 'where is the pumpkin pie,'" said Ryan Goins, Knox County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center director. "And now it's any item of food he wants to say."

His mother, Carol Parker, called her son's return to consciousness "a miracle." "I couldn't tell you my first thought. I just about fell over right on the floor," she said. "The good news is, now we can finally finish dessert."

Parker has many historic events to catch up with, including Derek Dooley's pants losing yet another football game and the Republican presidential frontrunner changing five times. He is expected to make a full recovery.

December 1, 2011

Downtown parking woes continue for people who have never left Knoxville

The parking situation remains bleak in downtown Knoxville for people who have never actually been to a major city. Earlier this month a major employer announced it is evaluating the relocation of its corporate office away from its current downtown setting. The news has renewed discussion about how difficult it is for Americans to walk more than 40 feet from a parking lot to an indoor location. "On Friday there was no parking in the Market Square Parking Garage, so my wife and I had to park under the overpass in the Old City," said 37-year-old martyr Travis Weatherly. "We must have had to walk four blocks. It was a nightmare. Is this the best you can do, Knoxville?" Weatherly is one of hundreds of Knoxvillians who have never had to spend 45 minutes looking for a $34 parking spot in Chicago or who have yet to face a grueling 16-block walk in Manhattan. "Can't they just turn Market Square into a parking garage," added Weatherly. "If I want community and culture, I can watch it happen to someone else on TV."

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