Sat
Dec 9 2006
01:01 pm
By: Sandra Clark  shortURL

For all you Halls lovers out there...

Tonight is the Halls Has It! Christmas Parade. Starts at 6 p.m. when those rumored to be unnecessary Sheriff's Office helicopters roar south on Maynardville Highway (we start at the high school and end at the Kroger).

The grand marshal is John Vandergriff, TSSAA heavyweight wrestling champion. Next come the Man and Woman of the Year, then the guest band -- Fulton High School. Then about 1,000 small twirlers, Mary Lou Horner on the Shopper float, another bunch of twirlers and the mighty Halls High Marching Band. Then Santa. Then the horses. Then the pooper-scoopers. Yawl come! -- s.

Topics:
28
like
Sat
Dec 9 2006
01:00 pm

The South Knox Times reports that plans for a controversial housing development in Colonial Village have been scrapped.

According to the article, residents objected to the proposed density, rezoning that would allow attached homes, and had concerns about underground caves at the site. The developer told the South Knox Times "We did scale our plans back a great deal, but ultimately the leaders of the local community group did not give an inch."

Here are some background articles on the project previously posted at KnoxViews by a resident:

New S. Knox development would supplant 14 acres of woods smack in the middle of Colonial village

Colonial Village, Part 2

Colonial Village, Part 3

Colonial Village, Part 4

24
like
Sat
Dec 9 2006
12:39 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Scientists at the University of Central Florida have figured out a way to store up to one terabyte on a DVD. (A terabyte is one trillion bytes, or one thousand gigabytes.) Such a DVD could hold 500 movies, or "the entire collection of historical documents at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum."

The media could also be configured as a small cube. I remember reading something thirty years ago in Popular Science about a "data cube" that would have what was at that time an extraordinary capacity of like a gigabyte or something. Now we have tiny removable memory cards that hold 4GB or more. Terabyte data cubes would be a nice way to archive all our digital "stuff".

Topics:
25
like
Sat
Dec 9 2006
11:40 am

By way of Michael Silence, here's the STS-116 Mission Blog by Space Shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein.

Space Shuttle trivia: IBM ThinkPads are the official laptops aboard Space Shuttle missions. Designated PGSC (Payload and General Support Computer), they are mostly off-the-shelf ThinkPads modified for such things as cooling (heat doesn't rise in zero G), power supply, and interfaces. Here's an interesting article about an earlier version and the modifications required.

NASA now uses a modified ThinkPad A31p model. A Space Shuttle mission has six or more ThinkPads on board. STS-114 Discovery flew a total of nine ThinkPads, including six of the older 760XD ThinkPads (with Windows 98!) and three A31p models with dual hard drives that could be booted into Windows 2000 or QNX. A31p ThinkPads are also used on the International Space Station.

They have bitchin' Wi-Fi, too. In 1998, Astronaut/Senator John Glenn exchanged emails with President Clinton from on board STS-95 using a wireless Microsoft NT 4.0 network and Exchange Server.

Since then they've added VOIP so astronauts can phone home. It works over NASA's Orbital Communications Adapter (OCA) which was designed to overcome propagation delay that would normally break TCP/IP.

24
like
Sat
Dec 9 2006
10:19 am

By way of Katie, check out Overheard in the Office. Keep hitting "random quote". As Katie says, it's addicting.

Topics:
26
like
Sat
Dec 9 2006
09:17 am

By way of Keith Olbermann, another Republican Senator, Gordon Smith of Oregon, is cutting and running from Bush's Iraq policy:

I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore. I believe we need to figure out how to fight the war on terror and to do it right. So either we clear and hold and build, or let's go home.

He also quotes Churchill: "The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."

Here's the full text of Sen. Smith's remarks.

16
like

Most people who know actor William Petersen know him as Gil Grissom, the lead character on the CBS corpse opera, "CSI."

Before Silence of the Lambs introduced the world to Thomas Harris's Hanibal Lector, there was Manhunter, based on Harris's book, Red Dragon. Petersen's character in that movie is equal parts Fox Mulder and Don Johnson - he's intelligent, dark, and brooding, but he's also a two-fisted cop with razor stubble and colorful beachwear. The Don Johnson similarities aren't a coincidence. Michael Mann directed Manhunter and created "Miami Vice." (Mann also used Petersen in an earlier movie, Thief, which bears similarities to his later movie, HEAT.)

Like most early Mann movies, this one has its flaws, the biggest being the totally grody '80s soundtrack. When ass finally gets kicked the movie abandons the wussy tunes for Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."

Brian Cox plays Hannibal Lector. Compared to Anthony Hopkins' take on the same character in Silence of the Lambs, Cox's Lector is a relatively minor figure. There's a post-Silence remake called Red Dragon with Anthony Hopkins as Lector and Edward Norton in Petersen's role, but it's more formulaic and less satisfying than this version.

To Live and Die in LA

Compared to Manhunter, To Live and Die in LA gets all the upgrades. The inexperienced Michael Mann is replaced by the steady hand of director William Friedkin (The French Connection). The co-stars this time include Willem Dafoe and John Turturro - early in their careers, but already extremely talented.

Continued...

Topics:
23
like
Fri
Dec 8 2006
09:10 pm

Now that Scott West is off to prison the media , the cops and everyone else can get back to the REAl business of shutting down Michael's. I just read they've arrested a bartender for serving a guy who was in a wreck last summer. I personally know him, he's been a professional bartender for almost 20 years around town and is a very nice and conciencious (?) person. The stuff that has always been rumored to go on at Michael's really has gone on at other places, Market Square as of late. People need something to feel superior too, for those who need a break from the Market Square saga, now its back to Michaels. When the adult business lawsuit comes up people can go back to that or just complain about how awful the lottery is. In all seriousness though, I hope things work out for Jerry. Stacey

17
like
Fri
Dec 8 2006
02:22 pm

As a follow up to the Alcoa restructuring and related job losses recently discussed here, Alcoa officials have announced that 30 to 60 jobs will be eliminated at the Alcoa TN plant.

18
like
Fri
Dec 8 2006
02:10 pm

Got an e-mail from the folks doing the blog reader survey that I mentioned here earlier. The survey will be ending on Monday, so if you haven't yet and want to participate you can do so here:

(link...)

16
like
Fri
Dec 8 2006
01:23 pm

The Knoxville News Sentinel has an editorial today entitled "Knox County must do more for air quality." It's pretty hard to argue with that.

The editorial refers to the recent news that Knox County, previously declared by the EPA as being in "non-attainment" status, says it is now in compliance. The EPA has not verified the numbers yet. This will indeed be good news, assuming the EPA certifies the numbers.

But the editorial starts out by saying that "The improvement in air quality is largely due to the Tennessee Valley Authority's emission policies," and goes on to say:

[..] it is TVA that has made the most significant changes. The agency spent about $300 million from 2004 through September 2006 to reduce its emissions of nitrogen oxide, which contributes to ground-based ozone or smog.

That sounds pretty good. But according to EPA data for the three nearest coal-fired power plants (Bull Run, John Sevier, and Kingston, all upwind from Knoxville), NOX emissions have in fact gone up 5%, from 33,618 tons in 2004 to 35,427 tons in 2005.

Results for 2006 are not available, but hopefully they will show some of the improvement mentioned in the editorial. Otherwise, something doesn't add up.

TVA also likes to talk about how much they spend on emissions control, and the KNS likes to repeat it. $300 million in two years sounds good, but it's practically a rounding error in the big scheme of things. TVA revenues totaled about $15 billion for 2004 and 2005.

On the bright side, Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, the primary component of acid rain, were reduced by 11% at these plants, and TVA has reduced system-wide NOX emissions by 4% from 2004 to 2005. But carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the greenhouse gas that causes global warming, went up by 8% to 23 million tons at these three plants, and system-wide were up 2% to 105,587,825 tons.

The editorial also talks about all the other things Knox County is doing, such as free bus rides for seniors, lower speed limits, and electrically powered comfort facilities at truck stops to reduce idling. It's doubtful that these measures had much of an impact.

A query of the EPA 2002 National Emissions Inventory (the most current year available) for Knox County, where two of the most heavily traveled Interstates in America intersect downtown, shows that NOX emissions are 18,844 tons per year for all mobile on-road sources.

Compare those emissions from millions of cars and trucks to the 35,427 tons from just three TVA power plants and make up your own mind where we can get the most bang for our buck in reducing emissions. Hint: it's not free bus rides. Or TVA PR puff pieces in the KNS.

134
like
Fri
Dec 8 2006
12:25 pm
By: Eleanor A  shortURL

Is that some folks can make a damn good case for not allowing the mentally ill access to firearms. Today's Year #26.

And, in commemoration of the event, I'm linking a great Guardian review of the recent flick about Lennon's harrassment by Hoover's goons...which is worth reading, if only for the Spike Milligan comparisons.

17
like
Fri
Dec 8 2006
11:34 am

Not since Brian Hornback has the English language been so merciously mercilessly assaulted. Lindsay Lohan writes a small manifesto on special people's right to party and not be criticized by "unintelligent vulgar people that like to hurt other people".

The bonus part is that Al Gore has "promised" to help.

Ms. Lohan wrote, "I am willing to release a politcally/morally correct, fully adequite letter to the press if you are willing to help. Simply to state my oppinions on how our society should be educated on for the better of our country. Our people."

Stay in school kids or this could be you. Without the money of course. Just say no to drugs too.

Topics:
15
like
Fri
Dec 8 2006
10:59 am
By: metulj  shortURL

The part about partisanship is a kneeslapper. There is no way he can say that without his fingers crossed. Anyhow, I am looking forward to the first Webb/Cheney 'getbentathon.'

Diagnosis: Indictment.

Topics:
15
like
Thu
Dec 7 2006
05:58 pm
By: redmondkr  shortURL

Just caught the tail end of Ricky Santorum's adios mf speech on the floor of the Senate (CSPAN). He's thanking all the little people for helping to make him great. I have to go now, I'm getting all misty-eyed.

Topics:
19
like
Thu
Dec 7 2006
05:32 pm
By: Bbeanster  shortURL

From the Washington Post

20
like
Thu
Dec 7 2006
02:25 pm

MacGyver has nothing on the inventiveness of American troops dealing with the problem of invisible trip wires on hidden bombs. As inventive is one Mom in New Jersey who is sending "Silly String" to troops in Iraq.

Now, 1,000 cans of the neon-colored plastic goop are packed into Shriver's one-car garage in this town outside Philadelphia, ready to be shipped to the Middle East thanks to two churches and a pilot who heard about the drive.

"If I turn on the TV and see a soldier with a can of this on his vest, that would make this all worth it," said Shriver, 57, an office manager.

The maker of the Silly String brand, Just for Kicks Inc. of Watertown, N.Y., has contacted the Shrivers about donating some. Other manufacturers make the stuff, too, and call their products "party string" or "crazy string."

Topics:
17
like
Thu
Dec 7 2006
01:08 pm

"The Seminole Tribe of Florida is buying the Hard Rock business, including its massive collection of rock 'n' roll memorabilia, in a $965 million deal with British casino and hotel company Rank Group PLC, the tribe announced Thursday."

Chief Osceola was a member of the Seminole tribe. One of the last warriors to hold off the U.S. Army from taking their Florida land. He was "captured by deceit".

"Nearly 3,300 Seminole Indians live on and off reservations throughout Florida."

Good luck to the Seminole Indians of Florida! May their tribe prosper.

Topics:
21
like
Thu
Dec 7 2006
12:46 pm

A grateful nation remembers a "date which will live in infamy".


Sailors in a motor launch rescue a survivor from the water alongside the sunken USS West Virginia (BB-48) during or shortly after the Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor. USS Tennessee (BB-43) is inboard of the sunken battleship. Source: U.S. Navy

Topics:
17
like
Thu
Dec 7 2006
09:45 am
By: SayUncle  shortURL

Not sure how to reach you, but Gamo has recalled some air rifles. Not sure if it affects you but forewarned and all.

23
like

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Local Media Blogs

Local News

Members Only

State News

Pilot Watch

Wire Reports

Site Statistics

Last 7 days:
  • Posts: 32
  • Comments: 308
  • Visits: 11,322
  • Pageviews: 29,124
Last 30 days:
  • Posts: 125
  • Comments: 1347
  • Visits: 42,887
  • Pageviews: 107,298

TN Progressive

Nearby:

Beyond:

At large: