Hot Seat & Limelight
Should I use the sock puppets?
The East Coast is on a very cold hot seat, with massive snowfall stranding thousands of travelers over Christmas weekend and beyond. The snowstorms were severe, but global warming skeptics again concluded that warming can’t be happening because it can still get this cold. Let’s go through a simple science lesson. As average temperatures rise, the atmosphere becomes more saturated with moisture, so more snow falls in winter. The snow reflects sunlight, making it even colder. As a result, the hotter that temperatures become on average, the colder winters become. Skeptics, however, failing to understand the precipitation cycle and the meaning of the word “average,” cry foul. Whatever the cause, I hope Birmingham enjoyed its first white Christmas since 1890. It might be our last.
Give me the damn Viagra!
For Hugh Hefner, daily life must seem like a perpetual dream. The man is a multi-millionaire and lives in a mansion populated by supermodels. It sounds like something a teenage boy would rattle off on his list of long-term goals. The publisher of Playboy now has one more thing going his way. On Christmas Eve, Hefner, 84 years old, proposed to Crystal Harris, 24 years old and December 2009 Playmate of the Month. The engagement came as a surprise, considering that, in 2008, Hefner said, “Marriage isn’t part of my puzzle. It’s not a personal thing—I just haven’t had much luck with marriages.” Of course, in the words of Jamie Beckman, sex and relationship writer for sheknows.com, “Perhaps it’s the looming specter of his mortality that changed his mind.” Whatever the reason, Hefner’s still living the dream.
In the words of Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” With that, and recent funding cuts, in mind, the Jefferson County Library Cooperative is searching for financial help from the community. For example, the JCLC is seeking donations to help sustain its “One County–One Card” initiative, which makes the resources of 39 county libraries easily accessible to all patrons and uses technology to streamline and improve the user experience. With reading on the decline and the future predicted by Bradbury all too realistic, every donation that helps sustain “One County–One Card” is an important one. The JCLC is trying to create One Card to rule them all, One Card to find them, One Card to bring them all and in Jefferson County bind them. Go to www. jclc.org to do your part.
Office, retail and residential development is beginning to pick up in the area surrounding Railroad Park. According to Dawn Kent of The Birmingham News, two local firms, Shannon-Waltchack Investment Real Estate and Enrollment Advisors Inc., are
purchasing buildings on 18th Street South to turn into headquarters for
their companies. Len Shannon, principal of Shannon- Waltchack, tells
Kent, “I’m excited about being part of the movement down here.” The
bottom floors of both buildings will be used for office and retail
space. The firms have plans to create lofts on the second floors of the
buildings. Shannon said he hasn’t seen such enthusiasm for downtown development in years and that, with more development on the horizon, the firms are excited to be leading the pack.