Archictecture Now Available from Dispenser on Southside
Architect Michael Pantaluni, in conjunction with the
Architectural Review committee of the Highland Park Neighborhood Association
today unveiled a new automated dispenser, located outside his office on
Highland Avenue, which will make architectural design much more accessible
to neighborhood property owners and developers.
The architecture dispenser is built to function very much like a familiar
automated bank teller. Any resident of Jefferson County can use their library
card to gain access to twenty-four hour architectural services
for a nominal fee which will appear as library fines. Users will insert their
card, select a property from the database, enter a project type, occupancy
requirements, and budget and within seconds a menu of preliminary floorplans
and artists conceptions will be displayed on the touch-screen.
Each of the four or five designs generated will conform to all applicable
building codes as well as design cues taken from the neighborhoods existing
structures. Compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act is
available currently as a premium option only, subject to additional charges
and delays. "Were hoping to have finished reading and implementing the ADA
legislation [which was enacted in 1991] by the end of next year so that the
dispenser can incorporate the necessary design guidelines as a standard
service," notes Pantaluni.
Iris De La Tide, President of the neighborhood association noted that
"...cookie cutter and rubber-stamp approaches to architecture have been
attempted with relative degrees of success in the past, but were doing
something here that has never been tried before -- a truly automated delivery
device for quality architecture. We are all hoping that this dispenser will
encourage the practice of good architecture in Highland Park just as the ATM
at Sammys [Night Club] promotes increased tipping."
A Birminghamster reporter who stayed to canvas the first recipients of
automatically dispensed architecture collected a variety of comments ranging
from "F---, what the H--- is this thing? I thought this was a bank machine,"
to "Hey, do you know where a REAL ATM is?" Some neighborhood children
picked up a few of the artists renderings littering the sidewalk,
apparently planning to color them when they got back home.
Scrushy to Auction X-men Collection
Looking almost like a kid again HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy announced at
a press conference today that he would be auctioning off his entire
collection of X-men comics. The auction is set to coincide with the launch
of HealthSouth's new Business to Business online health commodities
exchange. The auction will be on one channel of the massive medical products
and services marketplace which links thousands of suppliers with several
large healthcare service providers. When asked how the X-men tied in with
an essentially healthcare oriented site Scrushy responded, "It has everything
to do with healthcare. I mean look at the incredible regenerative powers of
Wolverine. Who wouldn't want to own that? And how many uses for Mystique's
shape changing ability can you come up with? Besides in order to list your
products on the exchange, you have to buy one of my comic books." One local
lawyer who has expressed concerns about this business model is Judy
Thompson. "This X-men purchase could be construed as a bribe
required to do business with the big boys. This kind of business tactic
would not stand up to the fair and open bidding laws in most states. In fact
it defeats the whole purpose of the B to B as an open marketplace." "She's
just jealous that Adamantium is stronger then Femininium," replied Scrushy.
"Have her come by after one of our board meetings and check out my Magneto. Then
see if she still feels the same way or just feels sore." The HealthSouth website
shows Scrushy's massive X-men collection, including issues #1 through 44 in mint condition with
issue 45 listed as VG+. A special "Secret Wars" section details many special issues and
cross appearances by the mutants in other Marvel comics.
Emotional Baggage Unclaimed
The Unclaimed Baggage store off Highway 79 in Scotsboro is famous for its material finds,
but amongst the clothes, electronics, and jewelry on those cavernous loading docks also sits
piles of discarded emotional baggage.
For every walkman there is a forgotten anniversary,
for each worldwide power adapter there is too much time spent at work, and all those
Harry Potter books are matched by missed soccer games.
Like most of the 60 million other items that have found their way to Scotsboro via unclaimed baggage
rooms in airports nationwide, this emotional baggage is offered to the public at a deeply discounted
price. Shoppers like Louisa Salmoneo, who thought she was on her last nerve until finding a boxful
discounted to $4.00 on the shelves at Unclaimed Baggage, returns frequently to search through new
shipments. "These nerves are a little bit frayed," said Mrs. Salmoneo, "but I will mend them and be ready
to face my family again tomorrow."
"Emotional baggage is an ever increasing fraction of the total amount of 'stuff' that is brought on board
airliners today," offered Greg Antwerp, a baggage-claims consultant for the Birmingham International
Airport. "These days you have people boarding planes 'just to get away' from the stress of daily life, and
yet, just as people can't leave their cell-phones and alarm clocks when they hit the beach, they don't
seem to be able to shed their emotional baggage before heading to the airport."
But usually emotional baggage is the first thing to be left behind in the event of heavy turbulence or
engine failure. Psychologist Robin Cooper-Dudley has shown that in near emergencies, people have a
tendency to see a much clearer perspective of their lives. "When the mind reaches out to the sheer joy of
living, the emotional baggage just slips away."
Apparently it often slips into the under seat storage areas and seatback pockets where airline
personnel find it, usually unaccompanied by any means of identification. The fact that so
few people contact airlines to claim lost emotional baggage only increases the amount that is delivered to
Scotsboro for resale. The Unclaimed Baggage Center, in operation since 1978, is open 6 days a week
and receives new shipments daily. Assistance is available for the emotionally handicapped.
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