|For August 1, 2001 "It's a big enough umbrella." - Vol. II No. VII published every other Wednesday|
Tuscaloosa() The U.S. Congress today passed legislation which completely bans human cloning. However, the bill specifically states that other types of cloning, including Bear cloning, are acceptable. This is good news for University of Alabama researchers who have been working on a Bear clone for the past 18 years. "We feel that the government has done the right thing by applying the ban solely to human cloning," said UA lead Bear man Mal Moore. "Our attempts at Bear cloning have produced many surprising results, some of which have been extremely beneficial to human health."
One such attempt occurred between 1987 and 1989 and produced exceptional results. Unfortunately, the clone did not take permanently and had to be destroyed. "We learned a lot from that failure," said Moore. "Just because it performs like a Bear does not mean it is one. It really needs to talk, walk, and act like one too." The university's last clone attempt acted very Bear-like, but did not perform well at all, and it too was destroyed. This year, the school is starting out with a new clone that has little in common with a true Bear, except that they eat the same foods. This may be Alabama's last attempt at what is known as "artificial" Bear cloning.
"We have always started with a mature embryo and tried to force it to change into a Bear," said Moore. "If this latest one doesn't pan out, we are going to work with UAB medical researchers to produce a Bear clone from scratch. If they help us, they get to keep their football team." Most Alabama fans hope that this drastic measure will not be necessary. After 18 years, the last thing people want is to wait another thirty-five for a baby Bear clone to mature.
Downtown() Thousands of dot com casualties have been moving to Birmingham in recent months for one very good reason: cheap loft space. Dot commers feel right at home in downtown Birmingham lofts, which cost about one tenth the amount these valuable programmers are used to paying in cities like San Francisco, Boston, and New York. Most of them have been able to move to Birmingham and live off of their savings while they look for work in the area's growing high tech market.
The influx has become so great that Birmingham's loft district has been dubbed the Silicon Projects by boosters like ONB. "It's so great to have this place to come to when times are rough," said former Web Van software engineer David Guthrie. "If I had stayed in San Francisco, I would be on the street by now. But here I can still have my loft and my Starbucks, and things don't feel so bad." Many former dot com employees say they don't know what they would do if it weren't for Birmingham. "I can't imagine living in an apartment and having to get up every day and look for work. It is so demoralizing. Recruiters pick up on that kind of desperation very quickly."
The dot com community has already begun to leave its stamp on the Southside and Morris Avenue loft districts. Narrow striping to accommodate BMW and Triumph motorcycles can be seen along 19th Street South, and bicycle lanes are beginning to appear as well. Beverage companies have added new routes to their schedule in order to keep loft vending machines well stocked. But not everything is the same in Birmingham's loft districts. "There don't seem to be any people around at night," said former Borders.com look-and-feel designer Mattie Kline. "I tried walking to the Purple Onion on Third Avenue the other night and found that it was closed. And I didn't see any other people the whole time. That seems strange considering how busy they are at lunch." For safety's sake, the 'Hamster suggests that in the future Miss Kline get in her car and drive to the Gyro District like everyone else.
Downtown() After dating for almost five years, Bruce Webber and Jessica Daniels have finally decided to tie the knot. Webber made the proposal to Daniels during a moonlight stroll through the rose garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Webber took Daniels to dinner at Cafe De France, and had arranged for the outside door to be left open so the garden would be accessible. Webber got on his knee under the arbor and made his proposal to a surprised Daniels. She immediately accepted, and the couple has been making plans ever since.
The wedding will of course be held in the rose garden where the romantic proposal took place. The couple has already sent out invitations and expects over one hundred people will attend the reception to be held at the Donnelly House. But the couple is most excited about their honeymoon which will take place at the Tutwiler Hotel in downtown Birmingham. "We thought about going to Atlanta," said Daniels. "But we couldn't think of anything we could do there that we can't do right here." Daniels did not list any specific activities, but she was obviously not referring to strip clubs which definitely offer a lot more in Atlanta.