Category Archives: National

Know when the Hot Light goes on from your desk

the Krispy Kreme hot lightIt’s that time of the holiday season that finds you spending hours on the road as you go to the last of those holiday parties or as you head out to visit family. Part of that tradition for many includes hunting for the almost elusive Krispy Kreme “Hot Now” sign (the company calls it the “Hot Light”) for a glazed treat (or two) to help give you the energy to get to your final destination.

The folks at the popular donut chain have made that search just a little bit easier now with the launch of their new Hot Light apps for the desktop and your iOS or Android smartphone. The apps allow you to select the location closest to your home while also letting you know where the closest location to you with an activated “Hot Light” is when you’re out and about.

Yep, this may explain mass exoduses from offices for many in the coming days…

How big is the oil spill? You don’t want to know…

Gulf Coast oil spill mapThat’s the question that the folks at Google decided to help people figure out. The image to your left is a screen capture from Paul Rademacher’s website and shows the spill in relation to the size of Birmingham and Central Alabama.

Rademacher’s site currently contains a Google Earth embed using the application’s API that lets you see how the oil spill compares to several major U.S. cities. Here’s a link to a screen capture of the oil spill in relation to Chicago, IL and Lake Michigan. He’s the engineering manager for Google Maps’ front end.

Visiting the site will also let you compare the size of the Deepwater oil spill to any city and points you to where you can download the data to show it in your own install of Google Earth.

UPDATE: Additional images – one showing the spill area in relation to Atlanta and Montgomery and another one showing the capture from when you first enter Birmingham, AL into the interface.

Image: Screen capture from

Hiers named to Presidential Advisory Council on AIDS/HIV

Kathie Hiers. Courtesy of Facebook profileLast week President Obama reopened the Office of National AIDS Policy and made new appointments to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). Among the 24 individuals selected to serve on the council is Kathie Hiers, CEO of AIDS Alabama, a recognized leader and expert nationwide in the HIV/AIDS arena. PACHA is tasked with creating a national HIV/AIDS strategy.

Decisions made by PACHA will be recommended to the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  According to the press release that was posted via Facebook earlier today, Hiers is in pretty good company as folks normally selected to serve on PACHA are considered “significant community leaders with in-depth knowledge in HIV/AIDS, public health, global health, or business and may also include other highly regarded national figures.”

Photo: Courtesy of announcement on Facebook.

Godspeed, Tim; go get ’em!

Before we get back to our regularly scheduled blogging, we’re going to ask you to take a moment if you haven’t already this weekend…

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Thunder Road live in NYC – Targuzz/YouTube
Godspeed, Tim.

Don’t mail that letter just yet…

You may want to make sure that you’ve got that extra 1¢ on your envelope. Starting today the United States Postal Service will increase rates across the board for postage while offering discounts for those that use their online services.

So you’ve got until whenever you don’t feel like going out by the post office to pick up some Forever Stamps before the rates go up again next May or you can check out this new (and exhaustive) list of rates and services that went into effect this morning. And since they can now raise postage rates every year, you may also want to make that online purchase of that Black Terminal T that you want us to mail to you so we can take advantage of that lower rate Wink (we’re just saying…)

Two local chefs up for James Beard award

2008 JBF awards logoBirmingham’s got two chances to bring home a James Beard Foundation award this year. Frank Stitt (Highlands Bar and Grill) and Chris Hastings (Hot and Hot Fish Club) are both up for “the Oscars of the food world” as the nominees for the 2008 edition of the awards were recently announced.

There are a lot of honors up for grabs, so you may want to visit the official list and scroll down to see who our guys are up against in their respective categories (Stitt – outstanding chef; Hastings – best chef – South).

We’ll find out if they’re winners with everybody else on June 8 when the awards are handed out in Lincoln Center‘s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. You can always go on up and say you were there when…

Starbucks to offer free WiFi in Birmingham, nationwide

Soon you’ll be getting at least a couple of hours of free internet access coming to you at Birmingham area Starbucks. The Seattle-based coffee company announced today that it will soon end its long term partnership with T-Mobile, instead working with AT&T to offer their customers up to two hours of free wireless access at all of their more than 100,000 locations for all AT&T customers and Starbucks Card holders before charging $3.99 for two additional hours of service.

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