Tag Archives: information

Brum City Council in England plugs wedding fair in our Magic City


The City Council for England’s second largest city has done it again; they’ve confused the Magic City with the same name from across the pond with itself. This time, the official website for the city council of the British city shared information for the upcoming 1st Birmingham NotWedding as an event. This is despite the fact it will take place in our Birmingham’s Southside. The folks at NPR decided to do a news brief on the latest error last Friday. The confusion had already received attention from New York’s Daily News and UPI last Wednesday.

The last time we saw an online incident of confusion involving the British city of Birmingham and our own, it was during the summer of 2008 (and there was an earlier incident that January). It’s not like we haven’t seen the incident take place here either, as evidenced by this Birmingham Post article including an interview with yours truly. The end of the account filed by The Mirror on March 11 points out other recent gaffes associated with Brum. Mike Smith at The Birmingham News shares a more recent case of confusion involving citizens and plane tickets.

Maybe they should take a look at the one-off travel blog comparison between the two cities posted in 2011 on Tumblr (or the infographic that made its debut back in mid-2012.


Where are you going to watch TEDxBirmingham?

tedxbham2prepToday, the speakers for Birmingham’s third ever TEDx event are practicing at the Alys Stephens Center, preparing for when things start tomorrow morning. TEDx Birmingham starts at 10 a.m. and will be available online via Livestream.

Of course, you could always see if some of the folks on this partial list of attendees might be live tweeting the whole thing too (but it wouldn’t nearly be as much fun as watching). You’ll also be interested in checking out the speaker profiles posted on the event’s official website or those by AL.com earlier this week. If you do feel like following along via social media platforms, it looks like the hashtag will be #tedxbham).

There are also viewing parties that have been organized for tomorrow’s event. One is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. at the Desert Island Supply Company in the city’s Woodlawn neighborhood. Another will take place at downtown branch of the YWCA (and as of this posting only has 39 seats left; you’ll want to reserve your space via Eventbrite). If you know of any others, please feel free to let folks know via the comments section under this post.

Photo: Courtesy of the event’s fan page on Facebook.

Time to meet about I-20/59 again


If you were upset you missed the public meeting held last July about the proposed changes to the portion of I-20/59 running through downtown Birmingham, you’re in luck. ALDOT will be holding another public involvement meeting next Thursday, March 28, in Boutwell Auditorium‘s exhibition hall. The open house will take place from 4 – 7 p.m., with a public comment period occurring from  5 – 6 p.m.

Based on the flyer being distributed through neighborhoods immediately adjacent to the well-traveled stretch of asphalt, the purpose of the meeting is to go over plans for replacing the elevated section of I-20/59 between the 31st St. N. and I-65 interchanges. It also states they will also be talking about modifications to both of those interchanges in addition to an “11th Avenue Corridor Reconstruction from I-65 to I-59/20.”

Those who’ve driven over to take a look at the new Westin hotel and Uptown entertainment district in recent days have probably noticed an increased presence by crews conducting soil testings (as reported on al.com on March 17). There may also be discussion about the effects of an expanded scope of project and whether any property will need to be acquired in order to carry it out.


Not really surprising data about Birmingham traffic (sort of)

UXBlog  A National Portrait of Drunk DrivingIt’s an interesting contrast if you step back and think about it – two recent lists look at how Alabama’s largest city handles its ever-growing traffic situation with differing messages.

This morning the Birmingham Business Journal shared information courtesy of a new report by their company’s in-house data investigation unit, On Numbers, that ranked Birmingham 347 out of 373 metro areas in terms of traffic congestion.

The city did finish faring better off than Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (358); Orlando, FL (359); Miami, FL (364); Houston, TX (367); and Atlanta, GA (372).

While it appears that you’ll be on the road for a while attempting to get to and from work, it’s also true that the city sees less accidents occur involving drivers under the influence. It’s not necessarily great news when you consider it’s still considered a cause for 13.6% of fatal crashes involving alcohol, regardless of population size, between 2000-2010. It was good enough though for John Nelson of IDV SolutionsUX Blog to recognize it had the lowest percentage of such fatalities among cities across the nation.

The black circle on the image up above helps you identify metro Birmingham on the map.

He published the data as part of providing a more exhaustive explanation of the findings he used to create an interactive map just before New Year’s Eve. Folks are getting a chance to dig into the data a little deeper courtesy of a post made yesterday to The Atlantic Cities.

It’s interesting when looked at in conjunction with the census tract data visuals we wrote about yesterday

Plans afoot for a makerspace?

MakerSpace Urbana, Feb-2012There’s an online survey being conducted by some folks attempting to gauge interest in opening a makerspace here in metro Birmingham. Also known as hackerspaces, they’ve gained increased popularity in recent years here in the United States.

They are normally facilities that can resemble workshops where members have access to the equipment and space necessary to pursue whatever creative interests they might have. Classes may also be offered as opportunities to learn about and develop new skills. The landing page for the survey suggests while the organizers are envisioning a facility, they may start out offering a web-based resource that allows for organizing classes in the area.

It would actually be the second known attempt at establishing such a space in Birmingham in recent years. Local coworking space Sparkbox used to host makerspace sessions in their original home on the city’s Southside.

A link to the eight-question survey has been shared on Facebook by Jared Fulton – a status update where he included the space or concept “will be about developing and cultivating Birmingham’s growing community of makers and creatives.”

Interested in learning more about the concept? There was a phone number included in the post – Bruce Lanier’s (222-8226). You can also check out what’s been described as the international directory for the hackerspace movement. There’s also this site making the connection between making and education.

Photo: MakerSpace Urbana, Feb-2012maltman23/Flickr.

How rich or poor is your block?

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks   Neighborhood income maps of U.S. cities-120115That’s the question this recently launched web app attempts to help you answer. Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s definitions for median household income and the results of the 2006-2010 American Community Survey to create a visual representation for you. Clicking on any point on the map will provide you with the information, while the state’s median income in 2010 dollars is visible in the lower right corner.

The map can be searched either by metro area or by specific address. It’s interesting to note the range of median household incomes throughout metro Birmingham. It’s also been an eye-opening experience to see the commentary accompanying the sharing of the site in other cities across the country, including Dallas, TX (courtesy of the folks at FrontBurner); Washington, DC (by way of The Daily Viz); and Berkley, CA (via the fine folks at Berkleyside).

The tracts are somewhat misleading if you’re looking at it for trends. Besides recognized issues with the margin of error contained in the data used, there’s also the fact that some of these tracts just don’t have that many residences inside their boundaries. The map shows Census tract 27 in Jefferson County as having a median household income of $15,806. The tract includes Birmingham’s central business district, Railroad Park, the BJCC and the city’s automotive district; it also includes the city’s loft district.

It’s still a pretty powerful image and one worth exploring on your own.

Why yes, that is Chris Pollone…

It’s hard not to use a sports cliché when talking about Chris Pollone‘s return to Alabama’s 13 this (Monday) evening. He’ll be doing so as one of the hosts of Alabama Tonight, the NBC affiliate’s new weeknight sports program, for the month of September. Pollone left Birmingham and Alabama’s 13 back in December after 11 years. News of his return was first shared via YouTube earlier this month:

Alabama Tonight is also the name of a blog already being regularly updated on the station’s website. The show plans to be “your source for SEC and High School Sports,” as shared in the bio section of the show’s Twitter account. It’s probably a lot more fun to hear Chris talk about it himself though, so watch that video up there – and then tune in at 6:30 p.m.

He seems excited about it too