The King’s Seat: Piers Morgan, host of “Piers Morgan Tonight”, has found himself in a bit of a rocky position since taking over Larry King’s old time slot. After the initial highs of his first few shows, ratings for his show have started to simmer down a bit. From the peak of 2.1 million viewers on his first night, “Piers Morgan Tonight” has settled out to a little over 1 million viewers, well below Fox News’s “Hannity.” Morgan has also faced a fair deal of criticism. Some are saying that the British newcomer has no business trying to fill Larry King’s sizable shoes. Still, “Piers Morgan Tonight” is earning higher ratings than “Larry King Live” earned in the same time slot. His long term viability is still up in the air, but for now Morgan can hold strong.
Sneaky Success: Local Birmingham writer Keith Thomson has been basking in the limelight since last week when he was named as one of the finalists for the DILYS Award, an annual award given to the best mystery novel of the year as chosen by the Independent Mystery Bookseller Association. Thomson was nominated for his novel, Once a Spy, the satirical story of a former CIA agentturned appliance salesman with Alzheimer’s and his son, an obsessive gambler. Thomson also writes for The Huffington Post about intelligence and espionage on occasion. Thomson is currently working on Twice a Spy, the sequel to Once a Spy. The final winner will be announced at the 2011 Left Coast Crime Convention in late March. Good luck, Thomson. Bring home the gold.
Homeless Family Ties: In the hot seat this week is North Alabama with its rising number of homeless people. According to Paul Gattis of The Huntsville Times, some of those rising numbers can be attributed to families staying on the street to stay together rather than going to a shelter that would split them up. The number of homeless children in the region has grown by 37% over the past year and, with children over 12 unable to stay in single-sex sections of shelters with their parents, many are simply sticking with the streets. Married couples will also stay on the streets to avoid being separated. With those factors in mind, a good solution might simply be to create some special provisions for families within shelters. Or maybe that’s crazy too.
The Rex Effect: According to a recent article by The Associated Press, Mayor R. Rex Parris of Lancaster, Ca. plans
to start brightening up his city by pumping birdsong through
loudspeakers on the main boulevard. Sound crazy? Well, Mayor Parris
claims that birdsong has been proven to make people happier overtime.
Which is plausible enough, but it’s not as if this sudden announcement
from Mayor Parris is the single off-the-wall plan in an otherwise sane
term of office. He has previously given the city the right to castrate pit bulls and
mandated that city officials learn to speak Mandarin Chinese in an
attempt to lure Chinese business in. On a more normal note, Mayor Parris
also want to continue work to make Lancaster a research capital for
alternative energy. Don’t count Parris out yet. He’ll either turn out to
be a crackpot or a mad genius. Either way, a little crazy.