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David Balmer's temper and five other topics hot enough to thaw out frozen Colorado

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State Representative David Balmer apologized yesterday for losing "his cool" in a heated conversation last week with Senator Gail Schwartz; his agitated gesturing got him banned from the Senate floor for the rest of the 2011 congressional session.

But Balmer's temper isn't the only thing keeping Colorado warm. Here are five other sizzling somethings are sure to raise temperatures on a frozen day.

5) Santiago's green chile Not the mild. Not the half and half. We're talking about the addictive, tears-inducing stuff that keeps Denver going back for more. It'll have you wearing shorts and a T-shirt just to stay cool. 4) The gay marriage debate Illinois signed a law today legalizing civil unions, including same-sex marriages. Barbara Bush (Dubya's daughter) has made a video endorsing gay marriage as well. But in Colorado, well, the state that passed the anti-gay rights Amendment 2 in 1992 is back at it. Earlier this week, Attorney General John Suthers joined four other states in support of the Defense of Marriage Act. In the meantime, state senator Pat Steadman announced yesterday that he will introduce a bill this year that would allow civil unions like in Illinois. 3) Mr. February Where there's smoke, there's fire, and there's plenty of both in the Colorado Firefighters Calendar, put out annually by Fired Up For Kids, a charity that supports the burn center at Childrens Hospital.

2) Officer Vicki Ferrari The American Gladiator contestant/Denver cop/9News traffic reporter was accused in a lawsuit of beating up a Grease Monkey manager in 2007, but was recently cleared. Police brutality isn't funny, but Ferrari is smokin'. Just don't piss her off.

1) Midwestern football fans Terrible towels. Cheeseheads. It seems like everyone's a Steelers or a Packers fan in this Broncos town. Are they all bandwagon wannabes? Probably, but things are going to get a little hot under the blue collar at local sports bars when the two teams do battle this Sunday in the Super Bowl.

More from our Media archive: "Rep. David Balmer's Olde English speech: comedy, lunacy or evidence of drunkenness?"

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