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What really happened at the lake that night?

The Murders at The Lake. "In the summer of 1982 the city of Waco was confronted with the most vicious crime it had ever seen: three teenagers were savagely stabbed to death, for no apparent reason, at a park by a lake on the edge of town. Justice was eventually served when four men were found guilty of the crime, and two were sent to death row. In 1991, though, when one of the convicts got a new trial and was then found not guilty, some people wondered, Were these four actually the killers? Several years after that, one of the men was put to death, and the stakes were raised: Had Texas executed an innocent man?" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 19, 2014 - 18 comments

 

Forgive me for being longwinded, but I was speaking from the heart.

As Gawker has done for a couple years now, they sent letters to all the U.S. death row inmates who have execution dates in the upcoming year. Texas inmate Ray Jasper, who is set to be executed later this month, responded with an incredible letter on his thoughts about the US justice system, race, Christianity, and society as a whole.
posted by gman on Mar 5, 2014 - 84 comments

Die Kuh ist über die Fence gejumpt.

Sure, it's unfortunate that the Philadelphia accent is fading away a bit, but on the other hand, have you ever even heard of the Texas German accent?
posted by DoctorFedora on Mar 2, 2014 - 43 comments

Sex! Drugs! Apps!

SXSW Interactive At 20
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 26, 2014 - 11 comments

Keeping tradition and history intact is not a justification....

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia has ruled that Texas' ban on the recognition of marriage equality is unconstitutional. The ruling comes days after the launch of Freedom To Marry's Southern Campaign, and almost a week after a judge in Illinois ruled that gay and lesbian couples there had the right to marry immediately, rather than June 1, as the legislature had previously passed. The Texas ruling has been stayed pending appeal.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 26, 2014 - 82 comments

Big Oil, Bad Air

Here's a multi-media webpage (text and photos, plus scroll down for the enlightening and well-made video) that spells out what's going on right now down Texas way: Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 19, 2014 - 36 comments

Wendy Davis and the hard road to the Texas Capitol

Political narratives are necessarily reductive, invariably gauzy and thus often misleading. They tell two conflicting tales at the same time: I’m absolutely amazing and unique, and I’m just like you. But it seemed undeniable that female politicians were far more constrained than men in how they recounted their stories.... Bill Clinton could be seething with lifelong ambition; George W. Bush could be a beneficiary of immense privilege; Barack Obama could be a self-described outsider, marijuana smoker, community rabble-rouser. Any of these qualities might, if so espoused, disqualify a woman from high office. Meanwhile, no one ever stopped Clinton, Bush or Obama in his biographical tracks to say: “Wait. If you were out there, conquering the world, then you could not have been here, with your family.” Wendy Davis and the challenges of running for governor, as a woman and a Democrat, in Texas. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Feb 12, 2014 - 36 comments

Batman and the Non Stop Beautiful Ladies

French photographer Rémi Noël travelled through Texas with only his son's Batman figurine for company and took some amazing photographs. The photos are part of the This Is Not A Map series, with Noël's work representing "the least precise map of Texas in the history of Texas".
posted by Athanassiel on Jan 19, 2014 - 28 comments

Heck, it's Tex-Czech!

If you're going to listen to a brass band play a waltz, it might as well be a joyously exuberant one, with a unabashed sense of humor and a firm conviction that notes were made to be bent. Right? Oh, and it might as well be played, by, say, a Texas Czech (yes, a Texas Czech) band. Right? OK then, here's Circling Pigeons Waltz by the Joe Patek Band of Shiner, Texas. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 31, 2013 - 20 comments

There’s a Reason They Call Them ‘Crazy Ants’

“They literally come in waves of just millions." Crazy ants are infecting Texas. (Single link NY Times Magazine)
posted by capnsue on Dec 10, 2013 - 128 comments

Texas' Other Death Penalty

A Galveston medical student describes life and death in the so-called safety net. [via]
posted by AceRock on Nov 16, 2013 - 78 comments

"Somebody's gotta stand up to these experts!"

Creationists' Last Stand at the Texas State Board of Education
posted by brundlefly on Nov 14, 2013 - 82 comments

The dawn of an era, available and emulated in your browser to play.

A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted. Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser. And it was so. I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
posted by jdaura on Oct 25, 2013 - 37 comments

First they came for the Black voters, but I did nothing, because...

The GOP's new target for voter disenfranchisement: women. As of November 5, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name. Only 66% of voting age women have ready access to a photo ID of this nature, as many women have not updated their photo IDs with either their married names or their name after a divorce. This disenfranchises 34% of women voters, while 99% of men are home free. Similar laws now exist or are in the process of being passed in numerous other states.
posted by markkraft on Oct 18, 2013 - 302 comments

Our movement was built of sex positivity

The 30th annual Dallas Pride parade and festival, which will take place this weekend, has come under some controversy since the organizers announced the need for the event to be family-friendly and said nudity and lewd behavior will no longer be tolerated. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 11, 2013 - 160 comments

The Many States of Jefferson, the could-have-been and might-be states

If someone mentions the state of Jefferson that existed in an alternate universe, the question should be: which one? The western neighbor of the Kansas Territory, the eastern portion of Texas, the later effort to split off a western portion of Texas, or the new state composed of parts of Oregon and California? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 6, 2013 - 25 comments

Energy crisis, industrial pollution, Kodachromes and more...

From The Atlantic, a series of photography that documents America in the 1970s: the Pacific Northwest | New York City | the Southwest | Chicago's African-American community | Texas [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 29, 2013 - 20 comments

"Texas is heaven for men and dogs, but it’s hell for women and horses.”

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives. "In 2011 the Texas state legislature slashed family planning funds, passed a new sonogram law, and waged an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically shifted the state’s public health priorities. In the eighteen months since then, the conflict has continued to simmer in the courts, on the campaign trail, and in at least one PR disaster. Meanwhile, what will happen to Texas women—and their fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands—remains very much unclear."
posted by zarq on Aug 12, 2013 - 35 comments

John Graves, Author Beloved by Fellow Texans, Dies at 92

Mr. Graves died on Wednesday at his home, Hard Scrabble, outside Glen Rose, Tex. He was 92. Most autumns, the water is low from the long dry summer, and you have to get out from time to time and wade, leading or dragging your boat through trickling shallows from one pool to the long channel-twisted pool below, hanging up occasionally on shuddering bars of quicksand, making six or eight miles in a day’s work, but if you go to the river at all, you tend not to mind. You are not in a hurry there; you learned long since not to be. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher on Aug 1, 2013 - 4 comments

You may want to NOT "take the last train to Clarksville"!

The local school district in Clarksville, Arkansas will be arming 20 school employees. [more inside]
posted by HuronBob on Jul 30, 2013 - 126 comments

"A bone-crunching slab of murky distortion ..."

Originally I used the word stonegaze to describe a crowd response after one of our first shows. It was like they had all just spent 30 minutes staring at Medusa. Shortly after that I used it again to describe our sound and it stuck.
Dallas, TX band True Widow are a collaboration between a woodworker, a screenprinter, and a makeup artist. They're Cormac McCarthy fans. Together, they make heavy, hypnotic, jam-based music that takes as much from slowcore and shoegaze as it does from stoner rock. Their new album Circumambulation is now streaming via Pitchfork. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Jul 17, 2013 - 10 comments

A life well lived.

"In life, things happen twice if you're lucky. There's the father you get and the father you choose." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 10, 2013 - 10 comments

40 years, one outfit

PE teacher Dale Irby wore a polyester shirt and coffee-colored sweater for school picture day in 1973. And for every picture day since then until his retirement this year.
posted by rewil on Jul 2, 2013 - 57 comments

These shoes have a way of shutting the whole thing down.

Much note has been made of Wendy Davis's 13 hour filibuster in Texas . Now the oft-photographed shoes she was wearing are getting their due.
posted by maryr on Jun 27, 2013 - 87 comments

Pro-Choice Filibuster in the Texas Senate

It began with a special session called by Governor Rick Perry, who put abortion restrictions on the table. SB5 bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires facilities that perform them to conform to new restrictions. The practical effect would close most of the abortion facilities in Texas. Then came the People's Filibuster, a mass protest designed to run out the clock and prevent the bill from being passed. It didn't work. The bill passed the House and went to the Senate. But today, Texas Senator Wendy Davis began a 13-hour filibuster to stop the bill. [more inside]
posted by emjaybee on Jun 25, 2013 - 1706 comments

"Not So Much a Whodunit But a Who-Is-It"

"Meanwhile, the Ruffs are wondering, too. They want to solve the mystery. At the very least, they want to be able to tell Blake and Lori’s daughter who her mother was. Yet they worry they’ll find out something terrible, something they wish they had never known." An East Texas woman commits suicide. Her distraught former husband opens the strongbox she'd forbidden him from accessing. The contents, however, continue to baffle investigators (and the public) - who are now requesting help with identifying the woman formerly known as "Lori Ruff".
posted by julthumbscrew on Jun 24, 2013 - 23 comments

I am willing to perform work of national importance

Margaret Doughty is a 65 year old UK citizen, and founder of Literacy Powerline, recently applied for US citizenship after living in the United States for more than 30 years. When she noted in her application that she has a moral objection to taking up arms for her new country, the USCIS asked for a letter on official church stationery. But Ms. Doughty is an atheist. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 19, 2013 - 158 comments

"I sincerely regret the loss of the life of Ms. Frago"

Jury acquits escort shooter. Texas Penal Code s. 9.42 has been interpreted to possibly allow the shooting of sex workers who accept money at night but do not then perform sexual services, and Ezekiel Gilbert was therefore found to have the legal right to shoot at a sex worker over a $150 dispute. This interpretation of the defence of property has come under some criticism, and although the jury may have reached their decision on a different ground, the possibility of this defence under state law appears to be sound.
posted by jaduncan on Jun 11, 2013 - 167 comments

Ballroom Luminoso--outdoor chandeliers made of recycled bicycle parts

Ballroom Luminoso is a series of six chandeliers made of recycled bicycle parts, installed under a freeway overpass in Texas. The chandeliers were commissioned by Public Art San Antonio (PASA) and created by Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock Public Art. When the globes are lit up at night, the results are what O'Connell describes as a cross between a ballroom and shadow theatre.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on May 31, 2013 - 9 comments

"...your trauma high is always someone else’s trauma."

Fire School
posted by zarq on May 27, 2013 - 13 comments

14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Held once every four years, the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is being livecast. Running from May 24th to June 9th, performers — some of the best young pianists in the world — are currently in the preliminary round.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 26, 2013 - 11 comments

America's 10 Worst Prisons

"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons." Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 14, 2013 - 88 comments

Perry Van Arsdale's maps of US historic events

In 1960 or so, Professor Perry C. Van Arsdale was helping his 7-year-old granddaughter researching the Santa Fe trail. He found his granddaughter's textbook to have some number of errors. He set off to create a map of pioneer history (prior to the 1900's), using his own knowledge and information from judges, sheriffs, and descendants of historical figures. This was his start in creating the Pioneer New Mexico map, which would contain 300 towns that no longer exist, old trails of all sorts (including the three historic Santa Fe trails and various camel routes), locations of minor squabbles and major battles, and because he couldn't fit everything on the maps, he also included extensive notes in the corner of the map. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 27, 2013 - 17 comments

Angels and Dogs Are Not Very Different: Stanley Marsh III

Popular eccentric Amarillo millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 (previously) is best known for his art installations Cadillac Ranch and the bizarre road signs he placed throughout Amarillo. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Apr 22, 2013 - 6 comments

A Prosecutor’s Conscious Choice

“This court cannot think of a more intentionally harmful act than a prosecutor’s conscious choice to hide mitigating evidence so as to create an uneven playing field for a defendant facing a murder charge and a life sentence." A Texas court finds probable cause that ex-District Attorney Ken Anderson intentionally hid evidence to secure a 1987 murder conviction against the now-exonerated Michael Morton. (Previously.) [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Apr 19, 2013 - 21 comments

Major explosion rocks West, Texas

A massive fireball and explosion has happened at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas (just north of Waco). Hundreds of injuries are being reported. [more inside]
posted by item on Apr 17, 2013 - 414 comments

Texas Gets Its Report Card

While a bit parochial, this post reveals some things worth pondering if you are considering relocating to Texas...

The Texas Legislative Study Group released its 2013 “Texas on the Brink” report at the end of last week. The report is an annual study to determine Texas’ rankings among the 50 states and the District of Columbia on health care, education, and the environment. How’s Texas doing? Not so great: The state ranks 50th in high school graduation rate, first in amount of carbon emissions, first in hazardous waste produced, last in voter turnout, first in percentage of people without health insurance, and second in percentage of uninsured kids... - via The Texas Observer
posted by jim in austin on Apr 16, 2013 - 71 comments

Whodunit?

Greg Fleniken was a decent, honorable, smart, and successful man whom people liked. The sort of man nobody would murder—yet somebody had. But why? And how had The Body in Room 348 received its internal injuries? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 11, 2013 - 35 comments

You ain't a poet, just a drunk with a pen

Hayes Carll is a Texan alt-country singer who's known, if he's known at all, for the soundtrack to Country Strong and the novelty song She Left Me For Jesus. Slate ranked his latest album, KMAG YOYO (and other American stories), as one of the best albums of 2011, partly on the strength of its poetic title-track about an Afghan war vet and partly due to the Red State/Blue State love song duet Another Like You. Other Hayes Carll hits include Drunken Poet's Dream, his duet with Ray Wylie Hubbard, and the melancholy Wish I Hadn't Stayed So Long .
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Mar 6, 2013 - 17 comments

"The Fiery Cross guards you at nights."

In the 1920's, the Ku Klux Klan operated a resort for Christian white supremacists called Kool Koast Kamp near Rockport, TX. For just a dollar a day per family, they offered swimming and "big game fishing" in "deep blue surf," educational activities and "watermelon parties." All under the protection of a "fiery cross" and "an officer of the law, the same Christian sentiment." (Brochure pages 1, 2, 3, 4) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 6, 2013 - 60 comments

Go Thunderbirds!

"I think sportsmanship is knowing that it is a game, that we are only as a good as our opponents, and whether you win or lose, to always give 100 percent." - Sue Wicks. When the Coronado High School Thunderbirds basketball team entered their last game of the season, Coach Peter Morales had more than winning on his mind.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Feb 26, 2013 - 22 comments

Dad! Dad! My little sister's been kidnapped! What shall I do! Dad! Dad!

Melton Barker and the Kidnappers Foil. From the late 1930s into the early 1970s, Dallas native, Melton Barker and his company, Melton Barker Juvenile Productions, traveled all over the country – from Texas and New Mexico to North Carolina and Indiana – filming local children acting, singing, and dancing in two-reel films that Barker titled The Kidnappers Foil. (NY Times story) [more inside]
posted by Bunny Ultramod on Feb 24, 2013 - 1 comment

Routh told them “he traded his soul for a new truck”

Chris Kyle, former Navy Seal, killed at a Texas shooting range. [more inside]
posted by dubold on Feb 5, 2013 - 161 comments

Having Bigger Is Better

"In the 80's, our knack for conspicuous consumption ensured that we added more ribbons, more flowers, more ribbons, some letters, some feathers, chains, toys, and even more flowers. By this time they're getting pretty heavy." SGP Homecoming Mums 1989
posted by the young rope-rider on Jan 31, 2013 - 112 comments

J0hnny ''Gitar'' Wats0n - Livek0nzert 1977

On tour at the height of his powers - a Young John Watson indeed: Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson - Livekonzert 1977 [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 24, 2013 - 10 comments

“I didn’t want to speak, but I wanted to be like, ‘Hey kids!’ Then I was

Visual artist Nick Cave (not of The Bad Seeds) worked together for months with students across various departments of the University of North Texas to present Heard, a visual and musical burst of vibrancy based on Cave's childhood experiences of colouring in horses and being told by his mother: "It doesn’t matter if it’s pink. If he wants it to be pink, it can be pink.". And not just pink, even.
posted by divabat on Jan 20, 2013 - 16 comments

How Millionaires Celebrate End-of-Days

To commemorate the Mayan Apocalypse, video game tycoon Richard Garriott de Cayeux threw a lavish soiree at his 65-acre spread along Lake Austin, complete with various scenes of imagined end-of-the-world scenarios. - Sonia Smith in Texas Monthly
posted by jim in austin on Jan 2, 2013 - 71 comments

"I just don't believe in shortcuts ... just do it the old fashioned way"

Once a Dallas restaurateur, Clyde Biggins has recently been released after 17 years in prison for drug offences. Unable to obtain a food licence, he has taken to giving away his legendary barbecued ribs, brisket and sausage from a truck on his front lawn, in return for donations. "No gauges, thermometers or gimmicks" and seasoned with just salt, pepper and chili powder. Texas BBQ Posse Approved. Find him if you can.
posted by criticalbill on Dec 30, 2012 - 40 comments

Willie and Trigger

A biography of Trigger, Willie Nelson's guitar. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Dec 17, 2012 - 33 comments

Obviously, I’m not a victim here

In October, 18-year old high school senior Ryan Romo was arrested for the sexual assault of a child (someone 16 or under, by TX state law). On October 31, CultureMap Dallas's managing editor, Claire St. Amant published an article asking, "Is this Highland Park baseball star a rapist?" St. Amant ended her article, stating: If it's a case of impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt, then no one suffers more than 18-year-old Ryan Romo. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 26, 2012 - 44 comments

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