The National Security Agency is building a data center
in San Antonio that’s the size of the Alamodome. Microsoft has opened an 11-acre data center
a few miles away. Coincidence? Not according to author James Bamford
, who probably knows more about the NSA than any outsider. Bamford's new book
reports that the biggest U.S. spy agency wanted assurances that Microsoft would be in San Antonio before it moved ahead with the Texas Cryptology Center
. Bamford notes that under current law, the NSA could legally tap into Microsoft’s data without a court order. Whatever you do, don't take pictures of it the spy building unless you want to be taken in for questioning.
posted by up in the old hotel
on Dec 8, 2008 -
For many people who lived in Houston in the early 1970s, trick or treat brings up memories of "The Candy Man," serial killer Dean Corll
. He, along with accomplices David Brooks and Wayne Henley (YouTube)
, kidnapped, raped, and tortured to death 27 boys between the ages of thirteen and eighteen between 1970 and 1973. Thirty-seven years after the bodies of their victims were discovered in mass graves in southwest Houston and the Bolivar Peninsula, three still were unidentified until recently when the efforts of forensic anthropologist Sharon Derrick
identified victim ML73-3349, now known to be Randall Lee Harvey
posted by WolfDaddy
on Oct 31, 2008 -
The poll tax caused massive rioting in the UK. Will the pole tax
move Texans to do the same? There's an interesting class-war
aspect to the story. The bill
specifies that the revenue generated will support sexual assault prevention programs, though the bill's legality is being litigated.
posted by aerotive
on Jan 8, 2008 -
of raw footage and news reports concerning the assassination of JFK and the guy most people think that did it, Oswald
posted by zzazazz
on Dec 18, 2007 -
"I've got a shotgun. Do you want me to stop 'em?"
On November 14, 61-year old Joe Horn saw two men breaking into his neighbor's home. He called 911, told the operator what he could see through his window. As Horn watched the men, he grew more and more agitated, saying he was going to go outside and shoot them. When the men left the neighbor's home, Horn went outside and did just that.
Now, Texas gets to argue over the hero
status of Joe Horn in the public square (a debate made more volatile by concerns that race was been a factor
), while weighing the merits of that state's recent adoption of Castle Doctrine
(aka "Stand Your Ground" Law). First adopted by Florida in 2005
, Castle Doctrine is now law in 19 of 50 states
. So what does this mean for Joe Horn? Public accusations of vigilantism aside, what Horn did is arguably legal under Texas law
... or, at least, it would be
had he shot the two men after dark.
posted by grabbingsand
on Dec 5, 2007 -
Willis Alan Ramsey
is to music as Harper Lee is to literature: he only made one album
, and that's sad in it's own way, but it's such an overwhelmingly perfect album, you're okay with it. "Probably the most imitated singer/songwriter you’ve never heard
," his legion of followers includes Lyle Lovett, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Waylon Jennings, and he is rightfully considered one of the fathers of progressive country. He will make his second record in his own good time, whenever the hell that is
. Oh, and one of his songs was made famous by the Captain and Tennille
, but please don't let that dissuade you from exploring further.
posted by jbickers
on Nov 16, 2007 -
1897, Eastland, TX
. A cornerstone was being laid in the foundation of the new county courthouse
(to replace the old county courthouse
, not to be confused with the original county courthouse
). People put various items in the hollow space in the marble, time capsule style. Just before they sealed the box court clerk Ernest Wood (E.E. to his friends), acting on a whim, grabbed a horny toad
that his son, Will Wood, had picked up on the way in to town and placed it in the box. Entombed forever
. But...31 years later, 1928. Eastland, having decided it needed a NEW new courthouse, was about to demolish the old one. Someone recalled the time capsule, and the unfortunate horny toad, and 3,000 people showed up to see the poor dead lizard. "As a county official held up the dusty reptile, his leg twitched, and then his whole body came alive." [more inside]
posted by dirtdirt
on Sep 28, 2007 -
Geostationary Banana Over Texas
is an art intervention that involves placing a gigantic banana over the Texas sky. This object will float between the high atmosphere & Earth's low orbit, being visible only from the state of Texas & its surroundings. From the ground, the banana will be clearly recognizable and visible day & night; it will stay up for approximately one month.
posted by jonson
on Dec 28, 2006 -