424 posts tagged with texas.
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Big Dig

In Baylor County, paleontologists are assembling clues to the prehistoric world of Dimetrodon. [previously]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 26, 2015 - 6 comments

Red Duke (1928-2015)

James Henry "Red" Duke passed away today at the age of 86. With his Texas accent and folksy expressions, Dr. Duke was most famous for his 15 year running TV series Health Reports which covered topics like hyperthyroidism, kidney stones, and even stress management. [more inside]
posted by fremen on Aug 25, 2015 - 17 comments

"Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride."

If cuisine drives (or helps) you decide your travel plans, USA Today's list of food favorites covers Best Farmers Market, Best Food Trail, Best Food Factory Tour, Best Al Fresco Dining Neighborhood and Best Local Food Scene. All those lists are pretty self-explanatory, except for the food trails, which aren't even fully described in the more verbose slideshow of the top 10. And of course there are more than 10 food trails in the US (not to mention abroad), so let's dive in. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 23, 2015 - 13 comments

acting as their ghostly embodiments

In 1988, he was convicted of killing his stepsons—based on arson science we now know is bunk. A quarter of a century later, Texas granted him a new trial. While the state has not budged in its use of the death penalty—just last year topping 500 executions since the state brought back capital punishment in 1982—it has reinvented itself as a leader in arson science and investigation. A new fire marshal, Chris Connealy, revamped the state’s training and investigative standards. He also set up a panel comprised of some of the top fire scientists in the country to reconsider old cases that had been improperly handled by the original investigators. Graf’s case was one of the first up for review, and it was determined that the original investigators had made critical mistakes.
posted by bq on Aug 16, 2015 - 44 comments

Waiting for Delta

Are Rogue Militants Preparing for War on American Soil? (Spoiler: Betteridge's Law of Headlines applies here.) How that whole Jade Helm 15 conspiracy thing worked out, just in case you were wondering. Not yet established: correlation with frequency of chemtrails, if it was all a big headfake by the lizard people, whether it will affect Texas adopting the gold standard (previously on the blue).
posted by Halloween Jack on Aug 7, 2015 - 58 comments

On the death of Sandra Bland

As she's laid to rest, questions remain about whether her arrest was good policing, a bail system that is especially harsh on the poor, the stigma of marijuana use, treatment of depression and, of course, the long history of American racism, as seen in Waller County, Texas, were the initial incident occurred. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 26, 2015 - 177 comments

Read from left to right, top to bottom, and outside to inside

Pyroglyphics and The Secret Language of Cattle Branding
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jul 21, 2015 - 21 comments

That's less than $1500 an acre!

FOR SALE: Largest ranch in the U.S. within a single fence. Texas fixer-upper with more than 1,000 oil wells; 6,800 head of cattle; 500 quarter horses; 30,000 acres of cropland; tombstones for legendary cowboys, long-dead dogs, and a horse buried standing up. Favorite of Will Rogers and Teddy Roosevelt. Colorful history of drinking and divorce. Fifteen-minute drive to rib-eyes at the Rusty Spur in Vernon. Ideal for Saudi oil sheiks, billionaire hedge funders, and dot-commers who can tell a cow from a steer. Profitable. Zero debt. Property taxes only $800,000 a year. Price: $725 million.
posted by octothorpe on Jul 21, 2015 - 79 comments

Texas denying birth certificates to children of undocumented immigrants.

A recent civil rights lawsuit alleges that undocumented parents are being denied birth certificates for their children born in Texas, effectively denying the children the birthright citizenship enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment and federal law. State legislators have voiced their concern.
posted by goatdog on Jul 16, 2015 - 91 comments

nothing between the body and the earth

At rest in the fields. "Celebrating childhood's end" at Eloise Woods Community Natural Burial Park, in Cedar Creek, Texas. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2015 - 4 comments

a steady diet of fear, paranoia, and survivalism

With Eye on Fiscal Armageddon, Texas Set to 'Repatriate' Its Gold To New Texas Fort Knox
On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that will create a state-run gold depository in the Lone Star State – one that will attempt to rival those operated by the U.S. government inside Fort Knox and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s vault in lower Manhattan. “The Texas Bullion Depository,” Abbott said in a statement, “will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state.”
posted by andoatnp on Jun 16, 2015 - 98 comments

'Twelve officers responded to the incident, Conley said.'

"Police responding to reported disturbance at a community pool in McKinney, Texas, are seen in a video posted to YouTube aggressively subduing black teenagers and, at one point, pulling a gun on them."
Scott Neuman, NPR [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 7, 2015 - 642 comments

Al Jazeera tackles the thorny subject of legal guardianship

Al-Jazeera has recently taken on the topic of legal guardianship, in which a US citizen deemed incompetent to manage their own finances becomes a "ward of the state." When judges can take away senior citizens' basic rights (aired 5/26/2015) tells the story of Dorothy Luck, and a related written piece dated 6/1/2015 gives a detailed account on the story of John Stout, a Texas minister who helped "send Bibles to the moon" was declared incompetent after trying to give away some of his land. [more inside]
posted by aydeejones on Jun 2, 2015 - 11 comments

“You can’t rape someone who’s gay."

The New York Times and Jezebel profile Texas' refusal to comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act. (trigger warning: sexual assault, violence)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 14, 2015 - 59 comments

Because what Texas really needs is a thousand rhinos

There are many efforts currently ongoing to conserve wild rhino populations and combat the strain on the species due to poaching. The conservation-through-commerce-minded Exotic Wildlife Association and an organization of corporations and nonprofits known as GroupElephant.com have proposed a novel solution: bring a thousand orphaned rhinos to Texas. The organizations reportedly plan adopt the rhinos out to private ranches, and breed them in Texas. The EWA's spokesman reports that it plans to eventually repatriate the rhinos or their offspring to South Africa once South African officials "have a handle over there with the poaching problem."
posted by sciatrix on May 7, 2015 - 57 comments

Texas True Crime

TWO PROMINENT DOCTORS. ONE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN LOOKING FOR ROMANCE. AND A LIKABLE MISFIT WHO SPUN TALL TALES. THEIR LIVES INTERSECTED AFTER AN INTENSE RELATIONSHIP TURNED SOUR, BUT NO ONE GUESSED THAT THE PATH TO LOVE WOULD LEAD TO MURDER. - Texas Monthly: "A Deadly Dance" By Skip Hollandsworth
posted by The Whelk on Apr 25, 2015 - 14 comments

The Last Ride Of The Polo Shirt Bandit

"William Guess was his name - and it was prophetic. When he shot himself while surrounded by the police, he left unanswered the question that had stumped his pursuers: why did an ordinary middle-class Texan turn into the state's most prolific bank robber?"
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 25, 2015 - 3 comments

“One person’s putrid is another person’s pleasant...”

Would You Want to Smell BBQ All the Time? [New York Times]
"Over the years attempts by states and municipalities to regulate odor have led to a patchwork of legal guidelines subjectively enforced by inspectors who sniff the air and determine whether to make a stink about a stink. In the past the offenders were typically livestock operations and wastewater treatment plants, but more recently odor inspectors are getting calls about smells emanating from ethnic restaurants, coffee roasters and candle and bath shops."

posted by Fizz on Apr 18, 2015 - 194 comments

Sewer Fishing

Texas teen pulls wet animals from sewer for entertainment purposes. See for yourself at Naegeli's YouTube channel.
posted by Greg Nog on Apr 10, 2015 - 16 comments

“During intake, I kept saying: ‘Hello? I’m trans? I’m a woman?’

Transgender Woman Cites Attacks and Abuse in Men’s Prison (trigger warning: descriptions of sexual assault) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 6, 2015 - 33 comments

Try not to get stuck!

Deep Cave in Edwards, Texas, has a regular entrance, and a ...rather more claustrophobic one.
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 27, 2015 - 54 comments

"Sheer Political Retribution"

David Dow is an attorney and law professor in Texas who has represented over 100 death row clients. He has been suspended by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for missing an appeals filing deadline...or did he? [more inside]
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 22, 2015 - 16 comments

Bobcats live in houses too

Fort Griffin State Historic Site, just north of Albany, Texas, recently had one of its historic buildings claimed as a den by a mother bobcat and her two kittens. The site's trail cameras have been documenting their lives since: the first glimpse into the lives of roly-poly inhabitants of a well-protected stone building came in January. With uninvited visits by raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and male bobcats... [more inside]
posted by Susu pitchounette on Mar 17, 2015 - 15 comments

"You must be Eddie"

The day Chris Kyle died - an account of the fateful gun range encounter between the subject of the film "American Sniper" and fellow veteran Eddie Ray Routh. Routh has received a life sentence for killing Kyle and freind Chad Littlefield, with a jury finding his claims of PTSD to be "an excuse".
posted by Artw on Feb 25, 2015 - 35 comments

"This is about justice."

East Texas town fights attempts to commemorate the 1910 Slocum Massacre. Fort Worth writer E.R. Bills' book on the Slocum Massacre adds momentum to the decades-long push by survivors to have it acknowledged and memorialized. [more inside]
posted by emjaybee on Feb 19, 2015 - 31 comments

The Color Line Murders

The Equal Justice Initiative has released a report (pdf) on the history of lynchings in the United States, the result of five years of research. The authors compiled an inventory of 3,959 victims of “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950 -- documenting more than 700 additional victims, which places the number of murders more than 20 percent higher than previously reported. "The process is intended... to force people to reckon with the narrative through-line of the country’s vicious racial history, rather than thinking of that history in a short-range, piecemeal way." Map. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 11, 2015 - 58 comments

A History of Violence in the Texas Legislature

Texas Monthly: "Advocates for open carry legislation had spent the first day of the new session [Texas's Eighty-fourth Legislature] demonstrating outside before taking things indoors, targeting specific legislators at their offices. ... This image of an angry crowd bitterly clinging to their guns and a base understanding of the Constitution did little to inspire sympathy among the public, fellow gun rights groups, or, it would seem, our legislators—the very next day the House passed an amendment, 137-5, “to be able to install panic buttons and eject hostile members of the public from their offices.” Jeff Winkler looks at the history of violence at the Capitol. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Feb 1, 2015 - 34 comments

A Bowl of Red, AKA a Plate of No Beans

Don't Mess With Texas' Chili. 'So when a cookbook author like Mark Bittman writes—in How to Cook Everything—that chili means “slow-cooked red beans seasoned with cumin and chiles,” he betrays his ignorance of the dish and its history. When he writes that a true chili dish, one made with meat and no beans, has “entered the realm of cassoulet,” he might confuse chili-heads who don’t know what cassoulet means—but they’ll always recognize when someone’s messin’ with Texas. It’s when Bittman advises amateur cooks to make chili with tofu or espresso that he is doing something worse than disrespecting the dish—he is suggesting that the names of foods can mean whatever the speaker wants them to mean.' [more inside]
posted by fedward on Jan 30, 2015 - 312 comments

You will come down too soon

A Mexican restaurant has started a Sunday brunch to expand its revenues beyond dinner. A Mercedes dealer, anticipating reduced demand, is prepared to emphasize repairs and sales of used cars. And people are cutting back at home, rethinking their vacation plans and cutting the hours of their housemaids and gardeners.

In Texas, they're hunkering down for the Oil Bust.
posted by four panels on Jan 19, 2015 - 80 comments

The care of ~11 million people in America has fallen to emergency rooms.

It's easy to break a patient like Rogelio—Mexican and poor and chronically ill—down to his potassium level and to make medical decisions according to a number. But that's only part of the story of how the undocumented ill are cared for here in Houston. Within this city's history—a history that includes segregation during the 1960s, a large immigrant population, strong economic growth over the past half century, not to mention the world's largest medical center—is the story of how Houston sought local solutions to provide compassionate care to its indigent and undocumented, the latter of which, some might say, have helped the city grow.
Dr. Ricardo Nuila reports from the emergency room at Houston's Ben Taub Hospital, where Harris County's undocumented ill can avail themselves of some of the country's best health care: Taking Care of Our Own. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jan 12, 2015 - 52 comments

Is Texas getting ready to kill an innocent man?

Eleven years before he raped and threatened to kill Lear, Fennell’s own fiancee, 19-year-old Stacy Stites, was found brutally murdered along a country road in Bastrop, Texas. That crime eventually sent a man to death row. His name is Rodney Reed—and he is scheduled to die in January. Lear, like many people who have followed the case in Texas —believe that Reed is innocent. And they believe that the real killer is Jimmy Fennell.

Is Texas about to execute an African-American man for a crime seemingly committed by a white rapist police officer?
The Intercept (previously on MeFi) reports.
posted by anemone of the state on Nov 17, 2014 - 48 comments

You wanna understand America, don't come here — go to the movies

Rich Hall’s How The West Was Lost (What started with Red River mostly ended with Blazing Saddles; from 20th C. cultural behemoth to object of satire; the Western genre and the archetype of the cowboy.)

There’s a tradition of Brits coming to the US to explain this young country and expose the folks back home to America. From Charles William Janson and Thomas Ashe on through Stephen Fry and Jeremy Clarkson, foreigners with funny accents and strange vocabulary have set foot on American soil in an effort to explore the place and its people. But for the Brits to truly understand America, two things might be necessary: an American expat and (more importantly) MOVIES! Because an insider’s take on Hollywood’s misportrayal, mythmaking, stereotypes, historical ignorance, misunderstanding, bullshit, and skewed lens through which we see (and are shown) ourselves as Americans can get pretty interesting as well as informative.

Stuff like: [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Nov 16, 2014 - 19 comments

Thousands Rally Against Equal Rights

Sunday evening, some of the most prominent organizations that work against LGBT equality joined together in Houston, Texas to rally in defense of “religious freedom.” The event included screening of parts of One Generation Away; Santorum's Docudrama comparing the plight of American Christians to those suffered under Nazi Germany. And a Duck Dynasty star telling Christians that equal rights would lead to them serving prison time. Meanwhile, Houston's LGBT community countered with Positive Impact Day collecting winter clothes.
posted by stoneweaver on Nov 3, 2014 - 76 comments

The Secret Life of Nuns

Alex Mar writes for the Oxford American on spending time in a convent:
I traveled here, arriving just yesterday on an early flight, to answer a question that I’ve had for years: Why would a woman make the very specific choice to marry God? I’m imagining a certain kind of woman—let’s say a woman like myself, in her mid-thirties and smart and not hard-up and with a few options in life. Why would she choose to live with his many brides and very little privacy and pooled resources; to abandon any and all romantic partners, along with the possibility of ever again touching someone else’s naked body; to set aside every personal need and closely held ambition in favor of the needs of others? I wanted to understand who this woman was—call her a nun or a sister or a woman religious—and why I’ve harbored a fantasy about her since I was a young girl.

posted by frimble on Oct 26, 2014 - 17 comments

The Homecoming Queen

When I won, as a high school junior, a state-wide essay writing competition, I was invited with sundry other academic winners to a celebration at the capitol. Rick Perry was to preside. All of us — champions in debate, calculus, physics, music, literary criticism, and more — gathered on the floor of the Texas state senate to accept Governor Perry’s congratulations. Perry took the podium as he does, with all folksy gravitas, gripping its edges in each hand. But when he addressed us he didn’t talk about academic achievement. He talked about football.
The Homecoming Queen: Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig writes about Texas, football dreams, and homecoming mums. [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz on Sep 22, 2014 - 14 comments

In his basement, not the Alamo's.

Have you ever wondered who owns the largest private collection of artifacts related to the Alamo? Well, wonder no more. The answer is vocal mega-creep and platinum-selling recording artist Phil Collins.
posted by Mayor Curley on Sep 17, 2014 - 45 comments

I want to be a nice skeleton when they excavate me

I lay my fingertip there, just inside the socket, where some of the bone is chipped away: it was pecked out, by the beaks of vultures. These are the markings the huge black birds made when they consumed her eyes, with the permission of her family.
The Oxford American on the people who work at, and the people who choose to donate their bodies to, the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility in San Marcos, Texas, the largest of America’s five “body farms.”
posted by frimble on Sep 10, 2014 - 43 comments

The Sexual Outlaw At 83

83 year old Chicano author John Rechy (City Of Night, The Sexual Outlaw, Rushes) talks to Lambda Literary about gay assimilation, being mistaken for white, melding truth and fiction, the post-Stonewall peroid, and hating the word 'queer.'
posted by The Whelk on Sep 10, 2014 - 20 comments

Giving is a Crime in San Antonio

In 2011 the City of San Antonio passed an ordinance outlawing panhandling at "ATMs, banks, parking garages, charitable contribution meters, parking meters/pay stations, bus stops, outdoor dining areas, and marked crosswalks". Police Chief William McManus now wants to ticket those who give to panhandlers. Nate Schlueter of Austin's Mobile Loaves and Fishes said that "if San Antonio does this ordinance they'll essentially become the cruelest city in America".
posted by Benway on Sep 9, 2014 - 60 comments

Women politicians break the abortion taboo.

"I emerged a different person. Changed. Forever changed.” Davis describes the circumstances of her two abortions in her new memoir, Forgetting to Be Afraid. [more inside]
posted by emjaybee on Sep 6, 2014 - 33 comments

The life I love is making music with my friends

All Roads Lead to [still-living country music legend*] Willie Nelson: "In a time when America is more divided than ever, Nelson could be the one thing that everybody agrees on." [more inside]
posted by scody on Sep 2, 2014 - 27 comments

Federal Judge Overturns Some Provisions of Texas Abortion Law (Again)

Just 3 days before they would go into effect, Federal Judge Lee Yeakel struck down the admitting-privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements of Texas's recently passed HB2 (remember the one with the filibuster?), finding that they placed an undue burden on women, especially those in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso. [more inside]
posted by LizBoBiz on Aug 30, 2014 - 31 comments

I'm trying to impress people here. You don't win friends with salad.

Confessions of a Fat Bastard: Texas Monthly's Daniel Vaughn on the life of a full-time barbecue writer.

"Since Texas Monthly named me the nation’s first and only full-time barbecue editor in March 2013 (previously), my health has been a topic of international discussion. My job requires that I travel from one end of the state to the other eating smoked brisket, one of the fattiest cuts on the steer. And I can’t forget to order the pork ribs, sausage, and beef ribs. Of course my diet is going to raise eyebrows. Including those of my doctor."
posted by porn in the woods on Aug 29, 2014 - 47 comments

"The Witness"

Michelle Lyons has witnessed 278 executions in Texas, first in her role as a reporter, and then as part of her job in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Texas Monthly has a long, fascinating profile.
posted by Charity Garfein on Aug 26, 2014 - 24 comments

It's perfect! Everything we need is right here!

A 14-year-old Texas boy ran away from home on July 28. Rather then flee to a friend's or relative's home, or hiding out in nearby woods, the boy chose a location with more abundant resources. A Corsicana, Texas, Wal-Mart. The boy managed to remain undetected inside the store for roughly two and a half days (some reports count it as four days based on the dates) through some surprisingly sophisticated techniques to avoid discovery using the materials available to him. The boy is now back with his family, and Child Protective Services was not formally brought into the case as police report he did not appear to be suffering from neglect or otherwise living in a dangerous environment.
posted by Naberius on Aug 13, 2014 - 64 comments

Dougiestan: A clear mind and a full heart

A north Texas man in the "sovereign citizen" movement attempted to take over a mansion in north Dallas on Monday. Upset with the current state of affairs in the United States, Douglas LeGuin attempted to occupy a mansion in far north Dallas. After knocking on the door and threatening a nanny, he started a dumpster fire. When first responders arrived, he began shooting at them, but no one was injured. LeGuin had also set up propane canisters around the house as explosives but none were detonated. He called 911 and it really is a doozy. [more inside]
posted by LizBoBiz on Aug 13, 2014 - 284 comments

The Year of Outrage

"It is a spellbinding narrative, a multilayered tale of murder, insanity, and mystery replete with shocking twists and turns. It is a startling pastiche of late-nineteenth-century characters, from the most elite figures of Austin society to the poorest African Americans. Yet amazingly, it is almost entirely absent from the annals of history." Before London had its Ripper, before H.H. Holmes had his Murder Castle, Austin, Texas had its very own Servant Girl Annihilator... [more inside]
posted by theweasel on Aug 4, 2014 - 14 comments

The three Chicken Wars, and their (less than) lasting impacts

In the records of human conflicts, there are at least three Chicken Wars. Two left little mark on the world at large, and the third resulted in some strange work-arounds for heavy tariffs. The first was Wojna kokosza, the Chicken or Hen War of 1537, when an anti-royalist and anti-absolutist rokosz (rebellion) by the Polish nobility resulted in near-extinction of local "kokosz" (an egg laying hen), but little else. The second was an odd spin-off of the more serious War of the Quarduple Alliance that lasted from 1717 to 1720. Though most of the activity happened in Europe, there were some battles in North America. The Texas manifestation was the capture of some chickens by French forces from a Spanish mission, and a costly overreaction by Spanish religious and military men. The third Chicken War was a duel of tariffs during the Cold War, with the only lasting casualty being the availability of foreign-made light trucks in the United States. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 4, 2014 - 15 comments

terrible consequences . . . the execution of an innocent man

Fresh doubts over Cameron Todd Willingham's execution (Previously) For more than 20 years, the prosecutor who convicted Cameron Todd Willingham of murdering his three young daughters has insisted that the authorities made no deals to secure the testimony of the jailhouse informer who told jurors that Willingham confessed the crime to him. Since Willingham was executed in 2004, officials have continued to defend the account of the informer, Johnny E. Webb, even as a series of scientific experts have discredited the forensic evidence that Willingham might have deliberately set the house fire in which his toddlers were killed. But now new evidence has revived questions about Willingham’s guilt: In taped interviews, Webb, who has previously both recanted and affirmed his testimony, gives his first detailed account of how he lied on the witness stand in return for efforts by the former prosecutor, John H. Jackson, to reduce Webb’s prison sentence for robbery and to arrange thousands of dollars in support from a wealthy Corsicana rancher. Newly uncovered letters and court files show that Jackson worked diligently to intercede for Webb after his testimony and to coordinate with the rancher, Charles S. Pearce Jr., to keep the mercurial informer in line.
posted by daHIFI on Aug 4, 2014 - 143 comments

FREEDOM vs #DONTTALK

Greg Abbott is running for governor of Texas. He's campaigning in Regal Cinemas as a pre-movie ad. Alamo Drafthouse, a competing chain, has a long history of making PSAs asking patrons not to talk or text during a movie (previously). They felt they had to respond. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Jul 24, 2014 - 55 comments

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