The State Fair of Texas
is underway, famous for its fried foods
and livestock shows. Perhaps nothing is more iconic than the giant, talking statue of Big Tex
--look at the domain name of the Fair if you don't believe me. But today, creating probably the greatest/most traumatic State Fair memories of all time for those present, Big Tex caught on fire
. Rest in peace, Big Tex.
posted by resurrexit
on Oct 19, 2012 -
The Lesbian & Gay Peace Officers Association produced a video
comprising of LGBT officers and civilian members of the Austin Police Department to send a message to LGBTQ youth that it does get better... (SLYT)
posted by jim in austin
on Sep 26, 2012 -
"In a genre of its own—Live-Action Graphic Novel—The Intergalactic Nemesis
saga is a hilarious, uplifting adventure of heroes-by-circumstance overcoming impossible odds. But the telling is what makes the experience of The Intergalactic Nemesis so incredibly unique: while three actors, one Foley artist, and one keyboardist perform all the voices, sound effects and music, more than 1,250 hand-drawn, full-color, hi-res, blow-your-mind comic-book images blast from the screen, all performed live." [more inside]
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing
on Jul 22, 2012 -
The more I tried to conjure the sound in my mind, the more I couldn’t. I wanted to hear what it had to say. Why not? If by evolutionary design an animal’s primary defense is a singular, infamous noise, such an animal must be able to teach us something about listening, right? And all of this comes from a rattle and a spasm. Hundreds of snake tails banging out a primordial choral arrangement inspired by one unmistakable sentiment: "Fuck off." I wanted to hear it. And then I would try to catch one, and maybe, just maybe, I would touch it.
Ryan and Mykol Knighton -- a blind journalist and his sighted brother -- attend the Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas
. [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee
on Jun 5, 2012 -
Los Tocayos Carlos
- a comprehensive investigation by Columbia Law School Professor James Liebman and a team of students which uncovers evidence that Carlos DeLuna, a poor Hispanic man with childlike intelligence who was executed in Texas in 1989, was innocent. The issue of The Columbia Human Rights Law Review, entirely dedicated to this investigation, is available at this website
posted by Gyan
on May 14, 2012 -
Last weekend, the annual Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup took place in Sweetwater Texas, as it has since 1958. Previously 1
, Previously 2
, plus on the Simpsons.
Sponsored by the Jaycess
, it attracts a huge crowd and lots of press, but when Danny Mendez
, a zoologist and host of Urban Jungles Radio
showed up to see for himself what it was like,
he was refused entry and given a citation for Criminal Trespassing. What sort of issues would a zoologist be concerned about and why the Sweetwater Jaycees not want Danny (as well as Sky Stevens
, a Texas biology student, Wildlife enthusiast and contributor to the show) not to even enter to see a beauty pageant? [more inside]
posted by katinka-katinka
on Mar 14, 2012 -
Incident reports from police departments can be boring, staid affairs. Not so with those from University of Texas at Austin
This week's highlights include a budding horticulturist with a marijuana growing habit, a non-alcoholic student with catlike reflexes and a man who enjoys singing in trees.
Via TM Daily Post
posted by Leezie
on Jan 28, 2012 -
In 2006, Hannah Overton was charged with the death of her 4-year-old foster son, Andrew Burd. Media accounts
at the time claimed that Overton had force-fed her misbehaving son a mixture of water and creole seasoning, leading to death by salt poisoning. Convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole in 2008, Overton's case led angry bloggers to call her "the ultimate evil,"
part of a cult of "child abuse groupies,"
a murderer that "church cronies"
are working to free.
This month's issue of Texas Monthly
paints a fuller picture of the short life of Andrew Burd and the conviction of the mother who was working towards adopting him.
posted by mudpuppie
on Dec 20, 2011 -
One of my favorite blogs
happens to be local to me. Eric Berger, the Houston Chronicle's "SciGuy" usually reports on the weather
. But he also posts entertaining and serious stuff as well. [more inside]
posted by PapaLobo
on Nov 22, 2011 -
Climate Variability and Climate Change: The New Climate Dice
An excerpt from what should be a very incendiary academic paper by Hansen, J
, et al: Thus there is no need to equivocate about the summer heat waves in Texas in 2011 and Moscow
in 2010, which exceeded 3σ – it is nearly certain that they would not have occurred in the
absence of global warming. If global warming is not slowed from its current pace, by midcentury 3σ events will be the new norm and 5σ events will be common.
posted by Renoroc
on Nov 11, 2011 -
"I decided I had to do something to save this person’s life. That killing someone in Dallas is not an answer for what happened on Sept. 11." Rais Bhuiyan
petitions the state of Texas to stay
the execution of a white supremacist who shot him and murdered two others in a hate-motivated crime
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Jul 18, 2011 -
One day in 1984 character actor Stephen Tobolowsky
, the original, unaired pilot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
) was walking down the street when Jonathan Demme
pulled up and asked if he wanted to see a movie he was finishing. Tobolowsky accepted: taking his girlfriend Beth Henley
, they went to the Academy Linwood Dunn Theatre
to watch the rough cut of the movie, Stop Making Sense
. The audience in the otherwise empty theatre consisted of Tobolowsky
, Henley, and Demme, along with members of Talking Heads
, including David Byrne
and Tina Weymouth
. Later, Byrne
on his bike
and asked if he wanted to work on a new movie
. Interest sparked again, and during the ensuing collaboration Tobolowsky shared his past experience of psychic phenomena. Inspired, Byrne went on to write Radio Head
. The song was heard by Thom Yorke
and became the name of his band
. All of this is a true story, based on puzzling evidence
. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul
on Jul 17, 2011 -
"If they simply professed unusual beliefs, movement leaders wouldn’t be remarkable.
But what makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics and government. The new prophets and apostles believe Christians—certain Christians—are destined to not just take 'dominion' over government, but stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term the 'Seven Mountains' of society, including the media and the arts and entertainment world. They believe they’re intended to lord over it all. As a first step, they’re leading an 'army of God' to commandeer civilian government. In Rick Perry, they may have found their vessel. And the interest appears to be mutual." Previously. Via.
posted by brundlefly
on Jul 14, 2011 -
If we have, at the back of our minds, a stereotype of the censor or the censor type, it is probably of some nondescript male bureaucrat who comes to work punctually at 8:30 in the morning, locks his office door behind him, and spends the day going through piles of books, underlining dirty passages in red ink and stamping pass or fail on the cover, or else pouring over strips of film with scissors at the ready, ready to snip out images of breasts and bums, who, when the clock at last strikes 5:00, emerges into the daylight, catches the bus home to some anonymous suburb and spends the evening watching reruns of sitcoms on television before donning his pajamas and falling into a dreamless sleep. Or if we're thinking not of full time censors, people who dedicate their professional lives to the business of censoring, but of part time censors, people who like to do a bit of censoring on the side, then we might imagine that retired teachers, clergymen and moral busybodies in general would be attracted to the craft. But the records of the South African system don't quite fit the stereotype.
- J. M. Coetzee, Nobel laureate author, speaks at his alma mater University of Texas Austin about his experiences with censorship in his native South Africa during apartheid
. Coetzee mentions this essay he wrote about his time at UT Austin
and a book he wrote on censorship, here's the preface to it
posted by Kattullus
on Jul 11, 2011 -
Odessa, Texas, may be best known for its Permian Panthers high school football team. Their 1988 season was chronicled H. G. Bissinger's non-fiction book Friday Night Lights
, which in turn inspired a movie
and a tv show
. But in 2010, it was another Permian Panthers -- the school's lesser-known basketball team -- that received media attention when it came to light that their star point guard, 16-year-old Jerry Joseph, was in fact a twentytwo-year-old man named Guerdwich Montimere
. Now Montimere is facing up to twenty years in jail, but not for lying about his age on the basketball court. During his time at Permian High, he had sex with a fifteen-year-old girl.
posted by Georgina
on Jul 11, 2011 -
KTRU Departs FM Airwaves Defiant, Unique As Ever:
2 weeks ago The FCC Approved
controversial sale of Rice University's radio station, KTRU, to the University of Houston and after 40 years of student-run broadcasting, KTRU's FM signal was cut off promptly at 6 a.m. yesterday, leaving a sizable hole in Houston's FM band. The triumphant speech of Jesse Jackson at the 1984 Democratic convention faded into the wall of sound of The Flying Luttenbachers "The Pointed Stick Variations," reaching an almost unbearable harshness before everything ceased.
posted by Blake
on Apr 29, 2011 -