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 -
Texas Republicans have been turning against the ideas on immigration supported by George W. Bush
, who actively courted Latino voters in his 1998 gubenertorial election campaign
), and in his two presidential election campaigns
. In 2010, some 12,000 Republican delegates came together
, many proposing new directions on immigration reform. By January 2011, there were more than three dozen immigration-related bills filed
, a number of them creating heated debates. By the of March, there were nearly 100 immigration bills written or filed
, some with serious loopholes
. (Rep. Debbie Riddle, previously
posted by filthy light thief
on Mar 30, 2011 -
Draft Tommy Lee Jones for Senate.
Texas’ conservative voters aren’t about to send just any Democrat to the Senate in 2012. Hell, it’s been seventeen years since a Democrat has won any statewide race here. That’s quite a record and one we’d like to see broken
. To do that, whoever the Democratic nominee is in 2012 better bring something awfully special to the race. Tommy Lee Jones is the only Democrat (or potential Democrat) who does. His name ID, near-universal popularity, fundraising ability, residence in and love for this state, his success as a cattle rancher, Spanish fluency, his image as a western tough guy
and his impressive academic credentials
would instantly make him the frontrunner, regardless of who the Republicans nominate.
posted by valkane
on Mar 25, 2011 -
The Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee voted 5-3 Wednesday night to advance legislation to allow concealed handguns on college campuses. Over half of the Texas House has signed on as co-authors
of the bill. University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa disagrees
beat them to it.
posted by the Real Dan
on Mar 18, 2011 -
Does this machete go with my tiara?
"Pageant hopefuls decapitate, skin snakes at Rattlesnake Roundup: To win the Miss Snake Charmer beauty pageant requires beauty, grace, talent and a strong stomach. It's probably the only pageant in the country that requires the winner to decapitate and skin a snake."
posted by Fizz
on Mar 13, 2011 -
Colby Bohannan and a group of student friends at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX have formed the non-profit organization Former Majority Association for Equality
which intends to offer college scholarships solely to white men." "'I felt excluded,' he said
. 'If everyone else can find scholarships, why are we left out?'" "'To qualify for the group's scholarship, applicants have to be able to prove that they are at least 25 percent Caucasian ... We're not looking for blond-haired, blue-eyed, stereotypical white males,' he said
. 'My feeling is that if you can say you're 25 percent Caucasian, you're Caucasian enough for us.'" "Bohannan, the group's president, said the name comes from the idea that 'if you're not a male, and if you're not white, you're called a minority.' However, he said, 'I'm not sure white males are the majority anymore.'"* [more inside]
posted by ericb
on Feb 26, 2011 -
The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins
A 1967 Les Blank film of Lightnin Hopkins visiting his hometown of Centerville, TX "…a gorgeous 31-minute poem of a movie, a series of snapshots from his life as well as a look at an era fast disappearing…Watching the film is something of a revelation, at least if you ever had a doubt where the blues came from." [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive
on Feb 19, 2011 -
Amazon.com's state sales tax fight took a dramatic turn as plans were announced to close the online retailer's Irving, Texas distribution center by April 12. Amazon would not confirm the total number of employees who worked at the fulfillment center, but did announce plans to offer positions in other states to employees willing to relocate. Amazon blames the closure on Texas' "unfavorable regulatory climate." [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus
on Feb 11, 2011 -
"I never was one to like to be intimidated. So I just take it off the table. If it's not on the table they can't use it."
Charlie, not a man for small gestures, took his secret off the table and put it on the front page of the Houston Post, whose October 7, 1988, edition carried the headline "Transvestite Now Claims Probe Linked to Lifestyle"
and a color photograph of McGuire in full drag. [more inside]
posted by rtha
on Feb 7, 2011 -
'Analysis: Texas vs California: A tale of two budget deficits'.
'Texas Governor Rick Perry treated guests to a barbecue lunch paid for by a wealthy businessman. Supporters of California Governor Jerry Brown munched on hot dogs at a union-sponsored picnic. The stark contrast in inaugural menus last month highlights the different approaches the two most populous U.S. states are taking to deal
with massive budget deficits. Perry, a Republican, campaigned on the strength of the Texas economy and made political hay of the fact the Lone Star state had avoided California's massive deficit, pegged at $25.4 billion through the upcoming budget year. Now Texas faces a budget deficit estimated as high as $27 billion
for the upcoming two-year cycle of 2012-2013. To close the gap, state legislators have proposed steep cuts in funding to education and welfare programs.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Feb 7, 2011 -
Robert Rodriguez's Machete ( Previously
) started out as a joke, and went on to be a rather successful film. However, Texas Governor Rick Perry feels the movie doesn't portray Texas positively and has revoked the productions tax breaks
. possibly at the cost of Texas's film industry.
posted by djduckie
on Dec 9, 2010 -