The Internet loves a good list (sometimes bad ones too). Ranking things is how we know how awesome we are, and/or how outraged we should be that we did/didn’t make an arbitrary list.
For whatever reason, Texas saw its cities on a bunch of different lists, a few of which we break down below.
Elon Musk clearly loves Texas. Sure, he may have decided against building his Gigafactory in the Lone Star state—instead planting his massive, $5 billion factory for Tesla car batteries (and the up to 22,000 jobs that come with it) in Reno. But if you’re down in Brownsville (or if you go to any number of bars or restaurants on South Padre Island with “Welcome SpaceX!” signs on their doors), you’ll notice that people can’t stop talking about the SpaceX launch facility heading to the Valley. And now, there’s also the Hyperloop.
2014 was a bad year for Kung Fu Saloon. The bar chain, which operates locations in Austin, Houston, and Dallas, made all of the wrong sorts of headlines. Over the summer, its unspoken dress code policy was shown to be racist by patrons, who made videos demonstrating that black customers were kept out despite similarly dressed white people being allowed in. (A former employee of the Dallas location corroborated those claims.)
Then, in November, a vicious assault took place at the Austin location, when—according to a police affidavit—a bouncer grabbed a 23-year-old Joey O’Hare, took him outside, and slammed his head into the ground. He was found in a pool of blood. The attack, alleged to have been unprovoked, resulted in the man suffering a severe brain injury, and the bouncer faces up to 20 years in prison.
Going into Saturday, the playoff field appeared to be clear, barring an upset: Alabama, Oregon, TCU, and Florida State were the top-ranked teams in the country, with Ohio State and Baylor right behind the top-ranked teams in the “one loss” category.
In Saturday’s games, each team won. That’s not really a surprise: in each case, the higher-ranked team beat a conference opponent. But when the teams that would be competing in the four-team playoffs were announced, Ohio State managed to leapfrog from #5 to #4, overtaking TCU, who slid behind Baylor to #6. The end result is a bracket that leaves both Texas teams in the cold come January.
The fact that Austin is a liberal island of blue amidst a sea of red that—this past November—seemed to get even redder at the ballot box is well-remarked upon. That liberal, progressive Austin also has some very serious issues to deal with when it comes to race (the city is the only growing American city whose black population is declining) gets remarked upon less often.
So a number of Twitter users over the weekend were surprised to learn that liberal, progressive Austin has also been home to a major PR firm whose name is a reference to Abel Meeropol’s poem “Strange Fruit,” which is about lynching in the South, and which was made famous as a song by Billie Holiday. The firm was launched in 2012 by Mary Mickel and Ali Slutsky (neither of whom is African-American), and its name has been a source of controversy in the past.
Black Friday comes but once a year—the day when, all over America, shoppers looking for incredible bargains on consumer electronics and other must-have items that can only be afforded if they show up at Walmart at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving (as “Black Friday,” increasingly, begins on Thursday night). And while we can anticipate, say, hastily-shot videos popping up on YouTube of people tearing each other apart for the chance to obtain a 50-inch television for $200, there are interesting preparations going around throughout the state of Texas—from the top to the very bottom—in anticipation of this year’s Black Friday festivities.
When Jessica Rodriguez, of Taylor, died of complications a few days after giving birth to her third child, it left her partner, Moses Perez, in more than one horrible situation. In addition to losing the mother of his children as the two were planning their wedding, he also has to pay her medical bills and funeral costs.
Real estate in Texas—like a lot of economic indicators in Texas—is booming. That’s especially true in the biggest cities. And the extent to which that boom is driven by foreign investment is growing, too. It’s a trend that’s been in place for a while across the United States, and the rate of growth in the past year has been staggering. As the Dallas Morning News reports:
You know what’s not the hippest thing in the world if you’re a Texas teen these days? Beef, apparently.
That’s the takeaway from this report from the Texas Tribune report about how the Texas Beef Council is turning its marketing efforts to young people who might prefer to eat fewer steaks and hamburgers than their parents did these days, and who are less likely to feel a nostalgic twinge at an ad campaign on television that declares “Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner”: