High Plains Lyfter

Last February, after Uber, the app-based ride-sharing company, announced its intention to enter the Houston market, local cab drivers crammed into a city council meeting wearing bright-yellow T-shirts with slogans like “Fair Play = Same Rules.” They claimed that Uber, which usually charges less than traditional cabs do, has an advantage because its drivers don’t have to meet the same insurance requirements as most cabbies.

The Anti-Castro

On October 30 San Antonio’s new mayor, Ivy Taylor, stood behind a lectern at Club Giraud, a private dining club situated downtown on the banks of the city’s famous river, and faced a crowd of business leaders. Only hours before, Taylor had pushed through a unanimous city council vote to build a $3.4 billion pipeline that will bring water from Burleson County, 140 miles away, to San Antonio.

Meanwhile, in Texas . . .

  • Identical twin sisters from Houston bought identical Sears Craftsman housesright next door to each otherin Galveston.
  • After getting plunked by a pitcher, a man in a pickup baseball game near Elsa shot and wounded one of the opposing players.
  • An Austin girl who was kidnapped by her mother and taken to Mexico was reunited with her father twelve years after her abduction.
  • The SAT math scores of the state’s high school students hit a 22-year low.

Far From the Madding Crowd

This academic year, the University of Texas at El Paso is celebrating its centennial, and Diana Natalicio, the school’s president, is marking her twenty-sixth anniversary in the school’s top job. That’s a remarkably long tenure, but even more remarkable are the changes UTEP has undergone during her administration. In 1988 the school offered one doctoral program; today it has twenty. In 1988 annual research expenditures were about $5 million; last year the number was $84 million.

16,000,000 Rooster Teeth Fans Can’t Be Wrong

In a former National Guard armory building, now owned by the Austin Film Society, several grown men in form-hugging futuristic outfits attempt to blast through a fake steel door with pretend lasers. “You hit everything but the goddamned door!” one of them scolds after a comrade’s shot falls wide of the mark, creating a thick white haze but no opening. They stare at the door, thwarted and befuddled. 

Faded Royalty

During a lull in the conversation at the Dallas Petroleum Club, my lunch companion looked past me and nodded toward the corner of the room. “That’s Bunker and Herbert Hunt over there,” he said. “What sort of deals do you suppose they’re working on?” It was the early nineties and one of the first times I’d dined in the elite lunchroom of Dallas’s oil-igarchy.

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