Houston City Attorneys Subpoenaed Sermons from Pastors They Suspect Fought the Ordinance from the Pulpit

Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a law designed to ban discrimination, has been controversial since before it was signed into law by Mayor Annise Parker on May 28, largely because of protections it offers the LGBT community. (The most controversial aspect of the bill, which involved public restrooms, was stripped from the final language two weeks before the bill passed.) City leaders fervently debated it while various organizations—based both in and out of the city—lobbied them against the bill. Noted non-Houstonian, former Presidential candidate and Fox News host Mike Huckabee urged his viewers to register their opposition with the city council and Mayor Parker. 

After the bill passed, the backlash intensified. Opponents promised to challenge it with a ballot referendum in the fall. As the Houston Chronicle reported at the time

A News Radio Station Ends and a Beyoncé-Only Station is (Temporarily?) Born

Radio stations seem almost like an anachronism in this era of smartphones and Spotify, podcasts, and free, unsolicited U2 albums just popping up in your iTunes library whether you asked for it or not. Surprisingly, perhaps, they aren’t: More than 90% of Americans still listen to the radio, according to a Nielsen report from 2012, and even the company’s most recent report from last month says that the average 18-24 year old American spends more than ten hours a week listening to the radio, more time than they spend taking in any other form of media except live TV. That number is down a bit from the AARP set, which means that the digital/streaming/timeshifted/on-demand future may be coming, but it ain’t here yet.

Still, it’s a tough market. News 92 FM was Houston’s first all-news FM station, and it was a relatively short-lived experiment: It ran from 2011 until last Wednesday at 9 a.m., when a traffic report gave way to “Flawless,” a single from Beyoncé’s self-titled ambush release. And then never stopped playing Beyoncé songs. Only Beyoncé songs.

San Antonio Architects Reimagine Houston's Rocket Park

Last year, a contest to reimagine uses of the Astrodome contained several imaginative proposals. None of them were under any serious or official consideration, but all of them featured the unfettered imaginations of world-class architects at work. They included turning the 8th Wonder of the World into a giant parking garage, or into a monument to Billie Jean King. But the most compelling was an idea submitted by San Antonio-based HiWorks Architecture. Dubbed “The Houston Ark,” the proposal suggested turning the Astrodome into a floating saucer in the event that sea levels rose and the people of Houston needed a safe place to ride out mankind’s extinction.

HiWorks hasn’t stopped thinking about Houston, apparently, and they sent over some ideas for their next never-to-be-considered modest proposal for the city: what architect Brantley Hightower describes as “a re-imagination of the structure that currently houses the Saturn V rocket on display at the Johnson Space Center.” 

According to a press release from Hightower, the current structure that houses the Saturn V is basically a big garage that hides, rather than displays, the beauty of the engineering marvel: 

Because Everything Is Tinier in Texas

The ongoing dilemma of what to do with the Astrodome has been one of the more amusing sideshows in Houston over the past couple of years. Suggestions have ranged from the brutally utilitarian (turning it into a massive parking garage) to the whimsical (transforming it into a monument to Billie Jean King, whose victory in the famous “Battle of the Sexes” match took place beneath the Dome).

Top Houston Doctors Teamed With The Houston Zoo To Save A 42-Year-Old Orangutan

When major advances in medical science are being tested, they frequently start on animals—specifically, apes that share the vast majority of their DNA with humans. So when the Houston Zoo’s 42-year-old orangutan, Cheyenne, fell ill, two doctors from the area stepped up to return the favor.

Dr. Venkata Bandi, a critical care specialist at Ben Taub Intensive Care Unit, and Dr. Laurie Swaim, Chief of Gynecology at Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women, volunteered after vets from the Houston Zoo reached out for help. As the Houston Chronicle reports, stepping up was an immediate priority for Dr. Swaim: 

Open Carry Texas Did Not March in Houston's Fifth Ward This Weekend

The past week has been a tense one in the U.S., and questions around race, guns, and state power have been asked repeatedly, every night, as the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, continues to develop. But these issues aren’t exclusive to that part of the country, and they take many forms. 

One form they’ve taken in Houston recently is the ongoing discussion of whether it’s appropriate for members of the local chapter of Open Carry Texas to march through the Fifth Ward as part of their demonstrations of their support for the rights guaranteed to them by the U.S. and Texas constitutions to openly carry their long-arm rifles. 

Amazing Pictures of the Houston Zoo's Big Cats From National Geographic and Photographer Vincent J. Musi

The Internet is history’s most effective distribution system of pictures of cats, but that’s a broad category. “Cat” can encompass both a little kitty snuggling with a teddy bear and the king and queen of the jungle (which doesn’t actually live in the jungle, but this is Internet and your facts are useless here) as they devour a great prey animal. Similarly, “picture” can mean something you snapped with your dusty iPhone camera or the stunning work of a photographer like Vincent J. Musi, who works with National Geographic. 

This week, Musi and NatGeo have been sharing photos that he took of the big cats at the Houston Zoo via their respective Instagram feeds—and the images are genuinely stunning. 

Pumped-Up Kicks

One morning in late July, Chris Santos climbed out of bed filled with anxiety over which pair of shoes to wear. This wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary; for Santos, almost every waking moment revolves around athletic footwear. He spends at least an hour a day on websites like NiceKicks (“the most read source for sneaker news, information, history, and release dates”).

The Astrodome Might Be Replaced With a Tiny Astrodome

The ongoing dilemma of what to do with the Astrodome has been one of the more amusing sideshows in Houston over the past couple of years. We’ve seen suggestions ranging from turning it into a massive parking garage or a monument to Billie Jean King to just continuing to use it as a massive indoor, climate-controlled storage facility for the city of Houston. Meanwhile, new proposals continue to pop up that offer further prospects of Astrodoom turning into Astrogreatness.

The latest proposal, though, is something in-between: building a massive park on the site and—in the middle—placing a Tiny Astrodome as a monument to the former Eighth Wonder. 

As The Atlantic’s CityLab reports:


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