Gif of the Day
A Longhorns basketball game; a renegade bat; a startled, seven-foot-tall, three-hundred-pound man; and the cheerleaders who saved the day:
Texas By The Numbers
The Color of Giving — Number of Texas billionaire couples in Forbes‘s top fifty givers list: five. Total amount pledged by these couples: $477.4 million.Top Texas givers: John and Laura Arnold, with $204 million. Ranking: number twelve.
Veteran Nation — Number of veterans in the U.S.: 21.23 million. In Texas: 1.6 million. Percentage of national figure: 7.5. Number of veterans in top ranked Texas city, San Antonio: 106,233. Number in second-highest Texas city, Houston: 84,692. Number in lowest-ranked major city, College Station: 3,445.
Organically Imprisoned — Number of acres at Collin County’s minimum-security jail garden, tended to by inmates: fifteen. Total weight of food harvested: 67,362 pounds. Estimated value: $67,362. Number of inmates the food helps feed: 800. Amount of garden labor last year: 52,591 hours. Amount of savings, using minimum wage: $381,284.
Unprincipled — You expect the school principal to announce over the intercom important information, like, say, the lunch menu, an inspirational quote, or fire drills. What you don’t expect is the principal telling students to stop speaking the second most-popular world language. Incidentally, that’s exactly what happened to students of a Hempstead middle school last month when their principal issued a directive over the PA system: no more Spanish. Since that’s the native tongue of about fifty percent of the students, the order made about as much sense as banning girls in a co-ed school. The unnamed principle is now on paid, administrative leave. And before you start saying “we’re in America …” imagine your teacher prohibiting any of the old slang you used to use, or better yet, your boss banning the less-than-perfect English you employ today. Fortunately, the students are not taking this quietly, saying things like, “I’m not scared. I’m gonna keep speaking my language. That’s my first language, and I’m gonna keep on doing it.” Though it probably sounds way cooler in Spanish.
A Poor Future Outlook — Ugh. A new report found that there was a “47 percent increase in the rate of Texas children living in poverty from 2000 to 2011,” according to the Texas Tribune. Where, exactly, does that put Texas? Oh, just among the nine worst states for poor kids. The report’s authors say this may sound like a shock to folks who think Texas has a pretty good handle on unemployment and job growth (of adults). Except some of those great numbers are due to minimum wage, or less, jobs. Certainly a pittance when you pile on the costs of raising a child. On the plus side, Texas was one of two states that saw a drop in overall poverty last year. Back on the negative side: the number of children poverty in Texas is almost two million.
Consumption Air, Grounded — False alarm, folks! Go back to griping about flight delays and noisy passengers with stinky terminal food. That’s the word from officials who said that, after testing, none of the passengers aboard a flight from Austin to Phoenix were infected with tuberculosis. The scare, which made national news, happened over the weekend, after one passenger suspected of having TB was removed from the plane. Actually, the passenger was on a “no-fly” list, which they discovered after beginning their flight. Lest this cause you even more anxiety about flying, experts agree: the overall risk of contamination is “very, very low.” And, as anyone who’s taken a long-distance bus will tell you, it’s worth the risk.
Class Acts — The Texas Sports Hall of Fame class of 2014 has been announced. Although no professional table tennis players were included, the list still has some accomplished figures. The roundup this time: four former professional football players, along with a former number one NBA draft pick and an MLB representative nicknamed “Pudge.” The sole female is Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross (she’s 28!). Rumor has it they’ve already promised Nick Saban an annual spot in the Hall of Fame if he would just, please, come coach.