Kristen Stewart isn’t just a middling actress specializing in sleepy-eyed, teenage-love-interest roles. She’s now, apparently, something much worse: a poet. Thankfully(?), Austinist has reproduced one of Stewart’s verses, originally published in the famed literary journal Marie Claire. The epic is reportedly inspired by a road trip Stewart took through Texas. A sample:
And I bellowed and you parked
We reached Marfa.
One honest day up on this freedom pole
Devils not done digging
He’s speaking in tongues all along the pan handle
Image of the Day
Yesterday, the original child star and inspiration for the best non-alcoholic cocktail, Shirley Temple, went to that Big Movie Studio in the Sky. After years of movie (and hair) fame, Shirley Temple Black went on to become an accomplished diplomat, serving as a United Nations delegate, and ambassador to both Ghana and the former Czechoslovakia. Black’s iconic, celluloid childhood was so prevalent, they even made a line of dolls modeled after her. Here she is in a Texas Rangers outfit, circa 1939:
Texas By The Numbers
Way to Go, Rodeo — Number of people who attended the annual Fort Worth Stock Show: 1,137,100. Number of livestock shown: 28,917. Number of hoofed livestock shown in at junior livestock show: 11,000. Human to farm animal ratio: 39 to one.
Child Protective Disservice — Number of child death cases the CPS reviewed between 2012-2013: 95. Number of those cases in which CPS was involved with family: 71. Number of “delinquent” child protective investigations in Travis County: 714. Proportion of total cases: 43 percent. That proportion for Williamson County: 52 percent. Portion of caseworkers that quit after the first year: 38 percent.
Catching Up — Number of old rape kits the Houston police has tested for usable evidence since 2013: about 10,000. Number of tests completed: 6,170. Number of DNA “hits”: 280. Number of previously untested kits: 6,600. Cost of revised testing: $4.4 million. Cost of catching a suspect involved in such cases: priceless.
The Ryan Comet — Ouch. It looks like the Texas Rangers don’t always get their man. Nolan Ryan, the greatest pitcher ever and, until recently, the Rangers’s CEO, announced Tuesday that he’s returning to his original Texas club, the Houston Astros. He’ll be an “executive adviser,” whatever that means. Image-wise, it’s a real strikeout for the Rangers. But for everyone else (particularly the word jocks at Dallas Morning News), Ryan’s involvement and team-building skills may/could/possibly bring about the dawn of a “true rivalry” on par with Boston/New York. After all, Houston “has lost more than 100 games in each of the past three seasons” and “In the last five years, the Rangers are 36-7 against Houston.” Here’s hoping the Ryan Express can delivery the payload.
Silicio Valle — That’s Spanish for “Silicon Valley,” and that’s exactly what’s happening in Texas, which recently beat California as the top tech exporter. “Companies in Texas making semiconductors, telecommunications devices, computers, and other items shipped more than $45 billion in products to other countries in 2012,” according the Morning News. “That’s a $3 billion rise from 2011.” It’s also $200 million more than the Golden State. Our number one tech fan is Mexico, which imported $22 billion worth of product. And Governor Rick Perry, a big yell leader for companies to relocate to business-friendly Texas, deserves a round of applause. The vice president of the foundation that published the new report, “attributed the shift to rising manufacturing costs in California and Texas’ business-friendly atmosphere.”
False (Satanic) Prophets — A horrendous murder is making the rounds and is sure to ignite a lot of discussion. Two Houston teenagers are accused of the brutal beating, torture, and killing of a peer in order for one alleged criminal to “sell his soul to the devil.” As KHOU reports, “Prosecutors are painting a sadistic picture,” of the crime that included bodily carvings of upside down crucifixes and “religious cult items.” Texas is just now getting over its completely unfounded nineties-era hysteria of Satanic abuse with the December release of Fran and Dan Keller. While the “satanic” charge may end up being true, it’s more of a prosecutorial tactic for swift justice—making evil sense of the senseless—than representative of any actual serial and/or methodical crimes conducted by some damnable “cult” looking to bring about the End Times. Should the alleged killers be found guilty, they’ll get their earthly punishment of life in prison.
Most Children Left Behind — So much for Texas education. “Among young Texans who started eighth grade in 2001, less than one-fifth [twenty percent] went on to earn a higher education credential within six years of their high school graduation,” according to the Texas Tribune. “And rates were even lower among African-American and Hispanic students and those who were economically disadvantaged.” The data collection itself is pretty interesting since it’s relatively simple. Rather than looking at the standard college graduation rates (in Texas, it’s 59 percent), this new metric just looks at the credentials of eight-graders over an eleven-year period. “If your final number is 19 out of 100 students receiving some form of post-secondary credential, you know there’s an awful lot of leakage in the pipeline,” said the Texas Higher Education Commissioner of the new metric. There are some holes in the new study, but when less than sixteen percent of eighth graders in the El Paso region manage to get higher education, there’s a serious problem. Hey, maybe one of the new governors will keep his or her promise to fix what don’t work.