Birthday Wednesday

If anybody’s got maroon flowing their veins it’s Mike Dillingham, “one of the world’s oldest Aggies,” who turned 102 yesterday. Despite KHOU hedging its bets on the “one” quantifier, Dillingham is the real deal, having graduated in 1935. For those younger generations, Dillingham was around before Manziel was a twinkle in his great-grandfather’s eye.

Texas By The Numbers

Measuring Contest — Size of video screen being put into A&M football stadium: 7,661 square-feet. Size of UT’s current video screen: 7,437. Number of square feet the new video screen will be larger by: 224. Size of Dallas Cowboys screen: 11,520 square feet. Size of Houston Texans screen: 14,549.

Growth Spurt — Rank of Austin in Forbes list of fastest growing cities: Number one. Population growth: 2.5 percent. Economic growth in 2013: 5.9 percent. Percentage of workforce that is college educated: 38 percent. Proportion of local payroll represented by tech companies: 35 percent.

Daily Roundup

There Will Be Blood (and Coughing) — The Center for Public Integrity has a spectacular longform piece about the Eagle Ford shale that is not only incredibly detailed but wonderfully illustrated in its digital form. “Big Oil, Bad Air” looks at just that: the effects the pollution from the oil boom has caused local residents. CPI follows the smog trail from where it comes out of the ground to people who breath it and to the bureaucracies that regulate it (or, as the case may be, don’t regulate it). Call it “advocacy” journalism if you’d like, but the piece doesn’t take any quick, shallow breaths when it comes to the issue at hand.

Razing Memories — The physical remnants of a nightmare past have finally been demolished. Building 42003 at Fort Hood, where Nidal Hasan killed thirteen people and wounded thirty more, was torn down yesterday. It was a tangible ghost, since, the “building, home to a soldier readiness processing center, or SRP in military parlance, was considered an active crime scene until Hasan’s court-martial last year.” In it’s place, officials plan to put “trees, a gazebo and a plaque memorializing the victims.”

Gracious Winner — For weeks voters have occasionally heard what Representative Steve Stockman thinks of the Republican incumbent for senate, John Cornyn. That is, when Stockman finally does make the occasional statement to the press. What you don’t hear much of is what Cornyn thinks of Stockman. On his visit to the Lone Star state, however, Slate‘s Dave Weigel got the senator to talk about his rabble-rousing opponent. “It does strike me as a unique strategy,” said the oh-so-diplomatic Cornyn, who could have used any number of adjectives to describe Stockman’s campaign so far.

Aggie Family Tree — An important lesson for anyone going near the A&M campus: do not mess with the Century Tree. Apparently, “the more than 130-year-old tree is showing some fresh wounds after someone carved the letter C, a heart, and L into a big branch just above the bench and sidewalk.” The tree was one of the first planted at the campus and tradition has it that lovers who walk under the branches will eventually marry. Needless to say, folks are very unhappy about the carvings (“I certainly hope that we find out who did this,” said one student) and the police are on the hunt (“We are looking for information that anyone may have of the person or persons responsible for this graffiti,” said an A&M police officer). So if you were the love-struck fool who thought it a good idea to make some permanent etches in ole C.T., you best look for a new nest.

Clickity Bits

These Are the Places Where You Should Be Eating

Pro Football No Longer a Boy’s Club

To The Slidell Church Thief, ‘You Are Forgiven’

Bit of Coin News About Austin ATMs

Reality Bites, Forever in Houston

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