Tweets of the Day
While most of the country simply watched the Super Bowl that was happening on their screens, Comedian Aziz Ansari created a new one from his imagination. What’s best, though, is that he imagined a championship matchup between Friday Night Lights’s Panthers and Lions.
Very sad. Grandma Saracen gets confused at Madame Tussad’s. Claims Harrison Ford “rude” for not accepting invite to the game. #FNLBOWL2
— Aziz Ansari (@azizansari) February 3, 2014
The only way these miniature horses featured in this weekend’s Fort Worth Stock Show could be any cuter is if glitter shot out of their butts.
Pop Quizzical — Even the state legislature is getting assigned homework. On Friday, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus instructed his colleagues to investigate not only the years-long El Paso ISD cheating scandal but the possibility of similar schoolhouse shenanigans happening elsewhere. What’ll be on the test? Everything. The investigation, said Straus’s office, will be a “broad brush.” Representatives aren’t as upset as young students might have been. In fact, they seem to welcome the assignment. “I’m sure El Paso is not unique,” said El Paso Representative Naomi Gonzalez. Other homework, according to the El Paso Times, includes a “study” of the West explosion and the ability of communities to respond to such a disaster.
Running On Fumes — It looks like Texas’s independent streak may be hampering the state’s energy business. An interesting story in the Texas Tribune examines how the refusal to comply with EPA regulations has, ironically, been the thing holding back the natural gas boom. Since the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality refused to follow the recently enacted federal rules, permitting fell soley onto the EPA’s small permitting division. As a result, “More than 20 planned industrial facilities in Texas, including chemical plants and power-generating stations, have been waiting more than a year for the EPA to issue the greenhouse gas emissions permits needed to begin construction,” according to the article. The situation is particular awkward for business-minded Republicans forced to decide between ideology and money. Texas is currently arguing against the rules at the Supreme Court. Full state support of the regulations could make their case moot while an eventual win could be too little, too late.
Peak Oil? — In may indeed already be “too late” for the state’s oil boom. A modern-day Cassandra (a.k.a. an economist) warned in a recent Texas Petro Index presentation that “there are signs that a slowdown is approaching,” according to the Houston Chronicle. While 2013 was the slickest year yet for Texas oil production, “rig counts in Texas fell slightly in the last three months of 2013, as did the number of jobs in oil field services. Drilling permits for 2013 also declined slightly from the previous year.” Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. The economist said that entrepreneurs will still have plenty of oil milkshakes to drink up, it’s just that Texas won’t see the same rate of growth that’s prompted amazing cover stories.
Cash Protection — The “12th Man” may be vital to both Texas A&M and the Seattle Seahawks, but it’s the 13th Man, lawyers, that have been offering the best support. The Bryan-College Station Eagle has a fascinating look at how A&M’s legal department has been milking a simple phrase for every dollar it can. And there’s so much more to trademark apart from the multimillion dollar deal between the university and the pro football team. “We have a budget just for day-to-day generic outside council cease-and-desist matters,” said A&M’s VP of marketing and communications. “In a given time frame we might spend $100,000 a year for just a generic coverage.” And by coverage, he means enforcement. The university sent “460 cease-and-desist letters in 2012 and 2013 combined” and currently has an “open file on over 20 12th Man issues.”
Seahawking — Houston’s “Mattress Mack” is either a genius salesman or a complete fool. That distinction rests (get it?!) on whether you think his recent gamble was worth the price. Because nothing says “mattresses” like NFL championships, Mattress Mack “gave more than 100 customers free furniture for correctly guessing that the Broncos and Seahawks would face off in Super Bowl XLVIII,” according to Fox Sports. Roughly $685,000 lighter, Mack decided to repeate the promotion by offering a full refund to customers who spent more than $6,000 should the Seattle Seahawks win. And we all know how that game was put to bed. The final score for Mack is in the neighborhood of $7 million, according to KTRK. Although this is all surely great, free promotion for Mattress Mack, let’s hope he does something similar for March Madness, because Tempur-Pedics are supposed to be as amazing as they are expensive.