Videos of the Day
Tired of all the contemporary tripe on your Nextflix and HBOGo accounts? Then the Texas Archive of the Moving Image’s February “new” releases has you covered. Simply put, “Enjoy the glamour and excitement of the Miss Wool of America Pageant,” circa 1952-72, in a collection of newsreels, a 1963 television special, and a full telecast of the 1968 paegant. It’s sheer joy.
Texas By The Numbers
Money Race — Amount raised by Greg Abbott in the first few weeks of January: $3.1 million. Amount raised by Wendy Davis: $913,000. Total amount Abbott has raised: $14.6 million. Davis: $13.1 million. Amount GOP has raised for other statewide races: $15.43 million. Democrats: $1.42 million. Amount Representative Steve Stockman has raised through his promotion of Bitcoin donations: 0.
Border Roundup — Number of people apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley sector last year: 154,000. Number of apprehensions in 2012: 97,762. Increase: Thirteen percent. Increase in apprehensions of people from places other than Mexico: 71 percent.
Catch and Release — A new report about exonerations is equal parts exciting and depressing. While Texas infamously leads the country in executing people, we’re also apparently number one in exonerating people wrongfully convicted of crimes. “Thirteen Texans were officially absolved of wrongdoing last year for crimes ranging from murder to drug possession,” according to the Texas Tribune. “Some had spent more than a decade in prison, and others a few months.” Coming in second was Illinois, with nine exonerations, and the total number of exonerated people in the U.S. last year was 87. As the author of the report points out, “There are many false convictions that we don’t know about … The exonerations we know about are only the tip of the iceberg.” If one considers the Blackstone formulation of ten guilty persons for every innocent person, then we’ve still got an ocean to cross.
Expensive Fencing — Attorney General Greg Abbott announced a $300 milion-plus border security proposal he calls the “Securing Texans Plan,” which would include “1,000 new boots on the ground and millions of dollars worth of high-tech equipment.” Although Abbott didn’t specify exactly where he’d get the $300 million for new gadgets, he assured reporters that it absolutley, positively, read-my-lips would not come from higher taxes or cutting existing programs. That’s the good, if incredibly vague, news. The bad news? Abbott’s calling the effort a “continuous surge,” and we’ve all seen how well surges work against a shapeshifting foreign enemy.
Safe Texas — If the local news with its stories about murders and assaults and sexual abuse and drug-related crimes is keeping you awake at night … fear not. It turns out Texas is quite safe. Or, rather, in a list of the “Top 100 most dangerous places to live,” the state does all right. Neighborhood Scout, “enterprise-grade data for every neighborhood and city in the U.S.,” crunched the numbers and only five Texas cities made the list. There’s the obvious big-city ringer, Houston, as well as Beaumont, Odessa, Texarkana, and Weslaco. But none of them even crack the top fifty. So as long as you’re cautious in those places (and, it would seem, most of Florida), Texas really is a little slice of neighborly heaven.
The Six Million Dollar Cow — A Disney-backed feel-good film might soon be based on the story of Hero the cow, who appears to be making a full recovery after receiving two prosthetic legs, which he lost to frostbite last April. Medically speaking, the effort to rehabilitate the bovine is pretty impressive. “We got totally healthy skin to cover the whole bottom of the stump,” said one of the A&M vetrinarians in charge of Hero’s recovery. “We also were able to bring the tendons around so that we had a nice cushion so that it wasn’t bone on skin touching the prosthetic.” It’s the story, though, that’s got the local newscasts breathlessly myth-building. “Watching little Hero walk will on two prosthetic legs will break your heart, but this isn’t a story of what Hero lost, but instead a story of what he’s gained.”