Pour out some libations for Clinton “Doc” McPherson, founding father of the Texas wine industry, who went to that Big Vineyard in the Sky on Saturday. In 1965, McPherson began growing grapes on the high planes, all but pioneering an industry that would later grow to 348 wineries. He was 95 years young.
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We can’t quit you, Johnny Football. An A&M regent recently launched a website to have the Houston Texans draft Johnny Manziel. And if that wasn’t enough, the regent has also advertised the desires of many with a billboard so straightforward, it sounds as if Manziel could be held against his will:
— Mike McCoy (@McCoyKRHDSports) January 25, 2014
Although there have been numerous UFO sightings as of late, most everyone agrees that the bright light shooting across the North Texas sky on Saturday was indeed a meteor. A rather large and mesmerizing meteor, at that:
Not Resuscitated — The horrific ordeal of the brain-dead pregnant woman forced to stay on life support has finally ended. A judge ruled Friday that the hospital keeping a woman on life support, after misreading an oddball Texas law, must abide by the wishes of both the husband and family to end the woman’s life, despite the woman’s pregnancy. And yesterday, the woman was finally allowed to die, about eight weeks after the tragedy occurred. The woman had been fourteen weeks pregnant when she suffered a blood clot in her lungs and was put on a breathing machine. Although she was legally and medically dead, the baby remained alive—even if, according to the family’s lawyer, there were clear signs the child was growing deformed in the deteriorating body. The story garnered international attention, with most legal experts saying the hospital was in the wrong. The judge agreed, saying the law couldn’t apply to a deceased person. For its part, the hospital says it was just following what it thought was correct protocol and will not appeal the decision. As tragic (and rare) as this circumstance is, state senator Bob Deuell said the Legislature might clarify the original law when it reconvenes in 2015.
(2x + 5)(2x + 1) = No More — Math-hating high schoolers around the state, you may now breath a sine of relief! Texas, which started the hip, nationwide trend of requiring Algebra II, is now eliminating Algebra II. Not only are students happy, but it’s “a move praised by school districts for affording more flexibility,” according to the AP. The requirement is expected to be dropped when the State Board of Education approves the final circulum next week. Legislators and parents also overwhelmingly approved of the measure, but critics say the the restructured standards won’t do our kids any favors (we’re below average). Advances in test scores, it should be noted, were made following the tougher, Algebra II-included curriculum begun in 2006.
Cornyn on the Job — Some people might like it that representative Steve Stockman, who is running for Senator John Cornyn’s job, is making the sitting senator sweat under his establishment-grade brow, but it appears the wild, quixotic antics of the Tea Party darling are going to be just that. Cornyn is as strong as a windmill giant. From its Washington bureau, the Dallas Morning News has a nice (and flattering) long-ish piece about the inevitable reelection of Cornyn. While more diehard conservatives have derided Cornyn as a two-faced hustler of the political class, it’s a relief to see a politician actively push back against calcifying partisanism and that most voters concede (reluctantly) the necessary evil of actual politicking: “Yeah, I hold [his moderation] against him,” said one voter. “Doesn’t mean I won’t vote for him, but I hold it against him.”
It’s The Grammys, Y’all — Texas performed well at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Queen Bey was there to belt out a stunning number “in a caged, thong onesie” with her hubbie, Jay-Z. Texans brought home the gold, too. Guy Clark, the hardest working man in Nashville (Texas Monthly senior editor John Spong has the details), won Best Folk Album for My Favorite Picture of You. More butt-kicking was done by Texas-born-bred-discovered, Kacey Musgraves, who won Best Country album for Same Trailer Different Park. The nation as a whole, also won big—the singer of the terrible “Blurred Lines” song, Robin Thicke, won nothing.