The State of Texas: March 12, 2014
Video of the Day
There are only so many ways you can respond when someone harshes your buzz. After Longview police shut down a local headshop for selling synthetic weed, somebody posted a sign on the business’s door explaining exactly why: “Closed because of stupid Longview cops.”
Texas By The Numbers
A Rich Tune — Amount someone paid for a silver oval tea tray at Fort Worth pianist Van Cliburn’s estate auction: $56,250. Amount paid for his 1740 George II silver cup and cover: $47,500. Total amount bidders paid last time Cliburn’s items were up for auction: $4.3 million
Universal Education — Rank of UT among world’s top universities: 27. Rank of Rice University: 65. Rank of A&M: 159. World’s best-ranked university: California Institute of Technology. Worst-ranked: University of Wyoming.
‘Dubious Honor’ — Number of reported child abuse victims in Texas: 258,996. Number of children in Texas: 7.2 million. Number of children abused each day in Lubbock County, which has one of the highest number of reported cases: four.
Osteen’s 11 — Someone clearly skipped learning the Eighth Commandment before making a visit to Houston pastor Joel Osteen’s megachurch. “Authorities are investigating after $600,000 in checks and cash was stolen from a safe at … the Houston megachurch,” according to the Dallas Morning News. At some point in the middle of the night, the thieves did their unholy work, and while the amount is more than most congregations see all year, the megachurch receives so much of the Lord’s green glory, it had to be made clear what wasn’t stolen. “Church officials noted there was no electronic data breach and that individuals who put their offerings in a drop box, gave online or made a bookstore purchase were not affected.”
Skating on Thin Ice — When hockey games experience bodily destruction through intentional violence, everything’s okay. But when it comes silently and unexpectedly, it shakes everyone around the rink. On Monday, Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley “collapsed on the bench early in a game against Columbus and was rushed through a tunnel,” according to CBS News, which has a pretty detailed (and harrowing) account. The event was so startling, “after the game stopped and the chaotic scene played out, the Stars stood in stunned silence, clearly in distress, unsure what had happened to a player they knew had a history of heart problems.” Peverely is “going to be O.K.,” though how it’ll affect the rest of his career isn’t certain.
Prognosis Negative — First the good news: “An additional 90,000 people in Texas chose health insurance plans last month as part of the Affordable Care Act,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. Unfortunately, the figures didn’t meet the Obama adminstration’s expectactions. Despite President Obama appearing recently on the young-and-hip web show Between Two Ferns with Zack Galifianakis, only about 27 percent of young Texans have signed up. Worse, the deadline for getting health insurance, March 31, is fast approaching. Perhaps there will be yet another deadline extension.
Investments Bit Off — Texas is ahead of the game when it comes to the digital currency Bitcoin. Perhaps too ahead of the game. “Texas regulators ordered an energy company to stop accepting Bitcoin for investments in oil and natural-gas wells, the first action of its kind by a state securities commissioner,” according to Bloomberg News. While Bitcoin is an unrecognized currency unregulated by any central authority, the reasoning behind the command is odd when you really look at it. “The order reflects concern that investors using Bitcoin might not get their money back.” As if that’s not what happens when one gambles in the stock market in general.