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The State of Texas: Nov. 15, 2013

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Video of the Day

It’s a story as old as time: kangaroo runs amok in Midland; cops pursue said kangaroo; kangaroo’s capture caught on grainy video:

The Good Fortune Award

We announce our first-ever nominees for the newest Texas Monthly honor (one that is infinitely more positive than the Bum Steer Award). First is Fort Worth resident T.W. Smith, who won the lottery. Again. Earlier this year Smith won the $1,000 Lotto Texas, and this week he claimed a $1 million prize. Then there’s Yvonne Coble, whose victory is priceless. Coble, who is also from Fort Worth, suffered a heart attack, survived it with triple-bypass surgery, and was diagnosed with breast cancer (which was caught before it spread) that is now being successfully treated. Did we mention this all happened in twelve months?

Daily Roundup

Bev-o Bucks — Get ready for a marathon. UT’s legendary track coach, Bev Kearney, who was essentially forced to resign in January after it was revealed that she had an “inappropriate relationship” with a student-athelete in 2002, has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the university for gender and race discrimination. She is suing for “damages that include payment for lost and future wages, loss of enjoyment of life, [and] mental anguish,” which sounds quite lawerly, but Kearney’s lawsuit makes another point: she contends that she was unfairly discriminated against, pointing to numerous other UT professionals who just had their wrists slapped over similar incidents. Of course, the elephant in the room probably isn’t race or gender but rather sexual preference. For further reading be sure to revisit the exhaustive and brilliant profile of Kearney by Texas Monthly‘s Mimi Swartz.

North, Texas — After the West, Texas, disaster, we’re on edge (understandably) when it comes to big explosions. On Thursday “a drilling crew punctured a gas pipeline in North Texas on Thursday and triggered an explosion that led emergency personnel to evacuate a nearby town,” according to the AP. The one-and-a-half mile evacuation zone included the entire town of Midford (population: 700). Thankfully, no injuries were reported but residents will most likely have to wait until today until they can return home.

F(ail)1 — The second F1 race at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas track takes place this weekend, and the local press, which exhausted a countless number of words and pictures last year hyping the inaugural F1 race, is now wondering why this year’s doesn’t seem as hyped. Helping to lower expectations, the Austin American-Statesman wonders, “Will F1 in Austin hit a sophomore slump?” And the Austinist speaks for everyone when it says that the “people” are questioning “whether Formula One is a piece of the Austin festival-cultural milieu that people look forward to.” Forget what the self-fulfiling doubters say. If you have tickets, you should go. If you can find a way to make a buck off of all the wealthy Europeans while they’re here, you should do it. If you’re not sure what to do, you should read Houston rapper Bun B’s Guide to F1 in Texas Monthly.

But What Are Your Qualifications? — In a story that proves that people are willing to pay for almost anything, KENS5 reports that a San Anontio woman, Sam Hess, is charging $60 to cuddle. And that’s not a euphemism. Straight-up, G-rated spooning. Apparently, “she heard of a similar business in New York “and “she’s had dozens of clients so far.” The cuddle-biz fad isn’t completely unheard of (here’s a story on a San Francisco entrepre-hugger), and it’s probably not any weirder than telling an unseen public your most intimate thoughts in 140 characters or less. For Americans though, it is still rather foreign, being a big hit first in Japan. Regardless, spend a few of those wasted Friday minutes reading this great Harper’s magazine first-hand account of Japan’s cuddle industry. Then go spend the weekend cuddling … with someone you know.

Clickity Bits

Country’s Most Important High Schooler Coming to Texas This Weekend

Update on an Update: The Mineola Swingers Club Story

An In-Depth Look at the UT Affirmative Action Case

Fist Fight Ends in Fatality

(200) Grande Valley University

Don’t Worry, City-Wide Event Commemorating an Assassination Won’t Be a ‘Tourist’ ‘Destination’

Did we miss something? Got a hot news tip? Send it our way: [email protected]. Or tweet Texas Monthly and Jeff Winkler.

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