The State of Texas: Oct. 9, 2013
Photo of the Day
Astronaut Karen Nyberg took this mesmerizing photo from her vista window of the International Space Station, which makes it clear that Austin and San Antonio are not yet one statistical metropolitian area. Sorry, Elizabeth Ames Jones:
San Antonio & Austin, Texas. October 8. pic.twitter.com/Fxcjs5VEre
— Karen L. Nyberg (@AstroKarenN) October 8, 2013
A Green State? — The rest of Texas may finally be catching up to the worldview espoused by Cosmic Cowboy Willie Nelson and most of Austin. A new survey from Public Policy Polling found that 58 percent of Lone Star voters support “making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol.” If that doesn’t give you a buzz, the poll also found that a whopping 61 percent support decriminalization. None of this is to suggest that Texas has become a southwestern Amsterdam where people walk down the street smoking grass from armadillo bongs (though it may explain our increasing love of kolaches). Texas arrested more people for marijuana-related offenses last year than any other state, and 97 percent of those arrests were for simple pot possession. To add to the bummer, the squares over at the Dallas Observer have a very sober take on the new survey, noting that it was commissioned and released by the Marijuana Policy Project. So while the numbers seem hip, it’s like a prohibition group saying it has evidence that reefer madness leads to rape, murder, and general deliquency. The Observer really harshes the buzz. Not only do they mock the survey’s wording, which is a bit confusing even if you’re not stoned, but the new poll would be a “complete reversal” from a more reputable study from two years ago.
Short Shrift Bus — As if waiting at bus stops wasn’t excruciating enough, the state’s only major service provider, Megabus, has “shut down intercity bus service to more than a dozen rural communities in Texas” with a refocus on the big-city hubs, according to a piece in the Texas Tribune. Last year, Megabus announced with fanfare that it would actually be increasing the number of rural routes, “all for as low as $1.” For country residents, this was a blessing on par with sitting beside a spare seat. But as buses so often do, the plan broke down and “in certain instances, they have literally abandoned routes that they were running.” While some can still enjoy the mobile steel coffin that is Greyhound, it looks like rural passangers need to start excercising their thumb muscles.
Annual Shopping Fanfic Released — Ohmygawd, ohmygawd, ohmygawd. It’s here, Christmas in October is here! Neiman Marcus has just released its annual Christmas book and like Santa’s bag, it’s filled with an unimaginable array of “Fantasy Gifts” that could’ve only been made by candy-munching elves. This year, the department store offers a very limited edition (like 10) Aston Martins; a weekend stay at famed architect Philip Johnson’s glass house; and a $1.5 million outdoor entertaining system with a 201-inch viewing screen that’d make Jerry Jones proud. The real prize, however, is the Bespoke Global Falconry Companion. An all-in-one falconry kit complete with a falcon case with “Oiled walnut trim and edging, black full grained leather with a natural milled texture,” falcon hoods made from “calf and blue ostrich,” and, naturally, a backgammon board made from “American black walnut.” As D Magazine duly notes, “basically you get to play medieval times with birds wearing little hats. But also, you get to keep some high-end furniture, crystal decanters, cigars, and a backgammon set. So. There’s that. For $150,000.”
Colosseum to Mausoleum — The Russkies can host the Olympics but Dallas won’t be hosting a Super Bowl this decade? Yesterday, it was announced that the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium won’t be in the running for the 2018 Super Bowl. And although that was “expected” — Houston is already set to host in 2017 — the Cowboys didn’t even try to feign interest, as they actually “withdrew from consideration.” It’s like they built one of the world’s largest big-screen TVs for nothing! Somehow, some way, this is Tony Romo’s fault.