Even the President got involved in the national story of Irving teen Ahmed Mohamed, who was arrested at school for making a clock.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
All a-Buzz — In roughly 48 hours, Irving 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed has gone from being a terrorist threat to an internet sensation. To recap, the teenager arrested at and suspended from school after he brought in a homemade clock that school officials thought looked like a fake bomb. President Barack Obama, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and NASA scientists have reached out to Ahmed to offer their support. During a press conference yesterday, the young man said he plans on taking Obama up on the White House invite, and also said that he will be transferring schools. He’s become a cause célèbre for famous people who love science and/or dislike anti-intellectualism, and, yes, it’s been a little showy. But at least he’s getting national positive reinforcement, because his treatment by school and police officials was pretty ugly. The Daily Beast notes that Ahmed’s basic rights were violated as officials denied “his repeated requests to speak with his parents during his detention.” The charges against Ahmed have been dropped even though his three-day suspension for school remains in effect (he can return Friday). In addition, officials explained that Ahmed, again, a skinny 14-year-old boy, was originally handcuffed, “for his safety and for the safety of the officers,” according to Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd during a press conference Wednesday. Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne has not exactly been a friend to Muslims in the past, so it’s not entirely surprising that, according to the Associated Press, she backed school and law enforcement officials and said the correct procedures were followed. The Texas Observer points out that Ahmed’s story is a rosy one, comparatively, noting that that Irving school is pretty dern notorious for its punitive measures against students. In the end, Ahmed is going to be alright. He already has a verified Twitter account and likely drove anti-Muslim people up the wall Wednesday by beginning his press conference with a peace greeting in Arabic. .
The Perrin Era? — Longhorn fans started to get a better look at their interim athletic director Mike Perrin Wednesday, and the consensus seems to be that, um, he’s not as bad as former AD Steve Patterson! “Like Patterson, Perrin is a Texas law school graduate. But while Patterson was a cool personality groomed mostly in the world of the NBA front offices, Perrin’s introduction revealed an affable cheerleader with deep ties to Longhorns athletics,” writes USA Today. “His warm dreams of uniting the program belied a sharp and calculated approach that made him one Texas’ most accomplished personal injury lawyers, working out of Houston.” Introducing him at a press conference Wednesday, UT President Greg Fenves said Perrin “will have full authority and no ‘short leash’ to make changes,” according to ESPN. Perrin vowed to repair relationships between the program and fans — the football losses and Patterson’s apparently pushy nature when it came to begging for money were real turn-offs. Will UT have Perrin for the long haul? Nobody knows! But one thing is clear, anyone hoping for Mack Brown’s return will be sorely disappointed. The legendary coach said yesterday he’s not interested in the gig.
Whata PR Nightmare — People are using truly excessive means to express their dislike for law enforcement—withholding Whataburgers. The chain waged a PR disaster when a Lewisville location reportedly refused to serve two officers who “say that before they could order, an employee told them, ‘We don’t serve police officers.’ The employee said nothing else, so [officers Michael Magovern and Cameron Beckham] left and went to Dairy Queen,” according to Fox News. No one should be denied their right to Whataburger, and these two cops should never be singled out in the service industry because they’re in uniform. For a Texan stripped of his Lone Star right, Officer Michael Magovern was pretty cool about the incident. “It was just bold for somebody to say that. I’m not going to judge his heart, but it kind of put me off,” he said. Obviously, “Whataburger said in a statement that the company was ‘appalled’ to hear about the incident and that the employee involved has since been fired.”
We’re appalled by this incident & the employee is no longer working for us. We’re apologizing to the officers in person to make this right.
— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) September 16, 2015
All’s well that ends well, with the burger chain resolving the issue with the two men directly. “The officers [planned] to discuss this issue with Whataburger’s corporate executives [Wednesday], including a meeting with the area’s district manager. They believe that this is an isolated incident related to just this one restaurant.”
Baby Fat — Well, this is embarrassing. As if Texas isn’t already portrayed as one of the fattest states (it’s true, unfortunately) in an already obese country, even our little children are now suffering from unhealthy lifestyles. “A three-year-old girl has been diagnosed with diabetes caused by obesity, in what is thought to be the youngest ever case of the disease,” writes the Daily Mail. “The unidentified patient, who lives in Houston, Texas, weighed [77 pounds] and was in the heaviest 5 per cent of her age group.” The good news is that the little girl has been going through treatment and has “recovered after six months … offering hope that the rising numbers of children suffering from the condition can be reversed,” writes the Wall Street Journal. After a drug regimen, as well as healthy diet and exercise, “the girl quickly lost weight and her blood sugar levels normalized. Six months after the diagnosis, she had lost 25% of her weight, had normal blood glucose levels and had stopped metformin therapy.”