We sent intern Jessica Melton to the Museum of Nature & Science to check out its newest exhibit, Planet Shark: Predator or Prey.
Sharks, also known as the apex predator, also known as Jaws, also known as dunun-dunundunun, are the main focus of the Planet Shark: Predator or Prey exhibit that will be on display starting November 3 at the Museum of Nature & Science.
Today they gave a media preview of the exhibit about shark evolution, present day species, and the little-known problem of extinction. This is the second stop nationwide of a show that features a frozen 688-pound Giant Pacific Blue Fin Tuna–the kind we eat–and a 500-pound Mako shark.
One of the curators of the show, Craig Thorburn, has spent the past two decades swimming around with sharks. He wants people to know that much like roaches, most sharks are more afraid of us than we are of them.
“The ocean is the wild. We can’t see it and so we have a fear of the unknown. When you see a shark, it takes your breath away,” Thornburn says. “Breathe in and you (see) they’re amazing.”
Lisa Chambers, you’ll recall, used to be the director of Dallas County’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management office — until she was fired. Chambers says she was canned after she refused a request from county administrator Darryl Martin to run counter surveillance on the FBI. Today, though, County Judge Clay Jenkins said he fired her because, among other reasons, she drinks too much. Or at least she drank too much on one occasion. According to the Morning News account of the Commissioners Court meeting:
[Jenkins] said he was concerned about the amount of alcohol Chambers drank at a July 4 event in which she almost passed out. … He said she “fell onto” his father-in-law and had trouble maintaining her balance. “I personally watched her consume large amounts of alcohol,” Jenkins said, noting that those who wish to cause chaos often target holidays. “She and I have to remain vigilant and capable at all times.”
I asked Chambers about this July 4 event. She says she hosted a going-away party for a friend at the Sports Club at Four Seasons. She invited other county employees, including Jenkins and county spokeswoman Maria Arita, who Chambers says brought a case of wine to the party and was also drunk. “I had too much to drink. Definitely,” Chambers says. But she had a room at the hotel and wasn’t driving around.
So what are we talking about here? Does Chambers have a drinking problem, something that would compromise her ability to do her job? Or did she just overserve herself one night and fall on Jenkins’ father-in-law, thereby giving Jenkins and the other John Wiley Price loyalists some great ammunition? As in: “Heck, no, I didn’t fire her because she said it was inappropriate to run counter surveillance on the FBI. I fired her because she’s a drunk!” All I can tell you is this: I have twice (that I can recall) had drinks with Chambers in a social setting. It was after work. I wasn’t counting, but I’d guess she had two beers on each occasion. I didn’t see someone who had trouble regulating how much she drank. (And, yes, I know what’s about to happen in the comments.)
One more thing. Chambers says that her boss is a drinker, too. And, yes, Jenkins sometimes overserves himself.
“When the relationship was good, he would call me all the time,” Chambers says. “He would call me late at night, and the conversation would go like this –” at which point she makes noises that sound like Chewbacca. “I have had conversations with him in the evening where he was just slurring his words. There were times when I talked to him and I didn’t feel like he was 100 percent there. There were some ideas given to me over the phone late at night, and they didn’t even make sense.”
FrontRow Live, presented by Chevy at the Dallas Contemporary, is THIS THURSDAY, November 3 from 8 p.m. to midnight. You are going to be there.
Why, you ask? Simple.
Where have you ever been in your entire life in which in one space on one night there was: three DJs blasting an eclectic mix of electronic music; a band of buskers, playing under the night sky surrounded by five food trucks; a video artist mixing visual projections to accompany the musical performances; a classical violinist; a pop-up coffee shop via Pearl Cup; live screen printing; a short film/video art screening room; three galleries full of visual art; a troupe of street dancers; and a series ofÂ spontaneous live theater performances? Where? The closest I can claim to have come is a warehouse party on the outskirts of Rome I attended a decade or so ago, but even that featured only two-thirds of the artistic offerings we’ve mashed-up for FrontRow Live.
Oh, and did I mention the event was FREE and your first four beers were FREE too?
Right, so go here now and get your tickets. And go here to find out about all of our performers. Oh, and one thing to note: though the event and your first four beers are free, do bring some cash for the food trucks. Which food trucks? Here’s the list:
Well, this should pretty much wrap up the Occupy Dallas protest, don’t you think? DPD reports that a 14-year-old girl, a runaway, was sexually assaulted in a tent at the encampment by a 23-year-old non-compliant registered sex offender. Not only does the heinous act overshadow any message that the Occupy Dallas people are trying to get out, but surely this sort of activity will cause the city to withdraw the group’s permit. Remember all those nice things that Fortune said about Occupy Dallas? Um, never mind.
Manny Fernandez, writing for the New York Times, takes a look at the three rapes and one attempted rape of local middle-age members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority over the last year. Many of the women in the story — ages ranging from 33 to 70 — are removing all public affiliations with the group, including jewelery, license-plate frames, tote bags, and mentions on Facebook. Police have repeatedly said that one man seems to be targeting the women and that during the attacks, “he indicated that he knew personal information about each woman,” but the police aren’t saying any more than that. Certainly one of the more bizarre stories of the year.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor at The Atlantic. That means he’s smarter than you (and I). Over here he has something to say about the state of the Dallas Cowboys. He begins thusly: “The Dallas Cowboys are not very good.” And then he gets to the part that matters:
These guys really are something beyond a sports team. I first really understood this, a few years back, when the new stadium wasÂ unveiled. The Cowboys suffered a humiliating loss, at home, on their inaugural night. But all anyone talked about was the scoreboard, the seating, the positioning of the cheerleaders. People were making money. The game wasÂ irrelevant.
Speaking of our poor air quality, the Downwinders folks think that gas drilling contributes significantly to North Texas’ smog. Which brings us to news that Lucy Billingsley’s Cypress Waters development at North Lake, which includes TIF funds from Dallas, will feature a drill site run by Chief Energy. You can read our 2007 story about the controversial development here. Over on the Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling site, they break down the current events with the drill site, suggesting that the city of Dallas quietly approved the thing without debate because it has a financial stake. Developing.
Conservative Tom Leppert released another conservative campaign ad for his conservative run for the U.S. Senate as a conservative. And with it, he’s debuted a new package of hand gestures. We’ve had our team in the lab all morning breaking down game tape. Here are their findings.
On Sunday, my mother gave me my grandfather’s World War II-era Ray-Ban aviators. It’s really just an extended loan, until I can get the lens on my own pair fixed. But back when the company made glasses for actual aviators, my grandpa was an Air Force pilot. He wore them to drop bombs overseas, and I remember him wearing them to drive us all around San Antonio. My grandfather kept everything in his life pristine; these glasses were no exception. Today, on the Day of the Dead All Saint’s Day, they look like new.
On a more lighthearted note, it’s November 1. Movember is officially here. I, for one, will not be participating. Ryan Jones, bless him, is no longer available to coerce into any sort of facial hair experiment (I promised I wouldn’t, anyway). Even so, you can start this season of stubble off right with a Dallas Moustache happy hour tonight at Three Sheets. The $5 Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails have the added benefit of kicking back $2 to the men’s health cause.
If the prospect of fledgling handlebars doesn’t ring your bell, Beirut, in town just last June, is back to play the Prophet Bar’s big room tonight. The opening act is Ramesh, formerly of the project Voxtrot, and you can still get tickets over at Good Records or online. Though I’m usually in the small room, I like this place on Tuesday nights. Maybe it’s the memories, since the Gypsy Tea Room housed my very first concert. Regardless, I always have a good time. And really, you can’t go too far wrong with Beirut’s Euro folk-inspired indie pop rock, unless you already hate it. And in which case, why torture yourself? Personally, I’ve been enjoying “East Harlem,” a single off the band’s August release The Rip Tide.
For more to do this evening, go here.
In the October edition of D Magazine, Willard Spiegelman wrote that times were tough at the Dallas Opera. Well, things just got a little brighter. The opera announced today that they have raised $20 million for their “Cultural Renaissance Endowment Fund.”Â The details are over on FrontRow.
North Texas has beaten Houston for the honor of having the worst air quality in the state. Three of the four people in the Rogers household have issues with asthma, so this makes me sad. The full release from Downwinders at Risk follows after the jump, but here’s a bit that jumped out at me:
What’s remarkable to many long-time observers is that, compared to DFW, Houston’s non-attainment area for smog has more than twice as many monitors spread over a much larger geographical area, and hosts a fourth of the nation’s petro-chemical industry, and yet “white collar” DFW was still able to record ozone levels worse than it.
Remarkable indeed. This is the sort of thing that will keep businesses from moving here. Making our air safe to breathe ought to be a primary focus of the North Central Texas Council of Governments and of every mayor in the region.
I’m a little giddy right now, not because last night I got lost for a few hours in old clips of Woody Allen appearing on the Tonight Show, but because I think I just managed to drum up an obscure piece of Dallas nostalgia that Robert Wilonsky hasn’t yet posted on Unfair Park. At about 2:14 of the video below, Bob Hope, appearing on the Tonight Show with Woody Allen in 1971 (guest hosting right as his latest movie, a little old thing called Bananas, was released), mentions a golf foursome he participated in over the weekend at the Byron Nelson in Dallas. Who’d he play with? Byron “Lord” Nelson, “Al” Meadows (“this great philanthropist,” as Hope puts it), and Billy Graham. “We were billed as ‘The Supremes,’” Hope jabs. Enjoy.
Former Apple Guy Takes Over at J.C. Penney. Ron Johnson used to work with Steve Jobs. Today he moves into the CEO’s office (sub. req.) at J.C. Penney. The nation’s business press will be watching closely, but FrontBurner has already learned that that this spring Johnson plans to introduce iPants.
Lance Armstrong Tweet Makes Headlines. After the Cowboys lost to the Eagles on Sunday, Armstrong tweeted: “‘If’ I had a few hundred million bucks I’d buy the Dallas Cowboys then get the hell outta the way.” USA Today took note. I don’t know what all Lance has done with the money he’s earned, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t have at least $200 million on hand. I’m sure he could put the rest on his Discover card. Let’s make this happen.
Mavericks Are Still Popular. Speaking of USA Today (yes, it’s a slow news day), the paper has a story today for Zac. The lead: “Just because the NBA has locked out players since July 1 while negotiating a collective bargaining agreement and canceled the first month of the 2011-12 season that would have opened today, strangers don’t stop greeting the champion Dallas Mavericks with hugs on the sidewalks and in cafes and supermarkets.” With a little luck, I bet we can get Zac to transcribe a fantasy call of the Mavs game that would have taken place today. Eh, buddy?