That’s the buzz about a semi-mysterious press release from an outfit calling itself Planetary Resources, which will reveal its intentions at a semi-mysterious announcement on Tuesday in Seattle. Because the press release says the company’s efforts will involve “space exploration” and “natural resources,” the guess is that this is a serious effort at making asteroid mining a reality.
Among those involved in the effort are Ross Perot Jr. (he of Hillwood and trading lawsuits with Mark Cuban), the Google founders, and filmmaker James Cameron.
I say it’s about time. When that asteroid threatened Earth in 1998, Bruce Willis and his team only had terrestrial drilling experience when we shot them into space to try to stop it. There’s no wonder it turned out the way it did, with a noble sacrifice required to get the job done. That awful Aerosmith tune plagued our airwaves for years.
If Planetary Resources gets up and running, we’ll be better prepared next time.
I’ve been waiting to comment on this post by Jim Schutze about the problem at Museum Tower. Before I said anything, I wanted our story to publish so that you, dear reader, would understand what’s happening to the Nasher — and so that you could fully appreciate Schutze’s spectacular failure to grasp an important issue. After the Morning News broke the story about the light and heat reflecting off Museum Tower and onto the Nasher, he called the matter “a rich kids art fight.” As in:
On this day when the national economy is still on life support, Texas schools are sinking into Dickensian poverty and the city can’t afford sewers, our city’s one and only, sole and lonely daily newspaper, The Dallas Morning News, gifts us with a big front-page story about a battle between a sculpture garden and a shiny new office-tower over … glare. …
In The New York Times today there’s a story about how teachers in Texas are working 12 extra hours a week unpaid and having to do janitorial duties because of the education funding cuts forced through the last session of the Legislature by Governor Rick Parry and the Texas Tealiban.
Lots of people who aren’t even in education are putting up with the same kind of crap in life. The rich get richer and the rest of us get hosed. So what else is new? At least we’ve got an art fight going.
Why do rich people care so much about art? These are mostly money wonks who have devoted their lives to things like debentures. They’ve got about as much art in them as they have gills.
It’s something about buying class. People in America can’t just get rich and let it go at that. As soon as they get their hands on some loot, they have to start trying to convince the rest of us that they’re British aristocrats. Who has time to wonder why? It’s how it is.
If I understand him, Schutze is saying, first, that the Morning News shouldn’t cover this story because there are more serious issues, such as education funding, that need to be addressed. To which I would say: then the Morning News shouldn’t cover education funding as long as Omar al Bashir is running an ethnic cleansing campaign in Sudan.
For a while, Frisco-based Genband has been a bright star on the local technology scene. But now, the star may be fading a bit. The telecom-equipment supplier reportedly has laid off a good chunk of its work force, which could translate into hundreds of job cuts. D CEO‘s tech columnist, Phil Harvey, has the details over at his day job, called Light Reading.
Me, I wish they’d taken this case to Judge John Hodgman.
The mayor wanted this lawn mowed, and he was willing to pay for it.
In his latest column, Nicholas Kristof of the NYTimes continues his expose of Backpage.com as the primary site used by pimps to sell underage girls, again naming the investors who financed its acquisition by Village Voice Media and served on VVM”s board: Goldman Sachs (which dumped its investment for a reported $1 after Kristof’s phone call), Trimaran Capital, and Alta Communications.
Village Voice Media owns the Dallas Observer. Nobody at the Observer, to my knowledge, has anything to do with Backpage.com. But its profits flow upward to the people who do. I thought it would be interesting to see who is providing those profits, so I picked up a copy of this week’s issue. I chose only the most reputable advertisers and left out the random bars, strip clubs, etc. Either these advertisers are unaware that the Observer is owned by Village Voice Media, or they are blissfully unaware that their dollars are going to the nation’s leadingÂ purveyorÂ of the enslavement of girls as young as 12 years old, as featured in Kristoff’s column. Here’s the list:
I’ll be the first to admit that, at times, I have been pretty critical of the Transportation Security Administration. The phrase “security theater” has come up. That said, this story about Don Williams, the TSA officer at DFW who noticed a passenger drop an envelope containing $9,500 in cash and then didn’t keep it, is pretty cool. (Thanks to stories like this and this, you still won’t catch me carrying much in the way of valuables through an airport.) Words to live by from Williams though: “always do the right thing, and that way you can live with yourself.”
First, read Tim’s excellent report on how Museum Tower threatens the Nasher (and other parts of the Arts District). Second, make plans to attend the Nasher’s Soundings concert tonight. Third, never bring a pound of gummy bears to a beer tasting. Now you know.
The program this evening is called “A Dialogue of Caprice and Masterpiece,” which already sounds just gorgeous, and features pianist Alexander Madzar and violinist Anthony Marwood (who has been described by British press as “the magic violinist,” and has also performed in the nude for a theatrical production of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale). Obviously this is someone you want to hang out with. They’ll start with solo performances of contemporary work by Luciano Berio, JÃ¶rg Widmann, and Claude Debussy, then tackle Schubert and BartÃ³k for a bit of a more intense finish. Willard Spiegelman wrote an article in the February issue of D that talked about the importance of this musical programming. Usually Soundings sells out, but you can still get tickets to tonight’s concert online.
We’ve got a new addition to our annual Readers’ Choice poll. This year, we’re going to ask you to vote for your favorite notable locals from the realms of sports, the arts, and the media. As with our previous rounds, you’ll be able to participate once a day on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
The poll starts Monday and will run through May 6. We’ve nominated a list of finalists in each category, but write-ins will be welcome. The winners will be noted in the August 2012 issue of D Magazine.
To get started in planning your votes, take the jump to see the list of questions to be answered on the ballot.
Darius Ewing, Darius Ewing, Darius Ewing. Keep that one in your noggins, folks, because the police would like a word with him about allegedly setting fire to a puppy dubbed Justice, who later died. There is now a warrant out for the 18-year-old’s arrest.
Grandma Gouges Attacker in the Face. Lorraine Moody’s rent money was in her purse when a man attacked her and tried to take it. When he pulled a knife on her, she gouged him in the face with her car keys. He still got away with her money, but here’s the good: her kids helped her pay it, and then showed her how to pay online from now on. The bad? The convenience store manager who refused to let the bloodied 75-year-old grandmother use the phone to call 911.
Large Marge Gets Her First Car Chase. When police tried to serve Tenorris Duncan with an arrest warrant for aggravated assault Thursday, he hopped in an SUV and took off, leading them on an hour-long car chase that winded its way down CF Hawn Freeway, into downtown Dallas, across the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge, onto I-30 into Mesquite and then back to downtown Dallas before his surrender on Griffin and Pacific.
Dallas-reared Secret Service Agent Allegedly Involved in Colombian Prostitute Scandal. W.T. White grad David Chaney’s career in the Secret Service ended with his retirement after his reported involvement in the Colombian prostitution scandal last week.
Remember When Bethany Used To Post A Song for Friday? Well, I was feeling nostalgic. So here you go. You’re welcome.