The hospital ID bracelet remained on Brian Gray’s wrist Thursday morning as he sat against a bench in Downtown Dallas’ Main Street Garden. A seizure had landed him in an area hospital three days earlier, an idling effect from his brief NFL career with the Detroit Lions. Despite past successes, a lost telemarketing job and poor timing left 39-year-old Gray on Dallas’ streets six months ago after he’d moved from Los Angeles to help his then-pregnant sister. Gray, searching for normalcy, decided to start his day in the park Thursday when a young couple approached him, asking if they could do something nice for him.Read More
The first thing I read this morning was a story about Lee Berger, a scientific explorer who studies human evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. About 30 miles northwest of there, Berger found the bones of a new species: Homo naledi, a short (less than 5-feet tall) and thin, tiny-brained creature that is entirely new to science. In the cave, Berger and his team found bones from 15 individuals, with all age ranges — from newborn to the elderly. How they found these ancient relatives of humans is a good story, too:
Berger was excited, but he knew he personally could never reach this fossil site. To get into the cave chamber, you have to climb a steep, jagged rockfall called Dragon’s Back, then wiggle through a small opening that leads to a long, narrow crack.
The crack is only about 7 1/2 inches wide, and goes down more than 30 feet. Squeezing through it is the only way to reach the chamber of bones at the bottom.
Since he couldn’t go, Berger sent in his tall, skinny 16-year-old son. “When he came out after 45 minutes, he stuck his head out. And to tell you how bad I am, I didn’t say: ‘Are you OK?’ I said: ‘And?’ And he says, ‘Daddy, it’s wonderful.’ “
Read all about it here and here, and there’s tons more to come. And Berger will make his first public talk since the announcement at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science on September 29. Why Dallas? The Lyda Hill Foundation helps fund Berger’s research and the conservation of the Homo naledi site, as well as supporting the Perot. SCIENCE.
Leon Bridges is a good person. He was the surprise guest at last night’s best of Big D party at the Bomb Factory. After Tim Rogers got on stage to thank sponsors, crack Philip Kingston jokes, and say all the things you have to say when you’re the tux-toting editor of the city magazine hosting the party, he asked Bridges to join him. Spinderella’s birthday is this week, and before the DJ brought the evening to its finale, Bridges was to surprise her by singing happy birthday.
Bridges looked sharp, of course. He wore a crisp grey suit, a white collared shirt with a skinny black tie, and black patent leather shoes. He took the mic, led the crowd in a brief acapella rendition of “Happy Birthday,” waved to his fans, and exited stage right. He was a good sport to make an appearance for us, especially in light of his ever-busy schedule, which saw him performing in the UK last week and will bring him to the West Coast later on this week.
But that’s not why Bridges is a good person.Read More
They just finished up at St. Andrews. A check of the leaderboard shows that Dustin Johnson lead at 10 under. Not a fan. Our guy, Jordan Spieth, had a tough time with the wind and rain. He shot even par today and is tied for 15, at 5 under. Luckily Johnson has shown he’s a choker, and we all know that Spieth is made of Kevlar and military grade titanium.
In other news, our Nancy Nichols is in St. Andrews (as you know, if you’ve been following along). That’s her in the pic above, at the 700-year-old Swilcan Bridge, on the 18th fairway. She reports that she is right now trying to talk her way into the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to get a drink. If she’s successful, I wouldn’t be surprised.Read More
Want to be among the first to learn who won distinction in this year’s Best of Big D issue, which will hit newsstands later this month? Then come sample great food, drinks, and entertainment with us at a party at the Bomb Factory on July 29.
More details and information on buying tickets, right here.
Firstly, my humblest apologies for leaving you all — devoted readers — in the lurch last week whilst I skedaddled to obtain a measure of recreation and relaxation. One of the prime benefits of noncorporeal existence is that there’s no need to pay those blood-sucking fares that the airlines charge. Believe me, instantaneous quantum transport is the only way to fly!
But I return now to my Sisyphean duty: solving all of the world’s most pressing quandaries.
Question: With so many cocktail variations popping up every day — the rise of the mixologist is upon us! — it’s becoming more and more difficult to order a drink properly, without fumbling around with a barrage of follow-up questions and combinations to consider. Since you’re staggeringly old, can you tell me the proper way to order an Old Fashioned, so as to minimize the drama? — Travis S.Read More
You know how Whole Foods has those parking spaces designated for eco-friendly vehicles? They need a new category for this truck, which I espied yesterday at the Lakewood store. This dude — and I assume it’s a dude — is committed to his bit.Read More
If you recall, we wrote about Jack Evans and George Harris, a wonderful couple in their 80s who have been fighting for marriage equality in Dallas and beyond since the early ’60s, in our 40th anniversary issue. They founded what would become the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and started The Dallas Way, a project aimed at presenting the history of the GLBT community in Dallas. They were married in March of last year, but the marriage wasn’t recognized here. Evans and Harris have been together for some 55 years.
Minutes ago, to my utter delight, I saw their photo come across Twitter as they joined a growing line for marriage licenses at the Dallas Records Building, hours after the SCOTUS decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.
— Stella M. Chávez (@stellamchavez) June 26, 2015
Congratulations to Jack and George, congratulations to all.Read More
Let’s talk a moment about the elasticity of “neighborhood.” Sometimes the word is used to refer to an entire quadrant of a city, while some people wouldn’t dare call someone from three streets over a “neighbor.” It means pretty much whatever we want it to mean. That’s either useful or frustrating, depending on your outlook, or whether you’re off your meds.
I was talking about this with a fellow from North Texas Real Estate Information Systems — the company that keeps track of regional home sales data — a few months back. NTREIS relies heavily on the self-reporting of individual agents. He noted how inconsistent Dallas-area agents are in their use of the “subdivision” field when logging information about a property. One agent might dutifully type “Bent Tree North #3” while another reports a house on the same block is simply in “Bent Tree.”
This results in it being exceedingly difficult to track trends at a level as specific as a “neighborhood,” whatever that word means.
Anyway, read on to find out about our new neighborhood guides.Read More
I think we can all agree that Plano did this thing all wrong. When they demolished this water tower yesterday, a certain something was missing. We’ve identified that something as Michael Bay. If he’d produced this demolition, Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox would have had to outrun the toppling tower, which would have exploded in a 900-foot fireball the instant it struck the ground. And a B-2 Stealth Bomber would have done a flyover. As it is, you have to settle for our silly version:Read More
Wednesday, June 17, (the date of the next City Council meeting) is a special day. Why? Because it is the last meeting of the current council, and six of the 14 members are lame ducks, term-limited out. The Regular Agenda for the June 17 meeting, posted on June 5, was 1,071 pages long, and contained 101 items. But, as discussed previously, it is really the Addendum to the Agenda which contains most of the “fun” stuff.
Friday night I checked the Dallas City Hall website at 5:44 p.m., searching in vain for the Addendum (5 p.m. is the deadline for posting it). Oh, well, I had things to do and gave up. Finally, on Saturday afternoon (how many City Hall reporters work Saturdays?), I went searching again, and the 629-page document had finally posted, revealing 41 additional items. According to the time stamp, it had been received by the City Secretary at 4:26 p.m. Friday (June 12).
So,I started my treasure hunt. Most of the stuff was pretty typical, (e.g. $305,000 for veterinary services for police & fire dogs and horses), but then, WHOA… what the heck is this?Read More
Question: Do you spend any time in the underground Dallas space? Is there anything to do like shop or dine? — Dave S.
Your cryptic query proves a bit of a mind-tickler, as I’m not at all certain to which of our city’s subterranean spots you refer. I could, of course, extoll upon the virtues of any and all of these places. However, some are more secretive than others, and thus it is difficult to judge how much I am at liberty to reveal without inconveniencing many of my most loyal acolytes.Read More
You may recall that Michael J. Mooney’s story, “The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever,” inspired a short documentary about the night amateur bowler Bill Fong threw strike after strike. Filmmaker Joey Daoud read the story when it first came out and wrote to Mike immediately. Lest you think the praise for this Mooney classic had run its course, it was recently the subject of the Nieman Foundation’s Annotation Tuesday. You can read the story with his writerly notes here.
Anyway, I got to see the film, Strike: The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told, last year at the Dallas International Film Festival. It’s great, and I’m not biased or being paid by Mooney to write all this. But starting to today, you can screen it on nytimes.com as part of their Made With Kickstarter series.
Go forth and watch.Read More
Listen, I’m the first to fess up that I don’t really care much about the Super Bowl. I usually use those blissful four hours to hit the mall (and if I’m being totally honest by “mall” I mean that I make a mad run on all the leftover cheese samples at Central Market). What I won’t deny is my L-O-V-E for Animal Planet’s pre-game puppy bowl.Read More
I’m going to let this screen grab speak for itself because BOOM Mooney’s a best seller.Read More