The folks at the State Fair released a video this morning showing the CGI creation of Big Tex’s new hands, set to be unveiled in September. The most disturbing part of the video is — unless I’m mistaken — the lack of sound. Just a floating, morphing CGI appendage against a black backdrop. It’s a cutting-room floor Kubrick clip.
The fair also announced that it has raised $45,000 to rebuild Big Tex, which really doesn’t seem like that much. Anyway: hands.
Arriving in Pyongyang, the American athlete and showman known as “The Worm” became an unlikely ambassador for sports diplomacy at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Or maybe not so unlikely: Young leader Kim Jong Un is said to have been a fan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, when Rodman won three championships with the club.
Rodman is joining three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team for a Vice Media production to air on HBO in early April, Vice founder Shane Smith told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview before the group’s departure from Beijing.
Smith said the Americans hope to engage in a little “basketball diplomacy” by running a basketball camp for children and playing pickup games with locals, and by competing alongside top athletes of North Korea – formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“Is sending the Harlem Globetrotters and Dennis Rodman to the DPRK strange? In a word, yes,” said Smith, who is host of the upcoming series. “But finding common ground on the basketball court is a beautiful thing.”
This is fantastic. I literally can’t think of anything better. Maybe a MS Painted Kim Jong Un wearing Bulls gear? Yes, that will do.
Last year we published “The Grifter’s Guide To Dating Dallas Widows” (PDF), a dossier on 14 unattached, desirable women, including Lisa Baron Blue, Ebby Halliday, and Toni Brinker. It looks like T. Boone Pickens took our advice on the latter lady. We wrote:
The fourth and last Mrs. Brinker is one of the younger marks on this list. Should your play for her hand prove successful, you’d live in nice digs. Her house sits across Strait Lane from the famed Philip Johnson-designed Beck house. She donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign, so no Mormon jokes.
A source tells us that the 84-year-old Pickens has been seeing Brinker, who is about 25 years his junior. To him we say: nice work.
Let’s go straight to the source, KellyClarkson.com:
So I just heard Clive Davis is releasing a memoir and spreading false information about me and my music. I refuse to be bullied and I just have to clear up his memory lapses and misinformation for myself and for my fans. It feels like a violation. Growing up is awesome because you learn you don’t have to cower to anyone – even Clive Davis.
First, he says I burst into “hysterical sobbing” in his office when he demanded Since You Been Gone be on my album. Not true at all. His stories and songs are mixed up. I did want more guitars added to the original demo and Clive did not. Max, Luke and I still fought for the bigger sound and we prevailed and I couldn’t be more proud of the life of that song. I resent him dampening that song in any way.
But, yes, I did cry in his office once. I cried after I played him a song I had written about my life called “Because Of You.” I cried because he hated it and told me verbatim that I was a “sh*tty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me.” He continued on about how the song didn’t rhyme and how I should just shut up and sing. This was devastating coming from a man who I, as a young girl, considered a musical hero and was so honored to work with.
But I continued to fight for the song and the label relented. And it became a worldwide hit. He didn’t include that in the book.
Team Kelly, all day. Listening to Since U Been Gone on loop for the remainder of the day, in solidarity.
Is the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System Overinvested in Real Estate? There are so many questions raised by this lengthy report on how the pension fund that owns Museum Tower ended up managing the luxury proprieties it propped-up with large cash infusions after the real estate bubble burst. For example: What are the properties really worth now? Should the pension fund be managing Hawaiian estates and Napa Valley resorts? Is fund administrator Richard Tettamant having too much fun hobnobbing on the taxpayer’s dime? If speculative land plays don’t pan out, is it really accurate to report them as investments in “natural resources?” Is Tettamant cutting sweetheart deals for developer buddies? Are his efforts to beat market returns putting the future of the our city’s finest – not to mention the pocketbooks of Dallas taxpayers – at considerable risk? Lots of questions. But here’s the one I want to ask: did the fund really need to pay to move a piano from Hawaii to the lobby of Museum Tower? I mean, they sell pianos in Dallas, right? Really nice ones, I bet.
As American Swallows U.S. Airways, Airline Field Thins: There was a time when airports were packed with brands like Pan Am, TWA, Eastern, Braniff — all of which have gone the way of the Concorde. Now the “extraordinarily complex” merger between American and U.S. Air leaves just four major carriers: American, United, Delta and Southwest.
Tim Tebow to Speak at First Baptist: The announcement that the incredibly meh quarterback will speak at Robert Jeffress’ First Baptist Church raises all the expected questions about whether or not Tebow endorses statements Jeffress has made in the past about homosexuality, Mormonism, Islam, and on and on. And I suppose those are pertinent questions to ask, even if I wish the only question surrounding anything regarding Tim Tebow was “who cares?”
If you ever had a guilty pleasure for the teen dramas of ABC Family, then Scott Michael Foster, of the network’s former hit show Greek, is no stranger to your television. The 27-year-old Dallas native was a fan favorite of the college fraternity/sorority based drama until its end in 2011. For those who missed him, today’s a great day. Foster returns to ABC (the grown up one) in Zero Hour, a new thriller that takes on a National Treasure meets The Da Vinci Code feel. The series premieres tonight at 7.
Q: So, I see that you’re a Dallas boy.
A: Yea, I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that I was born there. I wasn’t born there, but my family’s still there. I lived there for like nine years before I moved to L.A. I go back every, I’d say, four months. So, Dallas is home, but not where I was born.
Q: What are some of your must haves or go-to places when you visit Dallas?
A: Well, I go out with my family to Possum Kingdom Lake. I go up to this ribeye spot in Decatur called Sweetie Pies, and they make like the best ribeye steaks. I go down to Velvet Taco off 75 with my mom sometimes. Get a glass of bottled coke and some tacos. It’s probably all going to be food related because I really like food. There’s a place in Lewisville, and I don’t even know the name of it, but it’s this little barbecue spot like right off the highway. There’s no sign, you just drive up, and everything is fresh. It’s wonderful. I’ll just keep that one as my secret.
If you’re like me, you spent a half-hour this morning clicking, re-clicking, and entering a mishmash of letters in search of tickets for Beyonce’s July 6 show at the American Airlines Center. The starting gun fired at 10 a.m., and within 10 minutes the “cheap” seats — $64 — were gone. Ticketmaster showed that other levels were gone as well, but then some tickets reappeared. I have a call in to LiveNation to see just how quickly the tickets sold out.
I wasn’t about to drop $150 each on Mrs. Carter, though. Sorry, B. Now, some engineering souls have taken those tickets to StubHub. Starting tickets are $120 (not too bad), and the cap is $9,999. So, if you have a sizable chunk of a down payment for a house sitting around, and would love to have a floor seat for Beyonce, StubHub’s the place.
Perry Goes to California to Poach Businesses: Rick Perry is on tour of California, where he hopes to swoop-in and woo businesses to Texas. It’s a trip that puts the epic state showdown in context:
In that corner, Athens. In this one, Sparta. Each serves as the other’s foil, the Ali to its Frazier, the Moriarty to its Holmes, the red to its blue. Each sees itself as the economic, cultural and political engine of the future.
Services to be Held Today for Chris Kyle at Cowboys Stadium: After today’s memorial at Cowboys Stadium, there will be a 200-mile funeral procession Tuesday as the former Navy Seal’s remains travel from Midlothian to Austin.
Kelly Clarkson Meets Miguel: Burleson’s Kelly Clarkson took home a Grammy last night for best pop vocal album, but during her acceptance speech, the singer was a little distracted by an earlier performance by the singer Miguel:
“Miguel, I don’t know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together. I mean, good God. That was the sexiest dancing I’ve ever seen.”
Here’s what she was talking about.
Not to change the tenor of this Chris Kyle story, but different news came out yesterday, on Fresh Air. Via Entertainment Weekly:
After the tragic shooting death of ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle this past week, Bradley Cooper is moving forward withÂ American Sniper,Â a movie based on the autobiography of Kyle. Cooper bought the rights toÂ American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military HistoryÂ last spring, he told NPR’sÂ Fresh AirÂ yesterday.
In the wide-ranging interview (which you can listen toÂ in full), Cooper discussed how he wanted to fast-track the project, which has obviously generated more public interest with recent events. “I couldn’t believe it. Jason Hall, who’s writing the script, called me an hour after it happened…,” Cooper explained about how he heard about the death. “The first draft was coming in this week, and Thursday I was at Walter Reed hospital meeting with veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder, among many other ailments; and then all of a sudden I hear this thing and I just can’t believe it. This man has two children, and he is an advocate for putting guns back in veterans’ hands, as a way of therapy.”
When asked whether the movie would still be made, Cooper said: “His story first of all really needs to be told, and it’s also relevant on two fronts: gun control and the need to address the many soldiers who are coming back with PTSD.”
So says NPR’s Frank Deford, on Morning Edition today:
But now, I have to tell you, they’re all gone. Sorry, sports fans: No more dynasties. Through the years, the Celtics have just sort of petered out. The Cowboys became to sports like the Kardashians are to entertainment: just being around is enough. And now the Lakers have simply, suddenly cratered, slogging along well below .500.
Listen to it here, via KUHF.
“Cast of the movie The Girls ofÂ Pleasure IslandÂ (Dorothy Bromiley,Â Audry Dalton, and Joan Elan) feed the ducks at the lagoon at Fair Park,” May 3, 1953.
Share your ownÂ Ghosts of Dallas.
You probably didn’t hear about Paul Ryan’s trip to Highland Park last night, since most of you (read: us) don’t have $1,000 to shell out for a fundraiser, especially just months after an election. Anyway, Ryan stopped by a private residence in the Park Cities, shook some hands, and presumably had some decent but not memorable food. Park Cities People reporter Karley Osborn was there, even though she wasn’t supposed to be:
It took all of 10 seconds, I’d say, for one of Ryan’s handlers to grasp my hand and politely guide me toward the outer circles of the gathering. “This is a closed event – no media allowed,” he said. Next up, a question: “Did you make a contribution?” he asked, smiling.
I assumed he was referencing the $1,000 suggested donation printed near the bottom of my emailed invitation, and tried not to laugh when I told him that, unfortunately, my journalist’s salary had kept me contribution-free. Potentially forever.
He nodded. “Since you have friends here, we can’t exactly ask you to leave,” he said. Never mind the fact that his eyes were saying, “I’m asking you to leave – now.”
Clayton Kershaw, a pitcher for MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, showed up for a 6 p.m. charity reception at Dallas’ Belo Mansion last night right at 6 p.m., long before the other VIPs arrived. And the Highland Park High School grad, who was there with his wife, Ellen, to have dinner and participate in a panel discussion, was as polite and affable with the paying guests as could be. Perhaps surprisingly, for a superstar who’s pulling down nearly 8 mil anually, at the tender age of 24.
But you got the idea his humility’s no act.
Kershaw calls himself “a Christian who plays baseball,” and last night’s event was a benefit for the Christian-oriented Voice of Hope, which serves inner-city families in West Dallas. Ellen’s father is on the nonprofit group’s board and Ellen and Clayton, who take their faith seriously, are involved in raising money for Arise Africa, a charity for needy African children. Last night, though, all anybody wanted to hear from Clayton about was baseball.
As you can see from the photo to the right, Randy Travis is looking a whole hell of a lot better than the last time a lot of us saw him. He pled guilty to his Grayson County DWI and, consequently, had a felony retaliation charge dropped. He was given a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail, placed on probation for 2 years, and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. He’s also got 30 days of rehab and 100 hours of community service coming his way, and when released his vehicle will now include an ignition interlock device.
The statement from Grayson County DA Joe Brown:
“We feel it is appropriate in these circumstances. His punishment is considerably more than is typically received on a DWI case. First time DWI defendants are rarely forced into in-patient treatment. He will be unable to leave the facility for 30 days. His fine and community service requirements are more than double what is usually received, and his probation term is the maximum available, and longer than the usual 18 months. All of that is appropriate in light of his behavior with the officers. I spoke at length with the officers involved, and they were in agreement with the outcome. We are all hopeful that Mr. Travis is on the road to recovery.”
(Photo via, hmm, let’s call this person “an informed friend.”)
Twenty years ago, Jerry Jones might have been the most popular owner in sports. His Cowboys had just won the first of three Super Bowls, and public opinion was sky-high. Now, not so much. In a report released today by Public Policy Polling, researchers found that only 13 percent of Texans have a positive opinion on Jones, while 50 percent have a negative one. Fifty-two percent of Cowboys fans think the team would be better off with another owner, compared to only 14 percent who think the franchise would be worse off.
Jones isn’t the most unpopular athletic figure in Texas though. That ‘honor’ would go to Lance Armstrong who in spite of his native son status in the state is seen positively by only 16% of voters compared to 59% with a negative opinion, numbers that aren’t a whole lot better than what we found for him on recent Minnesota and Maine polls.
(There’s also some unimportant mumbo-jumbo in the report about Hillary Clinton possibly winning the state in the 2016 presidential election, and some words about how much Texans don’t want Rick Perry to run for president again. You know, unimportant stuff. The full report’s here.)