I get it. This is the internet. Disasters and cute pets reign supreme. But this is also Dallas, and plenty of us have friends and family in Oklahoma. So you tell me, is this Culture Map headline appropriate:
“Terrifying Oklahoma tornado videos and sink-sleeping French bulldog top links we love.”
I can see this CM post two ways. One is drawing from Mike’s “hug someone” sentiment in Leading Off. As Stephen Stills-Hobbes once sang, “Life is nasty, brutish, and short / so love you’re the one you’re with.” Or, to update it to the 21st century, numb your pain with internet pictures of cute pets and banal, user-generated comedic memes. But the CM post isn’t presented as an invitation to diversion. After the links to the tornadoes, we get a link to “great moments in pizza.” Then, the cute bulldog, followed by a comedy clip spoofing catty compliments, and photos of people pretending to feed food to inanimate objects. In other words, we get what the headline promises: links Culture Map loves. And so, we assume, Culture Map loves tornadoes.
Listen, I too love videos of tornadoes. I’ve probably watched every category four or five tornado video on YouTube. I threaten my wife with my secret dream of becoming a storm chaser all the time. But today, today I don’t love tornadoes or tornado videos. Not when a third grade class is missing. Not with so many people dead. Not now.
Devastating Tornado in Oklahoma: Another horrific tragedy. There are dozens dead, a lot of them children who were taking cover in the hallway of an elementary school. Thousands more are left homeless, their possessions in shambles. And while the death and destruction will eventually be quantified and ranked historically, the grief and suffering is immeasurable. In Dallas, we all know people from that part of Oklahoma, people in that part of Oklahoma. They are strong, proud people. They will rebuild. There will be places for you to volunteer, places to donate money, places to give blood. There will be stories of victims, stories of survivors, and stories of heroes. There will be more terrifying images–and likely some superb journalism. Our thoughts are with the people affected by the destruction. For now, for the rest of us: find a moment to hold someone you love.
Dallas Firefighter Dies in Six-Alarm Blaze: Here are some remarkable photos by Sonya Hebert-Schwartz, from the giant condo fire in northeast Dallas that killed Stanley Wilson, a 28-year fire department veteran, and the large impromptu farewell salute afterward.
DISD Poised for Fast-Track Pilot Program: Yesterday the State Senate approved a bill that would allow some Dallas students to graduate high school in three years (paywall), with the savings earmarked for a pre-kindergarten program. The bill now heads back to the House.
D Magazine Wins Big Industry Award: Last night at the City Regional Magazine Association awards banquet in Atlanta, D Magazine won General Excellence in our circulation category for the second year in a row. Tim and Zac are there, almost certainly celebrating in true gentlemanly fashion, refraining from all forms of debauchery, inebriation, coarse language, and sarcasm. I assume from the lack of national headlines that Tim did not give a speech. (Really though, if I can be earnest for a second: This entire staff is stacked from top to bottom with incredible, smart, talented people who work ridiculously hard every month to put out a magazine that truly serves Dallas and makes the city a better, more interesting place to live.) I expect a detailed recap of their trip soon.
West Explosion Still Possibly the Result of a Criminal Act. Authorities believe the deadly incident at West Fertilizer Co. occurred when a fire inside the seed building caused 28 to 34 tons of stored ammonium nitrate to explode. What they haven’t determined is what started that fire, though they’ve narrowed the list of possibilities: “a problem with one of the plant’s electrical systems, a battery-powered golf cart, and a criminal act. They ruled out a wide number of others, from a rail car on site loaded with fertilizer to someone smoking.”
Help Pouring Into Cleburne and Granbury, Even From West. The National Weather Service now says that 16 tornadoes touched down in North Texas on Wednesday night. Volunteers and rescue workers have poured into the hardest-hit communities. Some of that help has come from West, even as that town continues to deal with its own disaster recovery: “The Church of Christ in West, which has been feeding volunteers and victims since the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion, bagged up 200 lunches — pulled pork sandwiches, chips and cake — and sent them to storm-struck Cleburne in Johnson County.”
Dallas to Get a Maritime Museum. No, our city isn’t any closer to the ocean today than it was the last time you checked (about 250 miles away). And yet an $80 million maritime museum, with the soon-to-be decommissioned nuclear submarine USS Dallas as its headlining attraction, is being planned for a 3.5 acre site near the Trinity River, along Riverfront Boulevard in the Rock Island area. I suppose the proposal is no stranger than the fact that the town of Fredericksburg is home to the National Museum of the Pacific War.
Cruz In Control: Say what you want about Ted Cruz, the guy’s a freshman Senator getting presidential buzz in March, three years before the next presidential election. This guy is not going away anytime soon:
Fracking Fuels Boom Towns: Gas production is driving the rebirth of tiny towns throughout rural Texas. But don’t worry, fracking has nothing to do with this:
Bigfoot Not Spotted in Fort Worth This Weekend: Bigfoot hunters descended on Fort Worth this past weekend for the Texas Bigfoot Conference. Unfortunately, Bigfoot was a no show.
This kind of story seems to pop up every few months around the country, with a broadcaster always closing with, “One of the birds was taken to a local vet to determine the cause of death.” Then WE NEVER FIND OUT. What sort of Paul Thomas Anderson-led bird-killing cabal is keeping this information from us?
A bill filed recently by San Angelo Rep. Drew Darby would limit challenges to the West Texas radioactive waste dump owned by Dallas billionaire (and evil genius) Harold Simmons. The bill, according to the Texas Observer, is “a grab-bag of measures that would put up roadblocks for groups or individuals challenging the company even as it allows Waste Control to bring in ‘hotter’ waste.”
“It guts the protections of that assure citizens get a fair hearing on any changes in the radioactive waste dump,” Tom Smith of Public Citizen told the paper.
Darby has received $20,000 in campaign contributions the past two years from the dump’s parent company, Waste Control Specialists. Darby’s chief-of-staff characterized the bill as aiding “operational flexibility.” Complicating the site’s regulatory process is the fact that while it sits in Andrews County, the closest and most affected town is actually in New Mexico. (Here’s a Google Map view of the Waste Control location, and Eunice, New Mexico. There’s also a review of Waste Control that calls the dump’s owners “Possibly some of the biggest criminals in the history of our state.”)
“The upshot of this is that it allows the dump to be quickly filled by highly profitable radioactive materials from out of state,” Public Citizen’s Smith told the Observer, “enriching Harold Simmons now. As a result when we need the dump 30 years form now for the South Texas Project nuclear reactor or the Comanche Peak reactor, there won’t be space.”
From ESPN’s Marc Stein:
Iverson has likewise resisted the Legends’ overtures so far this season — as well as a similar offer last season — but sources say that the Legends are trying again now because they’ve moved back to the top of the list in the D-League’s waiver line, meaning they’d have an unobstructed path to signing Iverson if he could be convinced to put his name in the D-League’s player pool.
The Legends’ pitch to Iverson centers around the fact they’ve just convinced NBA veterans Delonte West andÂ Rashad McCantsÂ to join their team with similar intentions, after the Legends signed another 37-year-old earlier this month — point guardÂ Mike JamesÂ – and wound up putting James in position to earn a 10-day callup to the Mavericks that turned into a guaranteed contract after James completed his second 10-day deal Sunday.
Just imagine Delonte and Iverson playing on the same team. Quick list of things that would be better than that: ______. Nothing. Nothing would be better than that. This random Twitter user channels similar excitement:
OH MY GOD IF ALLEN IVERSON COMES BACK IM GOING TO KILL SOMETHING OUT OF SHEER EXCITEMENT
— perrin moore (@perrinmoore96) January 28, 2013
Tim and I both remarked about the fog when we walked into the office this morning. The above photo was taken halfway across the Commerce Street Bridge, a half-mile from downtown, at 8:20 a.m. Ghost City, USA.
Up until 5 p.m. Tuesday, University Park was a festering trough of human excrement, the final holdout in a century-long battle against indoor plumbing. It’s the reason the parks are in such great shape.Â With one vote, though, that all changed.
Public urination and defecation are now illegal in University Park, which is strange to write because how was that not a thing already? The city’s never had it on the books, Park Cities PeopleÂ reporter Sarah BennettÂ writes, instead handing out citations for indecent exposure or disorderly conduct. Neither of those really fit though, since indecent exposure requires “intent to arouse” and disorderly conduct required that a cop actually see an exposed body part.
“Officers are confused with the proper offense to charge them,” UP Police Chief Gary Adams said. “In order to charge, all elements of the crime have to be present.”
Urinators andÂ defecatorsÂ can now be charged up to $500 for their indiscretions.
(To read Bennett’s piece, pick up this week’s Park Cities People)
Third option: sheared off by Museum Tower’s glare.
When I was five, my mother – inexplicably, without my consent – signed me up for gymnastics camp. I guess she thought I’d enjoy the jumping and flipping, plus it gave her a break from at least one head of her three-headed monster of a brood.
I did not enjoy the jumping and the flipping; I cried every day. There was only one other boy in the camp, and Jordan also seemed to dislike the jumping and flipping. Our only joy came from snack time, when we could finally get a goddamn rest from the jumping and flipping and just enjoy some cherry Kool-Aid
Earlier this month, I was invited to attend a media event for Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a show that featured the jumping and flipping that I so loathed as a child. They said I could try out some of the cirque acts, maybe have a dream of my own. I took them up on their offer.
Tonight, Lamar Odom squares off against the team he (kind of, sort of) played for last season, when the Mavericks face Odom’s Los Angeles Clippers. Which means it’s time for: reaction quotes. Here’s the money:
“It was a blur, man,” Odom replied. “I wasn’t there either, like mentally.”
“The people are nice,” Odom said of Dallas. “Great fans.
“Sometimes we make pit stops in some places. I remember the people and the city. Basketball just wasn’t there for me at that time.”
(via the always great Ball Don’t Lie)
Only a quarter-inch of rain fell – on average — across Texas in November, prompting meteorologists and climatologists to worry about a second (third? fourth? thousandth?) wave of the state’s crippling drought. The rain report for Dallas-Fort Worth for the month was even more bleak – .05 inches, according to the Star-Telegram, the fifth-driest on record.
So where does that leave us? If you look at the fancy map atop these words, D-FW is in much better shape than most of the state. The Panhandle and far South Texas are still mired in droughts of epic proportions, far worse than our area. Take a closer look, though, and the picture becomes less clear.
Someone posed a similar question on the question-and-answer site Quora recently, and U.S. Marine Sergeant Â (and North Texas graduate and Dallas resident) Jon Davis pickedÂ up the ball and ran about 6,500 words further than anyone anticipated.
First of all, I had to reread his lede to make sure what I was reading wasn’t actually happening right now, as we speak, which was terrifying:
“These are the accounts of the Second American Civil War, also known as the Wars of Reunification and the American Warring States Period.
After the breakup many wondered which states would come out in control of the power void created by the dissolution of the United States. There were many with little chance against several of the larger more powerful states. The states in possession of a large population, predisposition for military (i.e.) military bases and a population open to the idea of warfare fared the best. In the long term we would look to states with self-sufficiency and long term military capabilities.”
Those states were California, Texas, and New York, naturally.
There are a lot of nuggets in this Reddit thread, but let’s start with his lede:
Date: 12/21/12 That is right boys and girls the last date for humans. After this, everything you know will cease to exist. Its kind of far away but there is a lot of planning to do.
When do you think the world is going to fall apart Friday morning or Friday night? It would work better for us if it fell apart Friday night?
My thought: why not throw a week-long jam? Why stick to one night of hedonism? If the world’s gonna end anyway, why do work/obligations/Christmas shopping matter?
We need to make this a bad ass party. Not every day do you get to celebrate the end of the world. The last end of the world party we had was pretty bad ass but this needs to be better. I have a feeling this end of the world really is the correct end of the world. Think about it.
Agreed. The more bad-ass the better. I’m still with you.