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Yes, We Are Still in the Midst of a Drought, and It Is Still Exceptional

Gosh, we had all that rain last night. The storms last week. So we should be doing a lot better with the wet stuff, right? Not so fast. The Texas Water Development Board releases a drought report every week. The new one is just out. It says:

For the first time since late 2010, less than half the state is under drought conditions. We saw improvements in south Texas and the southern High Plains over the past week, but drought worsened in North Texas. One patch of exceptional drought includes Dallas, Fort Worth, Weatherford, and Mineral Wells, and another patch includes the Wichita Falls area.

So let’s continue to conserve, people. Which is totally different than if I’d written “let’s continue to conserve people,” which is what I almost did. The comma makes a big difference. Because if we wasted some people, we’d actually do better with conserving water. Anyway, I got distracted a bit there. So: water. Let’s watch it.

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Brantley Hargrove Lands Book Deal with Simon & Schuster

I want to say something funny here. I want to poke fun at Brantley’s affinity for “cat facts,” or his life in “the bubble,” or his fear of ghosts, or his inexplicable desire to climb–and then jump off of–things he shouldn’t. But no. Today we celebrate.

It’s official: Simon & Schuster will publish D contributor Brantley Hargrove’s forthcoming book about famed storm chaser Tim Samaras and the gigantic tornado–the widest ever recorded–that killed him. The book, tentatively titled The Storm is likely to come out some time in early 2016. It grew out of the reporting Brantley did for this Dallas Observer story last year. I know David Patterson, his agent, is very excited. So is Brantley, though he knows he has a formidable task in front of him.

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Leading Off (5/21/2013)

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. […]

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Leading Off (3/18/13)

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 […]

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Dozens of Birds Found Dead in Arlington Intersection. In Other News, End Times Are Near.

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?

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New Bill Would Limit Challenges to Harold Simmons’ West Texas Radioactive Waste Dump

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 […]

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Texas Legends Trying to Lure Allen Iverson

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 […]

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Public Urination and Defecation Are Now Illegal in University Park, So Pull Up Your Pants

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. With one vote, though, that all changed. Public urination and defecation are now illegal in University Park, which is strange to write […]

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Cirque Dreams Is My Nightmare, Alternative Title: ‘My Dinner With Kirill’

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; […]

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