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D Magazine Staff Writer Michael J. Mooney Is a Very Popular Writer, Part 2,136

Ahhh December. Time for egg nog, racist uncles, and Best Of lists. You may remember my colleague Michael J.Mooney’s “How Not to Get Away With Murder,” from our December issue. Well, it turns out that was the third most-popular story on Longform this year, trailing only stories about Radio Shack and serial killers.

The story WAS NOT however, selected as one of the 10 best stories of the year by Longform’s editors. (Have to keep him humble.) Better luck next year, Michael.

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Dallas Rates Well on LGBT Inclusion. The Suburbs Not So Much.

The Human Rights Campaign, a nonprofit organization working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, issued a report today called the Municipal Equality Index in which 353 American cities were rated on their inclusion of, and support for, LGBT residents.

Dallas scored well, 91 out of a possible 100, credited especially with having enacted nondiscrimination laws and for city leadership’s support of the LGBT community. Among the state’s biggest cities only Austin did better (a perfect 100.) Fort Worth got an 83.

But, according to HRC’s standards, Dallas’ suburbs have a ways to go. Irving and Mesquite scored perfect zeroes. Plano got a 22. McKinney a 12, Arlington 11, and Garland a 10.

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Poll: The Most Beloved Head Coach in Dallas History?

A recent Grantland piece about the abrupt resignation of Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington referred to him as “the most beloved head coach in the history of North Texas sports not named Tom Landry.” Which got me thinking “Really?” And then “Hey, yeah, I guess so, maybe.”

Followed by, since we’re now 25 years on from Landry’s dismissal by Jerry Jones and that first 1-15 season under Jimmy Johnson, “Does St. Landry still mean much to today’s whippersnappers?”

So let’s take a poll. Nominees are the two most successful coaches in each of Dallas’ pro sports teams’ histories, based on overall record and championships.

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Biggest Grammar Mistakes in Dallas-Fort Worth Signage

Automated proofreader Grammarly recently held a contest seeking submissions of photos featuring the most egregious grammar mistakes on signs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Above you can see the winning entry, and right off the bat I have a complaint.

That sign is obviously filled with purposeful misspellings intended to attract customers’ attention and underline the folksiness of people selling the produce. I think it should have been disallowed rather than given the prize.

Below are the other top entries from North Texas.

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Why Dallas Was Chosen the Best Skyline in the World

You may have seen, on any number of other sites accessible via the World Wide Web, that Dallas was chosen the best skyline in the world — let me repeat, the best skyline in the world — in a readers’ poll on USA In other words, not only do we have a world-class skyline, we have the world-classiest skyline.

Here’s what the newspaper’s site had to say about that:

“Dallas became initially identifiable by the opening credits of an infamous ’80s TV show,” says expert Preston Kissman. “The contemporary Dallas skyline tells a story of big banking, big oil, big money, and the occasional big bust.” James Adams add, “Dallas has continued to stay flashy. Controversially, it has done this not with the height or style of its newest architecture, but rather through an internal race to adorn its existing and new icons with colorful interactive lighting that cannot be ignored.”

We’re among friends here, so I’m sure we can all agree that ranking Dallas the No. 1 skyline on the entirety of planet Earth is ridiculous. What about Chicago? New York? San Francisco? Sure, we beat the pants off places like Houston, Omaha, and Atlanta, but do we even belong in the top tier once you factor in locales in all hemispheres?

So how did we win?

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The Walmart Heirs Could Buy Every Home in Dallas

Real estate site Redfin came out with a fun bit of click-bait today: which billionaire could buy your city?

Dallas, according to Redfin, has 330,028 homes that would cost a total of $109.4 billion to purchase. That’s too much for even the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, to afford. However, if the various heirs to the Walmart fortune pooled the contents of their money bins, and if every homeowner in Dallas sold to them, then Dallas could become the family’s private playground.

The same is true for Seattle, D.C., Miami, Portlandia, Baltimore, Austin, Las Vegas, San Antonio, and Atlanta. So if you’re the Walton family, which do you make a bid for?

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New Fitness Report Says We Need to Get in Shape, Dallas

Today the American College of Sports Medicine released its 2014 American Fitness Index report, in which you’ll find a ranking of the country’s 50 biggest metropolitan statistical areas in terms of healthy living. Washington, D.C., claimed the top spot.

The headline for Dallas is that we finished 38th out of the 50. The method by which these rankings are calculated was revised so much this year that the press release for the study advised that no comparison be made to the results of past reports. But let’s do it anyway.

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Dallas Is the 13th-Smartest (Read: Best) City in the World

The IESE Business School in Spain has released its annual ranking of the world’s “smartest cities.” The Cities in Motion Index is the result of researchers studying 135 cities based on 50 indicators along 10 dimensions: governance, public management, urban planning, technology, environment, international outreach, social cohesion, mobility and transportation, human capital, and economy. The categories are explained in more detail here.

For the fourth straight year, Dallas is No. 13. We trail only New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia among American cities. Tokyo was the big winner, also for the fourth straight year. And “smartest” is really just the researchers’ way of shying away from what they really mean. They don’t want to seem like they’re attempting to make a definitive judgment on the comparative quality of each of these places, but they are. They mean these as the “best” cities on Earth.

IESE has a nifty interactive map where you can dive in to see how each city ranks in each of the dimensions and compare how the cities charted. Here’s Dallas:

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Dallas Ranks Among 10 Worst Cities For Spring Allergies

I’ve mentioned before that this spring’s Pollen Vortex has been trying to kill me. I can’t remember a year when my allergies were so bad. Two symptoms I rarely suffer — itchy eyes and itchy roof of my mouth — have been common occurrences, and their presence would normally only make sense if I were walking through a cloud of cat dander.

Well, I was just checking out the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s list of the worst cities for spring allergies in 2014 (h/t Slate), and I find that Dallas is No. 7. We’re the worst Texas city on the list, and the biggest city in the top 10. Our pollen count, use of allergy medication, and number of allergists are worse than average.

Last year Dallas was No. 23. When our Liz Johnstone wrote about the reasons Dallas is so bad for hay fever sufferers like me, in 2011, Dallas was No. 35. The year before? No. 52.

You see what’s happening here, don’t you? The trees and plants have begun their siege to reclaim our region, then presumably the entire planet. Everybody laughed at M. Night Shyamalan, but maybe he was right.

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Texans Don’t Want to Leave

Yesterday Gallup published a poll (see the map above) of the percentages of people in each of the United States who have a desire to move from their state. Texas was on the lowest end of the spectrum, with only 24 percent of us wanting to get out. Only Montana, Hawaii, and Maine (23 percent each) residents like where they are more.

It’s not surprising to see how many Texans are satisfied with their situation. With our relatively strong economy, relatively low cost of living, and our ridiculous sense of self-worth and belief in the exceptional nature of the Land of Friends, it’s to be expected.

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Proof That the Texas Rangers Own Texas

Several weeks back there was a map of Major League Baseball fandom circulating. It was based on the preferences Facebook users had made public. It was disturbing to see how much of our country, absent a team in their own local market, had been given over to the cancer known as being a Yankees fan. It chilled me to the bone.

Anyway, several days ago the New York Times published an even more detailed look at that data, breaking it down to the ZIP code level and creating interactive maps to show the precise geographic fronts along which two or more teams fight for dominance in the hearts of locals.

The Texas Rangers (as you can in the screenshot of the map above) own Texas. Except for the swamps in and around Houston, and the lunatics out in El Paso who’ve given themselves over to the Dark Side, the team in Arlington commands almost all of the state’s territory, plus a significant chunk of Oklahoma and a corner of Arkansas.

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Outside Magazine Editors Hate Dallas. Do You Care?

As Eric Nicholson has pointed out, the editors of Outside magazine have declared Dallas the “least outdoorsy” city in America. And while only the extreme fringe of civic boosters would claim that Dallas can compete outdoors-wise with cities like Portland or Seattle, how can they claim our city is the absolute worst?

Eric ran through the criteria that Outside used and demonstrates that the numbers don’t add up:

Curiouser still, Dallas’ Green City Index and Park Score put it firmly in the middle of the pack among U.S. cities. Among the five “least outdoorsy” runners up, Dallas has the highest Green City score, besting Cleveland and Detroit by enormous margins and squeaking by Charlotte (Memphis and Fresno, Outdoor‘s two other worsts, aren’t even included on the index). Dallas’ Park Score ranking (26) is one spot behind Cleveland, tied with Detroit, and better than Fresno (50), Charlotte (47) and Memphis (42).

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