Late last week a group of geography academics who operate a site called FloatingSheep.org, on which they produce maps of various geo-tagged data for (presumably) both entertainment and enlightenment, posted “Geography of Hate,” a look at the prevalence of hate-filled tweets across the United States.
They analyzed about 150,000 tweets that used various racist or homophobic terms and created a heat map based on the number of those hate-filled messages as compared to the overall Twitter activity in the same county.
Take one look at their entire map, and it seems fairly evident that something is amiss. The eastern half of the United State is packed tight with pockets of red while the western states, and California’s big cities especially, look to be bastions of tolerance. (In an FAQ about the map, FloatingSheep says only “there are many possible explanations for some of the distributions that you can see, and we don’t pretend to have all of the explanations.”)
I’m telling you about this anyway because Dallas comes out looking pretty good, as do most of the country’s major metropolitan areas. It’s in the more rural zones that there are (I’m guessing) so many fewer Twitter users that a few prolifically hateful assholes ruin it for everybody, skewing the map.
Bonham, for example, (about 70 miles northwest of Dallas) is apparently the nastiest place in all of Texas when it comes to homophobia. Meanwhile, if it’s old-fashioned racism you’re looking for, midway between Temple and Waco looks to be the place for you.
It’s that time of year again, when The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report issue their rankings of the top public high schools in the country. Dallas ISD continues to have magnet schools near the very top of both lists.
The Post is actually calling its rankings “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” and, with their methodology, that does seem a more fitting description than “best.” All they do is take the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced International Certificate of Education exams given at the school each year and divide that by the number of graduating seniors. They don’t care how well the kids do on those tests, even whether they pass at all. These Dallas-area schools finished in the top 100 (their national ranks are noted):
2) Science/Engineering Magnet, Dallas
3) Talented/Gifted Magnet, Dallas
5) Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, Dallas
20) Westlake Academy, Westlake
23) Uplift Education Summit Preparatory, Arlington
24) Uplift Education Peak Preparatory, Dallas
28) Uplift Education Williams Preparatory, Dallas
82) Highland Park, Highland Park ISD
Those three spots high up the list seem like quite an accomplishment for the campuses of charter school operator Uplift Education. (I spoke with the education nonprofit’s CEO, Yasmin Bhatia, last year about their approach.) But those Uplift schools score nowhere near that well on the U.S. News list, which claims to name the “Best High Schools.” Here’s Dallas’ representation, including the absolute best in the country.
It’s only one day, but to quote our partner, London Broadcasting’s Phil Hurley, “This just doesn’t happen in this business.”
D Living, hosted by Kimberly Whitman and Hilary Kennedy, was #1 in its 10 a.m. time slot yesterday among adults 18-49, beating out The View at #2.
D: The Broadcast with Lisa Pineiro, Suzie Humphreys, Pat Smith, and Courtney Kerr came in at #2 in its 9 a.m slot against — ugh — Jerry Springer. But don’t despair about the DFW market: we were only a tenth of a rating point behind. My bet is that Jerry will be toast in another week or two.
Here’s the deal. We launched these programs on Monday of last week. As of today, they’ve only been on the air for nine days. (How long has Jerry been on? How old is that guy?) We launched on an independent station — KTXD, Channel 47 — that until now, few people have heard of, with Daniel Boone re-runs as our lead-in. It is a credit to Phil Hurley’s vision that he believed the D brand could break through to grab the attention of Dallas viewers.
To Phil’s point, the only promotion we’ve done during what we thought was a soft launch has been in D Magazine, dmagazine.com, and through social media — no radio, no billboards, no promotional give-aways or tricks. In a way, we’ve done an experiment in exercising the power of the D-branded print and online channels to launch us in a new medium.
Congratulations to our stars, the lovely ladies who are creating hilarious and informative local television every morning! When we first started talking, Phil told me this TV business was kinda fun. Now I see why.
Can you imagine where you’d be today without blogs? Sure, you might be 5 or 10% more productive at work, but then the world would have been denied that brilliant double entendre you got into a comment on the latest FrontBurner post about the will-they-or-won’t-they, passive-aggressive fight between the Nasher Sculpture Center and Museum Tower.
Yep, everybody got a good chuckle from your outlandish suggestion of just what the tower could do with the Nasher’s “Walking to the Sky,” where they could put it, so to speak. See, it was funny because when isn’t the anthropomorphizing of inanimate objects funny? Which reminds you, pretty sure Clint Eastwood is a FrontBurnervian; bastard clearly stole some of your material for the open-mic night at the Republican National Convention.
Anyway, here are the 10 most popular blog posts of 2012 from DMagazine.com. Not sure if any of your comments are still on these posts. If not, it’s probably because Tim or Brad deleted them. Bastards.
I reread all our blog posts from the last year so that you don’t have to. Jokes aside, 2012 was good to us. I present to you the year that was, in Dallas arts and culture. (Items are numbered, but in no particular order.)
2. The hotly anticipated ABC television series, GCB, finally arrived. Based on Kim Gatlin’s Highland Park-inspired book, Good Christian Bitches, the show inspired a flurry of controversy over its titleÂ as well as some speculation about who’s who in Gatlin’s thinly veiled HP doppelganger, Hillside Park. And then the TV show slipped away, canceled after one season–fortunately this came after we forced the very funny Laura Kostelny to watch and recap every single episode.
3. We, as a nation, officially returned to Southfork Ranch with the premiere of TNT’s Dallas. We got one full season with the late, great Larry Hagman reprising his role as J.R. Ewing before he died of throat cancer in Dallas on November 23. By then, he’d filmed six of the 15 episodes we can look forward to in season two.
Florida is slated to become the first state with one million concealed firearm permits, Bloomberg reported yesterday.Â State officials issued 993,200 active permits as of Nov. 30, and are expected to pass the one million mark next week.
“Floridians have a great respect and appreciation for their Second Amendment rights,” said Adam Putnam, Florida’s commissioner of agriculture and consumer affairs.
This got me thinking about the Texas number. So I called the state department of public safety, and they sent me to their website (technology!). The numbers aren’t exactly apples-to-apples (the newest Texas numbers are for last year), but they still paint a picture where, despite all the Second Amendment bluster statewide, Texas actually trails Florida by a significant amount.
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.
True story: I’m working my way through the acclaimed HBO series The Wire, and I’m most of the way through the third season. If you’ve seen the show, you know that’s there absolutely no way not to come away from each episode with one overriding question in your mind: Why the hell does anybody live in Baltimore?
Yesterday I put this very question to a member of the People Newspapers staff who used to live in Baltimore, award-winning reporter Bradford Pearson. He mentioned something about being able to afford living cheap in some sort of haunted mansion, and that there aren’t drug dealers on every corner, just most corners. I remained unconvinced.
But lo and behold, Bloomberg Businessweek has come out with a list of the best American cities to live in, and Baltimore is No. 29 of the 50 that are ranked. This is not, in itself, remarkable, except that our own fair city, Dallas, comes in at just No. 41. Among the other municipalities outdoing us are Lincoln, Nebraska, and Tulsa, Oklahoma? Truly?
Businessweek’s write-up on Baltimore mentions that it’s got a high unemployment rate (11.1 percent) and the fourth-worst crime rate on the list. And yet they’d still rather live there than here? Â I won’t bore you with what they wrote about Dallas, since it’s nothing that you haven’t read many times before (big stuff, glitz, fried foods, bull riding). How can they get away with judging us based on some silly TV show that wasn’t even on HBO?
Perhaps contributing to our underwhelming placement is the photo they chose to run, which seems to have been takenÂ mid-winter in some nondescript corner of downtown.
Via the Star-Telegram, learned this morning thatÂ Playboy magazine ranked Texas Christian University as the ninth-best party school among the nation’s institutions of higher learning. (the University of Virginia was No. 1). Â ”Sex, sports, and nightlife” were considered in the ranking.
TCU failed to make the party school cut on the recent Newsweek ranking, but as the Star-T puts it: “when it comes to ranking party schools, who would know better,Â Newsweek orÂ Playboy?”
Tired of Solo cups of warm beer? At SMU, Dallas is your never-ending house party. The number of bars within Dallas County: around 2,000, including Idle Rich Pub, the campus hot spot that best describes the student body.
And this quote from a proud student:
“The bar scene at SMU definitely dominates everyone is all about going to the bar and balling out.” – Colton Moyer, International Studies, Class of 2013
Yep, SMU is Dallas’ team.
There aren’t any surprising names on Forbes newly released list of the 400Â wealthiest people in America.
But I did learn that Alice Walton of Fort Worth, No. 8 on the list with $26.3 billion, has a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University, just like I do. Â If only I’d had the good sense to have been born an heir to the Walmart family fortune too, I might have someday had her spot.
The next local on the list is Andrew Beal, way down at No. 41 with merely $8.4 billion to his name. Â Jump if you want to see the others who make the cut and are just too lazy to sort through the Forbes site yourself.
The Dallas Mavericks owner has got the ninth-most valuable home in Dallas, but Business Insider says it’s only the 12th most-valuable home nationwide among tech founders.Â He’s been topped by the Winklevoss twins.
Of course, almost everyone else is buying in California and New York, so Cuban’s really the bargain hunter of the bunch.
It’s also really difficult to compete with someone who buys an island.
As the Dallas Cowboys open the 2012 season against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants on the road tonight (7:30 p.m. airing on NBC), quarterback Tony Romo hopes to make his seventh season at starting quarterback for America’s Team one to remember. The September issue of D Magazine recounts the story of Romo’s greatest high school football game, but what about his career as a pro?
Here’s a look at Romo’s top five games with the Cowboys (so far). I was fortunate enough to be at two of them.
Under the glare of theÂ Monday Night Football spotlight, during the last season at Texas Stadium, Romo bounced back from an awful start to lead the Cowboys to a thrilling comeback win over one of their NFC East rivals. Romo’s early mistakes helped the Eagles to two quick touchdowns, but he atoned for those miscues by finishing with 312 yards and three touchdowns against one interception.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a nifty interactive map of the United States that allows you to determine just how giving you and your friends and neighbors have been. (Brad Pearson over at Park Cities People examinedÂ how well the Park Cities fared). You can look at the totals by state, by metropolitan area, by county, by town, or by ZIP.
The data are drawn from exact dollar figures claimed on tax returns and released by the IRS. Â (People who don’t give enough to bother itemizing these deductions see their charity under-represented?) The latest information that’s available is from 2008, so that’s what they used.
I spent a little time clicking around the maps and stats and was struck by one noticeable local shift. Above you see a screenshot of a map that represents total contributions by ZIP, with the darker the blue meaning the more that was given. The Â largest block of ZIPs with the darkest color is just to the north of downtown Dallas (75201). 75205 (Highland Park), for instance, gave $130.2 million
Now look at the map below, which represents percentage of income given. (more…)
D Healthcare Daily makes note of a California think-tank’s study that ranks Dallas-Fort Worth as only the 73rd-best large metropolitan area in the country for “successful aging.”
Apparently we’d all be better offer spending our golden years in Utah.
There’s not a detailed methodology on the website, but the list apparently factors in the value of homes, job growth, how well jobs pay, what the climate’s like, how clean the air is, how young/rich/single the residents are, and how long are the average commutes.
They don’t seem to consider crime data or quality of schools, which were important in our own recentÂ Best Dallas Suburbs list. That could explain why none of our top 7 suburbs make their list, as well as other disparities.
We had Flower Mound ranked the highest (No. 8) among the four cities also on their list, whereas it was the lowest (No. 32) among this group on theirs. Allen wasÂ No. 9 for us,Â No. 13 in the nation for them. Mansfield was way down atÂ No. 33 for us, andÂ No. 28 for them. Â And, of course, we rated McKinney only theÂ 26th-best Dallas suburb, a far cry from being the second-best small city in America (trailing only Carmel, Indiana).