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Bunch O Balloons Files Patent Suit Against Balloon Bonanza

Nearly a year ago, we told you about Josh Malone, the super genius from Plano who invented a way to make 100 water balloons in 60 seconds. Malone used Kickstarter to raise $1 million and launch his Bunch O Balloons invention. Just last week, the missus was asking me to buy four units of Bunch O Balloons in preparation for an upcoming family gathering, and I was dawdling because four unites of Bunch O Balloons, with processing and handling, will set you back $80. Then, on Monday, I saw a TV commercial for something called Balloon Bonanza, which was offering a buy-one-get-three deal for just under $20. “That’s curious,” I said aloud, because I often talk to myself when I watch TV. “That water-balloon contraption looks an awful lot like that other water-balloon contraption.”

Guess what? That’s exactly what Josh Malone from Plano thinks. He sent word this morning that his Tinnus Enterprises, along with its partner Zuru, have filed a patent infringement suit against Telebrands Corp. and Bed Bath & Beyond. “It was a real bummer last weekend when the kids and I went to our local retailers to see our product on the shelf, and found a copy in its place,” Malone told me. “I got a patent, now we are going to enforce it.”

I have only one wish. I don’t think it’s asking too much. It is this: the parties refuse to settle. The case goes to trial. In a federal courtroom, Malone uses a garden hose to demonstrate how his invention works — and a water balloon fight ensues. Please?

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Zac Crain Announces Candidacy For 2022 District Attorney Race

Zac Crain, a local magazine editor, told D Magazine that revelations surrounding district attorney Susan Hawk’s 2013 treatment for prescription drug use and other issues had prompted Heath Harris to announce his campaign, even though the election is more than three and a half years away, and since Crain knows how these things go, that prompted him to announce his own campaign, even though we’re now talking, what, almost eight years from now?

“I’ve got to build a base as early as possible,” Crain said to himself as he typed that sentence just now. He didn’t really say it. He kind of mouthed it. He does that occasionally when he is typing. He also softly curses to himself, but that is endearing probably.

When informed that he could probably just run against Harris in the Democratic primary, Crain said that he is a big believer in shotgun rules, and that Harris clearly called it. “I’m not doing much,” he added, also mentioning that he’s “cool waiting, thanks.”

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State Rep. Rafael Anchia Is Trying To Make It Impossible To Build The Trinity Toll Road

Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) filed two bills today. One would disallow TxDOT from funding projects like the Trinity Toll Toad. The other would require the toll road to undergo an environmental analysis by the state.

“I’ve told everyone that you should be able to act in the best interest of your district,” Anchia said. “My district hates the toll road.”

Even if you don’t think Anchia’s bills will pass, read the rest of that story. Here, I will link it again. Because it lays out the case for why this road is a terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible idea that is also terrible.

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SMU Basketball Flashback: Kato Armstrong and What Could Have Been

Yesterday, SMU won its first regular season conference title since 1993. It was still a member of the old Southwest Conference back then, on the verge of being cast out into the margins of college sports, a two-decade walkabout from which it only recently returned. As American Athletic Conference champions, the team will go to its first NCAA tournament since that SWC-winning season. But SMU hasn’t actually won an NCAA tournament game since 1988, when it beat Notre Dame behind 29 points from its star point guard Kato Armstrong.

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Dirk Nowitzki Is an All-Star (Again)

Anthony Davis will sit out this weekend’s NBA All-Star Game in New York thanks to a bum shoulder, meaning Dirk Nowitzki will make his 13th ASG appearance. Dirk is just the 12th player in NBA history to play in that many. And it’s not just a lifetime achievement award. He is having a solid season, averaging more than 18 points and still doing all sorts of Dirk things. So, congratulatI SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN.

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Dirk Now No. 7 On NBA’s All-Time Scoring List

Last night, in an overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets, Dirk Nowitzki passed Moses Malone to move into seventh place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, after passing Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes earlier in the season. He overtook Malone on a shot that actually mattered, a three-point dagger that closed the door on the Nets.

To put Nowitzki’s achievement into perspective, here is Mavs broadcaster Mark Followill:

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Dirk Nowitzki Is Now The Highest-Scoring Foreign-Born NBA Player Ever

It happened last night during the Mavs’ awesome comeback over the Sacramento Kings — who, P.S., have not beaten the Mavs in Dallas since 2003. He passed Hakeem Olajuwon, and it probably would have been more fitting if it had come off one of his patented, one-legged, lean-back jumpers, but a midrange shot is probably just as good. Dirk will more than likely finish just behind Shaquille O’Neal on the scoring list this season. If he plays through his entire three-year contract somewhere near this level, he has an outside shot — no pun intended — to finish his career ahead of Wilt Chamberlain as the No. 5 scorer of all-time. That is amazing. I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN.

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Dirk Nowitzki Is (No Surprise) the Best Shooter In the NBA

So says Grantland’s numbers guy Kirk Goldsberry:

Nowitzki integrates volume, efficiency, and ubiquity better than anyone right now. Moreover, he is hardly ever wide open when he shoots, with many of his attempts including a massive defender draped all over him. His quintessential move involves creating just a hair of separation from a defending forward like Ibaka and launching that fadeaway that never seems to miss. It’s unfair.

You know I — the man who popularized I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN — am not going to disagree. That said, it’s pretty crazy, and strangely beautiful, seeing it all put together in a shot chart.

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Dirk Nowitzki Takes Even Bigger Discount, Is The Best

When Dirk Nowitzki agreed — no surprise — to re-sign with the Mavericks, the terms were pegged at three years, $30 million. The “hometown discount,” they call it. Considering that the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers were willing to make him a max offer (which would have been somewhere north of $20 million a year), that was a HUGE bargain. Today, Nowitzki officially signed his contract and the deal is even better: three years, $25 million. He lopped off another $5 million to help facilitate Chandler Parsons’ new deal. He’s the fourth-highest-paid player on the team. The fourth. Do I even have to say it? Okay, why not: I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN.

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Former Dallas City Councilman Dave Neumann Did Not Get a Parking Ticket Today, and Likely Never Will

In May 2011, Scott Griggs unseated Dave Neumann for the District 3 slot on the Dallas City Council. Today, Dave Neumann left a downtown event, hopped into a car on Lamar Street, pulled a quick U-turn, and headed off.

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Will Jamie Benn’s Gold-Medal Play Lead to More Glory In Dallas?

Team Canada didn’t want Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn this summer, leaving him off the squad it took to orientation camp in Calgary. And, I know I’m oversimplifying here, that’s why Benn ended up as one of the heroes of the team’s run to a gold medal in Sochi. The snub prompted him to dig in and earn his way onto the team — force his way, really — with 24 points in the first 24 games of the season; he was added to the team in January. It was a strange decision to leave him off Team Canada to begin with, since he’s one of the brightest young talents in the NHL. But that only makes it a better plot point when they finish the super-polite, made-for-CBC movie about these guys.

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State Rep. Jason Villalba, to Lt. Gov. Candidates: ‘Illegals Are People’

“Friends, these ‘illegals’ are people. They are human beings who love their little ones just as much as you and I love our little ones. They want a better life for their families and they want their children to have a better life than they have had.”

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