Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Clowns, like any other entertainer, prepare for the show with makeup and costume like actors bustling behind closed curtains. But rodeo clowns take both of their roles — comedian and athlete — very seriously. For them, backstage is also a locker room, full of muscular men and sweaty athletic gear. As the announcer’s voice echoes underneath stadiums in Austin and Houston and outside trailers in Edna, Texas, they prepare physically and emotionally. When the overture is over, after the national anthem is sung, it’s time to face the bulls. (See video report).
“By the time you step across the plane of that gate, it’s on,” said Keith Isley, a self-described “clown, barrel man, rodeo entertainer.” He explains: “I’ve finally realized once you get the makeup on, you can do a lot of different things, and people expect you to be funny and do some weird things.”
Rodeo clowning — or bullfighting, as it’s more respectfully known — is a captivating mix of sport and entertainment. Rodeo clowns have painted faces and shoot each other out of cannons, but they are also carefully trained and practiced animal wranglers. On the floor of the arena their abilities can mean life or death for a bucked bull rider. That’s when the rodeo is no clowning matter.
“It’s the most paradoxical profession I can think of,” Gail Woerner, a rodeo historian, said about the rodeo clown. “Because on one side, he has to be afraid of nothing and stand in front of the bull and distract him and he could be killed. The rest of the rodeo, he’s trying to make people laugh at him.
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to stories Texas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: Robert Rodriguez breathes new life into an old vampire favorite; ClubCorp buys Prestonwood Country Club in Dallas and Plano; Office Depot overcharged Dallas by up to $3.6 million, city auditor finds; Texas power market monitor resigns amid unresolved reform debate; U.S. Supreme Court denies review of Farmers Branch immigration ordinance; Aggie Vanishing Act: Sale of Texas Wesleyan’s law school to A&M leaves alumni out in the cold;ExxonMobil CEO Doesn't Want a Fracking Operation Near His Backyard bDrowned bridge worker’s employer had prior OSHA violations;and more.