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
The 1890 Best Theater in West, which began as a saloon. Photo by Karnegie Musa. Copyright 2010.
I went to see The Social Network with my daughter last week.
I picked her up from work and drove to the near by theater. Inside, there was one man working both concessions and ticket sales for the 16-screen theater.
Two long lines. Both at the concession stand. One for tickets. One for snacks.
The line was long at the concession, and at the hand-lettered “tickets” at one of the concession stand cash registers.
Every three or four minutes the harried employee would speak into his handset requesting a Tommy to come to the front. I realized after waiting in line for quite some time that “Tommy” was a fictional employee meant to divert the customer’s line waiting rage away from the actual person.
I will grant you the employee moved quickly. When my daughter and I got our tickets, he merely gave us a receipt and told us which theater number to enter. As we walked in, we realized there was no one taking tickets.
“We wasted that money,” my daughter said. “We could have seen it for free.”
I gave the usual pay-for-what-you-get speech, but privately I noted my feelings were in agreement.
When we went to the movie theater, my daughter was even more disgusted.
“It’s the smallest, crappiest theater here,” she complained.
The economic forces from cable and satellite providers’ movies-on-demand and iTunes continue to eat away at the movie theater. Because of the lack of personnel running the theater, I immediately noticed Cinemark Holdings plans to have its new Frisco cinema lobby “to be designed around of Cinemark’s innovative self-serve concession stands.”
In other words, some type of vending machine will sit in the lobby instead of employees serving popcorn and soda.
The movie on FaceBook seemed oddly appropriate. As technology shifts the economy, true face-to-face human interaction becomes rare and expensive.
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: The West News proves the value of a great weekly newspaper in a community torn up with grief and chaos; Chinese investors checking out Texas, Austin; Texas makes bounce house operators carry liability coverage, but not plants like West Fertilizer; bSpaceX’s Grasshopper leaping to NM spaceport;American Airlines, US Airways to name post-merger leadership within weeks; Texas power cushion seen at lowest level in a decade; Media outlets reflect Houston's diversity; and more.