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
I was caught in a rainstorm yesterday with my spouse and dogs.
We thought we had plenty of time to make a walk of a few miles.We saw the storm, and underestimated how close.
Suddenly, 70-mph winds hit with driving rain. Limbs fell down. Later I learned a small plane flipped completely over at an airport two miles away.
Lightning struck to the west, north and northwest. One of the dogs has a problem with thunder, and we took a shortcut straight into the rain, lightning and rain. As we neared our home, we heard a noise like a gunshot.We felt a bit more alive than usual.
When we got to the house, the power was out.
Though the phone system we have is a plug-in and was out, I had an iPhone.I googled TXU as I have to do every year or so to report a power outage.I found the number, and called it, and immediately was transferred into a loop of Catch-22-like realities.There was no option for power outages.
I tried to remember the buyout of TXU and who controlled the lines that brought power to me.I remembered Texas Utilities, of course.and when it was merged into TU Electric in 1984.
I remembered when it built Comanche Peak Nuclear Reactors 1 and 2, and my conversations with the long-departed Abner McCall over that project that began in the mid-1970s, lasted through the 1980s with Unit 1 coming on in 1990 and Unit 2 in 1993. I remembered TU becoming TXU in 1998 with the buyouts of two internation energy groups.And I remember when it swallowed Lone Star Gas in 1996.But I lost the threat of events about 2002.That’s when Texas deregulated the energy market with the intense efforts of David Sibley.
I did remember Oncor, however.I’d seen an Oncor truck servicing TXU outlets.So I looked up Oncor.I was reminded that TXU was bought in a leveraged buyout in 2007 and Oncor Electric Delivery became the name of the electric distribution, Luminant is the electric generation sector, including Comanche Peak nuclear plant, which intends to double its size with two new reactors.The once dominant TXU Energy is solely a retail provider without any electrical distribution or generator assets.
I punched the number for Oncor and went through the automated menu to report a power outage at 7:01 PM.The automated prediction for repair was 9 PM.At 9 PM the automated prediction was midnight. At 1 AM the automated prediction was still midnight and remained that way through 4 AM.At 4:47 AM I received a call from a serviceman, and met him outside about 5 AM.He lifted himself in an automated cherrypicker to examine a utility pole just off my property, and by 5:30 AM power came back on.
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: America’s greatest threat: Unsafe work conditions; 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.