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
Texas Business reports: The Army's reversed its decision of what was claimed to be the illegal conversion of civilian work to private contractors.
On February 25, the Army's Southern Regional Medical Command issued a memorandum announcing it would outsource all outpatient and inpatient third party billing and collections functions at all military treatment facilities in the region.
This action was in direct violation of Title 10 of the U.S. Code, which forbids the Department of Defense from converting any function performed by civilian employees to contractors without first conducting a formal cost comparison, according to the American Federation of Government Employees.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 625,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
After being informed of this action by leaders from AFGE Local 1920 in Fort Hood, AFGE president John Gage sent a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh asking for an immediate halt to what he called an “illegal privatization effort.”
“The rank-and-file work force would be delighted to work with management to generate efficiencies, but this privatization of these services is flatly illegal,” Gage wrote in the March 3rd letter.
The next day, the Army's Southern Regional Medical Command rescinded the Feb. 25 memo.
Even though the outsourcing action has been halted for now, AFGE remains concerned that the Command intends to phase out the use of civilian employees for the billing and collection functions by not replacing employees as they retire, Gage said.
“We are more than happy to work with Army leaders to make these functions more efficient, but we will not allow the Army to illegally transfer this work to contractors without any regard to the federal workers currently performing these jobs,” Gage said.
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: Texas Bowl seeks new title sponsor; Insult to Injury: Texas Workers’ Comp System Denies, Delays Medical Help; American Airlines continues to shed jobs; Chemical Safety Board shut out of West probe by ATF; 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;and more.