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
Egypt illustrates the world’s new infrastructure in a striking way.
- Social media and the “cloud” can organize frustration into an emergent movement. It just demonstrated its effectiveness in a country where the economy is under control of the state. You see the evolution of the flash mob from its 2003 origin as a prank where a group of often unrelated people organize on the intenet to quickly assemble in a public place, do something bizarre, and disperse. Now, it's not a prank. And the people are not dispersing.
- The interconnected nature of the global economy is more entwined. Trouble in Egypt, oil prices bump up and your overhead goes up. Interrupted production, and risk to oil transport through the Suez canal is a major concern. Companies such as Houston-based Apache reportedly receives at least a third of its revenue from Egypt business.
- How widespread the interconnection is. Roots and tendrils go everywhere. The Egyptian government attempts to shut down the internet and cell phone network. Twitters, emails, phone video come through by the thousands by individuals who wire around the system. Remember that Twitter is not five years old. Facebook is less than seven years old. How rapidly we accept and adopt change. A person by the name of Olly Wainwright, who posted the bridge photo from his friend in Egypt on January 28, found that he had more than 200,000 hits by January 29.
_ The Chinese government is trying to block searches for the word "Egypt" as a sign that its trying to put a lid on public knowledge of the Middle East unrest. Ironic, since Chinese cellphones are a valuable black market item in North Korea because of that government's grip on its technology.
- For several days now, major corporations as well as governments have contemplated what a post-Mubarak Egypt will mean. Egypt is a major economic power on the African continent, and its location is strategic in trade.
One last thought. Economics can measure just about anything. Even democracy. The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit that measures the state of democracy in 167 countries. Look it up. Norway ranks 1st. The United States ranks 17th. At present, Egypt ranks 138th. Events over the next few weeks will determine whether that rank changes, and moves up or down.
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: Pipeline ruling strengthens Texas private property rights; 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; and more.