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: A Houston jury awarded a verdict of more than $2.4 million to a worker who suffered severe burns while working at ExxonMobil's refinery in Baytown.
Attorneys Kurt Arnold and Paul Skrabanek of Arnold & Itkin represented James Stewart in the jury trial heard in Judge Larry Weiman's 80th District Court in Houston.
Stewart suffered burns on more than 25 percent of his body on June 18, 2008, as a result of a flash fire from hot oil that poured out of a pipe bleeder valve and ignited. Stewart was working on an elevated platform and could not get to the ground because the exit was blocked by the fire.
At trial, Stewart's attorneys successfully argued that the pipe system designed by GDS Engineers Inc. and SNC-Lavalin Engineers & Constructors Inc. was faulty, and that the oil should have been pumped in a closed pipe since it was above its autoignition temperature and represented a fire hazard. Evidence also showed that the platform on which Stewart was working violated safety regulations by not incorporating two paths to enter and exit the platform.
“Stewart is a dedicated, hard worker who was severely hurt just trying to do his job,” Arnold said. “GDS Engineers and SNC-Lavalin could have prevented this terrible accident by taking basic steps to design the platform and equipment to account for these obvious hazards.”
GDS Engineers and SNC-Lavalin insisted on a trial, and jurors awarded a total of $2,434,000 after finding that the companies' negligence was the cause of Stewart's injuries. The total award includes $1.84 million for pain and mental anguish, $380,000 for physical impairment and disfigurement, $146,000 in medical expenses and $68,000 in lost wages.
The case style is James Stewart v. GDS Engineers, Inc. et al., No. 2009-24285.
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: 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; Texas makes bounce house operators carry liability coverage, but not plants like West Fertilizer; bSpaceX’s Grasshopper leaping to NM spaceport;and more.