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
Supply and demand. The supply of water continues to dwindle. The demand increases.
We’ve understood that at least five decades. When I was a kid in Snyder, the dwindling water table was something so inculcated within the local culture that I worried about water, or lack of water, by the time I was five years old.
The population of Texas then was less than half than it is now. We knew then there wasn’t enough water. However, we subscribed to the mantra that science and economic demand will create solutions. We still subscribe to that mantra.
Now, I see that Snyder is worried that it will run out of water in three months. Lake J.B. Thomas was never a huge reservoir of water, even when I was a kid. If I recall correctly, the lake never has exceeded 37 percent of its capacity, a peak it reached 20 years ago. When I checked the level at the time of this writing, it was at 1.37 percent capacity.
Because of the water shortage in West Texas, Big Spring is building a treatment plant that will shuttle treated sewage (called raw water) into the water system for Snyder, Big Spring, Odessa and Midland.
It’s not just West Texas. The strain of drought and population press the entire state.
Other wells are running out. The Lower Colorado River Authority announced the water well used by 1,100 residents of Spicewood Beach (near Austin) will run out of water in a few days. The announcement was just before some major storms came through, so hopefully the wells will be recharged a bit.
And now the Brazos River Authority, to the opposition of farmers, landowners and Dow Chemical, wants rights to all the water in the Brazos. The timing, of course, has thrown the weight of the worst drought in this modern state’s history behind it. Two administrative law judges believe the application should be denied. The TCEQ wants approval.
In 50 years, Texas’ population will double again, barring major catastrophe, upheaval or radical lifestyle or legal changes. Assuming we still drink water, from where will next drink come? Supply diminishes. Demand grows. Science examines and experiments. The race continues.
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