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: COLLEGE STATION – Though recent storms promised to reset the drought button for a large part of East Texas, the western half of the state will likely see below-normal precipitation from now through August, according to a Texas A&M University climatologist.
Beekeepers in Texas are hopeful that a late-blooming wildflower crop will be enough to keep their colonies alive, despite predictions of intensifying drought conditions that have taken a toll on the bee population in recent years.
One of the state’s worst droughts in decades has been particularly hard on its iconic ranching business, with the barren land leading to increased costs to feed cattle. In Starr County, at the southern tip of the state, Texas Agrilife Extension agent Omar Montemayor can’t give the ranchers money or rain, but he is teaching them ways to keep their herds healthy.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Texas cotton planting intentions may be affected by the replanting to cotton of freeze-damaged wheat acreage, but a Texas A&M extension service expert doesn’t expect the change to be significant on dryland wheat acres.
The resilient longhorn, able to survive on sparse foliage and water, has endured in Texas for more than 100 years. But the recent sale of about 100 longhorns by theTexas Parks and Wildlife Department has spurred debate about the breed’s future in the state.
Texas Business reports: The Texas Department of State Health Services has issued an advisory warning people not to consume or to limit consumption of certain fish caught in all waters off the Texas coast due to unsafe levels of mercury.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—Drought and up-and-down temperatures are affecting insect behavior – everything from honeybee behavior to delayed emergence of pests, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—The damage to the wheat crop in the Panhandle, Southern Plains and Rolling Plains regions from the last bout of freezing weather was not uniform, but losses were “significant,” according to a Texas A&M extensionservice agronomist.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Because of a mild early winter, it was touch-and-go for Texas fruit crops for a while, but everything now looks just peachy, according to a extension service expert.
Texas Business reports: WESLACO – The emergence of farmers markets in the Lower Rio Grande Valley has led to new research that shows planting dates affect the productivity of organic tomatoes, according to an expert at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco.
Texas Citrus Production Texas Business reports: Texas grapefruit production is forecast at 5.28 million boxes for the 2012-2013 season, up 10 percent from last year's production of 4.80 million boxes. All orange production is estimated at 1.51 boxes, up 6 percent from last year's production of 1.42 million boxes. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – The Texas A&M research peanut breeding program has been busy, releasing four new varieties in the past two years to meet producers’ needs, according to the breeders.
Texas Business reports: During the past three years, an impressive problem-solving computer program called the Stocker Cattle Analysis Tool slowly evolved in the academic recesses of several agricultural economists’ offices across the nation. Now, it’s ready to roll out the gate at no cost to cattle producers.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—Record-high carryover stocks of cotton and future weather patterns are just a few factors affecting cotton prices heading into 2013, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.
Christmas tree farmers dealt with more than heat and drought last year, as cold, wet weather during the holidays deterred buyers. So this season, growers in Central Texas are hoping for good weather as they replant trees and hope to attract customers back to their fields.
A visitor could get lost in Rob Nash’s greenhouse. Swiss chard and tomato plants create a maze. The smell of basil is overwhelming, and the leaves are as big as a human hand. All this teeming life is growing in the waste that is filtered and vacuumed out of an aquarium through a newly flourishing agricultural method known as aquaponics.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—As drought conditions plateaued for most of the state, producers were wrapping up the cotton and grain sorghum harvests and hoping for rain to help moisture-stressed wheat and winter small grains, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service weekly reports.
NEW BRAUNFELS — Carl Mitz fastens a metal bridle called a speculum to his patient’s mouth so he can check the animal’s teeth without worry of being bitten. Soon the whir of his drill competes with the sounds of the stable — horses nickering, chickens clucking, a rake mucking out a stall.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—Texas wheat growers may have some hard decisions to make this winter because of market and weather uncertainties, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service marketing expert.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Can you imagine trying to build a competitive race car with old parts? Chances are, the entry would not fare well at the Indy 500. Very much the same thing might be said about today’s crops, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Despite drought, record-high summer temperatures, an early freeze and the failure of many dryland fields, the Texas High Plains cotton crop could wind up being near or slightly above the 10-year average, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—Livestock producers are certainly more optimistic this fall than last year, but generally they remain extremely cautious when it comes to rebuilding herds and holding onto forage stocks, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef expert.
Texas Business reports: LUBBOCK – Grain sorghum producers south of Interstate 40 and around Lubbock might have received some damaging injury to their crops after the Oct. 8 frost and freeze, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist in Lubbock.
Texas Business reports: With a turn of the shovel, Phase 1 construction began on the new Texas A&M Equine Complex. At a total cost of $80 million when completed, the new complex provides a home for equine science education, research and outreach.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Despite the drought, the state’s pecan harvest will be exceptionally large this year, a predicted 65 million pounds, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Practically the entire state got at least 1 inch of rain during the last week of September to Oct. 1, with many regions getting as much as 9 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION — All parts of the state received rain Sept. 11-18, with many areas getting 2 to 3 inches, and isolated areas getting more than 5 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Texas Business reports: The Texas Department of State Health Services issued an advisory warning people not to consume blue marlin caught in all waters off the Texas coast due to unsafe levels of mercury.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – According to National Weather Service records, large areas of the state have received 100 percent or more of normal rainfall since Jan. 1. Many other areas have gotten 50 to 75 percent of normal.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—The worst drought to hit the United States in at least 50 years does have one benefit: it has created the smallest "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico in years, said a Texas A&M University researcher who has just returned from gulf waters.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – An El Niño currently developing in the tropical Pacific could mean an improved agricultural outlook for all of Texas, according to John Nielsen-Gammon, state climatologist and regents professor at Texas A&M University.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Only about 12 percent of the state remained drought-free as hot, dry weather patterns of late summer set in, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor and Texas AgriLife Extension Service reports.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – BP Biofuels and Texas AgriLife Research, part of The Texas A&M University System, signed a three-year agreement to develop and commercialize cellulosic feedstocks for the production of advanced biofuels.
Texs Business reports: AUSTIN—A biologist at The University of Texas at Austin has received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to study native prairie grasses as potential sources of biofuel.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – In 2011, Midwestern producers were shipping hay to Texas as the state faced unprecedented drought and forage shortages, but don’t count on East Texas to return the favor this year as the Midwest undergoes its own drought, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – If it’s true misery loves company, drought-hammered Midwestern farmers should find lots of company in Texas, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service agronomist.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Though cool by comparison to some parts of the country, much of Texas was frying going into the July 4 holiday, according to reports from Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
Texas Business reports: MISSION – Dreams of a successful winery in the Lower Rio Grande Valley have turned to nightmares for countless of would-be vinters in the last 100 years, thanks to aggressive plant diseases that routinely wiped out entire vineyards.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – While crops were doing reasonably well in Central Texas, much of the rest of the state is backsliding into drought pretty quickly, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Texas Business reports: WESLACO – South Texas cotton and grain producers could have used some of the rain that was forecast for the area this week, but not too much of it, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Last year’s drought is the most likely reason producers are seeing more grasshoppers and fewer honeybees this year, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – The drought situation in the western half of Texas remained largely unchanged, but abnormally dry weather reclaimed large parts of the eastern half of the state during the last week of May, according to the U.S. Drought monitor and Texas AgriLife Extension Service reports.
Texas Business reports: After testing farm-raised shrimp samples of international origin for ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer,” researchers at Texas Tech found evidence of antibiotics – one a suspected human carcinogen – in seafood imported into the United States and purchased from grocery store shelves.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—Restocking may be an option that many ranchers are considering, but rainfall and other factors will weigh heavily into the decision-making process, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service economist.
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.