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—Those who consider pecan pie a -must for Thanksgiving won’t be disappointed this year as the quality of Texas pecans will be high, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – With such deep blue flowers that it was almost named ‘Cobalt,’ the newest Texas Superstar, Lady Bird Johnson Royal Blue bluebonnet, has some other extraordinary features as well, say Texas A&M horticulturists.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—Though much of the state remained under severe drought, rainfall during the last two weeks shrank the areas of extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor and reports from Texas A&M extension service personnel throughout the state.
What’s His Major? Genetics, Cotton and Entrepreneurship The U.S. cotton industry generates $25 billion in products and services annually, and Texas farmers produce about 35 percent of the cotton crop. Imagine owning exclusive rights to seeds that yield up to 40 percent longer and thicker cotton. Length and strength are cotton’s two most commercially valuable qualities.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – There are always winners and losers from storm systems in Texas, but last week practically everyone in agriculture won, according to a Texas A&M extension service agronomist.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—While Hurricane Ingrid has been a terrible, destructive houseguest in eastern Mexico, Texas Winter Garden growers would have welcomed her with open arms, said a Texas A&M extension service horticulturist.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Within two weeks, reservoir water levels could reach an all-time low throughout the state, according to John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State climatologist in College Station.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—While parts of the state have seen some rollback of the worst drought conditions, Lower Rio Grande Valley farmers continue to endure another year of extreme and severe drought, according to Texas A&M extension service personnel.
With San Antonio’s major water source at near-historic lows and no rain in the forecast, the Edwards Aquifer Authority announced Stage III pumping restrictions for the second time ever. Unless the weather changes, the city may have to soon follow suit and restrict its residents to watering their lawns once every two weeks, which it has never done.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—Though there have been some recent rains and irrigation pumping is in progress, High Plains corn and cotton is “highly variable,” according to a Texas A&M extension service expert.
DUMAS — Deep in the Texas Panhandle, where the decline of the Ogallala Aquiferhas left farmers fearful for their future, Harold Grall is hoping his field of tiny green corn plants will survive with minimal watering.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION—After a dry winter, as expected, grasshoppers are becoming a problem, but they are not as severe or profuse as they were during the 2011 drought, according to a Texas A&M extension service expert.
Texas Business reports: WESLACO – A total lack of irrigation water, whether by drought or international politics, would amount to agricultural losses in South Texas of almost $400 million annually and the loss of almost 5,000 jobs, according to an expert with the Texas A&M Extension Service.
Texas Business reports: BEAUMONT – Water restrictions in some parts of Texas and unseasonably cool temperatures that settled in earlier this year have had the state’s rice crop growing in a bit of uncertainty.
As Texas lawmakers say farmers in the Rio Grande Valley are hurting because Mexico is not honoring a treaty on surface water delivery, experts caution that greater attention should be paid to water deep below the surface.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Is Texas still in a drought? It depends upon where you are and whom you talk to, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor and reports from Texas A&M extension service agents across the state.
Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—National Cooperative Bank (NCB), a financial services company that provides banking products to cooperatives nationwide, completed a $4.7 million loan for the Wheatsville Food Co-op in Austin.
Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Recent hail storms in the Northern Plains were the final straw for much of the wheat there, but many areas still have the chance to make decent yields, according to a Texas A&M Extension Service agronomist.
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.
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