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: HARLINGEN, Texas—Construction is expected to begin early next year on the new La Paloma Power Plant, to be located in the Harlingen Industrial Park in Harlingen, Texas located along the US-Mexico border near the Gulf of Mexico, in deep South Texas.
Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) told judges overseeing the licensing case for two proposed South Texas Project nuclear reactors that the applicant (NINA) is subject to foreign ownership control or domination requirements and does not meet the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act in this regard.
FracFocus, the online registry used by Texas and other states to disclose information about hydraulic fracturing, “creates obstacles to [regulatory] compliance” and seems “structurally skewed to delete” records, according to a reportfrom Harvard Law School’s Environmental Law Program.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Hainan Dongfang Henghe Energy Development Company Ltd., based in Hainan Province, China, selected Synthesis Energy Systems Inc. for a 10 billion RMB (US$1.6 billion) coal waste to synthetic natural gas (SNG) project in Jiangxi Province, China.
Texas Business reports: ABERDEEN, Scotland— Proserv Group Inc., an energy production technology services company, acquired Total Instrumentation & Controls (TIC), a specialist in in advanced process and control systems equipment, based in Houston.
Texas Business reports: Cleburne, Texas—Tennessee-based Delek US Holdings Inc., a diversified energy company with assets in the petroleum refining, retail and logistics industries, entered into an agreement to purchase a biodiesel production facility and related assets based in Cleburne, Texas from EQM Technologies & Energy Inc. for approximately $5.3 million.
Texas Business reports: THE WOODLANDS, Texas— Newpark Resources Inc. completed the acquisition of substantially all assets and operations of Alliance Drilling Fluids LLC, a provider of drilling fluids, proppants, and related services headquartered in Midland, Texas.
Texas Business reports: CLEBURNE, Texas—Air Liquide Industrial U.S. LP commissioned a new nitrogen liquefier at its air separation plant in Cleburne, Texas to further support growth in the Texas and Oklahoma industrial gas markets.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Kirby Corporation completed the acquisition of Penn Maritime Inc. and Maritime Investments LLC , an operator of tank barges and tugboats participating in the coastal transportation of primarily black oil products in the United States.
Federal officials have given energy and mining companies permission to pollute aquifers in more than 1,500 places across the country, releasing toxic material into underground reservoirs that help supply more than half of the nation's drinking water. In many cases, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted these so-called aquifer exemptions in Western states now stricken by drought and increasingly desperate for water.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Shell Offshore Inc.'s (Shell) Olympus hull, the approximately 32,500-metric ton main body of the Olympus TLP, departed from South Korea today to begin its two month journey to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Texas Business reports: Global demand for underground resources, such as oil and natural gas, is forecast to climb significantly in the years to come. To keep up with increasing needs, well stimulation techniques such as hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) are becoming more and more important.
Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—A research team led by The University of Texas at Austin, and including engineering and environmental testing firms URS and Aerodyne Research, is conducting a major field study to measure methane emissions from natural gas production, about which little empirical data exist.
Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—University of Texas at Austin physicists won a U.S. patent for an invention that could someday be used to turn nuclear waste into fuel, thus removing the most dangerous forms of waste from the fuel cycle.
Rice University research scientist Arava Leela Mohana Reddy holds strips of anode material and a piece of waste silicon (at left). Researchers at Rice and in Belgium found a way to recycle silicon into flexible anodes for lithium-ion batteries.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Researchers at Rice University and the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, developed a way to make flexible components for rechargeable lithium-ion (LI) batteries from discarded silicon.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Synthesis Energy Systems Inc. announced the syngas production facility for its Yima Joint Venture coal-to-methanol project in Henan Province, China, completed a test run of the first of three gasifiers currently under commissioning.
Texas Business reports: FORT WORTH—Intervale Capital, a private equity firm focused on the oilfield services industry, sold Ulterra Drilling Technologies LP to ESCO Corporation for $325 million in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments.
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—A proposal on novel vehicular natural gas storage led by Texas A&M University chemist Hongcai Joe Zhou is one of 13 selected nationwide to share in a total of $30 million awarded through the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to ignite American natural gas energy research and identify new ways to capitalize on the country's vast related reserves.
Toughened silicon sponges may make tenacious batteries Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Researchers at Rice University and Lockheed Martin reported this month that they’ve found a way to make multiple high-performance anodes from a single silicon wafer. The process uses simple silicon to replace graphite as an element in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, laying the groundwork for longer-lasting, more powerful batteries for such applications as commercial electronics and electric vehicles.Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—It's theoretically possible to produce about 500 times as much energy from algae fuels as is needed to grow the fuels, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.
Texas Business reports: TEMPLE, Texas—Panda Power Funds announced that its affiliate Panda Temple Power LLC has successfully completed the financing on its planned 758-megawatt natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle power plant in Temple, Texas.
Texas Business reports: LEVELLAND—Lighthouse Petroleum reached an agreement with HCE Operating LLC to buy a 100% working interest and 75% net revenue interest in leases, wells, well bores and equipment for the Reames/Masterson Production located within the Lindsea Bea Field of Haskell County, Texas.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Spectra Energy Corp received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to proceed with construction on the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project, a 20-mile expansion of the company's Texas Eastern Transmission and Algonquin Gas Transmission interstate pipeline systems.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Three land services providers – Mason Dixon Energy, OGM Land and Percheron –are merging to form Percheron LLC, a fully-integrated land services provider capable of serving clients coast-to-coast.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—CenterPoint Energy Field Services LLC (CEFS), an indirect, wholly-owned natural gas gathering, processing and treating subsidiary of CenterPoint Energ Inc., entered into two agreements to acquire gathering and processing assets located primarily in northeast Texas.
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: 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; Chinese investors checking out Texas, Austin; Texas makes bounce house operators carry liability coverage, but not plants like West Fertilizer;and more.