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: McGregor—Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and the City of McGregor signed a lease agreement allowing SpaceX to expand the size of its rocket development facility in McGregor.
Under the deal, SpaceX will lease 631 acres—the equivalent of almost 500 football fields—for its test facility. The new lease will more than double the size of the current 256-acre site on the western edge of McGregor and will last roughly 10 years to January 31, 2021.
The McGregor operation is on the former Bluebonnet Ordnance plant, then Hercules plant before it was closed several years before SpaceX began operations.
“Our Texas rocket development facility is critical to our operations,” said SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk in a prepared statement. “This lease will allow us to move forward on the growth we have planned for Texas. SpaceX already has more than $2.5 billion in launch contracts for us to carry out over the next few years – McGregor is going to be a very busy place.”
The McGregor city council voted in favor of on February 25, and the final contract was signed Wednesday.
SpaceX designs, manufactures, tests, and launches commercial rockets that carry satellites and spacecraft to orbit, and spacecraft to transport cargo and has plans to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
Every Merlin engine that powers the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and every Draco thruster that controls its Dragon spacecraft is first tested on the ground in Texas before launch.
Since starting operations in Texas in 2003, SpaceX has invested $50 million in McGregor and expects to have at least 140 employees by year’s end. Texas operations in McGregor will continue to expand to support dozens of upcoming launches already under contract, with more on the way. In addition, SpaceX is in negotiations with NASA to develop and test a launch abort system for the Dragon spacecraft. That development will begin in McGregor.
On December 8, SpaceX became the first commercial company to successfully return a spacecraft from orbit, a feat achieved by only a few nations in the history of space travel. The December flight was SpaceX’s first demonstration flight under NASA’s COTS program to develop commercial supply services to the International Space Station. SpaceX will fly at least 12 missions as part of a $1.6 billion contract for NASA to carry cargo to and from the Space Station after the Space Shuttle program ends later this year. Both the Dragon spacecraft and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket were designed from the beginning to carry astronauts and are well positioned to fly the first-ever commercial, manned space missions.
The growth in McGregor is reflective of growth company wide. SpaceX now employs over 1,250 employees since being founded in 2002 and the company has been profitable since 2007.
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.