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: Pay plays a relatively small role in a nurse's decision to stay at or leave a job in a nursing home, according to new research from Rice University, the University of Pittsburgh and Baylor College of Medicine.
In a comprehensive study of certified nursing assistants, researchers found that attitudinal factors such as job satisfaction and emotional well-being are better predictors of turnover in long-term care facilities.
While previous studies have found high turnover rates -- between 23 and 36 percent -- in the long-term care industry, this new study found that only 5.8 percent of the workers left the industry and 8.4 percent switched to another facility within a year. "Many of the past studies mix full-time and part-time workers and tend to overestimate the turnover rate in the industry," said Vikas Mittal, co-author of the study and professor of marketing in Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business.
The study, to be published in an upcoming issue of The Gerontologist, gives nursing home administrators a better understanding of the work-related factors associated with staff turnover.
“As baby boomers age, it's critical for the U.S. to have a stable, long-term care workforce,” Mittal said. “Staff turnover in this industry increases the financial burden of caring for elders and interferes with the quality of care. Through our study we see that to increase the retention of these workers, administrators should address low job satisfaction among employees and provide health insurance.”
Mittal and his co-authors identified three distinct groups among the 620 certified nursing assistants they studied: stayers, who were in the same job for the same organization a year after they were first surveyed; switchers, who continued to work at least 30 hours per week as certified nursing assistants but for a different organization a year after they were first surveyed; and leavers, who were no longer in the direct-care industry or left the workforce entirely.
The study found that leavers were more likely than switchers to report physical health problems as their primary reason for leaving their jobs (65.6 percent versus 21.1 percent). Switchers were more likely than leavers to quit their jobs to pursue other opportunities (87.2 percent versus 63.3 percent).
Switchers were similar to stayers in terms of job factors, such as the amount of paid leave and health insurance they received, but differed from them in terms of key attitudinal factors and reported greater emotional distress, lower job satisfaction and less respect for their supervisor. The switchers reported positive outcomes -- lower emotional stress and greater job satisfaction after switching jobs -- even when switching resulted in lower pay. Job satisfaction remained unchanged for stayers.
“Although turnover is undesirable from the nursing home industry's perspective, it appears to benefit the individual workers,” Mittal said. “Even leavers, who are less inclined to this work or physically unable to continue the work, find greater satisfaction.”
An online version of the study, "Stayers, Leavers and Switchers Among Certified Nursing Assistants in Nursing Homes: A Longitudinal Investigation of Turnover Intent, Staff Retention and Turnover," is available at http://gerontologist.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/04/15/geront.gnr025.abstract.
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: Southwest Airlines wants American Airlines’ two gates at Love Field; Rule could mean lights out in Texas; Free encyclopedia called in lawyers after 300 'sock puppet' accounts were traced to Texas firm; The economics of Marfa; Famed Austin Nightclub Is Sold; Cinemark opening Movie Bistro in El Paso; Blockbuster Fades Out, But Some Texas Zombie Stores Will Live On; IBM debuts major new Austin design studioMexican Coke to Go the Way of Dublin Dr Pepper;and more.