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
Yes. The year’s over. There’s a lot of oil in the Gulf not there this time last year. And fracking. Not Battlestar Galactica expletive frak, but the fracking used to deliver natural gas in wells in Texas, and may pollute water wells. The EPA took over the TEQC air permitting program after a long game of legal chicken, and it’s not clear what will happen though this year supposedly is the hottest so far on record.
Yet the world’s economic pressures have come to play with the commodities of Texas. Demand from without Texas puts pressure on the supplies within Texas. Despite the glop of oil in the Gulf sea bottom, and the departure of much of the oil drilling in the Gulf, petroleum and natural gas assets of Texas are in great play. OPEC reportedly says the world can handle $100 barrel oil. Gasoline prices hover at $3 a gallon.
The scramble for Texas energy assets will continue into this next year. And yes, alternate energy infrastructure continues to rise in the state. Wind farms continue to spread across West Texas and elsewhere despite bat mortality and Boone Pickens withdrawing his support. Austin is one of the target markets for the Chevy Volt. But the real story that no one notices is the amount of coal mined in Texas. Texas is a coal mining state. Texas ranks third in the nation in coal-fired power production. Texas ranks at the top of carbon dioxide emissions. Thus, while most Texans don’t think of Texas as a mining state, it is.
The cotton harvests are at records, and China’s desire for cotton is at a record. China, of course, is scrambling to buy energy assets in Texas like the rest of the world, and Texas plants are buying manufacturing facilities in China.
Despite the promise of technologies in development in Texas and elsewhere (see, for example, the research on graphene in Austin), the substances underground, the crops on the ground and the wind blowing over the ground are what’s making life interesting in an economic recession.
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.