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: The Texas legislature toughened private property rights in a bill which was signed into law Monday.
Texas governor Rick Perry Monday signed Senate Bill 18, which implements landmark eminent domain reforms to strengthen private property rights.
SB 18 requires local and state government entities interested in acquiring private property to first make an offer, in writing and based on an appraisal, to the landowner to purchase the property through a voluntary sale for a fair price.
This prevents entities from making lowball offers knowing the land can be taken by eminent domain if the landowner doesn't accept.
The bill also requires condemnation petitions to specifically state the public use for which the land is needed, eliminating instances where land is taken without current plans for its use.
Additionally, the bill makes it clear that eminent domain may only be used for public use.
Further, SB 18 requires a government entity that takes land to first have a record vote stating the land to be taken and the project for which it is being taken.
It also requires entities to provide all appraisals of the property they have during negotiations to ensure landowners understand the fair market value of their land.
Finally, this legislation also allows landowners to repurchase land at the price they were paid for it if it becomes unnecessary for the project for which it was taken, or if no actual progress is made toward the project in 10 years, even if the project has not been cancelled.
This was the latest step in Texas eminent domain reform that started several years ago. At the last session, the Texas legislature passed a measure allowing Texans to vote on a constitutional amendment requiring land to be taken only for public use, ending the seizure of property for use by a private developer.
Additionally, local governments can no longer condemn an entire area for redevelopment by claiming it is blighted without proving that each section is blighted.
The amendment also protects Texas landowners against further grants of eminent domain authority by requiring each new grant to receive a two-thirds vote in each house of the legislature. Texas voters passed this amendment in November 2009.
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