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: Before the Tarrant Regional Water District builds and buries a 150-mile pipeline that will stretch from Lake Benbrook to Lake Palestine in East Texas, it must ensure that the soil that surrounding the mammoth line will remain stable for decades to come.
To that end, the district has awarded a grant of nearly $600,000 to Ali Abolmaali, UT Arlington professor and interim chair of the department of civil engineering, to simulate the behavior and response of pipe-soil interaction that will surround its massive Integrated Pipeline Project.
The pipeline is a $2.3 billion project developed by the Tarrant Regional Water District and Dallas Water Utilities. The pipeline is expected to provide water for an additional 1.5 million people in North Texas. Construction could begin as early as 2014, with the pipeline operating by 2021.
“It’s important that forces and deflections of the soil-pipe interaction system are accurately estimated for varying soil and pipe dimensions to be used as design tools,” Abolmaali said. “We are developing three dimensional non-linear finite element models of pipe and surrounding soil by taking into account algorithms for staged construction, this is a unique model.”
Such massive construction projects typically use crushed rock as a backfill. But crushed rock is very expensive, particularly for a pipeline so long and one that will be 108 inches in diameter for much of its length. That’s why the district has turned to native soil as a backfill material.
“We have to quantify the risk in building the pipeline,” said David Marshall, engineering services director for the Tarrant Regional Water District. “The pipe acts more like a shell for the water. We can’t have a crack in the shell.”
Abolmaali will develop computer simulation programs that the water district can use to gauge the response of the pipe and the loads that the pipe must be able to handle. He also will conducting field tests and perform comparisons between those field tests and computer simulations.
“Then we’ll use the simulation to develop design aids for teams,” Abolmaali said. “We will develop design equations that will then be introduced into national specifications.”
Marshall said Abomaali’s work is critical, as design standards for such pipelines have not been updated since the 1920s.
“They never considered back then that we’d be using a 108-inch pipe today,” Marshall said.
Infrastructure needs today are substantially more important than society ever envisioned, UT Arlington Engineering Dean J.-P. Bardet said.
“This is a water highway that will help this North Texas area with basic needs now and in the future,” Bardet said. “Dr. Abolmaali’s work ensures the district makes the right decisions.”
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.