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
Stefan Romanoschi, an associate professor in the UT Arlington Department of Civil Engineering, will lead the study focused on the strengths and weaknesses of asphalt mixes containing recycled asphalt pavement and recycled asphalt roof shingles.
Texas Business reports: The Texas Department of Transportation awarded a $1.12 million grant to a UT Arlington civil engineering professor to determine the durability of recycled materials for use in road construction.
As part of the project, UT Arlington is building a new accelerated pavement testing center, next to The UT Arlington Research Institute on Jack Newell Boulevard in Fort Worth just off Loop 820. The center is scheduled to open this fall. The overall road pad at the accelerated pavement testing center could be a little bigger than a half-acre in size.
Stefan Romanoschi, a UT Arlington associate professor in civil engineering, designed and built the accelerated pavement testing machine. It will test recycled products in pavement for the Texas Department of Transportation at a soon-to-be-completed pavement testing center near the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute on Jack Newell Boulevard, just off Loop 820 in Fort Worth.
“TxDOT is constantly searching for ways to improve or lengthen roadway life,” Romanoschi said. “Seeing how the recycled asphalt performs and how long it lasts could help TxDOT lengthen a road’s life and change the way the agency maintains roads.”
John Obr, TxDOT construction division director, said the agency is trying to find better, more environmentally friendly ways to build roads.
“Studying the performance of recycled asphalt is just one of the many ways the agency gets behind projects and research to provide greener alternatives to conventional road building,” Obr said.
TxDOT is using recycled asphalt on an increasing number of maintenance and rehabilitation projects, Obr added.
“Depending on research results, the agency could potentially increase the recycled asphalt in road projects, saving millions of dollars for taxpayers,” he said.
J.-P. Bardet, dean of the UT Arlington College of Engineering, said the new pavement testing center is likely to attract new industry partners for University-led research.
“Businesses need to test materials before investing a great deal of money in them, and we are seeing much more private sector involvement in highway construction,” said Bardet, also a civil engineer. “This center is the perfect way for the private sector to determine which road materials work best and how long those materials will last.”
In preparation for the TxDOT project, Romanoschi built an accelerated pavement testing machine that is about 68 feet long by 10 feet wide by 11 feet tall and weighs 60,000 pounds. The apparatus eventually will be transported to the pavement testing center.
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: 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;American Airlines, US Airways to name post-merger leadership within weeks; Texas power cushion seen at lowest level in a decade; Media outlets reflect Houston's diversity; and more.