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Gender: Male
Hometown: George West, Georgetown, Austin, Brenham and Irving, Texas
Current location: Irving
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 8,241

About Me

BS - Mathematics from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Statistical Analyst. Played trumpet in college. Middle-aged white guy.

Journal Archives

Wichita Falls to Recycle Toilet Water into Drinking Water

Nope, it's not a two-weeks-late April Fools' joke: The city will be recycling 5 million gallons of "potty water" into (hopefully) clean and (fingers-crossed) drinkable water.

The decision to reuse the wastewater comes after existing restrictions have reduces waster usage by half.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality tested the water for 41 days to ensure that it is safe.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Wichita Falls residents have been utilizing rainwater harvest systems and reusing gray water since the severe drought began three years ago.

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15118/wichita-falls-to-recycle-toilet-water-into-drinking-water .

Dan Savage gets pornographic with a sense of humor in the festival of short films, Hump!

With nearly two dozen films among the slate of offerings, Dan Savage’s Hump Tour can fairly be called a legitimate film festival. But check the run-time: The entire event lasts less than 90 minutes. You could screen it simultaneously with Lawrence of Arabia — twice — and still have time for a bathroom break.

Yes, the movies making up what Savage tags “The Best of the Pacific Northwest’s Sexiest Film Fest” are all shorts, ranging from just 75 seconds to a long of about eight minutes. They are mostly made by different filmmakers with unknown casts, different styles and genres (animation, documentary, fiction). In fact, about the only thing these 20 movies do have in common is the subject matter: Sex.

And not just “sex,” as in male-female issues or love or even romance. Sex as in hardcore, explicit, unbridled fornication — what less sophisticated cineastes might call “porno.” Cuz that’s just what it is.

Yes, Dan Savage — he of the It Gets Better campaign, the Savage Love sex advice column and books about his “monogamish” marriage (he co-parents an adopted kid as well) — has assembled a reel of dirty movies, blessed with the patina of art … pop art, perhaps, but not out-right pornography.

More at http://www.dallasvoice.com/porn-wild-10171265.html .

Couturier Austin Scarlett tackles 'Project Opera'

FORT WORTH -- Austin Scarlett is having a diva moment. Actually, it’s not a moment, he’s been working on it for months.

And it’s not even his moment anyway.

The divas he’s thinking about are in the opera world, where Scarlett has found himself … and somewhat unexpectedly.

Scarlett — the fashion designer who shot to prominence as a fan favorite on Season 1 of Project Runway with his elaborate, tailored looks perfect for ballgowns and wedding dresses — is goin’ to the opry! He’s been tapped as the costume designer for one of the productions in the Fort Worth Opera’s upcoming 2014 festival.

More at http://www.dallasvoice.com/study-scarlett-10171249.html .

Some generic drugs have had eye-popping price spikes

Pharmacist Larry Cowan can flip through his records and spot the generic drugs that have taken big price jumps in the past year or so.

There’s digoxin, a heart medicine that he used to buy for pennies a pill.

“Now the price is close to 10 times that,” said Cowan, owner of Glenview Professional Pharmacy in Richland Hills.

There’s doxycycline, a decades-old antibiotic that went on the Food and Drug Administration’s shortage list in 2012 and became the poster child for generic price spikes. Cowan said a tablet of doxycycline went from about 6 cents in late 2012 to $3.65 in late 2013, a 6,100 percent increase.

More at http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/04/19/5748846/some-generic-drugs-have-had-eye.html?rh=1 . (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Man in custody over fake bomb, Walmart shoppers released

KEMAH -- A Sugar Land man is accused of creating a hoax bomb scare Saturday that forced authorities to bring out bomb disposal teams and lockdown a local Walmart for four hours.

Mehrzad Malekzadeh, 35, was arrested on class-A misdemeanor charges of making terroristic threats involving a fake bomb. He was being held in the Galveston County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Kemah police Sgt. Mark Hinson said a pipe bomb like device police found inside the man’s car was not a real bomb. He said the suspect had been taken into custody and was being examined by mental health authorities.

The situation unfolded Saturday morning, when police were notified about 9 a.m. of a suspicious man wearing a mask and wielding a knife in a car in the parking lot of the Super Target Store, 255 Marine Bay Drive.

More at http://www.galvestondailynews.com/free/article_77903db8-c7ff-11e3-84d6-001a4bcf6878.html .

There is an apparent error in the story. In two separate paragraphs it mentions that he incident occurred at a Walmart store, while in the fourth paragraph it mentions a Super Target store.

Sen. Fraser says Lower Colorado River Authority does not qualify for loan to finance new reservoir

The Lower Colorado River Authority would not be eligible to borrow $250 million from the Texas Water Development Board to pay for the construction of a new lower basin reservoir because the project does not meet the qualifications spelled out in the law that created a new $2 billion water fund, Sen. Troy Fraser said Friday.

“The reservoir does not qualify for funds under the law as it is now constructed,” said Fraser, who also said he will work to prevent construction of the new reservoir unless the utility tightens its rules related to releasing stored water from the Highland Lakes for use downstream.

Fraser is chairman of the Texas Senate’s Natural Resources Committee and authored the bill in the last legislative session that created the fund to be used for financing water supply projects.

LCRA officials announced this week that they plan to apply for the loan from the water development board.

More at http://www.highlandernews.com/fraser-says-lcra-does-not-qualify-for-loan-to-finance-new-reservoir/ .

Advocates urge Perry to ban Tasers in schools

After a Round Rock high school resource officer used a Taser on a 16-year-old student to stop a fight Monday, some youth advocates on Tuesday sent a letter to Gov. Rick Perry, urging him to ban the use of Tasers and pepper spray in public schools.

“Use of Tasers and pepper spray has become far too routine in public schools, despite rigorous restrictions in other child-serving settings, including juvenile lockups,” Texas Appleseed, a nonprofit that advocates for social justice, wrote in the letter.

Appleseed, along with seven other groups, has sent Perry two letters in recent months — the first one on Feb. 26 — regarding what they called “abusive uses of force” in schools. The letters came after a November incident in which then 17-year-old Noe Niño de Rivera suffered traumatic brain injury after collapsing when a Bastrop County sheriff’s office deputy tased him at Cedar Creek High School. Rivera was in a coma for 52 days and is currently in rehabilitation, Appleseed deputy director Deborah Fowler said.

Some law enforcement officers, however, are skeptical of the requests for a ban, arguing that they need more options to handle violence in schools.

More at http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/advocates-urge-perry-to-ban-tasers-in-schools/article_96078d96-c822-11e3-a4d6-001a4bcf6878.html .

Everything You Need to Know* About Rick Perry’s Newest Scandal (*But were afraid to ask)

These days, we’re hearing increasingly less from Gov. Rick Perry. It’s his last year in office, and he’s been taking it easy—having fun in the South Pacific while his would-be competitors in the 2016 presidential primary flame out in spectacular fashion.

He may not keep that low profile for that much longer, though. A little scandal from the doldrums of last summer is roaring back to life, and Perry faces the threat of criminal charges over accusations that he tried to force the Travis County district attorney to resign. There’s the added intrigue over the allegation that Perry’s aim was to kill an investigation into the scandal-plagued Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). It’s one little thread in the well-worn sweater of Gov. Perry’s long tenure in office, but it threatens to damage his presidential ambitions.

With stories like these, which build up and fade over long periods of time, it’s difficult to follow what’s really going on. Many people—including more than a few national reporters—seemed surprised to learn this week that the longest-serving governor in Texas history may be facing indictment. We hope this primer helps catch you up on the story so far.

So how’d all this start?

Like many schemes, it started with vodka. Rosemary Lehmberg had been serving as Travis County DA for a little more than four years when, late on the night of April 12, 2013, she was pulled over near Lake Travis, west of Austin. Police found an open vodka bottle in the car and arrested her. She verbally berated the arresting officers, and she didn’t stop the verbal abuse when she got to jail. Lehmberg was strapped into a restraining chair. Hours after her arrest, she blew a .239, almost three times the legal limit.

More at http://www.texasobserver.org/everything-wanted-know-rick-perrys-new-scandal/ .

Southwestern Christian University (Oklahoma) student pays tuition with 500 pounds of pennies

It was a heavy load, but Andrew Magbee wanted to make a point.

To show how important it is to live debt-free, the senior at Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma paid his final school bill in rolled up pennies.

He wheeled nearly 100,000 coins onto campus in neatly stacked boxes, all to prove that saving every cent can really pay off.

“I’m paying my last school payment with pennies. It kind of reminds me and will remind me in the future that every little penny counts,” he told KOTV in Tulsa.


TEA flags Waco ISD for discipline missteps with black students

Waco Independent School District is working to correct problems with discipline after it was reprimanded by the Texas Education Agency for placing black students in the district’s alternative education program at a rate higher than other groups, among other infractions. WISD was issued a Stage 4 indicator for discipline, the most severe rating given, according to a report presented at the district’s Thursday night board of trustees meeting.

Data from the TEA report indicated that black students are three times more likely to be placed in the Disciplinary Alternative Education Program for offenses that don’t automatically require that placement, such as being involved in a gang or threatening another student.

About 60 percent of discretionary DAEP placements were black students, even though they make up about 30 percent of the student body.

Additionally, the district expelled 20 students for actions that are not considered expellable under the Texas Education Code, such as fighting and persistent misbehavior. Expellable offenses include possessing a weapon and selling drugs, among other misconduct.

More at http://www.wacotrib.com/news/education/tea-flags-waco-isd-for-discipline-missteps-with-black-students/article_e0c88634-4453-5bab-b46c-57df5023928d.html .
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