What readers are saying about a possible Big 12 expansion

Big 12 chancellors, presidents and athletics directors are meeting this week in Irving to discuss the state of the league. Chief among those discussions: Should the Big 12 expand, or stay the way it is, currently with 10 teams? And how likely is it that the league will just dissolve?

Bevo Beat has put together a series of blogs discussing the Big 12’s expansion options. They’ll look at two schools a day for the rest of the week and weigh the pros and cons of each considered team joining the conference. First up for discussion this week are BYU and Boise State.

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But this is the Internet, and emotions run high, especially when speaking about college football. So what did readers have to say about all this Big 12 discussion? A lot.

One reader was annoyed about why the Big 12 was called the Big 12 when the conference only has 10 teams, and thought the conference had become “unwieldy.”HalHallBig12ConferenceFB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some were fed up with the conference and all the talk of expansion.

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As far as expansion talk, many readers weighed in on how they would rearrange the conference.

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And everyone had a lot of thoughts about whether or not the conference should add a championship game in football.

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What’s your take on all of the expansion talk? Let us know in the comments.

 

Things looking bright? Here’s why there are so many fireflies in Central Texas this year

Takashi Ota via Flickr
Takashi Ota via Flickr

Firefly, lightning bug, glow bug or “peenie wallie” — that’s right, peenie wallie — whatever you call the insect that seems to magically light up dark nights, Central Texans agree: There are a lot of them this year. After enough people got to talking about the abundance of the friendly little flies, KUT decided to find an entomologist and answer the burning (glowing) question of, “Why?”

According to Wizzie Brown with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the number of fireflies has a lot to do with rain. Fireflies need a wet spring to lay eggs, which in turn need moisture while they grow underground for nearly a year.

“When we were in the drought cycle you hardly ever saw any fireflies at all,” Brown said.

Essentially, they’re the plants of the insect world.

While Central Texas might be seeing a burst in its firefly population, the rest of the country isn’t necessarily experiencing the same thing. Factors like drought, land development and light pollution, which fireflies can find confusing, could be having a negative impact on the species’ numbers.

Chances are this season you won’t have to do much to spot these little light bulbs, but if you’re looking to make your yard even more firefly-friendly, try keeping your outdoor lights off and cutting your grass less often. You’ll get the warmest thank you.

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Send us your photos on ‘Bike to Work Day’

USE THIS LEDE: Participants, including Nicole Khalife, left, cycle across the boardwalk in the Rocket Electrics Foodie Tour on Thursday, March 3, 2016. The group, led by Luciano, biked between four different restaurants and bars. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
USE THIS LEDE: Participants, including Nicole Khalife, left, cycle across the boardwalk in the Rocket Electrics Foodie Tour on Thursday, March 3, 2016. The group, led by Luciano, biked between four different restaurants and bars. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

How did you get to work this morning? Did you observe “National Bike to Work Day” and ride your bike through what was recently ranked the third most bikeable downtown in the U.S.? If so, we want to see all those bike pics you didn’t have a use for before! Send us a picture of your bike, yourself on your bike or something similar from your morning commute at readerphotos@statesman.com, or tweet us @statesman.

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Employees at International Studies Abroad who participated in Bike to Work Day 2016. via Annie Fichtner

Austin’s downtown ranked 3rd most bikeable

USE THIS PHOTO OCTOBER 08, 2015 - Standing pylons separate traffic from a two-way bike lane for cyclists commuting along Rio Grande Street along a dedicated bike lane in West Campus Austin, Tx., on Thursday, October 8, 2015. Findings of the MobilityATX report coming out Thursday, the culmination of a five-month process of town hall meetings and online engagement to identify and prioritize ideas for making it easier to get around the city, found that bike lanes are what is wanted most by citizens participating in the survey. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Standing pylons separate traffic from a two-way bike lane for cyclists commuting along Rio Grande Street along a dedicated bike lane in West Campus Austin, Tx., on Thursday, October 8, 2015. Findings of the MobilityATX report coming out Thursday, the culmination of a five-month process of town hall meetings and online engagement to identify and prioritize ideas for making it easier to get around the city, found that bike lanes are what is wanted most by citizens participating in the survey. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Good news for those sitting in Austin traffic: It’s not going to get any better — but, if you opt instead to ride your bike, you’ll be riding it in the third most bikeable downtown in the U.S. According to real estate site Redfin, Austin’s downtown is only less bikeable than downtown Philadelphia and Tuscon. In compiling the rankings the site looked at Bike Score and reached out to local government officials to discuss the cities’ bike cultures and initiatives.

According to the list, newcomers to Austin are looking for “every extra dollar” and accordingly “foregoing the expense of a car.” Redfin also spoke with Mayor Steve Adler about the city’s protected bike paths and biker safety. While we know firsthand that Austin isn’t the cheapest city to live in, we’re also apt to believe that the ranking has something to do with the city’s fitness culture.

Do you agree with Redfin’s assessment of Austin’s bikeability? Or is bike-life a little more difficult out there in the Austin streets?

Twitter users react to Austin ISD not cancelling, delaying classes

Photo by Ralph Barrera
A school bus splashes water from the road during a rain storm May 19, 2016. Photo by Ralph Barrera

After a seemingly mundane tweet Thursday about morning rain, Austin ISD’s Twitter mentions began filling up with tweets, memes and gifs from locals wondering why the district hadn’t delayed classes.

School districts are much more likely to either cancel or delay classes due to flooding. But heavy rain and concerns about potential flooding have prompted districts to modify their schedules before, such as a heavy rain event during mid-April.

 

https://twitter.com/rylanpoole7/status/733302067180134401

Some users included gifs to express disappointment or confusion.

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Other users replied to the district’s tweets with memes.

https://twitter.com/alinarangell/status/733293240800026624

https://twitter.com/Jacob_Briseno44/status/733292556524490753

The winning tweet summed up the district’s decision just about perfectly.

Read about the latest weather conditions, and view more photos from Thursday’s rain. Download the American-Statesman’s weather app, available on Apple iTunes and Google Play. 

Weather means Austin observes ‘Don’t Rush’ day a little behind schedule

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Photo by Ralph Barrera

Turns out Austin got its “Don’t Rush” day after all. Although a little behind schedule, and having nothing to do with a request made by Mayor Steve Adler, Austinites found themselves with little choice when it came to how quickly they arrived at their destination this morning. Heavy rain throughout the Austin metro area and traffic delays meant slow travels and late starts for many commuters. Always dependable, social media users took to Twitter to express the sort of frustration only an Austin driver in rush hour can:

https://twitter.com/ATXTrafficTrack/status/733291545466667008

Glad to see we’re all on the same page, Austinites. And in the same line of cars, for that matter. Keep up with weather developments here and take your time. You deserve a mulligan.

Austin ranked in top 10 for jobs in Glassdoor list

More good news for people who want to move to Austin— job site Glassdoor says the city is one of the best for job searching.

Austin placed sixth on its list of 25 Best Cities for Jobs, a list which ranks cities based on how easy it is to get a job, cost of living, job satisfaction and work-life balance. The information used to rank the cities comes from Glassdoor’s job listings.

The Austin skyline on Tuesday December 16, 2014. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The Austin skyline on Tuesday December 16, 2014. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Austin earned a 3.3 overall (on a 5-point scale) for its 45,186 job openings, median base salary of $61,000 (as reported by Glassdoor users), and job satisfaction rating of 3.4. According to Glassdoor, the “hot jobs” in Austin are creative director, finance manager and solutions architect.

Austin’s taco-warring neighbors to the south, San Antonio, made the list at No. 20. San Antonio is the only other Texas city on the list.

If you really want work-life balance and job security, however, head to San Jose. It topped Glassdoor’s list with a 4.0 score.

Three Austin taco joints make list of ‘greatest’ in U.S.; San Antonio’s not happy

Austin’s taco prowess has once again garnered national merit and regional disdain.

Tina Phan/American-Statesman. 10.4.13. Statesman restaurant critic and reporter reviews several Austin Eats vendors during the first weekend of ACL on Friday, October 4, 2013. Trailer Park taco (fried chicken, green chiles, pico de gallo, lettuce, tomato, cheese), $5, from Torchy's Tacos.
Torchy’s Tacos is one of the Greatest Tacos in America, according to Foursquare users. Tina Phan/American-Statesman.

The foodies of the Foursquare community voted three Austin taco joints onto a list of 50 of the country’s best. Tacodeli and Veracruz All Natural came in at Nos. 6 and 11, respectively, while Foursquarians declared our own Torchy’s Tacos as America’s Greatest Taco Spot.

Foursquare has not been shy with love for our local taco scene in the past, by the way. Velvet Taco and Fuel City from Dallas and Tacos Tierra Caliente from Houston also represented Texas on the list.

RELATED: President Obama stopped at Torchy’s Tacos during his visit to Austin.

Feeling the snub, San Antonio decided it was time to reheat the taco beef between our two tortilla-loving towns. So much for your taco treaty, mayors.

In a story published online Wednesday, the San Antonio Express-News called Foursquare’s voters “misguided” and suggested they “get out more.” Tijerina also accused Torchy’s of taco plagiarism and “lame salsas.” But even he had to admit that our readers’ favorite green chile queso is “tasty.”

Sorry, San Antonio. As far as we’re concerned, the people have spoken. Can we still be friends?

MORE: 11 Austin tacos to try

Austin falls in love more than any other U.S. city, Match data finds

 

Christine Choi kisses her fiancee Kyle Ruiz at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Friday Oct. 3, 2014. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Christine Choi kisses her fiancee Kyle Ruiz at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Friday Oct. 3, 2014. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Sure, Austin’s already been coined the “Live Music Capital of the World.” But what about “City of Love?”

According to data released in 2015 from dating company Match, Austinites fall in love more than people from any other city in the U.S. We’re said to have fallen in love an average of 5.2 times, with Philadelphia coming in second at 4.39 times.

Match, which owns sites like Tinder and OkCupid, pulled the data from its fifth annual Singles in America survey in 2014, polling more than 5,000 people across the country. The result was a comprehensive list detailing dating trends in single Americans, from where they meet to their political views. The data also found that 67 percent of singles in San Antonio believe in love at first sight, making them the number one believers.

The dating company just released their sixth annual study, which named Austin as the most expensive place to have a date, with an average outing costing $81.42.

Other findings from the most recent study you might find interesting:

  • 33 percent of singles met their last first date through online dating.
  • You’re 107 percent less likely to get a second date if you skip dinner or drinks.
  • 40 percent of singles surveyed were Democrats and 19 percent were Republicans.
  • 50 percent of men are cool with dating their friend’s ex but only 25 percent of women agree.

And those stats are just the tip of the iceberg. Though most of the data is what you might expect, there were some surprising bits of information everyone might have fun checking out. Personally, my favorite section of the survey is probably where singles said Joe Biden and Marco Rubio beat out all other politicians for Most Kissable and Most Dateable.

Follow live: Is Texas prepared for a Zika virus outbreak?

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2016 file photo of aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia. Congress is ready to act on President Barack Obama’s long-stalled request for emergency funds to combat the Zika virus, which has been linked to serious birth defects and other major health problems. Obama requested $1.9 billion three months ago for several purposes, including creating a vaccine for the disease, taking steps to control the mosquitoes that spread Zika and helping other countries battle the virus. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)
FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2016 file photo of aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia. Congress is ready to act on President Barack Obama’’s long-stalled request for emergency funds to combat the Zika virus, which has been linked to serious birth defects and other major health problems. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)

The Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee will discuss the state’s preparedness to respond to a potential outbreak of the Zika virus at 1 p.m. The state will hear from the Texas Department of State Health Services and various county health officials, as well as medical schools.

Follow live as the American-Statesman’s Julie Chang covers the hearing.

More Zika coverage: