Texas Monthly editor: ‘Texans don’t care about politics’ quote taken out of context

Comments made by Texas Monthly’s new editor-in-chief Tim Taliaferro in a Columbia Journalism Review article published Monday have had social media in a tizzy.

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Tim Taliaferro via handout

The Review reported that Texas Monthly is shifting its focus from “in-depth political coverage and longform journalism” to “lifestyle coverage, website enhancements, and a live-events business.” The article quoted Taliaferro as saying that “Texans don’t care about politics.”

Texas Twitter did not appreciate being spoken for, and many tweeted out their displeasure with both the comment and the magazine’s seemingly new direction.

Taliaferro fired out a few tweets of his own Monday. The former editor of the University of Texas alumni magazine, The Alcalde, wrote that the comment was taken out of context. Taliaferro further clarified his intention for the publication’s future in a note to readers published on Texas Monthly’s website Tuesday — not before poking a little fun at the situation first.

The Columbia Journalism Review also tweeted out more context for the quote, in which Taliaferro says that he personally is “less interested in politics”:

In his note, Taliaferro said he “unfortunately gave the CJR the wrong impression” and knows “Texans care about politics, and deeply, especially in these times.” The note says there is “no intention of softening the magazine’s attention on the people who affect the lives of Texans,” but they “also want to know about barbecue. And energy. And music. And football.”

You can read the Columbia Journalism Review’s story here and Taliaferro’s full note here.

Editor’s note: The author of this post previously worked under Tim Taliaferro when he was an editor at The Alcalde.

Severe storms in Austin take down El Arroyo sign

Is comedy dead?

presdident

No. But the 600-pound source of jokes and uncomfortable truths that is the El Arroyo sign was among the causalities of last night’s severe storms in Austin. The restaurant tweeted out a picture of the sign lying flat in the parking lot, shattered.

The winds, which clocked in at 60-70 mph, were strong enough to take down the reportedly very heavy sign. But then again they were also strong enough to derail a train in Thrall.

Here’s to hoping the sign is back up on its feet soon, with plenty of eye-roll-worthy jokes (just like those below) to come:

10 signs out of the Austin Marathon that almost made us want to run

Tom McCarthy Jr.Phoenix Subia, 5, does his part to motivate runners with his power up sign which Jaret Thornton takes advantage of during the Austin Marathon and Half-marathon presented by NXP Feb. 19. 02/19/17 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Tom McCarthy Jr.Phoenix Subia, 5, does his part to motivate runners with his power up sign which Jaret Thornton takes advantage of during the Austin Marathon and Half-marathon presented by NXP Feb. 19. 02/19/17 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The best part of any marathon (aside from the whole great sense of accomplishment thing) has got to be the signs. Austinites did not disappoint when they broke out their markers and put their witty words to poster board for Sunday’s Austin Marathon. Check out some of the best below:

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#bestamsign17

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READ: Austin’s Macsas endures ‘brutal’ race to finish as women’s champion

READ: Ex-Horn Thorne survives challenging conditions, tops marathon field

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#bestamsign17 #runaustin17 #austinmarathon

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There was more to see than just signs at the race, however:

Congratulations to everyone who made it out and participated!

PHOTOS: Austin Marathon and Half Marathon

We may be getting a Texas flag emoji soon, but it might not be because of the Legislature

 

Last week, state Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress submitted a resolution to the Texas Legislature that called for “Texans not to use the flag emoji of the Republic of Chile when referring to the Texas flag.” HCR 75 would “hereby reject the notion that the Chilean flag, although it is a nice flag, can in any way compare to or be substituted for the official state flag of Texas and urge all Texans not to use the Republic of Chile flag emoji in digital forums when referring to the Lone Star Flag of the great State of Texas.”

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The Texan flag.

The two flags do look a lot alike (hence the inevitable substitution of one for the other). But according to a Dec. 9, 2016 blog post from Emojipedia, Emoji 5.0 is now available for public review, and a Texas flag emoji is on its list of upcoming features. A release date for the update has not been set, but it will most likely be in the first half of 2017.

A third-party developer has created a pack for all 50 flags and Washington, D.C. which will be available to vendors to see if they want to support those features on iOs or Android. Flags from Scotland, Wales and England are on the list, too.

So, basically, even if that resolution goes through, it might be worthless by the time you update your phone with the latest operating system.

And if you really want a Texas emoji that bad, you can download that third-party emoji pack mentioned above through the App Store here.

 

Do you crave pecan pies? This vending machine will happily drive you nuts.

 

Do you crave pecan pies every day? Do you dream about them in your sleep? If so, this pecan pie vending machine can satisfy your cravings for this sweet, nutty delight any hour of the day or night. Located off Highway 71 in Cedar Creek, the vending machine stands in front of the Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Company shop. It’s regularly stocked with pecan pies and other nutty treats.

new-vending
Courtesy of Atlas Obscura

RELATED: Now open: Sprinkles cupcake bakery, home of the 24-hour cupcake ATM

You can even get a selfie to appropriately document your pecan craving. A giant squirrel statue holding a pecan stands 14 feet tall holding a giant pecan bigger than your head, watching over the shop and the vending machine. Tourists often take pictures with the squirrel and pecan one with the pies (pun totally intended).

RELATED: Need a new winter dessert? Try wine-soaked pears in sorbet, cocktails 

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Reports: Texas state senator smashed glass table with gavel during hearing

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, who is chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, broke a glass table when he smashed his gavel on its surface to stop the testimony of an intern with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas during a Wednesday hearing, according to reports.

Senator Charles Schwertner, Chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services convened a hearing in the Senate Chambers Wednesday morning February 15, 2017 on three abortion-related Republican bills and listen to testimony from the public. Schwertner is the author of Senate Bill 8. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Senator Charles Schwertner, Chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services convened a hearing in the Senate Chambers Wednesday morning February 15, 2017 on three abortion-related Republican bills and listen to testimony from the public. Schwertner is the author of Senate Bill 8.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Maggie Hennessy was speaking against Senate Bill 415, which would “prohibit certain dismemberment abortions,” when Schwertner interrupted her to tell her that her “time is done.”

Hennessy continued, saying “I urge you all to stop playing with women’s healthcare as if it is your own political puppet,” before Schwertner hit his gavel with a loud crack.

Alexa Garcia-Ditta, communications and policy initiatives director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, took a picture of the broken table following the hearing and tweeted it out, writing that “Schwertner hit the table so hard w/ his gavel demanding that our intern stop talking during her testimony that he broke the glass.”

The Express-News reported that Schwertner acknowledged he may have overexerted, saying, “I may need to dial it back to just one bowl of Wheaties in the morning.”

You can watch the clip of Schwertner breaking the table on Jezebel, and the video of the full hearing here.

Read more on the ongoing debate surrounding abortion in the Texas Senate here.

A Texas representative wants you to stop using the Chilean flag emoji

When Texans text, we sometimes need to express our love of our state. One of the best ways to do that is through emojis. They say so much with so little. Who among us hasn’t substituted the taco, sunset, horse, cow, cactus, avocado or beer emojis for the real thing when we’re trying to make our text messages pop out a little bit more?

Perhaps the biggest expression of Texan pride is invoking the Texas state flag, the old Lone Star. But there is no Lone Star Flag emoji for any platform, according to emojipedia.com. So the solution for many has been to simply use a flag that looks like the Texas state flag.

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The flag of the republic of Chile.
texas_flag__large_by_dallasx
The Texas flag.

The Chilean flag, shown above, looks a lot like the Texan flag, and there’s even an emoji for it on various mobile platforms. So, many people have been using that as a Texan flag substitute. And at least one Texas legislator doesn’t like that.

HCR 75, filed and introduced in the Texas Legislature Thursday, “urg[es] Texans not to use the flag emoji of the Republic of Chile when referring to the Texas flag.”

The resolution was written by state Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress. He previously designed SB 978, a bill aimed at protecting patients from a loophole in Texas Medical Board regulation of physicians performing anesthesia in office-based settings.

Notably, the resolution doesn’t call for a Texas flag emoji to be created; it just wants people to know that Chile’s flag isn’t Texas’ flag.

Bluebonnets already? Texans note early arrival of state flower

There’s nothing friendlier than a Texas roadside sprinkled with bluebonnets. But the second week in February, seriously?

USE LEDE ON TRAVEL COVER: Bluebonnets grow along a county road between Spicewood, Texas and Lake Travis. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Bluebonnets grow along a county road between Spicewood, Texas and Lake Travis. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

According to Texas Monthly’s John Nova Lomax, who has loosely kept track of the state flower’s first appearance each year, 2017 is a new record for the bluebonnet. Lomax reports that he spotted a bluebonnet Feb. 8, “ahead of all his previous records.”

He spoke with the director of horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Andrea DeLong-Amaya who said that because of the “warm, crazy-warm” weather a lot of plants, including bluebonnets, have made an early appearance.

“I don’t want to freak anyone out, but this seems like a clear sign of global warming to me,” Lomax says. According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s website “bloom time” for bluebonnets is March through May. Not February, and definitely not early February. Amaya says it is “a clear sign of the unseasonably, record-breaking heat that we’ve had,” and that the small amount of cold weather we did experience in January served to slow the arrival of spring flora only slightly.

On the upside you can always get your annual bluebonnet photo shoot out of the way a little ahead of schedule.

8 tips for taking better bluebonnet photos 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: NFL should ‘govern football, not politics’

Where do bathrooms and sports find themselves together on the field? In a spat between the NFL and the Texas governor, apparently. In an interview with conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said the NFL is “walking on thin ice” and should “get the heck out of politics,” according to ESPN. Abbott’s comments come after NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Friday that the NFL may refuse to host sporting events in places that are “discriminatory or inconsistent with our values.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott during the Texas Longhorns against Oklahoma Sooners in the NCAA college football game at the AT&T Red River Rivalry Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas Texas Saturday, Oct 10, 2015. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott during the Texas Longhorns against Oklahoma Sooners in the NCAA college football game at the AT&T Red River Rivalry Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas Texas Saturday, Oct 10, 2015. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Two so-called “bathroom bills” have been filed in the Texas Legislature this session, with backing from by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. From the American-Statesman’s Chuck Lindell:

Senate Bill 6 and a similar measure, House Bill 1362, would prohibit public schools from letting transgender children use multistall bathrooms that conform with their gender identity. State government buildings also would be barred from creating transgender-friendly bathrooms, and cities and counties would be prohibited from requiring bathrooms that accommodate transgender individuals.

READ: NFL more forceful on Texas ‘bathroom bill’ after Super Bowl.

Abbott also weighed in on Twitter and invoked the “Deflategate” scandal:

None of the future NFL Super Bowl games scheduled through 2021 will be held in Texas.

RELATED: Dan Patrick unveils Texas transgender ‘bathroom bill’

Texas ranks 15th in online list for immigrants’ economic impact

 

Texas ranks 15th on a recent online list measuring the impact of immigrants on state economies.

Protesters marched from Austin City Hall to the Texas State Capitol protesting Trump immigration policies on Sunday morning, Nov. 13, 2016. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Protesters marched from Austin City Hall to the Texas State Capitol protesting Trump immigration policies on Sunday morning, Nov. 13, 2016.
RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

California ranked first overall on the list, compiled by WalletHub and based off of qualities such as  “median household income of foreign-born population” and “jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses as a share of total jobs.”

More: What are sanctuary cities? Here’s a list of sanctuary cities, counties, states

Texas ranked high in several categories, like the percentage of foreign-born STEM workers out of the entire state’s population (6th) and in the share of foreign-born population and the share of foreign-born members of the workforce (both ranked 7th).

More: Abbott makes ending ‘sanctuary cities’ emergency item for state lawmakers

Mississippi ranked last in the study.

Here are Texas’ full rankings:

Immigrants’ Economic Impact on Texas (1=Biggest Impact; 25=Avg.):

  • 18th – Percentage of Jobs Generated by Immigrant-Owned Businesses Out of Total Jobs
  • 6th – Percentage of Foreign-Born STEM Workers Out of Total STEM Workers
  • 29th – Percentage of Fortune 500 Companies Founded by Immigrants or Their Children
  • 24th – Percentage of Jobs Created by Presence of International Students Out of Total Jobs
  • 28th – Economic Contribution of International Students per Capita
  • 7th – Share of Foreign-Born Workforce
  • 7th – Share of Foreign-Born Population

View the full list and its methodology here.