Party Like It's 1899

Super Bowl week turned out to be a slow one for HPD's vice squad

Subways can cost four times more than street-level lines, experts say.

Not to mention all the mops and squeegees Metro will need whenever it drizzles.

Lawyers, Guns and Money

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reaped a ton of bad press recently when it barred book authors from interviewing inmates. True-crime writers were not "news media," prison officials ruled.

The ACLU got involved, and the prison system has now backed down. Sort of.

In February, TDCJ general counsel Carl Reynolds allowed authors Kathryn Casey (A Warrant to Kill: A True Story of Obsession, Lies and a Killer Cop) and Suzy Spencer (Wages of Sin) to interview prisoners.

But he's making no promises about other writers who don't have a daily, weekly or monthly deadline.

"We continue to have serious reservations about treating book authors as tantamount to news media," he says. "However, we are exploring the possibility of some access for legitimate book authors."

Somewhere a lawyer or two is smiling, envisioning the billable hours.

He's Nader-riffic!

Ralph Nader -- or, as he's known in the White House, "The Kingmaker" -- came to Houston February 24, a few days after announcing his latest GOP-pleasing presidential run. He appeared at the University of Houston in conjunction with the National Day of Awareness and Action About Military Profiteering, a day that also included protests at Halliburton's downtown headquarters.

The folks who put together Harper's Index weren't there, but Hair Balls was:

*References per minute to corporate damnation at Nader's press conference: 1.375 (based on an eight-minute sample)

*Signatures needed to get Nader on the Texas ballot: 65,000

*Texans who voted for him in 2000: 138,000

*Alleged amount of time Nader needs to solve the Middle East conflict: "A very short period."

*Number of ominous white guys in suits inside Halliburton lobby during protest: 4

*Number of uniformed HPD officers outside: 4

*Number of protesters: 9

*Amount of "reality check" paid to Halliburton on behalf of "the people" (cue Dr. Evil voice): One billion dollars.

*Length, in seconds, of standing ovation Nader received from jam-packed crowd: 33

*Number of dudes sleeping in the sixth row by minute 17 of the speech: 1

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