People are oddly fascinated with horrible happenings. We get it. Some want to see the evidence and make contact with people who perpetrated the crimes. But it's still stunning to see the gun Charles Whitman used at the University of Texas Tower shootings up for auction. That is, until we saw all of ... More >>
Free Press Summer Fest dodged a pretty serious bullet this year. When festival officials announced that the grounds around Eleanor Tinsley Park needed to be evacuated around 2 p.m. last Saturday afternoon, some of us who were there had visions of pandemonium at the exits and the kind of heavy rains ... More >>
Religious liberty is at the very heart of what it means to be an American, yet Texas conservatives and our state's activist pastors have conveniently forgotten that.
Ignored by the state Democratic establishment like he was an Al-Qaeda terrorist wearing a bomb coat, Richard "Kinky" Friedman still managed to garner about 185,000 votes in the Democratic primary March 4. Friedman's vote total put him in second place with 37.7 percent of the vote and forced a late M ... More >>
"We're heading into nut country today," President John F. Kennedy said to Jackie on the morning of November 22, 1963 -- 50 years ago today. Nut country was Dallas, Texas. The city had gained a reputation as "nut country" because of incidents like: In the years and months before Kennedy was assassi ... More >>
For years, daily news publications have struggled. As the market flooded with broadcast outlets and the Internet rendered news essentially free to anyone who wanted to read, many newspapers simply became unsustainable. But the real killer was Craigslist, which destroyed classified advertising, the b ... More >>
We've all had our suspicions about Sen. Ted Cruz. Didn't he seem a little too comfortable in that chilly Washington D.C. weather? Didn't someone one time hear him say something nice about Queen Elizabeth II? When he stops talking, doesn't it seem like something is missing? A space for a good old Can ... More >>
In the wake of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion, the folks over at the Chemical Safety Board got their team together and headed to Texas to start the process of sifting through the massive pile of rubble at the blast site to try and figure out what actually happened on April 17 when the f ... More >>
The 13 restaurants that nearly made our 30 essential Texas restaurants list.
Eat here before you die.
I get that cops have a difficult job. I really do. But when two women are pulled over on Texas highway and have their body cavities searched because the officer said the car had the "aroma" of marijuana, something is just wrong. According to the report from the Dallas Morning News and the Daily Mail ... More >>
We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involving wit ... More >>
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published a massive project studying standardized-test scores across the nation in the wake of a scandal in that city. Their analysis showed, the paper said, "that test scores in hundreds of cities followed a pattern that, in Atlanta, indicated cheating in multi ... More >>
Mike PorterBathe, hippies, bathe!Rocks Off can't do anything about the drought, but this weekend we will be breaking our own personal drought and returning to the Austin City Limits Music Festival after taking 2010 off. But long before ACL, there was another massive musical gathering in Texa ... More >>
Hey, Texas A&M and the Southeastern Conference: Get a room already! Then get married or whatever because this idle flirtation, which has been going on for years, is getting tired. For the past few weeks, a potential move by A&M to the SEC has become a hot topic, especially after the A&M Boar ... More >>
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee ... More >>
We can all indulge our inner Racer XThe Dallas Morning News (behind a paywall but AP report is here) noted a small clause in a transportation bill passed by the House in Austin this week -- if approved by the Senate, it allows speed limits to be raised on some Texas highways to 85 mph, the hi ... More >>
CNN, USA Today, and other media organizations got fooled.
The great American game is another chance to foist false research on a gullible media
TCEQ step aside, feds sayIs an agency a "watchdog" when it doesn't watch? Apparently the feds don't think so. In a bold move today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was taking over the job of issuing greenhouse-gas permits in Texas because the Texas Council on Environmental ... More >>
Still plenty of action at the State Bar of TexasTexas lawyers have always been allowed to bone (or be boned by) their clients. No prohibitions, no scolding from the State Bar, no penalties.Everyone's happy, right? And it's not a barter system at all -- in all cases, it's true love between a heroi ... More >>
Each week, we put together a sampler plate of the most interesting links from both local and national food blogs. Know a blog we should be paying particular attention to? Leave the address in the comments section below. The Mighty Rib: Kevin's been on the road lately and reviewing restaurant far ou ... More >>
Former intelligence agent Gabriel Allon is drawn back into the spy game once again
The other day, Hair Balls was discussing the case of Crystal Sosa with a friend.Sosa is a young prostitute. Two years ago, her dead infant was discovered stashed in the freezer of the motel where she was staying with her boyfriend. She was eventually convicted of nothing more serious than attempt ... More >>
Photo by Jim SchutzeThe Lower Greenville Avenue portion of Dallas is one of the city's more enjoyable areas (Caveat: We haven't been there in a while; maybe it's become Douchebag/Yuppie Central.) (And yes, we know the response to that is "Well, it is in Dallas.") A four-alarm fire engulfed a chu ... More >>
The Houston school district announced a major reorganization yesterday, naming three top officials to oversee elementary, middle school and high school education.Two of the three came from out of the district, including David Simmons, who will supervise high school policies.Simmons had been super ... More >>
Murder, betrayal and conspiracy - what a wonderful way to start 2010
Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison are locked in a pitched battle over the soul of the GOP. They are also running for governor.
Photo by Aaron M. SprecherAt noon yesterday, the long rumored and speculated-on demise of the Houston Astros baseball season was officially confirmed. Not so surprisingly, approximately five hours later, the long rumored and speculated on demise of the Houston Chronicle as a news-gathering or ... More >>
Photo courtesy ArtaniaArtania, a Russian horse-show, has certainly had its ups and downs in Texas.Their first shows in April, at Sam Houston Race Park, ran into the kind of severe weather we have here every spring.Then, as we reported back in April, the trick-riding show, which got extravagant prais ... More >>
Photo by Kyle Jameson Matt Stiles, one of several high-profile Chronicle reporters who survived the spring job cuts only to quit the paper, has landed on his feet.The former City Hall and Austin-bureau reporter will be on the staff of the Texas Tribune, which describes itself as "a non-profit, ... More >>
Photo by ACommentSouthwest Airlines has created a huge amount of buzz among low-fare junkies this morning with the announcement of a two-day sale where all tickets cost either $30, $60 or $90 one-way.As the Dallas Morning News' aviation blog puts it: Southwest calls it "one of the biggest fare sales ... More >>
The news day is nearly done, and we can begin to total up the Official Rick Perry Hair-Joke Count.As you likely know, Perry broke his collarbone while riding a bike. If you didn't know, then you were, apparently, one of the few people who didn't head directly to the web to make a hair joke.Google ri ... More >>
With what is surely the Black Plague of the 21st Century bearing down on all our souls, the last place anyone wants to worry about swine flu is church. So some institutions, like the Austin Diocese, are suspending or altering communion.The story in the Waco Tribune includes a letter issued by the Au ... More >>
Photo by Daniel KramerIt's been tried before, but this time there may be some possibility of a statewide smoking ban in Texas.Two bills address the subject, (one by Houston's Rodney Ellis) and the Texas Restaurant Association has announced it can support a ban.Although the TRA says it has "som ... More >>
The Covenant School in Dallas got hit with a bunch of unfavorable publicity after its girls basketball team beat another school 100-0. (That score is not a typo.)School officials posted a message on its web site apologizing for the game, saying "the school and its representatives in no way sup ... More >>
Eyebrows were raised all around Houston -- really!! We saw one!! -- when the Houston Chronicle endorsed Barack Obama for president, their first Democratic-presidential endorsement since LBJ (What, Dukakis didn't excite them?) Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith predicted that all five of the state's to ... More >>
So the Dallas Morning News is reporting that Ike Turner has died. To me, every day he’s been walking among us on the planet since, oh, about 1973, seemed like a miracle. That dude, at least to hear Andre Williams tell it, made Keith Richards seem like Neddy Flanders. Here’s what Williams said a ... More >>
Dallas struggles with saggy drawers
Our own Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, cut quite a swashbuckling image in the wee hours of last night and this morning in the Texas Senate. As deftly recounted by a number of media outlets, including Robert T. Garrett of the Dallas Morning News, Patrick broke all sort of club rules: the conservative f ... More >>
Christians send in money for prayer requests which may just go up in smoke
La Colombe d'Or
Tension mounts at the Chronicle
Yet another weekend newspaper magazine bites the dust
Hoax or Hidden Mystery?
A new TV news operation is coming to Houston. More or less.