Weird

Texas
7:42 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

The Voice of Big Tex Gets the Boot

flickr.com/branditressler

For more than a decade, Bill Bragg’s voice greeted visitors to the Texas State Fair in Dallas.

“Howdy, folks! Welcome," was one of the classic catch phrases. But Bragg would also provide other information, such as details on events happening at the Fair that day.  Then, in October, Big Tex burned. “We’ve got a rather tall cowboy with all his clothes burned off," a Dallas Fire Rescue dispatcher said in this recording.  

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Austin
10:55 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Austin's 'Lamar Street Art Gallery' Says Goodbye – For Now

The so-called "Lamar Street Art Gallery" was painted over this morning.
imgur.com/BbttPqQ

The “Lamar Street Art Gallery” – a collection of street art painted and pasted up on a wall by the Lamar Boulevard underpass just north of Town Lake – is no more.

For now, at least.

This morning, a poster on the Austin page of social sharing website Reddit posted a photo of the wall being painted over.

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SXSW
11:47 am
Wed March 13, 2013

First Welcome to SXSW Visitors? Austin's Compost Fire Stench

Before SXSW visitors flying into Austin reach downtown, they're greeted by the smell of burning compost near the airport.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Austin Water is still working with the fire department to extinguish an ongoing compost fire at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Plant.

The fire started at the waste management facility more than two weeks ago, on Monday, Feb. 25. While water utility officials have seen a reduction of smoke from the smoldering heaps – especially with help from a rainy weekend – the surrounding area still smells.

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Life in Austin
4:13 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

The (Mis)Pronunciations That Keep Austin Weird

Public art on Guadalupe Street, pronounced "Gwad-A-Loop" by countless generations of Austinities.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Sure – Austin’s weird.

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SXSW
4:48 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Next-Generation Space Telescope Getting Modeled at SXSW

The full-scale model of the Webb Space Telescope is outside the Long Center for SXSW Interactive.
courtesy NASA

First it was a music festival, then a film festival, then an interactive festival. Since then, South by Southwest has added education, the environment and venture capital to its repertoire. Could SXSW Space be far off?

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Texas
12:50 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Bodybuilding Champ Turned Austin Attorney Feels Burn in Racketeering Trial (Update)

Attorney Marc G. Rosenthal faces more than a dozen allegations in a Corpus Christi trial.
flickr.com/joegratz and rosenthalwatson.com

Update: Austin attorney Marc G. Rosenthal was convicted by a federal jury late last week. 

A statement from the Southern District of the U.S. Attorney's Office reads in part

After a four-week trial, jurors convicted Rosenthal of conspiring to bribe a state district judge, bribe witnesses in both state and federal court cases, file fraudulent personal injury cases in both state and federal courts, and deprive the citizens of Cameron County, Texas, of the right to honest services of an elected official.

Rosenthal's sentencing is scheduled in June. 

Original Post (1:49 p.m.): The ongoing saga of Marc G. Rosenthal continues winding its way down the rabbit hole. The Austin attorney, and former Mr. Texas bodybuilding champion, is currently on trial in Corpus Christi, accused of leading a conspiracy that turned trials in his favor.

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Austin
1:58 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Dillo Dirt Fire: It Smolders, Smells, and Stifles Sales

The (in)famous Dillo Dirt mud at Austin City Limits Fest 2009. Officials are unsure how much a plant fire could affect fertilizer production.
flickr.com/plutor

Austin firefighters are still battling compost fires at a waste processing plant near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The fire burned at least an acre of Dillo Dirt at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant, which will impact sales to over 70 Austin area vendors.

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University of Texas
2:47 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Watch: 'Harlem Shake' Rattles UT Austin

A screenshot from last week's Harlem Shake on the UT campus.
youtube.com/user/ATXCoop

It looks like the 40 Acres can’t get enough of the Harlem Shake. Today, a local filmmaker set up at the University of Texas to film the third Harlem Shake video set on campus.

In case the meme’s passed you by, here’s the scoop: Harlem Shake is an instrumental track from American DJ and producer Baauer. Featuring what Pitchfork Media calls a “menacing, world-smashing bassline that would cause even the Cloverfield monster to shudder in his gills,” the track provides the ideal soundtrack for viral videos. Know Your Meme has a comprehensive timeline detailing the dance’s proliferation.

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Asteroids
3:03 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

U.S. House Committee Will Hold Hearing on Asteroids

In this photo provided by Chelyabinsk.ru a meteorite contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk on Friday.
Yekaterina Pustynnikova AP

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 2:29 pm

The two hulking rocks hurtling toward Earth today seem to have caught Congress' attention: Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, is calling for a Congressional hearing on what we can do to protect our planet from asteroids.

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Health
1:13 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Four Loko Cans Will Now Make Clear They're Loaded With Alcohol

Popular fruit-flavored malt liquor Four Loko
Haraz Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 11:32 am

Cans of the popular flavored malt beverage Four Loko will soon sport an "Alcohol Facts" label to make it plain they pack a potent punch.

The changes are part of a final settlement announced Tuesday between the Federal Trade Commission and Phusion Projects, whose products have been blamed for hospitalizations and deaths among young people.

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Arts and Culture
1:53 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'Zombie Alert' Airs in Montana, Michigan; Hack Traced Overseas

OK, we're pretty sure this isn't real. (A 1012 Halloween-related festival in Georgia.)
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:07 pm

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Business
8:03 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Seeing Fewer Cars on the Road Today? Here's Why

The City of Austin is encouraging employees to work from home today.
flickr.com/_fabio

If you’re going into work today, you must not have gotten the memo.

Today, many City of Austin employees and employees from some local business are partaking in Austin’s first “Work from Home Day." It's a citywide initiative to reduce the environmental impact of thousands of people driving to work.

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Lance Armstrong
12:45 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Moving Lance Armstrong's Books to 'Fiction' Section?

Mass reports that an Australian Library is moving Lance Armstrong's books from the nonfiction section to the fiction section has proven false.
twitter.com/Dane_Murray

Reports that an Australian library is moving books by and about Lance Armstrong from non-fiction to fiction have proven false, much to the disappointment of those leaving comments on Amazon.com.

USA Today, the UK’s Daily Mail and more recently tech-news site Mashable have all reported that Manly Library, a public library in Sydney, recatalogued Armstrong books following the cyclist’s confession to Oprah Winfrey last week. In an exclusive interview with the talk show host, Armstrong admitted to doping, lying and bullying.

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Austin
3:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Why Was This Cake Decorated With a Zombie Ben Franklin Left on a Hyde Park Porch Overnight?

The cake in question.
Jackie Burniske

File under: keeping Austin weird.

Jackie Burniske lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood north of the UT campus. When she awoke this morning, her partner Rob Wood found something out of the ordinary on their porch: a strangely frosted cake featuring the green visage of American founding father Ben Franklin.

Burniske and Wood woke up this morning like any other day. That was until Wood stepped outside to pick up the paper, and noticed something on their porch and called Burniske over.

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