Faux Mayor Mike Update: Our Favorite Civic Leader Continues His Reign

Categories: Awesome, City Hall

Since we last left Faux Mayor Mike, his still criminally underfollowed Twitter has more than tripled its constituency. Faux Mike himself has continued to rampage around Dallas' favorite Internet haunts as well, dropping f-bombs, extolling the virtues of pizza and decrying all the "jihadist anti-toll road goofballs."

Amid the profanity and absurdist humor, Mayor Mike has also found the time to start a Facebook page and a website.

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The Cityplace Sam's Is an Urban Planning Tragedy, But Blowing Up Buildings Is Awesome

Categories: Awesome

On Wednesday morning Connor, my 5-year-old, shot up in bed with panic on his face. DID THEY ALREADY BLOW UP THE BUILDING? He'd been wanting to know this since the previous weekend when, as we drove past the hollowed-out skeleton of the ACS building on Central Expressway, I told him we could watch the structure's upcoming implosion. I kept reminding him that it was scheduled for Sunday morning, but while he's great at remembering that shit's going to explode, he's terrible at keeping a calendar.

When Sunday finally rolled around, we drove to where cops had shut down Central and walked down the service road, joining a small crowd in front of a Seventh-Day Adventist church. As we put up our hoods against the light drizzle, I started to explain how, while the explosion would likely be awesome, it actually represented a failure of the city's planning process. I thought of telling him how neighbors had been sold a vision of a mixed-use urban village while developers manipulated the zoning process to make way for a Sam's Club, of how this particular property could have been a key piece of Dallas' urban renaissance but instead was going to be transformed into a generic big-box store. But then I noticed his blank stare and I shut up.

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The Trick-Shot Artists of Dude Perfect Made an Awesome Video with the Dallas Stars

Categories: Awesome, Sports

Dude Perfect via YouTube
The match.
Dude Perfect, the guys behind the 500-foot basketball shot from the top of Reunion Tower, have a new video out featuring Dallas Stars stalwarts Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. It's undeniably cool.

The top-line duo bowl a strike with a hockey puck from near center ice, take out targets around the infield at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco and destroy a couple of piƱatas unfortunate enough to be hanging from a crossbar.

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A UNT Prof Says Girls Actually Throw Like Girls, So What's with Mo'ne Davis?

Mo'ne Davis, game face in tow.
It's a phrase that's uttered too often at Little League games and on the playground. Even adults playing slow-pitch softball use it as a crutch. "You throw like a girl." It's an easy, if seemingly sexist, shorthand for the lunging, forearm focused, dart-throwing motion that happens to be one of the worst ways you can throw a baseball, softball or any other kind of ball.

In 2012, Dr. Jerry Thomas, professor of kinesiology and dean of the University of North Texas' College of Education, conducted a study try to find the basis for the stereotype in 2012, why girls do, in fact, throw worse than their male peers across all age groups.

Almost everywhere, Thomas says, the primary reason girls throw slower and shorter than boys is a lack of practice. If a male child throws poorly, his dad will help him throw better, which isn't traditionally true for girls. Thomas sought to research a culture in which this wasn't true, where girls and boys began throwing at the same age, with the same emphasis.

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Larry Brown Is Turning SMU Into a Contender, Haters Be Damned

Categories: Awesome, Sports

Mark Graham
ESPN Dallas' Jean-Jacques Taylor has a glowing profile of SMU men's basketball coach Larry Brown.

Brown, Taylor explains, has built a recruiting pipeline that's already funneling top local talent (Kimball's Keith Frazier, Prime Prep's Emmanuel Mudiay) to the Mustangs. He's helped score a TV contract with ESPN. He's put together a team that can hold its own against perennial Top 25s like Connecticut, Memphis and Cincinnati and seems well on his way to the goal of transforming SMU from a perennial also-ran into a national power.

"All Brown has ever done is win," Taylor concludes. "And he'll do it at SMU, just like he's done everywhere else."

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Now Has a SWAT Team

Categories: Awesome

The man in the photo to the left isn't a Ranger in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. He's a Texas game warden, kitted out to check your deer tags or lead a paramilitary, kick-the-door-in assault on your tent. The militarization of every possible law enforcement entity in America is complete: Texas Parks and Wildlife now has a SWAT team.

The 25-man unit can deploy anywhere in the state within four hours, TPWD boasts, and is modeled after what military types call a "force multiplier," which basically means that these guys can shoot a bunch of bullets. At what, you ask? In this Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine story, they list potential missions like "border operations, dignitary protection or any sort of high-risk law enforcement, such as serving felony arrest warrants or hostage situations.

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Dallas Police Chief David Brown Would Prefer Not to Be Called a "Cocksucker"

Categories: Awesome

Dallas Police Chief David Brown engaged in a brief Twitter spat with DMN reporter Scott Goldstein Monday. It all stems from an incident outside of Brown's office, when Tanya Eiserer, longtime crime reporter with The Dallas Morning News, dissatisfied with the fact that she would not get the exclusive she'd been promised, shouted "cocksucker" and "asshole."

According to The Black Police Association of Greater Dallas, those words were aimed at Brown. The DMN claims Eiserer was simply cursing in frustration at no one in particular. Frankly, who cares? In the friction of the journalist-public servant interaction, sparks will fly. But Brown hasn't forgotten it, and he took Goldstein's bait when the reporter sent out this tweet:

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A Fort Worth Company Is Launching Its Laptop Bags Into Space

Categories: Awesome

We're not sure how much Fort Worth-based Altego proved when it enlisted aeronautical engineering students at Texas A&M to attach its Polygon Sunfire laptop bag to a weather balloon and launch it into space. They were trying to make a point about durability, but I'm pretty sure my neon green Jansport from junior high would have fared equally well on the trip, as would most inanimate objects.

But such quibbles obscures the broader message here, which is that launching things into space is awesome. Laptop bags somewhat less so than Dirk Nowitzki bobbleheads, but still. It's space.

Kessler Park United Methodist Calls on Boy Scouts to "Welcome All Persons of Good Will"

Categories: Awesome, Religion

This Thursday, the Boy Scouts of America will teach its young men a lesson as indelible as any they're likely to learn from a scoutmaster. Its national delegation will vote on a longstanding prohibition against gays in the country's largest youth organization.

BSA leaders have floated what they see as a compromise -- permitting gay scouts, but banning gay scout leaders. Yet it can't be often that the Family Research Council finds itself in agreement with The New Yorker, which have characterized the proposed policy as "incoherent," a "mixed message."

FRC, though, is opposed to gays in and out of scouting, and it can count as a supporter at least one influential former scout. In a webcast it sponsored, Governor Rick Perry referred to homosexuality as "pop culture," and the "flavor of the month," before vowing, "Not on my watch."

Citing scripture, opponents of openly gay scouts claim their sexual orientation violates both biblical law and the code at the heart of scouting. One Dallas church, however, would like it known that not all Christians agree with that interpretation.

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A Blind High School Sophomore Was a Couple of Feet from State Pole Vaulting Championship

Categories: Awesome, Sports

Texas Country Reporter
Spoiler alert: Charlotte Brown did not win the state pole vaulting championship over the weekend. The sophomore at Emory Rains High School, 70 miles east of here, cleared 10'6" on Saturday, putting her eighth out of nine contestants and more than two feet shy of victory.

Still, her performance was pretty impressive. Brown's legally blind. She was born with normal vision but developed infant cataracts and has been losing her vision ever since. She compares her vision to peering through a coffee stirrer, only everything on the other end is blurry, flat, and devoid of color.

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