Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

From noon to dusk on November 22, 1963, history went dark, locked inside the closed and crowded cabin of Air Force One. Fifty years later, what happened after JFK died has fully come to light.

President John F. Kennedy

Esquire‘s Chris Jones tells the story of President Kennedy’s last flight from Dallas to Washington, DC.


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Click on the picture to see the whole thing. Please.

Thanks, Library of Congress!

The International Pageant of Pulchritude, also known as the “International Beauty Contest” or the “Miss Universe Contest,” was a beauty contest that began in 1926 featuring contestants from multiple nations. The last pageant event in the U.S. was held in 1931 although additional “Miss Universe” events were held until 1935. The pageant was the first international contest and served as a model for modern contests.

The contest originated in Galveston, Texas, United States. The last “Miss Universe” event of this pre-World War II era was held in Brussels, Belgium [in 1935].

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The jaw from an ancient flying reptile called A. halli would have contained 54 pointy teeth when the beast was alive some 95 million years ago. Credit: Southern Methodist University.

A new species of pterosaur has been identified, Aetodactylus halli, from a jaw bone found in north Texas by Lance Hall, a hobbyist and member of the Dallas Paleontological Society. This species is unusual in that it had teeth.

Based on the jaw bone, this particular A. halli had a wingspan of about nine feet. Specimens of other pterosaurs found in Texas had wingspans of 36 to 39 feet.

The F-84, the first fighter jet that could carry a tactical atomic weapon, had a wingspan of 36 feet 5 inches. The wingtips of a large pterosaur sitting on my roof would touch the ground on either side of my house.

It’s hard to imagine a bird that big.

But what amazed me the most was that 95 million years ago the east and west coasts of the United States were divided by the Cretaceous Seaway.

Who knew?

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Kids in fenced enclosure in front of stockade. Ranch in Sutton County, Texas

Kids in fenced enclosure in front of stockade. Ranch in Sutton County, Texas c.1940 (Library of Congress)

I didn’t know about Percy Sutton until I read of his death earlier today, but if half the stuff that’s written about him is true, the world has lost a great individual. He wasn’t just “a true hero to African-Americans across the country,” as President Obama said, but to all Americans who value public service.

He started out life as one of 15 children born in San Antonio, Texas. His father was a former slave but went on to be a civil rights leader and high school principal who saw 12 of his surviving children graduate from college.

Condolences to his family and friends.

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Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt (some time between 1902 and 1910) Frances Benjamin Johnston, photographer (Library of Congress)

Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt (some time between 1902 and 1910) Frances Benjamin Johnston, photographer (Library of Congress)

I have been spending entirely too much time goofing around in the intertoobs, but I’ve come across some really excellent blogs I wanted to bring to your attention.

All the blogs in my side bar are very fine establishments which I encourage you to visit, these are just a few of my more recent discoveries, in no particular order:

The Garlic: All The Cloves Fit To Peel was founded in February 2005 by J. Thomas Duffy. Mr. Duffy has written humor, sports and just about everything else since 1975 – sometimes even getting paid to do so! His experience includes stand-up comedy (both as writer and performer), newspaper reporting and public relations and promotional work. Mr. Duffy has authored three unpublished children’s books that are currently collecting dust. Mr. Duffy enjoys examining the possibility that the dog salivating made Pavlov ring the bell

Mr. Duffy not only writes well but he’s talking to people and writing about stuff that the other bloggers I read are not. Plus he’s got great taste in music. Did I mention he’s in Boston?

Texas is a hotbed of high quality bloggers. I Blame The Patriarchy is “the patriarchy-blaming blog that has been advancing the radical feminist views of Jill Psmith, a gentleman farmer and spinster aunt doing the butt-dance in Rattlesnake, Texas, since 2004.” I particularly enjoy her “heartwarming nature crap.”

“The website formerly known as The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.,” is owned and operatead by Susan DuQuesnay Bankston who lives “in [the] heart of Tom DeLay’s old district. It’s crazy here. No, seriously, it’s triple z crazzzy.” Susan does local and national politics like nobody’s business.

The blogger known as Dr. Isis has some fancy-sounding degrees and is a physiologist at a major research university working on some terribly impressive stuff. She blogs about balancing her research career with the demands of raising small children, how to succeed as a woman in academia, and anything else she finds interesting. Also, she blogs about shoes. In fact, she blogs a lot about shoes.

And she’s modest too.

About 80% of what Dr. Isis writes is the God’s honest truth. About 20% is total nonsense. Dr. Isis makes no claims as to which is which and neither should you.

She’s parked at the intersection of science and society but she’s not kidding about the shoes.

Danielle Belton writes about “politics, pop culture and pretentiousness” and does a very fine job of providing a window on conversations you don’t hear anywhere else. I love the Hot Topics section — “a place for readers to trade links, post topics and discuss all things “snobbish.”

The name doesn’t exactly scream “food!” but as it says in the header, Hugging The Coast is “a daily updated celebration of coastal food.” It is a treasure trove of deliciousness. The owner/operator/photographer Doug Ducap, a former New York cab driver, posts original recipes which delight the palate and the eye.

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a slightly twisted house.  October 15, 1900.

Galveston Disaster, Texas: a slightly twisted house. October 15, 1900.

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