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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,961

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Texas’ electric grid operator wants you to save power on a day when it will feel like it’s 108


How hot is it on the Katy Trail? THIS HOT. (Vernon Bryant/Staff photographer)

It’s July 30, and you’ll never believe it, but in the middle of a Texas summer it’s supposed to be brutally hot — around 102 today, give or take, with heat index values closer to 105-108 degrees, which just sounds refreshing. Oh — and it’s an Ozone Action Day too. Fantastic.

And now, this just in: “The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of Texas, is asking electric consumers to limit or reduce electric use where possible during the 3-7 p.m. peak demand hours today.”

ERCOT says that three times this week, we’ve already touched a few July records — and we’ve only just begun our 100-degree days. Says the grid operator, just yesterday we broke 67,000 megawatts for the first time since 2011; on Wednesday, according to ERCOT, “demand stayed above 67,000 MW for three consecutive hours, peaking at 67,590 MW during the hour ending at 5 p.m.” Them’s a lot of megawatts. Not enough to power a flux capacitor, but still. Impressive. Which is why ERCOT’s asking you pull down the blinds and turn your thermostat to 78 or higher.

The reason?

“Although we have been able to keep up with these July records this week, we currently project somewhat higher demand during today’s peak hours,” says Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of System Operations, in a prepared statement. “Some additional plants have experienced unplanned outages, and we are expecting less wind generation during today’s peak.”

Read more: http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2015/07/texas-electric-grid-operator-wants-you-to-save-power-on-a-day-when-it-will-feel-like-its-108.html/

Why Plans to Move Austin's Monk Parakeets Could Get Nest-y


Monk Parakeets are known for the bright colors, charisma and loud voices.
Credit Ferran Pestana/Creative Commons


Austin’s well-known as the Live Music Capital of the World, but it’s also becoming known as a place that’s running out of room. There's one neighborhood in town where old-time residents are probably going to be moved out in order to make way for new development. And it’s ruffling some feathers.

We're talking, of course, about monk parakeets. In particular, the two hundred of them that live at the University of Texas at Austin Whitaker Intramural Fields, in Central Austin on Guadalupe. Head there at dusk, and you'll see not just soccer or lacrosse scrimmages, but you'll see hundreds, if not thousands, of birds.

And the most colorful and charismatic of them are the monk parakeets. But soon they're likely going to have to move out of their longtime home.

Like a lot of people living in town, the monk parakeets of the Intramural Fields aren't native Austinites. They built nests in the light poles of the fields decades ago, and haven't left since.

Read more: http://kut.org/post/why-plans-move-austins-monk-parakeets-could-get-nest-y

In new documentary, gay Palestinian men in Israel grapple with their sexual, national identity


This Monday, July 27, 2015 photo shows Khader Abu Seif, from left, Naeem Jiryes and Fadi Daeem, protagonists of the documentary movie "Oriented" during an interview with The Associated Press in Jaffa, mixed Jewish-Arab part of Tel Aviv, Israel. The privately funded film is British director Jake Witzenfeld’s first feature documentary. It premiered in June at the Sheffield Film Festival in England and the Los Angeles Film Festival in the United States but has not made it to the Middle East yet. (AP Photo/Eyal Warshavsky)

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — During last summer's Gaza war, Khader Abu Seif was living with his then Israeli boyfriend in Tel Aviv, wondering whether Hamas rockets could reach them from the coastal strip.

He thought yet again of the dichotomy of his life as a gay Arab Israeli citizen considered an outcast by the Palestinian society for his sexuality and viewed with unease by some Israelis for his brand of nationality.

The rockets were not the only thing that made him feel unsafe.

Outside, Israeli extremists rallied on the streets against Hamas' attacks with chants of "Death to Arabs." Abu Seif was afraid to speak Arabic, his mother tongue, in his native Tel Aviv, the Middle East's most gay-friendly city.

Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2015/07/30/new-film-highlights-struggles-of-gay-palestinians-in-israel

Cross-posted in the Israel/Palestine Group.

In new documentary, gay Palestinian men in Israel grapple with their sexual, national identity


This Monday, July 27, 2015 photo shows Khader Abu Seif, from left, Naeem Jiryes and Fadi Daeem, protagonists of the documentary movie "Oriented" during an interview with The Associated Press in Jaffa, mixed Jewish-Arab part of Tel Aviv, Israel. The privately funded film is British director Jake Witzenfeld’s first feature documentary. It premiered in June at the Sheffield Film Festival in England and the Los Angeles Film Festival in the United States but has not made it to the Middle East yet. (AP Photo/Eyal Warshavsky)

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — During last summer's Gaza war, Khader Abu Seif was living with his then Israeli boyfriend in Tel Aviv, wondering whether Hamas rockets could reach them from the coastal strip.

He thought yet again of the dichotomy of his life as a gay Arab Israeli citizen considered an outcast by the Palestinian society for his sexuality and viewed with unease by some Israelis for his brand of nationality.

The rockets were not the only thing that made him feel unsafe.

Outside, Israeli extremists rallied on the streets against Hamas' attacks with chants of "Death to Arabs." Abu Seif was afraid to speak Arabic, his mother tongue, in his native Tel Aviv, the Middle East's most gay-friendly city.

Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2015/07/30/new-film-highlights-struggles-of-gay-palestinians-in-israel

Cross-posted in the LGBT Group.

Snake Handling Christian Bitten By Rattler, Refuses Treatment, Promptly Dies

A 60-year-old member of a Pentecostal snake-handling church was bitten on Sunday during a service. He refused medical treatment and soon died as a result of the venomous bite.

John David Brock was bitten while handling a rattlesnake during services at the Mossy Simpson Pentecostal Church in Jenson, Kentucky. Four hours later, at his brothers’s house, he passed away, which if often the result when you are bitten by a dangerous snake and rely on faith to heal you.

County Coroner Jay Steele said that Brock’s death is being investigated, and that the deceased also had other health issues which may have complicated his body’s reaction to the bite.

According to his family, Mr. Brock worked as a miner for 36 years and was an adherent to the Holiness faith. Some Holiness congregations handle snakes as part of their worship, and they do so by quoting a passage from the Bible’s Book of Mark.

Read more: http://www.liberalamerica.org/2015/07/29/snake-handling-christian-bitten-by-rattler-refuses-treatment-promptly-dies/

[font color=330099]Too bad that he won't be around to pick up his Darwin Award.[/font]

The 50 States Of America If They Were Actually People In A Bar. California Is Perfect.

A recent Reddit post asked users the following question: “The United States is a bar, what is each State doing and drinking?” Special credit goes to Reddit user motherboy, who is the individual mastermind behind many of them.

I'll start with my home state, "Texas is singing karaoke about how great Texas is."

http://www.tickld.com/x/the-50-states-of-america-if-they-were-actually-people-in-a-bar

Add on at risk of giving away your location to the NSA and Jade Helm task force.

Porn stars weigh in on desirability of GOP candidates

This week porn and comedy website Woodrocket asked leading porn stars which Republican presidential candidate hopefuls they found most sexually desirable. The piece is a part of its ongoing “ask a porn star” series.

The women were shown photos of 16 male and female candidates who have made their presidential aspirations known and asked them to give the camera their frank and honest opinions.

Woodrocket is obviously a not-safe-for-work website and the accompanying video does have suggestive language, of course.

-snip-

Oddly enough Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal were not mentioned by the porn stars. Jeb Bush did get a mention or two, but none of the actresses wanted to pull the trigger on the latest Bush to enter the presidential fray for 2016.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/entertainment/article/Porn-stars-weigh-in-on-desirability-of-leading-6408409.php

Perry Launches Populist Offense Against Big Banks

Sounding a deeply populist note, former Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday launched an offensive against banks that are too big to fail, making a pitch for Wall Street reform while tying the 2008 financial crisis to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Warning that the "next crash is on the horizon," Perry used a New York speech to position himself as the only candidate with the economic record to to reverse an era of Wall Street run amok, enabled by complicit politicians.

"If you elect me president, I will reform Wall Street and I will reform Washington," Perry declared, later promising not to "bail out a single bank on Wall Street."

Perry had particularly harsh words for Clinton, whom he said must answer for her husband's economic policies as she wages her own 2016 campaign. In an extensive critique, Perry linked the 2008 housing collapse to Bill Clinton's efforts to expand the ranks of homeowners in the United States.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/07/29/perry-wall-street-reform-speech/

NASA's head of science says humans 'are on the cusp' of answering the ultimate question

When NASA representatives made their case for more funding to lawmakers in Washington D.C. Tuesday, they made a bold announcement: that humanity could be about to turn a page in its history.

We're nearing contact with alien life, NASA's head of science John Grunsfeld said to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology near the end of a two-hour hearing.

That was his response to a question by committee member John Moolenaar (R-Michigan), who asked what should inspire people to continuing following NASA like they did in the days of the space race. Moolenaar asked what the overarching goal of space exploration was.

Grunsfeld said, for him, answering one question took "the highest priority."

"Are we alone?" he said. "Many, many people on Planet Earth want to know, are we alone in the universe? And we are on the cusp of being able to answer that question, technologically because of the investments we're making in space technology."

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/NASA-s-head-of-science-says-humans-are-on-the-6413014.php

Dying Texas Man Seeks Accurate Death Certificate For His Late Husband

In January, John Stone-Hoskins’ husband took his own life.

Now, Stone-Hoskins (above right) is dying from cancer, with an estimated 45-60 days to live.

But before he dies, Stone-Hoskins wants the state of Texas to provide him with an accurate death certificate for his late husband, James Stone (above left), reflecting that the two were married in New Mexico last year.

Neel Lane (right), an attorney for Texas’ same-sex marriage plaintiffs, has written a letter to the Department of State Health Services demanding that it issue the document.

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2015/07/dying-texas-man-seeks-accurate-death-certificate-late-husband/
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