U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Sept. 14 announced the opening of a “Defense Innovation Unit Experimental” hub at the Capital Factory in downtown Austin.
Carter and University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven said the hub would provide opportunities for innovators to partner with the Department of Defense to develop technologies to address the nation’s security challenges.
“Austin’s commitment to innovation, access to talent and academia, as well as the department’s longstanding ties to Texas, make this an ideal next location for DIUx,” Carter said.
Gov. Greg Abbott added, “Texas is the new frontier in innovation, and with the arrival of DIUx, the Department of Defense’s best technologists will be right here in Austin.”
According to the DIUx mission statement, “As our name implies, DIUx is just that: an ‘experiment.’ We continuously iterate on how best to identify, contract, and prototype novel innovations through sources traditionally not available to the Department of Defense, with the ultimate goal of accelerating technology into the hands of the men and women in uniform.”
The Capital Factory, an incubator for start-up technology companies founded in 2008 by Joshua Baer, occupies the fifth and 16th floors of the Omni Austin Hotel.… Read the rest
Don’t worry, this isn’t another column about body emissions; the last one – despite my efforts to inform readers on the latest scientific discoveries in the arena – went over like a you-know-what in church.
This week’s important data concerns underwear.
We all wear undies – well, most of us. “Commando” today means nothing like it did in WWII.
Today, our underclothes might be adorned with Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles or Disney princesses or the Dallas Cowboys’ star.
Of course, you want to wear cool underwear; what if you had a wreck and only had on tightie-whities? You would be the butt of paramedics’ jokes.… Read the rest
That phrase came up again over the past couple of weeks. Special gatherings, memorial services, and first-responder recognitions were held all over the country. The pastor at the church I attended on Sunday preached a powerful sermon on living in a 9/11 world. It is hard to believe that it has been 15 years since September 11, 2001.
“Nine Eleven” is part of our country’s vernacular. It truly has become a day that will live in infamy. I remember telling my church family about two weeks after the event that I believed that September 11, 2011 would be for this generation what December 7, 1941 was for the previous generation.… Read the rest
This column first appeared September 13, 2006.
I’ve always stressed the various cattle trails that went northward from south Texas. A trail I have slighted, although lesser known, was the Dawson Trail.
Named after a man who with his family came to Young County, Texas in 1857, the Dawson Trail went west from there (Fort Belknap). What makes the Dawson Trail different was that it was used before the Civil War, and had fewer cattle on it.
John Barkley Dawson was born on Nov. 10, 1830 in Grayson County, Kentucky. The family moved to Missouri in 1833 but by 1840 had settled along the Arkansas River in Franklin County, Arkansas.… Read the rest
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sept. 9 announced he had filed a friend-of-the-court brief “in defense of the First Amendment.”
The brief, he said, explains that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Tracy Healey “exceeded her constitutional authority by attempting to shut down a viewpoint on an issue of scientific debate — climate change.”
Paxton, in the brief, states constitutional objections to the Civil Investigative Demand that Healey issued to ExxonMobil Corporation for its marketing and sale of fossil fuel-derived products and securities. She demanded more than 40 years of internal company documents. Paxton supports ExxonMobil’s effort seeking to block Healy’s demand from being enforced.… Read the rest
Are you addicted to TV? Do you believe we are living in the Golden Age of television?
Is your Facebook profile one of the Game of Thrones dudes/dudettes? Do you tell the kids to “just go ahead and play all the video games you want” so you can binge watch Parks and Recreation?
Well, even if you are immersed in TV – you think you’ve seen everything there is to see on the boob tube – there is still something out there unlike anything ever televised.
It’s called “Slow TV” and is all the rage among Norwegians, hipsters, and Netflix folks right now.… Read the rest
If God had a wife, it would be my Grandmother. At least that’s what I thought when I was a kid. She probably did more ministry than any preacher in the little community of Grandfalls, Texas. Her skills as a Registered Nurse were pretty valuable in that west Texas community. She visited the sick and also visited on behalf of the little Baptist church there. Rumor has it that folks were afraid to miss church on Sunday because Mrs. Pollard would be at their house on Monday to check on them.
She was a saint in the Biblical sense of the word.… Read the rest
Ya’ll git it right or just skedaddle
This column first appeared August 11, 2000.
Lately I have noticed that consistently I use a very old-fashioned “country” term, that no one else seems to use much.
I still say “supper” most of the time when I mention an evening meal. It is the way we talked when I grew up, and it is hard to break a habit.
Now, if my husband is taking me out to eat in the evening to a restaurant, that is a special occasion, so we’re going “out to dinner.” Dinner in “country” language is the noon meal, when farmers used to come in from the field when the sun was high in the sky and eat a big meal – the first food since an early, early breakfast.… Read the rest
Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Aug. 23 announced the Texas Education Agency will fine the company that delivers and administers STAAR® — the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness — with $5.7 million in liquidated damages.
Morath also directed the company, Austin-based Educational Testing Services, to invest $15 million for a total of $20.7 million. The $20.7 million, according to the TEA, “addresses various logistical issues encountered by students and school systems during statewide STAAR administration in the 2015-2016 school year.”
“I believe this combination of liquidated damages with an additional financial commitment from ETS reflects the correct balance of accountability for the recent past and safeguards for the future,” Morath said in an Aug.… Read the rest
They came in the night.
Our new neighbors bought the 27 acres directly in front of our modest country home in northern Parker County.
They were so nice – a very pregnant woman with a young child and her husband who said he was having a small group bible study when they got settled in.
As they worked on the pristine land, I helped them fix a truck late one night. We gave their child toys to play with when they visited. I loaned them our riding mower to use.
Then, about 9:30 one night, they knocked on our door and said their bank would not approve their loan unless the paperwork they bore was signed, a re-surveying of the roadway I own and allow easement to.… Read the rest