In the throes of January and February, the cold "dog days" of the NBA regular season, we hear about teams routinely resting star players for the "long haul" and the "greater good," but when you play in the NBA's Western Conference, we were reminded this season that every game matters.
Every game was the difference between the six seed and the two seed, and as the third seeded Clippers were finishing their mopping of the floor with the sixth seeded Spurs on Sunday night (R.I.P. Aron Baynes, by the way), we got another reminder as to why we all rooted for the Rockets against the Jazz last Wednesday in Regular Season Game 82 like it was a playoff game, and why we stuck around to watch the waning moments of that Pelicans-Spurs game on the big screen.
The first reminder, though, came Saturday night. Rockets 118, Mavericks 108. This is why getting the two seed was so important. Because the Mavericks are ill equipped to deal with the Houston Rockets.
Completely, utterly, totally, ill equipped.More »
In this day and age of YouTube, where we can watch pretty much anything we want to any time we want to from a device that we are holding in our hands, for upcoming blockbuster films, the release of its movie trailer is sometimes greeted with almost as much enthusiasm as the movie itself.
And the best movie trailers make us drool in anticipation of whatever movie it is they are selling to us.
The internet experienced that sensation this past week when the creators of the upcoming Star Wars movie released the second trailer for Episode 7 ("The Force Awakens" if you're into the exact moniker for the various chapters in the series). This one received particular praise for the inclusion of a 70-something Harrison Ford in the final few seconds.
Here's the trailer:More »
There is a remarkable consistency to the Rice Owls baseball team. A clockwork type of precision, almost, when one steps back from the day-to-day and goes to the season-to-season. Take this season, where after winning three of four games this week, the Owls have a record of 26-16. Last year, after 42 games, the Owls were 29-13. And after taking two of the three games from conference rival UTSA over the weekend, the Owls are 14-7 in conference as compared to last year's 15-6 at this time.
John Royal Just another Saturday night at Rice's Reckling Park
Ho-hum. Yawn. Nothing special to see here. Just a remarkably consistent team doing what it does year in and year out, season after season. Winning games. Staying at the top of the conference. Going to the NCAA Regionals. Can the Owls pitch? Yes. Can the Owls hit? Always. It's almost boring, this Rice consistency, this winning time and again. It's something the fan takes for granted, that the Owls will win games and somehow end up as one of the 64 teams playing for the chance to make it to Omaha and advance to the College World Series.
But the winning's not as easy as it seems. There are bumps along the road every season. Injuries, slumps, just plain stupid mistakes. It's how a team adjusts to these moments that separates the pretenders from the contenders. This has become the standard for the Owls, making the adjustments, shutting the lineup or the rotation, moving guys in and out of the closer spot, finding the ways to get the former ace recovering from Tommy John surgery back into the rotation.More »
Under state law, anti-LGBT activists hoping to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance needed 17,249 signatures on their petition to trigger a public vote that they hope would ultimately repeal the non-discrimination ordinance. When former Houston City Attorney David Feldman tossed their petition last August, saying HERO foes had failed to gather enough valid signatures, it set in motion a tedious, mind-numbing court battle over how many of those signatures met legal standards.
Flickr/torbackhopper HE DEAD
On Friday afternoon, state District Judge Robert Schaffer came out with his final tally: 16,684 signatures, or 565 shy of what was needed to send the anti-discrimination ordinance to a public vote.More »
On Wednesday, Mayor Annise Parker sent Uber a blunt message: give the city your detailed plan for ensuring all Uber drivers are permitted with the city or we'll revoke your permit.
Seems Uber took the mayor's warning seriously. On Friday, as requested, the company's lead official in Texas sent Parker a letter detailing the company's efforts to crack down on divers who aren't permitted with the city.More »
Out in Brenham there's a veterinarian named Kristen Lindsey who's been licensed with the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners since 2012. And sometime this week, someone named Kristen Lindsey posted a photo of herself on Facebook in which she's holding an arrow with a dead cat dangling from the tip. The post was accompanied by this very un-veterinarian-like message:
"My first bow kill...lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it's head [sic]! Vet of the year award ... gladly accepted"
And Facebook promptly (and, in all likelihood, rightly) flipped the hell out...More »
John Sweeney, born in Houston on June 10, 1959, died on April 15 in Houston after several months' illness. He had been employed at the Houston Press for more than ten years in the production department as the Layout Editor, handling both editorial and ad copy.
John went to Lockhart Elementary and Lanier Junior High and graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA.) He attended Texas Southern University, where he was a fashion design major. He worked with several magazines before joining the Press.
"Whenever I walked into our production department, John was always the first one to say hello. I keep thinking about that. He was a good employee who contributed a lot to the success of our publication and I will miss him for the person he was as well as the work he did," said Houston Press Publisher Stuart Folb.
By November 2013, Passion Star had already faced a decade's worth of sexual assaults and death threats from other inmates when she again pleaded with prison officials at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Hughes Unit to put her in what's called "safekeeping," a classification category for "offenders identified as being more vulnerable than the average general population offender." Under TDCJ's Safe Prisons Plan, such vulnerable inmates, rather than being punished with solitary confinement or isolation, are housed separately but afforded the same programming and privileges as the rest of the prison's general population.
If anyone qualifies for safekeeping status, you'd think it would be Passion Star. Born Joshua Zollicoffer (which is still her legal name), Star is one of an untold number of transgender women in locked up in men's prisons across the country. And in TDCJ's own Safe Prisons Plan, guards are told that LGBT status should be given "serious consideration" when determining where to house an inmate and whether they're at increased risk of sexual assault.
However, not only did prison guards ignore Star's repeat requests for protection and deny the litany of grievances she filed contesting her housing assignment, their cold ambivalence made Star easy pickings inside lockup, according to court documents in a federal lawsuit Star filed against the state prison system last year.More »
It's hard to believe that it was less than a year ago when Johnny Manziel heard his name called at the NFL Draft. At that time, he was barely removed from a three-month period where he became a social media hermit and (in retrospect) an "Eddie Haskell on steroids," focused on his workouts and saying all the right things. The future was bright; Johnny Football was movin' on up.
But almost literally from the moment the announcement left the mouth of Roger Goodell, it's been a reversion back to the college days of "JFF." I mean literally, as in Manziel walked out of the back making the money sign with his hands.
Well, the reversion back was a downward spiral, and when you head downward, eventually you hit rock bottom. Manziel landed in rehab after the season was over, and stayed there for ten weeks.
This week he got out, and Friday morning, he issued his first public statement since leaving the facility.More »