Could ExxonMobil Buy BP?

Categories: Spaced City


Imagine a world where the largest energy company in the world becomes even more massive by gobbling up one of the most notorious energy companies around. Got it? Okay, now prepare yourself because the rumors are swirling that such a thing could actually happen. Bloomberg is reporting that ExxonMobil, the largest energy company in the world, has plans to issue an $8 billion bond offering, the largest it has ever put out. Why? Well, that's where things get really interesting, because the Houston Business Journal is reporting that Irving-based Exxon could have plans to buy London-based British Petroleum.

Yeah. BP, the one with the oil spill.

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Thursday Weather Proof God is Mad About Andre Johnson Situation, Too

Categories: Weather

A constant gripe Houstonians, and Texans in general, have is the bi-polar nature of the weather here in the Lone Star State. If you've grown weary of these endless conversations about winter storms and weird (cue spooky sound effects) weather, you may want to avoid Twitter, Facebook and the water cooler at work tomorrow morning.

After waking up to a placid, mid-70s Wednesday, commuters can expect a near-freezing morning on Thursday as temps are expected to drop about 40 degrees overnight, with wind speeds expected to gust 35 mph.

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Steve Francis Gets Choked With His Gold Chain At Local Rap Show (w/ VIDEO)

Jeff Balke
Rare is the athlete (especially an NBA player, let alone an NBA player who was selected to multiple All-Star Games) that people are able to enjoy more in retirement than they did during his playing days.

I think it's safe to say that, for me, Steve Francis has cracked that elusive list.

When you consider how unwatchable the Stevie Franchise Rockets were back in the early 2000's, how mind numbing it was to watch him pound the ball into the floor for 22 seconds before chucking up some ill advised heave, and how bizarre the whole Stevie-Cuttino experience was, "playing career Franchise" is not really all that tough a bar for "retirement Franchise" to clear.

And rest assured "retirement Franchise" is clearing that bar by a solid few feet.

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Woo-Hoo! Houston Getting Another Low-Cost Spay-Neuter Clinic

Categories: Spaced City

Photo by OakleyOriginals/Flickr
"They'll have treats, too, right? RIGHT?"
Awesome news: Houston will be getting another low-cost spay/neuter clinic in the spring. City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to give Austin-based Emancipet $260,000 for the clinic, which will be located at 4410 Navigation Blvd.

"The clinic will be able to spay/neuter 7,000-8,000 animals per year and provide approximately 10,000 preventive care visits" for things like microchipping and vaccinations, according to an Emancipet press release. This is definitely a huge step toward tackling Houston's homeless animal population, which is estimated at between 800,000-1.2 million.

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Andre Johnson Odds Board: Where Will He Play Next?

Photo by Groovehouse
Well, Texan fan, hopefully you've put your grief behind you. Yeah, I know it hasn't even been 48 hours since you were forced to digest the news that Andre Johnson's Texan career will be coming to a close imminently.

But this is 2015. It's the age of short attention spans, and by definition, if you're only capable of paying attention to news items for 24 hours, then you're only allowed to grieve over news items for 24 hours. These are my rules.

By the way, yesterday's au revoir to Andre Johnson wasn't something that should've sideswiped you. We all knew this day would come eventually. (I'm mildly surprised it didn't happen a year ago.) Frankly, go look at the list of the top receivers of all-time, and most of them had cameos in a uniform-not-normally-associated-with-them at the end of their careers.

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Breeder Group That Totally Swears It's Not a Breeder Group Is Fighting Law That Regulates Breeders

Is that a ferret on a St. Bernard?
A San Antonio-based commercial animal breeders' interest group is once again seeking to neuter a 2011 statute licensing and regulating people who own 11 or more female animals for breeding purposes.

The nonprofit group, which calls itself Responsible Pet Owners Alliance and whose website largely eschews any mention of the B-word, wants the statute's oversight moved from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to the Department of Agriculture. The Secretary of Agriculture, Sid Miller, voted against the 2011 statute when he was a state rep.

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Goat Milking Is Way Harder Than It Looks

Categories: Rodeo

Photo by Dianna Wray
Autumn the goat was ready to roll with the Celebrity Goat Milking.

It all seemed so easy on the practice goat. The udders were long and full, and when you pinched and squeezed, the way the instructor coached, they obligingly filled with milk that squirted easily into the bucket. But that was only the practice run. During the actual Celebrity Goat Milking Competition at this year's Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, I didn't get to use that wonderful practice goat (I also didn't catch her name, but I'll always remember her fondly).

No, instead I got a "fresh goat" to work with. It was round three of the Celebrity Goat Milking (some of the milkers, like Outlaw Dave, were famous, and then there were those of us who qualified as "famous" because we happen to be in the media, which probably explains how I qualified) on Tuesday afternoon at the Rodeo. Finally it was time to put together everything we knew about goats -- like the fact that a goat is not a sheep -- with the 30 seconds we'd spent milking one about 15 minutes before the competition began. That was when Amber, the official goat-milk-bucket-holder for place six, and Bryce, the official goat handler for place six, introduced Autumn, my designated milking goat.

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Daughter of Man Killed at Texas City Refinery Watches USW Strike

Categories: Texas

Photo by Max Burkhalter
Katherine Rodriguez has been following the USW strike, .
Since the start of the United Steelworkers strike at the oil refineries, Katherine Rodriguez has been watching the developments, and thinking of her father, Ray Gonzalez. "He would have loved this. He would have been out there on the picket line with them if he was still here," she says.

USW union members have been on strike since February 1. USW reps have rejected at least seven contract offers from Shell, and pulled more than 6,500 workers at 15 plants -- with about 5,000 coming from 12 oil refineries -- since the strike started. Locally, the strike started by pulling union workers out of LyondellBasell, Shell Deer Park, and the Texas City refinery where Rodriguez's father was fatally injured more than a decade ago. While the two sides are reportedly butting heads over a variety of things -- including contractors and rules that make sure fatigued workers aren't stuck on the job -- it's the safety issues that hit closest to home for Rodriguez.

Her father was killed from burns sustained in an accident at the then-British Petroleum Texas City refinery in September 2004. Gonzalez lived in the hospital for weeks after the accident and for a long time Rodriguez and her two sisters and their mother hoped that Gonzalez would pull through. But eventually his body began to fail and his organs started shutting down. The family was together with him at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston when they turned off all the machines.

After that, Rodriguez couldn't stand to even talk about what had happened to her father, but she started researching the industry that employed him for most of his adult life. Only then did she begin to understand what it was really like behind the refinery fence. While he never said a word in front of his daughters about the dangers and the near-misses that were a part of life at the Texas City refinery, Gonzalez would tell his wife about the burns and how careful they had to be at the refinery, her mother later told her. "He kept that from us because he didn't want us to worry. If we had known we would have worried all the time," Rodriguez says now.

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State Rep. David Simpson Says God Wants to Legalize Weed

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Photo by United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia Commons
"And the Lord said, 'Man, some Cheetos would hit the spot right now....'"
We don't agree with state Rep. David Simpson on a lot of things. Okay, most things. But the guy surprised us with a novel argument in favor of decriminalizing marijuana: It's what God would want.

"I don't believe that when God made marijuana, he made a mistake that government needs to fix," the Longview Republican wrote Monday for the Texas Tribune's TribTalk blog. (We like to picture him smoking a spliff rolled with papers ripped from Thessalonians, but that's probably never happened.)

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J.J. Watt's Cabin Is Really, Really Nice (with PICTURES)

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Photo by Groovehouse
"It's really minimalistic. The only thing I have to focus on is training and that's the way I like it. There's no frills, there's nothing to distract you up here. It's just an empty space and a log cabin and snow." -- J.J. Watt on his new offseason cabin in the "middle of nowhere"

Damn, these quotes had us so excited for the next chapter of the Legend of J.J. Watt, and quite honestly, for fans of the Rocky movies, perhaps the best chapter of the Legend of J.J. Watt.

A log cabin in the middle of nowhere in the dead of winter, it was Rocky IV all over again!

We all wanted to picture a bearded J.J. Watt shoulder pressing a rickshaw with a Texans cheerleader, Toro, and John Weeks sitting in it and then running ten miles in the snow to the top of a mountain and screaming "LUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKK!!!" We wanted that to be J.J.'s new winter reality.

Unfortunately, J.J. Watt's idea of "minimalistic" differs greatly from the actual definition.

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