Texas Will Rake in the Green if It Legalizes Marijuana

Categories: Texas

Photo by Mike Bagby

To legalize or not to legalize? That is the question voters in Alaska, Florida, Oregon and Washington D.C. will be deciding come November. Meanwhile, Texas is a long way off from getting into the whole recreational marijuana game. However, all hope is not lost (if you're one of those in favor of it), because one of the best arguments in favor of letting everybody light up all nice and legal in the Lone Star State was just quantified and released in a study.

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You Can Now Text 9-1-1 in Harris and Fort Bend Counties

Categories: Tech, Whatever

Kenny Louie
What's the emoji for "HELP!"
We still suggest picking up the phone and calling 9-1-1 if you've got a dire emergency. But as of this week, Verizon and T-Mobile customers in Harris and Fort Bend counties can text 9-1-1.

According to the Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network, text-to-9-1-1 can be a lifeline in cases where it's too dangerous to talk, for people with disabilities who can't make a voice call, or for "a medical emergency that renders a person incapable of speech." Time to break out that choking-on-smoke-while-my-house-burns-down emoji.

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ESPN's Bill Simmons Dares His Bosses to Suspend Him, So They Do

Don't play chicken with ESPN. You'll lose..
Inside the figurative collective "building" that is ESPN, there are few people more powerful than Bill Simmons.

As editor of the popular long-form writing haven Grantland, erstwhile podcaster and television personality (formerly NBA studio show, soon to be his own NBA show with Jalen Rose), Simmons has his hands in numerous highly profitable, high-profile projects that generate millions in revenue and viewership/readership.

In short, Bill Simmons makes money for ESPN. Lots of it. Therefore, he seemingly has a longer leash than many of his peers and counterparts when it comes to discipline.

This past week, Simmons pushed the limits of his employer's seeming latitude to the extreme with this rant about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell:

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Widmeyer's Anti-Pit Bull Piece Is an Embarrassment

Categories: Spaced City

Photo by Matthew Roth
If there's one thing a pit -- or any other dog -- needs, it's a competent owner.
There's a real problem when the communications director for the controller's office in the fourth-largest city writes an ill-informed opinion piece, and the city's daily newspaper publishes it without question.

I'm talking about Roger Widmeyer's September 20 piece for the Houston Chronicle's Outlook section, which describes his decision to euthanize one of his dogs after it attacked his wife. Widmeyer was no doubt shocked and scared by what's described as a terrifying, unprovoked attack. Anyone would be emotional after any dog, let alone a pet, turned on a loved one in his own home. And I can understand saying something dumb in the heat of the moment. But Widmeyer didn't do that. Instead, after several months he could have spent reflecting and researching, he carefully and deliberately crammed more stupid into 1,083 words than we ever imagined was possible. Relying on one personal experience and a mythical statistic, Widmeyer proclaims that pit bulls "probably do not belong in our world."

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Texans Draft Woes Continue, Louis Nix III Heads to Injured Reserve

We'll have to wait until at least 2015 to see Nix take the field.
It's too early to tell if the Texans' last couple of draft classes are cursed, just not that good or some combination of those two things.

The one thing that is undeniable is that, on the whole, it's hard to find another team in the NFL (certainly a team that is 2-1 and favored to win in Week 4 at home this weekend) that is getting less from its rookie and second-year draft picks, assuming they're still even with the team anymore, than the Houston Texans.

Aside from DeAndre Hopkins and, for the first few weeks this season, D.J. Swearinger, under-performance and injury have been the norm for the draft classes of 2013 and 2014, and based on Bill O'Brien's comments the past few weeks, you could argue that rookie nose tackle Louis Nix III encapsulated both of those things.

Texans fans have been waiting for the 350-pounder to get on the field. The wait will continue until at least 2015, as the Texans placed Nix on injured reserve late this morning.

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Jury Clears Patti LaBelle in Airport Assault

Categories: Courts

Sandra Alphonse
A federal jury on Tuesday cleared the Patti LaBelle and her entourage in the beating of a West Point cadet at George Bush International Airport.

Richard King sued LaBelle, her son, her hair dresser, and a 400-pound body guard after the March 2011 brawl. Attorneys for LaBelle and her crew claimed that King was drunk -- and with a blood alcohol level of 2.8, we think "drunk" might be an understatement -- and fresh off a flight home for Spring Break when he picked a fight with the Godmother of Soul. An airport security video showed King pushing a man near LaBelle's limo before the crew sprang into action, beating King back toward a pillar.

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Keith Olbermann Eviscerates the Derek Jeter Farewell Tour

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Keith Allison
If there is one silver lining to all of the bad news that's enveloped the NFL, jacked the 24 hour news cycle, and smothered our Twitter feeds over the last couple weeks, it's that the Derek Jeter slurp-fest we all assumed ESPN would be conducting as the Yankee shortstop's career winds down this week has been, at the very least, subdued, if not muted.

The Worldwide Leader (and to be fair, many of us in the media) are inclined to take star players, especially star players in New York, and push them to the moon. It's what we've done with Jeter for nearly two decades, in part because he was on winning teams early in his career, and in part because he's been a very good (not great) player.

Also, most heterosexual men are completely impressed with the list of models, actresses, and generally beautiful females with whom Jeter has fornicated. This matters to many of the us savages out there.

So this week, amidst the trickle of Jeter coverage that found its way onto my radar, I began asking myself "Just how good was Jeter?" He always felt overrated to me, but can I quantify that?

And just as I was ready to engage in four hours of exhaustivebaseball-reference.com study, Keith Olbermann dropped this bomb on his ESPN night show:

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Bad Blood: Chikungunya Kills and It's Coming to a Mosquito Near You

Categories: Cover Story

It started in mid-April with a fever, as if her body were trying to burn itself up. Then 39-year-old Belkys Jimenez developed a pounding headache and pain in her muscles and joints. Her feet and ankles ballooned, and even taking a step became difficult. Jimenez had dealt with hypertension for years, but this was something new.

Over the next two weeks, her symptoms came and went. Several times, she visited a doctor in her hometown of Bajos de Haina, in the Dominican Republic. He provided acetaminophen for the pain and swelling and promptly dismissed her. The night of April 30, a Wednesday, Jimenez was feeling better. Before going to bed, she told her mother she would wake up early to go to the market.

But the following morning, Jimenez didn't get out of bed. Her worried mother found her daughter cold to the touch, without a pulse. "One day she was fine; the next day she was bad," Jimenez's mother told the Dominican television network Tele Noticias. "She never got better from this."

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Fan Fighting League! San Francisco and Arizona Fans in a Bleacher Bloodbath

The NFC West might be the toughest division in the National Football League.

I don't think I'm breaking any new ground with that take. The Seattle Seahawks are defending Super Bowl champions, the San Francisco 49ers are a year removed from winning the NFC and last season went to the NFC title game, the Arizona Cardinals are one of three remaining undefeated teams, and the St. Louis Rams....well, Jeff Fisher has an amazing mullet.

But when it comes to king of the NFC West in the Fan Fighting League, one city stands tall above the rest.

Nobody messes with San Francisco 49ers fans. Nobody.

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Reminder: DPS Will Not Recognize Name Changes From Same-Sex Marriages

Max Burkhalter
Last year, after Connie married her partner of nine years in California, she took her wife's surname, legally changing her diver's license and Social Security card to Connie Wilson. Legally speaking, she is Connie Wilson.

When work required that Wilson and her partner move from California to Houston with their three kids this summer, she knew the State of Texas wouldn't recognize her marriage. What she didn't know is that she couldn't keep her name.

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