Oceanfront Property

If you’re into this whole “climate change threatens coastal ecosystems” thing (and you should be, because, you know, science and all that), Climate Central has an interactive map that shows how sea-level rise could affect coastal areas.

Here’s Houston, Texas with a one-foot rise in sea levels:

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 1.08.09 PM

And here it is with a ten-foot rise: Continue reading


This Giant Beetle Is Brought to by BigLaw

The Houston Zoo has an exhibit that I absolutely will not be seeing, entitled “Extreme Bugs!” The exhibit will apparently include this giant spider, from a picture posted to the zoo’s Facebook page:

Via Facebook

They can call this exhibit whatever they want, but I’m gonna call it “NOPE!” (via Facebook)

The exhibit opens Memorial Day weekend, so you have a few weeks to plan a trip to Houston or get the hell off of this planet, whichever suits your fancy.

Aside from the years of nightmares that picture alone is likely to cause, something else jumped out at me about this exhibit. I noticed the following on the zoo’s website: Continue reading


The Wrong Side of History

I sincerely hope that history will mock these people:

The Harris County GOP sued the City of Houston on Tuesday, challenging Mayor Annise Parker’s decision to extend health and life insurance benefits to legally married same-sex couples whose marriages have been recognized in states with marriage equality laws.

The new policy has been put on hold by District Judge Lisa Millard after signing a temporary restraining order. The policy won’t go before a judge until after New Year’s Day, on Jan. 6, 2014.

Jared Woodfill, the chairman of the Harris County GOP, is leading the lawsuit. “This is one of the most egregious acts by an elected official I’ve ever seen,” said Woodfill. “They just decided to, unilaterally, as a lame duck, thumb their nose at the will of the people and just spit on the U.S. Constitution.”

Where exactly in the U.S. Constitution does it say gay marriage is illegal remains to be mystery.


Rice University and that Place that Sells Chicken

I just learned from an alert friend that Rice University, of which I am a proud alumnus, has an at-least-somewhat cozy relationship with The Chicken Restaurant That Shall Not Be Named. (That’s too wordy, on second thought. I’m referring to Chick-Fil-A.) As of this afternoon, the Rice Athletic Department lists Chick-Fil-A as a “Preferred Restaurant Partner.”

Screen Shot 2012-09-10 at 1.07.59 PM

I couldn’t find much else about a relationship between Rice and Chick-Fil-A, except one indication, via student reviews of campus food, that Chick-Fil-A is available on campus.

Screen Shot 2012-09-10 at 1.15.15 PM

This is what roughly five minutes of Googling revealed, anyway.

My involvement as an alumnus with Rice is pretty minimal. I send money now and then, but I’m not a “patron,” “booster,” or “donor,” so much as I am the guy who pretends to have a forty year-old rotary phone whenever the Rice Development Office calls. Nonetheless, I am not thrilled in the least with the school’s affiliation with Chick-Fil-A, which, as far as I am concerned, goes against everything I learned about tolerance and inclusion while a student at Rice. I matriculated at Rice as a spoiled, entitled, sheltered little shit whose life experiences mostly involved fellow WASPs. By the time I graduated, I was still a little shit, but my Rice experience allowed me to expand beyond everything else. Rice’s diversity accounted for about 90% of that. (I now know that Rice actually wasn’t all that diverse, but you have to think like 18 year-old me here.) I mean not only cultural, ethnic, racial, or religious diversity, but also diversity of lifestyles.

Rice is a private university. This means that it has considerable discretion to decide with whom it associates. No one disputes that. As a private organization, however, it also has considerable leeway to decide with whom not to associate. Are you listening, President David Leebron and Athletic Director Rick Greenspan?

BONUS: See Culturemap Houston’s guide to non-Chick-Fil-A chicken in Houston.