Preview of Corpus Christi Book, Taming Notifications, No Special Session on Marriage Equality and More

91xE8YkEx+L._SL1500_HISTORY: How many observers would have predicted that the finest urban history to date about a Texas city would take as its subject Corpus Christi? Taken from my upcoming story in the Statesman: “Permanently perched on the state’s periphery, Corpus, a city of 316,000 — 442,000 in the metro area — seems always consigned to secondary status. In “Where Texas Meets the Sea” (University of Texas Press), Alan Lessoff explains how a place with such sterling advantages — gorgeous beaches, a striking bayfront under a natural bluff, a man-made deepwater port, proximity to Mexico and to the ranching, oil and gas empires of South Texas — has been stuck in virtual neutral for the past 50 years. Despite the current fracking boom, young people still leave in droves, as they did when the glamour spotlight followed other cities in the state: Houston during the space race, Dallas during the run of “Dallas,” and Austin pretty much ever since.” Look for links to the full story soon.

Don Tate illustration in the Statesman.

Don Tate illustration for the American-Statesman.

TECH: How stop the madness of notifications: Taken from Omar Gallaga‘s story in the Statesman: “As this sentence was being written, about a dozen notifications just happened. It used to take some effort to get machines to tell us stuff. A digital alarm clock wouldn’t wake you until you told it what time, down to the minute. If a phone automatically started telling you what appointments to expect that day and how the weather would be, you called an exorcist (from another phone). But we’ve come to take for granted that our ever-smarter tools (phones, computers, email) and even those with modern brain transplants (TVs, refrigerators, cars) are telling us stuff all the time. Honestly, you can’t shut them up. They feel you must know how many emails have arrived since the last time you checked, whether it’s time to change the water filter, who’s replied to a Facebook post you commented on last week.”

Photo by Jay Janner of the American-Statesman

Photo by Jay Janner of the American-Statesman

LAW: Abbott will not call special session on marriage equality. Taken from Ross Ramsey‘s story in the Texas Tribune: “Gov. Greg Abbott apparently really meant it when he said last week he will not call a special session of the Legislature. In an interview with San Antonio’s WOAI-AM on Monday, Abbott said calls for a session on same-sex marriage haven’t changed his mind about bringing back the lawmakers who left town last week. “I do not anticipate any special session,” he said. “They got their job done on time and don’t require any overtime.”

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