7 things @ 9 o’clock (9.3)

7 things @ 9 o’clock (9.3) September 3, 2013

1. Here’s a headline, you have to guess: Texas, Florida or North Carolina? “Pastor Looking for New Place to Burn Qurans After Flooding in Mulberry.”

2. “… So the gorilla says, ‘Yeah, well, at $19 a beer I’m not surprised.'” Buzzfeed doesn’t laugh. Buzzfeed laughs at the person telling the story because they think the person was giving a news report instead of telling a joke. Buzzfeed congratulates itself for being so much smarter than that rube who thinks gorillas can talk. Fundie hermeneutics are illiterate and dumb when employed by fundies. Fundie hermeneutics are illiterate and dumb when employed by non-fundies, too.

3. The National Federation of Independent Businesses, National Retail Federation and National Restaurant Association all operate on the premise that none of their workers will ever be their customers. Customers, they assume, are magical creatures who come from a world in which no one works in a store, or a restaurant, or manufacturing, or the service sector, and so keeping wages lower than low only cuts costs and couldn’t possibly affect demand. And now these poor lobbyists can’t figure out where all their customers have gone. It’s a puzzlement.

4. Congratulations to John Scalzi and to Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

5. And even bigger congratulations to Diana Nyad, who just became the first person to swim the 103 miles from Havana to Key West without a shark cage. She first attempted the feat in 1978. She accomplished it yesterday, in 2013, at the age of 64. So if you’re feeling like you’ve run out of second chances or you’re too old to try again, take her word for it: “You have a dream 35 years ago — doesn’t come to fruition, but you move on with life. But it’s somewhere back there. Then you turn 60, and your mom just dies, and you’re looking for something. And the dream comes waking out of your imagination.” Wow.

6. Christa Brown unearths an old Texas Monthly feature from 1986, discussing the long history of Texas Baptists (trigger warning for the full story at the link):

On a Saturday afternoon in October 1897, Brann was abducted at gunpoint and driven to the Baylor campus for a lesson in humility. Beaten and threatened with worse, he was chased off campus. A week later he was caned and horsewhipped by a father-and-son team of Baylor partisans. Brann began to carry a gun and took shooting lessons. Six months later he got his chance.

Brann was to take a well-earned vacation in the spring of 1898. He and his business manager were downtown buying railroad tickets when from behind them stepped Tom Davis, a local real estate investor and vocal detractor of Brann. Davis drew his pistol and shot at the lanky editor. Brann whirled, returning fire. The two emptied their six-shooters into each other as the late afternoon crowd stampeded. Moments later Davis was lying in a pool of blood, and Brann – shot in the groin, foot, and back – slid to the ground. He died early the next morning. Davis, hit six times, died soon after Brann.

No one has given Texas Baptists much trouble since.

7. A Cool New Thing launches tomorrow. Keep an eye out here and here and here.

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