Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas receives more automated phone calls than most major U.S. cities; an SMU professor inspired a character in “Yellow Submarine”; a son shares his 101-year-old mother’s life wisdom; and more.
Toll-free numbers that set your phone ablaze on a seemingly daily basis are actually a more common occurrence for Dallas residents. Automated phone calls made to numbers with area code 214 totaled just shy of 35 million in the month of March, making Dallas the fourth most-called city in the country, the latest National Robocall Index found.
Dallas numbers with a 214 area code received over 10 million more calls than those with Fort Worth’s 817 area code, and Houston, with area code 832, topped Dallas at No. 2 with 44.4 million calls.
According to YouMail, an Irvine, CA-based developer of visual voicemail and Robocall blocking software, “Roughly one in six phone numbers calling the average consumer is a "robocall" — a telephone call made by a computerized auto-dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message or transfer to a telemarketer. Robocalls are typically unwanted solicitation or political telemarketing campaigns.”
Most of the calls recorded in the index came from debt collectors of every burden — credit card, student loan, cable — as well as mortgage lenders and health insurance providers. According to YouMail, “From political campaigns to debt collectors, the number of robocalls are on the rise not only in Dallas but across the country – impacting consumers and small businesses alike.” Read more about the national spike in automated phone calls. [YouMail]
- Learn three secrets to life from a 101-year-old Texas mother. W.F. Strong, a professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, polished three gems of wisdom he gathered over the course of his 101-and-five-months-old mother’s life. He told Texas Standard that Mary B. Strong was a Daughter of the American Revolution, a survivor of the Great Depression, a woman of Texas soil and of “true grit”. She was always willing to try new things, always kept moving and always ate whatever she wanted, including a Coke in the mid-morning and ice cream before bed. She went to church three times a week, mowed her own lawn and took pride in her life. Listen to Strong’s Mother’s Day tribute to Mary. [Texas Standard]
- A longtime SMU professor, who inspired a character in the Beatles' animated film, “Yellow Submarine,” died Monday at age 82. Jeremy DuQuesnay Adams’ strange name was the inspiration for “Yellow Submarine’s” Jeremy Hillary Boob, a fictional Ph.D. Dallas Observer reported: “Back in the '60s, he was going by Jeremy Y. du Q. Adams, which his friend Erich Segal, who invented the character, loved. The character’s name was originally Jeremy Y. du Boob before being changed to Jeremy Hillary Boob. Adams was studying at Harvard in the '60s when he met Segal, who was working on the screenplay for ‘Yellow Submarine.’” Read more about DuQuesnay’s life. [Dallas Observer]
- A mass-shredding event happening across North Texas can help with late spring cleaning. Seven Texas Health locations will host a free, secure shredding event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, according to a City of Arlington release. “For the past five years, this event has shredded and recycled over 250,000 pounds of material saving over 1,520 tree and 260 cubic yards of landfill space.” You can bring up to five boxes of bags of materials to shred or recycle. Read what you can and can’t bring and where to bring it. [City of Arlington]
- Johnny Manziel briefly appeared in a Dallas courtroom Thursday morning after posting bond on a misdemeanor charge. The 23-year-old was indicted by a grand jury last month after his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, alleged he hit her and threatened her life during a night out in January, according to The Associated Press. The former Heisman Trophy winner, Texas A&M star and Cleveland Browns quarterback presented himself for booking and a mug shot on Wednesday in Highland Park. According to The Dallas Morning News, the whole hearing lasted less than five minutes, and Manziel did not enter a plea. A future court date will be set, and in the meantime it will be Manziel’s responsibility to stay away from Crowley and not possess any guns. [The Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News]