Five stories that have North Texas talking: Inside the lives of the faithless; Cruz and Cornyn's budding brothership, bad texting as sign of stroke and more.
They're known as the “nones” – the one in five citizens who check the box labeled "none" when asked their religion, according to a Pew Reseach Poll. “They’re the same people who are also not joining the Elks Club or the Rotary Club,” Harvard professor and religion writer Robert Putnam tells Morning Edition's David Greene in the first of an NPR series.
A panel of Texas faith leaders discussed the future of religion in view of this trend for the Dallas Morning News’ Texas Faith blog back in October.
- The U.S. Senate's new No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn, apparently likes hanging out with his new Texas colleague, Ted Cruz. A Politico story over the weekend posits that Cornyn is trying to reinforce his conservative cred in advance of a reelection bid next year. The most fiery quote from Cornyn (who, by the way, voted for the fiscal cliff deal that raised taxes on the super-rich): "We are turning into Greece." He also suggests that a government shutdown might not be a bad thing. [Politico]
- Two Texas men were charged Saturday in the murders of family members, marking a rise in domestic violence. In September, the City of Dallas began a new program to assess risks of fatal attacks when they respond to any dispute, however minor. But is it working? Mayor Mike Rawlings will address this (and his response to the Newtown school shootings) in a presser at 1:30 p.m. [Dallas Morning News]
- Is your bad texter having a stroke? According Dr. Mark Alberts of UT Southwestern Medical Center, there's a chance. Unintelligible texts or emails could be a sign of something called "dystextia." It's kind of like dysphsia, which is trouble finding the right words while speaking. Both are symptoms of stroke. Check this week's edition of KERA's Vital Signs for other hallmarks before you get too worried about your aunt who just got an iPhone. [KERA News]
- From the Great Idea files: McDonald's has just become the third largest book distributor in the UK by replacing kids meal toys with actual reading material. And beyond the titles that come with chicken nuggets and burgers, little diners get a gift certificate they can exchange at a local retailer for an additional book, according to GOOD. On this side of the pond, Chick-Fil-A has been up to something similar for a while, our director of interactive Alan Melson points out, and currently partners with Little Golden Books.