Five stories that have North Texas talking: Lawmaker wants Texans to stop using the Chilean flag emoji inaccurately; taxpayers may be funding pensions of convicted former elected officials; SMU professor takes on “La La Land"; and more.
Have you ever noticed how the national flag of Chile and the state flag of Texas look alike? Both are red, white and blue with a single star on the left side. It can be tricky to tell the difference. Given the similarities, it's understandable that some might use the Chilean flag emoji when they’re texting or tweeting or digitally communicating in any way about Texas. And that's a glaring inaccuracy in the eyes of one state lawmaker.
This state pic.twitter.com/qCVjSfCgG9
— Elizabeth Findell (@efindell) February 16, 2017
State Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress, introduced a concurrent resolution Thursday urging Texans not to use the Chilean flag emoji when referring to the Texas flag in "digital forums." It's not clear in the resolution what consequences, if any, would come to those who used the emoji improperly. In HCR 75, Oliverson writes:
“The Lone Star Flag has a grand history, starting with its adoption as the third flag of the Republic of Texas by President Mirabeau B. Lamar and the Texas Congress in 1839, and just as our flag could never fully embody the country of Chile, neither can the Chilean flag inspire feelings of pride and passion in the heart of a true Texan; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby reject the notion that the Chilean flag, although it is a nice flag, can in any way compare to or be substituted for the official state flag of Texas and urge all Texans not to use the Republic of Chile flag emoji in digital forums when referring to the Lone Star Flag of the great State of Texas.”
- Texas may be still giving state-funded pensions to convicted elected officials. More than two dozen former elected officials convicted of felonies may be receiving taxpayer-funded retirement pay, the Texas Tribune reports. But state law keeps the details secret. The Tribune investigation used news accounts and records obtained from the office of Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, who authored Senate Bill 14, an ethics bill filed last month that would in part revoke pensions from lawbreaking lawmakers. These former state officials have been convicted of everything from bribery to indecent exposure to a child. Explore the investigation. [Texas Tribune]
- This North Texan is hoping to become a major player in the resurgence of vinyl. Dustin Blocker is the co-founder of Hand Drawn Records in Dallas. According to Art&Seek: "Before Hand Drawn started pressing records, there were only 18 record pressing plants in the U.S. Those plants used refurbished machines that were built in the '60s. And though the steps required to press a vinyl album with Blocker’s presses versus the presses built half-century ago aren’t very different, the new presses have major advantages." With Hand Drawn's unique process, Blocker can get a vinyl record pressed in 30 seconds or less. Learn more in the latest Artist Spotlight. [Art&Seek]
- Texas is in the middle of a foster care crisis. More than a dozen children have died while in foster care placements in the last several years. Gov. Greg Abbott and the state’s leading lawmakers say fixing the foster care system is a top priority during this legislative session. In the series, “Broken,” the Texas Standard aims to get at the root of the challenges facing foster care in the state. Over the next several months, the series will pick the system apart piece by piece, looking at groups involved with and affected by the system: foster children, caseworkers and lawmakers. Explore the series so far. [Texas Standard]
- The film with the most Oscar nominations this year is “an echo of an echo,” this SMU professor says. Sean Griffin, who has a forthcoming book about movie musicals, explained to The Big Screen team that “La La Land” hearkens back to the films of French director Jacques Demy, like “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” And in turn, Demy’s work was influenced by the regular musical productions by the Hollywood studio monopolies. “Back in ‘30s and ‘40s you could crank these movies out like every couple months,” Griffin says. Despite earning 14 nominations, “La La Land” isn’t beloved by all, but Griffin says movie musicals may see a resurgence. [Art&Seek]