Five stories that have North Texas talking: Track viral videos by age group, Governor Rick Perry's higher ed reform gets a thumbs-down from UT, and more.
When sophomore Jeff Bliss arose from his seat to challenge his teacher at Duncanville High School, he might not have known the monologue would become one of the most-watched videos on YouTube in the country. But its broken a million views -- and we can see what regions were held enrapt by his speech on the newly developed YouTube Trends Map.
The interactive map tracks the most-viewed videos by age group and location in the last 12-24 hours. Curiously, the Amnesia Ibiza Opening Party 2013 promo is roping in the 35-44 year-old bunch in North Texas. [The Atlantic Cities]
- LAYING ON THE HORN: Governor Rick Perry’s ideas about college reform may have been tolerated enough by Texas A&M University – he’s an Aggie, after all. But his plan to shift professors’ focus from research and writing to working in their fields is seeing a fierce backlash from alumni and faculty of the University of Texas at Austin. NPR’s Wade Goodwyn says UT’s concerned Perry will “dumb down” Texas’ flagship state school. And lawmakers are on guard. [NPR]
- SPEAKING OF NEXT LEVEL: President Obama namechecked UT and Austin as important hubs for ideas that translate into jobs. He was preaching up job creation for the middle class (using some of Perry’s own pro-private-sector stance) during his stop yesterday at Manor New Technology high school, which came just after the White House unveiled a new competition to win bids for “manufacturing innovation institutes.” The government will drop $200 million on the three winners. [KUT in Austin]
- BETTER THAN LUNCH AT LA MADELINE: Sunday is Mother's Day, and it's a bittersweet reminder for many who've lost their moms - and for those who have a less than ideal relationship with their mothers. Like Rebecca Posamentier, who gathered every last bit of advice she could when her mother, who died in 2011, was battling Alzheimer's in this StoryCorps session. The interview was a therapeutic way to repair some wounds and better understand her mom's insecurities - and equipped her for motherhood, she said. And as for the weekend, don't miss Cassandra Emswiler's show Canticles of Praise at the Texas Theater's Safe Room for a tender example of family and place cherished using a domestic medium -- ceramic tile.
- TOP-TIER DESSERT: They can’t eat it, but collectors hungry for a piece of grandeur from celebrity parties of yore pay thousands for decomposing cake. Or even remnants of it. Take a presidential seal fashioned out of frosting for John F. Kennedy’s 45th-birthday cake. Heritage Auctions of Dallas sold it for $6,572. [New York Times]