Five stories that have North Texas talking: A Texas woman has had a British accent for six months post-jaw surgery; Jaap Van Zweden made bank in 2013; UNESCO leader condemned the death of a late North Texas journalist; and more.
Lisa Alamia of Rosenberg, Texas, southwest of Houston, doesn’t have her native drawl anymore. She had lower jaw surgery to correct an overbite in December, and six months later an accent swinging between various British dialects and an Australian twang persists, The Associated Press reported.
Neurologist Dr. Toby Yaltho of Houston Methodist Hospital Sugar Land said there weren’t any complications noted in the operative report causing the accent change, and he believes Alamia has a rare neurological condition called foreign accent syndrome, according to KTRK in Houston.
According to AP: “Foreign accent syndrome is a rare medical condition that can result from trauma or an injury to the area of the brain that controls speech. The cause is often unknown, but it has been linked to strokes, head injuries and psychiatric conditions. Speech therapy can help patients restore their usual accents.”
Alamia told KTRK she knows it seems skeptical, but even it took her awhile to say “y’all”. She hopes to regain her original Texas accent in the future. [The Associated Press, KTRK, KHOU]
Video from KHOU:
- It pays to be the symphony director in Dallas. A 2016 compensation report revealed Jaap Van Zweden, the Dutch conductor of Dallas Symphony Orchestra made $5,110,538 during the 2013-14 season. Drew McManus, who wrote the report, determined the numbers using 990 tax filings. Symphony spokesperson Denise McGovern clarified Van Zweden’s salary in 2013 was $1,788,997, and the rest of the amount was a signing bonus, funded entirely by an individual’s private gift, for a long-term contract extension through the 2020-21 season. Still, that was a $3,321,541 signing bonus, and by 20-21, Van Zweden will be the conductor of the New York Philharmonic, where the conductor earned more than $1.75 million in 2013. [Adaptistration]
- The death of a North Texas journalist has gained international attention. Jay Torres was found shot dead in the backyard of a Garland house last week. On Wednesday, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova condemned the killing of 57-year-old Torres, who, was a longtime reporter and photographer for La Estrella, Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s bilingual weekly. “I call on the authorities to investigate this killing and its motives so that those responsible for it be brought to trial,” Bokova said in a statement. Garland police say they have not determined whether Torres’ work contributed to his death. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- The age-old question: What is the best barbecue? Texas Standard posed the question after an Atlanta Eater writer said the “only one legit kind of American barbecue” is pork that’s slow-cooked with smoke. While writer Chris Fuhrmiester recognized different versions of barbecue exist around the country, he declared “I think there's a pretty clear reason why pork continued to dominate North Carolina and the rest of the South: It just tastes better.” Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor for Texas Monthly, said Fuhrmiester’s “barbecue world” needed to expand, and there isn't one barbecue to rule them all. The best solution is to enjoy the barbecue in your area and support local pit masters. [Texas Standard]
- Ten (more) things to add to your Dallas bucket list. GuideLive put together a handful of diverse Dallas activities that you should do before you kick it. Some of them you could even accomplish this weekend, like paddle-boarding on White Rock Lake or drinking a Mambo Taxi at Mi Cocina. More ambitious items include flying over downtown Dallas at night in a Cessna 172 airplane or maneuvering one bike with a dozen other people. Check out the full list to see what you may be missing in Dallas or what you might like to try again. [GuideLive]