Five stories that have North Texas talking: “Narcos” was the most-streamed Netflix show in Texas in 2016; this poet can’t answer STAAR test questions about her own work; what a border wall means for Texas; and more.
“Narcos” was the most popular show for Texans to watch through Netflix last year, according to an analysis by HighSpeedInternet.com. The streaming service’s original series has completed two seasons chronicling the life of Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar. Netflix doesn’t release ratings information, according to HighSpeedInternet.com, so their team “took the top 75 TV shows on Netflix, cross referenced the shows with Google Trends data, and determined which series was most likely to be streamed on devices near you.” “Narcos” was only the most popular show in two other states — Nevada and New Jersey, according to this map. Every state that shares a border with Texas either preferred network television drama “Scandal” or another breakout Netflix series, “Orange is the New Black.” Check out each state’s favorite show, and for more: The New York Times last month took an even more granular approach to map America’s favorite shows. Some parts of Texas really love “Duck Dynasty.” [HighSpeedInternet.com, The New York Times]
- Two writers aren’t coming to the Texas Legislature’s celebration of authors because of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill. Senate Bill 6 would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools and facilities based on their biological gender rather than their chosen one. It would also preempt local ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Rick Riordan, former Texan and the author of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” tweeted his decision not to come on Friday, and Austin writer Sarah Bird posted on Facebook Monday saying she declined the offer, too. [The Texas Tribune]
- A poet tried answering questions on Texas’ standardized tests about her own poems, and she couldn’t do it. Author Sara Holbrook wrote about her tough time for The Huffington Post. Two of her poems from a 1998 collection showed up on past runs of the STAAR test, including “A Real Case," appearing on the 2014 seventh grade reading test, and “Midnight,” on the 2013 eighth grade reading test. Holbrook says “A Real Case,” is her most “neurotic” poem, and she apologizes to the kids — and teachers — who attempted to decipher it. See if you can answer the questions correctly. [The Huffington Post]
- What would President-elect Donald Trump’s border wall mean for Texas? Building a wall along the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico was the centerpiece of Trump’s presidential campaign. Two months since his win, the reality of the proposal is looming larger. The U.S. has 650 miles of existing barrier, and Texas has the most border left open. In a special report from the Texas Standard, learn about the logistics of building a wall and what it would mean for those living (both humans and wildlife) and working along the border. Explore the project. [Texas Standard]
- Going on a Texas road trip? Add this boot-shaped house to your list of pit stops. Artist Dan Phillips has created a 711-square-foot house in the shape of a cowboy boot in his hometown of Huntsville, Texas. You can rent the house for $1,200 a month, according to SeattlePi.com. The house comes with one full bathroom, a kitchen and two bedrooms, and there’s a small window on the left side of the boot that looks out onto a wraparound deck, plus, a spiral staircase that leads up the boot to a rooftop deck. Philips will later build a home shaped like a cowboy hat next door. [SeattlePi.com, Glasstire]