On A Wild Day For Baseball, 4 Conversation Starters | KERA News

On A Wild Day For Baseball, 4 Conversation Starters

Oct 5, 2012

Five stories North Texas is talking about: Rangers convo cheats; tracking the jobless; mules and gorillas.

It’s major league baseball’s first ever wild-card day, and if you haven’t been paying attention, we offer four opening lines for cocktail-party conversations:

“What happened to the Rangers?” Texas’ finest, who for much of the season had the best record in baseball, cratered in the final week and lost the division title to the Oakland A’s on the last day of the season. But in this game, there’s always hope: The Rangers play a win-or-go-home game tonight against fellow wild card Baltimore. First pitch is at 7:37 p.m. (So plant yourself strategically near the TV at that cocktail party).

“Miguel Cabrera deserves a fourth crown.” The Detroit Tigers star won the first Triple Crown since 1967 – leading the league in home runs, runs batted in and average. And after a slow start, his Tigers are dark horse to win it all.

“I knew the Nationals would be the best team in baseball.” OK, nobody knew that at the season’s start. But Washington’s darlings rode a hot young pitching staff to the best record in the game. Funny thing: The Orioles and A’s were just as shocking.

“Don’t you think baseball is better than football?” OK, on a Friday night in Texas, that might get you booted from a cocktail party – but then you can sneak home and watch the game.

You can still buy tickets. The Rangers parking lots at the Ballpark open at 2:30 pm. Here’s some parking info and maps.

Pretty much anyone trying to brave I-30 today should follow @ArlingtonPD for traffic info.

--Rick Holter

Unemployment Dips, But Who’s Still Jobless?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released this morning, unemployment rate dropped (just) below 8 percent for the first time in four years. NPR’s Planet Money hashes out five facets of our situation, focusing on how gender, age, and education level are impacting how a person has fared -- and will do -- in the job market.

During the recession, Planet Money reports, the unemployment rate for men was higher than for women, because there are more women in industries that grew, like health care and education. More men work in the construction and manufacturing sectors that took hits. -- Lyndsay Knecht

Indie Films Short On Funds Need More Time

If you, too, are fond of wandering the aisles of Premiere Video and picking up everything you haven’t heard of with festival honors, then you’ll want to note this piece by Art&Seek’s Stephen Becker: a look inside the production of low-budget films via one harried crew at a hotel near Love Field. Turns out there’s often hundreds of hours for every one hour your disbelief is suspended.

To be exact, in this case 18 people work 12 hours to produce 90 seconds of Bob Birdnow’s Remarkable Tale of Human Survival and the Transcendence of Self, which centers on a motivational speaker who loses limbs. The director is Dallas’ own Eric Steele.

- Lyndsay Knecht

Museum: 'Mules Killed In Texas, Spared From Death In Mexico'

The controversy last month involving a museum’s decision to kill two mules for an exhibit has come to head, resulting in a lawsuit.

A man in Lubbock is filing against the board of the American Museum of Agriculture.
Patrick Green is seeking to block the animals from being used in the exhibit, which currently features a 19th century reaping machine, and two stuffed mules.

From the Lubbock Avalanche Journal:

Patrick Greene sued Dan Taylor, the board’s president, claiming Taylor failed to notify the people of Texas that he planned to have the mules euthanized for use in the exhibit — which he refers to in the suit as a “nefarious purpose.”

The suit alleges that state law makes wild animals the property of the state, and the museum had an obligation to tell the people of Texas what its plans were for the mules.

A Facebook page was setup up by an animal rights advocate on the day of the slaughter announcement to 'Save the Lubbock Mules.'  But later that day the museum sent out a press release stating that the mules were already dead.

The museum’s attorneys say they haven’t seen the lawsuit and maintain that killing the animals here spared them from being killed in Mexico.

Not sure how that makes a difference.

-- Justin Martin

The Winning Bidder Names A Gorilla

When was the last time you had the option to name a gorilla?

Our guess is never. If that reality is too much to bear: the Gladys Porter Zoo in the Rio Grande Valley is offering naming-rights for a 9-month-old baby gorilla to the highest bidder.

The auction is part of their ZooFari 2012 event, which will raise money for numerous education & conservation initiatives. The baby boy's mother is “Martha” the gorilla.

- Justin Martin

SPEAKING OF BABIES: We're eating donuts meant for Art&Seek producer and board op Shelley Kenneavy’s last day at the station before maternity leave, which was canceled due to the arrival of her son, Jack, (Mazel Tov, Shelley and Sean!) late last night.