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Key To State Fair Survival: Try Fried Stuff After A 200-Foot-Tall Swing


Five stories that have North Texas talking: New ways to get nauseous at the Fair, new housing ideas for artists, the new Van Cliburn doc and more.

Our own BJ Austin did some sleuthing about the half-dozen new rides and attractions at the State Fair of Texas, which opened this morning. The go-hard-or-go-home crowd should take note of Stratosphere, making its U.S. debut. At 200 feet tall, the ride lets you swing way above that puny Big Tex dude.

For the rest of us, BJ recommends the Big Bamboo fun house. She says a Volkswagen bus mural in the back offers a definitive photo op: it’s “the best... makes you look just like a surfer girl.”

That not enough for you? For today’s Anything You Ever Wanted To Know, Jeff Whittington headed down the midway to talk food with the Fair-minded.

And on our partner site, Next Avenue, local travel maven Sophia Dembling writes about her love affair with the Fair.

-- Rick Holter

Space: The Final Frontier For Artists

North Texas power brokers often talk about drawing artists to improve the quality of life. But once the creative types abandon their hometowns, where can they set down their beds and canvases without ultimately being priced out of their own digs?

The City of Dallas has already dropped $55,000 to look into options for nonprofit developer Artspace, which creates affordable studio and living space for artists. Art&Seek’s Stephen Becker did a piece on Artspace’s mission and its courtship with the city thus far.

And Thursday night, representatives from the project and the city heard from working artists at the new City Performance Hall about why an ideal habitat is important. Becker was there to capture voices.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Cliburn Documentary Spotlights ‘The Tour De France Of The Keyboard’

Tonight at 8 p.m. on KERA Channel 13, the new documentary Cliburn: 50 Years of Gold hits its opening chords. Art&Seek’s Jerome Weeks saw the doc about Van Cliburn, the Fort Worth pianist who inspired an international piano competition in his hometown.

There’s such beauty in what Cliburn has done, and the pianist’s bleak prognosis as he endures advanced bone cancer sheds light on that all the more. But Weeks’ post reminds us of the dramatic sport of the competition, which is chronicled in the film using tense behind-the-scenes moments:

“For better or worse, when the modern international piano competition dominated the piano field — thanks, in part, to Cliburn himself — they were exhausting marathon races, the Tour de France of the keyboard: At one point, we see a table, just offstage, loaded down with boxes of over-the-counter painkillers, Advil, Tylenol, aspirin.”

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Fork The Old Meds Over, And Then Get A Legitimate Prescription

Speaking of painkillers... Bottles of Vicadin and other prescription drugs that aren’t being used for a legitimate purpose can lead to life-destroying addictions. So the North Texas Poison Control center is urging those with extra pills in their cabinets to take no chances and find a drop-off location: Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

The massive free clinic Saturday at Dallas Convention Center happens to fall on the same day, for patients with medically approved reasons to seek drugs.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

The Sky’s The Limit In American Airlines Slowdown

Canceled or delayed flights are hurting American Airlines, even without the formal strike pilots considered earlier this month. CBS reports that almost half of American’s scheduled flights were delayed on Monday and Tuesday, and the frustration continues with American threatening legal action against its pilots.

Passengers can leverage this misfortune using some tips from MarketWatch. The story says sites like TripIt often send news of delays quicker than the airline, allowing disgruntled flyers to call and complain sooner.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Follow us on  Twitter @KERANews for updates.