Five stories that have North Texas talking: a Plano man generates national buzz for his water balloon invention; legalizing gay marriage in Texas would generate $182 million in economic impact; David Sedaris is coming back to Dallas; and more.
A Plano dad got tired of tying water balloons. So Josh Malone came up with an invention that fills 37 balloons in about 20 seconds – and ties them, too. His creation, Bunch O Balloons, has been featured on national news shows and websites. On Tuesday, Malone was interviewed on NBC’s “Today” show. The balloons are attached to tiny hoses – you just take the balloons and connect them to a garden hose and fill ‘em up. Then you shake the hose and – voila – the balloons fall to the ground, already tied. It gives you “enough water balloon ammo for any battle,” Malone says on Kickstarter. He launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to try to mass produce the item. Malone had a $10,000 goal, but has already raised more than $700,000, with three weeks to go before the campaign ends. BuzzFeed calls him a “genius dad.” "It's a good outdoor activity,'' Malone told “Today.” "It gets you together with the kids. We just got really tired of tying water balloons." (He has eight kids, by the way.) In this video, Malone explains his invention:
And here's the "Today" video featuring Malone and his balloons:
- Legalizing gay marriage in Texas would have a significant economic impact in the state – about $182 million. The Dallas Observer reports on a study by UCLA’s Williams Institute. “In the first three years after legalization, the study estimates 23,200 Texas same-sex couples would tie the knot,” the Observer says. “Most of those marriages, about 14,000, would take place in the first year. … Total combined spending -- on the ceremonies, travel for out-of-state guests and spending by those guests while in Texas -- would be about $182 million, the study estimates based on numbers from The Wedding Report.” Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas, said: "Allowing gay couples to marry here would give an economic boost to caterers, florists, event venues, and others who make a living through wedding planning.”
- Drones are taking off in popularity as they take off and shoot high above Dallas. But drones aren’t supposed to be shooting high in the sky without permission. Nothing should fly between 400 feet and 11,000 feet without permission of air traffic controllers, an FAA spokesman told The Dallas Morning News. Lynn Lunsford told The News that instead of punishing drone operators, the FAA’s “preference is education.” Still, there’s no denying that the drone videos are cool. Here are some videos by filmmaker Brian Aiken: Dallas in the winter and Dallas during the summer.
- Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price was recently featured in The New York Times. Price loves to ride her bike around town and the Times profiled her and her efforts to use her bike to former closer connections with Fort Worth residents. The Times reports: “The mayor regularly swoops into the city’s disparate neighborhoods on her bike to conduct ‘rolling town-hall meetings,’ taking City Hall to the people. Residents bike up next to her to discuss a variety of issues and grievances, like zoning, potholes and trash pickup. ‘Every time we go, somebody talks to us about their issues,’ Ms. Price said, recalling how fellow riders will sometimes pull out sweat-drenched notes from their pockets in asking her help. ‘For me, it’s about community engagement. In a big city, it’s hard to connect with people, and this is a great way to connect with people.’”
- David Sedaris is coming back to Dallas. He’ll again be part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters Live Series. He’ll speak Nov. 11 at the Winspear Opera House. Presale tickets are available through Aug. 12 for DMA Partners, AT&T Performing Arts Center Center Circle Members, and KERA Members. “Sedaris’s recent book of essays, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls (now available in paperback), takes his readers on a bizarre and stimulating world tour,” a DMA press release says. “From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler’s experiences.”