Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:47 pm
Richard Powers, whose novels combine the wonders of science with the marvels of art, astonishes us in different ways with each new book. His 11th, Orfeo, is about a 70-year-old avant-garde composer who has sacrificed family and fortune to his relentless pursuit of immortal, transcendent music.
The fight over public school funding continues with another installment of Judge John Dietz’s courtroom. In February of last year he ruled that the state funding levels were unconstitutional.
In the last legislative session the state restored $3.4 billion of the more than $5 billion they cut the previous session, but was it enough? And with the current political backdrop will education be in the spotlight for the remaining months? Will it be an effective and compelling issue for Texas voters?
Richard Powers' new novel, Orfeo, tells the story of an avant-garde classical music composer who finds himself dabbling in DNA. Like the Orpheus myth that inspired the book's name, this story takes its hero, Peter Els, on a journey. He becomes a fugitive accused of bioterror, but what follows is also a walk back into the recesses of his own memory told through the music and people he's loved and lost.
Texas Matters: Law professor and author David Dow has had a unique experience with death and has compiled those diverse experiences into a new book. As an attorney, Dow has been part of over 100 cases where those on trial were facing death row, defending -- often unsuccessfully -- those who are facing their own end and who are coming to terms with what that means for their loved ones. Dow uses those experiences along with the death of people close to his family to give a look into the way relationships transform in the face of death.
In late October the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to admit Palestine as a member state. The U.S., which has long opposed recognition, promptly stopped paying dues and subsequently lost its voting rights in the organization.
Texas Matters: Residents in North Texas are dealing with the increased frequency of small earthquakes that some people are linking to oil and gas drilling in the area. State Rep. Mike Villarreal talks about the possible conflict of interest with William White, who as chair of the Texas Finance Commission is also vice president of a payday loan company. Also on this show: Population growth in Texas and the Kallison ranching family.
A recent study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that 25 times more money is spent advertising financial products then on educating people on what these products are. Anyone who is up watching TV past 9 p.m. knows this is especially true of reverse mortgages.
When the San Antonio Sidney-Lanier "Voks" won the 1939 city championship basketball game, the arena erupted in violence.
How could a West Side team of Mexican-American kids from the other side of the tracks beat the dominant King William-adjacent Brackenridge Eagles? The event was too much for one Brackenridge fan to take, and he attacked one of the teenage "Voks" players. A full-scale riot broke out as "Voks" fans responded in kind.
More than 10 years ago the City of San Antonio took a break from further annexing portions of Bexar County. According to the Census Bureau there is nearly 1.8 million people in Bexar County, of which about 400,000 live in unincorporated areas that aren't taxed by the city but also receive no city services.
The city is eyeing new tracts of land to the south and considering its options.