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Post Texas Pride, and Hurricane Harvey
Created by John Eipper on 08/29/17 7:30 AM

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Texas Pride, and Hurricane Harvey (Dwayne Virnau, USA, 08/29/17 7:30 am)

There is a saying, "Everything is bigger in Texas." This leads to an inordinate number of inappropriate jokes about the size of things in Texas, which I will endeavor to spare you, but one slightly less inappropriate joke follows. A gentleman visited his friend at his mansion in Texas and noticed that there were three swimming pools. "Why do you have three pools?" "Well, I fill one with hot water for my friends who like to swim in hot water, and I fill one with cold water for my friends who like to swim in cold water, and one I keep empty for my friends who do not swim."

We Texans pledge allegiance to the United States, one nation, made of states such as Texas.

Texas is the second largest state in area, third or fourth largest state in population. In 1959 my mother attended summer camp and she was teased that Alaska had been admitted as a state and Texas was no longer the largest state in the USA. The joke was that Alaska was planning to split into two so that Texas would be the third largest state in the USA. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

Texans have a strong sense of community. The biggest natural disaster in recent history is not going to phase us. We will do what we have to do to rise above this disaster.

Everywhere around me people are rising up, responding with generosity and love.

30,000 displaced residents are in shelters tonight.

When we are challenged we step up. I am proud to be from Texas.

Dwayne Virnau
friend of Professor Hilton
Technical Advisor

JE comments:  I have long known Dwayne Virnau as a silent member of our email list, and it's a joy to receive a comment for the Forum.  Dwayne has drawn our attention to the crisis in the Houston area.  I was on the phone last night with my sister, whose home was spared the flooding, but thousands of others were not so lucky.  Today they are planning (literally) to open some floodgates, which will destroy some houses with the goal of sparing many others.  What a horrific example of the Trolley Problem.

Meanwhile, Sis says that the mood in the paralyzed city is generally calm, and citizens are cheerful and helpful.

One Texas-sized correction:  Texas is now second in population, easily eclipsing New York (26 million to 19 million).  New York will probably be outgunned by Florida in the next few years--especially as New Yorkers move there.

Please check in with us more often, Dwayne!

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  • Hurricane Harvey and Global Warming (Istvan Simon, USA 08/30/17 3:19 AM)
    Greetings from Mexico City. Hurricane Harvey is a horrible disaster. But far worse is blindness in the face of massive evidence. We have a resident in the White House who is doing his level best to worsen extreme weather phenomena.

    Global Warming is here, and it is not benign for us. Warming oceans mean not just rising sea levels which is already disastrous, but also oceans with too much energy--energy which feeds hurricanes and makes them more destructive.

    I'm in Mexico City waiting for my next connecting flight to return to the USA after a three-week visit to Brazil.  We shall be in San Francisco tonight at 10:55. My son Johnny is with me, currently enjoying Angry Grandpa who makes money on YouTube by going berserk.

    JE comments: Trump hasn't been in charge long enough to have caused Harvey, but he can be faulted for denying the science of what has become the "new normal"--Katrina, Rita, Ike, and now the truly Angry Grandpa of Harvey.  The news from Houston is grim--a death toll now at 30 and rising, tens of thousands left homeless, and economic devastation easily in the hundreds of billions.

    Could this--finally--be a wake-up call to listen to Mother Nature?

    On a different topic, Istvan:  Please send us a Brazil report!

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  • Florida and New York Populations (Harry Papasotiriou, Greece 08/31/17 7:30 AM)
    A small correction to John E's comment of August 29th: Florida surpassed New York in population a couple of years ago.

    On another note, keep up the great job as our editor!

    JE comments: Much obliged, Harry!

    I too thought that Florida had overtaken NY for the #3 spot, but if you Google "US States by Population" you read that Florida lags by about 100,000 (19,651,000 to 19,552,000).

    Is it possible that Florida fell to fourth place after the 2010 census?

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    • Ranking the US States by Population (Michael Sullivan, USA 09/01/17 3:55 AM)

      Wikipedia gives 2016 state populations as:

      California         39.25 million

      Texas               27.86 million

      Florida             20.61 million

      New York         19.75 million

      JE comments:  Thank you, General!  This is a good example of why you shouldn't trust everything you Google.  Enter "US population by state" and New York comes up third.  At this same source (link below), it appears that Michael Sullivan's North Carolina is poised to take over the #9 spot from Michigan.  You Tar Heels are only 50,000 away, Michael!  It's probably already happened.

      Get with the times, Enchanted Learning!


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