Each week, we scour the Web for the most interesting Okie-related news being reported both in the state and outside of it. We’re always looking for new links, so if you’ve read something you think we should see, let us know in the comments.
- Oklahoma City is apparently the manliest place in the country, according to Combos—you know, those salty snacks consisting of powdered cheese encased in a cylindrical cracker or pretzel. Heck, even TIME Magazine reported on the story. Granted, TIME’s story was written by a woman and therefore appropriately tongue-in-cheek, but others basically copied and pasted the study’s press release, which insists “the study compiles manly city data such as the number of home improvement stores, steak houses and manly occupations per capita.” However, a more in-depth report reveals: “The men of Oklahoma City know how to snack with gusto. Their city owns the highest purchase rate of salty snacks, such as COMBOS®.” Sure, maybe there’s some actual methodology to the study and OKC’s ranking was legitimately earned. Or maybe it’s further proof of our state’s high obesity rate: We really like to buy and eat salty snacks.
- A 30-year-old intellectually disabled Duncan woman died Saturday while waiting for a kidney transplant. Her story was thrust into the national spotlight in 2006, when NPR reported on Oklahoma University Medical Center’s refusal to give her a transplant due to her impaired mental capacity. The story caused nationwide outrage and prompted a Galveston, Texas, hospital to offer to put her on its waiting list. For a while, Misty Cargill’s condition improved, so she was taken off the transplant list. But last year her health declined again and she was put on a waiting list by a different Oklahoma City hospital, NPR reported. Her story has caused some to examine transplant policies at hospitals and question why doctors deem some patients more deserving than others. From NPR:
My story about Cargill noted that about 60 percent of transplant centers reported they’d have serious reservations about giving a kidney to someone with a mild to moderate intellectual disability. Kidneys are in short supply and doctors must determine who is most likely to thrive with one. Often medical professionals figure that someone with an intellectual disability will not be capable of doing things like faithfully taking all the medications required for a lifetime after receiving a transplant.
- Investigate West revealed this week how a once profitable and popular state park, Lake Texoma, is floundering under privatization efforts, despite being “bought and paid for.” The state government, unable to fund needed repairs and upgrades, sold the park in 2008 to a private development firm, but had to agree to “create a new public park of equal value in return.” Creation of that new park has yet to begin, though, and the last cabins on the existing parkland are slated for demolition. The story expounds on the political, environmental, and social implications of the park’s privatization/replacement, with one camper saying its loss represents “a profound loss for the people of Oklahoma.”
- A committee of Tulsans who buried a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere and, 50 years later, unearthed it as part of Oklahoma’s centennial celebration are hoping to transfer the car to the Smithsonian Institution, The Oklahoman reported. A Pennsylvania man, Dwight Foster, has spent six months and $20,000 restoring the vehicle, which emerged from its cement tomb undrivable and covered in rust. He’s the one who first contacted the Smithsonian about making an exhibit out of the car. “I think it rates up there to be in the Smithsonian as a good American display of what was happening at the time and how people were dreaming, and the whole pretense of why they buried the car to start with,” he told The Oklahoman.
- This Land Press got a shout-out this week from Smithsonian Magazine, which directed readers to our documentary about Thomas Shahan, macro photographer of Oklahoma jumping spiders. The doc appeared in Season 1 of This Land TV—you can see it, below.
- Steve Hyden wrote about the demise of his love affair with The Flaming Lips at the A.V. Club, an entertainment website published by The Onion. Hyden compared the band’s 2000 album The Soft Bulletin, which is what made him fall in love with the Lips, to its current music and concerts, where the “spectacle has become the major selling point.” He writes:
Twelve years ago, the band had half as much notoriety and an even smaller fraction of the production budget. All it had in greater abundance back then, it seems, are great songs and heart. Unfortunately for the Lips, if you add up all the gimmicks, schemes, and stunts the band has pulled recently, they don’t come close to compensating for what’s been lost since then.
- Geeks finally have a reason to get excited about sports. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami heat are 1-1 in the NBA Finals, with the next game scheduled for Saturday in Miami, and Deadspin reported this week that “besides torturing Seattle and Cleveland fans, the Heat-Thunder showdown is torturing the language,” since both teams’ names are mass nouns, rather than regular plurals. Tom Scocca writes: “The reason the mass-noun names sounded trendy and different is that they don’t fit the normal grammatical tradition of American sports. The Bulls were better than the Sonics. The Spurs were better than the Nets. But is the Heat going to beat the Thunder? Or ARE the Thunder going to beat the Heat?”
- Sen. Jim Inhofe is trying to block a new EPA rule that “would limit the emissions of mercury and toxic chemicals from power plants,” The Oklahoman reported. He said the rule is part of President Barack Obama’s “war on coal” and that it would cost jobs to raise utilities in coal-producing states. Though Inhofe tried to rally his colleagues’ support in his effort to kill the bill, The Oklahoman reported that an “Arkansas senator called Inhofe’s proposal ‘over the top’ and said it would allow utility companies to pollute at will.”
—Holly Wall, News Editor