Archive for February 2013

Battleground Texas – Jeremy Bird

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Jeremy Bird describes his Texas initiative to get African Americans, Hispanics, women and young people out to the polls, and turn Texas blue!

Watch commercial free at the source:


Written by messwatx

2013/02/27 at 12:47 pm

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HD Recordings from WXWC (by myself)

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Major Major Major
3D Friends
Panic Volcanic
La Migra

Written by messwatx

2013/02/26 at 5:05 pm

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UPDATE: It was great!


links to music videos etc. here! (inc. Panic Volcanic, P-Tek, and La Migra at French House coop and an as-of-yet-unidentified-by-myself punk act at 21st st coop)
Performance videos playlist HERE:

Our interview with Panic Volcanic

Written by messwatx

2013/02/23 at 1:57 pm

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TEDxAustin Videos are on YouTube!

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This is the proper upload of the Urban Cable/Gondola/Austin Wire talk from TEDxAustin.


The other talks can all be seen here:

I’ll probably be posting some of the ones I liked the most in the next few days.

My original post is here.

Written by messwatx

2013/02/21 at 5:31 pm

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Off-handed Dismassal of Gondola Transit on

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Quote from:

We’ve even explored the idea of riding gondolas to work everyday or an underground subway system, neither of which are remotely within the realm of possibility.

The link there only is to an article about the impossibility of a subway system.Therefore, the author at the Austinist gives no reason for the supposed impossibility.

See earlier posts for more coverage of this topic.

It’s not like it hasn’t been done before; take a look at the better bits of this Guardian article from November:

Just before this summer’s Olympics, London launched the Emirates Air Line. Its 34 cars bridge the Thames between Greenwich and the Royal Docks, running 90 metres above the ground. Visitors to Barcelona can climb to the top of Montjuic hill in a gondola lift. Its counterpart in Koblenz spans the Rhine then rises to the Ehrenbreitstein fortress. Rio de Janeiro, New York, Portland, Algiers, Oporto, Bolzano: the list of cities equipped with a cable car is growing longer every day.

The most significant experiments were made in the 2000s by Medellin, Colombia, and Caracas, Venezuela. Cable cars, rethought as a means of mass transport, were clean, producing no carbon dioxide emissions directly, and ended the isolation of the poorest neighbourhoods. The concept has been such a success in Medellin that the city council is considering a fourth route.

Cable transport is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, safe and requires little infrastructure. It is particularly suitable for crossing natural obstacles such as rivers or scaling hills, there being no need for expensive engineering work. Over an equivalent distance a cable link costs half as much as a tram line, and though no rival for underground railways in terms of capacity, some models can carry up to 8,000 passengers an hour.

Written by messwatx

2013/02/17 at 10:52 pm

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Gondolas in Round Rock? City Council members say they love the idea

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For our earlier gondola coverage, see here.

American-Statesman Staff

ROUND ROCK —Round Rock City Council members said they loved the idea.

Frog Design’s Austin office came up with the idea last year and has unsuccessfully sought an audience with Austin city officials. “Who wants to be the test case for some completely new technology?” Rob Spillar, Austin’s transportation director, said in December.

Michael McDaniel, a principal designer with Frog Design, thinks the answer could be Round Rock, which recently passed the 100,000 population mark, and is beginning to consider options for public transportation.

The system would be similar to cable car networks in Barcelona, Spain, and Medellín, Colombia — and designers say Round Rock’s system would be more complex than either of those.

Officials say Round Rock has an opportunity to start from scratch in a way Austin, with an established bus system and a more recent commuter rail line, cannot.

“At some point we’re going to have to put a transit system in place,” Round Rock Transportation Director Gary Hudder said. “We have an opportunity to think outside of the box.”

McDaniel said the company — which hasn’t built a wire system, only conceptualized them — envisions the system linking with multiple forms of transportation, “so it goes door-to-door.” That could include a bike and car-sharing service with a “Netflix-style membership” that would allow riders to get from the gondola stations to their final destinations.

McDaniel said the wire system would cost $12 million to $24 million a mile, compared with the city of Austin’s estimated $100 million a mile for a proposed urban rail system.

McGraw said the city is not proposing anything yet. Thursday’s presentation, McGraw said, gave Frog Design “a public forum to present the idea to the region to see if this is a viable alternative.”

McDaniel said he hopes it will at least generate discussion with officials in Austin. So far, though, that seems unlikely.

Austin transportation department spokeswoman Leah Fillion said the department hasn’t changed its stance since December when Spillar, an enthusiastic proponent of the city’s urban rail initiative, said he was not interested.


Written by messwatx

2013/02/17 at 10:00 am

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Opinion: Population Growth Isn’t All Bad

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Or: Stop Telling People to Stop Moving Here
By Stephanie Myers

Throughout the history of the United States, new arrivals to this country have told everyone arriving one minute after they did to stop coming. The collective attitude seems to be, “It was great that I could come here, but now everyone else stay away.” You’d think in a city supposedly as liberal as Austin, this mentality wouldn’t prevail. But it does.

I recently read a student opinion piece on the increasing popularity and rising cost of living in Austin, published in UT’s Daily Texan, in which the author writes, “….we, the concerned, semipermanent residents of Austin, have a simple request for the thousands of people who flock to this city every year: Please, we beg of you, move elsewhere.”

I guffawed over my coffee. The “semipermanent residents” are begging others who move here to contribute to the economy, the housing market, the creative industry and the culture of this city to stay away? I can’t blame the young writer for her opinion when it’s the same one uttered from the mouths of plenty of others every day. She’s just repeating what has come to be the cry of the “original” Austinites – everything was better before “all of you” showed up; don’t move here.

Here’s the thing though. Almost nobody is from Austin. You might have moved here in 1990, but you still moved here. Whether you moved here to go to the University of Texas or to get out of Houston or to escape El Paso or you moved from as close as Johnson City or Llano, the vast majority of you still moved here.

Read the rest at:

Written by messwatx

2013/02/15 at 12:12 pm

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