Nov 08, 2013

Eyes on Texas: Head Cakes and Earthquakes

A roundup of news, columns and features about the state, from media around the world.

A hero to Christians belittled as too crude for the right and too “Jesus-y” for the left, an alternative preacher visited Austin with “a foul-mouthed articulation of Christianity,” reports The Washington Post. Nadia Bolz-Weber is taking a life of drug addiction, rejection, transience and alienation to the church podium. The Post says the God she describes “doesn’t love you more if you do good things,” and she says the church “isn’t supposed to be the Elks Club with the Eucharist.”

Texas Republican Ted Cruz made a scene on the U.S. Senate floor, and Texas Republicans liked it. Citing a poll by the Texas Tribune, the first taken of Texas voters since the October government shutdown, USA Today reports that Cruz’s temporary toppling of the federal government knocked his Texas approval rating down by just two percentage points. In fact, 32 percent of Texas Republicans have declared hypothetical support for Cruz in the 2016 presidential primary. Pollster Daron Shaw concluded that Democrats “hate” Cruz, who received only 9 percent approval.

A four-decade history of small earthquakes around Snyder has been linked to deep-earth gas injections by oil companies, Reuters reports. The companies have often pumped carbon dioxide into dying oil wells to squeeze out the last drops of crude, but a recent study suggests that the practice triggers seismic tremors. Snyder, a North Texas town, weathered 93 earthquakes between March 2009 and December 2010. Carbon dioxide injections were used before the modern practice of hydraulic fracking.

A Texas couple served wedding guests cake shaped like the couple’s severed heads. ABC News reports that the Austin cake artist, who also was the bride, drew upon her own interests of horror and gore to bake up the frosted mock carnage, which guests reported bore a chilling resemblance to the bride and groom. The vanilla flavored cakes took 40 hours to create.