They do make live armadillos, you know. Don’t feel bad — there’s many a Texan who only recognizes the critters as mascots and roadkill. A cartoon selling something Texas-y or a roadside relic.
Every Texan, then, should get a chance to see one in the wild. To stand downwind — ew, most wild armadillos could use a good bath — and to see one snuffling, shuffling through the brush, unaware of your gaze even as it stares myopically at whatever it is that commands an armadillo’s attention … how could you not love such a creature? Stand quietly and these tiny armored pacifists might waddle right up to you.
But don’t hug the armadillo! Not if hugging is something you aim to keep doing well. You see, armadillos are known to carry leprosy. And it is possible, though unlikely, for them to give it to you. And they can also spread Chagas disease, which is … seriously, don’t hug the armadillo.
Here are 10 more facts about the Texas icon …
1. Inspired by the Armadillo World Headquarters — Austin’s home to redneck hippies, hippie rednecks, progressive country music and artists of all sorts from 1970 to 1980 — University of Texas students in 1971 made a push to change the school’s mascot. Yes, from Longhorns to Armadillos. “No,” said everyone over 30, and it didn’t happen. But if you now feel the need to root for an Armadillos football team, there is San Saba High School.
2. It was artist Jim Franklin who got the armadillo-as-icon thing kick-started in Austin, drawing armadillos on music posters and wearing an armadillo-shell helmet of sorts as emcee at early Austin club The Vulcan Gas Company. He would later design a series of armadillo-intensive posters for Lone Star Beer.
3. Yes. Lone Star Beer. When you were a child in the ‘70s and you didn’t have the Internet, DVRs, more than a handful of TV channels or much of anything besides an early bedtime, randomly catching a Lone Star Beer “Giant Armadillo” TV commercial was like an early Christmas. What? You mean that was just me?
4. There was a giant armadillo, by the way. Just not one with a taste for beer (as far as we know). The glyptodon was around during Pleistocene times and wasn’t the sort of thing you’d just walk up to with a camera and a smile — they could grow as large as Volkswagen Beetles. You can pay homage to these giant armadillos at the Texas Memorial Museum on the UT campus.
5. What you are going to see in Texas or the rest of the U.S. is the nine-banded armadillo, one of 20 varieties. No, it can’t roll up in a ball (like a couple of its three-banded cousins). Yes, the females do give birth to four identical quadruplets each time. And they mostly eat bugs, including fire ants and wasps, as well as scorpions. You’re welcome.
6. Do people eat armadillos? Yes. From Texas, to the South to South America, people have eaten and continue to eat armadillos — though not as much these days (remember, that whole leprosy thing). The taste is said to be like pork. In fact, during the Great Depression, people would call armadillos “Hoover Hogs,” blaming President Herbert Hoover for the, uh, creative cooking some were forced to do.
7. Other types of armadillos include the “screaming hairy armadillo” and the “pink fairy armadillo.” Really. Both are found in South America … but only “screaming hairy armadillo” is an awesome name for a band.
8. Roadkill! The nine-banded armadillo’s primary means of defense are jumping straight up and digging into the ground. So far human evolution is winning the battle here: asphalt and fast-moving cars counter these defenses pretty well. Even if a pickup or SUV rolls over an armadillo without hitting it, the dillo is likely to jump up, hit the undercarriage and things go quickly downhill from there for the critter.
9. We are past its 1970s county-fair and small-town festival heyday, but armadillo racing is still a thing. Climb into the little corral and pick the armadillo that likes you the least — with any luck, it’ll run the right way. Placing bets that go beyond the next round of beers is considered bad form.
10. Armadillo taxidermy is also a continuing thing. You can buy them in a lifelike pose, roadkill pose, roadkill-with-beer-bottle pose, standing-up-with-toy-holsters pose … or one of each. Perhaps the most famous stuffed armadillo is Ol’ Dillo, who is a mascot for Willie Nelson and Family. Ol’ Dillo has spent the last several years watching the band from the stage and has been swiped a couple of times by overenthusiastic fans. So far, he’s always made his way back on the road again with Willie and Family.
Bradley Cooper responded Tuesday to the media backlash aimed at him for attending the Democratic National Convention.
In an appearance on CBS’ “Late Late Show with James Corden,” Cooper talks about how he visited his hometown of Philadelphia to attend the DNC with his mother and girlfriend Irina Shayk.
He said he wasn’t expecting the reaction he got from conservatives.
“I wasn’t expecting that…The Republicans were up in arms because I was there listening to the president speak,” Cooper said.
Cooper’s “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips then butted in, saying, “Yeah, but [that was] because you played Chris Kyle in ‘American Sniper,’ which is like the Mob being mad at [Robert] De Niro for being in ‘The Intern.'”
The two of them then regaled Corden with tales of meeting former president Bill Clinton while filming “Hangover Part II” in Bangkok.
Watch the full clip below.
Bradley Cooper is not a genetically modified talking raccoon. Nor is he a scumbag schoolteacher with a penchant for hangovers. He is also not the deadliest sniper in U.S. history.
That, and actors historically leaning to the left side of the political spectrum, apparently didn’t stop some conservatives from angrily decrying the actor who brought us Sack Lodge and Brian Gilcrest.
I have a list of celebrities that support Socialism I refuse to spend another $ on. Add this one. Boycott them all. pic.twitter.com/uOFMkxSvRY
Since the show’s debut nearly two weeks ago, “Stranger Things” fans have been calling for Netflix to release the soundtrack and the entertainment company is finally humoring their requests. It posted this tweet yesterday stating “We hear you loud and clear. The #StrangerThings Official Soundtrack is coming soon. Over.”
There’s no release date for the soundtrack just yet, but Netflix did create a Spotify playlist that compiles most of the hits from the show. Maybe this will hold you over while we wait for Netflix to make good on its promise.
Also, here’s a little fun fact: the show’s actress Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, does her own YouTube covers of classic songs and current pop hits.
That’s right, today Netflix unveiled the much-anticipated release date for the “Gilmore Girls” four-part revival. The show, which comes nearly ten years after the last episode of the original series, will be available for streaming on Netflix.
Accompanying the release date, fans were also given a short clip of the upcoming show featuring Lorelai and Rory sitting in their familiar kitchen having a chat. Though it’s a little strange hearing the Gilmore girls discuss Amy Schumer and John Oliver, it’s good to see the characters in action.
Lennon bought the car with Yoko Ono in 1971 and used it in the film “Imagine.” Then in 2008, the car was donated to the Austin Rock and Roll Car Museum by one of its owners Milton Verret. But now, the vintage motor is being sold to raise money to UNICEF at an auction held by auction company RM Sotheby’s.
The car will be on display before the auction in London sometime mid-August. According to the press release, the car is fitted with the five aero plane seats in the back that The Beatles star had added and will come with it original vehicle registration and title document, signed by Lennon.
Captain Kirk and The Dude ventured to Austin last night to have a little chat at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar.
Actors Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges were in the city for a special screening Monday night of their film “Hell or High Water,” which is about a family who has to try and save their West Texas ranch. The two hosted a Q&A and were joined on stage by co-stars Ben Foster and Gil Birmingham, director David Mackenzie and few more from the crew.
And after their Drafthouse appearance, Bridges and Pine made their way over to The Continental Club to see country singer Dale Watson. Apparently, Bridges is a big fan and he also gave a shout out to the memory of his friend and musician Stephen Burton.
But the stars aren’t gone yet. The “Hell or High Water” cast gave some interviews at Star Hill Ranch today, just outside of Austin.
A thrilling number of trailers for much-anticipated upcoming releases were put online this weekend after debuting at this year’s Com-Con International in San Diego. Here’s a round-up of some of the best ones:
Though many people have their doubts about what director Zack Snyder can do with the DC heroes after “Batman vs. Superman,” the trailer for “Justice League” looks promising. It will be in theaters November 2017.
5. “American Gods”
Starz revelead its first trailer for the television series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel. It’s set to premiere in 2017.
6. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
This is the most detailed trailer we’ve been given since the film’s first, though it still doesn’t reveal much. The Wizarding World comes to New York this November.
7. “The Walking Dead: Season 7”
So this show is obviously not a new release but the trailer for season seven is. Last we saw in “The Walking Dead” there was a death that might devastate us all but who it was is still unknown. It premiers this October.
One hundred and thirty-eight years ago this week, the notorious Old West outlaw Sam Bass was shot in the streets of Round Rock, right after leaving Quinn’s Neighborhood Bar.
No, that’s not true, 101 E. Main was the Koppel Store back then. And traffic was probably much better. But either way, he was shot on Friday, July 19, 1878 and died two days later, on his 27th birthday.
Bass didn’t take up his outlaw ways until the last 2 years of his life. Among his more honest jobs was racing horses. It wasn’t until he took a herd of longhorn cattle north of Dodge City — pocketing the proceeds instead of paying the cattle financiers, according to “The Handbook of Texas Online” — that he got a taste of the outlaw life.
After gambling away $8,000 (this was during a time where you could buy a pair of jeans for a little more than a $1 or a pair of shoes for a little less), it’s easy to presume that Bass wasn’t ready to go back to freighting or looking after livestock.
Here’s how the end played out for Texas outlaw Sam Bass …
He started off as a member of the short-lived Joel Collins gang, which hit several stagecoaches for little gain in 1877 before hitting a Union Pacific train near Big Springs, Nebraska, for more than $60,000 in gold coins.
Collins was killed by authorities in short order, but Bass escaped to Texas to form his own gang.
Hey, that train thing worked great, right? Well, Bass didn’t get so lucky again. They tried four trains in the spring of 1878 around Dallas, but mostly what they got was a lot of heat from local posses and the Texas Rangers.
Bass was good at getting away, though. And might have gone on robbing if not for gang member Jim Murphy. Murphy had been captured but Ranger Major John B. Jones let him loose on the condition that he would betray Bass.
John B. Jones was another unique Texas character. A Confederate officer during the war, he took defeat hard and made a run for the border, seeking to establish a Confederate colony in Mexico or Brazil. He eventually came home and was promptly elected to the Texas Legislature, but did not serve. Instead, he took command of the Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers.
Back to the story at hand, Murphy did betray Bass. Despite being carefully watched by a suspicious Bass, he managed to send a letter to officials from Belton that the gang planned on robbing a bank in Round Rock. (No, they didn’t stop at Robertson’s in Salado for beef jerky — it hasn’t been around quite that long.)
According to this detailed history, Jones (in Austin) got Murphy’s letter (from Belton) that Bass was going to hit a bank (in Round Rock) so he sent a corporal to ride horseback all night (to Lampasas), where the corporal then caught the stage (to San Saba) and to the nearest company of Rangers. Man, things were hard before cell phones. Those Rangers would ride furiously (to Round Rock) as Jones and a few other Rangers who were in Austin also headed that way.
Amazingly, everyone arrived in Round Rock on the same day: Friday, July 19. Bass and two of his outlaws went to town to case the bank, only to be noticed by local law enforcement. One asked Sam Bass if he had a gun. And — in a prelude to bad-guy scenes in future action movies — Bass said “yes” and shot him dead.
The shot attracted the attention of John B. Jones and the Austin Rangers who rushed to a rapidly-developing shootout in the streets of Round Rock. The situation went quickly downhill for the outlaws. One was shot dead and Bass was mortally wounded, though he did manage to get on his horse and flee town — just missing the lieutenant coming in from San Saba (“Hey guys, did I miss anything?”)
The next morning, pursuers found Sam Bass under a large tree, bleeding from a terrible wound. Our detailed history says the bullet “entered his back just above the right hip bone. The bullet badly mushroomed and made a fearful wound that tore the victim’s right kidney all to pieces.” He was taken back to town for medical care, but died on Sunday, July 21.