TIME food and drink

BBQ Pit the Size of a Bus Could Be Yours for Just $350,000

The 'Undisputable Cuz' Courtesy of Terry Folsom

Perfect for cooking four tons of meat at a time

A BBQ pit about the size of a whale — and almost large enough to cook one — is on sale for the equally hefty price of $350,000.

Terry Folsom, a man in Brenham, Tex. who says he acquired the 40-ton behemoth in a business transaction, is now looking to sell it, the Houston news source KHOU-TV reports. The pit is listed on Ebay with a sell price of $350,000.

“It’s the world’s largest barbecue pit,” Folsom’s wife Kim told KHOU-TV.

The ‘Undisputable Cuz’ Courtesy of Terry Folsom

The pit, dubbed the “Undisputable Cuz,” stretches 75 feet and is large enough to cook four tons of meat at a time. Seven smokestacks extend from the top and 24 doors open into it. Of course, the pit is also equipped with a walk-in cooler with room for beer kegs.

[KHOU-TV]

 

TIME cities

The 5 U.S. Cities Bouncing Back Strongest From the Recession

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas Murat Taner—Getty Images

Metro areas in the South and the West are flourishing

U.S. cities in the South and West are more likely to have recovered from the recession while metropolitan areas in the Midwest and Northeast have largely struggled, according to a new report.

The Brookings Institution report finds that Austin, Houston and Raleigh, N.C., have outpaced other U.S. cities in terms of GDP growth per capita and rising employment since 2007, with Fresno, Calif., and Dallas rounding out the top five.

(MORE: Oklahoma Shakes—Is Fracking to Blame?)

The report, released Thursday, tracks how cities around the world have fared since the recession. Globally, the main metropolitan drivers are found in developing countries, especially China and Turkey.

In the U.S., the cities with the strongest GDP growth and employment levels since the Great Recession are generally found in the south and west, largely due to the growth of the energy sector.

“Those places are the epicenter of what has been the shale energy boom that’s been occurring in the U.S.,” says Joseph Parilla, a Brookings research analyst and lead author of the Global MetroMonitor report.

(MORE: The Rise of Suburban Poverty in America)

Cities in Texas and Oklahoma have especially benefited from the expanded production in oil and gas thanks to an increase in fracking, a process that extracts natural gas from shale.

The cities that have seen the least progress are largely clustered in the Midwest and Northeast in areas that are historically industrial and manufacturing hubs. Most of those cities—like Kansas City, Mo., Allentown, Pa., and Dayton, Ohio—have only partially recovered or not recovered at all, according to Brookings.

As the U.S. continues to see good economic numbers, many of which were touted by President Obama in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, most cities are still struggling to rebound from the recession. More than half of U.S. metropolitan areas either have not recovered from 2007 GDP per capita levels or have not fully seen a rebound in employment.

TIME fashion

This Smart Mirror Lets You Try On 5 Outfits at Once

The mirror also lets you share looks on social media if you want to get second or third opinion from friends

Even for people who love shopping, the effort of dressing and undressing for hours while trying on clothes can be a bit draining. (It’s not all Champagne and Pretty Woman people!). That’s why Neiman Marcus just started piloting a new “smart mirror” that lets shoppers save looks and compare styles with the wave of a hand.

Called the MemoryMirror, the system can take an image of you in one dress and then let you flip through how the item would look in other colors or patterns. It then saves the shot so you can compare it side-by-side with other outfits and only ever have to try on something once. Bonus: The imaging is so precise that there’s a zoom function—so prepare to see how your butt takes to those jeans in HD.

If you’re one of those shoppers who prefers a second, or depending on your Instagram following, thousands of more opinions before committing, you can also share looks via email or social media.

The mirrors are available to use right now at Neiman Marcus in Walnut Creek outside San Francisco and will be coming to Plano, Texas (north of Dallas) next month. If all goes well, you can look for them at a store in your city in the near future.

Now we just need an invention that can figure out whether those heels will be comfortable after the first hour.

This article originally appeared on FWx.com.

More from FWx.com:

TIME Texas

Texas Prison Bus Collides With Train, Killing at Least 10

Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson says the overpass on Interstate 20 was slick with ice

(PENWELL, Texas) — A county sheriff says at least 10 people are dead after a bus carrying state prisoners skidded off an icy highway overpass in West Texas, slid down an embankment and collided with a train.

Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson says the overpass on Interstate 20 was slick with ice Wednesday morning when the Texas Department of Criminal Justice bus left the roadway just west of Odessa.

Justice department spokesman Jason Clark says the bus was carrying 12 prisoners and three corrections officers. Clark says the bus was taking the inmates from a prison in Abilene to another in El Paso.

A spokeswoman says Medical Center Hospital in Odessa is treating five patients but had no additional information.

TIME Crime

Gunman Opens Fire on VA Clinic in El Paso

Army Hospital Shooter Reported
Police officers guard an entrance to the Beaumont Army Medical Center/El Paso VA campus during the search for a gunman Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 Victor Calzada—AP

Officials say one doctor was injured and two people were killed during the incident

Two people are dead and one injured after an unidentified gunman went on a shooting spree at a Veterans Affairs health clinic in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday afternoon.

The gunman reportedly opened fire at the medical center around 3:10 pm local time. The shooter and one victim were later killed during the melee. However, officials have not confirmed whether responding officers killed the gunman, according to the Associated Press.

A doctor at the clinic was also injured during the incident, according to a local FOX affiliate.

The identities of the shooter and victims have not been released nor have authorities commented publicly about the possible motive behind the deadly attack.

[KFOX 14]

TIME LGBT

Watch This Texas PSA For Gay Marriage

Texas police officers argue in favor of same-sex marriage

It’s a big week for same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday at midnight, same-sex marriages will begin for couples in Florida, and on Friday Jan. 9, oral arguments for cases that could allow same-sex marriages in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are set to begin. In preparation, advocacy group Freedom to Marry has released a new TV ad in the Lone Star state which features a Fort Worth, Texas police officer named Chris Gorrie, who wants to eventually marry his partner, Justin.

Gorrie and his police colleagues explain why it’s important that Gorrie be allowed to marry, with one arguing: “Chris makes a sacrifice every day along with the rest of us.”

According to polling data, 48% of Texans support marriage for same sex couples.

TIME politics

The Man Who Would Be King… of Texas

General Map Of United States With Forts And Military Stations
Map of the United States extending from the Atlantic coast through most of Texas showing military stations and forts, 1861. Illustration by Joseph Hutchins Colton. Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Dec. 29, 1845: Texas becomes the 28th state in the Union

Texas has never been much of a joiner. When the United States officially annexed the Lone Star Republic on this day, Dec. 29, in 1845, it did so over some strident objections from inside and outside the state.

Northerners didn’t want Texas to join the Union because it did so as a slave state. Mexico objected because it still considered Texas a territory — and went to war with the U.S. within a year of the annexation. And while a majority of Texans favored statehood, one prominent politician stood in staunch opposition: the Republic’s second president, Mirabeau Lamar.

Lamar — with the apt middle name of Buonaparte — “had a dream of empire,” according to a 1928 TIME story. A Renaissance man known for his poetry and his talents for horseback riding, fencing and oil painting, he became an equally effective revolutionary in the fight for Texas’s independence from Mexico. As president, he was dogged in his determination to solidify the nascent Republic’s sovereignty and to establish trade with foreign powers. In fact, his nation-building efforts helped urge a divided U.S. Congress to pull the trigger on annexation, according to TIME, which explained:

He saw a cotton and mineral country without tariff restrictions, sending raw materials to England in exchange for manufactured products. England liked this and her agents began to talk turkey with Texans. The U. S. Congress, alarmed lest the “golden moment to obtain Texas” be lost, adopted in 1845 a resolution to annex Texas.

While Lamar was unhappy to see the end of his empire dreams, he eventually conceded that it was better for Texas — still under constant threat of Mexican aggression on one front, and at risk of becoming a British satellite on the other — to join forces with the U.S.

But that didn’t stop him from resenting the intrusion. Following annexation, when Lamar was sent to Laredo to set up a municipal government in the midst of the Mexican-American War, he wrote to his former vice president, complaining about President James K. Polk’s collusion with his old political rival, Sam Houston, in typically florid prose: “The post I occupy in this war is certainly a very petty and unsuitable one, but the President is determined to gratify his favorite — your ‘demented monster’ — in all his resentments. Polk is but a poor tool to the malice of that bloated mass of iniquity.”

Like the state that still uses the motto “Texas: It’s like a whole other country,” Lamar was larger than life, with ambitions for the young nation that he couldn’t quite pull off, despite his impressive powers of persuasion.

“Lamar had great personal charm, impulsive generosity, and oratorical gifts,” wrote Herbert Gambrell, the late Texas historian and author of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar: Troubadour and Crusader. “[But] his powerful imagination caused him to project a program greater than he or Texas could actualize.”

While Lamar’s friends “were almost fanatically devoted to him,” Gambrell noted, his detractors “declared him a better poet than politician.”

Read TIME’s 1928 story about Texan history and identity, here in the archives: Texas Magazines

TIME Texas

Authorities Investigating After 4 Found Dead in Texas Home

The medical examiner's office has not yet determined the victims' identities or causes of death

(CROWLEY, TEXAS) — Officers responding to a report of a suicide attempt found four people dead inside a North Texas home Sunday afternoon, police said.

Crowley Police Chief Luis Soler said in a news conference Sunday night that a 9-year-old who was inside the home called a relative and told her that a man there was injured after attempting to kill himself. The woman then called 911, Soler said.

When police arrived at the home about four minutes after her call, around 4:15 p.m., they found two women, a man and a female child dead, according to Soler.

Officers also found the 9-year-old caller at the scene, apparently uninjured, Soler said. That child was in protective custody and was being interviewed.

Soler would not describe the nature of the victims’ injuries, saying only that the bodies had “obvious signs of trauma.”

“We don’t know exactly what happened out there,” he said, adding that the medical examiner’s office had not yet determined the victims’ identities or causes of death.

The four appeared to be “a family unit,” but it was not immediately clear exactly how they were related, he said.

Soler said that officers found no indication of a forced entry and that the initial investigation suggests it was an isolated incident. He said it was too early to call the incident a murder-suicide and said authorities would probably be at the scene all night.

The deaths will have “a huge impact in this tight-knit community,” the chief said. Crowley, a city of about 13,000, according to its website, is about 15 miles south of Fort Worth.

TIME Presidents

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush Hospitalized as Precaution

George HW Bush Sr.
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush looks on during a game between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., on Jan. 18, 2014 Lance King—Getty Images

The 90-year-old Texas resident is being hospitalized just as a precaution, his office said

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush was brought by ambulance to a hospital in Houston on Tuesday night, a precautionary measure after experiencing shortness of breath, his office said in a statement.

The 41st President ”will be held for observation, again as a precaution” at Houston Methodist Hospital, the statement said.

The White House said in a separate statement that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have been made aware of Bush’s hospitalization. The two “send their good wishes to the former President and the entire Bush family during this holiday season,” read the statement.

Bush, who is 90-years-old, recently celebrated his ninth decade by skydiving under a red, white and blue parachute.

TIME weather

Four Killed by Tornadoes in Mississippi

Severe Weather Mississippi
Police inspect Kids' Kampus, a day-care facility after a tornado ripped the roof off of the building in Sumrall, Miss., on Dec. 23, 2014 Eli Baylis—AP

The state and region are bracing for more bad weather ahead of Christmas

At least four people in Mississippi were killed by tornadoes on Tuesday, in what a Weather Channel meteorologist described as possibly the deadliest December tornado occurrence in Mississippi since 1953.

Two of the deaths were in Marion County, and the other two in a mobile home in Jones County, NBC News reports.

Meanwhile, tornadoes and hail are continuing to scuttle holiday travel plans across the southeastern U.S. At least two tornadoes were reported in Louisiana and Georgia, and a tornado watch was in effect on Tuesday for parts of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

More than 5,600 flights were delayed in the U.S. on Tuesday, as of 10:00 p.m., and almost 850 were canceled, according to FlightAware.com.

[NBC]

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