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The 2020 U.S. Census has the daunting task of counting a population of around 330 million people in over 140 million housing units. The job is going to be a whole lot harder in Texas, a state that has been difficult to count in the past. Texas legislators failed to pass measures that would allot funding for the U.S. Census, so in order to make sure everyone gets counted, some communities are turning to students for help.

It has been predicted that 600,000 Hispanic and black Texans might go uncounted in the 2020 census, and it's not just because of funding. Many residents were displaced by Hurricane Harvey, making it harder for them to be tracked down. Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau has asked a majority of people to take the census online, however many lower income areas lack the reliable internet access to make it possible.

Some people just don't know why the census is important. The census determines how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives and the amount of federal funds communities receive. According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities, just a 1% undercount could result in Texas losing $300 million in federal funding each year.

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Politics

Texas Professor Fails An Entire Class For Their Terrible Behavior

Professor Irwin Horwitz just F’d his entire class. Texas A&M University isn’t so sure it’s the right decision.

image via (cc) flickr user naive photography

There’s trouble a’brewing deep in the heart of Texas, where a conflict over bad behavior has turned into a debate on academic freedoms at one of that state’s most reputable universities.

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Texas Ag Commissioner Wants Deep Fryers Back in Schools

Sid Miller says it’s “not about french fries; it’s about freedom.”

Photo by Christian Schnettelker and www.manoftaste.de via Flickr

Everyone knows that fried food is delicious—and no place knows that better than Texas, the nation’s leader in turkey-frying disasters, and the home of deep-fried sweet tea. But just because something tastes really (really, really) good, does that mean kids should be eating it every day? For years, doctors, nutritionists, and informed policymakers have answered that question with a resounding “no,” pointing to rising rates of obesity, diabetes, and malnutrition. And national policies regarding public school lunches have slowly evolved to address the professional consensus on these issues. But Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, has stepped up to the pulpit to take a stand against the oppression of healthy lunches, government intervention, and the meddling, anti-free-market machinations of the arugula lobby. The Texas Tribune reports that Miller seeks to overturn a statewide, 10-year ban on deep fryers and soda in schools, claiming that the issue is “not about french fries; it’s about freedom.”

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The Vision for a 21st Century Drive-in

Way out in West Texas, a grand plan for a drive-in movie theater promised to invigorate an entire community.

Photo by Corey Leopold / Flickr

There’s something consistently inspiring about the sky over Marfa, Texas. Between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park and hours away from the nearest big city, the small town of 2,112 serves as the foreground for heavenly views of the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert and the stars above.

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Meet the Filmmaker Who Infiltrated the Underbelly of Commercial Oil Development

Rachel Boynton's film follows the quest to drill for oil off the coast of West Africa, and Ghana's attempt to protect its people.

Rachel Boynton never meant to make a film in Ghana. When the documentary filmmaker started making trips to Africa, her flights landed in Lagos. After her 2005 film Our Brand Is Crisis, which follows an American politial consulting firm's work in Bolivia during the country's 2002 presidential election, she wanted to investigate why underserved Nigerian citizens were attacking federally maintained pipelines. But when an upstart Texas oil company, Kosmos Energy, discovered the first major oil field off the coast of Ghana, and invited Boynton along to film their negotiations with the country's government, it set in motion the story that forms the backbone of Big Men–a scathing and unfettered look at the cross-cultural clash and universal greed that infects the world's most coveted resource.

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Mess in Texas: Holding Big Oil Accountable in the Lone Star State

In unincorporated West Texas, where oil derricks dominate the landscape, locals aren't sure about "drill, baby, drill" anymore.

As I approach Midland, Texas from the southeast the rolling hills give way to large, engine-revving trucks, their menacing grills reflecting the setting sun into my rearview mirror. The asphalt beneath my white Toyota Corolla seems to be melting into the petroleum-laden ground from which it had emerged: Not even the road was prepared for the heavy vehicles that showed up with the recent oil and gas boom.

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