The Friday Firing Lines: Balloons, Water and Syria

Balloon Backlash


“Folks at @thedailytexan should be ashamed of the ridiculous race-baiting articles they’ve written about West Campus lately.”

Twitter user @TXTylerNorris in response to The Daily Texan’s coverage of the balloon thrown at government senior Bryan Davis, which Davis reported was filled with bleach.  


“+1 on the grammar ‘@thedailytexan: Meet Bryan Davis: the man who was attacked by a balloon attack in West Campus’”

Twitter user @walkerfountain


“@thedailytexan On a related note, I saw a UFO last night.”

Twitter user @dave_player in response to the tweet “Another student was targeted in a West Campus balloon attack” from the Daily Texan twitter account.


“@thedailytexan I got hit once 3 years ago. Is there a 1-800 law firm number I should dial? #WestCampusProblems”

Twitter user @MatthewSeliger, in response to the tweet “Keep up with the West Campus balloon attacks with today’s story” from the Daily Texan twitter account. 


Water Worries


On the day that Lake Buchanan has dropped to its lowest level since the great drought of the 1950s, in fact its lowest level ever, UT’s fountain near the LBJ Library was spewing a massive geyser into the air. In the middle of a drought second only to the one in the 1950s, when far fewer people lived in Austin and needed water here.

Usually that fountain is not on. It may be they were running the thing to “maintain” the machinery.  But the fact is, no fountain should be there at all.

Let me explain, if necessary: Austin’s average rainfall is 33 inches annually.  That of course means that in many years we receive less than that.  This is a semi-arid land.  It is NOT tropical.  We barely get enough rain … a fact that is deceptive because of the rare reality of Barton Springs and the Colorado River, dammed in a series of holding lakes.  People are lulled by these gems, although they are seeing Lake Travis down to about 30 percent of its capacity.

Fountains can make hot, dry places seem cooler and more pleasant, but they use water for ornamental, pleasurable purposes, not for critical life support. 

If someone says that the UT fountain is recycling water, then the question should be focused on the evaporation rate. How much water has been lost today in the hours that fountain has been on, not only from its large surface, but also spraying so high in the air? How is this justifiable?  Extend this out to other fountains on campus.

Bottom line:  No water, no life. Think hard about this.  Nothing else is more important.

Submitted by reader Elizabeth Whitlow via email.


Students already get Syria


You pompous blow hard. Why is it that the Texan assumes that UT students are not capable of thinking about complex issues on their own initiative?

“Anne,” via the Daily Texan website, in response to the editorial “Why students should care about Syria.