Quirky Austin Facts

  1. In the mid 1980s, the employee cafeteria at Motorolla in Austin had to stop serving food that contained poppy seeds because people showed false positives for opium when they were drug tested. Since then, the company reintroduced poppy seeds, and added Valium and several anti-depressants to a list of things not to bother testing for.
  2. One of the lenses at the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory has a nick in it because a worker there got mad at something and shot at it.
  3. Former Governor Ann Richards received a vote for “Best Rap Artist” in The Austin Chronicle’s 1991 Austin Music Poll.
  4. There’s a ghost on the fifth floor of Austin’s Driskill Hotel.
  5. To combat the deadly killer bee, the Harris County Fire Department has 11 trucks equipped with soapy water sprayers that do nothing but respond to killer bee calls. Currently, the Austin Fire Department will only deal with emergency situations involving killer bee attacks in progress.
  6. The written test for University of Texas at Austin campus police in the 1960s asked applicants the shape of their excrement to test their ability to be observant.
  7. In 1937, when the idea of parking meters was first raised in Austin, The Austin American designated one of its staff members “Parking Meter Editor” to tally a poll of its readers.
  8. September 2013 our wonderful youngest sibling, Sterling Bray, won 4th in his division (20-49 yrs) and 1st in his board class (14′) at the Waterman’s Paddle for Humanity charity paddle board race on Lady Bird Lake in Austin.

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