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Coastal Eclipse Goes Postal

Some of the topics we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

The postal service issues a high-tech stamp to ensure you won’t miss the total solar eclipse this month. They’re not as hot as the sun, but this month’s recipes bring the heat.


Eclipse mania heads into its final weeks, and the U.S. Postal Service is putting its own special touch on the rare occurrence.

The total solar eclipse “forever” stamp transforms from a blocked-out sun to a full moon by the heat of a finger. The first-of-its-kind stamp, using thermo-chromic ink, commemorates the August 21 event, the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in America since 1918—the same year scheduled airmail service began. Totality will be visible in 14 states, from Oregon to South Carolina, but nowhere in Texas.

Smoke-Filled Shindigs

President Lyndon B. Johnson flew to his LBJ ranch near Johnson City 74 times during his five years in office. He spent 490 days there, almost 25 percent of his term.

He staged huge barbecues for visitors—foreign and domestic. Johnson thought they conveyed the idea that an everyday man was president. On occasion, he’d mix brisket and backroom deals on the White House grounds, leading the New York Herald-Tribune to coin the phrase “barbecue diplomacy.”

Read about LBJ’s first state dinner, a barbecue, this month in Diplomacy on the Pedernales.

Sure Is Hot!

The winning dish in this month’s Some Like It Hot recipe contest, Sweet Habanero Onions, features a habanero pepper, which ranks high on the Scoville Heat Scale. The scale measures “hotness,” or concentration of capsaicin, which produces the heat sensation. Here’s how popular peppers rate on the Scoville Heat Scale:
5,300,000 Police-grade pepper spray
1,041,427 Ghost
100,000–350,000 Habanero
7,000–8,000 Tabasco brand habanero pepper sauce
6,000–23,000 Serrano
5,000–10,000 Chipotle (smoked jalapeño)
2,500–5,000 Jalapeño
1,000–2,000 Poblano
500–2,500 Anaheim
0 Sweet bell

By The Numbers: 1,555,462

Texas’ total fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions was 1,555,462 in 2014, the latest figures from the National Center for Education Statistics.

The only state with more college students that year was California, with 2,696,415.

The state with the fewest number of college students was Alaska, with 34,331.

Worth Repeating

“I have far more confidence in the one man who works mentally and bodily at a matter than in the six who merely talk about it.”
—Michael Faraday, British chemist and physicist who contributed significantly to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. He died 150 years ago, on August 25, 1867.