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Golden Eggs and Roosters

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

Rusk County Electric Cooperative offers bald eagles a safer place to roost than utility poles. Engineering grads entering the job market this month are likely to find their choice of major is most lucrative.

A Better Roosting Place

After bald eagles began nesting on Rusk County Electric Cooperative utility poles near Martin Creek Lake in East Texas, the cooperative offered the raptors a safer refuge.

Linemen installed three “perch poles,” or poles without wires, where eagles can roost without risk of electrocution or interfering with the electrical system.

It didn’t take long for the eagles to relocate to the poles the co-op provided.

By the Numbers: $136,000

Hey, grads! Workers who majored in petroleum engineering in college earn a median salary of $136,000, making it the highest-paying major for U.S. students, according to a salaries list compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In fact, engineers make up most of the top 10 spots. However, nursing majors enjoy the most satisfying careers, research company PayScale reports. But, of course, we’d like you to become lineworkers.

Blazing Speed

Modern homes burn in a flash compared to older homes—up to eight times faster—making quick evacuation of a burning house even more critical.

Blame the Building Materials Most homes today are built with lightweight, manufactured woods and then filled with goods, including furniture, often made of synthetic materials such as polyester and polyurethane, which cause homes to burn faster and hotter, according to research by Underwriters Laboratories. Firefighters say most homes built in at least the past 20 years contain lightweight building materials.

Here’s the Proof UL set fires in identical rooms—one filled with modern furniture, the other with older, legacy furniture. After three minutes and 15 seconds, the modern room was fully ignited. The older room didn’t become completely engulfed in flames until after almost 30 minutes.

You’re a Texan, Pilgrim

He hailed from Iowa, but late legendary film star John Wayne was made an honorary Texan in 2015 when state lawmakers declared May 26, “The Duke’s” birthday, John Wayne Day.

Here are three more Texas tributes to the hero of westerns’ pistol-slinging legacy.

A 13-ton boulder carved to depict Wayne’s grinning likeness adorns the library at Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock.

The John Wayne Room at the Old Spanish Trail Restaurant in Bandera features a wall-to-wall homage to the True Grit star.

For four years running, the John Wayne Film Festival in Dallas has raised money for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.