Written by By Jess Paniszczyn
The muscular system of a large bull is shown in detail as he engages in a playful game of tug of war with an invisible rival; the clearly defined circulatory system of a dog seems ready to chase a ball, while a camel’s head and neck is captured in three different poses as he bends to the ground. These and roughly 100 other Plastinated and capillary animal specimens are currently on display at the ANIMAL INSIDE OUT, a BODY WORLDS Production in the lower level of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science through Feb. 17, 2014. On a limited tour in U.S., the ANIMAL INSIDE OUT exhibition is Perot Museum’s first traveling exhibition.
None of the animals in the exhibit were killed or harmed in any way for the sake of the exhibit. They came from various zoos, veterinary programs and animal groups. There are a few human bodies included in the exhibit, which originated from the Institute for Plastination’s body donation program. The humans provide visitors with the opportunity to compare humans with the other animals included in the exhibit.
“Today is just the beginning of what we hope are hundreds of thousands of people coming through this exhibition, having not only an awe-inspiring moment but hopefully a life changing moment,” said Nicole Small, Eugene McDermott CEO of the Perot Museum.
“Humans tend to be fascinated most by things we’ve never seen,” said Dr. Angelina Whalley, curator and creative/conceptual designer for BODY WORLDS. “This is one major reason why Body Worlds has been so widely successful with almost 40 million visitors worldwide. To see firsthand what we are made of, how our organs fit into the body and what they look like inspired so many people and even changed their lives. It should definitely change their view on themselves.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 03:38
Written by Staff
Starting Sep. 16, North Texas transit customers can put away paper passes and pick up their smartphones to buy, store and activate passes for DART, The T and DCTA.
The GoPass℠ mobile ticketing application is the new way to buy passes for the region's three transit agencies. The GoPass is free in Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store. The Danish firm Unwire won the contract based on its experience overseas with mobile ticketing in large urban markets with multiple agency participants. The North Texas agencies are among the first in the country to offer mobile ticketing and are Unwire's first U.S. client. Since this is a joint effort, the three agencies chose a neutral name for the product: GoPass.
In recent years, the three agencies have collaborated to improve payment options for customers by issuing a common regional pass and deploying ticket vending machines that accept credit/debit cards. But officials wanted to make transit even easier for riders.
DART, The T and DCTA officials estimate that half of their riders carry smartphones. After evaluating numerous payment systems, the agencies' staffs determined that a mobile solution was the most versatile approach for giving customers more ways to buy transit passes.
Customers who tested early versions of the app agree, "The big benefits are speed and convenience. I may misplace my ticket, but I'd never misplace my phone."
Downloading the app, registering and entering payment information take just a few minutes, and the GoPass app guides users through the process. Once a rider is registered, it takes a matter of seconds to buy a pass.
Before boarding, customers activate a pass from a digital wallet - even when an active Internet connection is not available. Color coding quickly indicates recent activation or expiration to bus operators or fare inspectors. A countdown timer informs customer when the pass expires and prevents riders from using bogus tickets.
"It's not the ticketing that makes this interesting," DART CFO David Leininger said. "It's the convenience factor."
Mobile ticketing makes budgeting easier because a customer can purchase a block of passes at once and activate them as needed, for up to 60 days. Riders don't waste fares when plans change and they can skip lines at the TVM - particularly useful during crowded special events.
"Customers buy passes on their terms, not ours," DART Chief Marketing Officer Nevin Grinnell said.
GoPass also contains a trip-planning tool powered by Google Transit. Customers can access rider alerts and schedule information, check real-time bus and train arrivals, and find information about transit-accessible activities and events.
Beginning this winter, corporate annual and college semester pass participants can keep their 2014 "badge" in the GoPass℠ digital wallet. Next year, the agencies will offer combination tickets that cover transit fare and event admission to a variety of North Texas' arenas, museums, arts facilities, fairs, festivals and expos.
Source: Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 13:09
Written by Staff
Rewards for effort come in many forms. On Oct. 2, Mrs. Kimberly Kindred, a GT History Teacher at Coppell Middle School North, will find out that sometimes rewards come in the form of ice cream! Ms. Kindred is a regional finalist in the competition for Texas Teacher of the Year. Blue Bell Creameries will be honoring Ms. Kindred by treating the entire student body and staff of her school to their award-winning ice cream.
In addition, Blue Bell will present Ms. Kindred with a cooler full of her favorite Blue Bell flavors and a congratulatory letter from Paul Kruse, president of Blue Bell Creameries, L.P.
“At Blue Bell, we believe there is no finer work you can do in the world than be a teacher,” Kruse said. “The finalists for Texas Teacher of the Year are among the most outstanding members of their profession. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to honor Ms. Kindred for her wonderful work.
“We wanted to recognize, not only Ms. Kindred, but the entire student body and staff at Coppell Middle School North. Part of our purpose is to remind all the students how fortunate they are to have Ms. Kindred and their other dedicated teachers with them every day.”
The winner of the statewide competition will be announced in October. The winner will represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
Source: Coppell ISD
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 13:08
Written by Staff
Coppell has a reputation for turning out some of the most accomplished athletes, musicians and scholars of the region. Senior snare drummer Mikki Hoffman is one of those young, shining stars.
During the summer break when many teens are happy for a few extra hours sleep, Hoffman participated in the highly competitive and world-renowned Drum Corps International. This organization is comprised of participants from more than 15 countries and entertains some 400,000 fans through more than 100 drum and bugle corps events throughout North America.
Each year more than 8,000 students vie for fewer than 3,500 spots. At age 17, Hoffman is two years younger than the average age of participants who are mostly full-time college students and male. With odds stacked against her, Hoffman plunged into the audition process late last year.
“I had to try out in Cheyenne, WY starting in December of last year,” Hoffman said. “I would fly up on weekends and compete for a spot on the drumline against many other candidates… all boys.”
Hoffman’s diligence paid off and she was awarded a contract with the elite drum and bugle corps, the Troopers. She left school three weeks early and travelled to Indiana for four weeks of grueling practice to learn the marching show.
“We rehearsed through rain and shine for 11 hours a day, every day. After we learned the show, we left for a cross-country trip, performing about four times a week,” Hoffman said. “We would travel at night and arrive at high schools in the early hours of the morning where we would blow up air mattresses in the gym and sleep for a few hours before rehearsing again.”
An injury almost prevented Hoffman from participating, but she persevered, helping the Troopers finish 13th at the Drum Corps International World Championship in August.
“I suffered from Achilles Tendonitis the entire season and dealt with pain every day. It was all worth it in the end… to play for a crowd like there was at the Semi Finals was truly the most exhilarating moment of my life,” she said. “I learned so much about music, but also about myself—like pushing through every day, and how you can only be proud of an accomplishment when you know deep down that you have done everything you could do to make it great.
“I couldn’t wake up and wish that I was home, I had to press on and find it inside of me to view everything in a positive light. I had to learn how to deal with people who were rude and judgmental towards me. It really made me appreciate the people of Coppell.”
Many of the people of Coppell appreciate Hoffman’s accomplishments in return, including Coppell ISD Percussion Director Zach Scheer who praised Hoffman.
“Very few high school students are disciplined and talented enough to make it through the drum corps audition process,” Scheer said. “Mikki worked hard throughout the school year to earn a spot with the Troopers. I can already tell that her summer on tour has made her a better player and student.”
That training will come in handy as Hoffman travels with fellow Coppell percussionists to Indianapolis in November where they will participate in the largest percussion event in the world, the prestigious Percussive Arts Society International Convention.
Source: Coppell ISD
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 13:07
Written by Staff
Coppell City Manager, Clay Phillips, recently announced the hiring of Mike Land as the new Deputy City Manager for the City of Coppell.
“Whenever we have the opportunity to bring someone into the organization, we always expect to raise the bar and find the person that best fits our culture and can deliver results as we continue our quest to deliver the very best in customer service to our community,” Phillips said. “Mike is the person that we feel is best suited to join Deputy City Manager Mario Canizares and myself in the City Manager’s Office to continue this work.”
Land formerly held the position of Town Manager for Prosper, TX. His experience includes city management for the communities of Prosper and Gainesville. He has also served as Executive Director of the Southwestern Diabetic Foundation and the Community Development Director of the City of Gainesville.
Prior to moving to Gainesville, TX, Land worked in Sarasota and Orlando, FL as a Project Manager for a land planning firm and in Tavares, FL as the City’s Planning and Zoning Director. Mike is a charter member of the Prosper Rotary International Club, served as Chairman of the Northern Collin County Leadership Program Executive Committee and has served on the Certified Public Manager Advisory Committee member for the CPM program. He was recently recognized as one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by the Collin County Business Press.
He received a Bachelor of Environmental Design and Master of Science in Land Development from Texas A&M University. He is a Credentialed Manager through the International City/County Management Association, a Certified Public Manager through the William P. Hobby Center for Public Service at Texas State University and a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute through the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
As Deputy City Manager, Land will work closely with the City Manager Phillips, Deputy City Manager Mario Canizares and department directors to more effectively serve the community of Coppell.
“Mike will work with DCM Mario Canizares and the individual department directors bringing even more intentionality to our day-to-day activities,” Phillips said. “There is much to be done if we are to realize the goals and outcomes associated with the Coppell 2030 Vision, the new Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the Branding Initiative, the Healthy Community Initiative and all of the other programs and services that are desired by our community. Mike’s experience will certainly be an asset in this effort.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to work in a vibrant growing community and with an organization that has such a great reputation in North TX and throughout the State,” Land said. “Coppell is in the forefront of providing excellent municipal services and my hope is to build on that reputation with the fantastic team that has been put together and already serving the residents and businesses of Coppell.”
Mike’s professional activities include service on ICMA’s Small Cities Advisory Committee, Texas A&M University’s Development Industry Advisory Council, United Way Campaign Chairman and President for Cooke County, School Board trustee for the Gainesville Independent School District. He is currently serving as Vice President of the Texas City Management Association. Mike and his wife Lisa have three daughters.
Source: City of Coppell
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 13:05