- By Eric Webb American-Statesman Staff
We should probably think about distancing ourselves from that whole “Lone Star State” thing. Austin definitely had more than one celebrity in its constellation over the past couple of weeks.
We’re used to the usual suspects wandering around town — McConaughey, Bullock, Linklater. Austin City Limits Music Festival, which attracted an army of music’s biggest names to Zilker Park for the first two weekends of October, helped add a few new names to our celebrity manifest that weren’t on the lineup. Take Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, stars of the CW’s long-running show “Supernatural,” who were spotted at the first weekend of the fest.
Padalecki, a San Antonio native who also owns a home in Austin, was spotted by this writer near the Miller Lite stage before Shakey Graves’ set on Oct. 3. (He and his group appeared to leave before the show started, though.) He was also captured by the Statesman’s cameras at George Ezra’s set, and social media posts indicate he checked out Alabama Shakes’ show, as well. Other selfies posted to Twitter and Instagram show that co-star Ackles was on hand to take in some live music, too.
Also (perhaps) drawn to Austin by an ACL flame: tennis champ Serena Williams. The athlete, rumored to be dating festival headliner Drake, didn’t leave quite as much concrete evidence of a possible visit. Williams did, however, appear in a selfie with a fan purported to be taken at ACL, as well as a non-geotagged Instagram post showing her tubing in (what it looks like could be) San Marcos. Grain of salt.
In non-ACL-related star sightings: actress Liv Tyler visited the Austin Police Department last week to research a role, according to the department’s Facebook page, and her co-stars on HBO’s “The Leftovers” hit the Paramount Theatre’s red carpet for the season two premiere of that show Oct. 3.
How important is it to use good grammar? How important is it for candidates running for our nation’s highest office to use good grammar? What about their supporters?
Though it was guaranteed to ruffle feathers, an online grammar website called Grammarly recently went about ranking presidential candidates based on their supporters’ grammar skills, in the name of “intelligent discourse.”
For their sample, they took positive comments left on each candidate’s official Facebook page and ran them through both their own online grammar checker as well as a team of live proofreaders.
Not counting common slang, serial comma usage or the use of numerals instead of spelled-out numbers, Grammarly dialed in instead on what they call “black-and-white mistakes” like misspellings, wrong and missing punctuation, misused or missing words and subject-verb disagreement.
Overall, supporters of Democratic candidates came out on top, making fewer mistakes per 100 words. Grammarly also found that Democratic supporters use a wider vocabulary.
The best grammar prize ultimately went to longshot Democratic presidential hopeful Lincoln Chafee, whose supporters made an average of only 3.1 mistakes per 100 words. Of the 19 supporter bases evaluated, Donald Trump’s did the worst, recording 12.6 mistakes per 100 words.
— Hannah Thornby, American-Statesman staff
The Oktoberfest score
Is Austin a beer city? If so, how do our beer-drinking ways compare to other towns?
A new interactive by Esri, a geo-mapping and data site, seeks to answer this question, as well as offer some perspective on Austin’s overall drinking culture. (What else did you think an “Oktoberfest score” could possibly be?)
Esri assigned Austin a score of 5. The highest (and thus hoppiest) score, assigned to Chevy Chase Village, Md., was a 10. The highest score in Texas, a 9.2, went to Montgomery.
For comparison, Austin households spend about $32 more per year on beer than San Antonio, $41 more than San Marcos and $15 more than both Houston and Dallas, according to the map.
— Hannah Thornby, American-Statesman staff
Hook ’em, Based God
While the rest of his teammates were in the midst of a Twitter war with each other, Texas Longhorns junior defensive end Bryce Cottrell sought the help of the self-proclaimed “Based God.”
Rapper Lil B, largely known as the guy with a huge beef with former Longhorn Kevin Durant, has a massive presence on social media, with more than a million followers. During a recent news conference, Cottrell asked Lil B for forgiveness: “idk what we did wrong but please forgive the Longhorns for any wrong doings all mighty based god.”
Lil B responded: “love you and Longhorns - Lil B.”
Cottrell celebrated the way any fan would, with emoji.
So why does this matter? Durant tweeted some harsh words about the rapper in 2011, writing “I tried to listen to Lil B and my mind wouldn’t let me do it….can’t believe this guy is relevant.”
Later that year, Lil B issued the “The Based Gods Curse” on the Thunder player, with which he declared Durant would never win a NBA championship. As ridiculous as it may sound, this has remained true.
While Lil B has never tweeted or said the Longhorns football team was cursed, this proclamation of love should be a good sign of things to come.
— Maribel Molina, American-Statesman staff
• Along with a few other choice words, rapper Nicki Minaj ended her MTV Video Music Award acceptance speech with a question for Miley Cyrus — Miley, what’s good?” Now that she’s had time to reflect, Minaj took an opportunity during a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine to detail her issues with the pop star. In response to Cyrus saying she didn’t respect Minaj’s comments on being snubbed from the Video of the Year category “because of the anger that came with it,” Minaj told the magazine, “You’re in videos with black men, and you’re bringing out black women on your stages, but you don’t want to know how black women feel about something that’s so important? Come on, you can’t want the good without the bad.”
— Amanda O’Donnell, American-Statesman staff
• Musician Jack White recently showed up for his Nashville, Tenn., neighborhood’s potluck, according to an Instagram post by travel writer Jedidiah Jenkins, who said in the caption that many of the “Seven Nation Army” singer’s neighbors didn’t recognize him.