Is the City of Austin Discussing Renaming the City of Austin?

Sean Davis, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Sean Davis, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

What’s in a name? For critics of the Texan capital’s moniker, it's some problematic roots that need to be addressed—and perhaps even consigned to the history books.

The city of Austin is named after the “father of Texas,” settler Stephen F. Austin, who worked against Mexico’s plan to outlaw slavery in the province of Tejas (now Texas), explains the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.

For this reason, the capital’s Equity Office has broached the idea of renaming the city itself. The suggestion was quietly put forth in a report [PDF] published this week concerning the remaining Confederate monuments in Austin. Much like the removal of Confederate statues in both Austin and across the U.S., the suggested name change is part of a larger push to stop glorifying historic figures who condoned or supported slavery.

But don't go changing your return address labels just yet: The city name change was only raised within a larger report on all the streets that would need to be renamed as part of the Confederate Monuments Resolution, which was passed last year. But the city has since stated that that's as far as the moniker adjustment is likely to go.

“I don’t know anyone who is seriously championing to change the name,” city spokesman David Green told The New York Times. “There are things in our past that we may want to acknowledge and look at, but that doesn’t mean you want to rename a city, especially one named after someone who founded a republic that then became a state.”

Originally, the city of Austin was just a small village called Waterloo, and it wasn’t rebranded as Austin until 1839, when the Republic of Texas was just three years old. A petition to revert to the city's original name, which was started more than five months ago, has yet to garner even 20 signatureseven if “Keep Waterloo Weirddoes have a certain ring to it. Still, any change to the capital’s name would probably require an election, because the city's name would need to be replaced on its charter, the Statesman reports.

Within the same report, the office also suggested changing the names of more than a dozen streets, parks, and neighborhoods in Austin, including Dixie Drive, Confederate Avenue, Plantation Road, and 10 streets named for William Barton, a slave owner.

This story has been updated to include the City of Austin's response to the initial publicity about the proposed name change.

Predicting This Year's 10 Most Popular Halloween Costumes

Margot Robbie stars in I, Tonya (2017)
Margot Robbie stars in I, Tonya (2017)

Odes to ‘80s ice skating icon Tonya Harding are slated to make an unlikely comeback. Thanks in large part to the 2017 biopic about Harding’s life (I, Tonya), we can expect to see quite a few Halloween revelers in bedazzled leotards and skirts this year.

There has also been a 43 percent spike in searches for scrunchies since August, according to fashion search platform Lyst, which teamed up with Pinterest to forecast the top 10 costume trends for Halloween this year. Searches and saves on both platforms—which are used by a combined total of 210 million monthly users—were analyzed to create this list.

“The data shows that consumers start searching, planning, and pinning their perfect Halloween outfit from as early as spring onwards—giving a pretty strong indication of what will be the most popular costume ideas ahead of time,” Lyst wrote in an online post.

The second most popular costume on the list: any of the characters from the hit show Riverdale—especially Betty and Jughead. Popular searches for clothing items on Lyst include fluffy pink sweatshirts, beanies, and fur-lined denim jackets.

Other costumes inspired by fictional characters include a warrior from Black Panther’s Wakanda, Edna Mode from the The Incredibles, and a Mamma Mia-inspired dancing queen (although these are based on actual ABBA costumes, of course).

Here’s the full top 10 list:

1. Tonya Harding
2. A Riverdale character
3. A 90’s icon
4. A warrior of Wakanda
5. A flamingo
6. Edna Mode
7. An ABBA-inspired dancing queen
8. A cosmic fairy
9. Frida Kahlo
10. A cow

Peter Dinklage Faked His Own Death on Game of Thrones to Mess With People


by Kwadar Ray

Tyrion Lannister has been one of the few Game of Thrones characters to survive the gory, fantasy/action series. ​Ned Stark, Robb Stark, and Khal Drogo are just some of the many prominent characters Lannister has outlasted. Despite Tyrion's wherewithal and smarts to keep himself alive, the actor behind the character, ​Peter Dinklage, enjoys doing the exact opposite just for kicks.

While promoting his upcoming film I Think We’re Alone Now, the actor revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he enjoys staging his death and waiting for unsuspecting crew members to find his body.

"I like to pretend I’m dead. It’s always fun," Dinklage said nonchalantly. "Just my legs sprawled out in the trailer. You’ve got to get really smushed into the floor in a very awkward position ... I’ll wait hours. We have a lot of time on set."

Dinklage explained that he does not have a usual victim. "For whoever, the wardrobe person or the producers," the equal opportunity prankster told Kimmel.

It's hilarious the Emmy-winning actor plays some pretty dark pranks on set, but we just sincerely hope him revealing this is not his way of foreshadowing for the eighth and final season of the show. Even if we know it's ​going to be a heartbreaking season, we need Tyrion to keep on pushing along!