For sale: A lavish artist's home converted from an old brick incinerator

Officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma constructed this incinerator building in 1939 to burn the city's trash. A short year later, according to Tulsa World, an ordinance was passed that prohibited trash from being burnt within city limits. The property sat dormant for years until artist and Oklahoma native Ron Fleming was able to get the city to accept his bid to purchase it in 1981. The winning bid? $5400.

"I took a shot in the dark on the price," he said. "I had no idea what it was worth."

The first step in converting the industrial site to living space was abundantly clear, as the lower level was nearly full of ash, mostly from burned medical supplies. It took nearly a year to carry it all out by wheelbarrow, Fleming said.

He and his late wife, Patti, camped out in a nearby tent on weekends to oversee construction. By Halloween night 1982, the two of them were able to sleep inside as residents.

Over the years, they turned this former municipal structure into a swoonworthy 4,600-square-foot, three-bedroom luxury estate, which is now for sale for just $275K.

Thanks, Greg!

(Neatorama) Read the rest

Oklahoma schools go on 4-day weeks so teachers can work at Walmart on Mondays to make rent

In 1992, Oklahoma passed a ballot initiative saying that the state could only raise taxes with a three quarters majority in the state assembly, creating a one-way ratchet where every tax cut becomes effectively permanent, including the sweetheart deals cut for frackers and the deep cuts to taxes on the wealthiest residents of the state. Read the rest

Republicans destroyed Oklahoma with billionaire/corporate tax cuts and got killed in the following election

A toxic mix of voter suppression and dark money infusions has allowed Republicans to seize power at the state level across America, producing a series of living labs where their ideology has been allowed to play out with disastrous consequences. Read the rest

Trump's Oklahoma campaign manager, who once introduced an anti-immigrant law to "stop sex trafficking of children," admits to trafficking young boy for sex

Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey has resigned after pleading guilty to trafficking a teenaged boy for sex; when Shortey was serving as Trump's Oklahoma campaign manager, he introduced an anti-sanctuary cities bill, claiming that immigrants trafficked their children for sex. Read the rest

Republican lawmaker Doug Cox tricked legislature into exempting "Christian" forced-labor camps from regulation

Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery is a scandal-haunted forced-labor program that addicted convicts in Oklahoma were diverted to; they were put into back-breaking, unsafe labor for long hours with little or no pay and no care or compensation when they were maimed on the job. Rather than meaningful addiction counseling, prisoners were directed to pray and work. Read the rest

Keep your eyes on the road, except to look at these signs

Spotted in Tulsa, Oklahoma by Jerrinq, these distracting traffic signs seem to contradict their messages.

(Miss Cellania) Read the rest

In Oklahoma, a law to bankrupt groups that organize political protests

On Wednesday, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin signed HB1123, a new "trespass" law that declared an immediate "state of emergency" allowing prosecutors to charge protesters with felonies for "trespassing" on any property containing a "critical infrastructure facility," impose fines of up to $10,000 for acts that "damage, vandalize, deface, impede or inhibit operations of the facility", and fines of up to $100,000 or up to ten years in prison for "tampering" with the facility. Read the rest

Scanners let Oklahoma cops seize funds from prepaid debit cards without criminal charges

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has purchased several 'Electronic Recovery and Access to Data' devices to install in police cruisers for seizing funds from prepaid debit cards during roadside arrests.

Read the rest

Oklahoma's repeat-offender Republican Creationist lawmakers take another run at science education

Every year, like clockwork, longstanding Oklahoma legislators in the state's house and senate introduce bills that try to find a way around the prohibition on teaching Biblical Creationism in American public schools. Read the rest

Nuanced profile of the Oklahoma County where "no one believes in climate change"

Oklahoma native John Sutter visited Woodward County, Oklahoma. At first, he could find no one who'd admit to believing in anthropogenic climate change, not even the headmaster of the local academy, who paid out of his own money to erect a statue of a little girl on a stegosaurus' back with a plaque that read, “A dinosaur like this roamed the Earth 5,000 years ago.” Read the rest

Outraged that a Taco Bell lacks WiFi, woman pulls knife on teen boys

In Tahlequah, Oklahoma, things escalated quickly at a local Taco Bell when Amber Henson discovered the fast food restaurant's WiFi wasn't working. Read the rest

OK Sheriff LARPs "Welcome to Nightvale"

Logan County, Oklahoma Sheriff Jim Bauman created an extensive set of secret files on the citizens in his jurisdiction, inadvertently recreating Welcome to Nightvale's running gag about the Sheriff's Secret Police -- but the ACLU isn't laughing, they're suing. Read the rest

Failed Oklahoma GOP nominee condemns opponent as secret replicant

Tim Murray, a self-identified "human," is contesting the Republican Congressional nomination in Oklahoma City's third district, on the grounds that his opponent, the incumbent Rep. Frank Lucas, was secretly replaced with a body-double after being executed by the World Court in Ukraine "on or about jan. 11, 2011." Read the rest

Evangelical Christian scientists in Oklahoma

This is not the story you're expecting. Instead, Tulsa TV news channel 6 is reporting on a group of 200 Oklahoman evangelical Christian scientists who have banded together to urge Congress to both accept the science of anthropogenic climate change, and take action to prevent the worst of its effects. Stuff like this is important. Research shows that one of the best ways to change minds on controversial social issues is to have the mind-changing message delivered by someone who is part of the community to be changed. Messages from insiders are more convincing than lectures from outsiders. Read the rest

Your car is not a tornado shelter

Last Friday, a tornado near El Reno, Oklahoma killed scientist Tim Samaras, as well as his son and a colleague. The three were tracking the storm in a vehicle — storm chasing, if you will — as part of their ongoing efforts to deploy probes that could capture high-resolution video from inside a tornado. (Samaras' team was one of many practicing a type of science that can basically be described as Twister in real life.) Chasing storms was an important part of what Samaras did. National Geographic reports that tornadoes only developed in roughly two of every 10 storms Samaras tracked, and the probes were only useful in a fraction of the tornadoes they were deployed in.

Samaras' death is tragic, but he wasn't some untrained yahoo out running around on county roads in a tornado for fun. He was there to do a job; a job that would, eventually, help other people survive. That said, if a situation kills experts, you probably don't want to be that untrained person trying to navigate it on your own.

Which brings us to a key point. After a handful of people who survived the Moore tornado credited their survival to driving away from it, people in Oklahoma City apparently responded to Friday's storms by trying to do the same thing. For some, it worked. But others were killed or injured when traffic on highways in the tornado's path ground to a complete halt, clogged with cars full of people who were (either accidentally or intentionally) trying to flee the storm instead of hide from it. Read the rest

How do tornadoes form?

Scientific American has a great video that quickly explains the basics of tornado formation — facts that also help explain why some parts of the country, including Oklahoma, are more prone to tornadoes than others. You'll also learn about worst tornado in recorded history, which killed more than 700 people.

The photo above was taken near Moore, Oklahoma yesterday. My father lives in Oklahoma City (thankfully, outside the path of this monster), and this shot comes from a friend of a friend of his, who wished to remain anonymous. Read the rest

More earthquakes in Oklahoma

A 4.3 earthquake rattled Oklahoma City at around 1:00 am central today. You may recall that scientists have evidence connecting Oklahoma's sudden onset of small quakes to the disposal of liquid left over from gas and oil fracking operations. Read the rest

More posts