Horns Up, Horns Down for Nov. 25: George Bush's new hobby and more girls in STEM

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Horns Up: Bush paintings are ‘flying off the shelves’

Former President George W. Bush is selling his artwork on a limited-edition Christmas ornament, which, according to a shop assistant quoted by ABC News, is “flying off the shelves” at the Bush Center’s Museum Store. The $29.98 ornament features a painting of a red cardinal that Bush originally made for his friend, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Warren Tichenor. Almost 10,000 boxes of the ornament have already sold, and we understand why. After all, how often does one get a chance to judge, let alone buy, the artistic creation of a former president?

Photo credit: David Woo, AP exchange

Horns Down: Is border security a problem, or isn’t it?

In a speech given in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Nov. 20, Governor Rick Perry claimed that “immigration reform is going to be very passe,” thanks to Mexican President Pena Nieto’s work to better that country’s economy, according to an article on CNN.com. The governor said that he believed Nieto’s commitment to overhaul his country’s energy laws will help create jobs in Mexico, saying that “there might be a lot of folks who maybe are U.S. citizens going to Mexico looking for jobs in the energy industry” someday soon. At the same time, Perry mocked the Democratic effort to pass an immigration reform bill without increasing security on the Texas-Mexico border first. What exactly is Perry trying to say? If the Mexican economy improves to the point that immigration reform will become “passé,” as Perry claims, border security should no longer be an issue. If border security is no longer an issue, why on earth should an immigration reform bill focus on enhancing border security?

Horns Up: Program encourages local girls to study STEM

The Austin school district and Girlstart — a local organization focused on increasing girls’ interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields — have announced a new program to promote computer science education for girls. The program has been made possible by a $100,000 Google grant. Gender equality in STEM subjects has recently been a much-publicized challenge. According to a 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Education, women represent a mere 24 percent of the STEM workforce, though they have more than 33 percent more average earning potential in these high-growth fields. In the face of such challenges, we find partnerships such as the one between AISD and Girlstart to be encouraging and hope such efforts will help bring about tangible change.