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Center Court fundraiser for Pearland Neighborhood Center

March 26th, 2012 by David Ruth

Thanks for your interest the 4th Annual Center Court Pizza & Brew Charity Golf Tournament. The golf tournament benefits the Pearland Neighborhood Center.

To sign up for the tournament, download the form (.pdf) here.

For sponsorship information, visit here for the .pdf.

Via Center Court: It’s that time of year again! For the fourth straight year, we here, at Center Court Pizza & Brew, hold an annual golf tournament to say thanks to our loyal customers but, more importantly, to raise money for a charity in which we feel could a helping hand. Following in step with last year, our charity of choice is the Pearland Neighborhood Center (PNC).

PNC is a multiservice organization that helps all of northern Brazoria County with services like
Share Your Holidays, food and baby pantry, disaster relief, resume help, and so many other
crucial services. They achieve this by working with other, broader reaching, organizations like
United Way of Brazoria County and Delpelchin’s Children’s Center – which have offices located
within the center. With your help, we can hold an event that can help many that cannot help

Furthermore, we have found out from past sponsors that the tournament itself is a great way
to reach current or future customers. Each year our attendance has grown and we are
projected to max out our tournament this year with 140+ players.

This year we are offering four different levels of sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested
in sponsoring a hole, please fill out the attached Sponsor Registration Form and either email,
mail, or drop it off at Center Court Pizza & Brew – Pearland no later than April 16th. We also ask
that payment be attached with the form.

White House visit for National Medal of Science ceremony

October 23rd, 2011 by David Ruth

I traveled to Washington, D.C., this past week to attend the National Medal of Science ceremony at the White House. Rice’s Richard Tapia was among seven scientists in the U.S. to receive the medal this year. The medal is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government. Below are photos from my visit. The trip included a Rice alumni dinner at Equinox, a Tapia interview at NPR headquarters and the White House ceremony. Before the ceremony, I attended the daily WH media briefing in the briefing room (I had a press credential), where President Obama announced the end of the war in Iraq and that the remaining troops there would return home by Christmas. Click on image thumbnails to increase its size.

The White House

The White House, 10/21/2011



Media holding area outside prior to East Room ceremony

President Obama in the East Room of the White House, 10/21/2011

President Obama White House media briefing -- announcing the end of the war in Iraq.


Richard Tapia receiving the National Medal of Science


NPR studio control room, Washington headquarters

The White House press room. 10/21/2011

Richard Tapia receiving the National Medal of Science


Long week results in a lot of Shameless PR

June 18th, 2011 by David Ruth

Yes, I know, selfish and shameless PR is not popular, but that’s what you’re getting from me on the heels of six baseball games in three days and a week’s trip to the beautiful campus of Michigan State University … GO SPARTANS! The first-night’s dinner at MSU included an off-the-record conversation with Men’s Head Basketball Coach Tom Izzo. If I were to repeat what he said about the NCAA, neither of us might not work in higher education again. Seriously, he gave us a lot of time and candid thoughts about how administration, athletics and the media need to fix our game. GREAT speaker.

Tom Izzo

Tom Izzo goes off the record with Big Ten Plus communicators

There is a lot to talk about, but I’m most proud that my community-based online forum on Facebook has hit 4,500 fans or “Likes.” Not bad for a suburb of 90,000 people. The www.facebook.com/PearlandTexas page was born from doing research on Facebook marketing for a news release that I was working on last year. The researcher, Utpal Dholakia, at the time sent me his latest data on whether or not it’s worth it for businesses to market via Facebook. Because I was curious and wanted to learn more, I started a page for Pearland, Texas, last year.

This week, I worked with Dholakia to promote his research on daily deal sites — his third and most exhaustive. Dholakia’s work is the most current and most cited by media and business. Check out the full release here.

But here it is in a nutshell:

Forecast: Tough times ahead for daily deal sites

Daily deal sites: get while getting is good

Over the next few years, it is likely that daily deal sites will have to settle for lower shares of revenues from businesses compared with their current levels, and it will be harder and more expensive for them to find viable candidates to fill their pipelines of daily deals, according to Rice University Associate Professor of Management Utpal Dholakia. In his third study – the most exhaustive study done to date on the daily deals industry – Dholakia found that there is very little difference between companies in the ever-expanding competition for consumer dollars, and it will be difficult for any one site to stand out from the others.

Key findings:

  • 21.7 percent of deal buyers never redeem the vouchers they’ve already paid for.
  • 55.5 percent of businesses reported making money, 26.6 percent lost money and 17.9 percent broke even on their promotions.
  • Although close to 80 percent of deal users were new customers, significantly fewer users spent beyond the deal’s value or returned to purchase at full price.
  • 48.1 percent of businesses indicated they would run another daily deal promotion, 19.8 percent said they would not and 32.1 percent said they were uncertain.

Media citations included:

Half of all daily deals don’t increase profits or sales

Is Groupon a savior or a destroyer?

Groupon hug from small businesses? Not so much
The Register (U.K.)

A new way to beat deal fatigue

Study offers grim news on deal sites like Groupon

Why the numbers are stacked against daily deal sites

Not to be undone, this week I had the opportunity to work with my pals at my former employer, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Texas-San Antonio on a study that said …

Study shows that flashy spending may work for the short term but not for marriage.

Yes, it got a lot of attention also. To read the full release, go here.

Does driving a Porsche make a man more desirable to women?

Does driving a Porsche make a man more desirable to women?

In a nutshell:
New research by faculty at Rice University, the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) and the University of Minnesota finds that men’s conspicuous spending is driven by the desire to have uncommitted romantic flings. And, gentlemen, women can see right through it.

The series of studies, “Peacocks, Porsches and Thorstein Veblen: Conspicuous Consumption as a Sexual Signaling System,” was conducted with nearly 1,000 test subjects and published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Media citations included:

FoxNews.com (This article also appeared on MyFoxHouston.com, MyFoxTwinCities.com [Minn.], MyFoxTampaBay.com [Fla.], MyFoxBoston.com, MyFoxOrlando.com [Fla.], MyFoxPhoenix.com, MyFoxPhilly.com [Philadelphia], MyFoxNewYork.com, MyFoxDFW.com [Dallas], MyFoxDetroit.com, MyFoxDC.com [Washington, D.C.], MyFoxChicago.com, MyFoxMemphis.com [Tenn.] and MyFoxLA.com [Los Angeles].)

Flashy sports cars are male ‘short-term mating signal’
BBC.co.uk (This article also appeared in the Ghana News.)

Fox News Channel VIDEO ‘Happening Now’ (This story also appeared on Fox Business Network.)

Men who buy the bling apparently do it for a fling
Houston Chronicle

Does he want a one-night stand or something more?

Big spenders attract flings, but not marriage

Science links Porsches and peacocks
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Lastly, we were busy this week interviewing for a replacement left void when one of media relations’ team members took a job at a PR firm in Washington, D.C. I’m hoping that we hire someone new by the end of next week.

We’re also welcoming Brandon Martin, a videographer from KRPC-TV (NBC HOUSTON), to my team on Monday. Brandon will be charged with SHOWING the world what Rice has to offer. I can already tell that he’s going to be a great addition to the team — he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. I met his beautiful baby girl yesterday. Brandon is married to a local reporter at the Fox affiliate here to boot.

Here’s hoping for a more sane week, but from what I know is ahead, I don’t think it’s going to happen!

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Pearland, Texas, this week, I found two great folks who will be helping to populate the Twitter feed of the site at @FM518. Check it out!


Rice experts available for Pawlenty announcement

May 21st, 2011 by David Ruth

David Ruth

Rice University experts available to discuss Tim Pawlenty entering presidential race
Pawlenty is expected to announce on Monday that he is running for the Republican nomination

HOUSTON — (May 21, 2011) — Rice University political scientist Mark Jones and historian Douglas Brinkley are available to comment on former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty expected announcement Monday that he will seek the Republican Party nomination for president.

Pawlenty will be the fourth Republican to formally declare his candidacy, joining former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Congressman Ron Paul and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Several other potential candidates are waiting in the wings.

“With a reputation as a pragmatic moderate of a state that generally votes Democrat in presidential elections, Pawlenty would represent a credible threat to President Obama’s re-election chances,” said Jones, professor and chair of political science and fellow in political science at the Baker Institute for Public Policy. “It remains to be seen however if Pawlenty will be able to gain the support of conservative Republican primary voters as well as raise his profile to the national level. The two-term former governor of Minnesota will compete with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels for the moderate and pragmatic Republican vote.”

“Through the process of elimination, Tim Pawlenty has emerged as a low-key conservative from a swing state,” said Brinkley, professor of history and fellow in the Baker Institute for Public Policy. “And because of the proximity of Minnesota, he could play well in Iowa.”

To speak with Jones or Brinkley, contact David Ruth at 713-348-6327 or druth@rice.edu.


Related materials:

Media note: Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy’s radio and television studio is available for ISDN and HDTV interviews.  Mark Jones is available over the weekend and nationwide; Douglas Brinkley is available beginning Monday morning and only available for national television, print and online news outlets.

Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog/.

Heart attack survivor needed for TV interview

May 21st, 2011 by David Ruth

Rice University recently issued a news release about a group of students who, for their senior design project, created a unique pad system for automated external defibrillators (AEDs), common devices that can shock a victim’s heart back into a proper rhythm in an emergency. This new device, which has not been used on humans to this point, has been recognized by several news organizations nationwide.

MedStar Television, a producer of medical/health segments for TV news affiliates nationwide, will be coming to Houston on Thursday, June 2, to tape interviews about the device. While this AED device has never been used, MedStar has asked me to help them identify a survivor of a heart attack who had a defibrillator used on them.

If you are interested in telling your personal story of surviving a heart attack and would be willing to conduct an interview on camera at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 2, please contact me at druth@rice.edu. Please provide your phone number so that I can give you a call to chat about the segment. This interview will either take place at the Texas Heart Institute in the Texas Medical Center or across the street on the campus of Rice University. This is a positive story talking about a technological breakthrough.

Thank you,

David Ruth




Pearland Fan Page Constitution

April 25th, 2011 by David Ruth

Constitution is a loaded word, but in any case these are the basic guidelines or principles for the Pearland Facebook community fan page … or “Like” page. This document will be updated and posted when necessary.

The Pearland fan page is nonpartisan. The owner and its admins will not take a political position via proactive posting to fans’ news feeds. They will post news stories or information from other sources to create community conversation. The information posted will not be from a political party or PAC. “Fans” are allowed to post political positions, news stories or information they wish as long as it does not attack another candidate or is derogatory. Comments made by fans will be handled in the same fashion.

Elected officials or candidates are allowed to promote their political positions, beliefs and values on the page at any time — that is valuable information to the community.


Businesses are allowed to post ads to the Pearland, Texas, wall on Mondays. We call these “Manic Mondays.” These ads will not appear in your news feed. Nonprofits and fundraisers are always allowed to post to the wall as long as they don’t promote, mention something commercial.

From time-to-time, the Pearland Facebook page will post ads on behalf of local businesses providing a giveaway to the page’s fans. The owner and the admins of this page do not accept advertising income from the site.


The owner and admins of this site do their best to report correct information about the community of Pearland, Texas. They are not responsible for information posted by fans or by third parties. If we see or are alerted about posts that are offensive or factually wrong, we will act as quickly as possible to rectify the situation. If we, the owner or admins, post information that is incorrect, we will do our best to delete the previous post in a timely manner and post corrected information.

This page is “owned” by David Ruth (www.facebook.com/DavidRuth) and run by volunteers of the community — it is not run by the city of Pearland.

David Ruth

Legendary hip-hop executive Russell Simmons to appear at Rice today

April 14th, 2011 by David Ruth

Legendary hip-hop executive Russell Simmons to appear at Rice today
HERE Project, Rice ‘Religion and Hip-Hop’ course present special discussion

HOUSTON – (April 14, 2011) – Legendary hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons will be at Rice University today to participate in a special appreciation discussion in honor of the Religion and Hip-Hop course co-taught by Rice Professor Anthony Pinn and rapper Bun B.

Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons

The talk, which is hosted by the Houston Enriches Rice Education (HERE) project, is open to Rice students, faculty and staff and will be held at 3:30 p.m. in McMurtry Auditorium in Duncan Hall. This event is open to the media.

Who: Hip-hop executive, entrepreneur and activist Russell Simmons; Anthony Pinn, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and professor of religious studies; and Bernard “Bun B” Freeman, an original member of the legendary duo UGK.

What: Discussion of Simmons’ book, “Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All” and a discussion of yoga meditation.

When: 3:30-4:30 p.m. April 14.

Where: McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall, Rice University campus, 6100 Main St.

Members of the news media covering this event should enter Gate 1 on Main Street and park in the Founder’s Court Visitor Lot. If the lot is full, media should park in the West Lot, which is located near the Shepherd School of Music, accessible via Gate 8 off University Boulevard. Parking will not be allowed on the Inner Loop Road for this event.

For a map of the Rice University campus, visit www.rice.edu/maps/maps.html.

For more information, contact David Ruth at druth@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.


Located on a 285-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is known for its “unconventional wisdom.” With 3,485 undergraduates and 2,275 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is less than 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://futureowls.rice.edu/images/futureowls/Rice_Brag_Sheet.pdf.

Battle of the Badges

March 7th, 2011 by David Ruth

Support our public safety 



Charity Flag Football Game
Saturday, March 19, 2011

Presner Stadium 2315 Old Alvin Road
Pre-Game @6pm -Kick off at 7:00pm

*Admission donations are appreciated*

The Finest: will be collecting toys for
“Toys for Tots” 

The Bravest: will be collecting funds to benefit the sick or injured firefighters

Lots of fun, prizes, auctions, and entertainment for all!

Questions: ccrawford237@pearlandvfd.org or 281-831-8028

Create the Pearland, Texas, logo

February 9th, 2011 by David Ruth

As you may or may not know, I started the Pearland, Texas, Facebook fan page a year ago. At that time I was using the Pearland city logo. That’s a no-no, kids. The city was kind enough to send me a nice letter from an attorney asking me to cease and desist. I ceased using it.

What that allowed me to do was ask Pearlanders to help me come up with a logo. A Pearland student — Anna  or Annie– took the photo that is currently the page’s logo.

Because we’ve been using this logo for some time now, I was wondering if we could top it.

So, with that said, I’m starting a new contest: Create the page’s logo. I am accepting new logo designs between now and March 15. The winner will receive free advertising for their business, nonprofit, event or whatever for two weeks. Two weeks of being recognized via a daily wall/news feed posting as the winner, along with whatever you’re promoting. The Pearland page now has more than 3,800 followers and nearly 200,000 post views per month.

If you don’t have anything to promote, cool. If you do, cool. If I don’t receive any submissions, cool.

If you’re interested, drop me a new logo submission by March 15 at druth@rice.edu. I will announce a new logo within days.

The new logo should be something that someone from outside Pearland would gain something from — hint, using the city name is probably key. Photos, graphics, whatever. Put your creative Pearlander brain to work.

From the city: Pearland Texas power usage

February 2nd, 2011 by David Ruth

Due to weather-related rotating electric power outages planned by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas ( ERCOT), consumers and businesses are urged to reduce their electricity use to the lowest level possible, including these steps:

-Limit electricity usage to only that consumption which is absolutely necessary -Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment -Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible -Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

ERCOT has instructed utilities to begin rotating outages to compensate for a generation shortage due to numerous plant trips that occurred because of the extreme weather.

Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service, typically lasting 10-45 minutes per neighborhood.  The locations and durations are determined by the local utilities.  Critical need customers such as hospitals and nursing homes are generally not included.

It is not known at this time how long the need for rotating outages will last.
See more conservation tips at “Powerful Advice,” Public Utility Commission of Texas: www.puc.state.tx.us./ocp/conserve