Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ticket-takers and Ushers Need Only Apply

2 related stories out today don't paint a very pretty picture for Louisiana's workforce and job prospects. First up, an article on by Melinda Deslattes from the Associated Press about Curt Eysink, the Director of Louisiana Workforce, saying that the state needs more people to get 2 year degrees instead of 4 year degrees. He says that there are skilled labor jobs out there that can't be filled because we don't have enough graduates with technical degrees. Eysink presented forecasting data that showed the top growth jobs projected for the state included ticket-takers, home health aides, retail salespeople and nurses. Others like Belle Wheelan, Director of Southern Universities and Colleges argue that the state needs to do more to attract more professional businesses instead of service industry, which typically have much lower pay. She says: "If I saw the strongest growth area was ushers, lobby attendants and ticket-takers, I'd leave Louisiana too." Ouch.

The other good news / bad news story comes from Sarah Chako of The Advocate. The good news is, from 2007 to 2008 Louisiana's poverty rate declined. However, the bad news is, it is still one of the worst in the nation with over 17% of Louisianians living in poverty. Us and our friend Mississippi. Read more here.

Photo by John and Keturah

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Barry's Coming In October

NPR ran this Associated Press story on it's website regarding President Obama's announcement that he will visit the Gulf Coast areas hit by Hurricane Katrina sometime in "mid-October". Ten months into his first year in office may be a little late, but it's a start. Let's hope this visit produces more results and less empty promises than his predecessor's did. More here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Poet Laureate

On May 21, 2009, just one week after we started our blog, we made our first oversight. Darrell Bourque, was named Louisiana's Poet Laureate by Gov. Jindal, and we completely whiffed on the announcement. Bourque, a Louisiana native, is retired professor emeritus of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is the author of several books, among them "Plain Songs" and "Blue Boat".
I didn't feel quite as bad for missing this story when I learned that Bourque was actually named to the post in 2008, but an administrative foul up kept his name from appearing in front of the legislature for confirmation. What I do know is Bourque is an absolute treasure to our part of the world.
He will be giving readings at Xavier University, and the University of New Orleans this week. Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Room 197 of UNO's Liberal Arts Building. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, he will speak in Room 205 of Xavier's University Center.
Here is a link to John Pope's article in the Times-Picayune, and here is a link to Susan Larson's article, also in the Picayune, on the announcement of Bourque's re-appointment back in May.

Vanished Wired Writer Found in New Orleans

Wired Magazine, the must read periodical for any self-respecting geek, recently held a contest to see if one of their writers could 'disappear' in today's technological times. They offered $5000 to anyone that could find Evan Ratliff within 30 days and if no one could, Ratliff would win the cash. He remained wired to his social networking sites and it turns out, in the age of Google and Twitter, credit card tracking software, his IP addresses and Profile Photos all helped bring him New a New Orleans Company, Naked Pizza, on Day 25. Ratliff liked New Orleans and actually visited the city twice during his journey. Chris Rose of the Times-Picayune documents the whole fun story here.

Other related links:
Contest explanation on

Contest recap on

Evan Ratliff's Blog about the project - a fan site to track Ratliff's whereabouts

Naked Pizza's Team Vanish documented how they found him here on their blog

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Floating Islands

Gary Perilloux of The Advocate had a story today spotlighting a Baton Rouge company that is doing something exciting for the wetlands. Floating Island International is a company that was actually born in Montana but founder and inventor Bruce Kania had a 'Eureka' moment on his ranch and realized this invention could help the coast and build habitats. He now builds floating islands of peat and seeds which are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also grow the wetlands. Read more about this fascinating company here on their website and the Perilloux's story can be found here on the Advocate's website. Thanks Judy for the heads up on such a great story!

Photo by Floating Island International

Oomph ...55-0

OK, so the Cajuns got clobbered 55-0 by the Nebraska Corn Huskers. The circumstances combined to work against UL. The 'Huskers were seeing red (pun intended) after losing to Virgina Tech last week by one point on a last second touchdown pass. Add to that UL's disheartening loss to LSU, despite playing hard and making a game of it the week before, in Baton Rouge. The Cajuns were over matched from the start, but it didn't help to be on the road against an angry powerhouse. Still, we're just 2-2, .500. It's like starting the season over now. Started off strong with victories over Southern and Kansas State, then got our nose bloodied a bit in the next two outings. Next week, we'll be the angry team, at home, facing North Texas in our first Sun Belt Conference game. Fear the angry Cajun you lowly Eagles!

That's A Good Meatball Man

With the cold weather just around the corner (high of only 83 predicted for Tuesday...I suppose cold is a relative term) I start thinking about making the first gumbo of the season. That first one is always great. Even with the huge pot in the fridge, I can heat up bowl after bowl, sometimes getting a full week out of one batch. But with each successive batch my enthusiasm wanes to the point where only the first couple of bowls are really exciting. Then the huge pot in the fridge just sits there growing that waxy stuff and blocking out the light. Here comes Chef Curt Guillory to the rescue with a recipe for Cajun Meatball Stew. Check out his recipe here in

A stew in South Louisiana is quite a bit different than a stew elsewhere. Dark roux is used as a thickening and flavoring component. The right amount of roux is crucial to the dish’s success. Too much dark roux will result in a thick, bitter paste, whereas too little roux will yield a gumbo not a stew. See the article titled, “Roux basics for Cajun cooking” for tips on how to make and use dark roux.

Photo by donggaBS

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's A Boy!

I learned something today. I learned of the Peter Pepper. It's said to be 10 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper, and it's grown right here in South Louisiana, and southern Texas. So yeah, that's mildly interesting, but not blog worthy (although on some slow days I'd be tempted to write it up). No, the Peter Pepper is making it to The Meaux based solely on it's physical attributes. It looks like a dang penis! It's Saturday, and I enjoy 5th grade level humor. Plus, it really looks like a penis. Here's an article on by Alice Brantly Yeager on how to grow the Peter Pepper (sometimes just a smile can do it), and here's a link to the NSFW photo by weelakeo.

Ali Landry's Belle Parish Launches

If you happen to follow Ali Landry on Twitter, you would know that she just returned from Las Vegas where she debuted her new children's clothing line "Belle Parish." She recently told People Magazine that

“Belle Parish is classic, sweet, whimsical clothes that are rooted in our Southern upbringing....For us, it’s like the hometown department store that closed 60 years ago and the doors have just re-opened. It’s vintage and tradition with a modern twist.” Ali says that “...Belle Parish is about creating a lifestyle, but because I’m a mom I wanted to start with kid’s clothing. I also have a strong point of view about dressing children in age-appropriate clothes. I want to celebrate each stage of their life. We’re so excited about people’s response to our ideas.”

The little girls clothing line is very cute and very frilly with lots of bows, lace and embroidery....check it out here at

Uh...I'm Too Busy, Again, to Take Your Call Mr. VP

Stephen Sabludowsky with the reports on a story from Think Progress about a Stimulus Conference call that VP Joe Biden held recently. Apparently all the governors, or their representatives, we on the line except....Bobby Jindal....and this isn't the first call he's missed. Sabludowsky goes on to write about how Jindal has been criticized for distributing giant cardboard checks to various projects with his signature on them...and no mention that the funds are coming from the Recovery / Stimulus Act. In addition, he even mentions a story that the Advocate wrote about that state highway projects that are being funded are purposefully not posting signs that the funding is coming from the Recovery Act, but the same type of projects post signs when the funds come from the state surplus and no stimulus money is used. Think Progress has a quote on that from the DOTD spokesperson Mark Lambert on this:
"State projects financed with federal stimulus dollars will have no signs that say that," said Mark Lambert, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation and Development. Lambert said the decision was made by DOTD Secretary William Ankner. “He directed that signs not go up,” Lambert said of Ankner.

Read the whole story and Sabludowsky's call for more transparency here.

Original Think Progress story can be found here.

So You Want to be in Pictures??

Bam Casting is holding a casting call for Secretariat, the movie they are filming here with Diane Lane and John Malkovich, tomorrow at the Cajundome from 12noon until 8pm. They say they are looking for Horse Handlers and Trainers, 70's cars, trailers and RV's, military, police, reporter and media types and "Hippie / Woodstock Types" if you've always wanted to be in pictures, get you a pair of old patchwork pants and a tie dyed shirt and head over to the Cajundome tomorrow with a 4x6 photo of yourself in hand to try out. Full details can be found here:

Photo by: alexkon

Evangeline Galleries Open House TODAY

Today is the last day of the Evangeline Galleries Open House featuring artist, Kimberly J. Brannon, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and international fine art dealer Alexander & Victor Fine Art. The show and live demonstrations continue today from 10am until 8pm.

In addition to Kimberly's contemporary art works, there are over 200 new traditional paintings brought in by Alexander & Victor Fine Art, to go along with Evangeline Galleries original art and prints - the largest selection of art in Acadiana.

Kimberly's abstract and floral acrylics on canvas and paper explore beauty through brilliant vermilion hues and raised patterns that will leave your fingers jealous of your eyes' encounter. Her application of the paint differs from one layer to the next - drips on top of thin washes, with palette knife workings and layered gold-leaf – collectively developing the story of how each painting was created.

Brannon received her BFA in Printmaking from Louisiana State University, and studied at the Illustration Academy in Liberty, Missouri. Her art has been published by the Phoenix Art Group, in Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently working with the art publication group, Art in Motion, of Vancouver, Canada.

Alexander & Victor Fine Art bring with them decades of fine art experience and a collection of original artwork that include both traditional and contemporary pieces from many international artists from 15 different countries.

Evangeline Galleries is located at 1100 Lafayette Street, Downtown...1 block off Jefferson, kind of behind the First Baptist Church or the Juliet Hotel.
View Larger Map

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's Going On In Jennings? has a post concerning the murders of eight women in Jennings dating back from 2005 to the present. The website points out that this is particularly shocking considering the small size and population of Jennings.
From the article:
It appears all the victims have some sort of ties together either through relatives or friends. That’s not too surprising considering the size of the town. What is surprising is the lack of any kind of media coverage—on the national level. The Jefferson Davis Sheriffs Office has created a website with information about the women. If you have any information, however insignificant you may think it is, contact them at (337) 824-6662.

The post has pictures and information on each of the victims. More here.

Thanksgiving In The Big Apple

By Suzanne Brevelle

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of those events that everyone should experience in person. Start with accommodations at hotels on or near the parade route, so you can be right in the middle of all the holiday joy! Avenues To Travel has 4-nights and longer vacation packages at these popular hotels:
  • Novotel New York Hotel from $770
  • Sheraton New York Hotel from $781.50
  • Crowne Plaza Times Square from $939
And you can add these exclusive options to make your vacation an even more memorable experience:

Insider's View Parade Breakfast at the Renaissance New York Hotel $359
Enjoy the famous parade from a private lounge on the 2nd floor of the Renaissance New York Hotel right at Times Square, including Wednesday afternoon sightseeing tour to the Parade Balloon Inflation Site or Thursday afternoon Holiday Lights Tour.

Insider's View Parade Breakfast at the Sheraton New York Hotel $439
This is a very special indoor party overlooking the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, including Wednesday afternoon sightseeing tour to the Parade Balloon Inflation Site or Thursday afternoon Holiday Lights Tour

Insider's View Parade Breakfast at the Marriott Marquis Broadway Lounge $459
Breakfast Buffet beginning at 8am Thanksgiving morning ... then watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from the 8th floor Broadway Lounge of the Marriott Marquis - including Wednesday afternoon sightseeing tour to the Parade Balloon Inflation Site or Thursday afternoon Holiday Lights Tour

Stay Warm at Applebee's $39
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade on Broadway with the convenience and comfort of an indoor facility at your disposal where you can relax, unwind, have a bite to eat or a warm beverage, use restroom facilities, and escape unkind weather! (Note: no parade view)

Dinner and All the Trimmings $65
Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet with all the trimmings at the Manhattan Club at Rosie O'Grady's.
Seatings at 4pm, 5:45pm and 7:30pm.

Breakfast with Santa $29
Exclusive limited seating breakfast with Santa on Friday morning. Why fight the crowds and large lines for a moment with Santa when you can share in this intimate gathering? Breakfast and photo included!

You can add tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes or a Broadway show like Jersey Boys, Wicked or Chicago, add sightseeing options, museum admissions, dining reservations ... it's easy to do with Avenues To Travel.

All Thanksgiving vacations include:
* Accommodations for 4-nights or longer at a midtown Manhattan hotel
* All state and local taxes
* Add optional events, Broadway tickets, sightseeing, tours, museum admissions or dining
* Bonus admissions to popular New York City sites and attractions, and much more

Suzanne Brevelle is from Lafayette and works at Avenues To Travel. You can contact her via email or telephone 337-231-5656. She is a Certified Specialist for Sandal’s and Beaches Resorts as well as Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Hawaii. Her specialty is couples and family vacations, groups, honeymoons and corporate travel.

Ledet Not To Be Charged In Baby's Death

Rob Kirkpatrick reports for KATC that Zydeco musician Rosie Ledet will not be charged in the death of a baby she left in a storage shed in July. From the article:
Acadia Parish District Attorney Mike Harson says he has reviewed the case and finds there is no sufficient evidence indicating foul play. However, Harson says he is not closing the case in the event further information surfaces.

More here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

She's Good With Her Words Y'all

Lucinda Williams' roots run all through Louisiana, the state she grew up in. This past week she got married on stage in Minneapolis to Tom Overby. There are literally hundreds of Lucinda songs I could have chosen for this post. They're all great in one way or another. This clip had good production values, and an intimate setting with her former guitar player Doug Pettibone. Check this article in Live Daily for details of the wedding. Here's to the happy couple, and here's to ending this dang week.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Imagine In Your Brain

It was hard to wrap my head around this one, but if it works, it will be great. Richard Burgess of the Advocate reports on a proposed redesign of the intersection of Johnston Street, Guilbeau Road, and Camellia Boulevard, which aims to increase traffic capacity there by 50 percent. Here's the hard part: Left-turning vehicles would cross over oncoming traffic before reaching the intersection and then travel through the intersection in a lane to the left of oncoming traffic. There is only one other intersection of this type in the state, in Baton Rouge at Siegen Lane and Airline Highway.
Quote of the day goes to Associate Public Works Director Pat Logan:
“You have your left turns and straight-aheads going at the same time,” he said.

Dang just blew my mind! The project is estimated to cost $4million and may begin as early January of 2010. More here.

Photo by tauntingpanda

Well Leak in Gueydan May Cause Cancer

KLFY has a report that an Oklahoma based oil company is doing some work in Gueydan and one of their saltwater injection wells has sprung a leak. Residents in the area and a chemist investigating the well believe that some of the waste that is leaking can cause cancer, but an official with Toas Energy, which is waiting on permit approval to put in their own injection well, say there is no link between salt water injection wells and cancer.....imagine that. You can check out the full story here.

Photo by kgedquest

Bayou Bijou Fall Film Schedule

I'm not sure there's a better way to spend a Monday evening and $3 bucks than to take in a foreign film at the Bayou Bijou on the UL campus. They put out their fall schedule and it looks like some good movies are coming. Season tickets are available and all show times are 4pm and 7pm. For more information, visit the Bayou Bijou website here.

2009 Fall Schedule:
Sept. 28: Tell No One
Guillaume Canet (France), 2006, 131 min. Not Rated.
Here’s faux Hitchcock as only the French seem willing or able to produce. The plot is appropriately labyrinthine (it treats a man who refuses to believe the evidence that his wife has been murdered), the acting is topnotch, and the direction is tense, economical, and intelligent. It was nominated for nine Césars (France’s highest film prizes), and won four of them.

Oct. 5: Waltz with Bashir
Ari Folman (Israel), 2008, 90 min. Rated R.
A most unusual documentary combining live-action dramatization with animation, treating Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon; winner of gobs of awards both in animation and in documentary, this is the first animated film nominated for the American Academy’s Best Foreign Language Film.

Oct. 12: Departures
Yôjirô Takita (Japan), 2008, 130 min. Rated PG-13.
Winner of Best Foreign Film for 2009, Departures tells the story of Daigo, a cellist, who, when his orchestra disbands, takes a job as Nokanshi—a professional who prepares the dead for burial. Sometimes comic, the film’s dark subtext creates a richly balanced depiction of the border zone between a life well lived and death respected.

Oct. 19: Sunshine
Danny Boyle (United Kingdom/United States), 2007, 107 min. Rated R.
It’s been a while since Bayou Bijou has done a real sci-fi, and this one (about a space team charged with rebooting our sun) by the director of Slumdog Millionare has gorgeous solar imagery and Michelle Yeoh and Rose Byrne and Cillian Murphy. Some of its plot tricks will go off most people’s deep end, but shouldn’t sci-fi kick us into another imaginative gear?

Oct 26: Halloween Double Feature
Let the Right One In - Thomas Alfredson (Sweden), 2008, 115 min. Rated R.
[REC] - Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza (Spain), 2007, 80 min. Rated R.
Two films that evoke seasonal scariness from opposite directions: Let the Right One In, a story of a bullied boy with a crush on the incredibly cute vampire who becomes his bodyguard, has become an international phenomenon for its austere, moody ambiance and sweet performances (and presumably sugary, carbonated blood); and [REC] (called by one critic a “stress test,” and he’s soooo right!) is a Spanish Blair Witch Project with a punk attitude and very sharp teeth.

Nov. 2: I’ve Loved You So Long
Philippe Claudel (France/Germany), 2008, 117 min. Rated PG-13.
Nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, this is the story of Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas), leaving prison after 15 years for killing her six-year-old son, as she tries to rebuild her relationship with her estranged sister, Léa, and acclimate to the world outside. Thomas (who also appears in Tell No One) delivers a performance that is a masterpiece of nuanced, confused emotions, and she’s supported by one of Europe’s extraordinary actresses, the wonderfully sad-eyed Elsa Zylberstein.

Nov. 9: Paprika
Satoshi Kon (Japan), 2006, 90 min. Rated R.
For those who think that Hayao Miyazaki is the only Japanese animator whose work can be appreciated by adults, Paprika should come as a great surprise. Like his other work (Paranoia Agent, Tokyo Godfathers Millennium Actress, Perfect Blue) this is multi-layered, dream-rich, deeply intelligent —both eye-spinning animation and vivid narrative.

Nov. 16: Goodbye, Solo
Ramin Bahrani (United States), 2008, 91 min. Rated R.
Bahrani made the excellent Chop Shop, Man Push Cart, and Strangers. This sensitive film concerns Solo, a Senegalese cabbie in Winston-Salem, whose unlikely relationship with a local man yields a powerful vision of race and culture in 21st-century America.

Nov. 23: Chocolate
Prachya Pinkaew (Thailand), 2008, 110 min. Rated R.
Delicate, pretty, autistic Zen spends her days watching Jackie Chan and Tony Jaa films and absorbing their martial arts skills: bad news for the bad guys when they try to muscle her mother! New action star Jeeja Yanin isn’t quite Tony Jaa, but with help from Pinkaew’s whipfast and witty direction, she’s the new princess of Muay Thai, and the best new thing in martial arts since Tony hit the screen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Louisiana's Rich with NFL Players

We sure do love football here in the Bayou State and now USA Football just proved it! The Alexandria Town Talk is reporting on a study that USA Football recently released that said Louisiana ranks first with the most NFL football players per fact, we have one National Football League player for every 55,862 people in the state. Louisiana also came in tied for fifth with most players total in the NFL. The Top 7 states are: California with 205 players, Texas has 179, Florida has 176, Ohio has 90 Georgia and Louisiana each have 80 and Alabama has 53. I wonder how many we could name? I did find a database of all LSU players that ever played in the NFL here, but not a comprehensive list of active players.

Now, I guess it'd be nice if we had the most per capita doctors or scientists, but football players are pretty cool too. The full story can be found here on
Photo by Eric Kilby

He's A Funny Guy

Think Progress ran this excerpt from an interview of Rep. Steve King (R-IA) with The Hill.

THE HILL: What vote would you like to redo?

KING: I don’t really go back and re-live that sort of thing. Some of the big votes that I’ve thought about, some of the jury’s still out. And at this point, maybe I’d answer that question another way, probably the singular vote that stands out that went against the grain, and it turns out to be the best vote that I cast, was my “no” vote to the $51.5 billion to [Hurricane] Katrina. That probably was my best vote. But as far as doing something different again, I don’t know.

King was one of just 11 members of Congress to vote against the $52 billion aid package. (It passed unanimously in the Senate.) Media Matters Action Network’s Matt Finkelstein writes, “Katrina killed 1,464 in Louisiana alone and uprooted the lives of countless others all over the gulf region. Yet, King says this was his ‘best’ moment in Congress. Not fighting for ‘conservative principles’ like smaller government, lower taxes, or a strong national defense — no, he’s most proud of opposing relief for victims of a catastrophe.”

Here's the full interview from The Hill.

Bizarro Best Buy

Sarah Rosario of KATC filed this report of a Best Buy employee receiving a $1000 tip/gift from a local couple. Now the employee, Agnes Kennedy, may lose her job. According to the report, Best Buy policy prohibits employees from accepting tips. Kennedy counters that the money was a gift intended to help her with school tuition. The couple instructed her to "pay it forward" when she gets older. As it stands now, Kennedy says management has told her if she cashes the check she will be terminated.
What planet is this Best Buy on? I'd like to go there. The one I usually go to has never left me with the urge to give away a thousand bucks. I consider it a victory if the checkout person doesn't cough into their hand before giving me my receipt. Anyway, Kennedy claims she's suspended, while Best Buy corporate offices say she's still employed. More here.

Photo by Kylemac

Acadiana Seems to Lack Trauma Centers

I do love a good interactive map and the Centers for Disease Control recently launched a new service on it's website that highlights access to Level 1 or Level 2 trauma centers so users can see what emergency services are closest to them. They mark the location and highlight in purple a 60 minute radius surrounding the facility. Unfortunately Louisiana only seems to have 1 and it's in Shreveport. Arkansas didn't have any, Texas had a ton, and even our neighbors to the east in Mississippi have 9.

According to the CDC website a trauma center is a type of hospital that has resources and equipment needed to help care for severely injured patients, and it's important to be close to one because if you’ve experienced a mild or moderate injury, the thousands of emergency rooms across the nation are ready with basic emergency services to help you. But, if you are severely injured, having fast access to specialized resources and equipment is critical. Research supported by CDC shows that getting care at a Level I trauma center within one hour of a severe injury can decrease the risk of death by a 25%.

The good news is the CDC is trying to raise awareness of the need for trauma maybe someone could mention this map to Mayor Durel during one of his listening tour stops.

In This Day of Science and the Moon...Turns 40!

Looking for a great deal on lunch or dinner today? Head over to Lagneaux's. While it may be hard to believe, it's true...Junior Lagneaux's famous restaurant turns 40 today and to celebrate, they are offering 40% off a Seafood Platter or Crawfish Dinner. Click here to see their new website, and while you're there, re-read the King of Seafood's message...even Mom and Sis can wear shorts!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cleanin' Up The Basin

The first Annual “Inherit the Atchafalaya Basin” clean up will be held this Saturday at 9:00 AM at the Atchafalaya Welcome center in Butte La Rose.

This event was organized by local musician and basin activist, Drew Landry, the Basin Keepers, a local non profit whose mission is to act as the environmental watchdogs of the Basin, renowned Cajun Heritage author Greg Girard, with logistics and event support provided by Bodacious Productions, LLC.

The goal of the event is to provide local fisherman, sportsman, environmental enthusiasts and all concerned individuals that want to participate in an effort to clean up the Atchafalaya Basin, with a way to get involved. Local environmental leader, Harold Shoeffler offers that “It’s all about changing people's attitudes and leaving something for the next generation.” This is the exact spirit of the day’s activities.

The first ever cleanup will last from 9:00 AM till 2:00 PM and will be followed by an awards ceremony, at 4:00 PM at Whiskey River Landing in Henderson, LA. The trophy (a golden boot) will be flown in by local skydiving team “The Gravity Devils.”

The Bodacious Baskinkeeper BBQ and Benefit Concert will follow the awards ceremony where all will be entertained by music from: The Drew Landry Band, The Howdies, Horace Trahan and Snarky Puppy. The concert will end at 12:00 AM and is for ages 21 and over. Boat registration is available, event information can be found and tickets for the concert can be purchased at

With A Face Only A Mother Could Love

I found this article on Metafilter. They, of course, found it somewhere else as is their modus operandi, but I like Metafilter so much, I wanted to give them attribution too. The story comes from WDSU in New Orleans, and pertains to a group of scientists who caught a giant squid in the Gulf of Mexico. They were on a "research cruise" (two great things in one...cruising and researching), when they caught the 19.5 foot, 103 pound squid. (You'd have thought they would have used the metric system being scientists and all, but nope, they didn't.) This is only the second known capture of a giant squid in the Gulf of Mexico. The other was in 1954, and that squid was dead when they found it. Whew, all this just to give a plug to Metafilter. More here.

Mmm... Grits

What is wrong with the world when I have to find out about a grits eating contest in Louisiana from the Philidelphia Enquirer? Not only that, but a guy from Royerford, Pennsylvania wins the title? Peter Mucha wrote the story of professional eater/information technology manager, "Humble" Bob Shoudt's victory at the World Grits Eating Championship held at Harrah's Louisiana Downs last weekend in Bossier City. Fighting my own gag reflex, I tell you that Shoudt ate 18.98 pounds of grits in 10 minutes in Louisiana. And that was after he had eaten 33-1/2 quarter-pound burritos just the day before to take the New Mexico state burrito eating championship for the second year in a row. Yuk.
I'll stick with the corn grits at Zea's. And I'll take my time. More here.

Photo by Flirty Kitty

2-3 Was The Best We Could Be

Every week starting sometime in the 80's, I watch for the football scores to come in, like millions of other folks. But I mainly watch for the results of UL, LSU, and the thousands of other folks do. It has become a bit of an obsession (hey the first step is being able to admit it) that all three teams win, thus going 3 for 3. When that happens, I feel like I'm going to have a good week. Now, think back citizens, the 80's, and 90's were not kind to the three teams in question. I've had a lot...and I mean, A LOT, of bad weeks over the last three decades. But, maybe things are turning around. UL and LSU both opened their season with victories, and last week the Saints chipped and I got my trifecta. It's not a real trifecta. I don't actually bet. It's just for my peace of mind. Now, this past week left me with a dilemma because UL and LSU played each other. Still, the Saints came in with another victory, and we achieved the best outcome possible. Sometimes 2 out of three is all you can do. I'll take it! Now, I can watch that Hoarders show on A&E tonight with a slight air of superiority. Those guys are nuts!

LUNOPOLIS! Hits The Hub City

Here's something that doesn't come across our desk everyday. Local filmmakers Matt Avant and Sonny Maynor have formed the production company, Media Savant, and are debuting their first feature length film, the "mockumentary" LUNOPOLIS! with a premier October 22, at the The Grande Theater 16. The film was made with the help of over 120 local actors, technicians and businesses. Media Savant is offering sponsorship opportunities for the premier. Interested parties should contact Matthew Savant at 337.349.4657 or Pretty dang exciting. Check out the trailer and see how many folks you can recognize. I can see at least one...and she has a speaking role y'all!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Friends Forever

David Gantt with The Herald in South Carolina had a nice story about Jake Delhomme and his old friend Brandon Stokely in today's paper. Apparently they still keep in touch and root for each other because after last weeks epic catch by Stokely, Delhomme, not one to wallow in his own misfortunes, texted his old friend his congratulations. Gantt's story has some nice memories and words from Stokely....check it out here.

Photo by Noah Wood


Ohh wheee this story makes my skin crawl! But here goes...there is a new kind of ant about to invade Louisiana from Texas and experts say they are worse than fire ants. This new species is called Raspberry Crazy Ants and even though they don't sting like fire ants, they are worse because they nest on the ground and in potted plants disrupting wildlife and damaging plant life. They have several queens so their colonies can grow exponentially larger than fire ant colonies creating "super colonies" and these things have even been known to kill and overtake full bee hives for the honey! The Crazy Ants are named because they don't walk in a line, but instead in a crazy, random pattern. Yikes. Keith Magill with the Daily Comet has the full story.

Photo by OliBac


By Cecil Doyle

Givers are already putting their name to the test. With only a modest number of live performances and a newly released five-song e.p. under their belts, this young Lafayette area quintet have already managed to make a quick, loud, impressive and beautiful noise. Having caught the attention of Brooklyn-based indie rock darlings, Dirty Projectors; the group has landed an opening slot on a leg of their current tour next month that will run through Baltimore, Philadelphia, D.C., Atlanta and Austin. An October 25th downtown appearance at Nitetown will certainly be a high water mark in their brief career.

Combining intricately weaving, lofty vocal harmonies and moves (courtesy of Taylor Guarisco and Tif 'Teddy' Lamson) with innovative beds of seemingly ever-evolving rhythms derived from musical traditions as diverse as South African township jive, guitar-ringing Congolese soukous, Latin salsa, Jamaican ska and pure Eighties dancewave; Givers have formulated one of the most infectious and commercially viable sounds to come out of this town in quite some time.

Their debut recording has just been released. Surprisingly, it was put out under the Valcour imprint (the bold, upstart South Louisiana roots music label headed by Joel Savoy and Lucius Fontenot). It's a simply amazing endeavor featuring just five new tracks (one of them being a sort of 'dub' remix of the opening number, "Up, Up, Up") with backings provided by Will Henderson (keyboards, samples, sax & flute), Josh LeBlanc (bass, trumpet) and Kirby Campbell (drums, percussion). It's a happy sound - a positive, elevating and danceable vibe that's all but sorely missing from much of today's music. Their live shows are pure grinfests. Every few seconds, the numbers shift styles and musical nods while remaining solidly whole and rhythmically capturing. Your tailbone gets pinched and involuntarily rotated, whether you like that sort of thing or not! There's a faint familiarity akin to what Talking Heads (or more accurately, their offshoots - The Tom Tom Club) brought to Popular Music circa 1977-1982, that being the fusion of new music sensibilities with a variety of international styles accenting soaring and twisting vocals and backbeats. The result is total 21st Century, however. That they can and have done so much with so little (in material and time) is a testament to their potential.

For more on Givers, check out their webpage at or Valcour Records' site at

Cecil Doyle, originally from Mamou, knows everything there is to know about music. He hosts the Medicine Ball Caravan every Monday - Thursday at 11am and Jah Mon heard weekly on KRVS 88.7. He also serves at the station's Music Contact.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lower Age Limits Lead to More Alcoholism

In a new study released by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research they find that people that grew up with legal drinking age limits of 18 instead of 21 go on to have more problems with alcohol later in life. In fact, according to the study, people were allowed to buy alcohol legally before age 21 were 33 percent more likely to have suffered from alcoholism. Louisiana was mentioned because back in the 70s, when the voting age was lowered to 18, they also voted to lower the drinking age to 18. Then in the early 80s the Federal Government passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act and threatened to withhold federal highway funds unless the state had a 21 drinking age. Most states complied and changed their age limit back to 21...all except Louisiana who didn't raise it back until 1995. WMBF in Myrtle Beach, SC has a full report.

Photo by aNantaB

Lake Area Pride

If you're not going to the big game today but are still looking for something to do, you could head over to Lake Charles as they are hosting their first ever Gay Pride Parade and Festival in the Amphitheater at the Civic Center. According to, the director of the event, Megan Norris, said "never before has there been an opportunity to show the Lake Area just how much support they have in Southwest Louisiana. I know that we have a strong community here. I thought that if we could just have a day of appreciation and have a day of pride that it will be visible, that our community is larger than people imagine."

Photo by Kevin Coles

UL to LSU: Oh Yea, Well Your Fans Are....

Boy this UL / LSU game sure is getting everyone's dander up! Cox Cable is talking smack about LUS (see The Independent) and each side's fans are talking smack about each other. Yesterday we ran the story about what that the LSU student paper, The Reveille, said and today it's The Vermilion's turn. Unfortunately, since The Vermilion's website hasn't been updated since last April, I can't confirm that this actually ran in the paper, but according to a Cajuns fan site it did, so take that for what it's worth. Here it is: the Top Five Different Kinds of LSU Fans. That is all now. Go Cajuns!

Photo by onthebayou

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lafayette is Tops For Jobs

The Lafayette Parish Consolidated Government just issued a release that has rated Lafayette as the 8th best city in the nation for new jobs in the fourth quarter 2009. In Lafayette, from October to December, 16% of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 7% expect to reduce their payrolls— a 9% net employment outlook. Another 66% expect to maintain their current staff levels and 11% are not certain of their hiring plans. According to the report, job prospects appear best in Construction, Transportation and Utilities, Wholesale/Retail Trade, Leisure/Hospitality, Other Services and Government. Employers in Financial Activities and Education and Health Services plan to reduce staffing levels, while hiring in Durable Goods Manufacturing and Professional/Business Services is expected to remain unchanged. Click here for the full release.

The More Things Change....

The Huffington Post ran this story regarding a study entitled A Portrait Of Louisiana by The American Human Development Project. The study examines life in Louisiana four years after Katrina. The results are fairly abysmal for some residents, while others are doing better than national averages. And yes, there's a huge racial component factoring into who's doing well and who isn't. Some of the lowlights:
The average life span for African-Americans in Louisiana today (72.2 years) is shorter than that of Colombians, Vietnamese and Venezuelans. The average life span of an African-American in New Orleans is 69.3 years, nearly as low as life expectancy in North Korea.
African-Americans in Tangipahoa Parish have well-being levels of the average American in the early 1950s.
More here.
There is a follow up article by Sara Burds-Sharps and Kristen Lewis here, that further expounds on the results of the study.

Photo by cbanck


Ahoy matey, we have no idea how this "holiday" got started, but belie'e it or not, tomorrow is Talk Like a Pirate Day and t' celebrate Passport Magazine complied a list o' the best places t' tra'el t' mark the occassion. T' yellow-bellied sapsuckers had Norway and Croatia on the list, but t' see whar the pirates mightily set up shop Aye, you gotta go t' Louisiana. See the full story har. Now, bring me one noggin of rum, now, won't you, matey?

Photo by:

LSU to UL: Uh...Not So Much

The big UL / LSU football match up is this Saturday and it's being hailed as a huge in-state rivalry by UL fans but today's LSU student newspaper, the Reveille, talks to LSU students and they said they don't think so. For an insiders take on the game from a Tigers perspective click here.

More Tiger / Cajun smack talk can be found at: - an LSU sports fan board - a UL sports fan board

Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist?

They said it'd take a major storm for officials to finally address the loss of Louisiana coastline....but it hasn't. According to Kim Chipman with Bloomberg, since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the state has lost 340 square miles of coast...the same distance as Lafayette to Dallas...squared, and that's significant because the coastal marshes and wetlands act as a buffer from erosion and storms and harbors plants and wildlife. The problem is overwhelming, expensive and difficult so not much progress is being made. It's estimated to cost as much as $100 billion to repair and rebuild the Louisiana coast but of the $7 billion congress approved 2 years ago in 2007, just $100 million has been released with no significant restoration projects occurring right now. Click here to read the full story on

Photo by jetheriot

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Prof

Whew, Thursday already. That's good. Let's kick off the weekend....a weekend that features UL v. LSU, and Saints v. Eagles...and what looks to be decent weather. Let's kick all of that off with the great Professor Longhair, alone at his piano, laying it down.

Warhol Exhibit Opens Saturday

The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum has four new exciting exhibits right now: Painted Instruments is a collection of retired musical instruments used as a canvas by local artists to support the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra. That opened Tuesday and runs through October 3, and opening this weekend are:

Being Andy Warhol is a collection of his snapshots and Polaroids taken in the 70s and 80s. According to the Art Museum website, the collection depicts rare and intimate glimpses into Warhol's personal life. The exhibit runs from Saturday, September through December 31st. And if you're interested in Andy Warhol and his time capsule project, check out, which has lots of photos of the contents of box #21 of his 612 box time capsule collection.

Also opening Saturday are:
Imprinting the South: Prints from the Collection of Lynn Barstis Williams and Stephen J. Goldfarb featuring etchings, relief prints, lithographs and a few serigraphs focusing primarily on Southern subjects from the 1920s to the 1940s

Slightly Unbalanced: Survey of works by artists who have repeatedly focused on neurosis of various kinds in their work, using themselves and the people around them as fodder for their investigations.

Photo by Sonietta46

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UL Professor Dr. Pat Rickels Dies at 82

Mary Tutwiler wrote this obituary of Dr. Pat Rickels, for the Independent. From the article:
Raconteur, folklore professor, founder and director of the UL honors program and teacher for 50 years, civil rights activist, and friend of everyone who came to her, Pat Rickels died last night at the age of 82.“Dr. Pat was such a wonderful woman, and she gave it all,” says UL honors program director Dr. Julia Frederick, who took over after Rickels retired in 2007. “She was the heart of the honors program for 30 years. She created the rock on which it stood, she believed in her students and gave that fervor to her students.”

More here.

Hornets Announce Lafayette Training Camp

The New Orleans Hornets are hoping to drum up some new fans in Acadiana by hosting their training camp in Lafayette at the Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility at UL. According to the USA Today it was announced today that training camp will take place September 29 - October 4, with an open to the public scrimmage on October 3rd. So keep your eyes open and you just might bump in to Chris Paul and the guys.

We're Number One Again

The Louisiana Diabetes Program of the state Department of Health and Hospitals has created a “Louisiana Diabetes Fact Sheet’’. But just because they're facts that doesn't mean it's good news. Chief among the facts:
  1. Louisiana has the highest mortality rate in the nation.
  2. In 2007, over 320,000 Louisiana residents had been diagnosed with diabetes. That's over 10 percent of the adult population.
  3. Louisiana is 8th in the nation in number of residents diagnosed with diabetes.
  4. Diabetes is the 5th leading cause of death in Louisiana.
  5. African -Americans have the highest rate of all racial groups with an over13 percent diagnosis rate.
  6. Nearly one out of every four residents over the age of 65 in Louisiana has been diagnosed with diabetes.
  7. In 2006 diabetes cost Louisiana $2.4 billion.
So, to re-cap: Diabetes bad. Louisiana has a lot of diabetes. More here

Photo by tgolf_69

Tsk Tsk

Police Department Conducts Alcohol Compliance Check

On September 15, 2009, at 7:00 pm, officers with the Lafayette Police Department’s Youth Services Section conducted an undercover alcohol compliance check. The operation targeted convenience stores within the city limits of Lafayette that sold alcohol to those persons underage. During the course of the operation a total of 34 stores were checked for compliance. Of those stores checked, 11 of the stores were cited for selling alcohol to underage buyers. The following is a list of stores that were found to be in violation:

  1. Shoprite - 301 Verot School Rd
  2. Earl's - 501 Verot School Rd
  3. Chevron - 5051 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy
  4. Shell - 3755 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy
  5. Circle K - 3806 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy
  6. M & M Shop - 5540 Johnston Street
  7. Kwik Stop - 200 Louisiana Avenue
  8. Tha Spot - 2321 E. Simcoe Street
  9. Food Express - 1317 West Pinhook Road
  10. Texaco Food Mart - 1332 SW Evangeline Thruway
  11. Texaco - 120 E. Pont de Mouton

A total of 14 summonses were issued to store clerks at the aforementioned locations. The Lafayette Police Department encourages all citizens to report underage sales by contacting the Lafayette Police Department or the Youth Services Section at 291-8600.


Remember that code. That's the code for the twitter promotion that LSU is doing for the UL/LSU game this Saturday. According to KATC tickets are still available and Les Miles tweeted they were having a sale on seats so if you enter that promotional code here you could get a ticket for $25. Good luck!

And speaking of twitter....follow us at:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Friends Book Sale This Week

I knew it must be getting close so I took a ride by the Congress Street Library to see when the big book sale was and sure enough, I discovered that it is indeed time again for the semi annual Friends of the Library Book Sale. This fall's event will take place this Thursday the 17th thru Saturday the 19th...but you'll probably want to get there early. Each year the sale becomes more and more popular and why not....who wouldn't love a sale where you can purchase books buy the stack with the coins in your pocket. Visit the Friends of the Library website here at

Photo by zimpenfish


Slow news day brightened by idiot. picked up this story from The Shreveport Times. 21-year-old Daniel Niederhelman, was arrested by Shreveport police for impersonation a peace officer after he had used a flashing red light to move through traffic. Niederhelman then pulled over a vehicle only to find that it was being driven by the city's Mayor Cedric Glover. The quick thinking Niederhelman then sped off.
Niederhelman told the real officers that he was a volunteer fireman in a neighboring parish. Police, in turn, seized his little red light and a handgun from his holster, the paper says.
More here.

Bon Voyage Beausoleil

After more than 2 years of planning and working, the Beausoleil Home, UL's energy efficient solar powered house, is heading out for their final destination: the Solar Decathlon competition in Washington D.C., in October. To commemorate the event, the group is throwing a big Christening and send off party this Thursday from 6:30pm - 9:00pm at the United Way warehouse on Pinhook where they will unveil the completed home for the first time. For more information on the event and to see really cool photos, time lapse video and a virtual tour, visit Good luck guys!

Trash Talk at Listening Tour

The first stop on the Joey Durel Listening Tour Express yielded a lot of trash talk....literally. According to Richard Burgess' recap in The Advocate, the first hour of the 2 hour meeting was spent griping about current frustrations - namely the giant Allied Waste blue garbage cans and the Red-light cameras. Durel defended both programs but did say that he would talk to the City-Council about the Right-on-red slow roll ticket controversy. (Apparently if you don't come to a full 5 second stop before turning right on red, snap! They take your pic and mail you a ticket). The 2nd hour discussed setting aside $400,000 to fund a growth study, which is up for council vote on the 29th. Next stop on the Express: 9/21 at the Youngsville Library.