Sunday, May 30, 2010

Environmental Impact

Aaron Viles of the Gulf Restoration Network was on C-Span today and was really insightful and knowledgeable about the oil spill (or 'eruption' as some are calling it now). Here's his segment on Washington Journal and for some really horrific photos of this messy disaster, visit the Gulf Restoration website here at healthygulf.org.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

You'd Never See Hoyt Saying Something Like This

Hey, it's not all doom and gloom down here in Louisiana, not with local news chuckle-heads serving up Youtube gems like this:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tell Me When It's Over

I'm bending the rules a little bit today, using a non-Louisiana artist. I don't really even like this song so much, but it was the one that came to mind while we WAIT to see if those donkeys at BP were able to plug their well. It's the hardest part you know...the waiting. See what I did there? Very clever. Weekend starts now, with one eye on the Gulf and the other on the Cajun Women's Super Regional. Cap it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cross Your Fingers Today

I never thought I'd be so familiar with the terms "top kill" or "junk shot" and not have them pertain to the NBA playoffs, or internet porn. And yet, today BP is preparing to perform the "top kill" maneuver on its hemorrhaging underwater disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. If you're the praying kind, this might be a good time to pull out the big one.

Here's a link to a New York Times article reporting on today's planned action. From the article:
On Tuesday, engineers guided submarine robots through diagnostic tests in preparation for the top kill, a maneuver in which tubes will inject thousands of pounds of heavy drilling fluids into a five-story-tall stack of pipes to clog the well. A 30,000-horsepower engine on a ship floating above the well will shoot the liquids, known in the oil business as drilling mud. The technique has been used successfully for other spills, notably for stopping the oil flooding out of Kuwaiti oil wells sabotaged by the Iraqi army at the end of the first Persian Gulf war.

And this quote from BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells revealed just how out of touch he is with real human beings:
“It has been done successfully in the past, but it hasn’t been done at this depth,” said Kent Wells, BP’s senior vice president for exploration and production. “We always have to be careful about setting expectations.”

Really? You think we have high hopes at this point? Do you have any idea what it is to be from Louisiana?

Photo by myeyesees

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Grim Doesn't Quite Cover It

How bad is this oil spill? Well, before it's over with, my guess is it will affect everyone, not just here but nationwide, probably globally. After the fish and birds and turtles in the Gulf, next in line are our fishermen, and they're taking a hit few of us can even imagine.

This story, by WGNO ABC 26, ran on New Orleans.com details Congressman Joesph Cao's call for mental health services for fishermen in his district. Desperation is setting in in Southeast Louisiana. "
I spoke to a group of fishermen, mainly Vietnamese Americans and a group of them came up to me and said, they told me that they contemplated suicide because they're in such despair," says Congressman Joseph Cao. He says fishermen are feeling compounded stress on top of post-Katrina troubles. "For some people, this is almost a boiling point where they can no longer handle it and they're going to crack. These are grown men that broke down and cried this morning because they don't know what to do and we don't know how long it's going to be," says Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.


More here.

Photo by New Orleans Lady

The Emerging Immersion

I don't know if folks still say this, but not that long ago old people (like 40 year olds) used to complain about media never giving any good news. Now, all I hear is how slanted the news is, and it is, but in my view, it's slanted towards the freaks that complain about it. But I digress.

Here, is a genuine good news story in the Wall Street Journal, by Joel Millman, about Louisiana, and Lafayette in particular, regarding our French Immersion program in local schools. The program employs many instructors from West Africa, Canada, Belgium, and France to teach the French language to Louisiana children.

From the article:
For decades, it was forbidden to use French in Louisiana's public schools. Many a Cajun family remembers a grandparent who came home from school in tears after being punished for not speaking English, a language few spoke at home. But in the 1960s, Cajuns successfully adapted African-Americans' civil-rights efforts to gain minority status. Benefits included a mandate to teach French in all public schools. Foreign governments—particularly France and Belgium—pitched in, subsidizing their teachers' passage to Louisiana.

Photo by Gak

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cajun Women Advance To Super Regional

Count me among Cajun fans that root, root, root for LSU...when they're winning; feel no lasting pain when they lose; and do back-flips of joy on the rare occasions they are beaten on the field by UL. I went to both schools, (though neither of them have erected a statue commemorating my attendance) and actually preferred my time at LSU. But, I'm a Cajun of the Ragin' variety deep down. That status was set in the stone of my thick head by one Dwight "Bo" Lamar, he with the mighty Fro, and deadly 30 foot jumper. And on the rare occasion he missed, Roy Ebron was there to rebound for him. The 70's might have sucked for the Beatles, but they rocked for me.

So, imagine the glee to be had with UL's 6-1 victory over Texas A&M this weekend to advance to the NCAA Super Regional, in of all places, Baton Rouge.

With the win, the Cajuns (45-16) clinched their second Super Regional appearance in the past three years before 1,642 at LSU's Tiger Park. They will travel to play No. 5 national seed UCLA (43-11) in a three-game series next weekend with the winner advancing to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Joshua Parrott wrote this article for the Daily Advertiser on the victory. Photo courtesy of RaginCajun.com

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Open for Business

With all the new businesses opening up around town, Lafayette seems to really have earned the title of "One of the Top 20 Cities Surviving The Recession" Here's just a few....

Vanessa V is a new boutique that just opened in the Centerpiece Shopping Center on Johnston Street between Michael's Arts and Crafts and Bailey's Restaurant. They have a bunch of really cute stuff on their website, but for now, no ecommerce so you have to stop in.

Also opening soon - a new Rouses and CVS are coming to the old Graham Central Station shopping center at Bertrand and Congress. Graham and the Blockbuster video on the corner both closed recently making room for the new pharmacy and grocery stores. The groundbreaking is set for July. Speaking of closing though - if you haven't noticed, Hollywood Video on Ambassador is shutting it's doors and so is Whisnat's Jewelry on Ambassador by La Pizzeria.

There are a couple of new restaurants to try.... We mentioned the Elephant Steak House on Kaliste Saloom at Ambassador...well, that's a burlesque themed restaurant now and the old Evangeline Seafood and Steakhouse is reopening soon as "Maya Mexican Grill"

And finally - for your home: Lamp Designs recently opened up at 106 Rue Promenade in River Ranch.

So there's lots of new stores to check out and since there's a tax-free weekend coming up it seems like the perfect excuse to go shopping...although technically that's for hurricane supplies so I don't think you can justify a new handbag as a hurricane necessity, but maybe a new lamp..... :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shannon McNally Tonight @The Blue Moon Saloon

Yep, and I'm opening the show.....self-promotion. Excuse me while I swim another lap in Lake Me.
Now, crank up that oily, tar ball, wetlands coated, (don't forget the chemical laden, noxious fumes) weekend. Whoohoo!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hooray For Entrepreneurial Students!

Undoubtedly one of the best things about living in Acadiana is the huge choice of great restaurants we have. So many so that sometimes it's difficult to think of them all....but that's were AcadianaEats.com comes in. Acadianaeats.com is a rapidly growing web hub for Lafayette restaurant goers, and the best part - it was started by a ULL student, Tyler LeCompte, who is graduating this summer. Frustrated with trying to find nice places to eat LeCompte put his skill to work on the idea of connecting those looking for restaurants to the hundreds of fabulous restaurants in the Lafayette area. The result: a food passionist├ęs’ paradise.

Acadianaeats.com uploads menus, pictures, maps, and reviews of restaurants in Lafayette while keeping followers updated on changes and specials through the web page and its large following on Facebook and Twitter. (Visit their Facebook page here)

Acadianaeats.com has had several recent developments. One of the highlights being the option to download coupons from the site of participating restaurants. Restaurants can offer coupons from the site and these can be redeemed at your next visit. In the works: LeCompte hopes to develop an app for the iPhone that allows users to search quickly though menus, locations and store hours to find exactly what they are looking for. No Android?? Anyway - that's awesome Tyler - great idea and site!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This Won't Hurt A Bit

Well, we made another list again. Top 5! Yes....we are among the top 1% of all the states in the union for....venereal diseases. Yes! So, in an effort to reverse that, Representative Pat Smith from Baton Rouge introduced a bill to the House to require schools to teach Sex Education. That bill failed 23-67 but not without some lively debate like the usual: "Why not just leave that to the parents" (Rep. Greene, BR) and the more bizarre: "would this bill require the teaching of masturbation and homosexuality" (LaBruzzo, Metairie), and my personal favorite: "Will it be a big ole party in there?" (Badon, Carencro).

Yes, health class is nothing but a big ole party....

Full story from the Times-Picayune here.


Photo by: Rogoyski

Monday, May 17, 2010

If He Can't See It...It Must Not Exist

On the same day scientists discovered an underwater plume of oil "10 miles long", here's two different reports on the oil disaster in the gulf. One is factual, one is Fox News.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Friday, May 14, 2010

WWJD

Having solved all other ills, our state legislature turned their focus back to burning issue of bringing guns to church. Indeed, the bill once considered dead has risen again.

Ed Anderson wrote this piece for the Times Picayune, and it was picked up by The Huffington Post. Guns should be allowed in Louisiana houses of worship as a way to protect congregants from attacks, if the pastor or head of the religious body approves, state lawmakers said Wednesday. The state House voted 74-18 for the bill on Wednesday (May 12), sending it to the Senate for debate. Last Thursday, the bill received a 45-39 vote in the House, eight votes short of the 53 needed to pass in the lower chamber.

Quote of the day belongs to State Rep. Ernest Wooten, Republican (shocker):
"I want to see in the Bible where it says you can't bring a gun to church,"


Try arguing with that logic.

Photo by Hermin

Heartbreaking Gut Wrenching

Thanks to Daily Meaux reader Wayne who sent this link to Boston.com and their photo essay of the disaster in the gulf. These are the images I feared but hadn't seen yet. It appears the worst is still to come. Do yourself a favor and click the link.



AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Don't Love The Smell Of Napalm In The Morning

So, yeah, this is a long version of Fiyo On The Bayou, but it's nothing compared to how long that broken well has been glug, glug, glugging crude onto our shrimp and oysters. Looks like it's gonna be a long and oily summer. Weekend is here.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Secrets of the Biggest Losers

Hi There! This month I am going to share with you "Secrets from the Biggest Losers". Often we start the new year off with a commitment to find a plan to LOSE weight, however the real secret is to never have to go on a diet again. Instead learn how to not just lose the weight, but more importantly how to keep it off! I think you will enjoy reading about the three most common factors that the "biggest losers" have in common.

Secrets of the Biggest Losers
In 1994, The National Weight Control Registry was created to track the characteristics of people who have lost weight and successfully kept it off for an extended period of time. The registry currently consists of 5,000 individuals, who are at least 18 years or older and have maintained a weight loss of 30 or more pounds for more than a year. The average weight loss of was 66 pounds and the members have maintained weight loss for an average of 5.5 years.
* 55% of the participants used a structured program or received professional guidance.
* 98% of participants reduced food intake and modified their diet.
* 94% increased physical activity, with walking being the number one way people increased activity.
* 78% of long term “winners” started their day off with breakfast.
* 75% weighed themselves at least on a weekly basis.
* 62% watched less than 10 hours of TV a week.
* 90% exercised for about 1 hour a day.

If you notice, almost 90% of the participants reduced their food intake and increased their physical activity. No magic pills or formulas...just moving more and eating less.

In conclusion, the study found THREE Common Strategies for Success:
1. Followed a diet moderate in fat, protein, and carbohydrates. For long term success, people used a balanced approach to eating. They did not exclude all carbohydrates or fat, but instead focused on moderation.

2. Regular physical activity. You will hear this over and over, regular physical activity is important. If you struggle with getting in a regular physical activity routine, take some time out and REFLECT on what you ENJOY doing. Maybe you need to change your approach or mindset to what regular physical activity actually means, be creative.

3. Frequent self monitoring. This is key for many people because it is easy to stay on course if you know exactly WHERE you are. Let's face it, if the scale is up a pound or two you may be more inclined to say "no thank you" a little more and take that extra walk. If the scale is up 10 or 15 pounds, then it becomes a lot more challenging to muster up the motivation and "re-tackle" your weight loss. Find something you can use to monitor yourself. You can use the scale, a pair of pants, or a belt. The point is, for long term success be honest with yourself and if you have indulged a little too much, then “reign” in the eating before things get out of control.

Three Common Reasons People Re- Gain Their Weight Loss:
1. Increased fat intake. Fat has 9 calories per gram compared to carbohydrates or protein which are 4 calories per gram. Therefore, it is easy for those fat calories to sneak in and add up. If you have struggled with losing and re-gaining your weight in the past, ask yourself - have I let my fair share of fatty foods start creeping back in?

2. Decreased physical activity. Often times when we have a weight loss goal, we are very focused on reaching that number therefore we do whatever it takes to get in the extra exercise. However, it is labeled as EXTRA exercise, and this is a mental mind block that keeps us from staying within our goal weight. For long term success we need to alter the EXTRA exercise mentality to one that focuses on living an active lifestyle.

3. Reduced self monitoring. Often times not facing the reality that things may be going in the wrong direction will be the factor that keeps you from staying within your weight goal. If you feel like you don't want to "face the reality", then it is probably time to be honest with yourself and start taking it one day at a time with eating a little less and moving a little more.


Yvette Quantz is a well respected Lifestyle and Sports Nutritionist based in Lafayette, Louisiana. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association, Louisiana Dietetic Association, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionist, Nutrition Entrepreneurs, Nutrition and Complimentary Care, and a Certified Eating Coach. You can visit her website at: http://www.foodtherapyonline.com/



Photo by Alan Cleaver

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Animal Updates

Looking back at some of the stories from the past year, we have a couple of very important updates:

First up: Apparently our world's oldest dog, Max from New Iberia has even MORE competition. But of course, when you're on top, there are always people nipping at your heels, thus enters Minius....a mixed breed from Poland. OhMyNews.com is claiming that he's 27 and Max is only 26 in their story here.

On another note, one of the very first stories we ever did may still be one of my favorites - Norman the Nutria in Abbeville. That's the one where 'Norman' allegedly attacked a woman at the Walmart in Abbeville. Well, Rebecca White is finally getting her day in court. According to the Abbeville Meridinal the case has been reassigned to state court and while Walmart says they are not negligent, they do say in court papers that if they are, it's White's fault since she is the one that "startled the nutria, causing it to startle her." Full story here. Love you corporate America.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Make It Stop

As we wait for new developments with the meandering gulf oil slick (and really....short of plugging the hole, what could be a good development at this point?) National Public Radio has posted this story from a survivor of the rig explosion, Christopher Choy. Choy's chilling account of the blast and the events that followed give a fresh perspective of the risks offshore workers face everyday they show up for work.

Stuff like this:

On the floor of the rig, they spotted a popular crane operator. He'd been blown off the stairs to the rig and fallen some 40 feet below. Fire was burning menacingly close to him. Then, as they tried to reach him, a fireball erupted in their pathway, and they realized they could not reach him to try to save him. Says Choy, "And it just killed me that I knew I couldn't get to him. That's probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life — that we had to leave that and leave him there."

Choy would reach the life capsule on the deck below. And there he found a scene of dangerous chaos. Men — including some with broken bones, open wounds and burning skin — pushed onto the lifeboat. It was built for about 60 men, but many more crowded onto it, making it unstable.

"Some people were trying to just jump in them, and they were going crazy. And I mean, it's actually dangerous to be in a lifeboat if people aren't properly trained or people are panicking in a lifeboat, you can flip the lifeboat," says Choy. "If everybody's not strapped in, they're freaking out, running to one side of it, it'll flip over and it's gonna stay upside down. And if you have the door open, I mean, it's gonna fill with water."


Read/listen here

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bevy of Bandits

This next story reminded us of how many 'bandits' have been arrested in the area....or at least how the media likes to cleverly nickname offenders. We've seen the famous "Bikini Bandits", the "Beer Bandit", the "Cigarette Bandit" and now - the Billy Goat Bandit. Apparently DeAndrian Latroy Dently from Houston robbed 12 banks over there and was dubbed the "Billy Goat Bandit" because of his distinctive facial hair. He was later arrested in Lake Charles, presumably attempting to double down his take at one of the casinos.

Photo by: wYnand!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Birfday to Us

This coming Thursday The Daily Meaux turns one. What a crazy, wonderful year of blogging. When we started, we weren't sure exactly what we were doing, but we knew we wanted to create a hub of local newsworthy stories....or at least a collection of items we found interesting. Back then, we had time to post lots and lots of stories all day, but circumstances in our real life changed and we had considerably less time to work on the blog. It emerged as true 'daily' meaux - one story of the day (well...almost every day) that we felt was most interesting or important. One thing that hasn't changed is Mark's Thursday music post. He kicks off the weekend with a YouTube of a Louisiana artist and has found quite a few gems along the way. This week, we'll also present a retrospective of some of our favorite stories from the past year.

We are always surprised that we even have readers, let alone the volume and quality that we do. TDM has had visits from every state in the union along with 56 different countries and for some reason, our little blurb on The Shed BBQ from back in August has been the most popular. We are grateful to have graced the pages of The Independent twice....once as a "find" and once as one of the things that makes Lafayette "cool". We want to thank everyone that has ever linked to us, followed us, or subscribed to our email and especially everyone that has contributed stories, comments and ideas.

It's been an awesome year, and we just renewed our domain names, so we're looking forward to another great one....thanks for sticking around!

Photo by: Lindsay M. Curtis

Thursday, May 6, 2010

It Ain't Chocolate Milk

So,that gusher is still gushing. Despite the best efforts of all the king's men, humpty oil rig cannot be put together again. I'm so outta sorts over this, I was going to put Rod Bernard's classic "This Could Go On Forever" to illustrate the lingering, maddening debacle of oil pumping unabated into our backyard. Yeah, that would have been a great marriage of song and situation....but then I realized the title is "This SHOULD Go On Forever" Not as appropriate. Still a great song, but not for right now.

Enter Van Broussard with Red Red Wine, for no other reason than it's a great song, and he's a great Louisiana singer. Van can kick off the Mother's Day weekend for us, and I'll try to think pleasant thoughts of distraction.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Is That The Best You Got?

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling beat down by this oil in the Gulf. The news worsens with each report...well except for this jackass who thought oil looked like chocolate milk.

Towards the end of the week the term "Obama's Katrina" started being bandied about. That was a nice twist from the "we don't want no stinking government interference" crowd. The president's visit to New Orleans, and his placing the responsibility squarely in BP's lap seems to have tamped down that mini-mantra.

Also, over the weekend, the gauging of the size of the oil slick in relation to the size of individual states began. Rhode Island was first first in line for comparison. Then, it became the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Now I see, they're starting in with Puerto Rico. Really? What does it say about our knowledge of our own states that we couldn't find one of the remaining 48 to compare the size of the oil slick to....we had to go to a U.S. territory.

There's other stuff too. Ugly stuff. Such as BP making the rounds to coastal residents and fisherman with release forms in hand...offering "up to 5 thousand dollars" in return for a pledge not to sue for damages. Nice. Then, yesterday, began the faux "conspiracy" theories that the rig explosion was deliberate act, done to sway passage of the cap and trade energy bill. Seriously. This guy, and this guy actually made that claim. If this tact doesn't gain any traction, I'm sure another fantasy will be provided by the same crowd.

There are ways to help. Drew Landry has launched the website Dirty Cajuns as an information hub full of phone numbers and other information for those looking to volunteer for clean up crews. And Stacy Scarce posted this exhaustive list of links on her Facebook page for volunteer information as well as information update sites on the progress and affects of the oil slick.

All this, and I still haven't gotten to sing the praises of Kentucky Derby winner, and Catahoula native Calvin Borel. Sorry Calvin, it doesn't mean I love you any less.

Monday, May 3, 2010

State Champs!

In a non-oil spill related story, St. Thomas More's Lacrosse team won it's first state championship yesterday, defeating New Orleans Jesuit 12-10.

Nathan Max, writing for Westsidelax.com, covered the game and quoted St. Thomas More coach Mike Guidroz:
“I can’t give enough credit to the kids for doing things the correct way for the last eight months,” St. Thomas More head coach Mike Guidroz said. “They played complete lacrosse. They played defense from the attack to the goal, and they played offense from the goal forward. Everybody was involved in the offense. Everybody was involved in the defense.”

Junior attackman Saban Sellers, senior attackman Joe Boustany and junior attackman Hunter Stinson all registered a co-team-high four points to lead St. Thomas More. Stinson, who came off the bench, was named the game’s offensive most valuable player. Defensively, junior goalie Andrew Broussard came up huge, saving 14 shots, and was named the game’s defensive most valuable player.

Other offensive contributors for St. Thomas More were junior middie David Escott, who finished with three points on a goal and two assists, and senior attackman Scooter Todd, who scored once.

Read more here.
Photo by berecruited.com