Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to New Orleans June 6

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2015 at 2:54 PM

Dustin "Diamond" Poirier, a featherweight from Carencro, will face Yancy Medeiros during the Ultimate Fighting Championship June 6. - COURTESY UFC.COM
  • Dustin "Diamond" Poirier, a featherweight from Carencro, will face Yancy Medeiros during the Ultimate Fighting Championship June 6.

Saturday, June 6, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to New Orleans for the first time since 2011 with a 12-match lineup at the Smoothie King Center. Many contemporary sports and competitions have about them a whiff of the gladiatorial, but none can match the rawness of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), a catch-all name for the hybrid twenty-first-century fighting discipline developed (and, excitingly, still developing) in the crucible of unarmed combat.

Since pro boxing's collapse beneath the weight of its own corruption, MMA has risen as the format wherein the timelessly intriguing question "who's tougher?" can be most satisfyingly settled. By incorporating kicks, amateur wrestling and a panoply of martial arts (notably judo and jiu-jitsu), MMA also offers a far more varied fight than boxing does, even if many matches conclude with the fighters knotted on the ground, so tightly interwoven that one must rely on camera closeups to understand where the advantage lies.

UFC is the premier MMA league, a worldwide company which offers not only the very best fighters but the glossiest and most sophisticated production values. The fight card coming to New Orleans has been considerably reshuffled since its original announcement, but still offers a rare chance to experience, live, some of the world's top fighters plying their craft against one another.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Y@ Speak: pre-Festing

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 5:00 PM

The New Orleans Pelicans made the playoffs. Let us celebrate as we... celebrate... the first week of the 2015 Jazz Fest. Also in this week's Y@ Speak: #NOLAscanner picks up some very gentle crimes, Gov. Bobby Jindal is not a perfect specimen, and Uber X rides into town pumps the gas gets rid of the child lock opens the passenger door (whatever) for New Orleans.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Orleans Saints 2015 preseason schedule announced

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 3:18 PM

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton. - MICHAEL C. HEBERT/NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
  • New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.

The New Orleans Saints announced the team's preseason schedule today, with lots of TBAs — but we now know, at least, which four teams will be in the preseason faceoffs, and we even have a date and time for one of them. 

Week 1 of the preseason will have the team traveling to Maryland to face off against the Baltimore Ravens (date/time TBA).

Week 2 will feature a New England Patriots matchup at home in the Superdome.

Week 3 will be a Sunday home game against the Houston Texans on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m.

Week 4 will see the Saints travel to Wisconsin to play the Green Bay Packers.

Stay tuned for dates and times ...

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A New Orleans City Park tree-sitting protestor speaks out

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 2:54 PM

A partially killed live oak within the construction zone. - JULES BENTLEY
  • A partially killed live oak within the construction zone.
As a longtime, dues-paying Friend of City Park, it took me a while to get on board with the effort to save the wild public land that City Park CEO Bob Becker and the Bayou District Foundation nonprofit want to turn into a high-end golf course. The campaign seemed too little too late, or worse, an example of people who didn't live through the trauma of the flood but romanticized a wrecked version of the city.

The arguments against rebuilding the golf course accreted gradually— learning just how much that wild stretch meant to so many New Orleanians from all walks of life, learning how dire the economics of golf are in 2015, and learning about the sinister neoliberal elements of the "East Lake model" that the Bayou District Foundation, chaired by George H.W. Bush, seeks to emulate. When it was shown to me that, despite originally promising to only restore land that had previously been golf course, several far older cypress and live oaks and a fat slice of the Couturie Forest were being consigned to the ax, I was swayed.

The tree-sit protest ongoing in one of the now fenced-off public area's threatened cypress is, as far as I know, without local precedent. In the mid-'90s, a group of Loyola faculty and students sat at the base of a cypress tree that the University's then-president wanted to cut down. "We lasted for weeks, but then the end of the semester came," said Dr. John Clark. "We were sitting, and it was a tree, but I'm not sure that made it a tree-sit." Now, Dr. Clark is among many New Orleanians who've begun spending free time at Harrison Circle to show support for the young people in one of the threatened trees. Yesterday, after four days in the tree, one of the sitters came down. I spoke to her the evening of her descent.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Saturday: Big Easy Rollergirls kick off season with Big Freedia

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 5:12 PM


The Big Easy Rollergirls kick off their 2015 season Saturday, March 14 at 5 p.m. with a double-header bout against Red Stick Roller Derby at the University of New Orleans' Human Performance Center. The bout will be followed by a music video shoot with Big Freedia for her new video "Dangerous".

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Orleans Saints trade Jimmy Graham. Up is down. Black is white.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 3:54 PM

In case you haven't heard, the Saints are officially in rebuilding mode. Just a few days after releasing perennial fan favorite Pierre Thomas, the Saints have  traded Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks along with a fourth-round pick in exchange for center Max Unger and a first-round pick. 

We'll have more on what the move means for the Saints and their future but first here are some of the most interesting social media reactions to the news — from the sad to the emotional to the funny:

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Parisite skate park officially opens in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Skateboarders at Parisite in 2013. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Skateboarders at Parisite in 2013.

If it all goes as planned, Mayor Mitch Landrieu will bite into a reuben sandwich as a skateboarder ollies over his head. It's an appropriate celebration — a "reuben" cutting — for a skate park, the city's first-ever public one. Parisite Skate Park has been a labor of love for a group of skateboarders who mixed concrete, built ramps, raised money and brought back into use what was essentially a garbage dump under the 6-10 overpass on Paris Avenue and Pleasure Street in Gentilly. The park officially opens at noon Saturday, Feb. 28.

"No one’s really done this before. It’s a city park, but it wasn’t paid for by the city," said artist Skylar Fein, one of the park's organizers and advocates. "We’re all in uncharted territory."

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

That's not how you ride the subway, Anthony Davis

Posted By on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 5:51 PM

@antdavis_23 of the @pelicansnba hangin' around #NBAAllStarNYC!

A photo posted by NBA (@nba) on

In the run-up to its All-Star game this weekend, the NBA has released a series of photos depicting players standing sideways on the New York City subway. The New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis (who had to withdraw due to injury) can be seen above.

These pictures are supposed to be funny, or at least cute. Really though, they're kind of gross. Have you been on the New York City subway? If you haven't, go to Bourbon Street, jump barefoot into the smelliest puddle you can find, then wash off in the Mississippi and you'll be half as dirty as the typical New York City subway floor.

Here is what a typical ride on the New York City Subway is like, depicted with 100 percent accuracy:

Some 5.5 million people use the subway
 every day and that leads to a lot of disgusting things being left all over a subway car's surfaces. National Geographic recently posted a report on what they found when they analyzed those surfaces, showing high levels of "fecal matter" and "staph" on all subway cars. Sure, National Geographic said the subway is still perfectly safe, but these guys are also OK with hippo poop in your ear

So in short: Anthony Davis really should go take a bath.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Anthony Davis has become death, destroyer of worlds

Posted By on Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 3:22 PM


We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." I suppose we all thought that, one way or another. - Robert Oppenheimer
Little known fact: Robert Oppenheimer, a leading scientist on the Manhattan Project, wasn't talking about the atomic bomb in that quote, he was talking about Oklahoma City Thunder fans reacting to Anthony Davis' buzzer beater:

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Everyone rejoice: Anthony Davis is back and is still a monster

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 3:45 PM


Last week, Anthony Davis went down with an injury during the Pelicans' loss to the Denver Nuggets. As a result, people lost their minds

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