Monday, November 30, 2009

Pictures of the Year expo at the Cabildo

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 11:04 PM

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The Louisiana State Museum hosts the "Visions of Excellence" photojournalism exhibit.  It includes 53 winners in a variety of categories spanning national and international news, politics, sports, science and more. The photo above is the New York Times' Damon Winters' entry in the new media campaign coverage category. The competition was initiated at the Missouri school of Journalism in 1944 to highlight photos from World War II. Currently functioning as Pictures of the Year International, the annual contest is still administered by the Missouri School of Journalism. The state museum hosted last year's winners as well. The expo is cosponsored by PhotoNOLA. The show is on display in the Arsenal Gallery at the Cabildo. The show opens Dec. 3 and runs through March 3, 2010.

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Cola and Pregnancy Don't Mix

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 6:10 PM

For women trying to get pregnant, it might be a good idea to lay off the Coke, Pepsi, or any other sugar-sweetened cola. Researchers have found that women who drink more than five servings of sugar-sweetened cola per week have an increased risk for developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is glucose intolerance during pregnancy, and it can lead to complications and sickness during the pregnancy and delivery, as well as post-pregnancy type 2 diabetes. Children of moms with GDM are at an increased risk for obesity, glucose intolerance and early onset diabetes.

Dr. Liwei Chen, an assistant professor of epidemiology at LSU Health Sciences Center, collaborated with a number of researchers, including those from Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, to conduct the investigation. The study looked at a group of 13,475 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II, and after adjusting for other risk factors such as family history of diabetes, alcohol intake, smoking and prepregnancy weight, determined there was 22 percent greater GDM risk for those that drank more than five servings of sugary colas a week. Chen isn’t sure why the increased risk was found only for those drinking the colas.

“We don’t know why significant association was only found in sugar-sweetened cola, but not other types of sugar-sweetened beverages – fruit drinks, other soft drinks, etc.,” says Dr. Chen, who is the lead author of the study. “One of the explanations could be the tremendous popularity of cola in the US.”

The study results will be published in the upcoming issue of Diabetes Care, and the abstract is available here.

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Drinking and Photography at Bachannal on Thursday Night

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 1:46 PM


Photograph by Greg Rhoades


Bacchanal will be hosting it's last night of their "An Adventure Every Day" exhibit with photographs by Greg Rhoades. It was supposed to last just two weeks and now, six months from the exhibition's launch, it's finally coming to an end with a closing party on Thursday, December 3rd.


There will be food, drinks, music, photography for sale and just another reason to love New Orleans starting at 7 p.m.

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No Substitute, No Excuse

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 4:57 AM

When it comes to politicians handling taxpayers’ money and conducting the people’s business, there is no substitute for transparency — and no excuse for the lack of it. Some Jefferson Parish politicians are about to learn that lesson the hard way.

The issue arises in the wake of The Times-Picayune’s excellent exposé on a secret fee-splitting arrangement in favor of Jefferson Parish Chief Administrative Officer Tim Whitmer and several politically connected figures for an insurance contract at the parish-owned West Jefferson Hospital. The feds are now investigating the deal. Whether any laws were broken remains to be seen, but the secret fee-splitting arrangement clearly does not pass the sniff test — and it violates the terms of the hospital’s contract.

Nominally, the contract (for employees’ optional policies) was awarded to B&A Insurance and Wally Pontiff Sr. Turns out Pontiff and B&A split the commissions with Whitmer and others. Sources say dozens of federal subpoenas have been served, and the TP’s follow-up reports have uncovered other deals involving Whitmer and area politicos.

Which is why Jefferson Parish Councilman John Young wants Whitmer to disclose all his business relationships with local public agencies and government contractors. The scope of Young’s request is significant because, as the TP has reported, Whitmer’s Lagniappe Insurance agency (which he co-owns with his wife) got an insurance contract with St. John the Baptist Parish — while Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard’s administration was recommending parish work for a company owned by St. John President Bill Hubbard, who recently resigned and pleaded guilty to corruption charges.


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In case you get sick of the Monday Night Football theme...

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 3:28 AM

Finn McCools


Photograph by Jonathan Bachman


We're at a point in this incredible Saints' season that, so long as they keep winning, every game is the biggest game of the year. Right now, every game we're looking at continues the possibility of a perfect regular season and pretty soon it'll be playoff time and each game will determine if this is a championship team. For now though, we have Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots.


With many Saints fans attending the game probably beginning their pre-game festivities sometime on Sunday (and really, it seems like the entire city is just counting down until kick off) I'd like to kindly submit "About the Saints" from the band Sick Like Sinatra. Pictured above is lead singer Heber Dunaway leading a group of Saints through the song at Finn McCool's back on the 22nd.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Excellence in Coming Out The Door

Posted By on Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 5:34 PM

We are in the height of second line season - the good good parades. Today, Lady Buckjumpers. Next week, Dumaine Street Gang followed by The Big Nine. Last week it was 9 Times - The Kings of the Ninth Ward an ‘nem. There was so much that was working for this parade but their coming out the door presentation was the most spectacular this year. First off, I love the tore back-ness of the hollow stone building they come out of. Its practically gothic - only thing missing is a moat and drawbridge. The Stooges Brass Band playing ‘The World Is A Ghetto - Gorgeous!! They really made those horns cry. But those suits!! I know everyone is happy about having a Black President and all but I draw the line at wearing a red, white and blue outfit cause it always looks a wreck. Somehow these brothers took those same colors one should never be caught dead in and make it all look brand new. That 9 Times Limited Edition Pimp’s Sunday Cane is already a favorite of mine. People, this is how you come out the door! This is all kinds of YES!!!

The Lady Nine Times Attire? Eh. But what the sistas lacked in fly attire, they made up for with the senior sisters finale. At the 2:05 mark, somebody’s Maw Maw. We could all learn a thing or two about partying from Maw Maw cause clearly she knows WTH to do. I’m hooking up with her next week and we’re going to Harrah’s to play bid whist, guzzle down free gin and tonics, fill up at that all-you-can-eat buffet, and pelvic thrust with the old mac playas to Bobby Womack and Jodeci songs. This is Foundation Formula One on the New Orleans Get Every Drop of Fun Out of Life Before You Go Diet and Action Plan.

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Lady, Men & Kids Buckjumpers Second Line Parade Sunday 12-4pm

Posted By on Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 12:51 AM


Start: Purple Rain. Washington Ave & Saratoga. Up Washington Ave. to S. Liberty. Left on S. Liberty to Freret St. Left on Freret St. to Gen. Taylor. Right on Gen. Taylor.

Stop: Silky's Lounge, Gen. Taylor and Magnolia. Men Buckjumpers 25th Anniversary Tribute. Proceed out Gen. Taylor. Cross over S. Claiborne Ave. and continue out Gen. Taylor to S. Prieur St. Right on S. Prieur St. to Delachaise. Right on Delachaise.

Stop: Loretta's House. Lady Buckjumpers 25th Anniversary Show Off. Continue down Delachaise to S. Claiborne Ave. Left on S. Claiborne.

Stop: Daiquiri Shop. Continue out S. Claiborne Ave. to Washington Ave. Left on Washington Ave. to Rocheblave.

Stop: Tapp's & Foxx Bar. Out Washington Ave. cross over Broad St. Down Washington Ave.

Stop: Stanley U. Proceed down Washington Ave. to S. Jeff.

Stop: Gert Town Park, Broadway & Forshey. Out Broadway to Earhart Blvd. Right on Earhart.

Stop: Hair Evolution Barber & Beauty Salon, 7901 Earhart. Down Earhart Blvd. to Leonidas St. A Memorial March in honor of one of our fallen brother, (R.I.P.) Kenji Baker. Left on Leonidas to Apple St. Right on Apple to Monroe.

Disband: E&C Lounge

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Take That, Gustav! Crescent Pie & Sausage Now Open

Posted By on Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 9:01 PM

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Jeff Baron and Bart Bell have opened their new restaurant Crescent Pie & Sausage Co. (4400 Banks St., 482-2426) next to their Mid-City breakfast and lunch joint Huevos (4408 Bank St., 482-6264).

Plans for the restaurant suffered a most dramatic delay last year when Hurricane Gustav blew down the dilapidated, one-time appliance repair shop Baron and Bell were renovating for their new restaurant. Instead, they built a new structure, complete with wrap-around deck, where they're now serving a causal menu of gourmet pizzas and dishes drawing heavily on Bell's house-made sausages.

Some dishes here may already be familiar to some thanks to the owners' frequent cooking appearances at festivals and other local events. Baron also owns the Dough Bowl (1039 Broadway, 861-2200 ), a pizza parlor practically on the Tulane campus, though the pizza style at Crescent Pie & Sausage is quite different. The Mediterranean pizza, for instance, has lamb sausage, baba ghanoush and mint crema.

Crescent Pie & Sausage is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, and the owners plan to add lunch hours soon.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kid Flicks and Foxes

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 11:22 PM

Up told us our heroes mean nothing and change is inevitable and necessary, no matter how brutal. Where the Wild Things Are explored the dimensions of our personalities using unsettling-looking monsters. It's safe to say kids' movies in 2009 aren't just kids' movies. Thank God.

With Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson's first foray into animated feature films, the animation (and trailer) are the only things setting the film apart from the likes of Anderson's Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums. The dialogue is just as fast and on the beat and full of awkward pauses; the look is still Futura fonts and tailored outfits; the soundtrack is vintage (except for Jarvis Cocker. Anderson checks The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and Burl Ives, to name a few).

So how is this a kids' movie? It has a PG rating, and the marketing targets families with young children. As with Up and Wild Things, it's working on adult and kid (or maybe "childlike") levels — without babysitting. Kids will ask questions. "Why is the farmer trying to kill Mr. Fox?" "Why is Mrs. Fox sad?" Or, as Roger Ebert says in his review, "Children, especially, will find things they don't understand, and things that scare them. Excellent. A good story for children should suggest a hidden dimension, and that dimension of course is the lifetime still ahead of them. Six is a little early for a movie to suggest to kids that the case is closed. Oh, what if the kids start crying about words they don't know? — Mommy, Mommy! What's creme brulee?" Show them, for goodness sake. They'll thank you for it. Take my word on this."

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Why Should the Pilgrims Get All the Credit?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 5:54 PM

When you think of the first Thanksgiving, what comes to mind? The Plymouth Rock Pilgrims and Native Americans, The Wampanoags, right? Guess again. According to the Smithsonian Institute Encyclopedia, there were numerous thanksgiving festivals held by Europeans long before the Pilgrim’s party in 1621, such as the one in Newfoundland on May 27, 1578. And native tribes didn’t need the Europeans to know that thanking a higher power might have its benefits, but nobody ever talks about the Green Corn Dance of the Cherokees anymore.

In fact, when the Pilgrims, who were against public displays of religion, held their first Thanksgiving with The Wampanoags in 1621, it was a secular three-day feast with eating (they did say grace before the meal), playing games and drinking (there is speculation the latter two activities were held simultaneously). Two years later, after the colony recovered from a severe drought, the Pilgrims declared another thanksgiving festival, but this one involved prayer and feasting. The Smithsonian says this particular event is likely the inspiration for the current holiday because it had religious and secular aspects.

So the Pilgrims do deserve at least a drumstick’s worth of recognition for their contributions to the holiday, but don’t forget about the Newfies, green corn, or all those poor turkeys for God’s sake.

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