Monday, July 3, 2017

Y@ Speak: 'Essential' health benefits

Posted By on Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Louisiana celebrates the first birthday of Medicaid's expansion by trying to spare it from death, everyone's internet goes down, crawfish is tortured by mustard — then Essence Festival saves the day.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Participants mull mortality at 'Death Cafe' June 13

Posted By on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM


Unless you're aspiring vampire Peter Thiel, you — and everyone you love — will someday die.

To make sense of this basic, yet frankly sort of upsetting reality, Tulane Narrative Medicine hosts an informal "Death Cafe" at Treo at 6 p.m. Tuesday. At the event, participants discuss their feelings about mortality and the ways death affects our lives and process deaths that may have affected them (for example, the death of a family member, or deaths observed while working as a medical professional).

Though the event is organized by medical facilitators, it's open to anyone who wishes to attend and isn't specifically health care oriented. Participating in the conversation isn't required — you can just come and listen.

Cocktails, beer and wine are available for purchase, and cake is served. It's free to attend.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

World Naked Bike Ride (New Orleans edition) rolls June 10

Posted By on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 4:18 PM

Riders leave Markey Park during the 2014 World Naked Bike Ride. - ROBERT JENNINGS/YOUTUBE
  • Riders leave Markey Park during the 2014 World Naked Bike Ride.

The ninth annual World Naked Bike Ride ("bare as you dare") pedals out of Mickey Markey Park in the Bywater this Saturday, June 10, at 4 p.m. The group plans to roll through the Bywater, Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter, then back to Markey Park.

According to the organizers' website, 70 cities in 20 countries will be participating in the skinful fun this year.

An after-party will be held at Castillo Blanco starting at 7 p.m. No word on dress code or lack thereof.
The route for Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride. - FACEBOOK
  • The route for Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride.
Location Details Mickey Markey Park
700 Piety St
New Orleans, Louisiana
Location Details Castillo Blanco
4321 St. Claude Ave.
New Orleans, LA
(504) 301-8201

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Mississippi politician apologizes for saying New Orleans leaders should be 'lynched' for Confederate monument removal

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 12:57 PM

Mississippi State Rep. Karl Oliver.
  • Mississippi State Rep. Karl Oliver.
Mississippi State Rep. Karl Oliver has apologized for a Facebook posting over the weekend in which he suggested the "leadership" of New Orleans should be "lynched" over the removal of four controversial Confederate-era monuments.

Oddly, though, he apologized to "my colleagues and fellow Mississippians," rather than New Orleanians.

The post, which later was removed, said:

"The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific. If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, "leadership" of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State."

According to the Jackson Free Press, which was one of the first outlets to report on Oliver's post, he issued an email apology this morning:

The original Facebook post, which since has been deleted.
  • The original Facebook post, which since has been deleted.
"I, first and foremost, wish to extend this apology for any embarrassment I have caused to both my colleagues and fellow Mississippians," Oliver said in a written response. "In an effort to express my passion for preserving all historical monuments, I acknowledge the word 'lynched' was wrong. I am very sorry. It is in no way, ever, an appropriate term. I deeply regret that I chose this word, and I do not condone the actions I referenced, nor do I believe them in my heart. I freely admit my choice of words was horribly wrong, and I humbly ask your forgiveness."

The Free Press also reported on Oliver last year, when he replied to a Gulfport resident's email about budget cuts with his own email, which read in part, "The people of our Great State overwhelmingly share my same or similar views on Government responsibility. I appreciate you going to the trouble to share yours with me, but quite frankly, and with all due respect, I could care less."

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Friday, May 5, 2017

The future is now: Robots, self-driving cars and a moon settlement at Collision

Posted By on Fri, May 5, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Rodolphe Gelin, chief scientific officer at SoftBank Robotics, and Pepper the robot. - COURTESY COLLISION CONF
  • Rodolphe Gelin, chief scientific officer at SoftBank Robotics, and Pepper the robot.

"My purpose is to interact with humans," a friendly robot named Pepper tells me. We're at  the Collision conference, where's he's about to help me write a song on invisible instruments.

Pepper is the brainchild of SoftBank Robotics, and several units (Peppers?) are available in an upstairs conference room for our engagement. When I meet him, colorful lights around his oversized, anime-style pupils flash, and a red laser hidden in the center of his eye tracks my facial expressions, so Pepper can listen and react to me. As he listens, his head tilts toward me and his hands flex ever so slightly, like a person fidgeting.

Via a screen attached to his chest, Pepper shows me a game. In empty space in front of him, I can strike three invisible "boxes" to play notes — like mid-air Dance Dance Revolution game without the floor pad. Pepper plays piano arpeggios as a background to the notes I play, and as I hit thin air, lights on a nearby table flash in unison. Then the robot plays the song back for me, and dances.

It's beautiful — and chilling.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Y@ Speak: CATs, dogs, alligators

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 5:38 PM

Alligators in the parks and in the streets, marches in defense of science in an increasingly facts-absent world, 3-year-old bus drivers — pretty normal week.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Here's how comedian Chris Trew is feeling after 36 hours at the Baby Cakes stadium

Posted By on Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 11:34 AM

  • Chris Trew.

Supposedly, New Orleans doesn't care about baseball. But you wouldn't have guessed that last November, when the local minor-league team (nee Zephyrs) temporarily blew up the internet with their choice of "New Orleans Baby Cakes" as the franchise's new name.

Local comedian (and occasional Gambit contributor) Chris Trew was unfazed. Despite (because of?) their polarizing moniker, he's still into the team; so much so that he asked if he could sleep at their Airline Drive stadium for five nights during the team's inaugural home stand against the Memphis Redbirds. To his tremendous surprise, they said yes.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

New pothole solution? Call an anarchist

Posted By on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 4:16 PM

Workers are busy repairing this pothole on Stafford Place in Lakeview. - SHARESSA G.
  • Workers are busy repairing this pothole on Stafford Place in Lakeview.

New Orleans has tried the city's two official "pothole killers," the Pimp My Pothole program and stuffing potholes with Mardi Gras beads. In England, an artist called Wanksy paints penises around potholes in an effort to get local government to speed up the repair process.

Now Portland, Oregon is trying another method: Portland Anarchist Road Care.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A visit to the National Preppers & Survivalist Expo in Gonzales

Posted By on Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 4:30 PM

Leonard Lamar of the Louisiana Chapter of the Zombie Eradication Response Team talks to David Brackman (wearing glasses) about the products at his Self Defense ATL booth. - IAN MCCUSKER
  • Leonard Lamar of the Louisiana Chapter of the Zombie Eradication Response Team talks to David Brackman (wearing glasses) about the products at his Self Defense ATL booth.

Attendees at the seventh annual National Preppers and Survivalist Expo weren’t shorted on exotic lessons on how to survive an assortment of doomsday scenarios — ranging from natural disasters to nuclear attacks to every actual or perceived danger in between.

What was in short supply at the two-day event in Gonzales’ Lamar Dixon Expo Center this past weekend were attendees. Apparently, Armageddon-like events aren’t high on southeastern Louisiana’s radar this year.

“This is the slowest show I’ve done in nine years,” said exhibitor David Brackman, who drove 10 hours from John Creek, Georgia, to provide Louisiana women with materials and skills to defend themselves. The trip cost him several thousand dollars, he lamented.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Jimmy Buffett plans Florida retirement home for Parrotheads

Posted By on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 2:34 PM


Fans of French Quarter busker-turned-Corona with a lime lifestyle entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett have flocked to his Margaritaville Restaurants (including one in the Mall of America), his casinos ("wastin' away again in Bossier Cityville"), and clothing. Now they have a new option: a Jimmy Buffett-themed retirement community called Latitude Margaritaville:
Inspired by the legendary music and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett, your new home in paradise features exciting recreation, unmatched dining and FINtastic nightlife.
The project in Daytona Beach, Florida, plans to have model homes "starting in the low $200,000s" ready early next year.

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