LADY BIRD JOHNSON SMILES DOWN FROM HEAVEN
If you dandy dandylions or favor frogbit, Wildflowers of the Coastal Plain belongs in your field pack. McNeese State biology professor Ray Neyland has compiled a photographic guide to more than 530 spontaneous outbursts of beauty that pop up from east Texas to Florida and north through the mid-Atlantic states. Louisiana, in fact, is the only state fully within the geographical confines of Neyland’s guide. Terse, to-the-point descriptions of the wildflowers, their range and blooming season accompany each photograph. But be warned: Some of the descriptions read like flower erotica: “this hirsute annual herb produces erect or procumbent stems ... the alternately arranged leaves are elliptical, ovate, or lanceolate with entire or toothed margins ...” That’s Heterotheca subaxillaris, otherwise known as camphorweed. Put on the Barry White, turn down the lights and crack open the Champale, mama! Indices to the book sort flowers by color, making it easy to track down and identify that specimen idling by the roadside or climbing the hedge. Wildflowers of the Coastal Plain is available at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, amazon.com , and through lsu.edu/lsupress . — Walter Pierce
WALK THE LINE
Ever wanted to try your hand at tightrope walking but did not want to deal with pesky things like falling to your death from 500 feet off the ground? Well Pack & Paddle has something for you. Gibbon makes a flat slackline that you can place between two trees and practice your acrobatics. Some practitioners of slackline walking can perform tricks, such as back flips and front flips. But just walking on it is not as easy as it looks. Trust me. (And your chiropractor will thank you). You can find one at Pack & Paddle, 601 E. Pinhook Road. The 15-meter line is $79.95 and 25-meter $99.95. Call 232-5854. — Ryan Broussard
1960s dance hall music on steroids. That’s how Kevin Dugas and Steve Riley describe their latest project, High Performance, an all-star band that came together with the notion of a ’60s Cajun roadhouse revival, bringing back the big twin fiddle, pedal steel guitar-infused sound popularized by legends of the day like Belton Richard and Aldus Roger. While the idea for the band has been germinating for a decade, High Performance finally came together for the first time last year, and has just released their first CD, “Live From Breaux Bridge,” recorded at Mulate’s. For today’s Cajun music fan, High Performance may be as close as you can get to transporting yourself back to a swinging early 70s Breaux Bridge dancehall. “Live from Breaux Bridge” retails for $15.98 and is out on Swallow Records. It can be ordered through flattownmusic.com . — Nathan Stubbs
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SEP 20 Jim Brown is blogging about ISIS and the Middle East in this week's post. Mostly, he's posing questions about our involvement there, now and over the past 10 years. Should we be there? Why are we considering involvement now? All good questions - and most without easy answers.
SEP 20 Louisiana is once again winning a race nobody is running, by topping the nation in the gap between what women and men are paid for the same work, WWL reports here. Women here are paid about two-thirds of what men are paid, the story reports. Great.
SEP 20 This isn't the first story, and it won't be the last, written about the apparent conflict between Bobby Jindal's biology degree from Brown and the far right evangelicals who (he perceives) hold the key to his burning, blinding desire to be President. But this one's on ThinkProgress.org, a left-leaning blog, and gives an interesting view of how his dilemma might be attacked in a campaign.
SEP 20 The Lens updates us on the continuing saga of the levee board that dared to challenge Big Oil. The terms of two members of the board have expired, and the committee recommending replacements voted Thursday. The vote, which was narrow, would preserve the suit's majority on the board, Bob Marshall writes.
SEP 20 This post on the Dads Gone Wild blog is an ode to the education bloggers who have been akin to voices crying in the wilderness on the subject of "reform." He compares his experience, listening to the "reformers" and wondering why anybody gave them any weight, with loving punk rock in the 1970s. It's an interesting read.
SEP 19 Here's an interesting post from the Advocate's Mark Ballard about some of the maneuvering that preceded a court ruling this week on the so-called Edmonson Amendment. It seems that some weirdness did occur on the eve of the hearing, and when this was written, Ballard wasn't even sure the ruling would occur.
SEP 20 Jeremy Alford examines the Family Forum's influence on the Legislature in this post. The ultra conservative lobby's annual "report card" keeps up with how well our elected officials are following its dictates, he reports, but also shows us how conservative our Legislature has become.
SEP 20 This post on NOLA Defender details the current discussion in New Orleans about accommodating bicycles in the CBD. Unfortunately, the catalyst was the terrible death of a bike rider, the post reports. Adding space for bikes sounds good - but it means the loss of travel lanes and parking spaces already at a premium in the city, the debate goes.
SEP 18 Here's a story in the New York Times about a New Iberia man who is trying to save his own little corner of Louisiana. A lot of people spend their spare time clearing their land, but Matt Conn works to restore the natural state of his property. It's a fascinating story.
SEP 18 This post on Howard Fineman's Political Read blog takes a look at the fine line that Bobby Jindal will have to walk if he wants to be the guy who can unite the creationists who don't believe in evolution with the Christians and others who do. On paper, Jindal could be the guy to do it, Fineman says, but politically, he'll have to start with the far right if he wants to get anywhere in the GOP.
SEP 18 Sure, Louisiana Congressional candidate Lenar Whitney made the first page of Politifact's "Pants on Fire" statements section, and of course that's always entertaining. But really you need to go check out the Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking website, which is run by former Lafayette journalist Angie Drobnic Holan, because it has a great new design.
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