Last year it was held in Reno. The year before that in the burgeoning technological research hub of Charlotte, N.C. This year, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers — the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology — is bringing its annual Virtual Reality Conference to Lafayette. The event comes to the Cajundome Convention Center March 14-18, thanks in large part to IEEE senior member and event chair Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, chief scientist at UL Lafayette and, until recently, executive director of the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise. The event is expected to draw some 350 attendees and showcase LITE and Lafayette’s fiber-to-the-home project for some of the world’s preeminent virtual reality and 3-D user interface experts. For more info, visit http://conferences.computer.org/vr/2009 .
Sure Shootin’. Rep. Ernest Wooten is back with a vengeance, once again taking aim at college campuses’ firearm free zones. His bill to allow college students to pack guns in their backpacks got shot down last year, but Wooten is vowing to return for another showdown in the Legislature this year. The proposal has drawn near unanimous opposition from campus police, faculties and student bodies across the state, but Wooten still thinks it’s high time our universities return to the good old days of Wild West vigilante justice. If the Legislature has any sense, this bill will be dead on arrival.
Apparently perturbed that a SafeSpeed van had tagged him for speeding Friday night as he drove down Ambassador Caffery Parkway, 42-year-old Douglas A. Begnaud of Scott allegedly approached the van and began yelling at the operator. When the operator opened the door to the vehicle, Begnaud allegedly grabbed the operator, then returned to his truck and rammed the speed van multiple times, pushing the van into a ditch. On Monday morning Begnaud turned himself in and was charged with simple criminal damage to property and simple battery. Let’s just say SafeSpeed reps had very little doubt the alleged perp would be caught. “The violator left before police arrived,” SafeSpeed’s customer relations manager, Christina Barnes, wrote in a Saturday e-mail to LCG’s Tony Tramel notifying him of the incident. “But we captured his plate and a good face shot, which the police are already using to help locate him.”
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OCT 22 This entertaining short (15 minutes) film on Munchies is all about Boudin. Thank goodness it's just a documentary-style piece filled with the voices and faces of south Louisiana, as opposed to outsiders waxing poetic about our regional specialties. But be warned, there is some pretty graphic pig butchery going on here, so if you're squeamish it may not be for you.
OCT 22 A state judge threw out the lawsuit of a former employee of the LSU Alumni Association, the Advocate reports here. The employee had claimed the former director of the group gave her a job so she'd have sex with him, and after she left agreed to continue to pay her -- so she'd have sex with him. Apparently you get no points for hutzpah.
OCT 22 Education blogger Mike Deshotels writes about the retraction of the Cowen report in this post. However you slice it, the Recovery School District is still failing, he says. (But Mike, doesn't that depend on what the intention was? If no one ever meant the RSD to fix public education, it's working perfectly, isn't it?)
OCT 22 A major Jindal donor was allowed to avoid the competitive bid process in the purchase of a state office building in Monroe, blogger Tom Aswell reports in this post on Louisiana Voice. The circumstances he lays out here are pretty stinky.
OCT 22 While Govs. Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry attempt to fan the flames of Fox Newsian hysteria into viable presidential hopes with talk of building walls to keep out the Ebola, LA Times columnist Mike Hiltzik gives them some national press they probably don't want: if you want to save lives, he says, try accepting Medicaid expansion. Wups!
OCT 22 It's hard to pick out the most interesting part of this post on Mother Jones about Texas lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick (His claim that migrant workers will bring leprosy to Texas? That Connie Chung's show should be called "Slanted Eye to Eye"?) But of course we must go with the comments about our very own Duck people, and how they are the spokesmen for God.
OCT 22 Advocate owner (and rich guy) John Georges must be doing a little happy dance today. As his paper reports here, the Times Picayune is further reducing its footprint in NOLA, by laying off 100 people and moving their printing operations to Mobile. (Yes, Alabama.) Does this mean the Advocate won?
OCT 22 Baton Rouge's downtown is now starting to show significant growth, this post on DIG Baton Rouge reports. With new construction, new restaurants and new housing units popping up, the downtown area is finally starting to look like a capital city, the story says.
OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the amoeba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
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