Lafayette Parish public school students could soon be on their way to having their own personal electronic health records following a Monday morning unveiling of the vision for Lafayette’s “Living Lab for Health Innovation.” UL Lafayette officials, along with LCG, LUS Fiber and the nonprofit FiberCorps members laying the Living Lab groundwork, revealed Monday the role Lafayette plans to play in the US Ignite effort through the creation of Lafayette’s “Living Lab for Health Innovation.” Lafayette was among the 25 cities across the country chosen in June to hop on the US Ignite bandwidth wagon, an effort to bring national focus to next-generation technologies in six areas of “national priority.” The US Ignite initiative will center its efforts on using high-speed technology applications to better services in the following areas of public interest: advanced manufacturing, health IT, transportation, education and workforce development, clean energy, and emergency preparedness and public safety.

Only five school districts across the state are technologically ready to begin online testing of their students as part of the Common Core Curriculum being implemented statewide. Despite Lafayette’s publicly run fiber network available through LUS, the Lafayette Parish School System didn’t make the technological cut. A press release from DOE details the “Technology Footprint” report, offering a glance at the network, bandwidth and device requirements for implementing online testing by the 2014-2015 school year. Ascension Parish, the city of Bogalusa, St. James Parish, Red River Parish and FirstLine Schools in New Orleans are the only school districts found to have the needed devices. Ascension and St. James are the only two that meet both the device and network readiness guidelines.

Be careful what you wish for. Oil giant Shell should have known its social media stunt inviting public participation in an ad campaign might backfire, especially given the campaign was designed to drum up public support for Arctic drilling, long a controversial topic. The online community was invited to offer slogans to go along with Arctic photos and the tag line, “Let’s Go.” What Shell got, in addition to genuine attempts at marketing, were slogans like “End Polar Bear Attacks in Our Lifetime” (for a photo depicting polar bears), “Because You Can’t Afford to Visit Pristine Wilderness Anyway,” “Birds Are Like Sponges ... For Oil!” and, our personal favorite, “Narwhales Are the Unicorns of the Ocean. We Provide the Rainbows Via Oil Slicks.”

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