Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Angola Prison Rodeo

40 Years of Guts and Glory

Angola Prison Rodeo

The Angola Rodeo, the longest running prison rodeo in the nation, got its start in 1965. The first arena was small, built by a handful of dedicated inmates and personnel. It wasn't much in those days, and the rodeo was staged just for the entertainment of prisoners and employees. But it was fun.

As years passed, the rodeo grew in size, adding events and sponsorships. The official Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rules were adopted in 1972 and the rodeo became a permanent fixture.

The Angola Prison Rodeo is a professionally produced rodeo. Angola contracts with professional rodeo stock contractors to provide the rodeo stock used in events; professional judges are contracted with to objectively judge each event. In addition, to ensure inmate participant safety, professional rodeo clowns are always present in the arena during events. A full complement of emergency services personnel are on-site to provide medical assistance to inmates and spectators.

In 1997, spectator capacity was expanded by 1000 seats and construction of a roof over the seating area began to provide increased comfort for spectators under Louisiana's blazing October sun. Hobbycraft space was also expanded to the point where it is no longer just a little concession area on the side for some inmate organizations to make a few bucks. It is now an all-day full-blown arts and crafts festival, complete with entertainment and food galore. The arts and crafts festival begins at 9 a.m. and continues throughout the rodeo which begins at 2 p.m. each Sunday in October. Many fans come to the rodeo for the arts and crafts show alone.

Ticket, concession, and hobbycraft sales for the next two years broke all records, prompting the administration to build another arena. Construction began on the new stadium in April 2000 and increased capacity to 7,500. The new stadium was completed for the first rodeo in 2000.

What began 40 years ago as a "fun" thing by a handful of rodeo-loving inmates and employees is now big business. Proceeds from the Angola Prison Rodeo cover rodeo expenses and supplement the Louisiana State Penitentiary Inmate Welfare Fund which provides for inmate educational and recreational supplies.

Check out the Angola Prison Rodeo website.

Check out the Spring Rodeo, April 22-23, 2006!

Don't let the fact that this rodeo is put on by a bunch of inmates scare you off. Angola is known as one of the nation's toughest prisons... those guys know they're not getting out and they're not gonna try it!

While you're there...

"The Gateway To Angola" is a little museum near the entrance to the prison that offers some insight into the history behind the rodeo and the prison.

Let's not forget about "Prison View Golf Course", owned and operated by the Louisiana State Penitentiary Employee Recreation Committee. Prison View offers players a challenging round of golf, practice facility and clubhouse. Number 1 tee box is elevated approximately 75 yards in the Tunica Hills offering a spectacular view of Louisiana’s only maximum security prison.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Lady Tigers Final Four Bound!

Seimone Augustus Shoots!Seimone Augustus Celebrates!

SAN ANTONIO -- LSU's Seimone Augustus drew a charging foul with 4.8 seconds remaining and then made two free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining to send the Lady Tigers to their third-straight Women's Final Four, 62-59, over Stanford.

Augustus, the reigning national player of the year, scored 12 of LSU's final 15 points in the last 7:31 to single-handedly carry the Lady Tigers past the fading Cardinal down the stretch.

She wouldn't be denied a final shot at the school's first national championship in her senior season. Augustus finished with a game-high 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting, blocking a career-best three shots, grabbing four rebounds and adding two steals.

LSU (31-3) will face the winner of the Albuquerque Regional final between No. 1-seeded Duke and No. 2-seeded Connecticut (March 28, 8 p.m. CT).

The 2006 Women's Final Four, to be held in Boston's TD Banknorth Arena, will start on Sunday, April 2, at either 6 or 8:30 p.m.

Read the article at LSU Sports.

Follow all the action at LSU Sports or NCAA Sports.

Geaux Lady Tigers!

Something For Louisiana To Cheer For

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- In Louisiana, where people are still cleaning up from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, where travel trailers are luxury housing and debris is still being removed from streets, a fresh wind blew through the destruction this week.

Thanks to the LSU men's and women's basketball teams earning berths in the NCAA tournament Final Four, talk turned, at least briefly, from rebuilding to rebounding.

"I just wanted to tell the team that what they're doing is really uplifting Louisiana," said Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who met with the men's team Monday. "We've been through a lot of really difficult and dark days. We all need some relief, and the spirit that they project has given us a real lift."

Read the article at The Advocate.

And this made the CBS Evening News the other night:

(CBS) Even in this bracket-busting tournament of Cinderella stories, it isn't hard to spot the team from Louisiana.

Not when your center is Glen Davis, a six-foot-nine 310-pound wrecking ball nicknamed "Big Baby," CBS News correspondent Jim Acosta reports.

"It gives everybody a good feeling," Davis said. "I got to go cut the nets down right quick."

The Tigers have done more than just win basketball games. They're giving their hard-luck home state a time out from reality.

"I thought I was at home for a moment. I forgot about the trailer park," Al Young told Acosta.

And home is at the heart of this team. Nearly all of the players grew up around Baton Rouge.

"These are crawfish down here in Baton Rouge, La.," a teammember said.

They know how to eat crawfish. And they also feel the state's heartache. After Katrina, they showed up at this campus arena after it was turned into a medical facility.

"Our players volunteered and stayed up half the nights setting up cots and doing whatever was necessary," said John Brady, LSU's head coach.

Times like that don't make basketball players. They make men. But Katrina wasn't the first challenge for this team.

Read the article at CBS News.

Nice to see something positive from the media every once and awhile!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Headed to the Final Four!!!

Dancin' To Indy!!!
Atlanta Regional Champions!

Tell em, John!Tyrus Slams!Souvenir Time

Big Baby ShootsBig Baby gets a piece

Yeah Baby!

On the 20th anniversary of the team's last Final Four team, the fourth-seeded LSU men's basketball team advanced to the school's fourth national semifinal by virtue of a 70-60 overtime victory over No. 2-seeded Texas on Saturday in the Georgia Dome.

LSU (27-8) will face No. 2-seeded UCLA (31-6), a 50-45 winner of Sunday's Oakland Regional final over No. 1-seeded Memphis, on April 1 at 8:30 p.m. CT in Indianapolis' RCA Dome. LSU and UCLA have met seven times, most recently in 1994, with the Bruins winning every contest.

The last time LSU advanced to a Final Four, the 11th seed went through the Atlanta Regional and defeated a No. 1 seed (Kentucky) along the way. That season, LSU lost to Louisville, 88-77, in the semifinal.

LSU also advanced to national semifinals in 1953 and 1981. In both seasons, LSU lost to Indiana in the semifinal before losing to Washington the in '53 third-place game and Virginia in the '81 consolation game.

LSU's post combintation of Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas dominated. Davis finished with 26 points and nine rebounds to lead the way for the Tigers, while Thomas twice overcame leg craps to score 21 points (10 of 14 from the field) and grabbed 13 boards. Thomas was named the regional's Most Outstanding Player.

Read the article at LSU Sports.

Check out this cool Interactive Tourney Bracket at Fox Sports

Lady Tigers in Elite Company!

The top-seeded LSU women's basketball team used a 26-4 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half to storm past DePaul and into the NCAA Regional Final on Saturday, 66-56, in the AT&T Center.

LSU (30-3) will face No. 3-seeded Stanford, the winner of Saturday's other regional semifinal in San Antonio, 88-74, over No. 2-seeded Oklahoma. The Elite 8 game will be held on Monday at 8 p.m. CT.

Read the article at LSU Sports.

Geaux Tigers!

Friday, March 24, 2006

LSU in Elite Company!

Tasmin Mitchell celebrates!
Duke's J.J. Redick crying while the Tigers celebrate.

JJ Redick is a Cry-baby!Can I get a hug, Coach?

Tyrus Thomas takeaway

RetardJJ Redick Denied


No need for LSU and Big Baby to cry in this NCAA tournament. The Tigers left the tears for J.J. Redick.

Glen "Big Baby" Davis and a pair of defensive-minded freshmen have LSU just one win away from the Final Four, stifling Redick and sending top-seeded Duke to yet another loss in the round of 16.

Davis scored 14 points despite foul trouble, freshman Tyrus Thomas swatted away five shots and another freshman, Garrett Temple, shut down Redick to lead No. 4 seed LSU to a 62-54 upset Thursday night in the Atlanta Regional.

"It feels good, but it's over," Davis said. "There's another task at hand."

That comes Saturday, when the Tigers (26-8) will meet Texas in their first regional final since 1987. The winner of that one can book a flight to Indianapolis. Texas defeated West Virginia, 74-71, on a three pointer at the buzzer by Kenton Paulino.

The Tigers and Longhorns will square off at 3:40 p.m. CT on Saturday.

Read the article at LSU Sports.

Tyrus Thomas really came through for LSU! He put forth some extra effort, including a breakaway slam dunk near the end, and really made a difference! Check out this cool Interactive Tourney Bracket at Fox Sports

Both the Men's and Women's teams have a tournament game on Saturday. The Lady Tigers play DePaul at 11:00am in the Sweet Sixteen and the Tigers play Texas at 3:40pm in the Elite Eight!


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Celestial Double Helix

Celestial Double HelixCelestial Double Helix negative

Magnetic forces at the center of the galaxy have twisted a nebula into the shape of DNA, a new study reveals.

The double helix shape is commonly seen inside living organisms, but this is the first time it has been observed in the cosmos.

"Nobody has ever seen anything like that before in the cosmic realm," said the study's lead author Mark Morris of UCLA. "Most nebulae are either spiral galaxies full of stars or formless amorphous conglomerations of dust and gas—space weather. What we see indicates a high degree of order."

These observations, made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, are detailed in the March 16 issue of the journal Nature.

Read the article at Yahoo News.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Mitchell's game-winning 3-point shot!
Darrell Mitchell's game-winning 3-point shot!

Big Baby Davis making it happen!
Big Baby making it happen!

The Tigers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in Atlanta with a 58-57 win over Texas A&M on Saturday evening in Jacksonville, Fla., after Darrel Mitchell made a three-pointer with 3.9 seconds to play.

CBS Sports and the NCAA announced that the LSU-Duke game would lead the way on Thursday night in the Sweet 16 when the two teams meet in the Georgia Dome in the Atlanta regional - tip off at 6:10 p.m. CST.

LSU, seeded fourth, is 25-8 on the season, while Duke, the nation's No. 1 team and the overall number one seed in the NCAA Tournament, is 32-3.

Read the article at LSU Sports.

Tough game, and a clutch shot by Mitchell in the end for the win! Glen "Big Baby" Davis finished with 21 points, Darrell Mitchell finished with 16 points and the game-saver!

Be sure to vote for LSU in the Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the week Poll

Check out this cool Interactive Tourney Bracket at Fox Sports

Geaux Tigers!

Update: The Lady Tigers are going to the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth straight season! Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles both played great games. The Tigers finished off Washington 72-49! Geaux Lady Tigers!

Friday, March 17, 2006

March Madness!!!

It was an exciting first round that saw quite a few underdogs prevail! The Tigers advance to the next round, after a well-played second half against Iona. Those guys couldn't overcome Big Baby! Next up are the Aggies on Saturday at 5:40pm (eastern).

Gotta hand it to Southern University, they play some tough ball and made Duke work for the win. Despite the final score (70-54), the Jags and Blue Devils really were a good matchup.

Check out this cool Interactive Tourney Bracket at Fox Sports

Geaux Tigers! Take it to Indy!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Many Faces of Mayor Ray "Wonka" Nagin

Mayor Ray Nagin

You know, Tim, that's one of the things that will be debated."

–New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, after being asked by NBC's Tim Russert why he didn't use buses to evacuate residents in accordance with the city's evacuation plan.

Nagin's Nawlins

Nagin Wants Blanco out!
We finally agree on something... I want Blanco out, too!

Nagin a General?

I thought you had to EARN the right to wear four stars on your uniform... maybe Nagin should go to basic training first? I could be wrong.

Check out my other Nagin posts: Nagin1, Nagin2, Nagin3, and Nagin5

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Geaux Lady Tigers!

LSU Womens Basketball 2006

Inside the PMAC

The women’s Final Four is April 2-4 in Boston.

“I feel good, not just about the No. 1 seed but just the opportunity we have in front us to go out and challenge for a title,” LSU All-American Seimone Augustus said. “It means a lot more than maybe before. This is for everything. All the marbles.”

LSU, which is gunning for its third straight Final Four appearance, was selected to the 64-team for the 16th time.

The Lady Tigers can thank a strong schedule — ranked eighth nationally — and their performance against ranked teams for positioning themselves for one of tournament’s top seeds.

Read the article at The Advocate.

The Lady Tigers are on top of their game once again this year. Everyone's been saying this could be the year... here's our chance. Good luck, ladies!

Congratulations Seimone - on an excellent college career and a perfect year!

Follow all the action at LSU Sports or NCAA Sports.

Geaux Tigers!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Geaux Tigers!

LSU Basketball 2006

Pete Maravich Assembly Center

Should LSU win its first NCAA game since advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2000, the rest of the Atlanta Regional field includes three familiar foes and two Hall of Fame coaches.

In the Tigers’ half of the bracket, fifth-seeded Syracuse and legendary coach Jim Boeheim will face Texas A&M, with the winner paired against the LSU-Iona winner.

Looming in the Sweet 16 is Duke and coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has guided the Blue Devils to three national championships. Duke, the tourney’s top seed, faces Southern in the first round. The Tigers beat the Jaguars 84-56 on Nov. 15 in the season opener.

The Atlanta field also includes 14th-seeded Northwestern State, which faces No. 3 seed Iowa. West Virginia is also in that side of the bracket. LSU edged the Mountaineers 71-67 in overtime on Nov. 26.

“If you’re going to go to a Final Four you’ve got to beat the No. 1 anyway unless you’re the No. 1 seed,” Brady said. “That just takes care of itself if we can win a game or two.

Read the article at The Advocate.

After finishing the season on top of the SEC, it's too bad Florida knocked us out of the SEC Tourney... but it's a tough game. Better luck in the NCAA tourney, Tigers!

Follow all the action at LSU Sports or NCAA Sports. View or print the brackets at Fox Sports or check out their Interactive Tourney Bracket.

Geaux Tigers!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

X-Racers: NASCAR of the future?


The plane, dubbed the EZ-Rocket, sails through a turn, wings back toward the spectators. Rick Searfoss, the Air Force—trained test pilot and former space-shuttle commander at the controls, glides in silence until he relights one of the two isopropyl-alcohol-powered rocket engines. He banks left, blasting through a high S-curve at 160 mph to come back around parallel to the runway, and swings the rocket's faint blue exhaust toward the cheering crowd.

Read the article at Popular Science

Sounds cool, I think I'll watch it on T.V. Just something about the plane speeding toward the crowd at 160mph that makes me think, "That's not where I want to be."

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cub Scout Projects

Pinewood Derby Car
Pinewood Derby - 2nd Place Winner

Seminole Chickee Model
Seminole Chickee Model

Seminole Patchwork -
Seminole Patchwork - "Fire"

Choctaw Indian Collage
Choctaw Indian Collage

All of my boy's Cub Scout projects came out great! He worked really hard on everything. His car won 2nd Place in the Pinewood Derby and we both learned a lot about American Indians!

Photos by Renegade

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Extreme Photography

photo by John B. Carnett

photo by John B. Carnett

Leaning from a low-flying helicopter to shoot a fast-moving military boat. Zooming in on a tiny bee equipped with a radio transmitter. Feeling the heat while snapping a car explosion just meters away… These are a few of the adventurous scenarios John B. Carnett has found himself in while on assignment for Popular Science. In this slideshow, our esteemed staff photographer tells us what’s going on behind the scenes of a few of his choicest pics.

What a cool job! That's the kind of photography I'd like to get into!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New Orleans Chocolate Swirls

New Saints Jersey

New Saints Helmet

The New Orleans Saints will soon change their name to better reflect the demographics of the city. They're still undecided on the new helmet design, but I'm sure an official announcement will be forthcoming.

Check out my other Nagin posts: Nagin1, Nagin2, Nagin4, and Nagin5