Friday, April 28, 2006

Rebuilding New Orleans

The Big Easy

Hurricane Katrina

Katrina's Storm Path

New Orleans Flooding

New Orleans Flooding

New Orleans Flooding

Nagin's BusesThese people could have used those buses

Katrina Situation

FEMA's New Orleans Rebuilding Plan

Now is the time to fall in love with New Orleans all over again!

The most celebrated and historic core of the city – including the Faubourg Marigny, French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse and Arts District, Magazine Street, Garden District, Audubon Park and Zoo and St. Charles Avenue – not only remains intact, both physically and spiritually, but is thriving. The cultural riches, sensual indulgences and unparalleled service that define the New Orleans experience continue to flourish, as they have for centuries. We are open, fully prepared and eager to welcome all of our visitors again.

The historic and cultural experience that attracts more than 10 million people to New Orleans each year is as rich, charming and welcoming as ever. There are more than 25,000 hotel rooms available, and our famed restaurants and music clubs are humming. The 150th anniversary of Mardi Gras was a coming out party for the city, which is now getting ready for the internationally celebrated New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It’s no surprise that the New York Times recently named New Orleans the “Comeback of the Year.”

Come see and celebrate for yourself. Your visit right now ensures you the unique, cultural travel experience only New Orleans can deliver. Even more, it means you are taking part in something important, historic and unfailingly patriotic: making way for the ultimate Rebirth of New Orleans.

Check out the article at New Orleans Convention and Visitors Center.

The New York Times put together an Awesome Interactive Graphic that shows the extent of the flooding in New Orleans... definitely worth checking out!

Many things have been said against the rebuilding of New Orleans... a good example is this article at I have to agree that some strong points are made, but one has to ask, "Wouldn't those same strong points apply to cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles that have been rebuilt after earthquakes, knowing that more are sure to come?" At least New Orleans can be upgraded to Category 5 Storm Protection, but what can you do against an earthquake?

This is still a free country, the last I checked, and people have the right to build wherever they want to. I believe the same goes for the federal disaster fund money... a lot sure went to San Francisco in 1989.

I personally do not want to live in New Orleans, though I like to visit frequently. I think that people would be wise to build homes in the out-lying areas outside of the city, where they will be less susceptible to flooding, and commute.

Aside from the negative press about New Orleans, The Big Easy is coming back! Check out NOLA RISES and Discovery's Rebuilding New Orleans.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


British CLEVER Car

CLEVER Car CorneringCLEVER Car Engine

It has two seats, three wheels and so far has cost $2.9 million. Students at the University of Bath in western England, who on Monday unveiled the prototype of the CLEVER (Compact Low Emission Vehicle for Urban Transport), hope that it represents a greener future for transport.

The prototype, a skeletal speedster which had safety netting in place of body panels, exhibited the general design and technology of the vehicle rather than its actual, finished appearance.

It has the compactness of a motorcycle but the safety of a car, and cornering is smoothed by a tilting technology developed by mechanical engineering students Matt Barker, 29, Ben Drew, 27 and their instructors.

Equipped to handle both city streets and long-distance highway driving, the vehicle runs on compressed natural gas and is capable of 80-mph speeds with a fuel efficiency of 100mpg!

Check out the article at Fox News.

I can't wait to see the American SUV version! Sure it will only get 50mpg... but it will have lots of extra cargo room, a DVD player, mud tires, and all of the other bells and whistles! WOOT!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sportsman's Paradise

Snowy Egret fishing a Louisiana Swamp

Louisiana is definitely Sportsman's Paradise... and this is the perfect time of year to get out on the water! I like to canoe the swamps, lakes and bayous... the fishing is great, you get lots of shade, and get some nice wildlife photos. Very soon it will be time to put in the big boats and head out to the blue water... that's a real blast!

Check out Louisiana Swamp Tours or Port Fourchon Deep Sea Fishing if you're interested in getting out there and don't have a boat. Also check out Louisiana Swamp Wookie for a little local swamp folklore.

Friday, April 21, 2006

FEMA Golden Ticket

Fema Golden Ticket


Get your Fema Golden Ticket today and don't forget to vote for Mayor "Wonka" Nagin!

Check out my other Nagin posts: Nagin1, Nagin2, Nagin3, and Nagin4

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Big A$$ Six Shooter!

Big Ass Six Shooter

While high-tech weapons items get a lot of billing, the Global War on Terror is very much an infantry war. Firepower overmatch matters in those situations. Enter the US Marine Corps' newest weapon, recently introduced to Regimental Combat Team 5, based in Camp Fallujah: the M-32 six-shot 40mm grenade launcher. During an annual symposium, Marine gunners decided an improvement was needed over the old M203 one-shot launchers that mount under their M4 or M16 rifles. The M-32 won out, and each Marine battalion will field them as an experimental weapon.

A September 2005 DID article covered the popularity of 40mm grenade systems on the modern battlefield. The M-32 is a modified Milkor MGL-140 with additional features like the buttstock, sights, foregrip, et. al. It can put all 6 rounds on target in under 3 seconds, and can fire "normal" M433 40mm grenades or specialty rounds. Specialty rounds include HELLHOUND rounds with twice the lethal radius of the M433, which will breach doors and kill anything behind them; DRACO thermobaric rounds; and even HUNTIR rounds with cameras in them that descend on a parachute and send back video. The USMC will join the Brazilian, Italian and South African militaries as MGL-140 customers, and Defense Review notes that the USMC has ordered 9,000 of them.

Read the article at Popular Mechanics.

I've got to have one!!! Those guys at the range will be SO jealous!

Monday, April 17, 2006



Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure focuses on the life cycles of a praying mantis and a butterfly from their birth to their inevitable encounter in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia where predator meets its prey.

More than 40 tropical insects are featured in Bugs! Audiences will view the birth of hundreds of praying mantids, captured in minute detail in large-format. They'll see a caterpillar hatch from a single tiny egg to metamorphose into a butterfly and watch as a praying mantis snaps up a fly for its dinner—another giant screen first. A variety of other tropical animals which make their way across the gigantic screen, some magnified 250,000 times their normal size, includes tarantulas, scorpions, vipers and Jungle Nymphs as well as a million bats as they flit through the jungle in search of insects which they consume nightly by the ton. It's survival of the fittest!

Check out the Large Format Films page at the Louisiana Arts and Science Center website for more information.

This looks like a great film to take the kids to! I don't think I'll have much luck dragging the wife along, though... she's not a big bug fan. Anyway, every large format film we've been to at LASM was awesome, so I expect this one will be the same.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Total Eclipse

Total Eclipse

Eclipse Time Lapse

On Wednesday, March 29, 2006 a total eclipse of the Sun was visible from within a narrow corridor which traverses half the Earth. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in Brazil and extends across the Atlantic, northern Africa, and central Asia where it ends at sunset in western Mongolia. A partial eclipse will be seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes the northern two thirds of Africa, Europe, and central Asia.

Check out the NASA Eclipse Home Page for more information.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Attack at the Speed of Light


After decades of expensive, well-publicized failures, laser weapons may finally be on the horizon. Can scientists end the era of bombs and bullets?

The ray-gun potential of weapons that fire with precision over tremendous distances is far too militarily appealing, particularly at a time when American soldiers are fighting guerrilla foes who melt quickly into the background. “If I could reach into a crowd and take out one or two targets without a puff of dust or a crack of a rifle—if I could fire for a long time, without ever having to reload,” says Marine Corps Major General Bradley Lott, “that’s something the United States Marine Corps would be very, very interested in pursuing.”

Read the article at Popular Science

I hope the military and police departments don't start equipping Storm Trooper uniforms... scary thought.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Camp Avondale

Lake Istrouma
Lake Istrouma - photo by Renegade

My boy and I went on a Cub Scout camp-out at Camp Avondale in Clinton, Louisiana. I've been going there since I was in Scouts, so it was really cool to go back and see it again. This place is huge... but very well laid out. There are three lakes on the property, the largest of which is Lake Istrouma. We stayed from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon and had a great time!

If you're searching for Camp Avondale info or maps, please visit the Istrouma Area Council Website. At this link, you'll find a highway map to the reservation, or if you download the "Avondale Permit Packet," you'll find maps of the various lakes with campsite locations and other facilities.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tiger Baseball 2006

LSU Baseball 2006

LSU Alex Box Stadium

Sprowl Hit

Smoke Laval’s first four seasons as coach of the LSU Tigers have featured several significant accomplishments, as he has directed the Tigers to two College World Series appearances, one SEC championship, two SEC Western Division titles and two Top 10 finishes. Laval, the 2003 SEC Coach of the Year, has also guided LSU to the best SEC regular-season record in thepast four seasons, posting a 75-43-1 (.634) mark.

Laval hopes to produce similar results in 2006, though some of the Tigers’ methods may change. Laval’s previous clubs have, for the most part, been veteran teams with powerful sluggers. The ’06 LSU squad is a young group (23 freshmen and sophomores) that will take a different offensive approach.

“We won’t have the type of lineup we’ve had in recent years with big power numbers and high slugging percentages,” Laval said. “This club will be young and fun to watch. We’ll do more running, steal more bases, and we’ll have more speed defensively.”

LSU, which finished the 2005 season ranked No. 18 in the nation, welcomes 15 returning lettermen – including seven pitchers and six starters in the batting order -- and a 14-man signing class.

Follow all the action at LSU Sports.

Geaux Tigers!!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Extreme Photography

photo by John B. Carnett

photo by John B. Carnett

Whether he's being literally blown away by the afterburner of an F-22, photographing air-to-air while hanging out of the cargo door of an airplane, or spending nine days and nights in a shock trauma ward, John Carnett always gets his shot. In this slideshow, our esteemed staff photographer tells us what’s going on behind the scenes of a few of his choicest pics.

Popular Science photographer John B. Carnett has been at it again! This guy really gets around, and has some excellent photos to prove it!

Check out my previous Extreme Photography post.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tigers' Hopes Dashed

LSU Basketball 2006

Inside the PMAC

Pete Maravich Assembly Center

INDIANAPOLIS — How will you remember this LSU basketball season?

For making just the fourth trip to the Final Four in school history, or for the 59-45 flameout against UCLA once the Tigers got here? For LSU’s first outright Southeastern Conference regular season title in 21 years, or for two losses to NCAA finalist Florida? For the Tigers’ 27 victories, the third winningest season ever at LSU, or for the loss that ended it?

It’s hard to have perspective when you’ve just watched a team get throttled and trampled like the Tigers were by the Bruins on Saturday night.

Read the article at The Advocate.

Both LSU Basketball teams had a wonderful year that led them to the NCAA Final Four. It's too bad that both of our teams also lost their respective Final Four games... but I am still proud of the fact that they made it so far!

Thank you Tigers and Lady Tigers for an exciting season! Good luck next year!