A federal grand jury in New Orleans handed up a 21-count indictment against former Mayor Ray Nagin. Here is a pdf copy of the indictment:
There’s a whole other world out there, and one of the ways in which it’s different is how people surf the internet. Google’s Chrome has overtaken Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the world’s top browser, according to the numbers crunching website, StatCounter.
Chrome actually topped IE in May, but fell back to second place shortly after claiming the crown. StatCounter puts the margin as razor thin, 33.8 TO 32.8.
Firefox is steadily losing ground and, despite the success of its MAC line of computers, Apple’s Safari rates a distant fourth.
WHAT’s IN A NUMBER?
StatCounter’s method of counting data differs from those of other analytics firms. For example, Cnet points out StatCounter doesn’t correct its data for geographic differences between global browsing patterns and its own network usage. Regardless, the trend line is clearly in Chrome’s favor.
If the numbers strike Americans as odd, that may be due to Internet Explorer’s traditional dominance in the U.S. market. StatCounter’s data show that IE still grabs 38 percent of the domestic market, or nearly 15 points more than Chrome.
Chrome disciples swear by its performance, including its resistance to crashing. In a recent review, Cnet (news.com) pointed out that Google uses a “multiprocess architecture,” meaning one bad Web page won’t bring down your browser and every other application you happen to have open at the time.
Theoretically, that also means a bad Web site won’t slow your entire computer, or any other page you have open.
Chrome’s “Omnibox” bar at the top of the browser acts as both your address bar and your search engine. If you know the website address, you simply type it into the bar; if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, can use the address bar just as if you were doing a normal search. Apple offers a similar feature for Safari users in its new operating system, Mountain Lion. Chrome also gives users great flexibility for browsing in more than one tab. As the Cnet review points out, “You can grab a tab and drag it out into its own individual window. Or you can drag and drop tabs into existing windows to combine them. Chrome also gives you the option of starting up in any tab configuration you want–whether a custom setup or the set of tabs you had open in your previous session. Other browsers require third-party add-ons to provide this capability.”
On the seventh anniversary of Katrina, the New Orleans lakefront will light up, as another little piece of the city returns.
The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation will hit the switch on the New Canal Lighthouse. Or, as a friend on facebook posted, “can’t say ‘it ain’t dere no more.’”
The Foundation’s Executive Director, Dr. John Lopez, hopes people will line the lakefront that night; festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with the lighting shortly after 8 p.m.
Even if the levees had held, the old lighthouse—outside the hurricane protection system—would have been a casualty.
The new one, a replica of the early 1900’s version, actually will be at least the fourth lighthouse there– depending on how one defines “new.”
Here’s a brief history of the various lighthouses, according to the LPBF web site:
- 1839– First New Canal Lighthouse is constructed; gets its name from the New Basin Canal along what is now West End Boulevard. The original structure was basically a cypress tower with a lantern on top, 1,000 feet offshore
- 1855—A one story lighthouse replaces the tower
- 1880—The Southern Yacht Club relocates from Biloxi to New Orleans, but its building blocks the lighthouse view; lighthouse board sells the old lighthouse for scrap and builds a two story version in 1890; that third lighthouse was moved in the early 1900’s to a peninsula
- 1915– Hurricane heavily damages the lighthouse
- 1926– Following another hurricane, lighthouse is raised onto concrete piers
- 2005—Katrina and Rita combine to wipe out the New Canal Lighthouse
The latest version of the New Canal lighthouse will serve as a museum and education center.
As Lopez said, “it’s comforting to be able to see something that you know is there.”
Lots of stadiums all over America have statues of famous former players no doubt beloved by the fans.
The plaza level of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome now sports a sculpture that, while honoring a player, also is about a moment in time.
Based on some of the comments I heard from people Friday, many fans may think of the “Rebirth” sculpture as the “Gleason statue.” Indeed, it depicts that famous moment, on September 25, 2006, when Steve Gleason stepped in front of Michael Koenen and made the Falcons punter a footnote in Saints history. The Saints scored, the dome erupted.
Gleason, who has inspired the city once again with his brave fight against ALS, talked Friday about that moment as one of “resurgence.” It has come to symbolize the city announcing to the world that, not only were the Saints back in the Superdome, but the city was back, open for business, re-energized, resilient. In that sense, this sculpture depicts a player, a play, and a moment in time.
The entire Saints team turned out for the unveiling, dodging raindrops and eventually being driven inside by a lighting storm. It was fitting, perhaps, that on the day this particular sculpture was dedicated, there would be obstacles to overcome.
“Everyone felt the same way when that (kick) was blocked,” said Saints owner Tom Benson. ”Our city is coming back.”
Brian Hanlon, the sculptor, said he his aim was not to “decorate landscapes with sculptures. I want to create meaningful markers. This is a meaningful marker.”
Hanlon captures the instant in time when Gleason made contact with the ball, an image frozen in the minds of the Saints nation– and now, immortalized in bronze.
If this were a news story, the headline would read “Louisiana makes progress in fight against swamp rat,” or maybe “Nutria gobble up less of the marsh.”
Since this is a blog, the author has a certain license to stray (it’s my blog afterall).
While I was doing some research for a story on Louisiana’s bounty program, the Coastwide Nutria Control Program, one number jumped off the page.
Since the state began subsidizing the nutria market a decade ago, hunters and trappers have bagged 3,263,696 nutria.
These orange-toothed intruders from South America have gobbled up a big chunk of the state’s coastline over the years.
The good news– if you’re not a nutria– is that the bounty program appears to have produced dramatic results in reducing damage to the coast, according to the latest numbers from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Nutria have proven to be a potent adversary, partly because they have no natural predators in Louisiana and partly because they are extremely prolific.
Born to Breed
They practically are born to breed, reaching sexual maturity at six months of age.
In one year, an adult nutria can produce two litters and be pregnant for a third.
Each litter brings four or five more young, fully furred and ready to have more babies within months.
The 2012 aerial survey of nutria damage by Wildlife and Fisheries estimates the rodent impacted 4,233 acres of the coast.
Compared to the 6,296 acres in 2011, the new figures represent a 33% decrease in damaged areas. Even those numbers tell only part of the story.
Only a decade ago, nutria were chomping on about 15 times more land.
The state conducted the first aerial surveys to track nutria damage in 1998, just as the problem was peaking.
The following year the swamp rats munched on an estimated 102,585 acres, turning much of that land to open water. As plant and roots died, and with nothing to hold the ground in place, thousands of acres were turning to open water.
Since 2001, annual coast wide aerial surveys have documented approximately 26,273 acres of marsh converted to open water due to nutria vegetative damage, according to the report.
That was bad enough. Then, state coastal experts started noticing the nutria were feeding in areas where marsh had been rebuilt. They documented at least 11 Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) project sites in the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins where the rat had feasted on new land– courtesy of taxpayer dollars.
Beginning in 2002, the state fought back with the bounty.
In the 2011-2012 season, trappers and hunters bagged 354,000 nutria tails, according the Wildlife and Fisheries.
Most of the damage today is confined to Terrebonne Parish, where the state report estimates the nutria inflict more than 90 percent of their harm.
Last year, a Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation study found nutria damage to marsh has been largely held in check.
However, they remain a cunning adversary and a significant threat to young cypress trees.
New Orleans– Work crews brought down the former Pallas Hotel in the first downtown implosion in the city’s history. Actually, the building had many lives, including one in which it was called the Grand Palace– hence, the confusion. For a time, it was also an apartment complex. After months of preparation, the building at Canal and Claiborne finally met its end Sunday morning. Work crews set off explosives to allow gravity to bring the building crashing onto itself. The demolition will make way for part of the LSU Medical Center campus.
For a slideshow of the action, scroll through the pictures below:
Scientists have searched for a way to visualize Louisiana’s land loss, something to help the rest of us to wrap our arms around this complex issue. One of the most descriptive is the estimate that, over the course of 45 minutes or so, the state loses the equivalent of a football field of land.
Two years ago, FOX 8 began a series of reports on a tiny island in the southern part of Plaquemines Parish. Our idea was to chronicle the story of Cat Island, a tiny speck of sand that has been losing its battle with the Gulf of Mexico. Not to be confused with the more famous Cat Island, Mississippi, Louisiana’s “Cat Island” sits isolated in the southern part of Barataria Bay. We never would have heard of the place if not for the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Four weeks after the Macondo well blowout, oil began piling onto the island and smaller island about half-a-mile to the east. Many of the early images of oiled pelicans were captured on Cat Island as the currents drove oil into the Bay.
Cat Island’s problems began long before BP. As recently as 1998, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the island stretched over 40 acres; the USGS puts the figure at less than one acre. Cut off from the river’s land-building material, the island has been defenseless against storm surge, wave action and everyday tidal flow. Plaquemines Parish officials argue the spill drove oil into the mangrove trees holding the place together, cutting short the island’s life.
Having said all that, never did we dream we would watch the island vanish before our eyes. Four acres on the day of the spill, Cat island has steadily eroded over the last couple of years.
Plaquemines Parish plans a restoration effort. It has secured funding to design a rock barrier, artificial oyster reef, or some means of cutting down the wave action. However, it still must land the necessary government permits and the funding to dredge sand and dirt in an effort to build back Cat Island.
Welcome to my little blog! I will share some pics, cool links and some thoughts on my day job!
To view my photography site, please visit www.johnsnellnola.com.