Posts tagged with "Louisiana"

COVID Mask Care illustration by Mina Tocalini

Study Shows State-By-State Reopenings Exacerbate COVID

As Summer vacations end in Europe and in the United States and students return to college campuses and primary schools worldwide, fresh waves of COVID infections are causing renewed restrictions after loosening in the Spring and Summer. However, a new study shows that this uncoordinated opening, closing, and reopening of states and counties, is making the COVID problem worse in the U.S., according to the authors of a new study released today. Using methods from their previous work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MIT PhD student Michael Zhao and Sinan Aral, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and author of the upcoming book The Hype Machine, have released the first comprehensive study of the impact of state-by-state re-openings on the COVID pandemic, spanning January to July, 2020 with surprising and troubling results.

After studying combined data on the mobility of over 22 million mobile devices, daily data on state-level closure and reopening policies and social media connections among 220 million Facebook users, the team found that reimposing local social distancing or shelter-in-place orders after reopening may be far less effective than policy makers would hope.

In fact, such closures may actually be counterproductive as they encourage those in locked down regions to flee to reopened regions, potentially causing new hotspots to emerge. This analysis demonstrates that travel spillovers are not only systematic and predictable, but also large and meaningful.

Arizona was one of the first states to open businesses, but in late June, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and water parks were shut down for 30 days as the state became one of the virus’s new hot spots. One month after dine-in restaurants, bars, and gyms were allowed to reopen in California, Governor Gavin Newsom made the country’s most aggressive reopening reversal amid his state’s spike in COVID-19 cases, shuttering all indoor dining, bars, zoos, and museums in the state. Similar reversals have occurred in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia among other states.

“We’ve seen a patchwork of flip-flopping state policies across the country,” says Sinan Aral, the senior author of the study. “The problem is that, when they are uncoordinated, state re-openings and even closures create massive travel spillovers that are spreading the virus across state borders. If we continue to pursue ad hoc policies across state and regional borders, we’re going to have a difficult time controlling this virus, reopening our economy or even sending our kids back to school.”

The new study showed that while closures directly reduced mobility by 5-6%, re-openings returned mobility to pre-pandemic levels. Once all of a state’s peer states (in travel or social media influence) locked down, focal county mobility in that state dropped by an additional 15-20% but increased by 19-32% once peer states reopened. “State policies have effects far beyond their borders,” says Aral. “We desperately need coordination if we are to control this virus.”

When an origin county was subject to a statewide shelter-in-place order, travel to counties yet to impose lockdowns increased by 52-65%. If the origin had reopened, but the destination was still closed, travel to destination counties was suppressed by 9-17% for nearby counties and 21-27% for distant counties. But when a destination reopened while an origin was still closed, people from the closed origins flooded into the destination by 11-12% from nearby counties and 24% from distant counties. “People flee closures and flood into newly reopened states,” says Aral, “we can’t avoid the travel spillovers caused by our ad hoc policies.”

These findings highlight the urgent need to coordinate COVID-19 reopenings across regions and the risks created by ad hoc local shutdowns and reopenings. In addition, the results highlight the importance of taking spillover effects seriously when formulating national policy and for national and local policies to coordinate across regions where spillovers are strong.

banging gavel illustration

Landmark Supreme Court Rulings

By Eamonn Burke

A series of historic and liberal rulings have been passed in the Supreme Court within the last few weeks, the latest being an abortion decision, the first under Trump as President.

The Louisiana law dictating that doctors must have certain privileges at local hospitals in order to perform an abortion was ruled out by the Court on Monday by a 5 to 4 ruling, with Chief Justice John Roberts tipping the scales to the Democrats. It comes as somewhat of a surprise as many expected Trump’s court, including two of his appointees, to remain restrictive against abortion. The decision comes following multiple occasions of criticism towards Justice Roberts from Republicans in cases concerning the national census and the Affordable Care Act. One such Republican, Senator Ted Cruz, reacted with a scathing remark that the Justice “sided with abortion extremists who care more about providing abortion-on-demand than protecting women’s health.” Progressives simply chalked it up to committing to precedent. It is most definitely not a certain signal that Justice Roberts would uphold Roe v. Wade. The law, if passed, would have limited the state of Louisiana to just one abortion clinic.

The decision also comes on the heels of two other landmark cases in favor of liberals, one being a civil rights law pronouncing job discrimination against lgbtqia+ people illegal, and the other being to protect the young immigrant DREAMERS by upholding DACA.

Introducing Rising Rapper Fredo Bang

Buzzing Louisiana rapper, Fredo Bang, makes Def Jam debut with “Oouuh” and “Gangsta Talk“. Here is what major players of the Hip-Hop industry think about him.

“With the 2015 arrest that threatened to derail his rising career now decidedly in the rearview, Fredo is back with a newfound sense of purpose: more viral, more hardworking, and more determined to advance than ever before.”
– Fader

New Gen Winter 2019
“His city’s favored up-and-comer and its most versatile rising act. Songs like ‘No Mo’ show his penchant for soul-searching narratives and music-as-medicine melodies; the success of ‘Oouuh’ proves he has a one-of-a-kind ability to reach all sides of the hip-hop and R&B spectrum.”
-Hypebeast

“Known for his tales of life in the streets, the rapper behind records like “Story to Tell” and “Oouuh” shows just how it goes down in his hometown”

-XXL

About Fredo Bang

Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Fredo Bang started to record music in 2013 when he was 15-years-old. Tragedy struck a year later with the loss of his best friend, who was a local rapper in the neighborhood. Since then, the rising star used the nickname that his best friend had given him and hit the ground running. In 2016, Fredo was jailed for attempted murder. Things looked dim. But in 2018, Fredo was released on parole after taking a 7-year sentence, and released his 2 Face Bang album, taking his city by storm. He became an overnight sensation. A series of catchy songs like “Shootas On The Roof” and “Father” amassed millions of views, but it was Fredo’s breakout song “OOUUH” that propelled him to be an artist to watch, with the record getting significant radio play and video views on BET & REVOLT. With over 130 million streams across all platforms, Fredo Bang is ready to bust out of Baton Rouge and take the industry by storm.

360 magazine, travel channel, ghosts of morgan city

Paranormal Investigators Help Louisiana Police Chief Solve Town’s Hauntings

Morgan City, Louisiana, is experiencing an especially troubling spike of unusual emergency calls – unexplained encounters with the ghosts of the bayou city’s turbulent past that are frightening its citizens. In the all-new Travel Channel series, “Ghosts of Morgan City,” premiering on Friday, June 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Police Chief James “Bo” Blair is now looking to his colleague from another jurisdiction for assistance.
 
Chief Blair learns that paranormal activity in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, has quieted down since that town’s police chief, Mike King, worked with a specialty team to solve a rash of hauntings last year.  In search of advice, Chief Blair contacts Chief King, eventually following his lead and recruiting local paranormal investigator Jereme Leonard, who teams up with former FBI agent Ben Hansen and psychic medium Sarah Lemos to look into the incidents. In each of the eight one-hour episodes, the paranormal team attempts to figure out what’s causing the recent uptick of bizarre activity by looking for patterns and clues in the new cases they investigate. 
 
With help from local historian Diane Wiltz, the team digs up the disturbing history associated with the area and begins crossing-over some of the restless spirits wreaking havoc on the small community. When they learn from Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi that the hauntings have spread throughout the parish, the team begins working with the police departments of Patterson, Berwick and Franklin to uncover the truth behind the ghostly infestation of St. Mary Parish.
 
“We knew we had a whole new series when we heard about all the unnerving hauntings in the bayou,” said Matthew Butler, general manager, Travel Channel. “Morgan City and surrounding St. Mary Parish are filled with rich history, deep-rooted superstitions and larger-than-life characters, and it’s all set against the beautiful, yet eerie backdrop of Cajun Country.”
 
In the premiere episode, Jereme Leonard, Ben Hansen and Sarah Lemos receive an emergency call from the Morgan City Police Department about a shapeshifting mist in the area. The puzzling details take on new meaning when they discover the mist has ties to the first female executed in Louisiana. As the case wraps up, the team receives more distressing calls from law enforcement outside Morgan City, sending them to every corner of the parish, looking for answers. From a plantation with a history of voodoo and a violent Civil War battle to a family home haunted by the spirit of a young girl to the team’s own headquarters within the city’s historic archives, each clue brings the group one step closer to ending a haunted tug of war.
 
Check out “Ghosts of Morgan City” on TravelChannel.com  for show extras including photos, videos and more. Follow @TravelChannel and #GhostsOfMC on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more exclusive content and updates. Follow Ben Hansen on Twitter: @BenHansen00.

NAWAS Release New Track: “She Knows”

Just today, Louisiana-bred, Nashville-based trio NAWAS release a new track “She Knows” vial all digital partners. It is available to stream and download HERE.

The sleek, soulful track was written by NAWAS and produced by Grammy Producer of the Year nominee John Hill (Portugal, The Man, Demi Lovato)

“She Knows” is the first new music from NAWAS since the band released its debut EP Trouble last year, which followed in the wake of their well-received singles “Wrong,” “So Low,” “Make It Work,” and “Who Are You.”

“‘She Knows’ is a new direction for us as a band. After touring last year and receiving so much encouragement and support from fans and listeners, we were excited to get back in the studio and work with John Hill, who brought out new musical elements in us that fit our desires perfectly,” says front man Jake Nawas.

Brilliantly mashing up elements of electronic music, hip-hop, and R&B, NAWAS sound is built around Jake Nawas, shape-shifting vocals, Ben McDaniel’s crystalling guitar work, and Joey Gonzales powerful yet minimalist drumming. Bringing rule-breaking originality to their silken production, NAWAS push the limits of pop with daring and darkly charged lyrics that lend each track an unforgettable depth.

A video for “She Knows” will be released in the coming weeks, followed by more new music throughout the fall.

What critics are saying about NAWAS:

“‘So Low’ is beautifully produced with smooth beats and an R&B-esque tempo. The direct, contemplative lyrics are delivered in (Jake Nawas) bewitchingly androgynous falsetto”FADER

“(NAWAS is) primed and ready to rattle speaker systems.”EARMILK

“‘Wrong’ is a dense, sparkly track featuring heavy bass and fluid guitar riffs that find the medium & between Prince’s androgynous melodies and Calvin Harris’ euphoric bangers.”SPIN

“‘Who Are You’ is as inspired as it is excitingly new. Front-man Jake Nawas’ androgynous singing is on fire on this track, and the instrumentals backing him up are as epic as they are illustrious. ‘Who Are You’ is exactly what you’d want from a fun summer song.”BAEBLE

FitVine Wine

FitVine Wine Expands Distribution with Whole Foods Markets in Texas and Louisiana

Lower in sugar, calories, sulfites and free of flavor additives, FitVine is now available in an additional 38 Whole Foods locations.

FitVine Wine, makers of clean tasting wines that are low in sugar, calories, carbohydrates and sulfites, as well as free of flavor additives, has expanded their in-store distribution with Whole Foods Markets in Texas and Louisiana. This expansion will make FitVine wines available in 33 Whole Foods locations in Texas and 7 locations in Louisiana.

FitVine Wine was born when friends made a pact to craft amazing wines that would compliment their active lifestyles rather than compromising their health and fitness goals. FitVine is currently available in 47 states, soon to be 49, and over 5,300 retail locations, with new stores being added monthly. This expansion highlights the strengthening of the FitVine brand and growing consumer demands for clean tasting wines with robust flavor profiles and 13-14% alcohol content.

“Online sales have traditionally dominated a large portion of our business, but over the past two years we have accelerated our growth into brick and mortar locations,” said­­­­­­ Mark Warren, Co-Founder of FitVine Wine. “We are extremely thankful for our loyal online customer base, but by expanding our in-store availability with retailers who celebrate clean and wholesome ingredients, like Whole Foods, we are positioned better to reach new customers and simplify shopping for those who already love FitVine Wine.”

FitVine varietals include: Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. The extended proprietary fermentation process sets FitVine apart. The results are wines that have no additives and less sugar, calories, carbohydrates and sulfites compared to competitors. The unique fermentation process also allows FitVine to craft rich and flavorful wines with the mouthfeel and alcohol content (13-14%) consumers expect from a high quality fine wines. FitVine wines are also gluten free and vegan.

Want to learn more about FitVine Wines, find a retailer near you or pop open your first bottle? Visit http://www.fitvinewine.com/ for more information.

About FitVine Wine:

FitVine Wine was born when friends made a pact to craft amazing wines that also fit their active lifestyles. FitVine wines are lower in sugar, calories, carbs and sulfites compared to other wines and have no flavor additives. To create clean and rich tasting wines with the flavor, mouthfeel and alcohol content you expect from a fine wine, FitVine uses a proprietary malolactic fermentation process. The wine ferments to dry and lowers sugar levels. On average, all wines have less than 0.06 grams of sugar, 2.4g-3.9 grams of carbohydrates and 110-120 calories (per 5 oz glass). The ‘fun’ in the bottle remains intact with all wines ranging from 13.4 – 13.9% alcohol. FitVine crushes grapes, so you can crush life!

$uicideboy$ New Single

$uicideboy$ are back with their second single of 2018 Either Hated Or Ignored, and haters, they ain’t trying to be your fuckin’ friend. Against a hauntingly melodic electronic backdrop, the New Orleans-based rap duo delivers a raw message to its detractors. Released today by G59 Records/Caroline, Either Hated Or Ignored; is available for download/streaming HERE.

Ruby da Cherry of $uicideboy$ explains, “Either Hated Or Ignored is our favorite track from a batch of songs we recorded in late 2017 when we were starting to work on the new album. While our success has brought us respect from our fans and a lot of material rewards, that doesn’t automatically translate into happiness. We’re still looking to gain respect in the industry, but we also realize our happiness isn’t going to come out of what other people think of us. It’s something we can only find by digging deeper inside ourselves.”

The duo’s new album will be out this summer. Featured artists include Lil Wayne. $uicideboy$ have racked up more than one billion streams worldwide across their entire catalog and have more than 3.5 million followers across social media.

The duo founded by $crim and his cousin, Ruby da Cherry, in 2014 is from Louisiana’s Seventh Ward, a violent, neglected, crime-ridden section of New Orleans. Their name is a reference to a pact the cousins made: if they didn’t make it by age 30, they would end their lives. Hailed by XXL Magazine as “one of the fastest growing acts in hip-hop right now”; $uicideboy$ have played Lollapalooza and completed sold-out tours of the U.S., Europe and Asia.

$uicideboy$ make the kind of music parents just don’t get a point that the Beastie Boy Mike D recently brought home when he told Vulture, “It was weird to me that I wasn’t hearing things that my kids related to that I couldn’t embrace. When they did hit on something,I was like, Finally! When they started listening to $uicideboy$ I was like that is it. That checks the boxes. It is really loud, I can’t really relate, I don’t really want to listen to it. I understand exactly why it’s good and I see exactly the music it is combining, but I don’t need to participate and I’m good with that.”

The single FUCKALLOFYOU2K18, released in February, has more than two million streams worldwide. Video views on For The Last Time surpassed four million in less than a month. The song is part of the; Kill Yourself Part XX: The Infinity Saga, a five-EP collection released on September 11, 2017. Combined views of $uicideboy$ videos average 30 million a month.

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Antiques Roadshow 

HOW DID A MOSQUITO REVEAL A MASTERPIECE?   

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW APPRAISER BRINGS GUEST TO TEARS 

IN STUNNING SEASON OPENER!

Hit PBS Show Delivers Season 22 Surprises With 

Never-Before-Seen Treasures

New season premieres Monday, January 8 at 8/7c PM

After more than 20 years searching for America’s hidden treasures, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW finds sensational first-time objects in six cities featured as part of season 22. From eyewitness accounts of historic moments to items that are truly macabre, ROADSHOW appraisers, guests and locations make this a ground-breaking new season!

 

“I was amazed by the number of never-before-seen items discovered on this year’s tour,” says executive producer Marsha Bemko. “That mix of new treasures and sizzling stories along with our first event filmed at a Gilded Age mansion in Newport, RI fills this season with can’t-miss episodes!”

 

Along with discovering the mystery of the mosquito and the masterpiece, viewers will see other first-time items such as:

 

  • In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a head in a box! A plaster head, that is, of a convicted bank robber who fashioned the prop to aid in his attempted prison escape. Harrisburg episodes will air January 8, 15 and 22.
  • In New Orleans, Louisiana, a charming study of Andy Warhol painted by his friend, artist Jamie Wyeth, capturing Warhol with his beloved dog Archie. New Orleans episodes will air January 29, February 5 and 12.
  • In St. Louis, Missouri, a vintage Ozark Airlines poster, ca. 1960, featuring aircraft of the era and company logo illustrated through mid-century modern design. St. Louis episodes will air February 19 and 26, and March 26.
  • In Portland, Oregon, an eyewitness account of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln captured in a letter written by the guest’s grandfather, who was at Ford’s theater that fateful night and captured a most remarkable description of John Wilkes Booth. Portland episodes will air April 2, 9 and 16.
  • In Green Bay, Wisconsin, a rare Cadillac “rain lamp,” ca. 1968, used to promote the famous auto brand through modern design and a unique mineral-oil-on-wire feature that simulated rain. Green Bay episodes will air April 23 and 30, and May 7.
  • In Newport, Rhode Island, a one-of-a-kind 1939 Royal typewriter, plated by Cartier in 24k gold and presented to the guest’s grandfather, who was vice president of sales at Royal during the period. Newport episodes will air May 14 and 21.

 

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW offers engaging ways to experience the season premiere and new episodes, including live tweeting with producers and appraisers Mondays at 8/7c PM; an after-show AR Extras LIVE broadcast on Facebook; the weekly AR Extras newsletter; and original feature articles, video archive and more on pbs.org/antiques.

 

Part adventure, part history lesson, part treasure hunt, 15-time Emmy® Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a production of WGBH Boston. The series is the most-watched ongoing series on PBS and is seen by around 8 million viewers each week.

Make The Most Out Of Your Vacation

Any trip to the USA should fill you with excitement and even a little awe. It’s a huge, sprawling country with much to see and do. The problem is picking the best state to visit so you get the most out of your vacation.

Is California better than New York? What does Alaska offer that you can’t get in New Jersey? Is Nevada just for gamblers or can you take in a show or two? These are just a few of the questions you might want answers to before you plan your trip.

The team at PlayNJ have done some research to help and now have an interactive map of the US which makes that decision making process a whole lot easier. They’ve taken a range of parameters including tourism income, gambling and theatre, things to do, and general happiness level to rank each of 50 states.

The general ranking gives a listing of overall performance and it’s no surprise that states such as California, Texas, Florida and New York figure at the top. Curiously, the team have also included a happiness ranking which shows a slightly different story. While California comes first in general classification, it only manages 13 for happiness. Hawaii only hits 20 on the general ranking but comes out on top for fun.

While you may have to take some of the listings with a pinch of salt, the interactive map does give you a good idea where the strong point of each state lies.

California has the highest tourist income at $126.3 billion, mainly because it’s one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet. Not only is it home to Hollywood and the iconic city of San Francisco, it’s also got Disneyland and the Yosemite National Park. Wyoming has a much lower income but does have some noteworthy places to visit such as The Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains.

If gambling is your big thing and you want to combine it with a show or two, then the obvious choice is Nevada. Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the western world and is full of casinos. There are also plenty of shows to take in and the service, so visitors say, is second to none. There are even a couple of zoos and a few theme parks to give you something different to do. For overall happiness ranking though it rates well down at 34.

For those looking for variety in their trip, it’s best to look at the ‘Things to Do’ map. Here Florida is top of the list with 1,699 separate activities and Alaska is not far behind on 1,644. These are two totally different locations, so it’s wise to take a deeper look at what’s on offer. Florida is famous for sun, sea and sangria as well as its numerous theme parks. Alaska is more for your outdoor types with breath-taking locations like Winner Creak, Kincaid Park and Resurrection Bay.

For those who want to take in some sport, Texas and California top the list for stadiums. You can go see the Dallas Cowboys play in Arlington or visit the world famous Rose Bowl in California. If you don’t like sport and won’t be visiting a stadium anytime soon, Vermont is the place to go, they don’t have any. Of course, it will all depend on who your favourite team is and the sport you want to watch.

Next time you’re planning a trip somewhere in the USA, take a look at the PlayNJ interactive map to help you begin planning the best locations to visit. It’s a great way to start exploring what this vast, sprawling country has to offer for the humble tourist.

Halloween Candy Map

In case you haven’t noticed all of the pumpkin-lined porch steps or the multitude of horror movie marathons on TV, it’s spooky season! Halloween is less than two weeks away, which means hayrides, haunted houses, and, most importantly, FREE CANDY!!! Well, free for cute kids dressed up like Spiderman or Moana. For adults, Halloween means stocking up on the good stuff to avoid a yard full of toilet paper or having your car decorated with egg yolks. Halloween is a candy manufacturer’s Christmas. According to The National Retail Federation, it’s expected that 2.7 billion dollars will be spent on trick-or-treat candy this year. It may seem like a good idea to buy the cheapest bag of candy you can find, however, when November 1st rolls around and you’re left with three pounds of store-brand lollipops none of the trick-or-treaters wanted to take, bargain shopping might be a decision you’ll regret.

If you want to avoid the horror that is too much leftover candy, you’ll have to fork over a a few extra bucks for the good stuff. You may stroll down the candy aisle at the supermarket amidst the plethora of different chocolates, gummies, sours, and sweets, and think to yourself, how do I know which candy to buy? Well, CandyStore.com, is here to help. Over the past 10 years, CandyStore.com has been shipping tons of bulk candy all across the United States and Canada. They compiled 10 years (2007-2016) of sales data for the months leading up to Halloween and put together an interactive map that details the top three most popular Halloween candies for each state, indicated by pounds distributed. Check out the interactive map HERE to become the go-to house for all of the witches, ghosts, and Chewbaccas in town. Or, if you’d rather not have hoards of little vampires and Pokemon running through your yard but still want to please the kiddos, CandyStore.com also has a list of the WORST candies, so you know exactly what not to buy.

CandyStore.com also offers the option of skipping the trip to supermarket all together. Order online in bulk so you can avoid facing the delicious temptation of sugary goodness in candy aisle.