After Hurricane Katrina, Grand Isle, La., an island with a population of about 1,500 people, was in ruins. But fishermen there say the BP oil spill is much worse. “Katrina in New Orleans is nothing compared to what this is,” Harry Cheramie says. “This here is totally different. ... How do we help each other? What do we do?"
Dateline: Switzerland—A motorist has been slapped with the largest speeding ticket in his country’s history after being clocked going two-and-a-half times the posted speed limit. The 37-year-old man was driving a $200,000 Mercedes SLS when he was pulled over by traffic police. The driver apparently evaded a number of stationary radar detectors located along the A12 highway between Bern and Lausanne because he was going too fast. The stationary detectors are only capable of clocking speeds up to 200 km/h (125 mph). Eventually, he was snapped by a speed camera hitting 300 km/h (186 mph). “We have no record of anyone being caught traveling faster in the country,” a police spokesperson was quoted as saying in the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper. The driver was traveling so fast, in fact, that it took him more than half a mile to come to a stop when police tried to pull him over. He told officers his speedometer was faulty. Speeding fines in Switzerland are calculated by taking into consideration both the severity of the infraction and the income of the motorist. As a result, the unnamed speed demon will be forking over $1 million in fines.
The 42nd annual Bubonicon science-fiction and fantasy convention will take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Albuquerque Grand Airport Hotel. This year’s guest of honor is writer Peter David. David is best known for his work at Marvel Comics (where he helped revive “The Incredible Hulk” in the ’80s). He also penned a few movies for Charles Band back in the Full Moon glory days. Trancers 4: Jack of Swords, Trancers 5: Sudden Deth, Oblivion and Oblivion 2: Backlash are all his work. They’re kind of crummy and kind of fun, and Oblivion does actually predate Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” as a sci-fi Western—so be sure and ask him about that. In other film-related events, the convention will screen the 2005 version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (this being Bubonicon 42) beginning at 9 p.m. on Saturday. There will also be a late-night screening of the locally shot horror thriller Fugue State at 11 p.m. If you don’t have a day pass to Bubonicon (available online at bubonicon.com) you can get into the movie screenings for $3. Bubonicon
This summer, bestie bands Little Gold (country psych from New York) and Lovey Dovies (hardcore pop from New Orleans) are on tour together. See them play on Monday, Aug. 30, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) with local Lake Of Wire—read the pick in this week’s calendars for more. The free show begins at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Despite Sarah Palin and New Mexico’s dueling female gubernatorial candidates, not that many women run for office, according to Jennifer Lawless. Why the heck not? Lawless, a professor of government at the American University, argues in her book It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office that there are many reasons, including that women don’t feel as qualified as men—even the ones who are at the height of their professions. She also believes women are less likely than men to be encouraged to run in the first place. For example, in Congress, the House has 357 men and only 78 women, while the Senate has 82 men and 18 women. That’s a huge difference. Find out why and what can be done to even the numbers out a bit when Lawless speaks at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26. bkwrks.com/
My first husband and I drove through New Orleans in 1974, moving from Florida to the Land of Enchantment. We searched the French Quarter for lunch and stopped at a well-lit, noisy place. What I remember most was the shrimp étoufée—a spicy, tomatoey stew dished over a generous pile of rice. It was terrific, though I had no basis for comparison, being a novice in the world of Louisiana cooking. That was long before Katrina, Rita and BP heaped their misfortunes on the Gulf. Despite the challenges of rebuilding, the city maintains a robust attitude when it comes to living well—especially when it comes to food.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Why should you work harder than everyone else? Why is it up to you to pick up the slack when others are suffering from outbreaks of laziness and incompetence? And why should you be the fearless leader who is focused on fixing the glitches and smoothing over the rough patches when no one else seems to care whether things fall apart? I'll tell you why, Aries: because it's the Karmic Correction phase of your long-term cycle—a time when you can atone for past mistakes, pay off old debts and make up for less-