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Creativity is a team sport, Walter Isaacson finds in his bestseller on the digital revolution

This undated photo made available by his publicist on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 shows author Walter Isaacson. Steve Jobs told Isaacson he wanted him to write his biography because he's good at getting people to talk. Jobs, it turns out, didn't need much prodding, secretive as he was about both his private life and the company he founded.

Sometimes the roots of a writer’s obsessions go all the way back to childhood. Searching for memories that might have inspired his most recent bestseller, “The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution,” Walter Isaacson can conjure afternoons spent in his family’s Broadmoor garage, building Heathkits and ham radios and fooling with… Continue reading →

Twin Oaks Twin: St. Francisville couple finds just the right home to copy in nearby Natchez

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Belton and Dare Didier's home in St. Francisville is a replica of Twin Oaks in Natchez, Miss. It and three other homes are on the Friends of  West Feliciana Parish Library Christmas in the Country Tour of Homes Dec. 6.

Years before they knew what kind of house they were going to build, Belton and Dare Didier began collecting old beams, salvaged wood and bricks. They had the property — 80 acres just south of St. Francisville purchased in 1999. They just needed some house plans. “We went… Continue reading →

Four homes featured on St. Francisville tour

Photo provided by Yvonne Cappe -- The Carter home will be featured on the Tour of Homes during St. Francisville's Christmas in the Country, a three-day holiday festival scheduled for Dec. 5-7.

These homes in and around St. Francisville are being featured on the Friends of the West Feliciana Parish Library’s annual Christmas in the Country Tour of Homes on Dec. 6. Proceeds benefit the library. On this year’s tour are the homes of: Jerry and Ouida West — The two-bedroom home was built for retirement and… Continue reading →

Volunteer, Nov. 2014

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly. VOLLEYBALL SKILLS DAY, The Arc Baton Rouge — Lauren O’Neill, (225) 927-0855 or The Arc Baton Rouge will be hosting a volleyball skills day from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday,… Continue reading →

Garden News: Take your pick of colorful poinsettias

Photo by ALLEN OWINGS - Careful selection and care will keep your poinsettias pretty through the season. More than 1,000 poinsettias will be for sale at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden on Dec. 5.

The holiday season means it’s time for poinsettias, and people can expect poinsettias to last well into 2015 if they give proper consideration to selection and care, says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings. Poinsettias are available in a tremendous variety of leaf — or bract — colors, including red, white, marble, pink and combinations of these colors.… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: The day after Thanksgiving is a pretty big deal too

Advocate file photo  --  A New Orleans favorite, Turkey Poulet, uses leftover Thanksgiving  turkey and ham, plus bacon. A cheesy sauce and onions go atop the meat.

As you sit there savoring the slices of tender, juicy turkey on Thanksgiving Day, is there an idea in your mind how good some of that will be on a sandwich on Friday? Most of us look forward to Thanksgiving leftovers, so much so that if you are lucky enough to be invited to someone’s home… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Books, hotline for bakers say holidays

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  Enjoy a serving of warm Pear-Cranberry-Pecan Crumble on a cold day.

HHH “Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats” by Joy Wilson Clarkson Potter/Publishers, $30; 272-page hardcover The holiday baking season is definitely upon us. My first sign is always the avalanche of cookbooks about baking that begin landing on… Continue reading →

What's Left?

Photo provided by Half Baked Harvest  --  For a tasty sandwich using Thanksgiviing leftovers, make Mashed Potato Waffle, Crispy Turkey, Smashed Avocado, Cranberry and Brie Melts.

The best part of Thanksgiving dinner may be dishes created with the leftovers. At least, that’s what the bloggers with the step-by-step cooking app SideChef say. They’ve come up with some inventive ideas to turn their day-old leftovers into tasty sandwiches. A suggestion from Half Baked Harvest combines cranberry and turkey… Continue reading →

What a Crock: Slow-cooked Cornish hens perfect for small groups

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS  --  Not expecting a crowd for Thanksgiving? Serve Apple-Pecan Cornish Hens.

Perhaps you stock up on Cornish hens when they go on sale. I do, and it has saved me many times over when I needed a dinner idea. Thanksgiving is no exception. In many households, including ours at times, a turkey is simply too much for a small gathering. Cornish hens are exceptionally easy, but especially… Continue reading →

Fresh Ideas: Many uses of Butternut Squash

Photo by HELANA BRIGMAN  --  When the weather turns bitter, offer the famly warm Butternut Squash Lasagna With Blue Cheese and Mozzarella.

When readers of my blog write me, I’ve discovered that as the weather becomes colder, they want warm, savory recipes that make use of seasonal produce. One of the articles I forward them is called “5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Butternut Squash.” The recipe for Butternut Squash Lasagna with Blue Cheese and Mozzarella begins… Continue reading →

What's Happening, Nov. 27 2014

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS  --  Not expecting a crowd for Thanksgiving? Serve Apple-Pecan Cornish Hens.

Galatoire’s Restaurant, 209 Royal St., New Orleans, plans to ring in the new year with a five-course Nicholas Feuillatte Champagne dinner. Located on Galatoire’s second floor with a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street, the New Year’s Eve Champagne dinner will be $175 per person, exclusive of… Continue reading →

Facing HIV/AIDS: Years of treating patients illustrated in graphic art of retired psychiatrist

Advocate photo by ROBIN MILLER --  Eric Avery's molded paper woodcuts,  'The Face' project, show the graphic and sometimes horrific course of AIDS. The piece is part of his exhibit, 'The Art of Eric Avery, M.D.: HIV/AIDS Witness, Healer, Survivor,' which runs through Dec. 7 at the LSU School of Art's Alfred C. Glassell Jr. Exhibition Gallery in the Shaw Center for the Arts.

Warning: Eric Avery pulls no punches. His artwork is graphic and sometimes horrific. But so is the world of HIV/AIDS, where its victims experience a daily dose of fear, despair and hopelessness. Those were the conditions Avery discussed with HIV/AIDS clients who visited his exhibit, “The Art of Eric Avery, M.D.: HIV/AIDS… Continue reading →

DJ’s Den provides help to those with HIV/AIDS

Don 'DJ' Johnson

The late Don “DJ” Johnson was “the dresser of all of us,” says friend Larry Fremin, founder of the Krewe of Apollo. “He was our fashion coordinator.” Then Johnson, who died of a heart attack in 2012, would surely approve of a new effort named for him by HAART (HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two Inc).… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Thankful for some time to catch up

If your children are not in a holiday camp, chances are they are doing what my children are doing today — watching Netflix movies, snacking and asking questions about which relatives homes they’ll visit tomorrow. Holiday and winter break periods can be tricky for parents. Fortunately, because my job follows the same schedule as my… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line: City Nights

Photo provided by STACI BRIMER --- Cornerstone dinner --- Attending the YMCA of the Capital Area's annual Cornerstone Society Dinner are, from left, Matt and Lara Falcon, Eddrick and Shanda Martin, Josh and Sylvia Landry, Jeff Casey, Mischa and Michael Breard, C.C. and Alex Lewis, Bob Jacobs, Debbie and Rickey Heroman, and Barry and Jon Blumberg.

Lifetime members and donors of the YMCA of the Capital Area were honored at its annual Cornerstone Endowment Dinner Oct. 28 at the City Club. Guest speaker for the evening was Barbara Delacourt, a member of the ExxonMobile Y, who told how her membership has changed not just her lifestyle but the impact she’s able… Continue reading →

‘Choose not to use’: Outreach group warning teens about dangers of synthetic marijuana use

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Ivan Toldson, known as rapper Love-N-Pain, performs an original song, 'No More Mojo,' which tells the story of a teen who tries synthetic marijuana, often called mojo, with fatal consequences.

When Tonja Myles was a drug dealer, she didn’t care about the quality of the product. She never thought whether it made a user sick — or put him 6 feet under. “I didn’t care about what I gave you,” Myles told hundreds of students in the Plaquemine High School gym. “I… Continue reading →

Community news, Nov. 25, 2014

Photo provided by MARK CLAESGENS -- LSU Retirees Club -- Political analyst Jim Nickel spoke to the LSU Faculty and Staff Retirees Club on Nov. 10. Shown are, from left, Bill Cochran, Freddie Martin, Nickel, Denver Loupe and Joan Benedict.

Friends of French Studies at LSU and L’Assemblée Française held the annual Fête Champêtre Oct. 12 at the Lejeune House in New Roads. LSU students from the Department of French Studies gave guided tours of the house and gardens after learning the property’s history from owners Randy Harelson and… Continue reading →

Balance the binge: Holidays don’t mean you can’t splurge at festive meals

This Sept. 15, 2014, photo shows super fast roast turkey in Concord, N.H. ìThe Thanksgiving turkey is the centerpiece of the meal, but despite its being cooked every year for generations, it still causes anxiety. The annual conundrum? Getting a flavorful turkey that also looks good, and the rest of dinner, on the table before the grandparents fall asleep,î Tyler Florence writes in his new cookbook, ìInside the Test Kitchen.î (AP Photo/Matthew Mead) ORG XMIT: NHMM315

Mark that Thanksgiving calendar page in red — the annual holiday food binge is about to begin. It’s that time of year when we subject ourselves to a weeks-long eating frenzy, followed by a relentless and punitive New Year’s resolution diet. One local diet expert is hoping we can change our ways.… Continue reading →

Charity gift-giving project means a lot to BR sophomore

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Christian Life Academy sophomore Patrick Kitchen writes a letter to accompany a box he packed for Operation Christmas Child. Before the sophomore was adopted, he lived in the Phlippines and received just such a box himself.

When Christian Life Academy’s sophomore class decided to participate in Operation Christmas Child this year, it was a familiar concept to some of the students. The ministry, which sends Christmas packages to impoverished children around the world, has been embraced by many churches, schools and groups. This group of 10th-graders, however, has an unusual member — someone who… Continue reading →

Breaux’s ‘Dwelling’ breathes life into childhood haunting

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Artist Silas Breaux screws together his piece 'Dwelling' at its installation at the LSU Musem of Art on Nov. 13.

To Silas Breaux, Thibodaux was a foreign land, a place that existed only in his great-grandfather’s stories of a childhood at Melodia Plantation. Melodia haunted Breaux. The place of his great-grandfather’s childhood adventures is now a cemetery of fallen cypress walls topped by rusty tin. Breaux knew… Continue reading →

Getting away from the ‘grown-up table’

My family gets together for many occasions, such as birthdays, holidays or just to hang out. Every Thanksgiving is at the home of my great aunt, Auntie Julia or Queen Bee. She is my grandfather’s sister. She is tall, smart, outspoken and very loving. As she states often, she is four score and seven. We… Continue reading →

About Town for Nov. 23, 2014

WHAT: Baton Rouge Area Military Officers Association of America monthly luncheon WHEN: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25 WHERE: Drusilla Restaurant, 3482 Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge INFORMATION: (225) 766-4900 WHAT: Virginia College’s Fall Fest for the community and former, current and prospective students WHEN: 12:30-4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov.… Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line for Nov. 23, 2014

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Trianon's 40th --- Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Trianon are committee members, seated from left, Sharon Lanius, President Ann Suire and Chris Enright; and, standing, Adele Noonan, Lynda Michelli, Tammy Duos, Sandra Fox, Sharon Richard and Yvonne Crew.

Several of my favorite folks were deservedly in the spotlight last week for all they do for our community — Whitney Vann, Leonard Augustus, Kim and Trey Bowman, Michael Robinson and Don Boutté, Jim Brandt, Pinki Diwan, Lowry Griffon and Margaret Womack Hart. They and their fellow honorees are part of the fabric that makes this community such a great… Continue reading →

‘Great Pirate Christmas Battle’ fun tale for holiday

'The Great Pirate Christmas Battle' by Michael G. Lewis

“The Great Pirate Christmas Battle” by Michael G. Lewis. Pelican Publishing, 2014. $16.99. Cap’n McNasty and his crew, bored with stealing gold and other treasures, decide one night to steal Christmas presents from sleeping children. However, things get interesting when they get an unexpected surprise from… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Nov. 23, 2014

Here’s what’s going on in this week’s arts and cultural scene: The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is accepting nominations for the 2015 Humanities Awards for outstanding achievement in and contributions to the humanities. Awardees will be honored at the 2015 Bright Lights Awards Dinner on April 23, at the Capitol Park Museum, 660… Continue reading →

Manship Theatre plans ‘Happy Hour’ trivia

Think you know the gang at Central Perk? Test your “Friends” knowledge when the Manship Theatre presents “The One with the Happy Hour” Friends Trivia at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3. Admission is free, but reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling the Manship Theatre Ticket Desk at (225) 344-0334. Fan favorite “Friends” episodes… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Kathleen Blanco, Steve Oubre

Blanche Dubois famously said, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Make no mistake, in society, like everywhere else, deceit and duplicity run their crooked courses, and every year I’m forever grateful for angels who step forward out of nowhere. “Rob” at CC’s on Johnston, who introduced himself just to say how much he… Continue reading →

UL-Lafayette alumnus exhibits at Art Association

Advocate staff photo by PATRICIA GANNON -- Artist Terry Palmer considers his sculptures to be shaman, traiteurs, witch doctors, wise men or other characters that acknowledge forces of the spirits and other dimensions.

Most people sense when they’ve drifted onto the high plains of the masculine psyche, because the signposts are obvious — dangerous edges, metal, and jagged wood are dead giveaways, so are hard surfaces, any kind of camouflage, dark hooded features and Terry Palmer’s sculpture. “I don’t use the broken rough ends anymore,” he said. “I… Continue reading →

Prayer group asking for continued blessings for La. gathers outside State Capitol

Advocate photo by Mark H. Hunter -- Helen Poydras, center left, prays for God's mercy on America for 'shedding of innocent blood' during abortions during a recent prayer outreach service at the Capitol. The meeting, open to anyone, is held at 10:15 a.m. the first Saturday of the month.

“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Bible memory app and giving thanks verses

Screen image -- The verse page of the Bible Verses by Heart app presents the verse in print and in a recording. Users can tap the Learn This icon and use a fill-in-the-blank game to practice or hit the Record Recital button to practice.

For some Christians, Bible memorization is an important activity. Penguin Random House released an app that could help some with memory work. Bible Verses by Heart is based on a 2013 app called Poems by Heart from Penguin Classics. Both aim to help users memorize important works. The Bible version… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Nov. 22, 2014

PRAYER BREAKFAST: 9 a.m., Mirror of Grace Outreach, 921 N. Lobdell Blvd. Guest speakers will be Co-pastor Celeste Bean Payne, of Impact Christian Center; Minister Aldina Jackson and Minister Mary Bessie. Reservations required. (225) 300-4528 or PRAYER WALK 3.3 MILE: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Flannery Road Park,… Continue reading →

Adding on over the years, the Posts have doubled the size of their Fairway Drive home

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Bryan and Skipper Post, from left, enjoy entertaining family and friends in their large combination dining room-den, which is also open to their kitchen.

Skipper Post was a young architect in 1964 when he and his wife, Bryan, bought a lot off Fairway Drive for their first home. Over the decades, the Posts’ home has grown right along with their family. “I designed this little house, but we couldn’t spend more than $20,000 to build it,” Skipper Post recalled.… Continue reading →

Garden News: Good time to plant beets, spinach seeds

Photo by RICK BOGRENLSU AgCenter vegetable specialist Kiki Fontenot says dinosaur kale is a 'fun' plant to grow and makes great kale chips.

Just about any time of year is a good time to plant vegetable seeds in Louisiana. “If you’re just itching to plant something now, try beet and spinach seeds,” says LSU AgCenter vegetable specialist Kiki Fontenot. “And you can sow seeds of kale, mustard greens and leaf lettuce.” Dinosaur kale is a “fun” plant with… Continue reading →

Volunteer column for Nov. 21, 2014

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly. RELAY FOR LIFE EVENT LEADERSHIP, American Cancer Society — Angela Nantamu, (225) 927-0782: Volunteers are need to serve on the team to plan the local Relay for Life event. Event… Continue reading →

Community column for Nov. 21, 2014

Photo provided by DIANE PERKINS -- Veterans Day event -- Catholic Presbyterian Apartments hosted its annual Veterans Day Program to honor veterans in the facility on Nov. 11. John Thompson of the Baton Rouge Veterans Center was guest speaker. Resident veterans spoke about their service. Shown are, from left, veterans Dan Godoy, John Thompson, Herbert McDowell and Hayward Jeffers.

Sigma Gamma Rho holds training workshop Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority held its annual Area V Leadership and Training Workshop on Nov. 1 in Baton Rouge. Topics included implementing sorority programs and health initiatives, promoting HIV-AIDS and Breast Cancer Awareness and supporting partnerships with the March of Dimes and St. Jude Foundations.… Continue reading →

Southern AgCenter plans workshop

Growing nontraditional vegetables, learning about edible landscapes and microgreens are some of the topics that will be covered during the 2014 Southern University AgCenter’s Fall Garden Workshop. The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday in room 191 of A.O. Williams Hall,… Continue reading →

Victory is sweet (and savory); area cooks shine in Thanksgiving recipe contest

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND  --  For an easy holiday appetizer, serve Cranberry Pear Relish with crackers and cream cheese.

If the winning dishes in The Advocate’s Thanksgiving Recipe Contest sponsored by Calandro’s Supermarket are any indication, Thanksgiving Day menus in south Louisiana reflect both the area’s culinary heritage and the cooks’ creativity. It wasn’t easy selecting the contest’s winners, the judges said as they tasted, critiqued and lobbied for their favorites among the dozen finalists in… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Ina Garten gets ahead of cooking

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  For a special dinner, serve Asparagus & Prosciutto Bundles. The recipe is in Ina Garten's 'Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.'

Hint to holiday shoppers: Fans of Ina Garten and her Barefoot Contessa cookbooks are surely hoping to receive a copy of Garten’s “Make It Ahead” book for Christmas or Hanukkah. They definitely won’t be disappointed with the gift. Garten, author of eight bestselling cookbooks, tackles stress-free entertaining by preparing dishes ahead of time. Some of her latest… Continue reading →

Church offers everyone the genealogy tools to dig up their past

Photo provided by RICHARD JACOBS -- Family History Center consultants include, from left, seated, Sara Jacobs, Karen Strawn, James Jarreau, Suzanne Schexnayder; standing, Richard Jacobs, Wyatt Winnie, Bill Myrick, Essie Mongeau, Cela Reynolds, Leigh Reynolds and Mike Schexnayder.

In a sense, researching one’s genealogy has never been easier, with online services eager to provide resources for a fee. Yet, all those options can be intimidating in and of themselves. How should someone get started? Since 1966, a Baton Rouge church has provided the answer. That year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day… Continue reading →

Homecoming Actor Wes Brown returns to his home state for featured role in ‘NCIS: New Orleans’

Photo provided by WES BROWN -- Actor Wes Brown, center, formerly of Baton Rouge, guest-stars on Tuesday's episode of 'NCIS: New Orleans.' With him are show stars Lucas Black, left, and Scott Bakula.

Actor Wes Brown always likes coming home. In October, work brought the Baton Rouge native back to Louisiana for five days of shooting over a two-week span for his guest-starring role on Tuesday’s episode of the CBS crime drama “NCIS: New Orleans.” It’s the eighth episode for the freshman series, another spin-off of “NCIS.”… Continue reading →

La.-based A&E reality show ‘Country Buck$’ makes room for a new dynasty

Photo provided by A&E -- Matt Busbice, Ryan Busbice, Joe Buck Busbice,Hard Luck Busbice, Mona Busbice, Big Bill Busbice, Beth Busbiceand Terry Carr star in A&E's

It’s a north Louisiana-set reality show about a quirky family who works and plays together, and their last name isn’t Robertson. Meet the Busbices, stars of A&E’s new series “Country Buck$,” debuting Wednesday. And, as son Matt Busbice, 32, was quick to point out, this is no “Duck Dynasty.” “We know there are going… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line for Nov. 19, 2014

Photo provided by CATHERINE SIMPSON --- 'Waiting Their Turn' --- Judge Betty LaBauve, center, with the winning artists of the annual show sponsored by the of the Louisiana Art & Artists Guild Iberville Chapter, from left,  Patricia Delk, Laurie Broussard, Claudia LeJeune, Larry Downs, Jim Packard, Calvin Balencie and Kathy Miller Stone.

Baton Rouge artist Larry Downs took first-place honors for his acrylic painting “Waiting Their Turn” in the Louisiana Art & Artists Guild Iberville Chapter’s annual Art Show at the Rosedale Art Depot Oct. 17-19. That honor came with a $250 cash prize. Second place and its $150 prize went to Baton Rouge artist Claudia… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Death by Chocolate

Kay Texada, David Bennett, Mariusz Smolij, Pat Olson

You needed a shoe horn to get them in. People were lined up like a New York nightclub for Death by Chocolate, the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra’s newest fundraiser, and it’s a good thing the fire marshal didn’t happen by. Presented by Lee Michaels, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, Schilling and Three Olives Chocolate et al, the entire evening centered on… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Make lunch a priority for your kids

I thought I was doing a pretty good job of packing my children’s lunch boxes by filling them with all of their favorites — pepperoni pizza Hot Pockets, ham and cheese Lunchables, mini Oreos, an orange and a juice box. It’s what they wanted, and I didn’t have to listen to them complain about… Continue reading →