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What's up, Doc? 'Cancer Ninja' cartoons use humor to break down serious subject

TNS photo by MICHAEL SCHACHT -- Dr. Andrew Howard created Cancer Ninja, a cartoon about cancer, because so many patients knew so little about the treatment process.

While treating patients as a radiation oncologist at the University of Chicago, Dr. Andrew Howard noticed that many didn’t seem to understand their diagnoses. Beyond being understandably unable to take in all the information — something common when hearing upsetting news — many were mixing up basic information about their treatment, like chemotherapy versus… Continue reading →

Stock your freezer with fruit while you can

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- This easy recipe for Peach-Blueberry Frozen Pops is a great way to use some of your frozen fruit stash any time of year.

The autumn produce season catches me off-guard every year. As we glide from the hot days of August into the cooler months ahead, we never quite know when the magic moment arrives that we have seen our last bit of fresh summer fruit in the produce aisle. Sure, we can get peaches all year if we insist (and… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A: Do I need to get screened for prostate cancer?

Do I need to get screened for prostate cancer? A prostate cancer screening is when a doctor performs tests to look for prostate cancer in a patient who is not exhibiting any symptoms. The two tests used for prostate cancer screenings are the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). A PSA… Continue reading →

Multiple-choice answers to questions about home schooling

This photo provided by the Institute for Justice shows syndicated parenting columnist John Rosemond.  A Virginia-based legal institute is filing a federal lawsuit on behalf of Rosemond who says the state of Kentucky is trying to censor him. KentuckyÌs attorney general told Rosemond that his advice column runs afoul of the rules that govern the practice of psychology. The Arlington-based Institute for Justice says if the ruling is allowed to stand that columnists like Dear Abby and TV personalities like Dr. Phil could find themselves facing similar charges. (AP Photo/Institute for Justice

With increasing frequency over the past 10 years or so, parents have asked me various questions about home schooling, all pretty much boiling down to “Should I home-school my child?” First, I am a proponent of home schooling. (Full disclosure: I am on the board of, which is an offshoot of the Home School Legal Defense… Continue reading →

Health briefs for August 31, 2015

WHAT: GriefShare, weekly video seminars featuring experts on grief recovery topics WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursdays, through Nov. 13 WHERE: First United Methodist Church, 224 W. Constitution St., Gonzales INFORMATION: Pastor Ed Bowman at (225) 450-4724 or visit DETAILS: The seminars address the real problems of grief including the challenges of personal grief and… Continue reading →

Multivitamins and supplements: To take or not to take?

Do you need vitamins and supplements? It depends. ORG XMIT: 1171944

“People ask me this question quite often: ‘Should I be taking certain vitamins and supplements?’ And the answer is, quite honestly, ‘It depends,’” says Anne Harguth, registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should meet your nutritional needs primarily through diet. For some people, however, taking certain supplements may… Continue reading →

Die-hard LSU fans turn a former Coca-Cola truck into the ultimate tailgating vehicle

Advocate staff photo by CHARLES CHAMPAGNE    When Purple Haze pulls up near the Indian Mounds on the LSU campus, you know football season is here.

The goal posts are painted, the field is lined, the footballs are properly inflated and Purple Haze is on its way to Tiger Stadium. Football season is finally here! Purple Haze, the ultimate in tailgating trucks, has everything devoted LSU fans Jeff Koonce, Eric Oberlander and Kirk Fisher need for a home game — a… Continue reading →

New Orleans artist Charlie T. Johnson salvages flooded works to tell another story

Photo provided by Charlie T. Johnson -- Charlie T. Johnson's mixed media works on paper will be featured in the solo show, Art Reclaimed and Reconstituted, opening Thursday, Sept. 3, in Southern University's Visual Arts Gallery. Johnson's pieces are reworked artworks salvaged from his New Orleans studio flooded by Hurricane Katrina.

Twenty-five works will hang in Charlie T. Johnson’s solo show, “Art Reclaimed and Reconstituted,” in Southern University’s Visual Arts Gallery in Frank Hayden Hall. Randell Henry is curating the exhibit of works salvaged from Johnson’s Broadmoor neighborhood basement in New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters destroyed most of his art 10 years ago. These days, Johnson has… Continue reading →

Aquarium’s recovery tale teaches patience pays off

“A Penguin Named Patience: A Hurricane Katrina Rescue Story” By Suzanne Lewis, illustrated by Lisa Anchin, Sleeping Bear Press, $15.95 As people and pets were being rescued from a flooded post-Katrina New Orleans, a penguin named Patience was learning to be patient.… Continue reading →

At Random: As summer ends, go out and play

If we were a normal family, I suppose we’d have a nice bowl of fruit on the coffee table. Instead, the bowl in the den is more likely to be full of old tennis balls, kept there for the odd moment when we decide to take a few into the yard and ask our dog to go fetch.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area book events for Aug. 30 - Sept. 1

Book events KIDS’ NIGHT: 5 p.m., La Divina Italian Cafe. Join Linda Taylor, author of “LSU Alphabet Book,” for this special LSU Tiger event. Wear your purple and gold. OGDEN HONORS CONVOCATION FEATURING AUTHOR MICHAEL PITRE: 7:30 p.m., LSU Student Union Theater. New Orleans… Continue reading →

N.O. hotel offering supercar driving tour

The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, is bringing the Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience to the streets of New Orleans. This driving program will come to The Roosevelt on two separate occasions and offer hotel guests the opportunity to get behind the wheel of three incredible supercars — a Ferrari 458 Italia Spider, a McLaren MP4-12C… Continue reading →

Trips offered to Tanzania, Cozumel

Photo provided by Phil Frost -- The Baton Rouge Zoo's tour group gets a close look at the wildlife on a trip to Kenya in 2014.

Whether you’d like to watch wildebeest and zebras roam or set sail with John Schneider, you’re in luck. Spaces are still available for the Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo’s expedition to Tanzania and the actor-hosted cruise to Cozumel. Both trips happen in November. This will be the third Friends-sponsored journey to Africa. Having visited Kenya… Continue reading →

One party after another

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Dining By Design --- Taking over the kitchen at the Crowne Plaza for Dining By Design are celebrity chefs, from left, Dondi McNulty, Chris Lusk, Chris Motto, Peter Sclafani, Charles Carroll, Rick Tramonto,Seth Shipley, Pierre Sauvaget, Phillippe Caupain and Jared Van Camp.

Last week’s party hopping started off on Monday and continued through Sunday, often with multiple events on the same day. I told you the social scene was heating up. So here we go. The Crowne Plaza ballroom was transformed into the Garden of Eden Aug. 23 for this… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area arts calendar for Aug. 30, 2015

Here’s what’s going on this week in the area arts and cultural scene: Auditions for New Venture Movement’s upcoming dance concert, “SOUL,” are set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, 427 Laurel St. Performances are set for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11, at Independence Park Theatre, 7800 Independence… Continue reading →

BR Gallery accepting new artists applications

Baton Rouge Gallery is making its annual call for new artist members. Since its founding 50 years ago, Baton Rouge Gallery, 1515 Dalrymple Drive, has grown into one of the area’s premier contemporary arts centers. The mission of Baton Rouge Gallery is to advance local and national contemporary artists and to engage the community through unique cultural… Continue reading →

Museum to feature exhibitions on West

The fall season at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, 710 E. St. Mary Blvd., Lafayette, will feature two exhibitions devoted to the West: “Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined” and “Art Under the Big Sky.” An opening reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4. The new exhibits… Continue reading →

LSU Libraries exhibits 'Tempest' collection on Louisiana storms

Photo provided by LSU Libraries Special Collections -- The Audubon Sugar School after a 1915 hurricane. This photo is part of the LSU Libraries Special Collections' exhibit, "Tempest: Storms in the Archives," which runs through Sept. 12 at Hill Memorial Library.

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, LSU Libraries’ Special Collections division presents the exhibition “Tempest: Storms in the Archives” at Hill Memorial Library on campus. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs through Sept. 12. Louisiana hurricanes have left their mark in correspondence, photographs,… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Fall fashion trends may surprise

David Blanchet, Josette Abshire

As you struggle to shoo away the insects of summer, fall’s long since arrived in the international fashion houses. Their cool weather couture collections are off and strutting down the runways, the trends are fixed, and whether you lean more Missoni, Maison Margiela or Miu Miu, the suspense is over. Those designers wishing to attract the young… Continue reading →

Human Condition: Hotel stay brings flood of Katrina memories

Turning from U.S. 90, I stare at the Marriott Courtyard and suddenly know I’ve been here before. The building’s different — I remember balconies. This façade is flat; that hotel was a Holiday Inn. Yet the parking lot, planted with lush vegetation, looks familiar. And I recognize the view — sandy beach, rolling waves, pier jutting into… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge faith community responded to Katrina evacuees in many ways

Associated Press file photo by DAVE MARTIN -- Many of the thousands who evacuated from the New Orleans area during Hurricane Katrina ended up in Baton Rouge, where churches opened their doors to provide food, water and shelter.

As tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees poured out of New Orleans, the people of faith of Baton Rouge opened their arms and doors to welcome them. “It was quite amazing,” Mayor-President Kip Holden said. “The church answered the call. … A lot of churches took in a lot of folks. They fed people.… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Christmas gifts that appeal worldwide

This time of year, many area residents gear up for a Christmas project: the annual collection of shoeboxes filled with gifts for children around the world. Many churches gather Operation Christmas Child boxes from members. Those boxes then go to Florida Boulevard Baptist Church, which acts as a collection point for the region and loads the… Continue reading →

Religion bulletins for Aug. 29, 2015

RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color6 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1 S. Group is for individuals seeking freedom from destructive habits. Free. (225) 776-1652. Sunday WORSHIP SERVICES: 11 a.m., New Covenant Christian… Continue reading →

Story of Clinton's 175-year-old Marston House one of revival and survival -- and there's the bank vault

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- The Marston House in Clinton is now restored and ready for community cultural events. The building was started in the 1830s by the Union Bank of New Orleans, but never finished. In 1835, Henry Marston made a deal to complete the bank, the Union Bank of Clinton, and, in 1837, added the family residence to the building.

James G. “Jimmy” Marston III lives in Shreveport, but his roots are in Clinton in the 175-plus-year-old Southern classic Marston House. For decades, the once-grand home stood as a reminder of one of Clinton’s great old families and of the town’s years as a commercial center. At a Marston family… Continue reading →

Garden news: Time to divide, plant your Louisiana irises

Photo by DAN GILL/LSU AgCenter  Now's a great time to plant or divide your Louisiana irises, which can be found around the world.

Louisiana iris is the name used worldwide for a unique group of Louisiana-native iris species and, in particular, their hybrids. They are now grown in gardens from Europe to Australia. The best time to plant Louisiana irises is in August and September when they are at their most dormant, or October just as they begin to grow,… Continue reading →

Volunteer opportunities in Baton Rouge area

Volunteer opportunities, provided by Capital Area United Way, are outlined in this column every Friday. To learn more about these opportunities please contact the listed agency directly or visit to sign up online. PROGRAM INVESTMENT VOLUNTEERS, Capital Area United Way — (225) 383-2643: CAUW is seeking volunteers to help CAUW… Continue reading →

Capital Chefs’ Showcase participants have various motives, but Best in Show title a major draw

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Drusilla Place executive chef Sonny Creel will prepare chipotle-rubbed beef short ribs, a shiitake mushroom risotto and an asparagus and parsnip salad for the Sept. 10 Capital Chefs' Showcase.

For some chefs and restaurant owners, it’s personal. For others, it’s a chance to give back to the community. And then there’s the bragging rights that come with serving the best dish of the night. Stir up all those ingredients, add a little music, and you’ve got the 33rd annual Capital Chefs’ Showcase, benefiting Cancer Services… Continue reading →

Showcase benefits Cancer Services of GBR

Money raised at the Sept. 10 Capital Chefs’ Showcase is vital to Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, which uses the proceeds to improve life for those living with cancer in the 10-parish capital area. The showcase raised about $235,000 last year, and organizers are hoping to exceed that this year. “One of the things… Continue reading →

LSU Museum of Art to host French Culinary Series

The LSU Museum of Art will host a French Culinary Series in conjunction with its upcoming exhibition, “Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910.” Enjoy three evenings of French wine with food pairings in the LSU Museum of Art’s galleries on the fifth floor. Relax as chefs from local French restaurants guide you through a… Continue reading →

Ruffino’s BR plans LSU Kickoff Wine Dinner

Florida Gator Bites. Tender Loin of Razorback. Crabmeat Spring Roll Tide. These are just three of the original recipes Tigers fans will enjoy during the annual LSU Kickoff Wine Dinner hosted by Baton Rouge’s Ruffino’s Restaurant, 18811 Highland Road, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2. Chef Peter Sclafani once again has let his… Continue reading →

Iconic Broadmoor Theatre fixtures get second life at John Schneider’s Holden studio

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Actor/producer/director John Schneider  watches as the large sign for the old Broadmoor Theatre comes down. He had the sign moved to his Holden studios.

A part of Baton Rouge’s cinema past is getting a second life east of the city. Actor/producer/director John Schneider recently bought and had moved to his Holden studios the iconic sign, seats, wall sconces and popcorn machine from the soon-to-be-demolished Broadmoor Theatre. The Ogden family opened the Broadmoor in 1965 as a one-screen theater,… Continue reading →

‘Shakespeare in the Swamp’ festival promises an evening with The Bard

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Helena, played by Ellyn Heald, left, and Flute, played by Chasen Schneider, will star in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in the Shakespeare in the Swamp production  at John Schneider Studios in Holden.

They’ll be trading British for Cajun accents when John Schneider Studios stages its Shakespeare in the Swamp festival this weekend. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is on the bill for three performances — Friday through Sunday, Aug. 27-29 — in the studio’s converted barn theater, where Schneider will make a special appearance. But, Schneider’s… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line: Old friends, good food

Photo provided by PAM BORDELON --- Lunch bunch --- Enjoying lunch with the godfather of Louisiana political campaigns Gus Weill, seated, are, standing from left, Leo Honeycutt, Pam Bordelon and Jim Engster.

I was beyond flattered when friend Leo Honeycutt called and asked me to join him and Gus Weill for lunch at Sullivan’s last Friday. The cherry on top was that friend Jim Engster was on the invite list, too. In case you’re not aware of who Mr. Weill is, let me educate you a… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Going global

Cydra Wingerter, Katherine McCormick, Philippe Gustin, Becky Perret, Vanessa Paredes

Mayor Joey Durel welcomed 150 newly registered international college students to the fair city of Lafayette as part of a long day of matriculation and orientation. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette undergrads hail largely from India, China, Saudi Arabia and Oman, according to International Center staffer Rose Honegger, and were given a warm south… Continue reading →

‘Katrina’ actress, 14, is serious about her role: ‘They lost everything ... and I’m going to tell their story’

Photo provided by Maddgame Entertainment -- Maya Horton plays 14-year-old Katrina in UpStage Theatre's 'Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back.' 'I can only fathom what those kids went through,' says the young actress who was only 4 when the storm hit.

Maya Horton is 14, the same age of the leading character she plays in UpStage Theatre’s one-night production of Jason Tremblay’s drama, “Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back.” Curtains open at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 28, in the McKinley Middle Magnet School auditorium for this 10th anniversary commemoration of Hurricane Katrina. And playing… Continue reading →

Community column for Aug. 25, 2015

Photo provided by LOWELL TILLEY -- Chili cook-off donation -- The International Chili Society Louisiana and Regional Chili Cook-off Committee presented a $5,000 check to Our Lady of Lake Regional Medical Center Foundation for the Childrens Hospital on Aug. 3. Shown are, from left, Elizabeth Howe and Elizabeth Sherman, both of 4theKids Baton Rouge; Danny Miller, Knights of Columbus; Rick Blackstone, Audubon Kiwanis; John Paul Funes, Our Lady of the Lake Foundation president; Sydney Saia, and Hannah Gale, both of 4theKids Baton Rouge, and Lowell Tilley and Rae Phillips, both of Audubon Kiwanis.

The International Chili Society Louisiana and Regional Chili Cook-off Committee donated $5,000 to Our Lady of Lake Regional Medical Center Foundation for the Children’s Hospital on Aug. 3. The money came from proceeds of the chili cook-off in March at LSU. The Audubon… Continue reading →

Class helps diabetics solve the puzzle of what to eat; the answer varies for each individual

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- A NuVal chart, showing the nutritional scores of some breads, hangs on an aisle at Alexander's Highland Market where Pennington dietician Catherine Carmichael, right, is showing a group how to shop to help keep their diabetes in check.

Learning to manage diabetes is all about balance. More than just avoiding sugar, living with the disease means creating nourishing meals while keeping blood sugar down. For John Bilisoly, a 79-year-old Baton Rouge retiree recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic, what’s for dinner has become a constant puzzle. “It’s been a learning process,” said Bilisoly, who… Continue reading →

Need healthy, grill-ready treats? You need grilled plantains

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- These Grilled Tropical Plantains get their richness from coconut oil, unsweetened coconut and macadamia nuts. Since this recipe takes just minutes to make, these are perfect for entertaining.

In the summer, we eat outside nearly every day. Which translates into three months of meals to cook on the grill; more if you live in San Diego, like we do. Throw in Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day, and even the heartiest of recipe repertoires can be stress-tested. We grill fish,… Continue reading →

Alzeimers Q&A: How to motivate a loved one to eat

How do I motivate my mom to eat? It is difficult to ascertain if a loved one with Alzheimer’s is experiencing a loss of appetite, not feeling well or just doesn’t particularly like the food. Since individuals with Alzheimer’s have difficulty explaining their needs to others, mealtime is a special challenge to ensure proper diet and… Continue reading →

Study: Easy does it on Vitamin D supplements for obese teens

Photo provided by Fotolia/TNS -- Recent studies show that an increased vitamin D intake in obese teens shows no benefits for their heart health or diabetes risk, and could have the unintended consequences of increasing cholesterol and fat-storing triglycerides.

Dosing obese teens with vitamin D shows no benefits for their heart health or diabetes risk, and could have the unintended consequences of increasing cholesterol and fat-storing triglycerides. These are the latest findings in a series of Mayo Clinic studies in childhood obesity. Seema Kumar, a pediatric endocrinologist in the Mayo… Continue reading →