Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday," a reference to the binge eating a lot of Catholics do before Lent. As is often the case with holidays, the Christian roots are intertwined with earlier pagan practices. It was very common for early church fathers to integrate elements of pagan ritual in an attempt to attract potential converts.
Mardi Gras itself originated in the Middle Ages and was brought to the U.S. by the French explorer Iberville. In 1827, Parisian-style masked balls were legalized in New Orleans after a long period of prohibition. The celebration soon became known for its celebrants' raucous behavior during fanciful parades.
There weren't a whole lot of surprises at the 83rd Academy Awards -- as expected, "The King's Speech" took the big prize as Best Picture. The film about King George VI overcoming his stutter also garnered a Best Actor statue for Colin Firth and a Best Director win for Tom Hooper.
"King"'s four statuettes tied "Inception," which also nabbed four awards in technical categories, for the most Oscars.
Oscar favorite Natalie Portman also took home the Best Actress statuette for her role in "Black Swan," and Melissa Leo and Christian Bale of "The Fighter" cleaned up in the supporting role categories.
Used to be that our presidents had bears and silkworms and stuff lying around the White House. Now it's mostly cats and dogs. But are they ever adorable. We've collected some of the White House's cutest pets, from Barack's Bo to Billy the Hippo
Many of you may be familiar with the City-County Observer as the website that is always asking, "Is it true?" They broke the story on the Convention and Visitor's Bureau party with the $250 bottles of wine, the new Hyatt Hotel downtown, and today they're talking about the mayor's campaign finance reports.
It's hard to believe that a year has passed since the horrific earthquake that shook Haiti. After the tragedy, Americans pledged over 1 billion dollars -- 32 million dollars by text messages alone. But has it made a difference?
The state of Arizona is wasting no time in bringing alleged killer Jared Lee Loughlin to justice: after Saturday’s shocking shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (who remains in critical condition but is able to communicate) and nine others, charges were quickly filed on Sunday afternoon and he’ll appear in court on Monday. Says The New York Times‘ Caucus blog:
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