Last year it was held in Reno. The year before that in the burgeoning technological research hub of Charlotte, N.C. This year, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers — the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology — is bringing its annual Virtual Reality Conference to Lafayette. The event comes to the Cajundome Convention Center March 14-18, thanks in large part to IEEE senior member and event chair Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, chief scientist at UL Lafayette and, until recently, executive director of the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise. The event is expected to draw some 350 attendees and showcase LITE and Lafayette’s fiber-to-the-home project for some of the world’s preeminent virtual reality and 3-D user interface experts. For more info, visit http://conferences.computer.org/vr/2009 .
Sure Shootin’. Rep. Ernest Wooten is back with a vengeance, once again taking aim at college campuses’ firearm free zones. His bill to allow college students to pack guns in their backpacks got shot down last year, but Wooten is vowing to return for another showdown in the Legislature this year. The proposal has drawn near unanimous opposition from campus police, faculties and student bodies across the state, but Wooten still thinks it’s high time our universities return to the good old days of Wild West vigilante justice. If the Legislature has any sense, this bill will be dead on arrival.
Apparently perturbed that a SafeSpeed van had tagged him for speeding Friday night as he drove down Ambassador Caffery Parkway, 42-year-old Douglas A. Begnaud of Scott allegedly approached the van and began yelling at the operator. When the operator opened the door to the vehicle, Begnaud allegedly grabbed the operator, then returned to his truck and rammed the speed van multiple times, pushing the van into a ditch. On Monday morning Begnaud turned himself in and was charged with simple criminal damage to property and simple battery. Let’s just say SafeSpeed reps had very little doubt the alleged perp would be caught. “The violator left before police arrived,” SafeSpeed’s customer relations manager, Christina Barnes, wrote in a Saturday e-mail to LCG’s Tony Tramel notifying him of the incident. “But we captured his plate and a good face shot, which the police are already using to help locate him.”