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As pandemic cancels Mardi Gras parades, thousands of New Orleans residents make ‘house floats’

You just can’t keep a good city down, especially when Mardi Gras is coming. All around New Orleans, thousands of houses are being decorated as floats because the coronavirus outbreak canceled the elaborate parades mobbed by crowds during the Carnival season leading to Fat Tuesday. Some smaller groups announced no-parade plans before the city did. Pandemic replacements […]

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You just can’t keep a good city down, especially when Mardi Gras is coming.

All around New Orleans, thousands of houses are being decorated as floats because the coronavirus outbreak canceled the elaborate parades mobbed by crowds during the Carnival season leading to Fat Tuesday.

Some smaller groups announced no-parade plans before the city did. Pandemic replacements include scavenger hunts for signature trinkets that normally would be thrown from floats or handed out from a streetcar, as well as outdoor art and drive-thru or virtual parades. The prominent Krewe of Bacchus has an app where people can catch and trade virtual trinkets during Carnival and watch a virtual parade Feb. 14, when the parade had been scheduled.

But the “house float” movement started almost as soon as a New Orleans spokesman announced Nov. 17 that parades were off.

That morning, Megan Joy Boudreaux posted what she later called a silly Twitter joke: “We’re doing this. Turn your house into a float and throw all the beads from your attic at your neighbors walking by.”

But the more she thought about it, the more she liked it. She started a Facebook group, the Krewe of House Floats, expecting a few friends and neighbors to join. The numbers rose. Thirty-nine subgroups evolved to discuss neighborhood plans.

  • Passersby look at dinosaurs on the balcony of a mansion on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans on Jan. 26, 2021. The banner says "Thank you, Mayor, for keeping us safe." Because pandemic dangers from large and widespread crowds have canceled Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans this year, thousands of people are decorating their homes as floats. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)Passersby look at dinosaurs on the balcony of a mansion on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans on Jan. 26, 2021. The banner says “Thank you, Mayor, for keeping us safe.” Because pandemic dangers from large and widespread crowds have canceled Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans this year, thousands of people are decorating their homes as floats. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)
  • Jessica Spencer, left, and Carley Sercovich discuss the progress of Mardi Gras "house float" decorations at Sercovich's home in the Algiers Point neighborhood of New Orleans on Jan. 15, 2021. All around the city, thousands of houses are being decorated as floats because the coronavirus pandemic has canceled parades that usually take <a href=place on Mardi Gras. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)” data-id=”1426868″ src=”https://ktla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/01/AP21023571583901.jpg?w=900″ srcset=”https://ktla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/01/AP21023571583901.jpg 3468w, https://ktla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/01/AP21023571583901.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://ktla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/01/AP21023571583901.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://ktla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/01/AP21023571583901.jpg?resize=1080,720 1080w, https://ktla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/01/AP21023571583901.jpg?resize=1536,1024 1536w, https://ktla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/01/AP21023571583901.jpg?resize=2048,1365 2048w, https://ktla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/01/AP21023571583901.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://ktla.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/01/AP21023571583901.jpg?resize=876,584 876w” sizes=”(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px”>Jessica Spencer, left, and Carley Sercovich discuss the progress of Mardi Gras “house float” decorations at Sercovich’s home in the Algiers Point neighborhood of New Orleans on Jan. 15, 2021. All around the city, thousands of houses are being decorated as floats because the coronavirus pandemic has canceled parades that usually take place on Mardi Gras. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)
  • Thom Karamus shows his paper mache head of the hookah-smoking caterpillar from "Alice in Wonderland," on Jan. 14, 2021, in New Orleans. All around the city, thousands of houses are being decorated as floats because the coronavirus pandemic has canceled parades that usually take place on Mardi Gras. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)Thom Karamus shows his paper mache head of the hookah-smoking caterpillar from “Alice in Wonderland,” on Jan. 14, 2021, in New Orleans. All around the city, thousands of houses are being decorated as floats because the coronavirus pandemic has canceled parades that usually take place on Mardi Gras. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)
  • Parade float workers Travis Keene, left, and Joey Mercer position a pelican while fellow crew member Chelsea Kamm, right, looks on while decorating a house in New Orleans on Jan. 8, 2021. All around the city, thousands of houses are being decorated as floats because the coronavirus pandemic has canceled parades that usually take place on Mardi Gras. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)Parade float workers Travis Keene, left, and Joey Mercer position a pelican while fellow crew member Chelsea Kamm, right, looks on while decorating a house in New Orleans on Jan. 8, 2021. All around the city, thousands of houses are being decorated as floats because the coronavirus pandemic has canceled parades that usually take place on Mardi Gras. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)

By Carnival season’s official start Jan. 6, the group had more than 9,000 members, including out-of-state “expats.” About 3,000, including a few as far afield as England and Australia, will have their houses on an official online map, said Charlotte “Charlie” Jallans-Daly, one of two mapmakers.

Houses are to be decorated at least two weeks before Fat Tuesday, which is Feb. 16 this year. With widespread addresses and two weeks to gawk, the hope is that people will spread out widely in time and space.

“I didn’t think I was starting a Mardi Gras krewe. Here I am,” Boudreaux said. “I’ve got myself a second full-time job.”

Discussions in the Facebook groups include how-tos, ads for props and neighborhood themes. Artists have given livestreamed outdoor lessons.

Katie Bankens posted that her block’s theme was Shark Week staycation paradise. When a resident worried that she was not “crafty” enough, administrator Carley Sercovich replied that if they could play music and throw trinkets to neighbors, “you are perfect for this Krewe!”

Boudreaux also suggested that people could hire or buy from out-of-work Carnival artists and suppliers hit by the parade cancellation. A spreadsheet of artists and vendors followed. One of them, artist Dominic “Dom” Graves, booked more than 20 five-person classes in professional papier mache techniques, at $100 a person.

Devin DeWulf, who already had started two pandemic charities as head of the Krewe of Red Beans walking club, kicked the house float idea up a few notches at the suggestion of Caroline Thomas, a professional float designer. Their “Hire a Mardi Gras Artist” crowdfunded lotteries collected enough money to put crews to work decorating 11 houses, plus commissioned work at two more houses and seven businesses.

“We’ve put about 40 people to work, which is nice,” DeWulf said. With Mardi Gras approaching, he said a 12th lottery would be the last.

One commissioned house is rented by a pair of nuns.

Sisters Mary Ann Specha and Julie Walsh, who run a shelter for homeless women with children, had to get permission for their own crowdfunding from the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa. “They loved it,” Specha said.

The crowdfunded decorations may be auctioned after Mardi Gras to raise more money, DeWulf said.

Several mansions along a short stretch of St. Charles Avenue had elaborate displays with signs noting their creation by one of the city’s biggest float-making studios.

Tom Fox, whose wife, Madeline, painted a Spongebob Squarepants scene and made jellyfish from dollar store bowls, said he thinks a new tradition may have begun.

“Even when Mardi Gras comes back, I think people are going to keep doing this,” he said.

Source: https://ktla.com/news/nationworld/as-pandemic-cancels-mardi-gras-parades-thousands-of-new-orleans-residents-make-house-floats/

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IOTA Added to List of Blockchain Providers for European Blockchain Services Infrastructure

Click HERE to find out ⭐ IOTA Added to List of Blockchain Providers for European Blockchain Services Infrastructure. | Crowdfund Insider: Global Fintech News, including Crowdfunding, Blockchain and more.

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IOTA, a scalable, feeless, and decentralized distributed ledger technology, has been selected for the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI), a project organized the by the European Union.

Dominik Schiener, co-founder and Chairman of the IOTA Foundation, said they are very excited about the selection in a process that was described as:

“…we feel great about our chances to play a central role in bringing distributed ledger technology to European administrations. EBSI is an excellent fit, both technologically and ideologically. We do not need to adapt an existing blockchain or to start developing a new solution that fits EBSI’s needs. Our core technology already offers a near-perfect match to the strict requirements and precise specifications for a European ledger infrastructure, and it is ready for widespread adoption with only minimal adjustment.”

IOTA has created “Tangle” to solve three fundamental problems with blockchain technology: high fees, scaling and centralization. It is an open-source protocol connecting the human economy with the machine economy by facilitating Machine-to-Machine (M2M) interactions, including secure data transfer, feeless micropayments, and secure access control for devices.

IOTA says that while the cost of transactions on other blockchains makes notarizing small information exchanges, such as the cost of stamping a single document, prohibitive its blockchain is not.

Dr. Serguei Popov, co-founder and Member of the Board of Directors of the IOTA Foundation, stated:

“Creating a blockchain network on a continental scale is an ambitious and technically challenging endeavor – just the kind of project IOTA has been built for. The EU is taking a massive step towards fulfilling its digitization goal, and we look forward to the opportunity to contribute our production-ready technology to this momentous development that will change the way trustworthy information is shared across Europe and beyond.”

IOTA is one of a handle of blockchain technologies selected by the European Union.

Since 2018, 29 European countries and the European Commission have worked to form the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP). The goal is to tap into the potential of blockchain-based services for the benefit of its citizens and the economy.

The vision is to utilize blockchain to the build cross-border services for public administrations and their ecosystems to verify information and make services trustworthy.

Since 2020, EBSI is deploying a network of distributed blockchain nodes across Europe, supporting applications focused on selected use-cases. EBSI is the first EU-wide blockchain infrastructure.

IOTA says that while the cost of transactions on other blockchains makes notarizing small information exchanges, such as the cost of stamping a single document, prohibitive its blockchain is not.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180053-iota-added-to-list-of-blockchain-providers-for-european-blockchain-services-infrastructure/

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Bitcoin’s Drop Explained in Research Note

Click HERE to find out ⭐ Bitcoin’s Drop Explained in Research Note. | Crowdfund Insider: Global Fintech News, including Crowdfunding, Blockchain and more.

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Those buying on the dip weren’t enough to push Bitcoin back north of $50,000, GlobalBlock sales trader Jonas Luethy said in a research note this week.

After briefly trading above $50,000 earlier this week, Luethy said Bitcoin has retraced downwards, breaking down from an ascending support line. Buyers failed to lift the falling price before it found support at the 200-day moving average. Bitcoin was trading around $47,300 when Luethy published and analysts have identified $45,300 and $44,000 as the next key support levels should it keep dropping.

While the longer-term trend is iffy, in the short term BTC would have to break through that ascending support to reverse its direction. A total of 42,500 bitcoin option contracts worth roughly $2 billion are set to expire today, and that is likely a contributor to the price volatility and subsequent fall in price this week.

Altcoins mostly followed Bitcoin’s pattern. ETH is trading at $3,100, a fall of almost $3,400 from a few days ago. Solana remains an outlier, making a new all-time high of $83.93 today despite the downward trending market.

Today the Fed is expected to announce plans for tapering as the US economy recovers from the pandemic. Certain crypto analysts see tapering as an issue for Bitcoin speculation as quantitative easing is thought to give investors the liquidity to invest in riskier assets.

NFT sales exploded this month, totalling $896 million dollars in sales, more than triple the previous best month for NFT sales in May. One of the most popular NFT collections, Cryptopunks, accounted for nearly $400 million of the volume. Earlier this week, Visa purchased CryptoPunk #7610 for 49.5 ETH, worth just under $150,000. Within an hour after the purchase, nearly 50 more of the pixelated avatars were sold and the price floor of Visa’s Punk #7610 rose by $70,000.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/08/179673-bitcoins-drop-explained-in-research-note/

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Permission.io Debuts Nodes on Google Cloud Marketplace

Click HERE to find out ⭐ Permission.io Debuts Nodes on Google Cloud Marketplace. | Crowdfund Insider: Global Fintech News, including Crowdfunding, Blockchain and more.

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Permission.io, a provider of permission-based digital advertising, today announced the availability of its blockchain validator node and blockchain full node on Google Cloud Marketplace. With both of these offerings available on Google Cloud Marketplace, users will have access to Permission.io’s secure private blockchain to send transactions, test, and install dApps, while earning Permission.io’s ASK token, the currency for permission.

Marketers can build opt-in audiences on permission.io and ask permission for engagement, ensuring users have control over their data use and are rewarded for what they share. The company’s infrastructure is designed to help brands address fundamental problems in digital advertising such as compliance with global privacy regulations, ad blockers, and ever-changing ad tech trends that call for a new and improved permission-based advertising model.

The first ket feature Validator Node which validates the network and solves the proof-of-work puzzle, thereby maintaining the network’s integrity. Users will be able to run the validator node on a Google Cloud server, which will enable them to participate in the consensus mechanism and earn ASK for running the node. This opportunity will be available for approved Permission.io partners only.

The Permission.io full node allows users to run a full Permission blockchain node on a Google Cloud server, making it possible to access the Permission blockchain in a private, self-sufficient, and trustless manner. The node verifies all the transactions and blocks against consensus rules by itself, which means users won’t need to take any extra steps to verify trust in the network because they will be able to verify data themselves with this client. The blockchain node will also allow for more secure installation of dApps. In turn, Google Cloud will have the ability to reach potential new customers interested in running nodes on a Google Cloud server.

“Our mission is to lead the web toward a new engagement model, one that enables users to own, control and profit from their time and personal information, while engaging with the web as they might normally do,” said Charles Silver, founder and CEO of Permission. “At the same time, Permission.io has built tools and infrastructure that power a highly-effective, consent-based advertising model, enabling brands to engage with willing consumers to increase ROI, drive conversion, and build trust. We look forward to working together with Google Cloud to usher in the next wave of permission-based advertising.”

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/08/179534-permission-io-debuts-nodes-on-google-cloud-marketplace/

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