Mardi Gras: New Orleans throws big bash of parades, partying

NEW ORLEANS — Tens of thousands of revelers thronged Mardi Gras festivities, many yelling “throw me something, Mister!” in the universal call to float riders who tossed them coveted beads and trinkets on Tuesday’s raucous finale to Carnival season in New Orleans.

Tropical Gardening: Ring in spring with flowering bulbs

During this season of the year, most mainland gardeners become bulb conscious. Even in Hawaii, garden magazines and garden supply stores now are featuring bulb advertisements and displays. Gladiolus, cannas, gloxinias, tuberous begonias, callas, amaryllis and caladiums are just a few of the many types available.

German nationalist, Muslim convert: Politician is both

POTSDAM, Germany — Arthur Wagner has been many things in life: a child in the Soviet Union, a migrant in Germany, a devout Christian, an alcoholic, a truck driver and a committed member of the nationalist Alternative for Germany party. Earlier this month, Wagner surprised his party colleagues by announcing that he’d converted to Islam.

Historic Vegas neon signs shine bright for 1st time in years

LAS VEGAS — As Frank Sinatra asks Lady Luck to stick around, the neon red lights of one of Las Vegas’ most famous towering signs appear to dance under the night sky, revealing a beating heart and the rest of the marquee of a famed casino-hotel. Other rusted, dusted and broken neon signs in a large gravel lot ringed by a security wall appear to light up with neon not seen for decades as other classic tunes play in the background.

Volcano Watch: Archive now complete and inspires a new column

In November, “Volcano Watch” entered its 27th year of publication. The long history of this column is, in large part, thanks to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates who write the weekly articles, Hawaii newspapers and online news outlets that print and post the column and you, the dedicated readers who peruse it each week.