Coming up in The Gambit: Mardivalengrastine edition

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Gambit Hearts You

This week brings a really good, jam-packed issue, with a great cover image by photographer extraordinaire George Long. Inside:

• Mardi Gras maps, schedules, and inside info on themes, throws and royalty. (The maps are wallet-sized and meant to be torn out to go.)

• In a story called "Rally of the Dolls," Noah Bonaparte Pais traces the decades-old history (it goes back at least to the 1930s) of the Mardi Gras Baby Dolls, those women you see on Claiborne Avenue on Fat Tuesday dressed in frilly dresses and pinafores. That's Scotch and milk in soem of those baby bottles....

• You probably know the Tiger Truck Stop just outside Baton Rouge, where you can not only gas up and buy a cold drink, but get a gander at Tony the tiger inside his cage in back of the station. Animal rights activists know about Tony, too, and the battle over Tony is getting ugly. Nathan Stubbs breaks it down in a story called "Cat Fight"....

• In our monthly section Green Matters, Alex Woodward introduces us to some urban beekeepers, a guy who runs his Ford pickup off used vegetable oil, and profiles a krewe that produces environmentally-friendly throws....

Clancy DuBos takes a skeptical though titillated look at Stormy Daniels' will-she-or-won't-she-run campaign against Sen. David Vitter....

Noah Bonaparte Pais interviews director Carl Deal, whose amazing Katrina film Trouble the Water is nominated for Best Documentary at this year's Academy Awards (Feb. 22)....

• and I review Dan Baum's new book, Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans.

There's more -- lots more -- but I'm off to a parade tonight. Here's hoping the weather holds up for all the fun this weekend. See you in the newsboxes on Sunday (if the delivery trucks can navigate through the parade routes), or on our Web site Monday afternoon. Happy Valentine's Day, and happy Mardi Gras.

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