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Science
7:48 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Predicting the Future of Artificial Intelligence: Ray Kurzweil


Hear Ray Kurzweil at the Kentucky Author Forum on 11/26/12.

Ray Kurzweil, arguably today’s most influential—and often controversial—futurist, is one of the leading inventors of our time and a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence. Among his inventions, Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition device, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.

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Food and Dining
7:30 am
Thu November 29, 2012

How Prohibition Changed the Cocktail

The Opera is a classic cocktail from the 1920s served at St. Charles Exchange
Dana McMahan WFPL News

It's hard to believe there was a time when it was illegal to produce, sell and ship alcohol. Then again, in some places Prohibition might well have never been repealed. I lived in a dry county (Pulaski) myself, where I had to drive 50 miles to buy wine. The inhumanity! My delight at moving to Louisville, a block from Old Town Liquor, must have been something like the elation tipplers felt on Dec. 5, 1933, when the experiment known as Prohibition was repealed.

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

The Big Break: Time On Your Side

This week on our audio diary series "The Big Break," Actors Theatre of Louisville apprentice Samantha Beach tackles an unfamiliar role in "A Christmas Story," while Louisville Ballet trainee Claire Horrocks prepares for "The Nutcracker." The Kentucky Opera studio artists are on hiatus until January, but Brad Raymond finds he still has plenty to keep him busy over his break.  

Learn more about our audio diarists, who report in every Thursday on life in Louisville's performing arts companies.

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Local News
9:52 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Reports: Charlie Strong Denies Interviewing for Auburn Job

Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong
Credit File photo

The Birmingham News reported Wednesday night that Louisville Cardinals head football coach Charlie Strong interviewed for the same position at Auburn University, but Strong denied through other media outlets that any such interview ever took place.

The Birmingham paper's story said Strong interviewed within the past couple of days, perhaps by telephone. The story cited an unnamed source, "someone familiar with the process."

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Education
9:00 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Finnish Author Pasi Sahlberg Receives 2013 Grawemeyer in Education

Pasi Sahlberg says Finland's education reforms didn't happen over night.

A Finnish author and education reformer has won the University of Louisville's 2013 Grawemeyer Award for education.

Pasi Sahlberg directs Finland’s Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation and is also author of "Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?"

The book explains how reforms that began in the 1970s led to the current success the public school system is experiencing. Finland was once poorly ranked educationally and had large inequalities among its students.

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Politics
6:39 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Coats Partners With Young to Help River Ridge Development

Joining Indiana Ninth District Congressman Todd Young, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-In., has introduced a bill to help redevelopment at a former military installation in Jeffersonville.

Under Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) guidelines, the old Indiana Army Ammunition Plant now operates as the River Ridge Commerce Center. According to Coats's office, the southern portion of the plant is reserved for economic development by the state and county, but it is not guaranteed legal protections.

The measure would ensure that all property owners of land formerly used as a military installation at the commerce center are compensated by the defense department.

From Sen. Coats's office:

"River Ridge is a promising economic development opportunity that could help boost the local economy and create jobs in southern Indiana,” said Coats. “This bill will provide potential job creators at locations like River Ridge the same insurance protections granted to developers and businesses on all other closed military installations. I am pleased to join Rep. Young in this effort and will work with my colleagues to get the legislation approved in the Senate.”

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Environment
5:17 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Kentucky Mine Flagged by MSHA, Placed on Special Status

The federal government has given four mines—including one in Kentucky—a warning that if they don’t make strides in health and safety, they could be put on a “pattern of violations” status.

Once a mine is marked as having a pattern of violations, any significant and substantial violations that are found by regulators would require that section of the mine to be temporarily shut down.

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Arts and Humanities
4:37 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Kentucky Opera's Composer Workshop Program Receives NEA Support

The Kentucky Opera is on the list of Kentucky artists and organizations receiving grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for the next fiscal year. The opera will receive $12,500 to help fund the development of a new one-act opera by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Terry Teachout through its innovative composer workshop. 

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Politics
4:03 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Yarmuth Joins Supporters of Legalization of Industrial Hemp

Rep. John Yarmuth and Sen. Rand Paul. Both support the legalization of industrial hemp.
Credit Phillip Bailey / WFPL News

Republican advocates of industrial hemp in Kentucky are getting some across the aisle help.

Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, supports efforts to legalize the plant in Kentucky, his spokesman said. U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer are the two leading advocates for the move.

They want legalization to take advantage of the many goods that hemp can produce to create jobs.

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Education
1:28 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Task Force Concludes Work to Improve Middle School Athletics

Credit ihup.edu

The Kentucky Board of Education will soon reconsider its policies governing middle school athletics following final recommendations crafted this week by a legislative task force.

The 17-member team was formed this year to recommend ways KDE can provide better oversight regarding the health and safety of Kentucky’s middle school athletes.

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