Arts and Humanities
4:04 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Pulitzer Winner 'Topdog/Underdog' Opens in Lousiville

Brian Lee West and Keith McGill practice their card skills during "Topdog/Underdog" rehearsal.
Actors Choice

Louisville's Actor's Choice theater company opens a production of Kentucky native Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Topdog/Underdog” this week. 

"Topdog/Underdog" is the story of two adult African American brothers who struggle with poverty, work, racism, the lure of crime and their own close yet tense relationship. Directed by Kathi E.B. Ellis, "Topdog/Underdog" opens  January 10 at the Henry Clay Theatre

Read more
The Picture Show
3:41 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

An Abridged Design History Of The Ball (And Can You Name Its Real Shape?)

Technicians install some of the 2,668 Waterford Crystal triangles on the 2009 ball.
Countdown Entertainment/Ian Hardy AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 10:22 pm

Think about how cool you'll sound at the New Year's Eve party when you announce while shoving up your glasses: "Um, technically, it's not a ball. It's an icosahedral geodesic sphere."

The Atlantic recently gave a brief history of the tradition of dropping an ball icosahedral geodesic sphere on New Year's Eve. And I found myself digging around for old photos, hoping to get a better sense of its design history.

Read more
3:09 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Mitch McConnell on Fiscal Cliff: 'We Are Very, Very Close'

Credit U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he and the White House have agreed on preventing tax hikes that the "fiscal cliff" will trigger after midnight. And he says they are very close to an overall deal that would also prevent budget-wide spending cuts.

The Kentucky Republican did not provide any details. But he said on the Senate floor that lawmakers should pass legislation averting tax increases that would otherwise take effect at the start of New Year's Day.

Read more
2:56 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Yarmuth Credits McConnell's Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

Credit U.S. Congress

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth  says if a deal is reached to prevent hitting the so-called "fiscal cliff," Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell should get some of the credit.

“I certainly appreciate the work he’s doing and it sounds to me like he’s taking the kind of reasonable approach to compromise that we all have been crying out for, for months," Yarmuth told WFPL.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:57 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Not Your Father's (Or Mother's) Congress

Marco Garcia AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 7:28 am

Despite what has been called a status quo election, life is far from static on Capitol Hill. The 113th Congress will bring with it generational and some historic changes, including the first all-female delegation for a state (New Hampshire), and the fewest number of military veterans in the Senate and House since World War II.

Read more
1:54 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer: City to Create 'Uniform Policy' Concerning Dismas Workers

Mayor Fischer speaking Monday with WFPL's Phillip M. Bailey.
Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says the city is working to correct problems with using inmates from Dismas Charities’ halfway houses.

Earlier this month, an internal audit showed there was no written contract for using ex-convicts for volunteer in various city departments. The report said the lack of a signed agreement puts the city at risk, and also found that inmates were not consistently signing in at their work assignments and aren't being properly monitored by supervisors.

Fischer says the partnership with Dismas is a worthy cause that helps rehabilitate inmates, and a corrective action plan is in the works.

"Remember, these folks are in halfway houses and they’re re-integrating into society as well. So that’s part of the issue. But from my perspective what we need is a uniform policy from the city and that’s what you’ll be seeing," he says.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 10:01 am

  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

Read more
The Salt
12:33 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Green Grapes And Red Underwear: A Spanish New Year's Eve

Ringing in the New Year in Spain requires eating a dozen grapes and wearing a very specific kind of undergarment.
Jeff Koehler

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 11:14 am

If the thought of watching the ball drop in Times Square again is already making you yawn, consider perking your New Year's Eve celebration with this tradition from Spain: As midnight nears on Nochevieja, or "old night," the last day of the year, the entire country gathers in front of television screens or in town squares, clutching a small bowl of green grapes and wearing red underwear. More on the underwear later.

Read more
12:31 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Sources: 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Emerging

Capitol Hill
Credit Creative Commons

WASHINGTON — The contours of a deal to avert the 'fiscal cliff' are emerging that would raise tax rates on couples making over $450,000 a year, raise the estate tax rate and extend unemployment benefits for one year.

That's according to officials familiar with the negotiations.

The deal in the works would return tax rates on families making over $450,000 to 39.6 percent. The tax on estates worth more than $5 million would increase to 40 percent. And unemployment benefits would continue for one year.

Read more
Arts and Humanities
12:13 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Op-Ed: Top Album Picks from WUOL's Daniel Gilliam

David Greilsammer

Favorite classical albums for 2012:

Rhízōma, Anna Thorvaldsdottir

The expansive sounds from Thorvaldsdottir are exactly what I would imagine Iceland would sound like. Her writing is more than texture, though. There are lines and figures that appear and disappear. She has imagination, and that’s a rarity these days.

Read more