Moody’s downgrades University of Louisville’s long-term debt rating Monday, Oct 20 2014 

Oval-Commons-University-of-LouisvilleRatings agency Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the long-term debt rating of the University of Louisville last month, citing multiple years of weak operating performance, declines in state budget appropriations, and dwindling federal investment. The news comes on the heels of … Continue reading

Day 3: Teen Boredom, Mormons and Nick Friday, Oct 17 2014 

The Daily Journal of Luke and Rick, Day 3

LUKE

School today was fairly boring, not much happened. The only thing of importance that was talked about today was… well actually nothing. The walk home from school oddly boring as well since nothing came into my head that was interesting to think about. However my brother and his fiancée came over for dinner, which is always great. We had some great cooking from my mom and talked about a variety of things ranging from school to family to Ebola stuff (my brother isn’t scared in the least bit). Though the symptoms of Ebola and what Ebola does to you made my mom very uncomfortable, which was funny. Well that concludes my day so I’m going to get back to my computer game.

RICK

I walked up the street to Loui Loui’s for dinner with Paula. On the way, two college-age women on Wal-mart bicycles stopped to talk with me. It was dusk, and they were dressed conservatively, in dresses with little hats like I’ve seen Amish women wear. With a huge smile, one asked me about my relationship with Jesus Christ.

MormonMy answer made it clear that I wasn’t going to be their convert to Mormonism for the day. But we did have a nice conversation. She asked what I knew about Mormons, to which I joked that I knew from South Park that it was the right religion. And that I knew about Big Love, the HBO series. I asked about their mission, recalling reading about BYU athletes giving up a year of athletic eligibility to go on faraway missions. I wonder how they drew Louisville as their destination.

They live in an apartment, and apparently were out looking for people to talk with about Mormonism. They even gave me a card, asking me to investigate the church. I actually have read a lot about Mormons, including the disturbing 2003 book by Jon Krakauer, “Under the Banner of Heaven.” I’m sure they wouldn’t recommend it.

In other news, I got a call from my son Nick, who’s 24 and lives in New Orleans. I’m really  proud of him. He’s working in a children’s museum, but his passion is focused on a play he’s producing. He’s also the creator of the name “Rusty Satellite” and it was great to tell him how the show (the weekly podcast I produce) is gaining in popularity. I’ve promised Nick a cut of all the proceeds of the show, and he’s going to use it for materials to get his play produced. A win-win.

 

Journal Project Day 2 – A Test, A Trip in the Dark Wednesday, Oct 15 2014 

LUKE:

Today the main exciting thing was we had a big test that a lot of people took. There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on it but it was pretty easy, actually very easy. In U.S. history we talked about how another victim has been affected in Dallas, though I saw a post on the worldnews subreddit on reddit on how the U.N. said if nothing changed for 60 days Ebola would become a very big problem. Currently in English we are reading The Crucible which is a play written by Arthur Miller. It’s pretty interesting and basically all revolves around the Salem witchcraft trials but portrays how the people felt very well.

RICK:

Scott Martin of the Parklands of Floyds Creek

Scott Martin of the Parklands of Floyds Creek

It’s getting darker in the mornings. When the time changes in a few weeks, it’s going to be even worse. This morning I drove out Taylorsville Road at the crack of dawn to meet Scott Martin, the Parks Director for the city’s new park system.

Driving in unfamiliar territory in total darkness is not pleasant. But while we were doing my Rusty Satellite interview, the skies brightened, and there was a real sense of being close to nature. A pair of deer sprinted through some nearby woods close to where we were sitting, in this beautiful cabin that serves as the Park’s offices.

Naturally, it made me think of how nice it would be to work in such an environment, and for a moment I understood why some people want to live out in the country at an inconvenient distance from civilization. I remember when I tried it, about 11 years ago, just over the line in Bullitt County. Pleasant, yes. Permanent? No thanks.

I’ll take being close to restaurants, stores, parks, gyms and golf courses. I can walk, or ride my bike, to all those amenities right here at my house. But it’s nice to have nature so close, too.

You can hear the interview with Scott at www.RustySatelliteShow.com on Thursday morning.

 

New Project: Journaling with Lucas Tuesday, Oct 14 2014 

I just got around to reading the latest edition of Esquire, my favorite magazine, which happens to have a big focus on mentoring, and a great section in which famous people talk about their own mentors.

Then the other day I picked up my son Luke, a junior at Eastern High School, and he told me about a new project he was embarking on for a class. He had to do something, anything, for 30 days. Since he’d just read an assignment on “The Diary of Anne Franck” he made the independent decision to keep a journal, staring Oct. 14.

These two occurrences were not a coincidence, in my view. And since I’ve been struggling to generate copy and keep  my writing chops in working order, I’m going to do the journaling project with Luke and share with you. The two of us plan to write something every day in a journal here on LouisvilleKY.com. Maybe Luke will learn something from his Dad about writing. I’m sure I’ll learn plenty.

It’s a pretty bold thing for Luke to do, and I’m proud of him for agreeing to do it. He’s got that Redding family determination and focus.  I think he will keep it up. Luke is plenty curious about the world and has opinions about what goes on around him. The two of us spend  time discussing the current events that come up in class discussions, and I appreciate the teachers at Eastern who encourage  students to think about real issues, whether it’s the latest disruption at a  JCPS school or why Alison Grimes won’t say who she voted for in the 2012 Presidential election.

LUKEDAD

Luke, with his Dad

I promised Luke I’d present his opinions here unedited, though I’ll offer suggestions. That’s the mentoring part. You’ll get his voice, his opinions, his observations.  He’s both excited and challenged by it. I’m glad to have a great project to do with him. The last time I really did something like this with one of my sons, his older brother Nick and I vowed to eat at a different pizza joint every Thursday — we called it the Pizza Club.

So we’re doing this.  Starting now. I hope you’ll follow along and tell us what you think.

LUKE’S FIRST ENTRY – OCT. 14:

Today, 1st period we got a free class since our teacher was out, me and 2 other friends got to talking about our future and college mainly. One asked both of us where we would like to live when we got our jobs. I said Seattle for that’s where the Google HQ is and I have always just thought that it was a really cool city. Now my friend said New York and didn’t give many reasons. This sparked quite a debate and eventually led to next period (a computer class) me and him looking it up quite extensively. We found out things like NY is much more expensive but the jobs are generally more paying there. Also in our quest we found out that the best countries to live in were unanimously Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria. The second thing today was we talked about the Ebola victim and Ebola in general in AP U.S. History. Surprisingly a lot of people including my teacher  are quite scared, I think it’s not too big of a threat but there is something unnerving about how we have never really experienced something like this. The rest of the day went by fairly boring so that concludes my first entry.

esquireCover

 

A Chat With Louisville’s The Foxery Tuesday, Oct 14 2014 

LouisvilleKY.com welcomes Jake Curtis aboard as our newest contributor.   

by Jake Curtis

“This scene, as well as this city honestly, has many flaws, everything does, but we’re creative and accepting of weird, new things, and when it comes to art that’s the most important thing you need from an audience.”- Kyle Thompson, bass  player for The Foxery

Fresh off the release of its newest album Unless, The Foxery is one of the most talked-about bands in Louisville.  Having toured around the Northeast and parts of the Midwest this year, The Foxery is finally ready to give its new album a proper home release.  Before we get to more information on that, I asked The Foxery’s bass player, Kyle Thompson, a few questions about what inspires the band and where some of their influences lie.

LouisvilleKY:  What is the main inspiration for the band?  Where did the ideas for the album stem from, and which songs in particular stand out on the record?

Kyle:   I think our main inspiration is our own experiences and viewpoints, because there are so many different mindsets within this band. So we try to tell stories with our songs that are very specific, personal, and detailed; but when the song is viewed as a whole it can mean multiple things. The lyrics to Crawl to me are about finding the beauty in the fact that life will go on without you, each of our lives are but a small, small piece in the beautiful tapestry of human existence. Than can be taken to be an extremely positive, or negative, idea depending on how you perceive it. I love the line at the end of The Filth Part I, “When the trumpets sound like an alarm clock, you better be ready.” I read that as an ominous warning of impending doom, but I’m almost positive Mike wrote it to be a call to get off your butt and be productive. For the people that just want me to name drop a band as our biggest inspiration, sorry you had to read all of that, and mewithoutyou.

LouisvilleKY:  What is your main inspiration as a person in the Louisville music scene and as an “artist”?

Kyle:  There’s a lot of significance that in the indie/punk world, we call concerts “shows”. It’s a performance, not just people playing songs. I don’t want a band to be “just four normal dudes who play music”, I want something huge and grandiose and epic. Ever since I’ve gone to shows, Louisville has seemed like a “less talk, more rock” kind of town, and I hate that. In my mind Mountain Asleep, and specifically Jake Snider, always perfectly captured everything I want in a band. Reading poetry before a set started, swinging from the rafters, a true sense of the audience being a part of the band, I loved every single thing about them, and Jake is easily the best frontperson for a band that I know. So thank you, I don’t think I’ve ever told him that.

LouisvilleKY:  Do you have any additional interests or musical pursuits outside of the Foxery?

Kyle:  .I used to play acoustic shows, and would love to start doing that again, but unfortunately I started playing shows before I knew how to sing or write good songs or play guitar, so no one ever asks me anymore, which is the right thing to do.   I would do the same thing.  I’d like to get into the poetry world and I’ve begun to submit poetry to some journals and would love to start doing some readings soon. My girlfriend and I have discussed the idea of doing a horror comic together, hopefully that happens some day!

LouisvilleKY:  Out of curiosity, do you have a favorite comic title right now?

Kyle:  Real talk using pictures to tell a story might be the oldest form of art there is. Look at cave paintings! Comics are important and awesome! My favorite right now is The Wicked and The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. Every 90 years, 12 (maybe, I can’t remember) gods come to Earth for two years to inspire humans for the next 90 years. They’re currently on Earth existing in the form of pop stars. It’s such an interesting story, with a lot of cool ideas about religion and pop culture, and the similarities between the two.

LouisvilleKY:  Tell us something unique about you, The Foxery, and something in Louisville which affected your life in some way.

Kyle:  This might not answer the question exactly, but something really cool about Louisville, is that for the most part, people who live here love living here. That extends to the music scene here as well. So many bands across the country “break out” or make that critically acclaimed debut album about “getting out of this town”. Seriously. All across almost every genre of music, a band will “make it” on an album with a lot of lyrical content about “leaving everything behind”, “burning bridges”, all of that kind of stuff. You don’t see that too much here, The Foxery included. So since most bands from here don’t write those kind of songs when they start, they look for something else, and we end up with so many weird bands. I love it. So many bands from here are unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and it’s what makes me proud to be in a band that is from Louisville, KY. This scene, as well as this city honestly, has many flaws, everything does, but we’re creative and accepting of weird, new things, and when it comes to art that’s the most important thing you need from an audience.

 

The Foxery will be going on tour in November across parts of the Southeast to further support the new album.  However, make sure to catch them in town for their record release show at Nelligan Hall (2010 Portland Ave) on October 27th.  Doors open at 8PM.  The show will be open to all ages, and entry is only $5!  Be sure to check out their Bandcamp page, listed below, as well as a link there to order a vinyl copy of the record!  Please continue to support local and independent art, music and expression!

Plan for your future at the College and Career Expo Saturday, Oct 11 2014 

collegesRecently the radio show “This American Life” aired a “How I Got Into College“-themed program. The prologue was about how ludicrously difficult it has become to get into elite schools and the outrageous hoops kids are supposed to jump through … Continue reading

Terry Boyd: How I stopped worrying and learned to love Eastern Kentucky University Tuesday, Oct 7 2014 

renderingIt’s amazing how dumb we can all be when it comes to educating our kids. We — Americans — have developed a post-secondary educational labyrinth we spend all our time teaching kids to navigate rather than actually teaching them to think. I … Continue reading

IdeaFestival 2014: Math prodigy Jason Padgett and ‘acquired savant syndrome’ Friday, Oct 3 2014 

JASONPI720_ma.jpgJason Padgett was brutally mugged and beaten in 2002, resulting in severe head trauma. Prior to the mugging, Padgett had been an indifferent student in school, and his highest level of mathematical achievement was pre-algebra. After the mugging, during which … Continue reading

While American Students Rack Up Debt Germany Eliminates University Tuition Fees. Wednesday, Oct 1 2014 

Times Higher Education UK
During the past eight years, university tuition fees were introduced into most west German federal states. Yet in a few months, every single state will have abolished them. These facts raise a series of topical questions that cast current English higher education policy in a fresh and revealing light.

Yes, a college education is cheaper in Europe. I keep hoping students in America will wake up and raise Hell, but it seems they would rather go in debt.

CountryProportion of GDP invested in tertiary education in 2010 – public and privateProportion of GDP invested in tertiary education in 2010 – public onlyTuition fees at publicly funded universities (£ per year, home students, latest available data)†
*No data. † Year may vary. Source: OECD, Education at a Glance, published June 2013, and other sources. Note: Figures from Education at a Glance given in $. Other figures calculated in £ and obtained from universities and other sources. Figures on GDP predate England’s 2012 fee rise.
UK1.4%0.7%Fees of up to £9,000 in England, covered by student loan repaid on graduation
Ireland1.6%1.3%A student contribution of £2,080. Tuition fees are levied but the cost is generally
met by the exchequer
Netherlands1.7%1.3%Fees of around £1,600. Average fee $1,966 in 2010-11
Italy1.0%0.8%Fees average around £1,000. Average fee $1,407 in 2010-11
Switzerland*1.3%Between £400 and £2,700 a year depending on university attended. Average fee $863 in 2010-11 
France 1.5%1.3%Start at around £160, with higher fees for engineering (around £500) and medicine (varies). Fees ranged from $200 to $1,402 in 2010-11
Denmark1.9%1.8%No tuition fees 
Sweden1.8%1.6%No tuition fees 
Finland1.9%1.9%No tuition fees 
Germany**No tuition fees from 2014

        
 


A Skinkin’ Good Read from Carl Hiaasen Monday, Sep 29 2014 

You’re gonna love Skink.

If you’re not familiar with Carl Hiaasen, the Miami Herald columnist (you remember the endangered species, the newspaper columnist) who regularly criticizes politician and polluters in south Florida, his latest book is a good place to start. It features one of Hiaasen’s familiar characters, an ex-governor of Florida turned swamp-stained environmental enforcer.  Skink, who’s been a part of several previous works of fiction, is the most memorable and colorful character you’ll ever meet in a book.

skink

The latest from Carl Hiaasen

And, you’ve got a chance to meet the author Tuesday night. Carmichaels Bookstore is bringing Carl to Louisville for a talk at Collegiate School. You can also listen to my talk with Carmichaels co-owner Carol Besse here.

Skink No Surrender is a first for Hiaasen. After claiming a niche in mysteries for adults, he wrote some prize-winning books targeting children, and a side project on golf. The latest is meant for young adults, so you can give it to the young reader in your house when you’re finished. That’s what I did.

My advice to my three boys, when they were growing up, was to find an author you like and read multiple titles. And first Nick, then Josh, and now Luke, have been introduced to Carl Hiaasen’s works – which you could summarily describe as excellent exercises in poking fun at Floridians for making dumb decisions. The bad guys are always trying to get away with murder, or robbery, with schemes they imagine will put them on easy street.

Not to give it away, but Skink turns out the hero in the newest book, but not before some adventurous tangles with a bad guy in a swamp. And an alligator.

I hope to see you at Collegiate School Tuesday night.

 

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