Fri September 30, 2011

'The Cat's Table': A Romp Through Mystery And Memories

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 3:48 pm

In writer Michael Ondaatje's mind, the "cat's table" is where the undesirables sit in a boat's dining room. It's for the hecklers, the lowly ones and the ones farthest away from power. And it's also where you'll find the narrator of Ondaatje's new novel, Michael, an 11-year-old who's on a 21-day voyage from Sri Lanka to London all on his own.

He and his companions — two other boys who are travelling alone — live by only one rule: to every day do at least one thing that is forbidden.

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Fri September 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Inspecting Bridges

Upon the feds' recommendation, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet bridge inspectors are double-checking bridges with high-strength steel components to ensure that any critical findings have been appropriately identified and addressed. The Federal Highway Administration, in a nationwide technical advisory, recommended reviews of inspection records and, if necessary, follow-up inspections of bridges containing welded components of “T-1” steel – a type at issue in the forced closure of the Interstate 64 Sherman Minton Bridge between Louisville and New Albany, Ind.


Fri September 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Small Plane Hits Motel, No Injuries Reported

A small plane has crashed into the Pine Tree Inn near Rough River in Grayson County. A Louisville TV station says no injuries have been reported. The small aircraft reportedly crashed into the corner of the L-shaped motel on Falls of Rough Road about noon local time on Friday. Aerial pictures from Louisville's WHAS-TV helicopter showed burn marks in the rear corner of the building. Witnesses on the scene told the TV station there was a fire after the plane crashed into the building. No damage could be seen from the front of the motel, which is near Rough River Dam State Resort Park.

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Fri September 30, 2011
Middle East

Sale Of U.S. Bombs To Israel Raises Questions

With all the recent turmoil in the Middle East, one piece of news that has been overlooked is the revelation that the Obama administration approved the sale of 55 deep earth penetrator bombs to Israel in 2009.

The two-year-old transaction was recently reported by Newsweek. No U.S. officials have talked openly about why the bunker busters were provided to Israel but speculation falls most heavily on a single target.

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Fri September 30, 2011

For Grown-Ups, Missing Those Back-To-School Blues

While adults wax poetic about the merits of education, kids know the agony of being stuck in a classroom.

Ben Dolnick is a writer based in Brooklyn.

Lately my neighborhood has been colonized by a species that exists only for a few weeks each fall: excited students. They're brimming with gossip about each other and opinions about subjects they hadn't heard of two months ago. They seem thrilled, even at 8 in the morning.

When I was their age, I loathed school, even in September. It was dull, and worse — it was forced upon me. I longed for escape like a prisoner crossing off days on his cell wall.

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Fri September 30, 2011

Interactive: Where America's Same-Sex Couples Live

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 4:03 pm

A new analysis of 2010 census data by the Williams Institute shows how same-sex couples are distributed across the nation. Liberal enclaves are well-represented, of course. But so are some surprising pockets of the heartland and the South.


Fri September 30, 2011
Art & Design

Pop Art Master Oldenburg Unveils Another Big Idea

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:22 am

Tom Crane Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Pop art master Claes Oldenburg will officially unveil his latest sculpture outside the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts on Saturday. Oldenburg is known for taking everyday objects and blowing them up to impossible sizes. At first, his giant clothespins and spoons made him a target for ridicule. But now you can find examples of Oldenburg's work all over the world, from Cologne to Cleveland. And they've been embraced — for the most part.

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Fri September 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Google, Apple Hire High-Profile Lobbyist To Ask Congress For A Tax Holiday

Bloomberg has a story worth reading, today. They report that Google, Apple and Cisco Systems' lobbying for a tax holiday on offshore profits has just received a big gun.

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Fri September 30, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Libya's Newest Concern: Looming Political Battles

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 6:48 pm

Abdel Hakim Belhaj (center left), a prominent militia commander, walks with Transitional National Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Tripoli on Sept. 10. The battle to oust Moammar Gadhafi produced a number of leaders who will have to work together to form a new government.
Francois Mori AP

Libya's victorious militias are still fighting the last forces loyal to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi, but as the military endgame draws closer, some are worrying about the political battles that are just beginning.

The question is an old one for revolutionaries: How to go from a military triumph to a civilian government?

In Libya, the problem is magnified because the fighting is still going on and the military consists of various regional militias that don't answer to a single commander.

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Fri September 30, 2011
NPR Story

Commentator Jo Carson Dies At 64

Michele Norris and Melissa Block remember former All Things Considered commentator Jo Carson who died earlier this month in the place where she was born — John City, Tenn. She was 64. She was a playwright, fiction author, and children's' book author.