Tue September 6, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Nothing Sweeter than "Honey Festival"

Throughout its 34-year history, the weather during the Breathitt County Honey Festival has either been very hot, or rainy and cool. Last weekend's edition proved to be a stinging scorcher, with heat index temperatures over 100 degrees and plenty of sweaty faces. Despite the heat and humidity, the crowds came downtown. They saw old friends, listened to music, and visited the booths to eat and to buy. For many of them, it made for a fine, festive Labor Day weekend once again.

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Tue September 6, 2011
Music Interviews

Zoe Keating: A Symphony Unto Herself

Cellist Zoe Keating in a redwood grove near Occidental, Calif.
Jerry Dodrill

Zoe Keating's latest album is titled Into the Trees, and that's exactly where I have to go to meet her. She lives in the middle of a redwood forest, an hour and a half north of San Francisco. As Keating walks me around, we listen for her neighbors, the woodpeckers, who she says are extra-noisy in the evening.

It's fitting to find Keating in the middle of all this natural noise. In her studio, she creates a similar symphony of sounds, except she does it with just one instrument: her cello.

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Tue September 6, 2011

After Nuclear Mishap, Japan Debates Energy Future

Japan faces a dilemma: the country lacks natural resources and relies heavily on nuclear power. But in the wake of the nuclear accident in March, 70 percent of Japanese now say they want to phase out atomic energy.

It's a huge, long-term challenge. Even backers of renewable energy say it could take two generations for Japan to become nuclear free.

But Japan was taking action even before the accident at the Fukushima power plant on the country's northeast coast.

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Tue September 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Swiss National Bank Takes Aggressive Action, Caps Franc

Swiss francs.
Arnd Wiegmann Reuters

Planet Money's Jacob Goldstein writes that what the Swiss National Bank did today was essentially tell everyone seeking refuge in their currency to, "Go away. Now."

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Tue September 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Tracks, Equipment Left By Apollo Missions Visible In New Moon Photos

The Apollo 17 landing site: To the far right, the Lunar Roving Vehicle; Toward the center, the descent stage of the Challenger lunar module. The lines are tracks and cables.

Tracks and equipment left on the moon by astronauts from three of the Apollo missions can be seen in new photos just released by NASA.

Though not close-ups by any stretch of the imagination, the images do offer more detail than other photos taken two years ago by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is now circling the moon.

As it flew over landing sites of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 missions, the orbiter snapped pictures that show, among other things:

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Tue September 6, 2011

Students Cash-in on AP Tests

Franklin County High School students have earned nearly $10,000 in rewards for passing Advanced Placement courses since the launch of a grant aimed at boosting enrollment and performance. Students and their parents collected checks in a Friday afternoon assembly: $100 for each passing score they received on an AP exam in English, math or science last year. State education officials announced the three-year, $423,000 AdvanceKentucky grant for Franklin County and Western Hills High School in April 2010

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Tue September 6, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Garden Guru Plants Seeds of Influence

Sharon Bale is the epitome of a woman for all seasons, and while she’ll tell you she retired this spring, that’s hardly the case. For 36 years she has apologized for the dirt under her fingernails, but that’s the nature of the beast as a horticultural extension specialist in the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky. She has driven back and forth from her home in Country Lane Estates in Frankfort to Lexington sometimes six days a week to dig.

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Tue September 6, 2011
All Politics are Local

Williams Launches Second TV Ad

After going over a month without running any television ads, Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams released his second commercial Tuesday. The spot entitled “Better” takes swipes at Democratic Governor Steve Beshear for job losses and pledges Williams will stand up to President Obama and other “Washington liberals.” The ad alsocites an online newsletter that says the state is one of the “worst-run” in the country.

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Tue September 6, 2011
Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001

5 Other Surprise Attacks That Changed History

One of the earliest accounts of a surprise attack comes from Greek mythology: the Trojan Horse.
Rischgitz Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The headline writers at USA Today put it this way: "9/11 How One Day Changed Our World." National Geographic observed that the attacks of Sept. 11 would "alter the course of history."

But the shocking assaults in 2001 on the World Trade towers, the Pentagon and the planned hit on the Capitol were not the first surprise attacks that changed the way humans do business.

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Tue September 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Interstate Exit Ads Cash Cows

They're staples of each trek down every open highway in the country: the interstate exit business signs. The ones that point you to the nearest gas station or restaurant. But how do they work? Which businesses are chosen? How much do they cost? And how often do they change? In Kentucky, the state has handed off the operation of the sign program to a private company, Kentucky Logos, and receives a portion of the sales. The company, which has handled the program since 1997, is a subsidiary of Interstate Logos, which handles similar programs in 22 of the 28 states that have privatized the service.

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