Record Store Day recap

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of covering Record Store Day in West Lafayette for our school paper, The Exponent. I ventured out at 11 a.m. when the day was already well underway to see what kinds of crowds would be available to talk to. To my advantage, there were literally hundreds of people to choose from. For my class, I created this Soundslides project documenting some of the things our local record shop, Von’s, had to offer.

Click below to see more:

And people thought there was nothing to do around here…

Already students across campus are packing up to go home, and these days the number one thing on everyone’s minds is simply the idea of summer.

What a lot of Purdue students don’t realize is the amount of really cool stuff happens on and around campus. Most people don’t stay on campus or if they do, they don’t venture out into the heat to see what is happening.

Here is a list of some of the more notable happenings you can attend over the summer.

  • Community Makers Breakfast: Fore A Cause
  • Kissell Room of Ross-Ade Stadium 
  • Friday, May 9. 
  • 8 a.m. 

Here are two opportunities to connect with former Purdue All-American and current NFL star Ryan Kerrigan. Kerrigan will be part of a program emphasizing scholarships and achievements among students. The breakfast is open to the public, but advanced reservations are required. The annual Ryan Kerrigan 12th Boiler Golf Outing, will take place after the breakfast, starting at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. The outing will include lunch on the course and prizes, followed by a reception and dinner at Bruno’s Restaurant.

  • Paint The Town
  • Long Center of Performing Arts
  • Saturday, May 10
  • 7:30 p.m.

Visual artist Rena Brouwer paints live onstage to the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra’s performance of two Debussy classics: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and La Mer. This concert will also feature images of the Lafayette area by photography competition winners, brought to life by the engaging performance.

  • Transportation Festival
  • Wabash & Erie Canal
  • Saturday, May 17
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Narrated rides in our replica canal boat will be offered 11:30 a.m. and every half hour following through 3:30 p.m. Elsewhere different modes of transportation will be exhibited or highlighted throughout the park. Musical events will be offered throughout the day. To close the day, Carroll County Historical Society will sponsor a fish fry beginning at 4 p.m. at the Canal Center as a fund-raiser.

  • Round the Fountain Art Fair
  • Downtown Lafayette
  • Saturday, May 24
  • 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

On the Saturday of every Memorial Day Weekend, the City of Lafayette hosts the Round the Fountain Art Fair,  featuring up to 100 artists from around the nation, showcasing their talent and works in a variety of pieces and media. Each year, a piece of art is purchased by the committee to continue the permanent collection exhibited in the halls of the Tippecanoe County Courthouse. The fair is now considered one of the premiere art events in the state.

  • Taste of Tippecanoe
  • Downtown Lafayette
  • Saturday, June 21
  • 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. 

The Taste of Tippecanoe is the major fund raising event for the Tippecanoe Arts Federation. Over 100 area arts organizations benefit from funds raised from this event, featuring food, music, arts and craft brews. 

  • Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering
  • Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum 
  • June 27-29
  • All day

The Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering draws crowds from all over the United States for a weekend that has stepped back in time. Like an old fashioned music festival, participants oftentimes camp out for the duration of the weekend, filled with food and live music as well as spontaneous jam sessions around the battlefield campsite. 

For a more complete list of events, visit

Fire claims another Purdue student

I was sleeping when I was called at 6:14 a.m. on Thursday morning. By the time I woke up at 9, I could see what my friend Bridget was trying to warn me of.

There had been a fire overnight in the Riverbend Apartments in West Lafayette that killed one person.

The newest information we have is that the victim’s name is Cody Day, and he was not a Purdue student. Day had been visiting with 4 other friends at the time of the fire.



The fire affected students housed in eight different apartments and those students were bussed to the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center where they were provided food and other amenities. As of now, these individual’s do not have alternate places to stay.



This is now the second deadly fire of the academic year. Speculation over building codes were of concern in the first investigation, but because it was an older apartment building, now officials are saying they don’t believe the landlord broke any building codes.

West Lafayette Fire Chief Tim Heath said Thursday’s fire is not believed to be the cause of fowl play.

A funeral for Day will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday at Urban Winkler Funeral Home, 513 W. Eighth St., Connersville. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Grand Prix Facts

Grand Prix is here.


I thought I would never say it, but it’s true. Grand Prix is finally here and we are all sober enough (or drunk enough) to appreciate it. Grand Prix is a fine tradition of besting an opponent, whether that be in beer pong or in the race itself. 33 teams compete for the illustrious title each year racing a kart built from the ingenuity of the teams themselves.


In light of such a historic and famous event, I’ve concocted a bit of Grand Prix fun facts. How well do YOU know one of Purdue’s greatest traditions?

  • Ian Smith is the only driver to win the Grand Prix in 3 consecutive years. He and Timothy O’Brien are the only drivers to win the race 3 times.
  • Five members of the Smith family have combined to win 8 Grand Prix races.
  • Liz Lehmann is the first female driver to ever win the Grand Prix. The 2007 race, held on April 21, was her third try. She finished 4th in 2006; in 2007 she was in the top 5 the entire race. She went on to finish 3rd in 2008.
  • Several IUPUI students have participated in the Purdue Grand Prix. Their first entrant was John Steger in 1976.
  • Phi Sigma Rho is the first sorority to participate in the Purdue Grand Prix, starting in the 1990s. Multiple Phi Rho drivers have qualified for the race.
  • The original track was modeled after the World Grand Prix track in Japan.
  • The new track was built in 2008 after the expansion of the Co-Rec and is now located near the Northwest Sports Complex. It cost over $1 million to build.
  • Jimmy Simpson, last year’s winner, put $15,000 into the construction of his new kart.

The 57th annual Purdue Grand Prix takes place at 8:30 a.m. on April 26 with the main event beginning at 2:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale April 21-25 for $7, or are available for $10 at the gate.

Music savant brings talent to West Lafayette

Tony DeBlois is an experienced musician especially for a man of only 40 years old.

He is an accomplished musician, teaching himself how to play 22 instruments and sings in 11 languages.

He is an accomplished human being because he did all of this while also being blind and autistic.

He started the piano when he was just two years old, an impressive feat for someone born only 1 lb and 3/4 ounces. But DeBlois is what you would call a savant: he knows over 10,000 songs by memory and has traveled all around the world to show people, “It’s ok to be different.”

013On Tuesday night, DeBlois was the special guest of St. Thomas Aquinas in West Lafayette. The concert was free, but donations were being taken to benefit Autism Speaks, an advocacy group for autism awareness.

He took the stage quietly and those who did not know he was disabled would not have known by watching him.

He made the audience laugh, he invoked full participation, and, most importantly, he showed what can be accomplished though ambition and perseverance.


The audience responded best when DeBlois switched to guitar and began playing “Johnny B. Goode.” In practically no time at all, he had everyone clapping along and finished to a rousing applause. The audience anxiously awaited the next song and when it was announced, gaps would go up in the audience from children who “know that song!” to adults who “have never heard it that way before.”

A movie was made about DeBlois’ life in 1997 titled, “Journey of the Heart” and features a cameo of DeBlois playing at the end.

DeBlois’ performance coincides with National Autism Awareness month.

Trending topics include prom, suspension

I remember prom well, as well I should; I went three times all with the same boy. Lately, a trend has developed in which high school students ask celebrities to accompany them to the dance. Some of the more notable listers include Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber.

Today, the top story on Facebook is the ordeal between a high schooler and Miss America  Nina Davuluri. According to the story, faculty became aware that it was this young man’s intent to ask Davuluri to go to the prom with him while she was at the school giving a speech during an assembly.


With a plastic flower in hand, Patrick Farves, a senior, asked the beauty pageant queen politely said, “Maybe later,” and life went on. Except Farves now faces three days of in-school suspension. Davuluri, learning of the punishment, released a statement saying,

Yesterday, a student invited me to prom and gave me a flower while I was giving a presentation in York, Pennsylvania. I was flattered by the gesture although I am unfortunately unable to attend due to my travel schedule. I later learned of the disciplinary action taken and reached out to the school in hopes that they will reconsider their decision.”

Meeting and interacting with students across the country has been an important and rewarding part of my year as Miss America. I always encourage students to follow their dreams through education, and I’m inspired daily by the enthusiasm and aspirations of the bright young adults I have the pleasure of meeting through my travels.”

In my opinion, the suspension was not necessary. I understand the school was trying to maintain a professional appearance and a student acting out this way may make it look like they don’t have control of the students who go there. Additionally, they could be worried about the embarrassment of Miss America herself. However, she clearly thought the school acted beyond its bounds in this instance.

Had I known it was possible to ask a celebrity to go to prom with me as a date, I definitely would have tried it instead of going with the same boy three years running. Had I known three days of suspension was awaiting me, I probably would have acted just like Farves and adopted the task as a challenge.

You spin my head right round…

The third Saturday of April each year is Record Store Day, a day where labels distribute special releases to record stores across the country.

Von’s record store manager said some of their special items are as rare as 1 in 500. Members of the community and beyond will be lined up outside of Von’s starting as early as 6 a.m. The store officially opens at 7:30 a.m. and if you want items like a boxed set of Cake or a live version of Death Cab for Cutie.

Live acts are also invited to the area. This year, Von’s will host the following bands every hour on the hour:

Keith Austin
Jacob Elich
Charlie Hopper and Co.
Callum Pennock
Bryce Westman
Bo Jackson 5
Popular Ego
Mr. K
The Prannies
Dino DNA
Broken Light
Seth Benjamin
John Davey
The Clutter

Most are from Jurassic Pop, a local label. Listen to some of the music at their website here.

Plus, if you haven’t seen them, Maps and Atlases will be performing at the West Lafayette library amphitheater between 4 and 9 p.m. This song is my favorite:

Come out for the deals and the great music all day long. Music starts at 11 a.m. and goes until 8 p.m.

Media facts that could surprise you

So often I tell my audiences what I believe they care about based on what they are talking about. For my Com 497 class, we were required not only to keep up with this blog, but also experiment with other forms of media content, such as Pinterest.

Attempting to keep with the overall theme of hearsay, I chose “Local Entertainment” for my board and found various restaurants, galleries and special events in and around campus for others to find and enjoy on their own. That board can be found here.

However, this interesting infographic tells more of the story: in fact, most of Pinterest’s users care more about design and aesthetics than the average internet user.


I found my posts were not shown to be very popular sheerly for the fact they did not lend themselves visually to a Pinterest post. However, I wasn’t too far off track: statistics show that posts went up 150% during academy awards show broadcasts as well as 40% higher (in recipies) when it came to the Superbowl. Large events people talk about drive the media sharing.

This site had more statistics that might surprise you.

1. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket. 

2. 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only.’

3. YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18-34 than any cable network.

4. Every second, 2 new members join LinkedIn.

5. Social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web.

6. LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

7. 93% of marketers use social media for business.

8. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18-44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them.

9. Even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger.

10. 25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings.

Let these serve as a reminder for bloggers, social media elite and the interconnected alike: media is changing and the numbers reflect that. It is our job to change with them.

Buzzfeed is life

Trying to study, I’m drawn in by the red banner and the commanding way it says, “What Kind Of Person Are You Actually?”

It turns into this existential crisis. Who am I? Why are we here? What shoe style best describes me?

At what point did we completely lose our sense of identity to the point where we had to turn to Buzzfeed to tell us who we are as a individuals?

Here are some prime examples:

These quizzes range in usefulness from reflections of your personality to what painting by George Bush you might be. In what world would we need to know this? And why are we so addicted to these quizzes? This article sheds some light on the sudden fandom. Here, they say,

There are two quizzes generally credited with igniting the recent trend. BuzzFeed’s “What city should you actually live in?” on Jan. 16 and has accrued more than 20 million views, with around 75% generated from social networks.

The other is “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk” from the New York Times, which became 2013’s most popular story on despite being posted on December 21.

How can these quizzes be beating hard news? It all has to do with sharing. So this week, I found my favorite Buzzfeed quiz and decided to share my process and my review of how well they pegged me.

The quiz I took was: What Actress Would Play You In The Movie Version Of Your Life?

Question 1: Which emoji would I pick? What emoji really describes me as a person? Are we talking about the emoji that I would use most often? Because that would definitely be the eggplant. But that doesn’t seem to be a choice so…kissy face it is.

Question 2: Pick an instrument. Well I played piano for a year and didn’t absolutely hate the experience. Let’s go with that.

Question 3: What do I want on my sandwich? I didn’t even have to get past the first option “cheese, cheese, cheese”

Question 4: Select an adjective. There is a picture of Beyonce in the background. Can Beyonce be adjective? Fine. I guess I’ll be passionate.

Question 5: You are opening a nightclub. What will you name it? I don’t really want to open a  nightclub. That sounds awful. Heat I guess.

Question 6: Pick an American city to live in. I’ve never been to Boston before or really have any idea what it’s like but I am really feeling this answer right now.

Question 7: Pick a March Madness team. No. I refuse. Oh, good. There’s an option for not caring. Perfect. We are getting back on track now.

Question 8: Pick your favorite sea creature. Do penguins really count? It seems like cheating.

Question 9: Pick a restaurant chain. All of these options make me want to barf but the healthy option doesn’t really reflect my eating patterns either. I ate Wendy’s this week. Let’s just pretend I am an aficionado.

As it turns out, Penelope Cruz would be the most likely person to represent me in the story of my life.

1897830_10203285922294110_2124958321_n16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Red CarpetAccording to the description, I need a strong woman to portray my character. It’s flattering and makes me feel good, but I’m not sure I would agree whole-heartedly on the answer. I need better options with Buzzfeed. It is like college. There may be something that I am interested in taking, but a class doesn’t exist and I have to settle. Because of this, answers are often flawed and too much stock is put into false representations.

In short: Buzzfeed is for fun, not to be taken so seriously.


A new statue intrigues Purdue students

The area had been marked off with cold chain link fencing for weeks without seeing much change. Then, this week, a cement block was formed and a statue came to life atop it.

In the area nestled between University Hall, the only remaining building of the original six of Purdue’s campus, and the towering figure of Beering Hall lies Founders Park. A small grassy area with walkways interspersed, sculptures of various kinds appear and disappear over time. Now, a new sculpture has been created by visiting Illinois artist Preston Jackson. The art was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the College of Liberal Arts, a department that is beginning to thrive despite having been constructed in a STEM centered school.

The sculpture is strange to behold.

The statue, named "Distant Paths" is now on display.

The statue, named “Distant Paths” is now on display.

The green images of the people resemble the mint color of our Lady Liberty and contrast sharply with the industrial steel sculpture they are perched on.

Alison Urbaszewski, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts, spent her early morning on the mall trying to distinguish what, exactly, was happening in the sculpture.

The statue will be formally dedicated on Friday at 3 p.m.