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The State of Things
10:12 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think

The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs are Smarter Than You Think
Credit brianhare.net

Frank Stasio talks to Duke Associate Professor Brian Hare

The last ten years have seen a revolution in our understanding of dogs, and Brian Hare has led the way.

Hare is an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and the co-author – with his wife, Vanessa Woods - of “The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think.”

“Everybody who has a dog is excited to tell you how smart they are,” he said on The State of Things. “But what science is able to contribute is that we compare dogs to other species and we’ve found that dogs are really remarkable.”

How remarkable?

Without training, Hare says dogs are able to learn words and make inferences. Some dogs learn words the first time they encounter them.

Dogs self-domesticated about 40,000 years ago, Hare says. “They chose us, so they got friendlier and they got smarter as a way to live with humans.”



Dogs are very good at solving problems on their own, but they may not be the heroic animals they are often made out to be in popular culture. Hare cites the “bookcase test” where a research project was done to test what dogs would do when its master was pinned under a bookcase and calling for help.

“The truth was, the dog didn’t run off and seek help,” Hare said. “In fact, the dogs just sort of stand around doing nothing.”

Hare has started a website, dognition.com, that will allow dog owners to play a series of science-based games that will reveal their dog’s unique abilities and help build a stronger dog/owner relationship.

The State of Things
10:06 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Old-time Radio Show Brings Together Local Celebrities

A conversation about the Murphey School Radio Show

  Old-time radio may be old-fashioned, but it’s not extinct. Every year, the Murphey School Radio Show brings together North Carolina writers and musicians for a charitable variety show. The next one is coming up February 23.

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Music
8:59 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Chris Stamey Sings The "Love Sick Blues"

'Lovesick Blues' by Chris Stamey
Credit www.chrisstamey.com

Chris Stamey has been a fixture on the local music scene for decades. He grew up with Mitch Easter and played with the likes of Alex Chilton, The Sneakers and the DBs. He's a sought after producer, and he even studied classical music and composition at UNC-Chapel Hill. But through it all, he's also been writing songs.

Chris Stamey has a new album of his own music out Wednesday called "Love Sick Blues."

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Business & Economy
5:02 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Duke Energy To Close Controversial Nuke Plant

Duke Energy officials have decided to retire a controversial nuclear facility in Florida.  They say it will be more cost effective to shut down the Crystal River facility than to repair it.  Regulatory leaders in North Carolina and Florida discussed Crystal River's future during the merger of Duke Energy and  Progress Energy.  Spokesman Mike Hughes says the utility used a repair scenario analysis to make the decision.

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Politics & Government
4:32 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Bill Would Eliminate And Retool State Boards And Commissions

A bill approved today by the Senate Rules Committee would eliminate and retool a number of key state boards and commissions. It would end members' terms on the Utilities Commission, Industrial Commission, and Coastal Resources Commission, among others. The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Bill Rabon, says it will allow several key boards to be run by political appointees. Democratic Senator Josh Stein says the measure is a power grab.

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Mental Health
1:20 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Audit: Fayetteville VA Didn't Follow Up On Suicide Risks

An audit of the Veterans Affairs office in Fayetteville says employees have not conducted proper follow-up procedures for veterans at a high risk of suicide.  Federal policy calls for offices to get in touch with high-risk patients for a month after they visit the VA hospital.  The audit says the Fayetteville office followed up with patients for two weeks in nine out of ten cases.  Fayetteville VA executive director Elizabeth Goolsby says the office has a large case load of high-risk patients.

"We regret that is the circumstance that they found," Goolsby says.

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Business & Economy
11:52 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Got Trash? NC Residents Throw Away Less

Trash at a state landfill.
Credit N.C. Division of Waste Management

North Carolina residents are throwing less trash in the state’s 40 landfills than they have in 22 years. Numbers began trending downward three years ago, and the state average is now less than a ton per person per year. Ellen Lorscheider from the state division of solid waste says that the plastic bottle ban of 2010 is cutting the amount of waste. While that trend is good news for the environment, she says it could also have something to do with the ongoing financial crisis.

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Science & Technology
11:33 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Cockroaches' Obsessive Grooming Habit

A cockroach cleaning an antenna
Credit Ayako Wada-Katsumata

A new study from researchers at N.C. State finds that cockroaches must clean themselves incessantly in order to function properly. The findings are important not just for scientists studying insect behavior, but also – to the relief of those who suffer from infestations – might provide clues in developing more effective pesticides.

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The Story
10:23 am
Tue February 5, 2013

The Story: The Paper Mill Worker Who Was Fired For Keeping His Pistol In His Truck

GUNS IN THE PARKING LOT

In this edition of our series Gun Stories, Dick speaks with Larry Mullens, who was fired from his paper mill job in Oklahoma because he kept a pistol in his locked truck in the parking lot. That incident became the origin of a bill that has moved through various state legislatures. In Tennessee, the NRA targeted Debra Maggart as a roadblock - even though she has a 100 percent pro-gun voting record. She tells the story of the campaign for the bill and against her candidacy.

VOTE FOR GRACIE

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The State of Things
9:39 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Warren Buffett Buys News & Record

Changes are coming to the Triad. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway recently bought the Greensboro News & Record. And a Greensboro Performing Arts Center could be going up at some point in the near future.

Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC Greensboro Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about the week’s news.

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