Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

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State of Things
10:45 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Remembering Jo Rae Wright

Jo Rae Wright
Credit www.cellbio.duke.edu

Jo Rae Wright was a cell biologist, professor, dean, beloved friend and mentor at Duke University for more than 17 years. When she died earlier this month after battling breast cancer, the university lowered its flags in her honor. Peter Lange, Provost of Duke and Sally Kornbluth, Vice Dean for Basic Science and a Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke’s School of Medicine, were friends of Wright. They join host Frank Stasio to remember their colleague and detail her legacy to Duke.

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State of Things
9:54 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Big Hits, Broken Dreams

CNN's Sanjay Gupta in Greenville, NC

Football is much beloved for both its violence and its grace, but it’s the former that often keeps fans glued to their seats. Unfortunately, violence has consequences, and in the case of football and other sports, concussions are one of them. There was a time when athletes were told to "shake it off," when they suffered a big hit, but some high-profile deaths and injuries have begun to change the way the sports world sees concussions. Neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta explored the issue of concussions by joining the J.H. Rose High School football team in Greenville, North Carolina for its 2011 season. A documentary about his time there will premiere this Sunday at 8 p.m. on CNN. Host Frank Stasio talks to Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, about "Big Hits, Broken Dreams."

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State of Things
9:38 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

Dean Martin's Golddiggers
Credit www.tvparty.com

Billy Ingram spent years in Beverly Hills, California designing movie posters and trailers for Hollywood before settling down in Greensboro, NC. There, he took his skills to the Internet and started classic television website called TVparty.com. He also publishes books, including his latest, an oral history of two sisters who joined Dean Martin's Golddiggers, a singing-dancing performance troupe, in the 1970s.

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State of Things
11:31 am
Tue January 24, 2012

The Impact of Independent Voters

A recent Gallup poll reveals that 40% of Americans identify as independent voters. Still, politics center on Republicans and Democrats, the country’s two major parties. With the presidential election just months away, what do unaffiliated voters want? What will it take to have their voices heard? A planned public forum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro aims to tackle those questions and look at the history of African-Americans as political outsiders – or independents.

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State of Things
11:16 am
Tue January 24, 2012

J Timber

Vocalist J Timber

You can hear influences of some of the best soul artists in singer J Timber’s vocal style, but there was a time when the musician didn’t believe he was cut out for the spotlight. He was content as a drummer and backup singer until family, friends and fans persuaded him to open up and perform. He did and now the Greensboro vocalist is making a name for himself in North Carolina.

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State of Things
9:28 am
Mon January 23, 2012

NC Literary Lights: Meet Alan Shapiro

Book cover, ''Broadway Baby'' by Alan Shapiro

Poet and writer Alan Shapiro expected to be a basketball star, not a literary star, but an injury took him off the court and left him alone with his grief. He found his way into verse and never left. Shapiro is the author of ten books of poems, two memoirs, a collection of criticism and now the novel "Broadway Baby," which was just released by Algonquin Books. He also has a new collection of poetry out called "Night of the Republic" (Houghton Mifflin/2012).

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State of Things
12:24 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

¡Las Luchadoras de Durham!

¡Las Luchadoras de Durham!
Credit www.luchadoras.tumblr.com

Areli Barrera is a 26-year-old graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she still hosts a radio program on the campus station, WXYZ. But this weekend, she will be transformed into La Sirenita de Tiajuana (The Little Mermaid of Tiajuana), the nickname she’ll go by in the ring when she wrestles at Luchadoras 2. That’s an event designed in the tradition of lucha libre, Mexico’s popular freestyle wrestling matches. On Saturday in Durham, Barrera and other amateur female wrestlers will battle it out with breathtaking maneuvers to entertain the audience and to raise awareness about the NC Dream Team, an organization that advocates on behalf of undocumented immigrants.

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State of Things
12:20 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Reimagining Kenya's Future through Literature

Billy Kahora
Credit www.kwani.org

In 2007, Kenya experienced a violent backlash in response to politics surrounding the country’s presidential election. This year, Kenyans will go to the polls again, this time with a new constitution in place – a document many hope will eliminate some of the problems that led to bloodshed five years ago. Billy Kahora is a Kenyan writer and the managing editor of Kwani, a literary magazine that works to share the experience of East Africans and consider Kenya’s social and political future through writing.

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State of Things
11:43 am
Fri January 20, 2012

The Hot at Nights

Nice Talk by The Hot at Nights
Credit The Hot at Nights

Musician Chris Boerner traded his saxophone in to focus on playing the guitar at a young age. Back then, Boerner thought rock ‘n’ roll was his true calling, but after studying classical guitar at Duke University, he turned his attention to jazz. He founded a hip-hop jazz collective in 2004 and the next year, released “Incoming,” his first album as a bandleader. Boerner’s new ensemble is a jazz trio called The Hot at Nights. They recently released a new album called “Nice Talk” and an EP called “Shibuya Session.” The latter is a collaboration with Nicolay Rook, one half of the hip-hop/R&B duo The Foreign Exchange.

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State of Things
10:20 am
Thu January 19, 2012

The Future in Film and Literature

Book Cover of ''Metaplanetary'' by Tony Daniel

Futuristic films and literature of the 20th century imagined everything from space aliens to homicidal computers affecting - and sometimes eradicating - the human race. Although the reality of scientific and technological advancements is perhaps stranger than fiction, we can learn a lot about modern society by looking at how writers of the past viewed the future. Host Frank Stasio talks about conceptions of the future in literature and film, and our current understanding of science and space exploration with Devin Orgeron, associate professor in North Carolina State University’s film studies department; Tony Daniel, a science fiction writer and editor at Baen Books; Andre P. Mazzoleni, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University; Warren Jasper, professor in the college of textiles at North Carolina State University; and Brent Carter, a student in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University.

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