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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The State of Things
12:34 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Remembering Harvey Dorfman

More than any other American sport, baseball is a game where mental focus is as important as speed or strength. The challenge for coaches has long been how to get top athletes to exercise the muscle between their ears. One of the leaders in that area was Harvey Dorfman, who is considered the father of sports psychology. He had a long career helping some of the world’s most famous baseball players — Roy Halladay, Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux among them — learn to think more rigorously about the game. Dorfman died earlier this year at his home in Brevard, North Carolina.

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The State of Things
12:17 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Blake's Infinite Writing

Stan Peskett and his artwork featuring William Blake's vision

Host Frank Stasio talks to Eric Wilson and visual artist Stan Peskett about Blake's visions of creativity and inspiration.

Nearly every school child on both sides of the pond can recite the opening lines of “The Tiger” by William Blake. The poem is part of the collection “Songs of Experience” and is among William Blake’s best known works. There’s a companion collection called “Songs of Innocence,” and together they explore the duality of good and evil existent in everyone.

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The State of Things
2:20 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

Meet Tom & Heather LaGarde

The LaGarde family

Tom and Heather LaGarde join host Frank Stasio to talk about community building, music and basketball.

Tom LaGarde was literally skating through his life after basketball stardom when he met his wife Heather. Tom played for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the mid 1970s, won an Olympic gold medal in 1976 and finished the decade in the NBA. He was running a program for at-risk kids in New York City that involved playing basketball while Rollerblading. Heather was in the crowd at one of these roller basketball games, their eyes met across the crowded court and they've been together ever since.

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The State of Things
3:27 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Man of the Cloth

Father O'Connor talks with host Frank Stasio before delivering the baccalaureate sermon to Elon University’s graduating class.

When Father Andrew O'Connor started his Goods of Conscience project several years ago, he had no idea that Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts would end up wearing his clothes. O'Connor, a parish priest in the Bronx, designs casual, upscale clothing made from cotton hand-woven by Mayan workers in Guatemala. Seamstresses in the Bronx put the pieces together. The project raises money for the weavers, seamstresses and the parish, and could serve as a model for other communities across the country. Father O'Connor talks with host Frank Stasio before delivering the baccalaureate sermon to Elon University’s graduating class.

The State of Things
1:50 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

On the Brink of Civil War

North Carolina was among the last Southern states to secede from the Union and the complex factors that led to the state's slow conversion to the Confederacy are more nuanced than history often remembers.

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The State of Things
1:13 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Fan Modine

CD cover, ''Gratitude for the Shipper''

Fan Modine joins host Frank Stasio to play selections from the new CD, ''Gratitude for the Shipper.''

Gordon Zacharias has been writing songs and playing under the name Fan Modine for more than 15 years. He was happily at work on a new album in New York City when 9/11 changed everything. No longer feeling at home in the Big Apple, Zacharias decamped to Chapel Hill, NC, where the music scene embraced him.

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The State of Things
12:11 pm
Thu May 19, 2011

Water with Gas

Credit greencelebrity.net

Host Frank Stasio to talk about the fracking boom and the potential health hazards.

Drilling for natural gas contained inside of a sedimentary rock called shale has taken off in recent years in some states. But a team of environmental scientists at Duke University recently released a report to illustrate how that process can contaminate groundwater supplies with methane. Their research is calling more public attention to the shale gas drilling process, known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking."

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The State of Things
11:35 am
Thu May 19, 2011

The Real Blackbeard

Credit www.flicksandbits.com

Host Frank Stasio talks pirates with Kevin Duffus.

Journalist and historical researcher Kevin P.Duffus has unraveled some of the most puzzling mysteries of the North Carolina coast. Duffus argues that the popular image of the 18th-century pirate bears little resemblance to the historical figure. As the fourth in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, “On Stranger Tides,” debuts this weekend in theaters across the country featuring a Blackbeard character, played by Ian McShan, Duffus will present new findings about pirate culture at a conference in Washington, N.C. called “Pirate Parley on the Pamlico.”

The State of Things
12:33 pm
Wed May 18, 2011

Jade City Chronicles

Credit manbitesdogtheatre.org

Craft joins host Frank Stasio along with director Jay O'Berski and actors Kashif Powell and Mike Wiley.

Quick: name a black superhero. Now, name five more. Well, even if you were able to rattle off a list of well-known African-American superhumans, you'd be hard pressed to find one as bad and funky as Herald M.F. Jones, the caped crusader of Jade City. In "Jade City Chronicles - Vol. 1," a new play by Durham-based writer Howard Craft, we meet Herald, his friends and a cast of charismatic villains willing to run the fictitious metropolis into the ground for financial gain.

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The State of Things
12:06 pm
Wed May 18, 2011

Comic Books and Culture

Credit www.dccomics.com

Host Frank Stasio talks about the cultural relevance of comic books with James Maxey, Henry Jenkins, and James Daily.

Comic books have long reflected the culture that created them. Captain America represented the power and patriotism of America during the Second World War, and Superman is seen as a symbol of "truth, justice and the American way." But the times are changing. Superman renounced his American citizenship in a recent issue of Action Comics. He said he did not want to be seen as a tool of American policy. What does it say that the “Man of Steel” no longer wants to be associated with the United States? And what can we learn about ourselves by reading comic books?

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