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
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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The State of Things
12:40 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Moog's Modern Appeal

Pop singer Ke$ha teaches Conan O'Brien how to play a Theremin
Credit www.moogmusic.com

Next week, Moog Music will open doors to its new headquarters and studio in Asheville, NC. The electronic musical instruments manufacturer is known for producing Theremin kits, synthesizers and other analog equipment, but digital music era artists are crazy for the Moog sound. Bands like Rush, Coldplay and Weezer and pop singers like Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and Beyoncé have all scooped up sets of Moog gear for their recording sessions and concert performances.

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The State of Things
12:35 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Neverisms

Credit www.drmardy.com

Host Frank Stasio talks to Grothe about his lifelong love of quotations and what saying “never” can teach us.

Mardy Grothe's obsession with quotations began in college, but it wasn't until he battled cancer decades later that he finally sat down to write a book about them. He's been writing books ever since. His latest is called "Neverisms: A Quotation Lover's Guide to Things You Should Never Do, Never Say, or Never Forget" (Collins Reference/2011).

The State of Things
12:27 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Devil's Ink

Credit www.devilsinkblog.com

Jeffrey Pugh is a professor of religious studies at Elon University, so he is used to teaching students about God and the Devil. But in his new book, "Devil's Ink: Blog from the Basement Office" (Fortress Press/2011), Pugh takes on the role of Satan himself. Writing from the point of view of the Prince of Darkness, Pugh gives a different take on the world in a series of mock-blog posts.

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