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
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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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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The State of Things
9:35 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Artist Takes Public’s Words To The President

"I Wish to Say" at the San Diego Museum of Art: Van Tran dictates a postcard.
Credit iwishtosay.blogspot.com

Artist Sheryl Oring talks with Frank Stasio

Sheryl Oring used to be a reporter, and though she still uses one of the instruments of old-school journalism, she considers herself an artist. She takes a manual typewriter, dresses up in 1960s garb and asks people to dictate to her messages for the president.

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The State of Things
9:29 am
Tue February 5, 2013

The Carolina Chocolate Drops

Credit carolinachocolatedrops.com

Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops performs live from the Triad Stage in Greensboro, Feb 2013

The Carolina Chocolate Drops have come a long way from their days of busking on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. They’ve already won one Grammy, and now they’re up for another.

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The State of Things
11:29 am
Mon February 4, 2013

How Former Museum Director's Struggle For Access to Education Led Her to the Triangle

Betsy Bennett
Credit naturalsciences.org

Meet Betsy Bennett

  Meet Betsy Bennett: Betsy Bennett recently retired from two decades as the director for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. It's was part of her longer history as an educator and politician in the South. Betsy got her start training teachers in Charlottesville, Virginia on how to integrate their classrooms. She also helped desegregate Charlotte schools before heading to the Natural Sciences Museum and growing it to one of the most successful in the country. Betsy joins our host Frank Stasio to talk about her life history in education.

The State of Things
11:37 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Former Guantanamo Prosecutor Speaks Out Against Torture

Credit www.law.howard.edu

  Retired Colonel Morris Davis was the chief prosecutor for military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay from 2005 to 2007. He resigned in objection to evidence gained by torture and political interference.

He is now an assistant professor of law at Howard University and an outspoken critic of torture. He joins host Frank Stasio for a discussion of his experiences.

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The State of Things
11:35 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Monologist Explores American Utopias

Credit mikedaisey.blogspot.com

  Monologist Mike Daisey is interested in the ideal societies we try to create for ourselves within the United States. Places like Burning Man, Disney World and Zuccotti Park. These places are the subject of his latest performance, “American Utopias.”

Duke Performances has brought him to town, and he is performing through Sunday. First, he joins host Frank Stasio in the studio.

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The State of Things
11:15 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Biomedical Engineer Turns to a Life of Music

  Not so long ago, Anna Rose Beck didn't think she could sing. She came to Durham to study biomedical engineering at Duke University, but eventually music pulled at her, and she decided to make it her life.

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The State of Things
9:52 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-Winner Discusses Definitive Volume On Civil Rights

The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement
Credit taylorbranch.com

A conversation with author Taylor Branch

  Taylor Branch's trilogy on Martin Luther King, Jr. -- "The King Years" -- is widely considered the seminal work on one of the 20th century's most important figures. But at 2,300 combined pages, the three volumes can be a bit daunting for even the most interested reader.

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