Meghan Modafferi

Producer, The State of Things
Jon Langford

Welsh musician Jon Langford is best known for his time with the British punk band, The Mekons. But Langford’s work is also deeply influenced by American country singers like Johnny Cash. Langford's new album, "Here Be Monsters", blends those interests. He'll be performing at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh on April 25th at 8 p.m. Host Frank Stasio talks with Jon Lanford and we get a taste of the new album. 

govtrack.us

As the primary election draws near, Host Frank Stasio leads a series of conversations with candidates running to unseat Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in North Carolina's 2nd District. Ellmers declined to come on the program.

Conservative radio talk show host Frank Roche is challenging Ellmers in the Republican primary. Roche opposes Ellmers' views on immigration, which include a legal path to citizenship. He also hopes to buckle down on federal debt by repealing the Affordable Care Act and limiting other entitlement programs. 

And on the other side of the aisle, candidates Clay AikenKeith Crisco and Toni Morris compete in the Democratic primary.

Aiken is best known for his appearance on American Idol and subsequent singing career, but he is also an advocate for special needs children. Frustrated with political gridlock, Aiken pledges to use his status as an independent outsider to encourage legislators to reach across party lines.

Democrat Keith Crisco is a retired businessman who spent most of his career as the president and chairman of Asheboro Elastics Corporation. He also served as North Carolina's commerce secretary for four years under Governor Bev Perdue. He hopes to focus attention on addressing issues of unemployment and the state of the North Carolina economy.

 

 

 

 


Marcus Gee (left) and Heyda Ortiz with Frank Stasio
Carol Jackson

  

 For ten hours each week, 300 children in the Triangle create a cacophony of sound using flutes, violins, cellos and drums. The  organization Kidznotes uses classical music as a tool to combat poverty by strengthening kids' community and self-esteem.

Kidznotes hosts a Renaissance-themed gala on Thursday, April 24th, inspired in part by a local children's author. 

™ & © 2013 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved

 

For many, Dr. Seuss is an icon of clever rhymes and fantastical children's book characters. But few people know he also created elaborate paintings and sculptures. Or that he had a room filled from floor to ceiling with hats. Curator Bill Dreyer describes one use Seuss had for the hats:

If a party was lagging a little bit, he would go into the hat closet, bring out hats, put them on people's heads and ask them to spend the rest of the evening in the persona they might expect the person wearing that hat would have.

 The touring "Hats Off to Dr. Seuss" exhibit includes paintings, sculptures and hats from Seuss' personal collection. The collection is on display at The Art Shop in Greensboro through April 19th. Dreyer believes Dr. Seuss is just beginning to receive the recognition he deserves as a fine artist:

Here we are, 23 years after Ted Geisel passed away and he's now really being considered a significant 20th century American artist because people are viewing his art as separate from... his most important legacy, children's literature.

Book cover with Duke "D" and image of Duke's campus
simonandschuster.biz/scribner

  

In March 2006, three white lacrosse players at Duke University were accused of raping an African-American exotic dancer. The case raised questions about race, gender and class in the justice system. Ultimately, the lacrosse players were found innocent. But Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong lost his law license for withholding evidence and other offenses.

Men stand in line to receive free coffee and donuts for the unemployed - depression-era photograph
wikimedia commons

  The state's unemployment rate is on a downward trend, but the meaning of those numbers is the subject of debate. Some believe it is a sign of a comeback while others believe it is skewed statistic. Debate over unemployment extends to the federal level, as an unemployment bill with a North Carolina-specific provision struggles to reach a vote in the United States House. 

An internet hacker dressed as a robber cracks a code on a desktop
flickr.com

    

You may not know what OpenSSL does, but odds are you rely on it when you enter your credit card number to make a purchase online. The software provides internet security for companies large and small across the web. A recently discovered bug in the software called Heartbleed could mean massive security breaches by hackers and exposure of private information. 

  

When Michele Tracy Berger was a young girl, her mother gave her a gift: a walk-in closet. Looking back, she thinks of this space as her first portal to creativity. Creativity served as a survival tool for her during a difficult childhood involving abuse and poverty. Today, she's a creativity coach and professor of women's studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

voting sign
Flickr creative commons

  

As the May primary draws near, issues over voter rights persist. The controversial voter law passed last year requires photo identification and reduces the number of days for early voting in the May 6th primaries. A lawsuit challenging the measure may soon force legislators to release their correspondence related to drafting the legislation. Meanwhile, the State Board of Elections released a report identifying hundreds of cases of possible voter fraud. 

Jon Gardiner for PlayMakers Repertory Company

What would have happened if John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald had met? Stephen Sonheim's musical, "Assassins" imagines a time when nine presidential killers or would-be killers can walk into a bar together. The show raises questions about what the pursuit of happiness means in America. Performed by PlayMakers Repertory Company, "Assassins" runs through April 20 at the Paul Green Theater in Chapel Hill. 

The North Carolina Literary Arts Festival logo
lib.ncsu.edu/literaryfestival/

In the pre-digital era, storytellers were a specific category of individuals who regaled live audiences with their tales. Now, anyone with a smart phone or a YouTube account can be a storyteller who reaches audiences across the globe. What is the future of the art of storytelling?

The North Carolina Literary Festival asks that question of a panel of experts this Saturday at 12:30 pm in the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University. 

Beer sampler
Flickr: Quinn Dombrowski

Since 1980, North Carolina's beer industry has grown from four breweries to nearly 100. The craft beer explosion has far-reaching effects in the local economy, community and agriculture. It has inspired a great deal of creativity, including the development of beer made from yeast that grows on wasps.

facebook.com/ClockworkKids

 

   

An alternative rock band from Chapel Hill, Clockwork Kids' music combines psychedelic sounds with soft folk and hard rock. The Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill has synchronized a space show inspired by the group's new album, "Rememory". Clockwork Kids will play the album live under the stardome for their album release party on April 3 at 7 pm. 

sfbos.org

  Jane Kim was only 33 years old when she became the nation’s first Korean-American district supervisor, representing San Francisco’s 6th District on the Board of Supervisors. Since her election in 2010, she has focused her work on homelessness, affordable housing and pedestrian safety. She speaks tonight at 5:30 pm at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy as part of the Connect2Politics speaker series, a program designed to promote engagement with politics among a younger audience.

Greensboro skyline
creative commons

  

 The Greensboro City Council approved a plan directing $65 million toward the development of a performing arts center in Greensboro. Similar venues in Durham and Charlotte have brought revenue and recognition to the cities. Greensboro leaders hope their investment will yield similar rewards. 

Veteran salutes other veterans
flickr.com

  

The complexities of war do not fit neatly into a poem or a novel. Writers grapple with how to address conflict responsibly, honestly and creatively. An April 12th panel at the North Carolina Writers' Network Spring Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will examine the challenges of writing about war. 

Soft Soap Purrings album cover, image of Bruce Piephoff
brucepiephoff.net

  

Bruce Piephoff's music draws inspiration from the Appalachian tradition of story and character-centered songs. The poet, guitarist and singer released a new album, "Soft Soap Purrings" earlier this year. 

Jeffrey Berejikian teaching a class.
http://berejikian.net/

Individuals are more likely to dwell on losses than gains. They are also more likely to take risks to recover losses than to achieve new gains. Those ideas have long been accepted in social science circles, but now they are being applied to international relations. 

Protest for economic equality
creative commons

Operation Breadbasket was an economic program of the civil rights movement that worked to negotiate better hiring practices for African-American people. North Carolina State University's dance company, Panoramic Dance Project, is performing a mixed media modern dance inspired by the historical events. "Operation Breadbasket" will be performed March 27th and 28th at the university. 

Che on My Mind book cover
dukeupress.edu

In her new book, Che On My Mind (Duke University Press Books, 2013) Margaret Randall, renowned poet and activist, considers the power and the limitations of Che Guevara as a symbol. She will read at the Internationalist Bookstore and Community Center in Chapel Hill tonight at 7 p.m. 

North Carolina Democratic Party logo
www.ncdp.org/

The North Carolina Democratic Party recently appointed Casey Mann as its new executive director. She inherits some financial difficulties stemming from the cessation of tax checkoffs for political parties while the party struggles with internal divisions. She also talks about how the Citizens United case has introduced nationally-funded messages in state races.

Book cover of Love Illuminated shows a cartoon couple
Harper / www.harpercollins.com

"Modern Love" is a New York Times column that features personal essays on issues of the heart. After editing submissions for a decade, Daniel Jones has read more than 50,000 intimate stories of love and loss. He compiled the wisdom of those narratives into a new book, "Love Illuminated" (Harper Collins Publishers/2014) and he will speak at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on March 24th at 7p.m. 

Kristin Bedford

Photographer Kristin Bedford spent five weeks living with the followers of Father Divine and learning about their religion. She photographed their lives. Her exhibit, The Presence of Father Divine, has been postponed.

Brain scan
creative commons

In the future, neuroscientific evidence may be as prevalent as DNA evidence in the criminal justice system. Today on The State of Things, experts discussed the future of neuroscience and the law. Here are some highlights. 

MRI brain scan
creative commons

In the not so distant future, brain scans may be as prevalent as DNA evidence in the criminal justice system. This neuroscientific evidence has the potential to correct biases and predict criminal recidivism. But critics argue it could be misleading and difficult to refute. Exploring the brain as a means of assessing intent also raises privacy concerns. 

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