The State of Things

M-F 12 Noon, M-Th 8p, Sat 6a

We bring the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you. We are a live show, and we want to hear from listeners. Call 1-877-962-9862, email sot@wunc.org, or tweet @state_of_things. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/

There's reason to be optimistic about the economy in the Triad region of North Carolina. While traditional manufacturing jobs in textiles and furniture have mostly dried up, better paying jobs in biotech, shipping and many other fields are emerging. Justin Catanoso, executive editor of the Triad Business Journal, talks with host Frank Stasio at Greensboro’s Triad Stage about the state of the economy.

www.ignatsolzhenitsyn.com

World-renowned pianist and conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn is no stranger to fame. His father was the legendary Soviet author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Ignat Solzhetnitsyn serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and he has led and performed with symphonies in cities across the United States and Europe. He is in North Carolina to perform with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.

www.songsofwater.com

Greensboro-based instrumental ensemble Songs of Water blends sounds and rhythms from around the world with a Tar Heel touch. The band’s tunes are influenced by the dominant percussion heard in West African, Indian and Middle Eastern music and their songs are driven by melodic use of a hammered dulcimer.

A new play that explores male identity draws inspiration from jazz music. Playwright Kuamel Stewart’s “Kind of Blue” asks theater goers to consider different perceptions of masculinity with a narrative set in 1940s New York City. Stewart, a senior communications major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the first African-American undergraduate to have a full-length production performed on a UNC mainstage. “Kind of Blue” debuts this week at the Historic PlayMakers Theatre.

Controversy is brewing in the psychiatric world over proposed revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM. Experts are working on revising the DSM for an upcoming fifth edition. Detractors of the process say it's too secretive and beneficial to pharmaceutical companies. They also worry that changes to the DSM would lead to some healthy people being classified as mentally ill. Supporters of the proposed revisions say that the DSM classifications are out of date and changes are necessary to treat mental illness earlier and more effectively.

www.ifnotforyou.org

A group of local musicians will get together on Saturday night at the Cat's Cradle to celebrate the 40th anniversary of George Harrison's landmark solo album. The event is the brainchild of Toby Roan, a Triangle man who found solace and inspiration in listening to "All Things Must Pass" while his mother was battling cancer.

History has been shaped as much by the conversations and bargains that ended or avoided war as by war itself. In his new book, "Great Negotiations: Agreements that Changed the Modern World” (Westholme Publishing, 2010), author Fredrik Stanton tells the stories of eight feats of diplomacy. The book begins with Benjamin Franklin bluffing his way to the Franco-American Alliance in 1778 and ends with the faltering but fruitful summit between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik.

In their slim but fascinating novel, "Donald" (McSweeney's, 2011), Durham writer Eric Martin and his co-author Stephen Elliott explore the provocative question: What if former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld were abducted from his home without warning and imprisoned without being told why? How would the man who oversaw the creation of prisons such as those at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram react if he were looking from the inside out?

Your digital life has a life of its own. Whether you’re on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter or linked in to any social network server, it’s likely that your online existence will outlive you. Authors John Romano and Evan Carroll started thinking about what happens to people’s online presence once they die. They found that much of the information – from emails and blog postings to financial records and photographs – is at risk of being lost forever in cyberspace. Their book, “Your Digital Afterlife” (New Riders Press/2010), tells readers how to preserve and protect their online legacies.

The Sunset Limited
triadstage.org

The latest production at Greensboro’s Triad Stage is Cormac McCarthy’s “The Sunset Limited,” a production with a small cast – just two men – and an extended conversation about big ideas including life, death, afterlife, faith and fate.

Radio Shangri-La

Feb 22, 2011

Journalist Lisa Napoli was burnt out. She was tired of living in Los Angeles, tired of working the overnight shift for Marketplace Radio and tired of feeling like she didn't have enough of what she wanted in life. Then she met a handsome stranger at a party who pointed her in the direction of Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan hamlet famous for being remote and blissful. There, success is measured, not in Gross National Product, but in Gross National Happiness. Napoli arrived in Bhutan to help set up the first non-government owned radio station when the king peacefully abdicated the throne and the country transitioned into a constitutional monarchy. Her new book, "Radio Shangri-La" (Crown/2011) documents her journey to Bhutan and happiness, Bhutan's journey to democracy and the journey of a friend who left Bhutan for America only to find out that happiness was back at home. Napoli joins host Frank Stasio to talk about her travels and being a reporter in a place with no bad news.

Meet Ping Fu

Feb 21, 2011

Growing up in China, Ping Fu watched soldiers murder two of her teachers, lost her parents to re-education camps and suffered rape for trying to rescue her sister from drowning. She survived her childhood only to be imprisoned during college for her research into China's history of infanticide. She was deported and made her way to the United States where she became the creator and CEO of Geomagic, a 3-D software company based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Fu's technology is used by NASA, NASCAR and many others. 

The 1920s-era Murphey School in Orange County sat abandoned for years until Jay Miller, a philanthropist with a soft spot for historic properties, bought it and restored it. Now the school serves as an incubator space for small nonprofits associated with Miller’sShared Visions Project, while the auditorium serves as a community performance space. On Saturday night, Triangle area musicians and writers will gather to perform an old-time radio variety show in the school’s auditorium to raise money for local organizations. Among those participating will be accordion player Jay Cartwright.

Archie Randolph Ammons, known as "A.R." to his legions of devoted readers, was an award-winning poet who would have celebrated his 85th birthday today. He was born in Whiteville, North Carolina to a large family who farmed for their subsistence, sang in church and took in oddballs and strays. Ammons went on to serve in the Navy, attend Wake Forest University, and teach elementary school before joining the faculty of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. As a poet, he was honored for his work with two National Book Awards, a Library of Congress Prize for Poetry, a Frost Medal and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, among many other prizes.

His poetic journey is actually many journeys from poems about rural North Carolina life to poems about science and engineering. And his story is actually many stories, from his early days on the farm to his later days in the rarefied world of poetic distinction.

As part of the occasional series, “North Carolina Literary Lights,” host Frank Stasio examines the life and work of A.R. Ammons with Alex Albright, a poet and an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at East Carolina University and the editor of several volumes of poetry including "The North Carolina Poems" by A.R. Ammons (Broadstone Press/2010). Also joining the conversation is Roger Gilbert, a professor of English at Cornell University who is currently working on a critical biography of Ammons.

Writer Ian Fleming created a British secret agent named James Bond in 1952. The character became a cultural phenomenon that continues to kill bad guys and bed beautiful women in books and on-screen. Chapel Hill resident Jeffery Deaver is the latest writer to take up the saga of “007.” His first Bond book, "Carte Blanche", is due out in the United States this summer. Frank Stasio will talk to Deaver about his plans for the suave spy.

Deadly Spin

Feb 17, 2011

Wendell Potter, former head of corporate communications for Humana and CIGNA, two major health insurers, has testified before Congress that the insurance business model fails most consumers. Potter is the author of a new book, “Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans”. He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about health reform and being a health insurance industry whistleblower.

Of the 600 million people who know how to play chess worldwide, Phiona Mutesi is one of the best. The 14-year-old Ugandan phenom recently competed in the Chess Olympiad, an international tournament that pits players against each other in strategic competition. A short time ago, Mutesi had never even heard of the game.

Chris Hondros - http://www.bagnewsnotes.com

Last week's toppling of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has drawn the attentions of the world to the unrest in the Middle East. As we wonder what will happen in the wake of the 30-year Mubarak regime, host Frank Stasio talks with experts, expatriates and observers about the possibilities.

When it comes to science, the public doesn't know what to think. Andrew Binder, a researcher at North Carolina State University, conducted a study on public opinion surveys of science. He found that people may say that a field of science, like nanotechnology, is too risky, but when asked specifics, their attitudes are often more favorable than they first appeared.

Jimmy Williams

The works of printmaker Chris Williams and photographerJimmy Williams offer two disparate examples of how music permeates visual art. Both artists are featured in a new exhibit called "Listenings," sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission. Host Frank Stasio talks with Jimmy Williams about how photographing blues musicians helps him see the world in a different way, and with Chris Williams about how the posters he creates for rock bands and events help reach listeners via their eyes.

Restrepo

Feb 15, 2011
scene from Restrepo
http://restrepothemovie.com/

Photojournalist Tim Hetherington wants you to experience war, and he put himself in harm’s way to do it. Hetherington went to one of the most dangerous outposts in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley and filmed 15 soldiers as they engaged in combat over the course of a year. The footage became an award-winning documentary called "Restrepo."

person
www.nccomedyarts.com

For more than 30 years, stand-up comedian Emo Philips has been entertaining audiences with his hilarious one-liners, unique fashion sense and child-like persona. The funny man brings his signature brand of wicked humor – one that’s influenced Jim Carrey, Demetri Martin and Mitch Hedberg – to the 10th annual North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival this week and stops by the studio to yuk it up with host Frank Stasio.

Nathan Garrett grew up in Durham, North Carolina during the 1930s where he witnessed economic prosperity in the city’s African-American neighborhoods as racial segregation spawned Black entrepreneurship. As an adult, Garrett, a descendant of slaves and slave owners, joined the Civil Rights Movement and helped integrate Durham’s institutions and businesses, in particular the movie theater.

Robert Griffin
Robert Griffin

Pianist Robert Griffin makes social commentary and sets it to music. He’s taken on corporate irresponsibility, corrupt government, genetically engineered foods and 24-hour cable news networks in his jazzy compositions. Griffin’s latest CD is called “Ain’t My Kind of Strange.” He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his music and play a few songs live in the studio.

An eclectic mix of art pieces come together in Chapel Hill in the exhibition"Local Histories: The Ground We Walk On." Building on the idea that "place can not be global," more than 50 artists from across the United States created works about communities around the world. The exhibit includes artists’ perspectives on a UFO hunter in Puerto Rico, the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, and Michael Jordan’s childhood home. Host Frank Stasio talks with Elin O'Hara Slavick, curator of the exhibition, and Cici Stevens, a local artist with a piece in the show.

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