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're 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 or Tumblr.

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State of Things
11:43 am
Thu December 8, 2011

New Magic for an Old Ballet

The Nutcracker

When Carolina Ballet Artistic Director Robert Weiss set out to reinvigorate the company's annual chestnut, “The Nutcracker,” his thoughts immediately turned to Las Vegas. That's where the best magicians are, after all. His quest led him to employ the services of magician Rick Thomas. Together they have added Vegas-style magic to the first act of the 1891 work of art. Host Frank Stasio talks with Weiss about retooling "The Nutcracker" for the new millennium.

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State of Things
11:31 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Season 1, Ep 2: Jade City Pharaoh - Where There's Smoke

''Help us, Herald Jones!''
Credit Jade City Pharaoh

Jade City’s hero Herald MF Jones comes to the rescue when an apartment building catches on fire. But was the fire an accident…or the work of The Beef Cooka?

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State of Things
11:45 am
Wed December 7, 2011

American Meat

American Meat
Credit www.americanmeatfilm.com

Documentary producers have sunk their teeth into the growing sustainable food revolution over and over in recent years. In the crowded field of food films, this year's "American Meat" stands out for its digestible portrayal of the many aspects of our nation's flawed food system. The film will screen at the Haw River Ballroom on Thursday, followed by a panel discussion. In advance of the screening, host Frank Stasio talks with filmmaker Graham Meriwether and a group of local farmers: Suzanne Nelson of Cozi Farms; Eliza MacLean of Cane Creek Farms and Jeff Barney, chef of the Saxapahaw General Store and The Eddy.

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State of Things
11:38 am
Wed December 7, 2011

How to Read the Qur'an

Religion scholar Carl Ernst says he has witnessed how much anxiety the existence of the Qur’an can cause among non-Muslims. Ernst, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, began studying the holy text of Islamic faith in the late 1960s. In 2002, he watched the uproar in the national media over UNC’s decision to make the Qur’an required reading for that year’s incoming freshman class. Ernst says the Qur’an, like any spiritual text, is open to interpretation and he has created a guide to help make the book more accessible.

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State of Things
9:44 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Colonialism's Past and Present

Colonialism is often associated with the violent seizure of the Americas and the enslavement of Africa, but its roots and implications go farther than most history texts show. Two new books from Duke University professors explore the nature of colonialism. One examines the role psychoanalysis played in colonial rule, and the other offers ideas about what kinds of challenges to Western colonialism exist in the 21st century.

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State of Things
11:36 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Meet Duncan Murrell

Duncan Murrell
Credit http://cds.aas.duke.edu

Duncan Murrell got an early start on being an outside observer. He went to college on an ROTC scholarship where he vigorously protested apartheid in between military drills. And when Murrell became a Marine, his left wing politics never kept him from being promoted and honored. He went to journalism school as one of the only military veterans, and he covered the Gulf Coast for a paper in Mobile, Alabama after growing up in the North. He's written several groundbreaking stories for Harper's Magazine about New Orleans, edited author Robert Morgan for Algonquin Books and now runs the literary program at The Center for Documentary Studies.

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State of Things
11:32 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean
Credit www.prejean.org

Sister Helen Prejean is a dedicated opponent of the death penalty. Her experience serving as a spiritual advisor to men on death row was captured in the 1995 film "Dead Man Walking," starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn and based on Prejean’s bestselling book of the same name. Through the years, Prejean has stood by six death row inmates as the government executed them for their crimes. Host Frank Stasio talks with Sister Helen Prejean about her experience fighting against the death penalty and ministering to condemned prisoners.

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State of Things
11:00 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Chapel Hill Community Chorus

The Cantari Voices Ensemble
Credit The Cantari Voices Ensemble

The Chapel Hill Community Chorus has been serenading audiences in the Triangle for 30 years. The 130-member group consists of professional and amateur musicians who love to sing, including a group of 25 called The Cantari Voices Ensemble. A few of the chorus join Host Frank Stasio to perform live and talk about the busy holiday concert season.

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State of Things
11:24 am
Thu December 1, 2011

HIV in North Carolina

Stephen Inrig wants to dispel the notion that HIV is a disease that plagues mostly sub-Saharan Africa and major metropolitan cities in the United States. He is author of the book, "North Carolina and the Problem of AIDS: Advocacy, Politics & Race in the South" (UNC Press/2011). He calls the South the epicenter of HIV infections in America, and North Carolina has not been spared. In his book, Inrig follows the history of HIV in North Carolina and sheds light on the spread of the disease among minority populations in the South.

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State of Things
10:55 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Gram-O-Rama

Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill fall all over themselves to get into Marianne Gingher's stylistics class. Gingher, the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, teaches her language class just once a year. It culminates in the annual performance of Gram-O-Rama, a collection of student-produced skits and songs spun out of grammar assignments.

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