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
11:58 am
Wed July 6, 2011

The Problem With Work

Economists say the recession is officially over, but many people remain out of work and the unemployed are still feeling the effects of the down economy. But new research suggests that those who never lost their jobs are also still suffering. Some took on twice the responsibilities for no new pay or reduced pay. The effect of that kind of pressure has yet to be studied but experts suspect we will feel the strain at work and at home for years to come.

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State of Things
9:00 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Meet Jock Brandis

After volunteering as a high school teacher in the slums of Jamaica and serving the people of Nigeria during a devastating civil war, Jock Brandis found himself mentally exhausted and disillusioned. He left the service life for work in the film industry, a career move that took him to Wilmington, N.C. But a colleague persuaded Brandis to return to Africa, where he met a group of women peanut shellers in Mali. He wound up inventing a peanut shelling machine – the Universal Nut Sheller – to help them with their work.

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State of Things
9:00 am
Fri July 1, 2011

30 Americans

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being labeled an “African-American artist”? That question is at the heart of a new exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art. It features the works of 31 contemporary artists - photography, video, sculpture and more – with each piece revealing a bit about the experience of blacks in America. Host Frank Stasio discusses the “30 Americans” exhibit with Durham photographer Titus Brooks Heagins and Richard Powell, the John Spencer Bassett professor of art and art history at Duke University.

State of Things
9:00 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Delta Rae

Durham-based band Delta Rae utilizes simple instrumentation and soulful harmonies to create a sound that the members call “gospel pop.” In their short existence, they have crafted an eclectic catalog of songs that showcase influences ranging from Fleetwood Mac to Coldplay. With a successful self-titled EP of Southern-tinged pop songs, and sold-out shows on both coasts behind them, they started out this year with their “Graet Mondays” series, releasing free new music on their website every week.

State of Things
9:00 am
Fri July 1, 2011

The Game of her Life

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. Her life was consumed with finding food for her family and avoiding trouble in the crime-ridden slum she calls home. But chess is opening new doors for Mutesi, whose story is being documented by Chapel Hill sports writer Tim Crothers.

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State of Things
9:00 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Meet Ping Fu

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.

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State of Things
9:00 am
Wed June 29, 2011

Examining Cult Culture

The word “cult” comes from a Latin root word that translates into “ritual.” But in the modern era, the word has acquired derogatory connotations – used to describe spiritual, political or social groups that challenge conventional beliefs. In North Carolina, seven people have been charged in the death of a woman with connections to a Durham congregation that has been characterized as a cult. Could use of that word in the news coverage of the case influence its outcome?

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State of Things
11:18 am
Tue June 28, 2011

Deep Budget Cuts

North Carolina’s General Assembly recently passed the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1st. The $19.7 billion budget was vetoed by Democratic Governor Bev Perdue. But a handful of Democrats sided with Republicans, giving them enough votes to override that veto.

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The State of Things
9:46 am
Mon June 27, 2011

Meet Dirk Hayhurst

Pitcher Dirk Hayhurst
Credit www.durhambulls.com

Not many baseball players can also say they’ve written a New York Times bestseller. Pitcher Dirk Hayhurst can. When first he picked up a pen to write a memoir about life in the bullpen, he never expected that he would become a critically acclaimed author. Readers ate up Hayhurst’s honesty about success, failure and the often strange culture of sports as documented in “The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran” (Citadel Press/2010).

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The State of Things
12:08 pm
Fri June 24, 2011

The "Good War"

Many people think the American Civil War had to happen. It reunited a torn country and put an end to slavery. But was it a "good" war, and is there even such a thing? Host Frank Stasio talks about the morality of the Civil War with David Goldfield, the Robert Lee Bailey Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of “America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation” (Bloomsbury Press/2011); and Fitzhugh Brundage, the William Umstead Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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