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
12:25 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Angelique Kidjo

Angelique Kidjo
Credit www.kidjo.com

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo is an international star, but artistically, she’s never too far from her West African roots. Kidjo grew up in Benin listening to the music of the region, but her parents also introduced her to American R&B artists like Aretha Franklin and James Brown. Kidjo’s latest CD, “Oyo,” is a celebration of her early musical influences. This weekend, she’ll perform tunes from it and more at Memorial Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kidjo joins host Frank Stasio to talk about growing up in Africa, her path to global fame and her upcoming concert.

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State of Things
12:16 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

An Innocent in the House of the Dead

Joanna Catherine Scott
Credit www.joannacatherinescott.com

When writers publish a novel, their greatest hope is that it will touch readers’ hearts and minds. But author Joanna Catherine Scott never expected to hear from a guy on death row about one of her novels. When she was contacted by inmate John Lee Conaway about her book, “The Road from Chapel Hill,” (Berkeley Trade/2006), she was taken aback. Scott knew nothing of America’s prisons, but her instincts as a mother and former teacher steeled her and she went to see Conaway in Central Prison in Raleigh. And she kept going, nearly every week for five years. Today, she and Conaway are family; she has adopted him as her seventh child. And they have collaborated on her newest book, a collection of poems called “An Innocent in the House of the Dead” (Main Street Rag/2011). Scott joins host Frank Stasio in the studio today to talk about writing, empathy and learning about life in prison.

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State of Things
12:17 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Weighing in on Fracking

North Carolina's Department of Environment and Natural Resources has begun collecting opinions from the public on the subject of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The process is used to extract natural gas from shale, and geologists have determined that large deposits of natural gas reside in the shale of central North Carolina, especially in Lee, Chatham and Moore counties. The North Carolina General Assembly is considering changes to the laws that govern fracking in the state.

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State of Things
12:13 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

W.S. Merwin Visits N.C. State

W. S. Merwin
Credit Shabda Khan

When W.S. Merwin handed over his U.S. Poet Laureate wreath to Philip Levine, Merwin returned to his solar powered house and lush gardens on the island of Maui. Merwin is known to live a quiet life. He has said that when he is in the city he misses the country all of the time and when he is in the country he misses the city some of the time, so he lives in the country and visits the city. As a poet, Merwin is revered for the quiet majesty of his language, his attention to the natural would and the music of his punctuation-free form. He has authored more than three dozen books and won every award an American poet and translator can win, including the Pulitzer Prize – twice. And he balances his quiet life with regular public appearances. On Monday, October 17th he’ll read at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. W.S. Merwin joins host Frank Stasio from his home in Hawai’i to talk about his long career.

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State of Things
12:06 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Stories in Stone

Before he died last year, Tom Weber spent close to two decades collecting stories about the people who lived in what was once Umstead State Park. A new book called "Stories in Stone" (The Umstead Coalition/2011) collects these oral histories, pictures and maps to paint a picture of what life was like for those who lived along the banks of Crabtree Creek long before the coming of Interstate 40 or Raleigh Durham International Airport.

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State of Things
11:33 am
Mon October 10, 2011

Meet Joe & Terry Graedon

Joe and Terry Graedon
Credit www.thepeoplespharmacy.com

Joe and Terry Graedon, hosts of the nationally-syndicated radio show “The People’s Pharmacy,” have worked to make holistic health information available to the public since the late 1970s, but this long-standing alliance came about somewhat by accident. In a pinch to meet deadlines, Joe asked Terry for some help with his book and his newspaper column. This initial collaboration over thirty years ago grew into a full-fledged partnership, and between the two of them, Joe and Terry have now written 19 books. Their latest, “Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them” (Crown Archetype/2011), is a guide that empowers patients to take control of their own medical destiny. The Graedons join host Frank Stasio in the studio to talk about their work together in the field of alternative medicine.

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State of Things
1:21 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

The RACE Project

understandingrace.org
Credit understandingrace.org

Starting tomorrow, visitors to the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham are going to get an education on race. A traveling exhibit called, "RACE: Are We So Different," seeks to highlight a simple truth: Race is really only skin deep. The exhibit is broken down into three sections that examine the history of race, the everyday experience of it and the science behind it. Host Frank Stasio talks to Yolanda Moses, professor of Anthropology at the University of California Riverside and Chair of the National Advisory Board on the RACE Project; Alan Goodman, a professor of Biological Anthropology at Hampshire College in Massachusetts and the co-director of the RACE project; and Taneka Bennett, the director of Marketing and Public Relations at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham.

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State of Things
1:03 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Diali Cissokho and Kairaba

Kairaba
Credit kairabamusic.com

When Diali Cissokho met Hillary Stewart in his native Senegal he didn't know he'd soon be moving to North Carolina with her to play his kora and start a band. But his life in North Carolina has been fruitful musically and personally. His band Kairaba plays the Shakori Hills festival this weekend, but first they play live in our studio. Kairaba is Diali Cissokho on the kora, John Westmoreland on the guitar, Jonathan Henderson on the bass, and Will Ridenour and Austin McCall on percussion.

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State of Things
12:44 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

If you've listened to music any time since the '80s, then you may be familiar with Weird Al Yankovic's wacky parodies of popular music. He rose to fame with his send-ups of such hits as "My Sharona," and "Another One Bites the Dust," and he's stayed current by poking fun at modern stars such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. He's coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center Sunday. Frank Stasio talks to him about his concert, his album, "Alpocalypse" and more.

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State of Things
11:29 am
Thu October 6, 2011

What's Next for Wake County Schools?

In 2009, Wake County voters elected a new Republican majority to the county school board. Those board members made it their mission to dismantle a long-standing school assignment plan that emphasized socio-economic diversity. In the ensuing two years, the Wake County school board has seen the resignation of its old superintendent, the hiring of a new one and the ongoing reconfiguration of its assignment plan. Board members have also seen themselves on the national news as police broke up protests at school board meetings and led opponents away in handcuffs.

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