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 and Instagram.

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Get a daily show update, and special news.

Duke University professor Henry Petroski is fascinated by disasters. He believes tragedies can also serve as valuable learning experiences. In his new book, "To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure" (Belknap Press/2012),

When guns, drugs and cash went missing from the Asheville Police Department's evidence room last year, the city council wanted to get to the bottom of it. They allocated money for an audit, which was completed about three months ago. It still hasn't been released. Freelance reporter Jon Elliston has been following this story for the Carolina Public Press. Host Frank Stasio talks to him about the case.

The Department of Justice has brought suit against Apple and five major book publishers, claiming they colluded to fix the prices of e-books. The result of this suit could determine how much customers end up paying for their digital literature. Host Frank Stasio talks about the future of e-books with Jim Minz, senior editor and director of subsidiary rights at Baen Publishing in Wake Forest, and Barak Richman, law professor at Duke Law School.

The American Institute of Architects Center for Architecture and Design in downtown Raleigh is like nothing the capital has ever seen. It eschews traditional building styles in favor of a more environmentally friendly construction that has left some in awe and others confused.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court allowed unlimited corporate political spending, paving the way for companies like Bank of America to contribute millions of dollars in political donations.

Jude the Obscure

May 1, 2012

When "Jude the Obscure" was published in 1895, the criticism Thomas Hardy received was so harsh that he vowed never to write another book. And he didn’t. Time has ushered this novel into the English canon, and now the Burning Coal Theatre is resurrecting it for the stage as a two-part musical. Host Frank Stasio talks to the play’s director, Jerome Davis, and playwright Ian Finley to discuss the relevance of Hardy’s work more than a century after it was published. Actors Stephen Letrent and Alice Rothman-Hicks, playing Jude and Sue respectively, join to perform scenes from the play.

Aviaries

May 1, 2012

Yvonne Murphy loves a good paradox. Her poetry focuses on the embodiments of irony that are all around us. For instance: the aviary is meant to cage birds without appearing to cage birds.

In 2002, theologian and writer Lauren Winner was feeling blessed to have found what felt like faith’s perfect fit in Christianity. She converted from Judaism and wrote about her spiritual transition in the best-selling memoir “Girl Meets God.”

The Upside of Irrationality

Apr 27, 2012

We all do irrational things. Perhaps the strangest thing of all is convincing ourselves that we don’t. What if we embraced the irrationality of human decisions? Would we find that there are advantages to making illogical decisions?

Singer-songwriter Gigi Dover has been a staple of the music scene in North Carolina since the late 1980s when she performed with Americana band The Rank Outsiders.

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