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.

Or, join our live audience for remote broadcasts from Greensboro's Triad Stage and Raleigh's Museum of Natural Sciences. And you can listen to Political Junkie Ken Rudin Fridays on the program.

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The State of Things
12:20 pm
Fri May 27, 2011

National Black Heritage Swim Meet

Credit www.blackheritageswimming.org

Go to a competitive swim meet and you are likely to encounter a sea of white faces. Minorities are notoriously underrepresented in the sport.

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The State of Things
12:12 pm
Fri May 27, 2011

NC Literary Lights: Ron Rash

Ron Rash
Credit www.wcu.edu

Most of the works of writer Ron Rash begin life as single images — ones that live in his head. His first novel, “One Foot in Eden” (Picador/2003), started as a snapshot of a farmer standing in a field with his crops dying all around him. His second novel, “Saints at the River” (Picador/2005), originated as a vision of a child looking up through water.

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The State of Things
12:08 pm
Fri May 27, 2011

Brenda Linton & The Kinglets

Brenda Linton began singing as a child at Catholic school musicals. When she was eight, she was introduced to the piano and classical music. Over the years, this childhood love of song would carry her into the realm of folk music. In 2005, Linton released her first CD, “The Secret,” an album about loss inspired by the grief she experienced after the death of her mother.

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The State of Things
1:19 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Indicting John Doe

On a night in 1994, Patricia Young of Nashville, Tennessee was asleep in her bed when she was startled awake by a masked man who had broken into her house. The man, undressed from the waist down, brutally attacked Young and attempted to rape her. Young, an attorney, put up a fierce struggle, biting off a piece of his finger. Eventually the man left, but not before sexually violating Young with his hands.

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The State of Things
1:05 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Eugenics in America

Illustration from a 1954 brochure, ''The Population Bomb''

In the first decades of the 20th century, the eugenics movement led scientists and policy makers to embrace radical tenets of genetic engineering. This movement included involuntary sterilization of criminals, poor people, the mentally impaired and minorities – in hopes of breeding out undesirable traits. Most Americans refuted eugenics after World War II, but a small contingent of influential researchers and social engineers remained devoted to the flawed science. Their persistence led to state-supported, involuntary sterilizations as late as the 1970s. In 2002, then-Governor Mike Easley issued an apology for the atrocities the state committed in the name of eugenics.

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The State of Things
12:56 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

The Trouble with the Tobacco Trust Fund

Credit www.tobaccotrustfund.org

The future of the state’s Tobacco Trust Fund, which provides financial compensation to North Carolina’s former tobacco farmers, remains in question. Budget proposals for the multi-million dollar program diverge widely between the state House and Senate. Senators have suggested continuing the distribution of funding dollars. State House members have suggested cutting funding all together. Small farmers and the organizations supporting them worry that losing this money could mean the demise of many enterprising agricultural projects.

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The State of Things
11:43 am
Wed May 25, 2011

Skin Color and Social Privilege

Daniel Sharfstein's book, ''The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White''

Skin color is the most influential factor behind racial identity, but determining race has never been black and white. A new book by legal scholar Daniel Sharfstein called “The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White” (The Penguin Press/2011) reveals that there was a time when the legal definition of race was so blurry that families considered African-Americans in one part of the country could be classified as white in another.

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The State of Things
12:34 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Remembering Harvey Dorfman

More than any other American sport, baseball is a game where mental focus is as important as speed or strength. The challenge for coaches has long been how to get top athletes to exercise the muscle between their ears. One of the leaders in that area was Harvey Dorfman, who is considered the father of sports psychology. He had a long career helping some of the world’s most famous baseball players — Roy Halladay, Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux among them — learn to think more rigorously about the game. Dorfman died earlier this year at his home in Brevard, North Carolina.

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The State of Things
12:17 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Blake's Infinite Writing

Stan Peskett and his artwork featuring William Blake's vision

Nearly every school child on both sides of the pond can recite the opening lines of “The Tiger” by William Blake. The poem is part of the collection “Songs of Experience” and is among William Blake’s best known works. There’s a companion collection called “Songs of Innocence,” and together they explore the duality of good and evil existent in everyone.

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The State of Things
2:20 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

Meet Tom & Heather LaGarde

The LaGarde family

Tom LaGarde was literally skating through his life after basketball stardom when he met his wife Heather. Tom played for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the mid 1970s, won an Olympic gold medal in 1976 and finished the decade in the NBA. He was running a program for at-risk kids in New York City that involved playing basketball while Rollerblading. Heather was in the crowd at one of these roller basketball games, their eyes met across the crowded court and they've been together ever since.

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