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
10:30 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Hedwig Kohn Fled Nazi Germany To Teach Physics In NC

Hedwig Kohn
Credit jwa.org

Hedwig Kohn was one of only three women to receive German qualification to teach physics at a university, and that was her vehicle to flee Nazi Germany. Hedwig Kohn wound up teaching and doing research at Duke University and has made significant contributions to the field of flame spectroscopy and radiation. Brenda Winnewisser took special interest in Hedwig’s story and currently has a biography on her due to be published in Spring 2014. Host Frank Stasio talks with Brenda Winnewisser, an adjunct professor of physics at Ohio State University.

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State of Things
10:17 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Do We Prefer Leaders With Low-Pitched Voices?

Rindy Anderson
Credit duke.edu

Science couple Rindy Anderson and Casey Klofstad noticed something weird when they watched television news. Almost all the anchors, both men and women, seemed to have low pitched voices. They decided to work together to find out how people perceive pitch, and how that might affect the way they vote. Host Frank Stasio talks to Rindy Anderson, a research associate in the biology department at Duke University; and Casey Klofstad, associate professor of political science at the University of Miami.

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State of Things
10:44 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Meet Psychopathy Specialist Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Credit duke.edu

In the wake of recent mass shootings, mental health has been a focus of our national dialogue. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is a professor of philosophy with an interest in mental illness, in particular psychopathy. He studies the brains of prison inmates to try to gain some insight into the condition. Host Frank Stasio talks with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the philosophy department at Duke University about his life and career, starting with the ethics of psychopathy.

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State of Things
10:48 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Ironing Board Sam Performs Rhythm & Blues

Ironing Board Sam
Credit downtownclayton.blogspot.com

Ironing Board Sam has been playing rhythm and blues professionally since he was 16 years old in Rock Hill, SC. He's now 73, living in Chapel Hill and his passion for music-making is as strong as ever. Sam is part of Hillsborough's Music Maker Relief Foundation, and he's just released a new album, “Going Up.” He's performing this Sunday, January 13th at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

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State of Things
10:48 am
Fri January 11, 2013

News Roundup

A new governor and a new legislature are in place and ready to make big changes. The UNC system may let in more out-of-state students. And what does the latest Bank of America settlement mean for homeowners?

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State of Things
11:21 am
Thu January 10, 2013

The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers
Credit Reverbnation.com

Tomorrow night, Concord-based folk-rock band The Avett Brothers will play in Raleigh at the Governor’s Inaugural Ball Gala. But before they do, bassist Bob Crawford will join host Frank Stasio to talk about the evolution of the band from three guys in a van playing 200 shows a year to a Grammy-nominated, chart-topping phenomenon.

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State of Things
11:12 am
Thu January 10, 2013

And God Created Great Whales

And God Created Whales
Credit yaany.org

It took Obie-award winning playwright Rinde Eckert three tries before he embraced the brilliance of Moby Dick. Good thing he persevered, because it’s the subject of his play “And God Created Whales,” which follows a composer trying to adapt Melville’s classic into an opera as he slowly loses his memory. Host Frank Stasio talks to Rinde Eckert, composer, writer and actor in “And God Created Whales,” being put on by Playmakers Repertory Company at Kenan Theatre on the Campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through Sunday.

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State of Things
10:47 am
Thu January 10, 2013

To the People, Food is Heaven

Audra Ang
Credit Greg Baker

Audra Ang worked as a foreign correspondent for the AP in Beijing, China for seven years. And in her time there, she covered the devastating Sichuan earthquake, SARS, floods and political dissidents. But even in the most dire of moments, she always managed eat her way through. Audra Ang now lives in North Carolina. She joins host Frank Stasio to discuss her book about her experiences eating and reporting in China, “To the People, Food is Heaven: Stories of Food and Life in a Changing China” (Lyons Press/ 2012).

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State of Things
11:07 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Johnson Nursery Is Small Business of the Year

Johnson Nursery
Credit johnsonnursery.com

During the height of the recession, The Johnson Nursery Corporation owed its bank more than $1.5 million. But a few shrewd decisions and a lot of hard work has pulled the company out of the red and put it solidly in the black — and earned the company the award of Small Business of the Year from Business NC magazine.

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State of Things
10:53 am
Wed January 9, 2013

History Detective

History Detectives
Credit pbs.org

Several months ago, the PBS show “History Detectives” contacted Cynthia Greenlee-Donnell, a graduate student in American History at Duke. They wanted her help solving a historical mystery near her mother’s hometown in South Carolina. The History Detectives wanted to trace the life of an enslaved girl named Willoughby. Host Frank Stasio talks with Duke graduate student Cynthia Greenlee-Donnell about her journey uncovering the story of Willoughby and her own family history.

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