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, or tweet @state_of_things. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 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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Robert Rubin is a professor of English at Meredith College and the author of 'Going to Hell in a Hen Basket.'
Robert Rubin

Misusing words and phrases drives the language purists among us crazy, but for English professor Robert Rubin, malapropisms are not only amusing but examples of how language evolves.

His new book, "Going to Hell in a Hen Basket: An Illustrated Dictionary of Modern Malapropisms" (Flatiron Books/2015), is an exploration of the newest ways that we say what we do not mean.

Time on a clock
Flickr/Sean MacEntee

Time is an essential part of day-to-day life. Clocks and calendars let people know when to sleep, eat, and where they’re supposed to be each morning.

But time is also something much more complicated; time is an abstract concept that sits at the center of conversations about physics, philosophy and culture.

Host Frank Stasio with brothers Noah and Gabriel Harrell, founders of the Rural Academy Theater, a theater troupe that travels the state by horse and buggy and brings theater to rural audiences.

A Republican congressman charts his course in a Democratic capital.
The Martin Family

Jim Martin was the first and only two-term Republican governor in North Carolina, serving from 1985-1993.


Jedediah Purdy
Travis Drove

In an era where humans and the environment are inextricably tied, how do we approach environmental politics, economics and ethics?

In what ways do the historical perspectives on the relationship between humanity and nature shape how policymakers approach current environmental issues like climate change and global warming?

This picture was taken at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard in 2013. Jaji was rehearsing with her undergrad research partner, Cansu Colakoglu, for a lecture-recital on U.S. and British black composers.
Tony Rinaldo

Duke English professor Tsitsi Jaji remembers the noises of independence outside her window in her home country of Zimbabwe when she was 4 years old. Jaji grew up as a part of Zimbabwe's first legally integrated generation and witnessed the country's recovery from harsh colonial rule.

NC Museum Natural Sciences

The State of Things is broadcasting live Friday at 12 p.m. from the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. You can stream the show live below:  

Becky Buller won three IBMA awards this year for emerging artist, songwriter of the year and recorded event of the year.
Becky Buller

Becky Buller has tried her hand at almost every part of the bluegrass music industry.

She is a prolific songwriter whose compositions have been recorded by musicians like Ricky Skaggs; she produced for and toured with Valerie Smith; she co-hosts a bluegrass music show; and she has released two solo records.

Balsam Range won 'Song of the Year' and 'Vocal Group of the Year' at this year's IBMA awards.
Courtest of Laughing Penguin Publicity

Balsam Range is a bluegrass band with the accolades to show for it.

The Haywood County quintet won two awards at this year’s IBMA awards: "Song of the Year" and "Vocal Group of the Year." The group was nominated for six IBMA Awards this year. The band’s fifth studio album, Five, combines traditional bluegrass and gospel with songs about home and hard times.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina lawmakers passed measures in the middle of the night on Tuesday after an eight-month long session. The final push ended the longest session of the General Assembly since 2001. Among the bills crammed into the session: immigration restrictions, the $2 million transportation bond referendum and a cap on light rail spending.

Tara Linhardt plays with Nepali musicians
Tara Linhardt

Nepal and Appalachia are on opposite ends of the Earth, but their musical traditions show striking parallels. Bluegrass musician Tara Linhardt traveled with friends, her mandolin and camera around the Nepali countryside to find and play alongside musicians preserving the country's folk traditions. The result is a musical fusion of two worlds usually separated by cultural and geographic barriers.