The State of Things

The State of Things
12:08 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Meet Randall Williams

Randall Williams
Credit Randall Williams

  

North Carolina native Randall Williams says he knew he was going to be a doctor when he was four years old.

Unlike many who think they know their career path, Williams never changed his mind. He started working in the emergency room of his hometown hospital in Burlington as a teenager. He served as everything from a candy striper to an orderly before going to medical school.

He is now a Raleigh physician who has taken 11 trips to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Palestine for medical missions. He ran for mayor of Raleigh in the latest election.

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The State of Things
12:00 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Folk Songs From The Soul

Skylar Gudasz
Credit Marie Killen

For Skylar Gudasz, a whisper can resonate louder than a shout. The Carrboro folk singer has toured with national musicians in Big Star Third and collaborated locally with Spooky Woods. She showcases her soft, but powerful vocals and elegant songwriting in her upcoming solo album, Oleander.  

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Politics & Government
12:14 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

The Future Of NC Film Incentives

Iron Man 3 was filmed in North Carolina.
Credit flickr

Reporters Carol Motsinger and Jorge Valencia discuss the future of NC Film Incentives

Film and television production companies in North Carolina currently receive tax refunds of 25 percent if they spend $250,000 or more. The incentives expire at the end of the year unless the General Assembly reinstates them in the budget. Critics say the incentives are too high given a number of permanent jobs the industry creates. But a report commissioned by industry players shows the state receives a positive return on its entertainment investment. 

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The State of Things
12:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

The Ethics of Torture

Christian ethicist David Gushee
Credit theology.mercer.edu

A conversation about the ethics of torture with professor David Gushee

Many have criticized the American government's use of torture since 9/11 including military experts who say it it is ineffective. But for Christian ethicist David Gushee, the very question of effectiveness is a degrading one. He believes the usefulness of a behavior does not affect its morality. 

Gushee is part of the non-governmental, bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment, convened by the Constitution Project. Gushee speaks tonight at 7pm at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh. A declassified report on CIA torture is expected to be released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence later this summer. 

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The State of Things
12:18 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Not So Happy Ever After

Beyond Fairy Tales book cover
Credit mainstreetrag.com

A conversation with writer and poet Maureen Sherbondy

Walt Disney's fairy tale adaptations are known for their neat, happy endings. But in their original states, these tales were rife with darkness and despair. 

Writer and poet Maureen Sherbondy embraces the gloom in her new book, "Beyond Fairy Tales: Poems in Concrete & Flesh" (Main Street Rag Publishing Company/2014). For example, Sherbondy's Rapunzel loses her hair to chemotherapy.

What the Prince Doesn't Know

By Maureen Sherbondy

Two months ago the mammogram revealed
a lump, and days since then have passed.

She can no longer throw her hair over the wall
for him to shimmy up beneath the star-scarred sky.

In a nauseous-chemo blur, clumps of golden thread
fell from her head to the tower's cold stone floor.

Still, the witch keeps her here, caged and ill, the left breast
completely gone. Her head a pale bald egg.

So when the Prince yells up to her, Rapunzel, throw down your golden hair, she hides beneath the sterile sheets.
 

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The State of Things
11:38 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Gigabit Internet New To Four NC Cities

Fiber Optics
Credit Michel Tronchetti

A discussion of the impact of high-speed fiber optic Internet service on the state.

Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Winston-Salem have signed on to an agreement with AT&T for high-speed fiber optic Internet service. The service operates at one gigabit per second, which translates to 25 song downloads per second. Still can't wrap your head around the incredible speed of fiber? Check out this video that uses water to demonstrate.

This ultra-fast Internet service is not new everywhere in the state. The cities of Wilson and Salisbury started working on their own fiber systems years ago. That was before a 2011 state law restricted municipalities from building publicly-owned broadband networks. 

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The State of Things
11:54 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Three Decades Of North Carolina Wilderness

Pisgah National Forest
Credit Flickr

A conversation with professor Robert Cox about N. C. Wilderness

Thirty years ago today, President Ronald Reagan signed the North Carolina Wilderness Act which protected nearly 100,000 acres of wilderness in the state. Robert Cox, former president of the Sierra club, was instrumental in the law’s passage.

He toured the state showing the following slideshow on the importance of wilderness. It was digitized by the North Carolina Sierra Club as part of the project, Our Wild North Carolina.

Of course, the North Carolina Wilderness Act was controversial at the time, just as many environmental issues are today. Human industry has historically locked horns with the rest of nature.

Today, Cox is a professor of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studies the rhetoric of environmentalism and social change. 

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The State of Things
4:15 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

'The State Of Things' Expands To Western North Carolina

Frank Stasio hosts The State of Things

Beginning Monday June 2, North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC's daily program "The State of Things" will be heard on WCQS, Western North Carolina Public Radio.

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Education
10:00 am
Fri December 13, 2013

What's On The State Of Things Today? (Friday)

Ethan Tillman is a first-year teacher in Kinston, NC. Here, he helps a student put on his own college graduation robe as part of a “vision statement” class assignment.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Why do teachers stay and why do they go? Dave DeWitt has been reporting on this subject around the state in recent weeks. He's been meeting teachers and students and today he'll preview his series with Frank.

Plus the latest in the court battle over the state’s controversial new voting laws.

And, "rockin' country" with Raleigh's Erin Nenni Band.

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The State of Things
10:44 am
Fri December 6, 2013

'The Voice' Finalist Comes Home To Raleigh

Kat on "The Voice"

Kat Robichaud was a musician long before she got her big break on this season of NBC’s  “The Voice.” She was in a cover band for years before landing a spot on the hit television series. She was eliminated from the show a few weeks ago, but said on the State of Things today that her time there was a highlight of her career.

"It was a dream come true," she said. "It was amazing."

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