The State of Things

WUNC's The State of Things brings the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you.  The State of Things Podcast presents new stories every weekday with topics from our show.  To subscribe:

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It's hard to start a business, but a model of support has emerged to help entrepreneurs get their foot in the door. Business incubators give fledgling start-ups the resources and infrastructure they need to get off the ground. Host Frank Stasio talks about giving new businesses what they need to succeed with JT Vaughn, the founder of a green technology incubator called The Cherokee Challenge, and Adam Klein, chief strategist for the American Underground.

Ai Weiwei is a prominent Chinese contemporary artist who gets press attention for his politics as much as for his art work.

The American Tobacco Factory shut down manufacturing in Durham in 1987. For years this space sat idle and deteriorating.

Meet Pam Gutlon

Aug 6, 2012

Pam Gutlon owns Outsider Art & Collectibles in Durham, but her work is beyond bringing artists and their paintings into her gallery.

Teacher Josh Gondelman’s observations about what goes on in his pre-school classroom have turned out to be good fodder for comedy material. His new CD, "Everything's the Best" uses that life experience to entertain audiences. Gondelman is now traveling with comedian Chip Chantry on the School's Out for Summer comedy tour, which lands at DSI Comedy Theater in Carrboro tonight. He and Chantry join host Frank Stasio to trade some laughs.

Chimera

Aug 3, 2012

T.C. McCarthy was deterred from his dream of writing at every step. A commencement speaker told him to ditch it and a college creative writing program laughed at his attempts to write science fiction. McCarthy eventually did abandon English for science, but he never gave up his dream of being an author. After working for the U.S. Patent Office and the CIA, his dream finally came true.

The Duke Street Dogs have been a Durham institution in one form or another for decades.

Their unique blend of genres consistently draws crowds to the Blue Note Grill on Friday nights. The band joins host Frank Stasio to talk about their music and to play live in the studio.

Cheese, Please

Aug 2, 2012

Everything's better with cheese on it. Just ask the thousands of people gathered in Raleigh this week for the 29th annual conference of the American Cheese Society. Activities include a keynote address by author Temple Grandin,

Crime doesn't pay, or so we've heard. In addition to jail or prison time, fines and community service, there are a host of collateral consequences that many people don't even know about. Access to higher education, housing and even jobs can be affected when you have a criminal record. Two lawyers have set up a database to help people understand the true penalties of different crimes.

One year ago, a jazz advocacy program called the Art of Cool Project started having a monthly concert series at an art gallery in Durham.  Today, that project has expanded to Raleigh and is living up to its mission of creating spaces for jazz artists to perform and supporting musicians financially.

African-American kinship often starts with slavery, an institution built on human trafficking – the buying and selling of people as if they were commodities.  The tearing apart of family was part of the violence of slavery and the constant threat of separation from your family was another kind of violence all its own. Historian Heather Williams studies the effects and after effects of slavery.

Audio Pending...

What’s it like to take a tour of Durham, NC by dinosaur? In the short film “The Strong One,” filmmakers Josh Bielick, Nicholas Sailor and Tim Reavis imagine taking that ride and understanding how life changes through the eyes of a young boy. Bielick and Reavis are alumni of North Carolina State University where Sailer is a senior. They join host Frank Stasio to talk about Durham, and turning a spoken word poem into a five-minute film.

Rib spreaders allow doctors the ability to get inside the human chest and fix the internal organs. However, these devices, created in the 1930s, can do a great deal of damage to ribs, nerves and ligaments. Hugh Crenshaw and Charles Pell, co-founders of the medical technology company Physcient wanted to change that, so they designed a new kind of rib spreader, one that spares the patient the needless agony caused by old models. Host Frank Stasio talks to Crenshaw and Pell about their medical innovation.

James Olin Oden

Jul 27, 2012

The Ancient Celts told stories to each other through song. They had chants for battle and mourning dirges when their heroes fell. Raleigh-based musician James Olin Oden says the contemporary Celtic music scene is alive and well.

A recent study at North Carolina State University highlights how deceptive advertising affects the brains of consumers. This could have implications for aging and injured brains and how they are able to vet advertising for falsehoods. Host Frank Stasio talks about the study with Stacy Wood, Langdon Distinguished Professor of Marketing at N.C. State University’s Poole College of Management.

This program originally aired on June 20, 2012. For a link to the audio, click here.

“One Man…Two Titanium Legs…100 Chickens.” That’s the tag line for a forthcoming documentary called “The Farmer Veteran Project” produced by Vittles Films. The movie centers around the story of Alex Sutton, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who was seriously injured on his final tour of duty. Sutton now raises heirloom chickens in North Carolina and uses farming as a way to heal from the trauma of combat.

Coach, educator and activist LeRoy T. Walker spent his career breaking the color barrier. He was the first African-American coach of a U.S. Olympic Track Team, the first black president of the United States Olympic Committee and the man who, along with Duke University coach Al Buehler, united the races around the sport of track and field in Durham, NC.

How do older adults maintain healthy, sustainable lives? How does the community they live in come into play? These questions reach into the spheres of urban planning, development policy, and public policy. Kendra Heatwole-Shank explored these ideas and more by keeping track of some seniors with the help of GPS technology.

Alexandra Fuller's first book, "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" (Random House/2001) was an international bestseller. It chronicled her childhood in colonial Africa as her family moved from impoverished farm to impoverished farm, landing in Rhodesia in time for the country’s war of independence.

Jay Leutze was a non-practicing lawyer writing a novel, working for the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and minding his own business in his home in western North Carolina when he got a phone call from an impassioned and outraged 14 year old named Ashley. She and her aunt and uncle, Ollie and Curly, were sure that the new scar on a nearby mountain was a violation of the state's Ridge Act.

Intimate Wars

Jul 24, 2012

An experience early in Merle Hoffman’s career as a counselor solidified her life’s mission.  She was asked to speak to and comfort a woman who was struggling with the decision to have an abortion. Holding that woman’s hand on that difficult day started Hoffman on the path of advocating for the reproductive rights of women everywhere.

So Rich, So Poor

Jul 24, 2012

More than 20 million people in the United States are living in extreme poverty at this moment.

That means that the income for a family of 4 is half below the poverty line, or $11,000. Six million people’s incomes consist only of food stamps. These are shocking numbers, and Peter Edelman says most people are not familiar with the bleak reality of why extreme poverty exists. Edelman is the author of “So Rich, So Poor: Why it’s so Hard to End Poverty in America”

Meet Joe Liles

Jul 23, 2012

On the Appalachian Trail, there’s a phenomenon that hikers call “trail magic.” It refers to acts of kindness and generosity that take place between strangers on the trail. Joe Liles was the happy recipient of many forms of trail magic when he hiked in 2009. It was a sort of karmic return for his lifelong work as an educator, an artist, an activist, and a curious traveler. Liles, a retired teacher, joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his career in the classroom and his efforts to promote local art and preservation of American Indian culture.

Saint Pauli

Jul 20, 2012

In the Episcopalian Church, it is customary for someone to be deceased for 50 years in order to become a saint. However when it came to Pauli Murray, the church’s General Convention chose to set aside the rule and include her in the book “Holy Men, Holy Women: Celebrating the Saints” (Church Publishing/ 2010), giving her status as a saint.

Viva Cackalacky!

Jul 20, 2012

UNC-CH professor David Garcia tried something a little different last year for one of his classes. It was called "Musical Movements: Migration, Exile, and Diaspora," and instead of a lecture, it was hands-on. The students produced a compilation CD of Latin music from around North Carolina.

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