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From vocal fry to uptalk, women’s voices have come under greater scrutiny in the media, with some calling these trends an epidemic.  But sociolinguists view these innovations much differently. 

You may have heard people complain about women’s use of uptalk—a rising intonation at the end of a phrase that sort of sounds like asking a question.  While some say uptalk has the effect of making women sound uncertain, Caroline Myrick, a sociolinguistics instructor at North Carolina State University, says all genders use it to indicate something else entirely:

Bonnie Monteleone

When you use a disposable diaper, some scientists would tell you the plastic in that diaper actually stays in the environment for hundreds of years.  The plastic bag you brought home from the grocery store?  Estimates vary, but some put the number of years it takes to decompose as high as one thousand.  Whether those numbers are accurate or more research needs to be done doesn’t change what we know about how plastics are showing up in oceans all over the world – and not only harming marine life – but becoming part of the human food chain. 

Wikimedia Commons

  North Carolina’s state legislature passed HB2 earlier this year, otherwise known as the “Bathroom Bill”, and unwittingly launched a broader, national conversation about how public policy impacts minorities – specifically people who are transgender.  Performers canceled concerts, companies shelved plans to move to or expand in North Carolina, and revenue from tourism dropped. 

Psychology Today - https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Abigail_Garner_MSW,LCSW-A_Wilmington_North+Carolina_272075

Earlier this month, President Obama ordered public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.  A local therapist is advising schools in other ways they can accommodate transgender and gender nonconforming students.  

By Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äusseres (Arbeitsbesuch Mazedonien) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Syria’s civil war erupted five years ago in the summer of 2011.  According to Al Jazeera, it is the deadliest conflict of the 21st century thus far.  To put that into perspective, the United Nations estimated the death toll to be a quarter of a million people as of last August.  But that’s a fraction of the people who have fled the violence in Syria.  The BBC puts the number of displaced people at 11 million.  And all sides in this conflict have engaged in war crimes -- torture, rape, kidnapping… Public amputations of fingers, hands, feet – and gruesome executions are commonplace. 

We’ve spent week after head-scratching week following outrageous developments – often in the form of Tweets -- from Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.  We’ve witnessed the convention-shattering roller coaster of the Hillary Clinton / Bernie Sanders contest.  And, as North Carolinians, we’ve enjoyed the national spotlight for several months thanks to the recent passage of HB2…

Today, we’re getting professional help.  In the form of laughter. 

Guests:

Judicial Primary Election To Be Held This Tuesday

Jun 3, 2016
New Hanover County Board of Elections

North Carolina’s judicial primaries will be held on Tuesday, June 7th.  All of New Hanover County’s 43 polling places will be open to voters from 6:30AM to 7:30PM. 

Photo: Rachel Lewis Hilburn; gardenia: Jeff Hunter

If we had an in-studio camera on this episode, you would have seen two people wearing headphones, a series of microphone set-ups, and sitting on top of a small, round table covered with a layer of green felt, you would notice a mason jar filled with a cutting from a Gardenia bush.  If you looked more closely at the jar, you would have observed tiny insects covering the petals of the white Gardenia blossom.  On this edition of CoastLine, we find out from plant and garden expert Tom Ericson what these bugs are and what to do about them. 


U.S. Department of Justice

On this edition of CoastLine, we shine a light on a criminal enterprise that has overtaken illegal gun trafficking as the second-most prolific crime around the globe for making money.  Human trafficking, which can include sex trafficking, is on the rise around the world and here in southeastern North Carolina. 

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