Alex Granados

Producer, "The State of Things"

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.

Ways to Connect

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Note: This is a rebroadcast from a show that aired November 7, 2013.

Think you’re avoiding the advertisements when you fast forward through using your DVR?

Think again. New research from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business shows that sometimes commercials are even more effective when you’re not paying attention.

Not The End, But The Beginning Book Cover
NCCU

Brian McDonald taught at Jordan High School for 13 years before he became interested in the history of the school. And when he looked, he found a school that grew up along with the Civil Rights Movement. His new book; “Not the End, but the Beginning: The Impact of Race and Class on the History of Jordan High School” (NCCU/2011), explores the history of the high school. 

The NSA is creating a partnership with N.C. State.
nsa.gov

When ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed how the National Security Agency collected data on Americans, the uproar was deafening.

NC Department of Commerce
NC Department of Commerce

  

  A new Report by the North Carolina Department of Commerce's Office of Science & Technology  shows the state is a leader in innovation, but it also points out the many ways in which we need to improve. 

The State of Things discusses the importance of early childhood literacy.
Adwriter via flickr.

Most people know it's a good idea to read to their children. 

But a program called Reach Out and Read highlights just how early parents should start the practice. Reach Out and Read gets doctors to write reading prescriptions for families in the hopes of helping them jump start their children's chances for literacy.

stack of money
Flickr user 401(K)2013

William Greider is used to standing up to power.

In the early 1980s, he got Ronald Reagan’s budget director to admit that trickle-down economics was a sham meant to bring the nation’s top tax rate down. He’s in town giving a talk at Duke University about the influence of politics in money. Host Frank Stasio talks to William Greider, correspondent for The Nation.

Pres. Barack Obama at Forsyth Tech
Jennifer Rotenizer, Winston-Salem Journal

President Barack Obama gave a speech at North Carolina State University earlier this week.

He talked about the need to take action this year, and he promised speedier job production in 2014. Host Frank Stasio talks about this and other news items of the past week with Laura Leslie, WRAL’s Capitol Bureau Chief; Jessica Jones, WUNC’s Capitol Bureau Chief; and Associate Press Reporter Michael Biesecker.

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Algae may seem harmless, but toxic algae blooms can be a real problem in water supplies used by people.

They can kill wildlife in the water and be dangerous to humans. Host Frank Stasio talks with Hans Paerl, professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences, Morehead City.

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Some scientists tout genetically modified food as a groundbreaking technology that can feed the hungry.

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Israel is often seen through the lens of the Israeli-Palestinean conflict, or through the stories of the Holocaust.

Shai Ginsburg wants to change that, to show what life is really like for people in Israel. So he created a film series to showcase true stories from the region.

stack of money
Flickr user 401(K)2013

    

Many of us get a little emotional high when we're out spending money.

Now take that idea, and apply it to broader financial decisions. If you are a worrier are you more or less likely to invest money?

Neuroeconomist Camelia Kuhnen knows the answer to that. She studies what goes on inside our heads when we make such decisions.

Here's what she told WBEZ earlier this year:

Alex Granados

Duke University Junior Tom Shelbourn got his own version of culture shock when he took the Sounds of the South English class last semester.

He is from England, and when he attended a performance of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and listened to them sing  "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," he knew he'd heard the song before. But not like that.

"It's actually a chant that you will hear at every international rugby game," he said. "You will hear that song often louder than the national anthem at times."

Bill Roper, UNC Health Care
UNC

Americans pay more per capita for healthcare than anywhere in the world, but the outcomes are far from the best. And when it comes to improving the system, the only thing experts agree on is that its complicated. The Affordable Care Act is an attempt at comprehensive reform.

Bill Roper is head of the UNC Health Care system. He has spoken out in favor of Obamacare. He acknowledges there are downsides, but he says there is one undeniable benefit.:

NBC

  

The recent decision by Saturday Night Live to hire an African American woman underscores the lack of diversity on the show and in the wider media landscape.

In fact, Sasheer Zamata will be only the fourth African American woman to ever be a cast member on the show. She will be the first since Maya Rudolph left in 2007. Zamata makes her debut January 18.

Why do minorities still get short shrift in the entertainment industry?

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"Once you listen to a witness, you become a witness yourself." - Elie Wiesel

As the years pass since the Holocaust, fewer and fewer survivors remain to tell their powerful stories.

One North Carolina organization, the Chapel Hill-Durham Holocaust Speakers Bureau, seeks to preserve the important lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. The Bureau arranges for people with first-hand accounts of history to talk publicly, especially with children.

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