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.


Politics & Government
1:25 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

It's True: Our Emotions Can Make Us Rich (Or Poor)

Are you a saver or a spender? It depends on your brain.
Credit 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:

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Arts & Culture
12:25 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

For All Your Southern Sound Needs, A Sonic Dictionary

Mary Caton Lingold talking to her Sounds of the South class
Credit 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."

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4:11 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

One Of North Carolina's Top Docs Busts 3 Myths About Healthcare

Bill Roper, UNC Health Care
Credit 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.:

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Arts & Culture
11:57 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Why Did It Take 7 Years For SNL To Hire A Black, Female Cast Member?

Sasheer Zamata, newest cast member of SNL
Credit 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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The State of Things
1:09 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Holocaust Bureau Educates North Carolina Youth On Horrible History

Prisoners at Ebensee Concentration Camp in 1945. Many of those who survived camps like these now speak out as a part of Speaker's Bureaus around the country.
Creative Commons

"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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The State of Things
11:33 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Lessons From Holocaust Survivors For Today’s Youth


As the years pass since the Nazi 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. Host Frank Stasio talks with bureau organizer and daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Sharon Halperin, and local Holocaust survivors Renee Fink and Peter Stein.

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The State of Things
3:08 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Synthesizers Reign Supreme With Heads On Sticks

David Mueller is well known for playing bass in Birds of Avalon, a band which has been signed on a big label and toured internationally.  

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The State of Things
1:20 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Exploring The Roots Of Alzheimer’s in African Americans

One in nine elderly adults will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. But if you’re African-American, that number almost doubles. A long-term study out of North Carolina A & T is beginning to shed some light on why. Host Frank Stasio talks to A & T biology professor and lead researcher on Alzheimer’s, Dr. Goldie Byrd.

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The State of Things
1:10 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Jordan High Grows Up During Civil Rights Movement

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. Host Frank Stasio talks to Brian McDonald, a teacher at Jordan High School about his new book.

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The State of Things
2:21 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

A New Year's Laugh Is Good For The Soul

Credit creative commons

We all like a good chuckle, but what if laughing was actually good for more than entertainment?

Research from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill indicates that laughter may be good for far more. In honor of that, here are some great comedy acts to laugh at. You can hear the State of Things show on the topic of humor here.

Warning: Videos below may contain strong language or content.

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