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

The sea level at North Carolina's coast will probably rise one meter by the end of the century thanks to global warming. With about 2,000 square miles of the coast just a meter or less above sea level, state residents can expect radical changes. The Outer Banks could be cut to pieces, water might threaten thousands of homes and buildings and the coastal ecosystem would never be the same.

Vampire Frogs

Mar 29, 2011

Bryan Stuart has always had a love for amphibians, but he wasn't expecting what he found during a 2008 research trip to Vietnam: vampire flying frogs. Host Frank Stasio will talk with Stuart, Curator of Herpetology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, about his discovery and just what a frog would do with fangs anyway.

This program originally aired on January 11, 2011. For a link to the audio click here.

What happens when a memory expert finds out that his marriage didn't go quite as he remembers? Chapel Hill author Rosecrans Baldwin answers that question in his debut novel, "You Lost Me There" (Riverhead Books/2010). He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the book, marriage, memory and his time faking fluent French in France.

This program originally aired on August 10, 2010. For a link to the audio, click here.

National Public Radio has taken a lot of hits lately. A recent hidden camera video showed the organization’s top fundraiser, Ron Schiller, making inappropriate comments about Tea Party members and saying that NPR could survive without federal funding. The tape was deceptively edited, but the damage was done. Schiller resigned in the aftermath along with the CEO of NPR. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would block federal funding for NPR. Host Frank Stasio talks about the future of public broadcasting with NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard.

Artist Carolee Schneemann became an icon of feminist art in the 1960s and 1970s for works that tackled sexuality, the human body and gender. She is perhaps best known for provocative pieces like 1964's "Fuses," which featured her having sex with her boyfriend at the time and included her cat as a silent observer.

Arthur Lenk, director of the Department of International Law in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will deliver a lecture at Duke University’s Law School today, focusing on Israel, the Middle East peace process and international law. Revolution in Egypt and Tunisia, civil war in Libya and unrest throughout the region mean Israel’s long-held relationships with other Middle Eastern states are in transition.

Sidney Lowe
newsobserver.com

The NCAA tournament is here along with the March madness that goes with it. Sixty-eight teams are competing for the championship. Two big North Carolina contenders – the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University – are in the mix, but North Carolina State University missed the tournament cutoff and coach Sidney Lowe resigned in the aftermath.

www.stevereich.com

Composer Steve Reich combines recorded voices, instruments and repetitive patterns into the unique style of music called minimalism. He has used that music to explore themes like the Holocaust, cloning, and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. The Kronos Quartet will premiere Reich's new piece "WTC 9/11" at Duke Performances on Saturday, but first host Frank Stasio talks with Reich about that composition and his pioneering body of musical works.

David Halperin’s new novel "Journal of a UFO Investigator" has extraterrestrial abduction, human-alien hybrids and spacecraft galore. The content reads like a straight science fiction tale at first, but beneath the fantastic story is another one about a boy facing loneliness and the imminent death of his mother.

Reuven Moskovitz's experience as a Jew during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany made him sensitive to injustice everywhere. That's why he joined Captain Glyn Secker and other Jewish activists on a boat that tried to run the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and bring aid to the Palestinians there.

Efland, North Carolina artist Dave Alsobrooks wanted to bring some life to empty historic buildings in Durham, North Carolina. So, he painted pictures of ordinary people doing everyday tasks, and he posted them in the windows of vacant Durham properties. It's part of “New Neighbors,” a project he developed to help revitalize North-East Central Durham. Host Frank Stasio will talk about the project with Alsobrooks and Cathleen Turner, director of the Piedmont regional office of Preservation North Carolina.


Legend has it that a man-eating beast terrorized the former province of Gévaudan in south-central France in the 18th century. It attacked hundreds and attracted the attention of King Louis XV, who vowed to protect the French people and have the monster killed. Jay Smith, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says the beast was just a wolf, but that we can learn a lot about history by studying how this myth was formed.

http://publicpolicy.unc.edu

W. Hodding Carter III was the face of President Jimmy Carter's administration during the 444 days that American hostages were held by Islamic militants in Iran. Hodding Carter, the son of a Mississippi newspaperman who fought against the injustices of Jim Crow, never planned a career in politics. He inherited a love for journalism and eventually became editor of his father's paper, the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville, Mississippi. Gradually, Hodding Carter stopped just observing and writing about the movement for equality, and joined it instead. This led him down a road that would take him out of journalism and into politics.

Controversy is brewing in the psychiatric world over proposed revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM. Experts are working on revising the DSM for an upcoming fifth edition. Detractors of the process say it's too secretive and beneficial to pharmaceutical companies. They also worry that changes to the DSM would lead to some healthy people being classified as mentally ill. Supporters of the proposed revisions say that the DSM classifications are out of date and changes are necessary to treat mental illness earlier and more effectively.

Meet Ping Fu

Feb 21, 2011

Growing up in China, Ping Fu watched soldiers murder two of her teachers, lost her parents to re-education camps and suffered rape for trying to rescue her sister from drowning. She survived her childhood only to be imprisoned during college for her research into China's history of infanticide. She was deported and made her way to the United States where she became the creator and CEO of Geomagic, a 3-D software company based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Fu's technology is used by NASA, NASCAR and many others. 

Writer Ian Fleming created a British secret agent named James Bond in 1952. The character became a cultural phenomenon that continues to kill bad guys and bed beautiful women in books and on-screen. Chapel Hill resident Jeffery Deaver is the latest writer to take up the saga of “007.” His first Bond book, "Carte Blanche", is due out in the United States this summer. Frank Stasio will talk to Deaver about his plans for the suave spy.

When it comes to science, the public doesn't know what to think. Andrew Binder, a researcher at North Carolina State University, conducted a study on public opinion surveys of science. He found that people may say that a field of science, like nanotechnology, is too risky, but when asked specifics, their attitudes are often more favorable than they first appeared.

Restrepo

Feb 15, 2011
scene from Restrepo
http://restrepothemovie.com/

Photojournalist Tim Hetherington wants you to experience war, and he put himself in harm’s way to do it. Hetherington went to one of the most dangerous outposts in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley and filmed 15 soldiers as they engaged in combat over the course of a year. The footage became an award-winning documentary called "Restrepo."

Nathan Garrett grew up in Durham, North Carolina during the 1930s where he witnessed economic prosperity in the city’s African-American neighborhoods as racial segregation spawned Black entrepreneurship. As an adult, Garrett, a descendant of slaves and slave owners, joined the Civil Rights Movement and helped integrate Durham’s institutions and businesses, in particular the movie theater.

An eclectic mix of art pieces come together in Chapel Hill in the exhibition"Local Histories: The Ground We Walk On." Building on the idea that "place can not be global," more than 50 artists from across the United States created works about communities around the world. The exhibit includes artists’ perspectives on a UFO hunter in Puerto Rico, the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, and Michael Jordan’s childhood home. Host Frank Stasio talks with Elin O'Hara Slavick, curator of the exhibition, and Cici Stevens, a local artist with a piece in the show.

Rigor Amortis

Feb 10, 2011

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. If you’re not sure how to make a successful romantic gesture to the one you love, you might want to consult with a zombie. Sure, they eat brains, but they’re capable of love, too – a love that can last forever. Host Frank Stasio talks with writer Jaym Gates about a new collection of zombie short stories she co-edited called "Rigor Amortis" (Absolute XPress/2010) that deals with love from beyond the grave.

Writer Langston Hughes is famous for uplifting poems like "I, Too" and lyrical poetry like “A Dream Deferred,” but North Carolina State Assistant Professor of English Jason Miller says that hidden within Hughes' works are powerful statements about the practice of lynching. Host Frank Stasio talks to Miller about his new book, "Langston Hughes and American Lynching Culture” (University Press of Florida/2011).

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