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.

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The State of Things
10:33 am
Tue February 12, 2013

What Role Should Religion Play In Public Life?

A panel of experts discuss religion and public life with Host Frank Stasio

Though some may argue religion has no place in politics, Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, says that faith can have a powerful role to play.

“I think that religion in political life of our society can be a very healthy thing when it engages people in dialogue,” she said in an interview with Frank Stasio on The State of Things.

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The State of Things
11:09 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Funny Man Ditches Persona And Finds Comedy In Authenticity

Kevin Allison
Credit risk-show.com

A conversation with comedian Kevin Allison

  Kevin Allison is perhaps best known for his work on the 1990s-era sketch comedy show “The State”. After it wrapped, he found himself adrift, until he discovered that by being himself on stage, he could get big laughs.

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The State of Things
11:02 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Musician Recognizes Disconnect Between Rich And Poor

Jon Shain's new release "Ordinary Cats"
Credit jonshain.com

A live music segment with Jon Shain

Jon Shain grew up in a run-down mill town outside of Boston, but got a sense for the finer things in life at Duke University. He also became aware that the well off don’t always recognize the plight of the poor.

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The State of Things
11:28 am
Thu February 7, 2013

How Climate Change Could Threaten The Food Supply

Climate change often sparks concerns over rising sea levels and melting ice caps. But its impact on agriculture could be just as devastating. A new report from the US Department of Agriculture highlights the potential problems and how farmers will have to adapt.

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The State of Things
10:12 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think

The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs are Smarter Than You Think
Credit brianhare.net

Frank Stasio talks to Duke Associate Professor Brian Hare

The last ten years have seen a revolution in our understanding of dogs, and Brian Hare has led the way.

Hare is an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and the co-author – with his wife, Vanessa Woods - of “The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think.”

“Everybody who has a dog is excited to tell you how smart they are,” he said on The State of Things. “But what science is able to contribute is that we compare dogs to other species and we’ve found that dogs are really remarkable.”

How remarkable?

Without training, Hare says dogs are able to learn words and make inferences. Some dogs learn words the first time they encounter them.

Dogs self-domesticated about 40,000 years ago, Hare says. “They chose us, so they got friendlier and they got smarter as a way to live with humans.”



Dogs are very good at solving problems on their own, but they may not be the heroic animals they are often made out to be in popular culture. Hare cites the “bookcase test” where a research project was done to test what dogs would do when its master was pinned under a bookcase and calling for help.

“The truth was, the dog didn’t run off and seek help,” Hare said. “In fact, the dogs just sort of stand around doing nothing.”

Hare has started a website, dognition.com, that will allow dog owners to play a series of science-based games that will reveal their dog’s unique abilities and help build a stronger dog/owner relationship.

The State of Things
10:06 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Old-time Radio Show Brings Together Local Celebrities

A conversation about the Murphey School Radio Show

  Old-time radio may be old-fashioned, but it’s not extinct. Every year, the Murphey School Radio Show brings together North Carolina writers and musicians for a charitable variety show. The next one is coming up February 23.

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The State of Things
11:37 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Former Guantanamo Prosecutor Speaks Out Against Torture

Credit www.law.howard.edu

  Retired Colonel Morris Davis was the chief prosecutor for military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay from 2005 to 2007. He resigned in objection to evidence gained by torture and political interference.

He is now an assistant professor of law at Howard University and an outspoken critic of torture. He joins host Frank Stasio for a discussion of his experiences.

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The State of Things
11:35 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Monologist Explores American Utopias

Credit mikedaisey.blogspot.com

  Monologist Mike Daisey is interested in the ideal societies we try to create for ourselves within the United States. Places like Burning Man, Disney World and Zuccotti Park. These places are the subject of his latest performance, “American Utopias.”

Duke Performances has brought him to town, and he is performing through Sunday. First, he joins host Frank Stasio in the studio.

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State of Things
3:12 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

El Futuro Prepares Mental Health Community To Serve Latinos

The Latino immigrant population faces a host of unique problems when it comes to mental health treatment. Migration trauma and separation issues are just a few of their struggles. The population in North Carolina is underserved, which is why a group of mental health professionals formed the group El Futuro. The group serves the mental health needs of the state’s Latino population, and it is hosting a conference this Friday on the topic. Host Frank Stasio talks about Latino mental health with Luke Smith, executive director of El Futuro; and Karla Siu, clinical manager at El Futuro.

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