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

Creative Commons

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. Host Frank Stasio talks to Gavan Fitzsimons, a professor in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

Broadway Books

Jessica Alexander began her career as an aid worker with idealistic eyes.

But the day-to-day realities of helping rebuild disaster areas made her realize aid work is a profession with its own challenges and pitfalls. She traveled the world, helping people in Darfur, Sierra Leone and Haiti. She chronicles her journey in her memoir, “Chasing Chaos: My Decade In And Out of Humanitarian Aid” (Broadway Books/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks with Jessica Alexander about her new memoir.

She will be at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh tonight at 7:30.

NC Comicon

    

In its fourth year, the North Carolina Comicon is bringing groups of superhero creators, publishers and artists to the Durham Convention Center this weekend for a collection of nerdy goodness.

Some of the biggest names in comics will be there. And if that’s not enough, you might win a ride in the old-school Batmobile.

Jeremy Whitley, co-creator of Firetower Studios and the mind behind the comic “Princeless,” said this area is a prime spot for comic art.

christophermcelroen.com

    

   

War. The country has been engaged in it for the last decade, and yet the majority of the population knows it as little more than images on a screen.

When experimental drugs or treatments need to be tested for the market, they generally go through a series of clinical trials. However, a new study shows that nearly one third of all large clinical trials go completely unpublished. This means that information about certain drugs and treatments are not accessible to the public.

Duke Performances

You may know Nick Sanborn as the bassist of Megafaun, but his musical influence in the Triangle spreads far beyond that.

creative commons

Bats are the subject of much folklore and derision in human society. Some say they are vermin who carry rabies. Others equate them with the undead vampire of legend. 

creative commons

Ever wonder how people came up with the idea for vampires, zombies or witches?

wikipedia.org

In this Halloween fright fest, The State of Things tackles the so-called Vampire Squid and Vampire Flying Frog. 

NC Department of Commerce

Big changes are coming to the state commerce department.

A new public/private non-profit will be taking over some of the duties of recruiting new business to the state next year. But critics of the N.C. Partnership for Prosperity say similar efforts in other states have failed. Host Frank Stasio talks to 

   about the controversy.

Justin Catanoso

Melting ice caps at the poles are not the only concern when thinking about global warming. Increasingly, scientists are realizing that the impact of rising temperatures on tropical forests is just as dramatic.

On a rain forest mountain top where I had just seen woolly monkeys swinging through the trees, I asked Wake Forest biologist Miles Silman if we were simply putting too much greenhouse gas in the air to slow or halt the inevitable march of climate change.

Murverse.com

Travel guides can help the ordinary humans navigate locales near and far, but what about those monsters banished to the nether regions of human imagination? Well, for those creepy crawlies, there is a service that will help guide them through the underworlds of planet Earth. At least, that’s the premise of Mur Lafferty’s novel, “The Shambling Guide to New York City,” (Orbit/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks with North Carolina writer Mur Lafferty about her new novel.

  

Creative Commons

Pharmaceutical companies spend billions developing the next big drug. But sometimes, all a patient needs is a sugar pill. The placebo effect is a well-documented phenomenon where the belief that a treatment is helping can actually cause symptoms to subside, even if the treatment is imaginary.

A plate of ham biscuits
Robyn Lee, Flikr

The North Carolina State Fair is coming to a close, which means time is running out to sample a smorgasbord of foods: turkey legs and fried Oreos. Ostrich burgers and pork BBQ egg rolls. Or perhaps your palate runs to the more traditional. If that's the case, then perhaps you should head over to the Cary United Methodist Church booth.

Mike, via Flickr

  

Obesity is a significant problem for many in the United States. But for some high school football players, weight gain means success.

Wikimedia Commons

    

Schizophrenia is a frightening disease, characterized by audio and visual hallucinations.

A researcher at Duke University thinks he may have a clue as to how the auditory hallucinations occur.

Duke neurobiologist Richard Mooney said there is a long history of research that indicates that the way we hear is influenced by what we see happening around us.

St. Martin's Griffin

    

Celia Rivenbark is a successful essayist with numerous acclaimed books under her belt, but she has resisted the urge to dole out advice until now.

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

  

Wednesday night, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Gavel
SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

The State Supreme Court is considering whether North Carolina is required to provide free pre-kindergarten education to all of its students.

Currently, funding does not provide for universal access, but a lower court decision in 2011 held the state could not limit access to the program. Host Frank Stasio talks with Jessica Jones, WUNC’s Capitol Bureau Chief, about the case.

Wikimedia Commons

    

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the biggest thing to hit international trade since the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Negotiations are ongoing between 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, Canada, Vietnam and Chile. Advocates say the agreement is necessary to ensure smooth trade between nations. Opponents call it a corporate power grab.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services deleted staff rebuttals from a report that gave a harsh assessment of the state’s Medicaid program, according to a report by North Carolina Health News. Critics allege that this paints the Medicaid program in a negative light. Host Frank Stasio talks to North Carolina Health News editor and founder Rose Hoban; and Associated Press reporter Michael Biesecker.

Police stand outside the capitol during a Moral Mondays protest.
Matthew Lenard

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver testified recently that law enforcement officers collected intelligence on participants in Moral Monday protests. Police officials say the measures were necessary to ensure public safety. Critics say the move went too far.

http://schoonermusic.com/
http://schoonermusic.com/ / http://schoonermusic.com/

The band Schooner’s journey to their first national release of an album was not without bumps in the road.

Founder Reid Johnson created a new line-up of members after the band nearly broke up in 2007. The composition of the band changed again for the latest album, Neighborhood Veins. Host Frank Stasio talks to Schooner, and they play live in the studio.

Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly are both accomplished writers, but their latest work, "The Tilted World," is their first collaboration as husband and wife (Macmillan, 2013). A thriller set against the backdrop of the 1927 Great Flood of Mississippi, "The Tilted World" draws upon extensive research by Fennelly and a short story by Franklin. The original story was set in a zombie apocalypse, but the pair found that devastating floods can provide just as much grist for the apocalyptic plot mill.

NC State University

We think we know calories.

Eat too many and you get fat. Eat too few and you get skinny. But Rob Dunn, a biologist at North Carolina State University, says that might not be the case. He argues that many other factors affect calorie consumption and that stomach bacteria may be more influential than once realized. Host Frank Stasio talk with Dunn about the mystery of calories.

Pages