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.

Pages

State of Things
9:53 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Ghosts of the Old North State

Ghosts of the Old North State
Credit http://www.ipass.net/jhart/

Jeff Hart fell in love with ghost stories when he was in first grade, and he has never stopped thinking about them. There were the Brown Mountain Lights – strange lights at Brown Mountain in North Carolina that moved mysteriously up and down the mountain. And there was Lydia, the young girl whose ghost haunted the road where she died in a car accident. As an adult, Jeff became a musician, but he remembered his love for scary stories, and now he hearkens back to the tales of his youth with his new album, “Ghosts of the Old North State.”

Read more
State of Things
11:49 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Remembering Howard Morgen

Howard Morgen

Howard Morgen was a guitarist, an arranger and a beloved teacher. Among his students were Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Christine Lavin and Carly Simon. He wrote regular columns for several music magazines and taught at the Guitar Study Center of the New School in Manhattan and the Jazz Studies Program at C.W.Post Campus, Long Island University. He retired to Chapel Hill from New York in 2002 and earlier this month, after a long and valiant struggle with leukemia, Morgen died at the age of 79.

Read more
State of Things
11:46 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Greenpeace Versus Duke Energy

Greenpeace, the national environmental organization, has set it sights on North Carolina's own Duke Energy. A number of protesters were arrested in separate incidents last month targeting Duke Energy for its rate hikes, a prospective merger with Progress Energy and its reliance on traditional fuels like coal and nuclear power.

Read more
State of Things
11:37 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Textiles of Exiles

AIDS mapula South Africa c. 1990s

For oppressed people forced to flee their native lands, textiles are often the last refuge of their artistic expression. An exhibit at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University highlights the work of exiles. It's called "Textiles of Exiles," and is running concurrently with another exhibit called "Barkcloth, Bras, and Bulletproof Cotton: The Powers of Costume." Host Frank Stasio talks about both exhibits with museum director Roger Manley.

Read more
State of Things
10:57 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Shadows in Flight

Orson Scott Card
Credit www.hatrack.com

When it comes to science fiction, few names are as well known as Orson Scott Card. The Greensboro, NC writer created the novel "Ender's Game," which is a must-have for any true sci-fi fan. His latest work is "Shadows in Flight" (Tor Books/2012) and it follows Bean, a minor character from "Ender's Game," as he travels through space racing to find a cure for a genetic illness that threatens him and his children. Host Frank Stasio talks to Orson Scott Card about his new book and his influence on literature.

Read more
State of Things
11:49 am
Tue February 28, 2012

College Sports Reform

Charles Clotfelter is the author of ''Big-Time Sports in American Universities''

Big time college sports like basketball and football have a contradictory reputation at many universities. They bring in big bucks and engender loyalty to a school, but they also distract from higher education's primary mission. Are reforms necessary in the college sports system? Host Frank Stasio talks to Dave Dewitt, WUNC's education reporter and a former college basketball player and coach; Charles Clotfelter, professor of public policy, economics and law at Duke University and author of “Big-Time Sports in American Universities" (Cambridge University Press/2011); and Will Blythe, editor-at-large of Byliner and author of “To Hate Like This is to be Happy Forever” (Harper/2007), which chronicles the UNC-Duke basketball rivalry. Listener call-in.

Read more
State of Things
11:15 am
Tue February 28, 2012

To Free a Family

To Free a Family: The Journey of Mary Walker

Historian Sydney Nathans spent most of his career studying U.S. political history and he was just making the transition to social history when he came across an intriguing letter. It was a plea written in 1859 to a North Carolina slave owner, asking for the opportunity to purchase some of the people being held in bondage. The message was sent by a white man named Peter Lesley on behalf of Mary Walker, a runaway who was once enslaved by the family she was attempting to contact. The slaves Walker wanted to purchase were her children and mother. Nathans’ curiosity about that letter, the slave woman’s request and the white man who authored it led him on a decades-long quest to find answers. The history he uncovered has been recorded in a new book, “To Free a Family: The Journey of Mary Walker” (Harvard University Press/2012). Nathans joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his findings and what Walker’s story illustrates about the power of family and community.

Read more
State of Things
11:05 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Conscientious Quitter

Matthew Hoh spent years fighting in Iraq as a Marine, then he joined the State Department and was assigned to Afghanistan. What he saw there convinced him that the only thing he could do in good conscience was quit. He became the first U.S. official to resign in protest over the Afghanistan war, and he wrote a scathing letter to the State Department detailing America's failure in the country.

Read more
State of Things
11:10 am
Wed February 22, 2012

The Human-Animal Bond

Book cover, ''The Bond'' by Wayne Pacelle

Humans have an inconsistent relationship with animals. Some of them we invite into our homes and treat as family. Others we send to slaughter and happily eat. Still others we are content to let roam wild, unimpeded by human hands. What accounts for our contradictory behavior towards the animal world? Host Frank Stasio explores the human-animal bond with Brian Hare, assistant professor at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences; Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and the author of the book "The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them" (William Morrow/2011); and Hal Herzog, Western Carolina University psychology professor and author of the book “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals" (Harper Perennial/2011). Listener Call-in.

Read more
State of Things
10:33 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Monkeys and Mind Control

Credit http://today.duke.edu/2011/10/monkeymoveandfeel

The prospect of quadriplegics walking again once seemed like wishful thinking. The thought of a monkey’s brain controlling a robot was relegated to the realm of science fiction. But real science is always expanding the scope of the possible. Host Isaac-Davy Aronson talks to Miguel Nicolelis, professor of neuroscience at Duke University and founder of Duke’s Center for Neuroengineering, about how his research with monkeys may help millions of people to walk again.

Read more

Pages