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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State of Things
10:51 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Consent to Search

Fayetteville, NC is a cauldron of controversy after the city council imposed a moratorium on consent searches. Simply stated, consent searches happen when police officers ask permission to search someone or their property. Racial profiling concerns sparked the council's move, but opponents of the moratorium stay it will stymie police effectiveness.

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State of Things
10:12 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Running the Rift

Book cover ''Running the Rift''

Naomi Benaron's new novel tells the tragic tale of Jean Patrick, a young Tutsi citizen of Rwanda in the years leading up to the genocide of the 1990s. Though he is part of an oppressed group in the country, Patrick's ability to run gives him an escape from the ordinary life of underprivilege common to his fellow Tutsis.

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State of Things
11:15 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Meet Jason Bivins

Jason Bivins grew up during the punk movement of the 1980s, rejecting the mainstream and staring in confusion at Reagan's America. He went off to college and decided he wanted to become a professional musician, but when that failed, he returned to academia and started looking at how religion affects the way we think and talk about politics.

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State of Things
8:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean is a dedicated opponent of the death penalty. Her experience serving as a spiritual advisor to men on death row was captured in the 1995 film "Dead Man Walking," starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn and based on Prejean’s bestselling book of the same name. Through the years, Prejean has stood by six death row inmates as the government executed them for their crimes. Host Frank Stasio talks with Sister Helen Prejean about her experience fighting against the death penalty and ministering to condemned prisoners.

State of Things
8:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Fringe-ology

Credit www.stevevolk.comWhen journalist Steve Volk was a kid, something strange happened to him and his family.Edit | Remove

When journalist Steve Volk was a kid, something strange happened to him and his family. It seemed like a scene from the movie "Poltergeist," and to this day he isn't quite sure how to explain it. But questions about that experience led Volk to explore all kinds of strange phenomena, including lucid dreaming, remote viewing and UFOs. He collects his findings in his new book, "Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable – And Couldn't" (HarperOne/2011).

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State of Things
11:24 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Prophets of Funk

Prophets of Funk

Choreographer David Dorfman had never seen anything like Sly & the Family Stone when he attended the band’s concert as a college freshman in 1973. The psychedelic funk/soul group with hits like “Everyday People” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” was the first commercially successful American rock band to be both racially and gender integrated. This weekend, Dorfman’s company will perform “Prophets of Funk,” a dance homage to the music of Sly & the Family Stone, at Stewart Theater at North Carolina State University. First, Dorfman joins host Frank Stasio to talk about being inspired to “Dance to the Music.”

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State of Things
11:08 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Learning with the Lights Off

Collection of essays by Devin and Marsha Orgeron

The art of filmmaking has long been used to entertain visitors to the big screen, but its influence on the classroom is often overlooked. The 20th century was rife with educational films designed to teach students about such topics as lunchroom behavior, sex education, race relations and various types of disease. Many of these films have been relegated to the dustbins of education history, but some fans are trying to preserve their legacy. Devin and Marsha Orgeron are associate professors in the Film Studies Program at North Carolina State University. They’ve just published a collection of essays, along with Dan Streible, called, “Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States” (Oxford University Press/2012).

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State of Things
11:06 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Remembering Mary Duke Biddle

Mary Duke Biddle

Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was part of a philanthropic family that got Duke University on its feet, started the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and helped countless others with charity and kindness. She died last week at the age of 91.

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State of Things
10:59 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Inside the Mind of Stephen Hawking

Kitty Ferguson's book, ''An Unfettered Mind''

Stephen Hawking is a giant in the scientific world, despite the fact that Lou Gehrig's disease has severely disabled him, causing him to lose the use of his arms, legs and voice. Hawking is a cosmologist known for his simplified explanations of complicated scientific topics. Author Kitty Ferguson has a new biography out about him called, "Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind" (Palgrave Macmillan/2012). Host Frank Stasio talks to her about her new book.

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State of Things
10:29 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Postmortal

Drew Margary's novel, ''The Postmortal''

In Drew Magary's debut novel, "The Postmortal" (Penguin/2011), humanity has found a way to cheat death. Barring unfortunate fatal accidents, people can now live forever, but unforeseen consequences can be worse than death.

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