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
9:44 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Love and Superheroes

Burn Baby Burn
Credit www.amazon.com

James Maxey writes fantasy novels. You’re more likely to encounter magic and dragons in his books than the harsh reality of fatal illness. But when the woman he loved was diagnosed and died of cancer, James found a way to memorialize his struggle in writing. The result was his new e-book called “Burn Baby Burn” (2012). It is available already, but James has another novel called “Greatshadow” (Solaris/2012) coming out this month.

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State of Things
9:05 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Pity the Billionaire

Pity the Billionaire
Credit tcfrank.com

Best selling writer Thomas Frank has a new book out that talks about how conservative politicians rewrote the script for the economic collapse of 2008 and turned it to their advantage. In “Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right” (Metropolitan Books/2012), Frank takes us through the great recession that began at the end of President George W. Bush’s second term as president. Frank says the recession was the result of failed faith in the free market, and that by all rights, the public should have turned against Wall Street and looked to government for better regulation. Instead, Republicans hijacked the conversation and shifted the blame for the economy onto government.

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State of Things
8:49 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Midnight Session

Laura Leslie
Credit www.wral.com

The North Carolina House made an unprecedented move last Thursday when it held a special 12:45 a.m. session to vote on a veto by Governor Bev Perdue. The legislature was scheduled to vote on Perdue’s veto of the Racial Justice Act only. Instead, the GOP also scheduled a vote on a veto of legislation that would prevent the North Carolina Association of Educators from collecting automatic payroll dues from teachers. The vote passed during the surprise session. Critics of the move are calling it unconstitutional. Host Frank Stasio talks to WRAL-TV Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie about the unprecedented move.

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State of Things
8:00 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Alex's Favorites 2011

Alex and his new fiancé, Mandy

Producer Alex Granados joined the State of Things in July 2010 and brought his own particular brand of weirdness to the show, reflected in his favorite segments from the past year. He joins host Frank Stasio to review his favorites, including a look back at the madness of "Weird Al" Yankovic, the elusive nature of consciousness and the bizarre beauty of a ska version of the KISS song "Love Gun."

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State of Things
10:18 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Meet Barry Saunders

Barry Saunders
Credit www.newsobserver.com

Barry Saunders has written polarizing columns at the News & Observer since he started there in 1993. He is considered both the most loved and hated columnist the newspaper has, but his journey to newspapers wasn't a straight one. He originally wanted to be a basketball player, and then a preacher before he settled on becoming a writer. A missed encounter with sports legend Dean Smith and early exposure to journalist Chuck Stone shaped the path Saunders followed throughout his life.

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State of Things
10:09 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Remote Control Bugs

A remote control moth
Credit www.insectcyborgs.com

Imagine grabbing a remote control and steering your very own moth around the room. It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but it's close to becoming reality. An engineer at North Carolina State University found a way to implant electronics into insects and control them using electrical impulses.

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State of Things
11:48 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Confessions of An Elf

Book cover, ''Confessions of an Elf''

Ira David Wood III realized the fragility of life last year when he underwent heart valve replacement surgery. He was forced to turn over his iconic role as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Raleigh Theater in the Park production of "A Christmas Carol" to his son. In the aftermath of his surgery, Ira decided he wanted to publish a book, and time was a wasting. In November, "Confessions of an Elf" (Tate Publishing/2011) was released. It's a story told from the perspective of one of Santa's elves, but it's aimed at adults.

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State of Things
9:57 am
Wed December 14, 2011

American Graduate: The Dropout Problem

North Carolina has recorded some of the lowest student dropout rates ever in recent years. But what is causing the rate to drop, and do we even have a good handle on who is still dropping out and why?

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State of Things
9:51 am
Wed December 14, 2011

Documenting the Jim Crow South

By 1994, Bob Korstad and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University had compiled more than 1,300 oral histories of people who had lived in the Jim Crow South. The project was called "Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South." It's now being digitized so that anyone can access the oral histories.

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State of Things
9:44 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Colonialism's Past and Present

Colonialism is often associated with the violent seizure of the Americas and the enslavement of Africa, but its roots and implications go farther than most history texts show. Two new books from Duke University professors explore the nature of colonialism. One examines the role psychoanalysis played in colonial rule, and the other offers ideas about what kinds of challenges to Western colonialism exist in the 21st century.

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