Adam Ragusea

Backup host "On Second Thought"

Adam is host of Current's podcast, "The Pub." He's a Journalist in Residence and Visiting Assistant Professor of Journalism at the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. He’s also reported for public radio shows including "Morning Edition," "All Things Considered," "Here & Now," "Marketplace" and "The Takeaway." Before becoming a journalist, Adam studied music composition, and he creates all the music for "The Pub."

Ways to Connect

Macon-Bibb County officials have met in the past year to discuss why there are so many pedestrian fatalities in the area. The Georgia Department of Public Health found the county has the second highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the state. We speak with Macon-Bibb Board of Health member Chris Tsavatewa about what needs to be done to address this problem. We also hear from Angie Schmitt, editor of Streetsblog USA, about how pedestrian fatalities look across the country.

The Breakroom gang is back in action. We talk about why people feel the need to raid grocery stores before an impending storm, how ParkAtlanta has issued tons of bogus parking tickets, and the Pope’s recent decision to give the go-ahead for women to breastfeed in church.

National Park Service

The Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon was designated this month as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The most prominent features at Ocmulgee are huge earthen mounds that spread across 700 acres. Native Americans first settled there thousands of years ago.

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Every Friday, it’s time to hang out in The Breakroom. Guest host Adam Ragusea and this week’s panel talk about whether the electoral college should be scrapped, how Facebook and Google say they’re trying to stop the spread of “fake news,” and Oxford’s word of the year: “post-truth.”

 

This week’s guests:

Southern rock band Drive-by Truckers was co-founded by friends Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley in 1996. They still call Athens home, but they're now on an international tour to promote their latest album, "American Band." We talk with Hood talks about the new album, and his role as musician in a politically tumultuous time. 

Two weeks. That’s all we have to go until Election Day. All eyes are focused on the battle for the presidency, but you need to look further down the ballot to find the races that most affect you.   Bill Nigut, host of GPB’s “Political Rewind” and “Two Way Street,” stops by to talk about down-ballot races and what to expect in Georgia on November 8th.

Break It Down: Cognitive Dissonance

Oct 25, 2016
Stuart Mudie / Flickr

Sometimes people won’t – or don’t – change their minds, even when they’re presented with evidence showing their views aren’t based in fact. One reason why is a psychological term called cognitive dissonance.  

You may hear more and more about cognitive dissonance as we get closer to the election. It's a term used to explain politics all the time. But it's something that not a lot of people really understand. 

Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

Within the span of two months in 2015, four children living in or near Waycross, GA were diagnosed with similar types of very rare and aggressive cancers. Three of the four have the very same cancer, and one little girl had a kind that’s even more rare. She recently lost her battle with the disease.

Their families and the community are still struggling to find out why and what, if anything, is being done to make sure other people don’t get sick.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

A new book has fueled the indoor-outdoor cat debate by calling for the removal of all outdoor cats by any means necessary. The authors say feral and outdoor domestic cats are a threat to wildlife.

More than 15 million people in the United States deal with social anxiety disorder. SAD is an extreme fear  of being scrutinized and judged in social situations.  For people who deal with social anxiety, it can be a paralyzing part of their everyday life. Georgia State psychology professor Page Anderson has developed a new technology to help people with social anxiety by using virtual reality. Her technology simulates real life settings and helps patients treat their anxiety virtually before confronting real-world situations.

One aspect of college football has received a significant deal of negative attention: “guarantee games.” These are matchups where a large school pays a smaller school a significant sum of money to schedule a matchup against them. Some claim that historically black colleges and universities are often forced to take guarantee games to help fund their struggling athletic departments, which puts players at risk against unfair competition.

PIXBAY

Over fifteen million people in the United States deal with social anxiety disorder. SAD is an extreme fear  of being scrutinized and judged in social situations. For people who deal with social anxiety, it can be a paralyzing part of their everyday life. Georgia State psychology professor Page Anderson has developed a new technology to help people with social anxiety by using virtual reality. Her technology simulates real life settings and helps patients treat their anxiety virtually before confronting real-world situations.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

You may have heard about the Iron Pipeline. It's an underground network used to ship guns from states like Georgia with relatively lax gun laws to other states with tighter regulations. Many of these weapons are purchased legally in the South, but some are stolen. A new investigative report finds Atlanta has an alarming rate of guns stolen from cars.

WhenisCalendars.com/Google Images

On Fridays, we spend time in The Breakroom discuss the week’s news. Guest host Adam Ragusea and the panel talk about the high level of stress Americans say they feel over the election, a new private club where women can eat chicken wings without men around to judge them, and statistics that show police body cameras dramatically reduce the number of complaints by the public.

Our Breakroom guests this week:

The conclusion of the 2016 election season is less than three weeks away. Candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in their final head-to-head debate on Wednesday night. And now that the verbal jousting is over, it’s time for the voters to decide who will become the 45th President of the United States.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will release their final poll of Georgia voters Friday morning. Political reporter Greg Bluestein joins us to talk about the results of the poll and how Georgia voters are feeling about the election.

The conclusion of the 2016 election season is less than three weeks away. Candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in their final head-to-head debate on Wednesday night. And now that the verbal jousting is over, it’s time for the voters to decide who will become the 45th President of the United States.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has released their final poll of Georgia voters this morning.

Political reporter Greg Bluestein joins us to talk about the results of the poll and how Georgia voters are feeling about the election. 

Last month, NPR host Steve Inskeep spoke with several voters from Georgia before and after the first presidential debate. One of those voters was Jimmy Arno, who told Inskeep that he has considered joining a militia group if Hillary Clinton becomes president. Earlier this year, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the number of anti-government militia groups has grown by more than a third since 2014. We speak with Ryan Lenz of the SPLC about the latest data on militia groups and the causes behind this increase.

Liam Daniel / Bleecker Street

A new film called “Denial” starring Rachel Weisz tells the story of the 2000 legal battle between Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt and British Holocaust denier David Irving. We talked with Lipstadt about the libel case, which garnered international attention.

Georgia Innocence Project

In 2001, a jury in Georgia convicted 20-year-old Joey Watkins to life in prison for a number of charges, including murder. His case caught the eye of the Georgia Innocence Project, which contacted the hosts of the “Undisclosed” podcast. The show looks at criminal convictions where there’s room for doubt and Watkins’ case was perfect for coverage.

FLICKR

Last month, NPR host Steve Inskeep spoke with several voters from Georgia before and after the first presidential debate. One of those voters was Jimmy Arno, who told Inskeep that he has considered joining a militia group if Hillary Clinton becomes president. Earlier this year, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the number of anti-government militia groups has grown by more than a third since 2014.

The opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture marks a victory for Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia), who pushed for it for years. Lewis' story as one of the original Freedom Riders is included in Smithsonian Magazine's Black in America issue, which came out this month. We revisit our recent conversation with him. 

Sony Pictures Television

Today on “Political Rewind,” after Donald Trump’s appearance on "The Dr. Oz Show," many are left wondering if we learned anything of value this week. Does it really matter whether the president is all that healthy?

New Voices Join Music Midtown

Sep 16, 2016

Music Midtown returns this weekend for its sixth year at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. The two-day festival has changed a lot since it was founded in 1994 by veteran music promoters Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon. This year’s lineup features a noticeably younger cast of artists, including DeadMau5, Kesha, and Atlanta-born soul singer Leon Bridges. We speak with Music Midtown co-founder Peter Conlon, who also serves as president of Live Nation Atlanta (which produces the festival), about the future direction of the festival. 

Music Midtown returns this weekend for its sixth year at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. The two-day festival has changed a lot since it was founded in 1994 by veteran music promoters, Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon. This year’s lineup features a noticeably younger cast of artists, including DeadMau5, Kesha, and Atlanta-born soul singer Leon Bridges. We speak with Music Midtown co-founder Peter Conlon, who also serves as president of Live Nation Atlanta (which produces the festival), about the future direction of the festival.

FLICKR

It's Friday! Our Breakroom gang returns to discuss the week’s news, including the new iPhone, minority-majority in Norcross, and self-diagnosing yourself on WebMD.

Then, we discuss the death of facts in America, literacy as a constitutional right, and making music a requirement in schools. 

This week, our Breakroom gang is:

A conductor in Clarkston, Georgia is looking to add some much-needed diversity into the world of classical music. Jason Rodgers has founded Atlanta’s first all-black ensemble, which will be known as Orchestra Noir. The group hopes to encourage other classical music programs to further the cause of diversity. Orchestra Noir will debut on Friday, September 16 at the Georgia Freight Depot. We revisit our conversation with Rodgers and Caen Thomason-Redus of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra about the current status of diversity in classical music.

Ayana Jackson

Visual artist Ayana Jackson fights photography with photography. She uses her lens to explore how images captured by white photographers shape and construct African and African-American identities. In her latest collection, she assumes the role of historic black women from the 19th century, including her own relatives. 

We speak with Jackson about her work, how Africans and African-Americans are represented through images, and why the race of the person behind the lens matters.

For generations, U.S. presidents had slaves. Ten of the first fifteen presidents were slave owners or raised in a slaveholding household, a fact that’s often left out of history books.

TED

Frequent listeners of NPR’s "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" may know of Maz Jobrani. He's an Iranian-American comedian and actor, and a frequent panelist on the show. Jobrani says comedians can play an important role in challenging stereotypes. He’s been doing it for years.  We caught up with him ahead of a series of performances this week at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta.

Frequent listeners of NPR’s "Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me" may know of Maz Jobrani. He’s an Iranian-American comedian and actor, and a frequent panelist on the show. Jobrani says comedians can play an important role in challenging stereotypes. We talk about how he’s doing that ahead of a series of performances this week at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta.

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