Ryan McFadin

Associate Producer - On Second Thought

Ryan McFadin is an associate producer of "On Second Thought." Before joining GPB he worked at WOSU’s "All Sides." Ryan was born in Dallas, Texas, grew up in Lawrenceville, and was a philosophy major at The Ohio State University. In his free time he enjoys music, sports, and the outdoors.

Georgia Emergency Management Agency

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the United States over the weekend. It is slowly working its way north. Hurricanes are rare in Georgia, but we do get them. Our last direct hit by a major hurricane was in 1898, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our share of big storms. Stan Deaton, who is the senior historian of the Georgia Historical Society, recently talked about Georgia's hurricane history on his podcast, Off the Deaton Path.



Hurricane Irma is howling towards the Southeast. A state of emergency has been declared for 94 Georgia counties. The hurricane is one of the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic. Joining us to talk about how best to prepare for this mammoth storm is John Knox, Professor of Geography at the University of Georgia.

What if your dog could talk? Georgia Tech researchers have developed a vest that can help service dogs communicate. Melody Jackson leads the initiative, and she’s the director of Georgia Tech’s Center for BioInterface Research. We talk about canine communication with her, and with Greg Berns. He directs the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University, and is author of the new book, “What It's Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience.”

Barbecue is truly Southern food.  Almost everyone has an opinion on the best way to cook, flavor and serve barbecue. But it’s controversial for another reason. Barbecue has roots in slavery and some popular restaurants have decidedly racist pasts.  We talked about the political side to barbecue with Kathleen Purvis, food writer with the Charlotte Observer. Chuck Reece, Editor for the Bitter Southerner, and Michael Twitty, a food writer and historian, also joined.

Hurricane Harvey displaced tens of thousands of people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes across the Southeast. Even though the storm has passed, there’s a long road to recovery. Georgia-based MAP International is one of the relief organizations helping the storm’s victims. We check in with the group’s CEO, Steve Stirling.

Ayyyy! Henry Winkler is coming to Georgia this week for the Decatur Book Festival. He’s the co-creator of a popular children’s book series that centers on Hank Zipzer, a young boy with learning difficulties. Henry Winkler joined us to talk about his life and writing.

Regina Bradley, writer and hip-hop scholar, is author of the recently released “Boondock Kollage: New Stories from the Contemporary Black South.” The collection offers 12 short stories chronicling Southern life in the post-civil rights era. Regina joined us earlier this year.

Among the legendary music acts to come out of Athens in the ‘70s was the band Pylon. The group had been a local mainstay until 2009, when guitarist Randall Bewley passed away. But singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay recently revived the band into the newly formed Pylon Reenactment Society. They have a new EP, called “Part Time Punks Session,” coming out this fall. We talk with Vanessa Briscoe Hay and drummer Joe Rowe about the new music.

Southern food has a history as rich as its taste. Whether it's red beans and rice, fried chicken, biscuits or potlikker, the history of Southern food stretches from slave plantations, to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, to our own kitchens today. We talk about the origins of our favorite Southern dishes with culinary historian John T. Edge of the Southern Foodways Alliance. He is the author of the new book, “The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South.”

This summer, 27 so-called micronations gathered in Dunwoody, Georgia for MicroCon 2017. A micronation is defined as a small, self-proclaimed entity which claims to be an independent sovereign state, but is not acknowledged as such by any recognized sovereign state, or by any supranational organization. Vice News produced a documentary from the convention, which featured many micronations based within Georgia. We get the inside scoop from Vice Media Video Producer Oliver Noble.

Morris Publishing announced this month it would sell ownership of 11 daily newspapers in the Southeast to Gatehouse Media. The sale includes large local Georgia papers like the Augusta Chronicle, the Athens Banner-Herald, and the Savannah Morning News. We talk about what’s behind the sale with Carolyn Carlson, a Professor of Communications and Media at Kennesaw State University. And Phil Kent, CEO of Insider Advantage, and a former editor at the Augusta Chronicle.

In the Breakroom this week we talk about Georgia’s Confederate monuments, texting while walking, and our dream retirement plans. Plus, we discuss the benefits of taking a nice cold shower. Joining us this week: Kathy Lohr, Eric Segall, Roxanne Donovan, and Greg Williams.

For the first time in over four decades, West Point authorized an updated text on military history in 2014. This one focuses on the tactics and consequences of the Civil War. We revisit a conversation with Colonel Ty Seidule, one of the book’s editors.

About 30 years ago, the “Brotherman” comic series paved the way for today’s black comics and superhero movement. Atlanta-based artist Dawud Anyabwile is the co-creator of Brotherman. We talk with him about a new exhibit in Atlanta chronicling Brotherman’s universe.

Ryan McFadin

On Monday, the University of Georgia hosted an eclipse viewing party at Sanford Stadium. Over 15,000 people showed up in the stands to watch the day turn gray. GPB’s Ryan McFadin went between the hedges and brought us back an audio postcard.

Better Georgia

Last week, President Trump revoked another Obama-era Executive Order. This one required projects built with federal aid be designed to handle sea level rise due to climate change. We talk about how the scientific community is responding to climate change denial by the White House with Peter Dykstra of Environmental Health News. We also hear from Matt Hauer, a UGA demographer researching how sea level rise will drive coastal-dwelling Georgians inland.

It’s been two weeks since the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The violence there renewed conversations about race relations, and have left some searching for answers on how to de-radicalize people. That’s something Shannon Martinez of Athens knows firsthand. She was a skinhead for several years, but managed to leave that life behind her.  We talk with her and Sammy Rangel of Life After Hate, a group that helps people move away from hate and violent extremism.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Atlanta Theater Director Kenny Leon has produced theater versions of “The Wiz,” "Hairspray," and “Fences.” He also founded Atlanta's True Colors Theatre Company. Now, Leon is set to teach master classes on film and theater production at Kennesaw State University. Kenny Leon joins us in the studio to discuss teaching and his latest work.

mikecogh / Foter

A recent Associated Press investigation found that Georgia is not honoring a U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning life without parole as a sentence for juveniles convicted of homicide and other serious crimes. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, there are 25 juveniles serving this type of sentence in Georgia right now.

For centuries, groups in the South have sought to secede from the United States. More than 150 years after the Civil War, groups like the League of the South are pushing again to break from the Union. We talk about how serious we should take calls for secession with Roxanne Donovan, Psychology Professor at Kennesaw State University. And Trey Hood, Political Science Professor at the University of Georgia in Athens.

People are descending upon North Georgia’s small towns to glimpse the total solar eclipse on Monday. We caught up with a Georgia Tech scientist and a city councilor from Rabun County about how they’re getting ready for the big event. 

First, Atlanta has a healthy appetite for improv. This week Dad’s Garage Theater welcomes Scott Adsit. You may know him best as Pete Hornberger on the show “30 Rock.” Scott joined us earlier this week to discuss the art of comedy.

Then, Atlanta-based producer Will Packer’s new movie “Girls Trip” is doing quite well. It cost about $19 million to make, and it’s grossed more than $90 million since opening in theaters last month. We talked with Will Packer last week about making hit movies with diverse casts, and his television project “Black America.”


August 16 marks the death of Coca-Cola founder and inventor John Pemberton. It has been over 130 years since he first brought the beverage to Atlanta. We took a trip to the Coca-Cola Freestyle Innovation Lab and learned the story behind the drink’s first pour.

First, rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend brought together many factions of the white supremacist movement, and put a younger generation of white supremacists in the spotlight. Reporter A.C. Thompson has been tracking hate groups for ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate” project. He joins us to talk about his reporting, and what he saw in Virginia. We also talk with University of Maryland psychology professor Arie Kruglanski, who studies the mental processes behind radicalization, de-radicalization, and terrorism.

First, a new report finds chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 110 of 111 brains of deceased former NFL players. The study adds to a  growing body of knowledge about the connection between contact sports and brain-damaging concussions. We talk with Steve Broglio, Director of the NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

We also talk with former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry, who is working to improve football education with his group, “Kids & Pros.”

When Donald Trump began his campaign in 2015, few thought he would climb to the nation’s highest office. But Jared Yates Sexton realized Trump was onto something. He was one of the first people to attend and report on Trump rallies. Sexton teaches creative writing at Georgia Southern University, and has a new book: “The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore.” He joins us for an hour exploring changes in the American psyche.

In the Breakroom this week we’ll talk about microchips, atheists, and disgruntled Google employees. Plus, we’ll discuss the ethics of getting an A for effort. Joining us this week: Kathy Lohr, Christian Zsilavetz, Amy Condon, and Steve Brown.

First, if you want to see theater in one of its most nerve-racking forms, look no further than actor Colin Mochrie. The comedian is best known for his role on TV’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and he has a richly deserved reputation for his skill at improvisation. Audiences in Atlanta can see him live Friday, August 11, and tomorrow August 12 at Dad’s Garage. We talk with Colin Mochrie.

First, imagine being in outer space with two sassy robots, and being forced to watch really bad science fiction movies with them. That’s the premise of the cult classic TV series, Mystery Science Theater 3000. The show is on the road this weekend [August 12] in Atlanta. We talk with series creator, Joel Hodgson.


The Savannah Bananas are back in the playoffs this week. This comes after Savannah’s collegiate team broke the league record for attendance, again. We talk with team president, Jared Orton. Then, we hear from some number one fans. 

The Savannah Bananas are back in the playoffs this week. This comes after Savannah’s collegiate team broke the league record for attendance, again. We talk with team president, Jared Orton. Then, we hear from some number one fans.

The personal finance site Nerd Wallet says Atlanta is the nation’s best place for African-American-owned businesses. Savannah and Columbus scored high marks as well. We spoke with Cindy Yang from NerdWallet.