Breakroom

It's been 100 years since a Spanish influenza epidemic killed as many as 50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 Americans. A new book on the deadly pandemic is out this week. It's called “More Deadly Than War.” The author, Kenneth C. Davis, talked with us about how the Spanish flu affected the course of World War I.

Still from YouTube / GPB

Just as we do at the end of every week, this Friday we brought together a group of four smart people to help us break down the week's news. On Second Thought host Adam Ragusea sat down with our Breakroom panel — Soumaya Khalifa, Greg Williams, Natalie Pawelski and Nemr — to put a rest to the Laurel vs. Yanny debate, process the royal wedding drama and analyze the antics of Georgia's GOP candidates for governor

Childish Gambino / Screenshot by GPB

Just as we do at the end of every week, this Friday we brought together a group of four smart people to help us break down the week's news. On Second Thought host Tony Harris sat down with our Breakroom panel — Ed Sohn, Anjali Enjeti, Greg Wiliams and Tomika Depriest — to process President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, Islamophobia on "Roseanne," and the symbolism in the music video for Childish Gambino's new song "This is America."

The face of local news in Macon, Georgia, is changing. After nearly four decades, Friday is Oby Brown's last day at The Telegraph in Macon. Brown's departure comes amid what another outgoing editor called a "transformation" of the newspaper. Brown joined us in the studio to discuss the way local news is changing and reflect on his longtime career covering the news in middle Georgia. 

On Second Thought For Friday, April 27, 2018

Apr 27, 2018

It’s been seven months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Blackouts continue. Utility crews on the island are still in emergency restoration mode. As recovery continues on the island, Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Lab (EDL) has opened free office space in Atlanta’s Tech Square to entrepreneurs and researchers from Puerto Rico. It's an expansion of a program Georgia Tech has had in place since 2012.

Rodrigo Ferrari / Wikimedia Commons

This week we talked about racist robots, climate change and autism awareness. So, as we do every Friday, we sat down with our Breakroom guests to process the week's biggest news stories.  We were joined in the studio by Georgia State University professors Héctor Fernández, Soumaya Khalifa, executive director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, Fayette County commissioner Steve Brown and Korea Daily reporter HB Cho. 

Spring has arrived in Georgia. Are you ready to relax outside with a good book? We asked Literary Atlanta podcast host Alison Law and Decatur-based author Nicki Salcedo to tell us about the best new books by Southern writers. We also talked with the Breakroom gang about the most discussed news items of the week.

Courtesy of Kendrick Lamar

This week we talked about mandatory gun owernship laws, Vidalia onions and the Pulitzer Prize — and that doesn't even include the week's news. On Second Thought host Tony Harris sat down with our Breakroom panel to process everything that happened.

LaRaven Taylor / GPB

This week's Breakroom panel looked back at the week in news. Former NPR correspondent Kathy Lohr, film critic Stephen Brown, freelance writer Anjali Enjeti and "Greg's List" host Greg Williams chimed in on Mark Zuckerberg's congressional hearing, mass resignations at Atlanta's city hall and the controversial portrayals of Asian characters on shows such as "The Simpsons." 

Saturday marks two months since a school shooting killed 17 students and educators in Parkland, Florida. Since then, we’ve heard public outrage transform into ever more urgent calls for reforms to the nation's gun laws. Antoinette Tuff knows first-hand what it’s like to come face-to-face with a school shooter: On Aug. 20, 2013, she was working at Decatur’s Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy when a 20-year-old gunman entered with an AK-47 military assault rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition. Tuff talked the gunman down, and no one was injured or killed. She tells us whether teachers should be armed.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a leader in South Africa's anti-apartheid movement and ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, died Monday. She was 81. On Second Thought producer Fenly Foxen, who grew up in South Africa, spoke with host Adam Ragusea about Madikizela-Mandela's integral role in the fight against apartheid. Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, CEO of the TutuDesk Campaign and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, also joined from South Carolina. Tutu-Gxashe earned her master's degree from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. 

Normally when you think of cherry blossoms, you think of Washington D.C. or Japan. But unbeknownst to a lot of tourists, Macon, Georgia is the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. William A. Fickling Sr. discovered the distinctive blooms in his backyard in 1949.

Leighton Rowell / GPB

Today in the Breakroom we talked about this week's top stories.

On Second Thought for Friday, February 16, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

We talked with Atlanta native Tayari Jones. Her latest novel, “An American Marriage,” was included this month in Oprah’s Book Club. Jones is in Savannah this weekend for the annual Savannah Book Festival.

Marvel’s Black Panther is now showing nationwide. It was produced and partially filmed in Georgia. We meet two of the people who worked behind the scenes.

In honor of the Savannah Book Festival, we headed into the Breakroom with an all-authors panel.

The Tide Pod Challenge has sent dozens of people, many of them young teens, to hospitals across the country. Eating laundry detergent may seem like a new level of stupidity, but kids and adolescents have been doing dumb things to impress each other for a long time. And, despite first appearances, there might actually be good reasons why. Joining us to talk through this are Catherine O’Neal, Assistant Research Scientist at UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Jay Hathaway, Senior Writer at the Daily Dot.

Fifty years ago, babies in the U.S. were three times more likely to die before reaching a first birthday. And the problems driving infant and maternal mortality were even worse in rural areas. Diane Cantor set out to be part of a change. She left college in the early 1970s to work for a federal program providing prenatal care to women in North Georgia. Her experiences inspired a novel called “When Nighttime Shadows Fall.” Diane Cantor lives in Savannah. We talk to her ahead of an appearance on January 30 at A Cappella Books in Atlanta.

The Avengers: Infinity War  was shot in Georgia recently. Another Avengers cast and crew are at work here, along with a slew of movies and TV shows. We talk about who’s working on what with Jennifer Brett. She writes the Buzz Blog for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

First, retail stores are disappearing, but the economy’s not the bad guy. Rising pressure from online shopping is causing brick and mortar stores to file for bankruptcy at a record pace in 2017. We’ll talk about how this retail downturn is affecting Georgia with Amy Wenk, reporter for The Atlanta Business Chronicle, and John Brown, Associate Professor of Economics at Georgia Southern University.

One year ago, Atlanta-based Rapper Gucci Mane was released from prison. Since his release, he has been reinventing himself. He headlines a concert this weekend in Atlanta. We speak with Georgia-based hip-hop artist Makonnen and hip-hop scholar Regina Bradley about Gucci Mane’s influence on hip-hop in the South. Then, NPR Music hip-hop reporter Rodney Carmichael reviews Gucci Mane’s latest album, "Droptopwop."

The Breakroom gang is back to discuss the potential for Georgia to have its first African-American female governor, a debate over espionage vs. whistleblowing, and examining the feminism of Wonder Woman. Then we talk about Cumberland Island, why men refuse to seek medical help, and our favorite BBQ sauces. Our guests are Kalena Boller, Kathy Lohr, Stefan Turkheimer, and Jessica Szilagyi. 

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