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The End of the World

An ancient Maya prophecy supposedly pegs the end of the world for December 21, 2012. That apocalyptic prediction is just one of many that have filtered through society over the years. What makes people believe in the end of days? And how has this belief influenced life throughout history? Host Frank Stasio talks about the end of the world with Robert Sitler, director of Latin American studies and a professor of modern languages at Stetson University in Florida; Brett Whalen, an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Gerry Canavan, a PhD candidate in literature at Duke University.

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.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.