Virginia Prescott

Host, On Second Thought

Virginia Prescott is the Gracie Award-winning host of On Second Thought for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Before joining GPB, she was host of Word of Mouth, Writers on A New England Stage and the I-Tunes Top Ten Podcasts Civics 101 and The 10-Minute Writers Workshop on New Hampshire Public Radio. Prior to joining NHPR, she was editor, producer, and director on NPR programs On Point and Here & Now, and Director of Interactive media for New York Public Radio.

Throughout her radio career, Virginia has worked to build sustainable independent radio in the developing world and has trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. She was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley and the recipient of a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University.

Virginia loves working as a radio and podcast host, but regrets that so many good outfits go unnoticed.

GSU Magazine/Ben Rollins

With a hint of fall in the air, India Jackson is still buzzing from a remarkable summer. On Second Thought spoke to the Georgia State University doctoral student and single mother just before she and her daughter left for NASA's prestigious summer internship program in Houston.

The stars aligned for Jackson when strangers from around the world stepped in to raise more than $8,000 through gofundme.com to support her dreams. Jackson is on the cover of the fall issue of GSU Magazine. She stopped back by On Second Thought with shocking details about her internship.


AP Images/Nam Y. Huh

Last week, the FDA disclosed a criminal probe into electronic cigarettes as the number of vaping-related illnesses climbed. The enforcement action dovetails with an ongoing Centers For Disease Control and Prevention investigation into vaping-related illness in the U.S. 

Five hundred thirty people with a history of vaping have been diagnosed with mysterious lung injuries. Eight people have died. Five of those cases are in Georgia, with another being investigated here.


The Youth Climate Strike will take place Friday in Georgia, other U.S. states and about 150 countries. High school and college students are skipping class to demand action on climate change, and they are timing the strike for right before Monday’s UN Climate Action Summit. On Second Thought hears from Andrea Manning and Zeena Abdulkarim, two of the Atlanta organizers and Dr. Kim Cobb, a climate science professor.


Ross Terrell / GPB News

Students from about 150 countries are skipping class Friday with a goal of schooling government and business leaders around the world. The coordinated Youth Climate Strike is predicted to be the largest environmental action in history, and it’s scheduled just days before a UN Climate Action Summit in New York City on Monday.

In Georgia, a group called Zero Hour Georgia is pulling together a strike and demonstration at the state capitol at 2 p.m. Its co-executive directors are GSU student Zeena Abdulkarim and UGA student Andrea Manning.  They stopped by On Second Thought Friday morning to preview the event and detail the students’ list of demands.


wikimedia.org

Before Outkast, Goodie Mobb and T.I. burst out of Georgia, there was Blind Willie McTell and James Brown.  Before Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson and Jason Aldean stepped onto the country music scene, Brenda Lee and Chet Atkins were changing the sound of country music altogether.

What unifies those musical giants? Georgia. On Second Thought embarked on an audio tour of the dense and diverse musical roots of Georgia, from Ma Rainey and the Skillet Lickers to Emmett Miller and Otis Redding.


NPR

Journalism lost a trailblazing voice yesterday. Cokie Roberts, who covered Congress for NPR beginning in the 1970s and later joined ABC News, passed away at the age of 75. 

Schooled early in political rivalries and genteel Southern manners, Roberts became a legendary reporter and best-selling author. On Second Thought spoke with Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, to ask about his longtime colleague and friend.


@69.mov
Mario Chui / mariochui.net

From Vincent Van Gogh to Charli XCX, many accomplished artists are thought to have synesthesia, or the blending of two or more senses. Atlanta-based sensory artist Siana Altiise also has synesthesia, and she feels compelled to use her unique perspective to create musical experiences meant to relax people.

Siana joined On Second Thought to share how she builds her meditative tracks based on both the psychology of attention and her personal experiences with synesthesia. 


National Public Radio founding mother and media icon Cokie Roberts has passed away at age 75.  Reflect on her contributions to public radio and public discourse with Scott Simon on On Second Thought

Grant Blankenship / GPB

This week, GPB’s Macon bureau is embarking on a yearlong look at youth violence, including its causes and potential solutions. GPB Macon is just one of the local newsrooms tackling the issue, with their partners, the Macon Telegraph, the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University and CBS affiliate 13 WMAZ.


Ellen Eldridge / GPB

One year ago, today, On Second Thought was relaunched with a whole new staff.

To celebrate the anniversary, the whole team joined Virginia in the studio to share a guest or conversation that surprised or delighted them.


Today marks one year since On Second Thought relaunched in its current form. The whole team is on air today to share what has surprised and delighted us. Join On Second Thought for the celebration!


Pop-Up Zine Atlanta

Cities are dynamic things – and Atlanta is certainly one of them. Atlanta has catapulted from a regional city to an international metropolis in a generation. The city has been called the “capital of the new South,” “the South’s Black mecca,” “a city in a forest,” and “hip-hop’s new center of gravity.” The antithesis of homogenous, Atlanta resists being summarized or captured in a single phrase or place. 

In many ways, the city is a perfect setting for Pop-Up Zine Atlanta, where stories are told on-stage in a camera-free zone, with no recordings, photos, tweets or posts.


Ross Terrell / GPB

Smyrna and Cobb County officials released the first results of independent tests of air quality near the Sterigenics facility. 

The results, released at Monday’s meeting of the community’s Air Quality Oversight Committee, revealed 80 percent of the samples collected showed non-detectable levles of the carcinogenic gas ethylene oxide.


The first round of independent test results are due out this week for the Sterigenics plant in Smyrna, and the community’s Air Quality Oversight Committee is scheduled to meet Monday.  Get an update on the story from Georgia Health News’ Andy Miller, and Web MD Brenda Goodman. Plus, take a look at what’s happening on the political side of it from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ’s Greg Bluestein.


Frank Gargani

The first wave of punk rock growled out of the economic and social malaise of New York and London in the mid-1970s. But Los Angeles played a huge role in what came next, when punk's energetic D.I.Y. ethos began to diversify, cross genres and sprawl like the vast city itself.

One of the groups that sprouted in that time was the seminal punk band X. Three years ago, X's singer and bassist John Doe and music publisher Tom DeSavia pulled together first-hand accounts of the nascent scene from members of LA's tight-knit punk community. The resulting book, Under The Big Black Sun, was nominated for a Grammy.


Credit: Jeff Forney

Music Midtown begins Saturday! This year, 25 years after it first began, the two-day festival will feature acts like Travis Scott, Cardi B, Lizzo and Vampire Weekend. And on Sunday at 1 p.m., you can catch Atlanta locals, The Coathangers.

First, drummer Stephanie Luke and bassist Meredith Franco, two members of the garage punk trio, joined On Second Thought to talk about how they started playing music together, what it's like being an all-female punk band in the music industry and what "punk" means to them.

 


Lawrence Journal World

The Iliad is one of the oldest surviving stories of Western civilization, and is often referred to as if we know it — or, at least, we should.

The epic is usually credited to Homer, the ancient Greek storyteller who first sat down to orally weave the story for his audiences 3,000 years ago.  The war story chronicles the final weeks of the Trojan War, and it has been translated into dozens of languages — dozens of times.


Emory University is hosting a three-day, live reading of The Iliad, and On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott is among the orators. Delve into the classic tale with Stan Lombardo, a professor emeritus of classics at the University of Kansas, who wrote a modern translation of it.

East Point has an urban agriculture plan aimed at improving access to green spaces and minimizing food deserts. GPB’s Ross Terrell went to check it out.


From the Civil War to the Dust Bowl and from baseball to jazz, Ken Burns documentaries have covered a range of critical events in American history and culture. Now, country music is getting the Ken Burns treatment. 

He and long-time collaborators and producers Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey spent eight years researching and making an eight-part, 16-hour documentary called Country Music, which will air in six parts beginning Sunday, Sept. 15 on GPB.


Rick Brozek | Brozek Design / © 2019 Georgia Humanities

Rural America is often painted in broad strokes. Small towns have been hit hard by population declines as more Americans flock to urban and suburban areas, and unemployment and the opioid crisis has been rough on small, financially-strapped communities.

But the reality of life in rural America is far from this sweeping image of "doom and gloom." A new Smithsonian exhibit called “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” aims to add some dimension to those images – and generate conversations about rural history, identity and visions for the future.


On Second Thought For Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019

Sep 11, 2019

Georgia State University students studying to be sports and entertainment lawyers have a new course available to them: The Legal Life of Ludacris.  GSU law professor Moraima "Mo" Ivory took On Second Thought back to school with a look at why the Georgia superstar’s career is a window into contract law.


AP Images/John Bazemore

This fall, Georgia State College of Law University is offering "The Legal Life of Ludacris" — a course examining the strategic legal decisions and contracts that supported his career as a rapper, actor, philanthropist and restaurateur. 

It's the brainchild of GSU entertainment law professor, Moraima "Mo" Ivory, who's the head of the school's "Entertainment, Sports and Media Law Initiative." Ivory spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about the now full class. 


Jake Troyer / GPB

Improvisational theater makes for a great evening of live entertainment. Actors make up a story right on the spot, mastering the art of staying in the moment while making their scene partners look good.

Dad’s Garage, the well-established improv theater in Atlanta, is making a push to bring that art to high schools across Georgia. Their new outreach program provides teachers with videos, worksheets, and teaching guides aimed to introduce students to the world of improv. All materials are free and conform to state curriculum standards.

GEOFF L. JOHNSON / SAVANNAH MORNING NEWS

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra's new season begins this Saturday, Sept. 14, with a new music director: Keitaro "Kei" Harada. 

Harada grew up in Tokyo, but he's no stranger to Georgia. He studied at Mercer University in Macon, where he was assistant conductor of the Macon Symphony. After that, he picked up the baton for four seasons as associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony. 


Emory University

A team of specialists at Emory University will never forget Aug. 2, 2014. That's the day Kent Brantley, an American missionary based in Liberia, became the first of four patients with the Ebola virus to arrive at its Atlanta facility. 

The eyes of the world watched as the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit ⁠— in hazmat suits, successfully treated Brantley and three other patients with the highly infectious disease.


GPB/ Jake Troyer

Jontavious Willis got his start singing gospel in his hometown of Greenville, Georgia, but something clicked inside him when he heard the blues.

His second album, Spectacular Class, came out earlier this year. Critics and blues artists hailed it and declared him a wunderkind and genius who proves the blues is very much alive.


cynthianewberrymartin.com/tidal-flats/

The image called Afghan Girl that first appeared on the cover of National Geographic is part of the inspiration for Tidal Flats, the first published novel by Columbus-based author Cynthia Newberry Martin. Martin altered the time and subject of the image of Afghan Girl, but the photo is critical to the plot.


It’s been five years as of this summer since the first U.S. Ebola patient went to Emory University Hospital. On Second Thought looks back on the events that followed with Dr. Colleen Kraft, one of the physicians who helped with care.


Find out what songs Atlanta native Faye Webster adds to our Georgia Playlist. She'll be at the annual Music Midtown this weekend.

Georgia has nine HBCUs now, but Morris Brown College could make that number increase. It's seeking accreditation nearly a decade after losing it due to a financial mismanagement scandal.

On Second Thought invited race and culture reporter Ernie Suggs to talk about the background and threats HBCUs face. Suggs collaborated with education reporter Eric Sturgis on an Atlanta Journal-Constitution series about the health of HBCUs. They also launched a podcast called HBCU Journeys.  


Credit: Eat Humans

The annual Music Midtown festival takes place this weekend. Through its 25 year history — it launched in 1994 — A-list acts like Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Elton John and Drake have all taken to the festival's stages.

This year, performing musicians include Travis Scott, Vampire Weekend, Billie Eilish and Lizzo. Atlanta native Faye Webster will be among them. First, she joined On Second Thought to talk about how, while still only in her early 20s, she's already released her third album — and to tell us about her musical journey along the way.


Pages