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.

Stephen B. Morton / AP Photo

Hurricane Dorian is moving north after lashing the coast and outer banks of the Carolinas. In the meantime, Georgians are moving back to their homes. In the end, hurricane-force winds only edged along the state’s coast, causing less flooding and havoc than predicted.

Still, the impact on the economies – and lives – of the areas east of I-95 that were under mandatory evacuation remains, along with plenty of evidence that those orders were ignored.


On Second Thought For Friday, Sept. 6, 2019

Sep 6, 2019

Even though Hurricane Dorian spared the Georgia coast, economic impacts of the evacuation linger on. On Second Thought gets an overview of the storm’s aftermath with Emily Jones, Georgia Public Broadcasting's Morning Edition host and reporter.

Additionally, classical music is moving into the ICU. GPB’s Grant Blankenship reports on music as medicine in one Macon hospital.


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Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Football Fridays are back. The television broadcasts of high school games resume Sept. 20. and the Football Friday podcast recently began a new season.


Georgia Public Broadcasting

2019 is a big year for Atlanta hip-hop duo EarthGang. Earlier this year, their label, Dreamville — that's rapper J. Cole's Interscope Records imprint — released a multi-artist album called Revenge of the Dreamers 3. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart.

And Friday, they drop their own Dreamville project into the world: the highly anticipated album Mirrorland


On Second Thought For Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019

Sep 4, 2019

Hip-hop is often singled out for not having a great track record when it comes to the objectification of women, but research seeks to shine a new light on the genre. As we kick off Music Month on Georgia Public Broadcasting, hear from Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey and Nadia Brown, two researchers examining political rap’s influence on feminist attitudes.

Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

Laurel Snyder has made a career of picture books and middle-grade novels that don't shy away from the facts of life. Her newest novel, My Jasper June, follows Jasper and Leah as they embark on a summer of urban adventures and navigate the messy path between childhood fantasy and grown-up realities.


COURTESY KYANNA SIMONE SIMPSON

Kyanna Simone Simpson shows no signs of stopping.

The Decatur native and University of Georgia student's first Netflix series, Chambers, was released earlier this year. Her new film Ma, with Octavia Spencer, hit theaters this summer. And Oprah Winfrey told Vanity Fair she'd pick Simpson to portray her in a biopic. 

Simpson's previous credits include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, in which she acted alongside Winfrey as the younger version of Winfrey's character, Deborah Lacks. She's also appeared as Keisha in the CW's Black Lightning.


On Second Thought For Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019

Sep 3, 2019

Helen Ellis's new collection of essays Southern Lady Code has been called "a cross between David Sedaris & Reese Witherspoon."

It covers everything from marriage to thank-you notes. On Second Thought reads between the lines with her ahead of her book tour stops in Atlanta and Athens.   


Sean Powers / GPB News

Squidbillies is one of the longest running shows on Atlanta-based Adult Swim. The animated series follows a family of “anthropomorphic mud squids” in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia.

Ahead of its 12th season premiere, Chuck Reece of The Bitter Southerner podcast spoke with Nashville-based singer, Elizabeth Cook, and co-creators, Jim Fortier and Dave Willis, at Georgia Public Broadcasting.


University of Georgia Press

While the origin stories of the barbecue capital of world may vary, Jim Auchmutey has found one thing we can agree on: Barbecue has a Southern accent. 


On Second Thought For Friday, Aug. 30, 2019

Aug 30, 2019

The story of barbecue is the story of American history and traditions — or so says author Jim Auchmutey.  Just in time for Labor Day weekend, On Second Thought talks to Auchmutey about his book, Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America.


<span style="text-transform:none">David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com</span>

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is headed to Atlanta this weekend to talk about her new children’s book Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You at Agnes Scott College as a part of the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

On this special edition of On Second Thought, we hear a rare, personal conversation with the justice recorded live for Writers on a New England Stage, a collaboration between New Hampshire Public Radio and The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


University of Georgia

As students get back into the swing of classes, we remember women's educational opportunities in the 19th Century were few and far between. Finishing schools focused on women's socialization and skills like art, music and French, rather than a rigorous academic curriculum.

 


On Second Thought For Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019

Aug 28, 2019

It’s back-to-school time, which looks a lot different for women now than in decades past.  For female students, getting an education used to mean attending finishing school courses on being a “proper” wife and hostess.  The Lucy Cobb Institute helped change that. 

University of Georgia Professor Fran Teague and WUGA student Kristen Gragg visit On Second Thought to explore how this Georgia facility expanded what women could learn and do.

Pixabay via Pexels.com

Atlanta-based author and primatologist Frans de Waal has observed animal behavior for 40 years. He's since challenged prevailing scientific notions of animals as stimulus response machines. His new book, Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions, details findings on jealousy and reconciliation.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

When coal-fired power plants burn coal, what’s left over is a toxic ash mixed with water that gets stored in ash ponds. They look pretty much like you’d imagine – huge, contained pools of slurry and particulates – and environmentalists worry about their potential effects on the ecosystem and drinking water.

Georgia Power is on track to quit adding to its ash ponds by sometime next year.  That’s a mandate in the Integrated Resources Plan the Georgia Public Service Commission approved this summer. 


Tom Hines

Ocean Vuong dazzled the literary world with his first collection of poetry. His debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, was one of the most anticipated of the year.

Written in the form of a letter from a character named Little Dog to his illiterate mother, the novel charts Little Dog’s fraught path from childhood into adulthood and reckons with violence, loss and belonging. Severely bullied by his classmates and physically abused by his mother, whose trauma from life in Vietnam still weighs heavily on the family, Little Dog finds temporary refuge in drugs, a teenaged love affair and in the dyamic power of language itself.


Leighton Rowell / GPB

Domestic violence and sexual assault are leading causes of injuries for young women and girls over the age of 15 in Georgia, according to the state's Department of Public Health. In fact, reports indicate that 30% of Georgia women in that age group will be abused at least once by their partners in their lifetimes.

To understand why, we spoke with Michelle White, who is a child and youth project manager for the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She explained how to identify and prevent teen dating violence as well as why teens are less likely to report it. And White also described the characteristics of healthy relationships.


Georgia Power is on track to close its coal ash ponds by sometime next year, and who regulates that process could change soon.  The federal EPA wants to give that oversight to the states. The public has until Aug. 27 to weigh in on the possible transition. Grant Blankenship visits On Second Thought to discuss what it could mean for the environment.


Deen Van Meer

Georgia has had its own share of musical superstars like Ray Charles, Ludacris and Childish Gambino. The Peach State is also a hot-bed for actors — aided and abetted by a booming TV and film industry. 

Those two artforms come toghether in musical theater. Georgia isn't traditionally known for seeding musicals, but fall is a fresh season for theatrical productions. Theatre critic and writer Kelundra Smith says we can expect some musical numbers this fall.


Arantza Peña Popo

Next to breathing, Googling must be among the most commonly performed tasks in contemporary life. Everyone is familiar with the homepage, and that little illustration around the search bar — that is a “Google Doodle.”


COURTESY OF HUB CITY PRESS

In the late 19th Century, Lulu Hurst transfixed audiences as the "Georgia Wonder." An electrical storm supposedly gave the teenager supernatural powers to catapult grown men from chairs. She performed on stages from Cedartown, Georgia, to the East Coast and Midwest.

Hurst appeared in front of members of congress and government scientists. She was tested by Alexander Graham Bell, the faculty at Mercer University and the Medical College of Georgia — all baffled by mysterious force of the "electric maid."


She was a kind of real-life superhero before the days of cosplay and Dragon Con. Lulu Hurst called herself the “Georgia Wonder” in the late 19th century, saying an electrical storm had given her supernatural powers. Atlanta author Jessica Handler uses Hurst’s life for the basis of her novel, The Magnetic Girl. Unravel the tales of fact and fiction ahead of Handler’s appearance at the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

Beyoncé, Cher, Elvis…and Googoosh. The Iranian superstar’s name carries as much weight in some parts of the world as those other legends do in the U.S. Ahead of the singer-songwriter’s performance at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, learn about her life and career.


Neka King and Sarah Emerson

29Rooms has been called a fun house for adults and an Instagram paradise. This immersive art festival has popped up in L.A. and New York, this month 29Rooms is stopping in Atlanta on a five-city tour.

The interactive experience created by the Refinery29 website is as advertised — a collection of 29 distinct rooms with work from artists all over the country. Like the Museum of Ice Cream and Museum of Pizza posted on Instagram, it will be a selfie paradise.


Wikimedia Commons

Beyoncé...Cher...Elvis...and Googoosh. She's the Iranian pop star that carries as much weight in the Middle East as some of those other famous artists do here in the United States.

For those connected to the Iranian diaspora, Googoosh is a household name. She consistently draws massive crowds of Iranian expatriates to her concerts. She will be performing in Atlanta on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.


wwnorton.com

Any thorough study of history reveals that there have always been political, economic and racial divisions in the United States. Princeton historians and best-selling authors Julian Zelizer and Kevin Kruse add gender and sexuality to those fissures.

Their book, Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974, follows how those divisions have become wider and deeper since the resignation of Richard Nixon shook the foundations of our democracy. 


Samantha Allen

Author and journalist Samantha Allen wanted to go beyond the headlines in her new book, "Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States." Now, she’s traveling to the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

"Often the stories we hear are just, 'Oh, this anti-LGBT law got passed' or 'This anti-LGBT law got stopped,' and we're not really seeing what's happening on the ground," Allen said.

 


La'Raven Taylor/GPB

Picture this: It's Friday night. You're all alone and suddenly hear creepy noices — maybe even see shadows from the corner of your eye. Who ya gonna call? The Ghost Brothers are Atlanta-based. 

The trio of fraternity brothers started investigating places reported to be haunted on reality television in 2016. Their new series, Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, investigates residential phenomena. 


To write her book, Real Queer America, Samantha Allen traveled red states as a transgender women and formed unexpected connections with the people she met.  Now, she’s traveling to the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

 

Hear her take on finding tolerance and understanding on both sides of the LGBTQ rights debate.

 

 


NINA SUBIN

Surrounded by mountains and the sea, Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula is extremely isolated; there aren’t even roads or rail lines to the area. In Julia Phillips’ new novel, it’s the site where two young Russian sisters vanish one afternoon after walking along the seashore.

Disappearing Earth is not a mystery or true crime novel. There’s no detective discovering long-held secrets among the townsfolk, no red herrings nor a final reveal. Instead, the novel explores a series of stories about women and girls affected by – and connected to – the panic surrounding the loss.


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