Inside Scientology, Looking at David Foster Wallace, Mary Pickford on Film, Temple Grandin on Autism Science

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On today’s show: We’re re-airing a conversation about the inner workings of the Church of Scientology with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright and a conversation with D. T. Max on how David Foster Wallace has become one of the most influential writers of his generation. Then we’ll take a look at Mary Pickford with film historian Christel Schmidt and piano accompanist Ben Model. And Temple Grandin talks about the latest scientific research about autism and how our understanding of the autism spectrum has grown.

David Rhode on Reimagining War, Willa Cather's Letters, Renée Fleming, Joseph Stiglitz Tackles Debt

Monday, April 29, 2013

Reporter David Rohde talks about how the nature of war has evolved since 9/11, and why Muslim moderates are the only ones who can truly help eradicate militancy. We’ll take a look at the personal letters that writer Willa Cather never wanted to be published. Soprano Renée Fleming talks about the final concert in her Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall. Economist and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz on why politicians and economists are focusing on public debt instead of the economic policies the United States needs to recover.

Meat Inspection, Restaurant Workers, Gardening, Please Explain: Mushrooms and Fungi

Friday, April 26, 2013

For this week’s Food Fridays show, Ted Conover describes his experience working as a meat inspector in Nebraska for 6 weeks. We’ll look at how many cooks and servers in restaurants are poorly paid and mistreated, why that is so often overlooked. Margaret Roach shares her tips for making your edible garden grow. We’ll find out how New York City restaurants are starting to compost their kitchen scraps. And this week’s Please Explain is about mushrooms and other edible fungi!

Wall Street Manipulation, Chuck Close, Jessica Soffer's Novel, Jeremy Scahill on Covert War

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi talks about whether bankers and brokers manipulated the market rates that affect global borrowing costs. Chuck Close describes the process of using large-scale Polaroid photographs to create his paintings. Jessica Soffer discusses her novel called Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots. The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill talks about America’s covert wars and the elite soldiers who operate in more than 100 countries around the world.

Better Medicine, Jim Parsons, Rachel Kushner's New Novel, Vali Nars on Foreign Policy

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We’ll find out what can be done to protect the estimated 100 thousand patients who are affected by preventable medical errors or infections. Jim Parsons drops by to talk about his hit TV series, “The Big Bang Theory” and the upcoming HBO version of Larry Kramer’s play “The Normal Heart.” Rachel Kushner discusses her new novel, The Flame Throwers. Vali Nasr, who was senior advisor to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, explains why he feels American foreign policy is in retreat.

MIchael Pollan, "Kon-Tiki," "Talley's Folly," and Selling NYC Parkland

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Michael Pollan has written about how our food is raised, grown and harvested. Today, he talks about how we cook, transforming those foods into dinner. Then, we’ll find out how the Oscar-winning documentary about the voyage of Thor Heyerdahl’s “Kon-Tiki” was made. Also Danny Burstein and Sarah Paulson talk about starring in a revival of Lanford Wilson’s “Talley’s Folly.” And a look at the recent trend of selling of public parkland and historic sites to private developers, and what can be done to protect these spaces.

Online Etiquette, Afghan History, Vittorio Grigolo in "Rigoletto," and Chemicals

Monday, April 22, 2013

From Facebook to accidentally hitting “Reply All” on an email, life online is full of potential faux pas, and today we’ll get tips on how to navigate the digital world with grace and ease—and how to get through those sticky situations. William Dalrymple talks about the first battle for control of Afghanistan in 1839. Tenor Vittorio Grigolo discusses singing the role of the Duke of Mantua in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “Rigoletto.” And we’ll find out from Ian Urbina of the New York Times and industrial hygienist Monona Rossol why many of the chemicals in soap, shampoo, and other household products haven’t been tested for safety.

Christopher Kimball on Kitchen Tools, Top Food Books, Eating in Queens, Going Vegan

Friday, April 19, 2013

We’ll start off with Christopher Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen, offers tips on the basic equipment that every home cook should have. Editor Judith Jones, who worked with Julia Child, Lidia Bastianich, and James Beard, shares her list of essential books about food. We’ll find out where to eat in Queens. And this week’s Please Explain is all about being a vegetarian or a vegan, and how you can cut meat and animal products from your diet without sacrificing nutrients or taste.

The Doors' Drummer, "The Searchers," Magic and Ricky Jay, Coping with Anxiety, Oil Spill in Arkansas

Thursday, April 18, 2013

John Densmore talks about being the drummer in The Doors and the conflicts that grew along with the band’s success. We’ll look at how the story of Cynthia Ann Parker has inspired operas, plays, and John Ford’s classic movie “The Searchers.” Author, historian, actor, and magician Ricky Jay discusses about his true love, conjuring. Dr. Drew Ramsey on dealing with fear and anxiety. Plus, we’ll look at the damage created by the oil spill in Arkansas and we’ll talk to one of the reporters who’s had trouble just gaining access to the site.

Mental Health Care, Philippe Petit on Knots, Tim Hetherington and War Photograhy, a Look at Gov. Cuomo

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

On today’s show: we’ll look at the relationship between violent crimes like the shootings in Aurora and Newtown, and the country’s mental health policies and access to mental health care. Philippe Petit, who once walked between the two World Trade Center towers, explains how to tie a knot. We’ll look at the life and work of war photographer Tim Hetherington with his collaborator Sebastian Junger and war photographer James Brabazon. Chris Smith from New York magazine on whether or not Andrew Cuomo is the Machiavelli of Albany.  

Mapping the Brain, The Astor Orphan, Billy Ray Cyrus, Madame Bovary on the Book Club

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dr. Eric Kandel talks about the Obama Administration’s plans to jump start efforts to map the human brain. Alexandra Aldrich, a direct descendent of John Jacob Astor, talks about her eccentric, fractured family. Billy Ray Cyrus describes his family and how his turbulent childhood led him to country music. Lydia Davis joins us for this month’s Leonard Lopate Show Book Club to discuss her translation of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.

Foreclosure Settlement, John Lurie, Nathaniel Rich's Novel, Sequencing the Human Genome

Monday, April 15, 2013

ProPublica’s Paul Kiel explains how the government plans to compensate the 3.9 million homeowners who were victims of aggressive foreclosure policies. John Lurie discusses his career in television, film, art, and, of course, music. Nathaniel Rich talks about his new novel, Odds Against Tomorrow. And yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of the first complete mapping of the human genome, and we’ll talk to bioethicist Robert Klitzman about how the human genome sequence has changed medicine.

Opening a Restaurant, Sustainable Meat, Cooking on TV, and Ferlitizing Fields

Friday, April 12, 2013

We’ll find out what it takes to open a restaurant—and keep it open —with chefs Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune, Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster, and Andrew Carmellini of The Dutch, Locanda Verde, and the soon-to-open Lafayette. We’ll look into whether sustainable farming can really meet America’s demand for meat. The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum talks about the rise and evolution of food television. And this week’s Please Explain is all about fertilizer! 

Carol Burnett, Mao's American Confidante, Hidden Cities, and Giant Crabs

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Carol Burnett talks about her relationship with her daughter Carrie, who recovered from drug addiction as a teenager and then died of cancer at the age of 38. Sidney Rittenberg, a confidante of Mao and the only American to join the Chinese Communist Party, joins the filmmaker of a new documentary about his life. Moses Gates introduces us to the hidden corners of New York, Paris, Cairo and Moscow. And we’ll find out how growing numbers of giant crabs are threatening the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay.

The CIA's Way of War, Adoption Stories, the Gurus of How To

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Mark Mazzetti explains how the line between soldiers and spies has been blurred, and what that means for America’s national security. Mary Williams talks about growing up in the Black Panther movement and then being adopted as a teenager by Jane Fonda. Jennifer Gilmore talks about her latest novel, The Mothers. And our gurus of how-to, Alvin and Lawrence Ubell, will be here to answer your calls and questions about home repair.

Toms River, Music Icon Paul Anka, Novelist Meg Wolitzer, Conflict in Syria

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Dan Fagin talks about how Toms River, New Jersey, was a dumping ground for cancer-causing industrial pollution for decades. Paul Anka looks back at his life and his career in music, working with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Barnum & Bailey Circus acrobats. Meg Wolitzer talks about her latest novel, called The Interestings. And Olly Lambert discusses his new Frontline documentary about Syria’s civil war—he spent time living on both sides of the conflict.

Good Regulations, Middle East to Lower East Side, Crony Capitalism

Monday, April 08, 2013

Cass Sunstein served as President Obama’s regulatory czar for three years, and on today’s show he talks about how we can make regulation both simpler and smarter. Rayya Elias tells how her family fled the violence in Syria, how she came to New York at the height of the punk movement, and put her life back together after becoming a homeless addict. We’ll take a look at a trove of leaked documents which shed light on the darker side of global finance. David Stockman, a budget director in the Reagan White House, argues that we’ve fallen prey to what he calls the politics of crony capitalism.

Leftovers to Lunch, Rosie Perez, Gardening without Soil, Amazing Grains

Friday, April 05, 2013

Today’s show is the latest installment in our Food Fridays series! New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark is here with her suggestions on how to turn last night’s dinner into today’s lunch. Rosie Perez talks about how food has shaped her life. We look into how hydroponic gardening works, and how you can grow a garden just about anywhere. Plus, this week’s Please Explain is all about grains!

Aid Work in Somalia, Bankers and the Economic Meltdown, DA Miscontuct

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Dr. Hawa Abdi, who has been called the Mother Teresa of Somalia, talks about turning her farm into a camp for 90,000 internally displaced. Washington Post economics reporter Neil Irwin on how the world’s top central bankers steered the global economy through the economic meltdown. ProPublica reporter Joaquin Sapien talks about his investigation into why the city’s district attorneys are rarely disciplined for misconduct.

Political Conversations and Politial Prisoners

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Martin Clancy and Tim O’Brien talk about how the Supreme Court has shaped the death penalty. We’ll look back at the debate over whether the United States should enter World War II—before Pearl Harbor changed everything. Blaine Harden tells the story of a man who managed to escape one of North Korea’s political prison camps. Dr. Mamphela Remphele on her frustration with South Africa’s ANC.

How the 99 Percent Live, Shaped by Sciapparelli, Julia Sweeney, and Baseball

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Guesthost Mike Pesca finds out how the 99 Percent have been struggling through the Great Recession. Then Patricia Volk explains how her ideas of style and womanhood were shaped by her mother and the designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Julia Sweeney talks about her new memoir, about motherhood and other life events. And Sports Illustrated’s Ben Reiter talks about baseball!

Immigrants in Solitary Confinement, Lemony Snicket, Small-Scale Philanthropy

Monday, April 01, 2013

New York Times reporter Ian Urbina talks about why U.S. authorities have been putting illegal immigrants in solitary confinement, sometimes for weeks at a time. Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen discuss collaborating on their new book about that age-old childhood fear, The Dark. M. G. Vassanji tells us about his new novel, The Magic of Saida. Bob Harris explains how he became a philanthropist $10-$15 at a time.