A weekly feature on The Leonard Lopate Show; airs every Friday at noon
In Please Explain, we set aside time every Friday afternoon to get to the bottom of one complex issue. Ever wonder how New York City's water system works? Or how the US became so polarized politically? We'll back up and review the basic facts and principles of complicated issues across a broad range of topics — history, politics, science, you name it.
Recently in Please Explain
Friday, July 25, 2014
This week's Please Explain is all about how exposure to the sun affects our skin--from tanning to sunburn, from freckles to skin cancers.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Nurture them, eat them, preserve them, freeze them — you can even use herbs to ward off mosquitoes or slow E. coli. All your herb questions answered, including some you didn't know you had.
Friday, July 11, 2014
A look at what's legal and illegal when using Airbnb to rent out a room or your whole apartment. And we hear your gripes about — and praise for — the service.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Successful language learning at an older age requires 1) practice, 2) paying attention 3) getting lots of real world input and 4) practice.
Friday, June 20, 2014
A food safety expert explains the rules for what food labels can claim— from "fair trade" to "organic"—and how they can often be misleading.
Friday, June 06, 2014
Acoustics, how sound works, and hunting for the world’s strangest sounds.
Friday, May 30, 2014
"Poorly controlled allergies have a negative impact on your love life,” says Dr. Clifford Bassett. And climate change is making it worse.
Friday, May 02, 2014
On this week's Please Explain we'll find out how the human eye works and how it enables us to see the world around us. Dr. George A. Cioffi, Chairman and Ophthalmologist-in-Chief of the Department of Ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, tells us how to keep our eyes healthy; why our vision changes; and how problems like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration affect our vision.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Psychologist Paul Bloom and Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams, explain empathy's role in human psychology, behavior, and relationships—and they look at some of the downsides of empathy.
Friday, April 11, 2014
On this week's Please Explain, we'll find out what goes on inside our brains as we sleep.
Friday, April 04, 2014
Insomnia, snoring, restless leg syndrome, sleepwalking. A lot of things can prevent us from getting good sleep. Find out what causes sleep disturbances — and how to treat them.
Friday, March 28, 2014
More than 40 million Americans have arthritis, and it's the leading cause of disability for people who are 65 and older. Almost everyone over 70 has some form of arthritis, but it can affect much younger people too. Dr. Clark Smith, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, explains what causes arthritis and how to treat it.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Medical marijuana is legal in 20 states, and is used to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis, AIDS, side effects of chemotherapy, as well as pain, glaucoma, epilepsy, insomnia, and anxiety. Dr. Igor Grant, Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD School of Medicine and Director of the UC Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, tells us about his research into the possible utility of cannabis compounds in the amelioration of certain severe manifestations of disease. And Jim Rendon, author of Supercharged: How Outlaws, Hippies, and Scientists Reinvented Marijuana, talks about the changing attitudes toward marijuana and how the increasing acceptance of medical marijuana is changing the legal and commercial landscape.
Friday, March 14, 2014
During the last ice age, glaciers covered the entire northern part of our continent, shaping mountains and carving valleys. Today, most of the earth's glaciers are found in Antarctica and Greenland, but there are glaciers on every continent, including Africa, most commonly above the snow line. Tim Creyts, a glaciologist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute, Columbia University, explains what glaciers are, how they move and sculpt the landscape, and how climate change is affecting glaciers around the world.
Friday, March 07, 2014
Research shows that sitting for more than 2 hours a day is directly linked to health problems, and people who sit all day don't live as long. So how about a program of chairlessness?
Friday, February 28, 2014
"We are in trances – every single one of us – every single day."
Friday, February 21, 2014
A recent long-term study questioning the benefits of annual mammograms for older women. This week’s Please Explain is about breast cancer. Dr. Larry Norton, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Breast Cancer Programs at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, describes how the disease is detected and the ways it can be treated.
Friday, February 14, 2014
This week’s Please Explain is all about genius. Dean Keith Simonton, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, talks about what exceptional intelligence is and how it can influence creativity, leadership and achievement. And we’ll find out how genius and intelligence are measured.
Friday, February 07, 2014
Container shipping began 50 years ago and developed into a huge industry that has made the boom in global trade possible. Marc Levinson, author of The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, tells us how cargo moves around the works, and looks at the sweeping economic consequences containerization brought about.
Friday, January 31, 2014
John Bradshaw, director of the University of Bristol’s Anthrozoology Institute, and author of Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, tells us all about cats—from how they were first domesticated to how they hunt to how they show affection. He offers new insights about the domestic cat that challenge many of our most basic assumptions about our feline companions.