Streams

Please Explain

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

Please Explain: Postpartum Depression and Perinatal Psychiatry

Friday, January 15, 2010

On today's Please Explain, we'll look into the causes and symptoms of postpartum depression, and the field of perinatal psychiatry, the evaluation and treatment of psychiatric disorders associated with female reproductive function. We're joined by Dr. Catherine Monk, Irving Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. ...

Comments [22]

Please Explain: My Cable Bill

Friday, January 08, 2010

On today’s Please Explain, Joel Kelsey, Associate Policy Analyst for Consumers Union, tells us about how cable television works, how fees are assessed, and explains the recent fights between cable networks and providers.

Comments [39]

Please Explain: Hibernation

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our latest Please Explain looks into why and how animals hibernate. We’re joined by Dr. Matthew Andrews, Professor and Head of Biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and Dr. Hannah Carey, Professor, Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

Comments [17]

Please Explain: Digestion

Friday, December 11, 2009

After all this talk of food, we’ll learn how it’s processed by the body for this week’s edition of Please Explain. Dr. Ira Breite, Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the NYU Langone Medical Center, joins us, along with Dr. David Seres, nutrition ...

Comments [44]

Please Explain: Epigenetics

Friday, December 04, 2009

The new science of epigenetics is changing our understanding of heredity, identity, and disease. On today’s edition of Please Explain, we’ll find out how environmental factors can change the way our genes function, and how the epigenome—which can be seen as the software that tells our DNA how ...

Comments [13]

Please Explain: Strokes

Friday, November 20, 2009

On today’s Please Explain, we take a close look at strokes—the causes, effects, and therapeutic and medical advances that help people recover. We're joined by Dr. Randolph S. Marshall, chief of the Division of Stroke, Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Jay P. Mohr, Daniel Sciarra Professor of ...

Comments [16]

Please Explain: Eco-Labels

Friday, November 13, 2009

Your broccoli, shampoo, and air conditioner might bear labels declaring them to be organic, cruelty-free, or energy efficient, but what do those labels mean and are they true? On today’s edition of Please Explain, Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Project Director for Consumer Reports' GreenerChoices.org and Consumers Union’s ...

Comments [15]

Please Explain: Alcohol

Friday, November 06, 2009

Our latest Please Explain is all about alcohol--what it is, how it works and the ways it affects our bodies. We'll be joined by Dr. Rueben Gonzales, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Texas and by Dr. Henry R. Kranzler, Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics ...

Comments [25]

Please Explain: Electricity

Friday, October 30, 2009

How does electricity get from its source into your home and to your cell phone charger, television, or microwave? We’ll find out on today’s Please Explain. Michael Caramanis, Boston University Professor of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, joins us, along with Dr. Robert Thomas, professor in the Department ...

Comments [32]

Please Explain: Sleep

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sleeping is something all of us do every day, but exactly what happens to us when we sleep isn’t completely understood. On today’s edition of Please Explain, we’re looking into why we sleep, why we sometimes can’t sleep, and why many of us aren’t sleeping enough. Dr. Allan Pack, Chief ...

Comments [31]

Chat and Chew

Friday, October 16, 2009

Former New York Times restaurant critic William Grimes leads us on a tour of the history of restaurants in New York. And today’s Please Explain is all about regional accents in the United States.

Comment

Please Explain: Regional Accents

Friday, October 16, 2009

You can tell a lot about someone from the way they speak. On today’s edition of Please Explain we’ll look at the different accents found around the United States and find out where they come from and why they persist. Joining us are Natalie Schilling-Estes, Associate Professor of ...

Comments [63]

Please Explain: Prions

Friday, October 09, 2009

On today’s Please Explain we're looking at prions and how they can cause infectious diseases such as Mad Cow disease and the Chronic Wasting disease that’s been affecting deer, elk, and moose herds in the West and Midwest. Dr. David Westaway, Professor of Neurology and Director of the ...

Comments [14]

Please Explain: Animal Migration

Friday, October 02, 2009

The days are growing shorter and colder, and birds, butterflies, and other animals are starting to head to warmer climates for the winter. These journeys are often thousand of miles—monarch butterflies can fly as far as 3,000 miles to winter in Mexico. On today’s Please Explain, we’ll find ...

Comments [4]

Please Explain: Sharks

Friday, September 25, 2009

There are some 440 species of sharks, and the fish have been swimming in the oceans for 420 million years, before dinosaurs existed. On today's Please Explain we'll find out about sharks, from hammerheads to great whites, and look at how they are becoming threatened. We're joined ...

Comments [19]

Please Explain: Trees

Friday, September 18, 2009

You may have noticed that leaves have started turning, marking the end of summer. On today’s Please Explain we'll find out why leaves change color and everything else about trees, with Jessica Argate, Forest Manager, New York Botanical Garden, and David Allan Sibley, author of The Sibley ...

Comments [21]

Please Explain: Typography

Friday, September 11, 2009

Our latest Please Explain is all about typefaces and typography. Typeface designer Jonathan Hoefler, type designer and president of Hoefler & Frere-Jones and Steven Heller, co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts and author of the VISUALS ...

Comments [46]

Please Explain: Intuition and Gut Reaction

Friday, August 28, 2009

On today’s edition of Please Explain, we’re looking at instinct, intuition, gut feelings, those unconscious reactions that guide so much of our decision making. We’re joined by Timothy Wilson, Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, and author of Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering ...

Comments [19]

Please Explain: Neurofeedback

Friday, August 21, 2009

Neurofeedback is a method of training the brain by monitoring brain activity with sensors. Individuals can see their brain activity on a screen in real time and learn to regulate it themselves, in order to "train" their brain to perform specific tasks more efficiently. We’ll hear about how it works ...

Comments [11]

Please Explain: Spices

Friday, August 14, 2009

Most spices are delicious, some have medical value and a good amount of them have changed the course of human history. On this week's Please Explain we'll learn all about spices, from Anise to Vanilla. We'll be joined by Dr. John E. Hayes, Assistant Professor of Food Science at Penn ...

Comments [23]