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, February 06, 2009
From superstition to simple probability, luck
has different meanings in different cultures. We’ll find out why whether that lucky charm really can help you win the lottery. Richard Wiseman
is a psychology professor at the University of Hertfordshire and author of the book The Luck Factor
Friday, January 30, 2009
Nearly a third of all NYC households are infested with cockroaches. We find out all about roaches, and why they’re among the hardiest species on the planet! Urban entomology specialist Eric P. Benson
is a professor at Clemson University; Richard Cooper
of Cooper Pest Solutions
says he has ...
Friday, January 23, 2009
is all about cold - which many of us may have been feeling lately, with high temperatures rarely going above the 30s lately here in NYC! Dr. John Castellani
is Research Physiologist with the US Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine. Dr. David Phillips
is one of Canada’s ...
Friday, January 09, 2009
Credit, and its misuse, are major causes of our current economic crisis. On Please Explain
, find out about the pros and cons of credit, how it's evolved in recent years, and what role it can now play in an economic recovery. Jeffrey Blyskal
is a Senior Editor with
Friday, December 19, 2008
‘Tis the season for holiday cookies, cakes, and pies. Find about the chemistry of baking, and why techniques and ingredients really do matter when creating the tastiest baked treats. Chef Katherine Alford
is editor and Test Kitchen Director for the Food Network
; Dorie Greenspan
is a ...
Friday, December 12, 2008
Some diets and supplements claim to work by speeding up metabolism. Find out how metabolism works, why it’s essential to life, and whether food, exercise, and supplements really can accelerate it...or slow it down. Dr. Rosalind Coleman
is Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics at UNC-Chapel Hill; Marion Nestle
is Professor ...
Friday, December 05, 2008
After water, tea is the most widely-consumed drink in the world. Please Explain is all about tea! Find out why it’s so popular, and how it’s shaped world history. Michael Harney is a tea expert as well as a buyer and blender for Harney & Sons ...
Friday, November 21, 2008
The Sun makes up about 99% of the total mass of the Solar System. Find out what the sun is made of, how hot it is, and why humans couldn’t survive without it. Dr. Grace Wolf-Chase
is an astronomer with Chicago’s Adler Planetarium
and a senior research associate ...
Friday, November 14, 2008
Since the 1980s, the percentage of people diagnosed with autism has risen dramatically, and no one is exactly sure why. Find out how autism affects the brain, and what the latest theories are on how to treat it. Dr. Robert T. Schultz
is Director of the Center for ...
Friday, November 07, 2008
Now that the election is over – what happens to all the staff, leftover funds, and political machinery? Find out how campaigns are dismantled and transitioned after Election Day. Paul C. Light
is Professor at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Martha Joynt Kumar
is Professor at ...
Friday, October 31, 2008
Please Explain is all about what keeps voters undecided until the very last minute. And if you’re one of those undecided voters…we’d love to hear from you. Tell us why you haven’t made up your mind, and what it will take for you to do so by Nov. 4.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Jealousy is one of the most basic human experiences; it's even been observed in infants as young as five months old. Find out what jealousy is, what causes it, and why the green-eyed monster can be both destructive and productive. Dr. Maria Legerstee
is Professor of Psychology at York University; ...
Friday, October 17, 2008
Botox is the most common cosmetic procedure in the U.S.. In addition to erasing wrinkles, it’s also sometimes used to treat migraines and excessive salivation, among other conditions. Find out what Botox is, and what the risks and benefits are. Dr. Paul Greene
is Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia ...
Friday, October 10, 2008
Find out how photosynthesis works, and why it brings us beautiful fall foliage this time of year. Leonard talks to educator Dr. James Boyer
and research scientist Dr. Amy Litt
Weigh in: Where in the New York area have you spotted dramatic fall foliage so far this season?
Friday, September 26, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
What a week it’s been in the markets. Find out what’s behind the recent financial crisis of the past few days, and what the credit woes could lead to. Greg Ip
is U.S. Economics Editor for the Economist
; Andrew Caplin
is an Economics Professor at NYU.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Happy 50th birthday to the microchip! On Please Explain
, find out how microchips work, what they do for us in our everyday lives, and how far they’ve come since they were first introduced 50 years ago. Dr. Simha Sethumadhavan
is Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Director of ...
Friday, September 05, 2008