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, March 12, 2010
Today's Please Explain
is all about botanical mysteries and wonders—from meat-eating plants to phosphorescence. Jamie Boyer,
Director of Children's Education at the New York Botanical Garden, and Amy Stewart,
author of Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities.
Events: Amy Stewart will ...
Friday, March 05, 2010
Dust is everywhere: under our beds, on our computer screens, in cracks in the sidewalk, and on our skin. Particles from the Sahara can be found as far away as the Caribbean, and dust from melting glaciers can impact the Earth’s climate. On this week’s edition of ...
Friday, February 26, 2010
Today’s Please Explain
is about 3D technology—from the movies to the future of television. Lawrence Cormack,
Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, and Phil McNally,
Global Stereoscopic Supervisor for Dreamworks Animation join us to explain how it works.
Friday, February 19, 2010
On today's Please Explain we’ll look into chiropractic, used to treat back pain with spinal manipulation and adjustment. We’ll also discuss why it’s controversial, and new research into how it works and how it could be used to treat TMJ, headaches, even high blood pressure. We’re joined by Christine Goertz,
Friday, February 12, 2010
Growing global trade means more bugs and plants end up where they don’t belong, causing widespread environmental damage. On today’s Please Explain,
we’ll learn how invasive species—from Asian purple loosestrife to the Colorado potato beetle—can wreak havoc when they’re accidentally imported to a new environment. We’re joined by ...
Friday, February 05, 2010
Bisphenol-A, known as BPA, is an important building block of several plastics and plastic additives. Concern about the use of BPA in consumer products has been growing, and questions about its safety and its effect of human health have led some retailers to remove products made of it from their ...
Friday, January 29, 2010
Hindustani music, a classical musical tradition of northern and central India, can be traced back to Vedic times, around 1000 BC. On today’s edition of Please Explain
we’ll take a look at India’s rich culture of music and its trademark instruments. Tabla player Dibyarka Chatterjee,
and sitar player ...
Friday, January 22, 2010
On today’s edition of Please Explain, we’ll look at what’s in the earth beneath our feet. Chris Smith
National Leader for Technical Soil Services, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Michael A. Wilson,
Research Soil Scientist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Survey Research and Laboratory, describe what soil is made ...
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. ...
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.
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.
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,
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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 ...