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, August 07, 2009
More than half of the world's nearly 7,000 languages are at risk of dying out in the next century. On this week's Please Explain,
we take a look at what causes languages to disappear and the efforts to document and revive endangered languages around the world. Gregory ...
Friday, July 31, 2009
According to recent studies, about 1/3 of Americans are obese, and between 1998 and 2006, the obesity rate rose 37% in this country. Obesity-related illnesses accounted for an estimated $147 billion in 2008, nearly 10 percent of all U.S. medical spending, according to the Centers for Disease Control. On today’s ...
Friday, July 31, 2009
Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi on why he thinks Goldman Sachs is, in his words, "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity." Filmmakers Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne discuss their new movie "Lorna’s Silence." Then, the director of New York's Urban Park Rangers talks about our city's wildlife. ...
Friday, July 24, 2009
Lawrence McDonald, former Lehman Brothers vice president, gives and inside account of what happened at the financial services firm and why it was allowed to fail. Director Geoffrey Smith and Dr. Henry Marsh talk about the documentary "The English Surgeon." Then, the director of the political satire "In the Loop" ...
Friday, July 17, 2009
Mosquitoes are one of the downsides of summer, and they are expected to be especially bad this year due to all the rain this spring. We’ll find out why mosquitoes buzz and bite, how they transmit dangerous diseases, and some ways to get rid of them. Joseph M. Conlon, a ...
Friday, July 10, 2009
On today's Please Explain,
we’ll look at plastic surgery, from liposuction to Botox to rhinoplasty, and what happens when someone goes under the knife to improve his or her appearance. We'll be joined by Dr. Robert Grant
, Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital ...
Friday, June 26, 2009
Today’s Please Explain
is all about dry cleaning--how it works, what chemicals are used, and how it is becoming more environmentally friendly. We'll be joined by Wayne Edelman,
President and CEO of Meurice Garment Care and past President of the National Cleaners Association. He is also the doctor ...
Friday, June 19, 2009
On today's edition of Please Explain,
we’ll look at the Earth’s atmosphere—what it's made of, how it makes life on the planet possible, determines weather patterns, and how human activity is changing it. We'll be joined by Dr. Joel S. Levine,
Senior Research Scientist at NASA ...
Friday, June 12, 2009
The honeybees is just one species of bee, and they often get the most attention, but there are an estimated 20,000 different species of bees in the world. Bees play an important role in pollinating plants, and many have highly developed methods of socialization and communication. We'll learn all about ...
Friday, May 22, 2009
Today's Please Explain is about the nature of girls--their minds, bodies, brains, emotional lives, and behaviors. We’ll be joined by psychotherapist Lisa Machoian
and Margaret M. McCarthy,
professor of physiology at the University of Maryland.
Listen to last week’s Please Explain: Boys
Friday, May 08, 2009
Bankruptcy rates went up 32% in 2008 compared to the previous year. Marie Beaudette
, blogger for the Wall Street Journal’s Bankruptcy Beat and Dow Jones Newswire reporter, and Robert Lawless
, Galowich-Huizenga Faculty Scholar at the University of Illinois College of Law, explain what filing for bankruptcy means for corporations and ...
Friday, May 01, 2009
Improvisation is one of the most important aspects of Jazz, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Jazz pianist Bill Charlap
breaks down improvisation and gives a special live performance.
Friday, April 24, 2009
There’s substantial evidence that the earth is undergoing major adjustments as a result of human-made carbon emissions in the atmosphere, but what does climate change
really mean? NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt
and photographer Joshua Wolfe
, editors of Climate Change: Picturing the Science
, explain how scientists gather evidence ...
Friday, April 17, 2009
There are more than 20 million substance abuse addict in America today and about 2 million of them turn to residential rehab each year. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta
joins us to explain the science behind addiction and the toll it takes on individual addicts.
Friday, April 10, 2009
The lives of more than 100,000 patients in the U.S. depend on finding an organ to replace a damaged or diseased one. Only a fraction of people who need a new kidney, liver, or heart actually receive one, but the procedure saves thousands of lives every year. We’ll be joined ...
Friday, April 03, 2009
If it comes to you easily, being able to read is easy to take for granted. But reading is an extraordinarily complex process, one that researchers are still working to understand fully. On today's Please Explain we look at the science of reading. Dr. Sally E. Shaywitz
and Dr. Bennett ...
Friday, March 27, 2009
The term "socialist" has been tossed around in the news lately in reference to any number of Obama Administration policies. Find out what socialism really means, where it came from, and how it got such a bad wrap. Eric Foner
is Dewitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and ...
Friday, March 13, 2009
Friday the 13th is a date that makes some people cringe. Where does superstition come from and why are people all over the world prone to superstitious beliefs? We’ll be joined by Dr. Edmund Kern
, Associate Professor of History at Lawrence University and by Stuart Vyse
, Professor of Psychology at ...
Friday, March 06, 2009
Petroleum (and all of its byproducts) have shaped our world into what it is today. Discover where oil comes from, how it’s refined and how much of it is left in ground on this week's Please Explain. Dr. John B. Curtis
is Professor in the Department of Geology and Geological ...