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, 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
Friday, August 29, 2008
New York City generates about fifty thousand tons of garbage every day. Find out what's in New York City’s trash, how it gets taken out of the city, and where it's dumped! Benjamin Miller
is a Senior Fellow at the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems and author of Fat ...
Friday, August 22, 2008
From Spain to New York, jellyfish are becoming more numerous, and they’re showing up in places where they have rarely been seen before. Scientists say this explosion can be attributed to a combination of overfishing, rising sea temperatures, and pollution. Find out all about jellyfish, why they’re thriving, and whether ...
Friday, August 08, 2008
Most Americans can’t see the Milky Way in the night sky…and here in New York, we’re lucky if we can see any stars at all! Find out why light pollution is a growing problem, and how it may even endanger your health. Leonard talks to Pete Strasser
Friday, August 01, 2008
is all about muscles! Find out how they function, how to strengthen them, and how they can break down. Dr. E. Todd Schroeder
teaches clinical exercise physiology at the University of Southern California.