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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Environmental reporter Mark Hertsgaard explains how climate change will affect the next 50 years on Earth. Then Chloe G. K. Atkins tells her story of contracting a mysterious illness, only to be told by doctors that her paralysis was psychosomatic and that she was willing her own death. Also, Jennifer Carpenter and Pablo Schreiber discuss their roles in Rajiv Joseph’s play “Gruesome Playground Injuries.” Plus, our latest Backstory segments.

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth

Mark Hertsgaard discusses why the truth about climate change didn’t hit home until he became a father, although he’s investigated global warming for the New Yorker, Time, Vanity Fair, and the Nation. In Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, he combines reporting from around the world with reflections on his daughter’s future. He looks at what we should expect in the next five decades: Chicago’s climate transformed to resemble Houston’s, shrinking water supplies and crop yields, mega-storms and rising sea-levels.

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Chloe Atkins on My Imaginary Illness

Chloe G. K. Atkins tells us about her decades-long battle with a mysterious illness that doctors called imaginary. Her memoir My Imaginary Illness: A Journey into Uncertainty and Prejudice in Medical Diagnosis gives an account of being struck at 21 with a disease that paralyzed her for months at a time, and led her to become quadriplegic. Doctors refused to believe there was anything physically wrong with her and pronounced her symptoms psychosomatic. Atkins critiques contemporary medicine and talks about her frustration with doctors and diagnoses, psychotherapy, and her physical and emotional journey back to wellness.

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Gruesome Playground Injuries

Jennifer Carpenter and Pablo Schreiber discuss their roles in Rajiv Joseph’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries.” The play is a dark, romantic saga that explores the cost of wounded friendships. Over the course of 30 years, the lives of Kayleen and Doug intersect at the most bizarre intervals, leading the two childhood friends to compare scars and the physical calamities that keep drawing them together. “Gruesome Playground Injuries” opens on Monday, January 31, at Second Stage Theatre.

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Backstory: Hosni Mubarak

Earlier this week, people took to the streets of Cairo, protesting the government of President Hosni Mubarak. On today’s Backstory, Human Rights Watch researcher Heba Morayef and Ashraf Khalil, a Cairo-based journalist who has been covering the protests for Foreign Policy, discuss how Mubarak came to power and how he’s maintained control of Egypt over the last 29 years. Plus, we’ll get an update on one of the largest protests that the country has seen in more than 30 years.

Ashraf Khalil, a Cairo-based journalist who has been covering the protests for Foreign Policy.

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Backstory Update: The Filibuster

The U.S. Senate is poised to vote today on a number of rules changes, from making it harder for individual senators to hold up legislation to potentially limiting the filibuster.Susan Liss, Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, and Mimi Marziani, counsel for the Democracy Program, explain the potential change to the filibuster. They are both authors of a new study released by the Brennan Center for Justice called “Filibuster Abuse.”

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Reviewing the Reviewers: A Preview

On tomorrow’s show, Leonard will be discussing the current state of restaurant reviewing with Adam Platt, the restaurant reviewer for New York magazine, and Raphael Brion, the national editor of the restaurant website Eater. But before we jump into the discussion, we wanted to hear your thoughts on what sources you find most useful when deciding where to eat.

Towards that end, we’ve decided to focus on two restaurants (for now): Del Posto, the first Italian restaurant to receive a four star review from the New York Times in decades, and Fatty ‘Cue, a new-ish Asian barbeque fusion restaurant in Williamsburg. Both have been talked about and reviewed quite a bit in the past year. We’ve posted links to the Yelp and UrbanSpoon pages, as well as to reviews from Zagat, New York and the New York Times. Read them and tell us what you think – which review gives you the best sense of the ambiance of the place? Helps you decide what to order? And, ultimately, tells you whether or not you should go?

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Guest Picks: Jennifer Carpenter

Jennifer Carpenter is a fan of Pirate's Booty. Find out what else she told us after her recent appearance on The Leonard Lopate Show.

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Guest Picks: Pablo Schreiber

What is Pablo Schreiber's favorite comfort food? Read more to find out!

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