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Friday, February 18, 2011

On today’s show: We’ll look at war on opium in Afghanistan and what can be done to wean Afghan farmers off growing poppies. Then, Teller—the quiet member of Penn & Teller—talks about his off-Broadway show “Play Dead,” which he directed and co-wrote with Todd Robbins, who stars in it. Also, Dereck and Beverly Joubert describe making their documentary “The Last Lions” and their efforts to save the big cats of Africa. Plus Please Explain is all about sneezing!

Opium Wars

Robert Draper, National Geographic magazine contributing writer, talks about Afghanistan's opium war and why weaning Afghan farmers off growing poppies is a key step to securing peace in the region. His article, “Opium Wars,” appears in the February issue of National Geographic.

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"Play Dead"

Teller (of Penn & Teller) and Todd Robbins discuss writing the Off-Broadway show “Play Dead,” which Teller directs and Robbins stars in. It’s a spirit-shaking show inspired by “Midnight Spook Shows,” an American institution from the 1930s to the 1970s, and it includes ethereal sights and sounds, suspenseful storytelling and uncanny stage illusions. It’s playing in an open-ended run at The Players Theatre.

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"The Last Lions"

Dereck Joubert and Beverly Joubert, talk about making the documentary “The Last Lions.” Set in Africa, it follows a lioness battling to protect her cubs against an onslaught of enemies in the wilds of Botswana. The Jouberts have been instrumental in establishing the Big Cats Initiative. The Big Cats Initiative looks for solutions to stop the declining the lion population, which has dropped from 450,000 to 20,000 in the past 50 years. It’s playing in New York at the Paris Theater and Angelika Film Center.

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Please Explain: Sneezing

This week’s Please Explain investigates a common phenomenon that’s mysterious to many of us: sneezing! Dr. Marjorie Slankard, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and Director of the Allergy Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Dr.Neil Kao, allergy and asthma specialist with the Allergic Disease and Asthma Center in Greenville, South Carolina, join us.

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Guest Picks: Todd Robbins

Todd Robbins' favorite comfort food is Ben & Jerry's. Find out what else he told us after his recent appearance on The Leonard Lopate Show.

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Guest Picks: Teller

Read more to find out what Teller (From Penn & Teller) has been reading and watching recently!

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