Hanging in the Balance

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Andy Borowitz fills in for Leonard Lopate. On today’s show: industrial hygienist and chemist Monona Rossol and Miranda Massie discuss the threat posed by PCBs in New York schools. Ralph Branca, best known for throwing the pitch that resulted in the “shot heard 'round the world,” looks back on his remarkable life in baseball. WQXR’s Elliott Forrest tells us about the funny side of classical music. And this week’s Please Explain is all about what happens every year at the UN General Assembly.


Andy Borowitz

PCBs in Schools

The Environmental Protection Agency has found PCB contamination to be "prevalent" in New York City schools, and as the school year gets under way, parent, teacher and community groups have been demanding the cleanup of affected schools. Industrial hygienist Monona Rossol, author of Pick Your Poison: How Our Mad Dash to Chemical Utopia is Making Lab Rats of Us All, and Miranda Massie of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, explain the dangers of these chemicals and looks at how to eliminate them.

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Ralph Branca's Moment in Time

Ralph Branca is best known for throwing the pitch that resulted in Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ’Round the World,” the historic home run that capped an incredible comeback and won the pennant for the New York Giants in 1951. A Moment in Time details his remarkable story of a man who could have been destroyed by a very public professional embarrassment—but wasn’t. He discusses the golden era of baseball and the legendary players such as Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Leo Durocher, Branch Rickey, and Walter O’Malley.

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WQXR Classical Comedy Contest

WQXR host Elliott Forrest talks about the upcoming WQXR Classical Comedy Contest, and he’ll explain what makes for a one-of-a-kind talent and how to judge what’s funny.

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Please Explain: The UN General Assembly

The General Debate of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is happening in New York through September 30. The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations, comprising all 193 Members of the United Nations. On this week's Please Explain we start off with Warren Hoge, Senior Advisor for External Relations for the International Peace Institute in New York and former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, covering the UN. Then we're joined by Vera Jelinek, Divisional Dean and Director of the Center for Global Affairs at New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and Stanley Meisler, author of  The United Nations: The First Fifty Years, and  United Nations: A History, will tell us how the General Assembly works and what comes out of the sessions.

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Guest Picks: Bob Gruen

Photographer Bob Gruen stopped by the Leonard Lopate Show to discuss his four-decade career capturing musicians and life on tour, and he shared some of his favorite films, music, and more!


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