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Invisible Hand

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Friday, April 27, 2012

On today’s show: Theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow explains how our unconscious mind rules our behavior. Playwright Amy Herzog and actors Gabriel Ebert and Mary Louise Wilson talk about their hit play, “4000 Miles.” Today’s installment of the BBC series A History of the World in 100 Objects is about two late 17th-century Japanese Kakiemon elephants. Plus Please Explain is all about political lobbying!

How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior

Leonard Mlodinow explores how we misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and colleagues; how we misunderstand the reasons for our investment decisions; and how we misremember important events. Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior explains how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world.

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Ben Zimmer on Supercalifragilisticexpialodocious

Ben Zimmer, language columnist for the Boston Globe and executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com, tells the untold story behind the word "supercalifragilisticexpialodocious." He wrote about it in his latest Boston Globe column.

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“4000 Miles”

Playwright Amy Herzog discusses her play “4000 Miles,” which stars Gabriel Ebert and Mary Louise Wilson. It tells the story of a young man who seeks solace with his feisty 91 year-old grandmother in her West Village apartment after losing his best friend while they were on a cross-country bike trip. “4000 Miles” is playing at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater through June 17.

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Please Explain: Lobbying

It's estimated that over $3 billion was spent on lobbying efforts last year. On this week's Please Explain, Alex Blumberg from NPR's Planet Money describes how lobbying works, the role that all that money plays in politics, and what kind of influence that money buys. Call us at 212-433-9692 with your questions, or leave them in a comment below!

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Things We Learned This Week

Our weekly roundup of the quirky, profound, and unexpected things we heard on the Lopate Show this week.

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