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Friday, January 04, 2013

On today’s show: we’ll look at how some of the principles of physics could be applied to Wall Street and how some physicists are already changing our financial institutions. Also, filmmaker Michael Apted talks about the latest installment of his 7 Up series, which checks in on the lives of a group of men and women every 7 years. And, Rob Rapley and Neal Huff discuss their documentary “The Abolitionists.” Plus, our latest Please Explain is about helium!

The Physics of Wall Street.

James Weatherall talks about why many of the mathematicians and software engineers on Wall Street failed when their abstractions turned ugly in practice, and looks at a special breed of physicists with a deep history of revolutionizing finance. He shows how physicists successfully brought their science to bear on some of the thorniest problems in economics, from options pricing to bubbles in The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable.


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"56 Up"

Documentary filmmakerMichael Apted talks about the latest in his 7 Up series, "56 Up." Joining him is Tony Walker, one of the subjects who has been featured in the films since he was 7 years old.


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The Abolitionists

Rob Rapley, the writer, director, and producer of "The Abolitionists," a three-part documentary about the group of men and women who pushed for the emancipation of slaves before and during the Civil War. And we'll be joined by Neal Huff, who portrays William Lloyd Garrison. It premieres on PBS's American Experience on Tuesday, January 8.

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Please Explain: Helium

Today's Please Explain is all about helium and the helium shortage. We speak with Dr. Martin Stute, a noble gas geochemist at Barnard college and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and with Dr. Joe Peterson a Bureau of Land Management Assistant Field Manager for Helium Resources in the BLM Amarillo, Texas Field Office.


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Guest Picks: Tony Walker

Tony Walker, one of the people who's the subject of Michael Apted's 7 Up series, was on the Lopate Show to discuss "56 Up," the 7th installment of the project. Apted has been following 14 men and women since the age of 7, checking in with them every 7 years. Tony is now a cab driver in London and he told us what he's been reading and listening to -- and his favorite comfort food, which is a classic.


Guest Picks: Michael Apted

Filmmaker Michael Apted was on the Leonard Lopate Show recently to talk about his film "56 Up," the latest installment in his "7 Up" series. He's been following 14 men and women since the age of 7, checking in with them every 7 years, and he was joined by Tony Walker, a member of the group who became a London cab driver. Apted also told us what he's been reading and watching in between.


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