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Onward and Upward: Supertall Skyscrapers, a Math Genius, New Internet Technologies

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Andy Borowitz fills in for Leonard Lopate. On today’s show: Vanity Fair contributing editor Paul Goldberger talks about the new very tall, very thin residential towers that are being built in Midtown Manhattan. Jason Padgett explains how he became a mathematical genius after he was hit over the head during a mugging. We’ll look at which children’s bedtime books you remember from your childhood and which ones you enjoy sharing with your own kids. We'll find out how Internet bots work and whether mushrooms can help with anxiety.

Guests:

Andy Borowitz

"Too Rich, Too Thin, Too Tall?" Residential Towers in Manhattan

Vanity Fair’s contributing editor Paul Goldberger discusses the new residential towers going up in Midtown Manhattan. Ultra-tall, ultra-thin, and ultra-expensive, these “superscrapers” are designed for the top 1 percent of the 1 percent, breaking records for everything, including price. Sold for $95 million, the 96th floor of 432 Park Avenue will be the highest residence in the Western world (at least until the building at 225 West 57th Street goes up). His article “Too Rich, Too Thin, Too Tall?” is in the May2014  issue of Vanity Fair.

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How a Head Injury Created a Math Genius

Jason Padgett had never made it past pre-algebra, but after being struck in the head during a mugging, his ability to understand math and physics increased markedly, and he developed the ability to draw complex shapes he saw everywhere in the world around him.

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Beyond Goodnight Moon

For little people and their parents, bedtime often starts with one, or two, or a dozen books, depending on the kids' tenacity that night. Here are some children's books to delight both sides.

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This Little Mushroom Might Cure Your Anxiety

A research team at NYU is experimenting with using hallucinogenic drugs to help cancer patients come to terms with their mortality. Reporter Roc Morin talks about his article in The Atlantic, “Prescribing Mushrooms for Anxiety.” 

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The Bots Are Taking Over

Internet bots are bits of code that run automated tasks online, often sending you spam links on social media. They're becoming increasingly sophisticated and are even being used by some governments and major corporations to shape public opinion. Nick Bilton, a reporter for the New York Times and lead writer of the Bits Blog, explains how these bots work and how they're being used.

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Mary Roach

Video: Mary Roach "If you dig enough, anything is fascinating"

Mary Roach came by April 17 to talk about her book Gulp for the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club.

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