A weekly feature on The Leonard Lopate Show; airs every Friday at noon
In Please Explain, we set aside time every Friday afternoon to get to the bottom of one complex issue. Ever wonder how New York City's water system works? Or how the US became so polarized politically? We'll back up and review the basic facts and principles of complicated issues across a broad range of topics — history, politics, science, you name it.
Recently in Please Explain
Friday, February 27, 2015
Around 60,000 years ago, humans migrated out of Africa. But, they were not alone. Neanderthals play an important role in the story of human evolution.
Friday, February 20, 2015
The story of cotton is tied to the story of modern capitalism, a constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners.
Friday, February 13, 2015
As Valentine's Day is right around the corner, this week's Please Explain segment is all about a common, but perhaps unfortunate feeling that can creep in around this time: shame.
Friday, January 30, 2015
We can land a spacecraft on the frigid surface of a comet, but why can't we accurately predict snowfall?
Friday, January 23, 2015
For this week's Please Explain, guest host Manoush Zomorodi heads to the frontiers of neuroscience.
Friday, January 16, 2015
For this week's Please Explain, we learn about a discipline very close to Martha Plimpton's heart: acting!
Friday, January 09, 2015
More than 50 people died at a recent volcanic eruption in Japan. Iceland continues to experience its largest volcanic event in centuries. How do we predict which spot will pop next?
Friday, January 02, 2015
In time for New Years resolution-making (and keeping), Charles Duhigg will explain habits, why we form them, and how we can break them.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Grammy-winning bandleader Vince Giordano and trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Bria Skonberg join us for Please Explain: swing music!
Friday, December 12, 2014
On this week's Please Explain, we dig into the history of grand juries and trial juries, and ask if the structure of the jury system influences court cases.
Friday, December 05, 2014
In this week's Please Explain, we learn about the history of ballet with the Director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU and the Artistic Director at ABT.
Friday, November 21, 2014
An MIT Professor and the Director of the Center for SETI Research, tell us all about how astronomers look for extraterrestrial life and other planets like earth in the universe.
Friday, November 14, 2014
On this week's Please Explain, we explore the politics and policy behind Net Neutrality, and what it means for the future of the internet.
Friday, November 07, 2014
For this week’s Please Explain we'll find out about the field of archaeology.
Friday, October 31, 2014
On this week's Please Explain, we are talking about the history of and medical and legal guidelines for quarantines.
Friday, October 24, 2014
For this week's Please Explain, Atlantic editor Hanna Rosin discusses teen sexting, the pervasive trend of sending naked pictures of themselves and their peers on their cell phones.
Friday, October 17, 2014
For this week’s Please Explain, linguist Dan Jurafsky tells us about the language of food—from the origins of ketchup to the words we use to describe food.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Decades ago, as agriculture became centralized, seeds were selected for yield, and many varieties nearly went extinct.
Friday, October 03, 2014
Pete Wells, New York Times restaurant critic, and Sam Sifton, the New York Times food editor and former restaurant reviewer, explain the ins and outs of being a restaurant critic.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Eating too much fish could mean consuming too much mercury. On this week's Please Explain, an experts from Consumer Reports tell us which fish is safest, which to avoid.