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
Thursday, July 02, 2015
With the 4th of July around the corner, we’ll take a look at the history of fireworks, and what kinds of chemical reactions create those amazing colors and shapes.
Friday, June 19, 2015
One of New York's best Ramen chefs shares his secrets, and we learn about the surprising history of the food.
Friday, June 12, 2015
For today's Please Explain, we’ll talk cooking with fats and oils. Picking the right cooking oil is crucial when cooking, from pie crusts, to roasting, to sauteing, to cooking a steak.
Friday, June 05, 2015
The hamburger used to be the symbol of fast food, and all the ills associated with it. But as the movement for fresh, organic, locally sourced food rose, so did the lowly hamburger.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Office supplies. Cluttered around your desk, they seem not only indispensable, but universal. But a hidden story lies behind the sticky note, the stapler, and the paper clip.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Cults have been around for thousands of years, but it always seems like they're springing up out of nowhere. What are they? Why do people join? And how do they escape?
Friday, May 08, 2015
Evolution is commonly seen as a process that happens in the wild, far away from human involvement. But humans and animals have evolved alongside each other for ages.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Please Explain this week is all about birds: how human activity is driving several species to extinction, and what some people are doing to try and change that.
Friday, April 17, 2015
The astrophysicist and host of National Geographic Channel's 'StarTalk' answers questions about the cosmos, like "Does a black hole look like a black hole?"
Friday, April 10, 2015
Members of The Sweet Adelines and the Lustre Quartet join us for this week's Please Explain, which is all about barbershop quartets!
Friday, April 03, 2015
In 2009, a frog was discovered in a rain forest in Ecuador that changed its skin texture from smooth to spiky, and in 2014, a new species of frog was found in Staten Island.
Friday, March 27, 2015
This week's Please Explain is all about the pesticides used in agriculture, their health effects, and whether buying organic matters.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Today, seed plants make up about 90 percent of the world's flora. But that wasn't always the case.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Daily life once ground to a halt when the circus rolled into town. Banks closed, schools canceled classes, and factories shut down so that everyone could go to the show.
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!