Please Explain (The Leonard Lopate Show)

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.

31:15 2017-12-08
For this week’s Please Explain, we’re following dogs as they sniff their way through the world with their incredible sense of smell. Alexandra Horowitz, who teaches canine cognition and creative nonfiction at Barnard College and runs the Horowitz Dog ...
30:01 2017-12-01
How did cats get domesticated? Why are they so popular on the internet? Are they good or evil? If you have wanted to know the answers to these questions, and more, tune in to our latest Please Explain, which is all about cats. We're joined by Abigail Tuc...
30:31 2017-11-17
There are over 200 varieties of peppers, ranging from shishitos to habaneros. For our latest Please Explain, we dig into the world (and health benefits) of peppers with three-time James Beard Award-winning chef, culinary historian and author Maricel Pres...
25:11 2017-11-10
Vinegar often plays an essential role in the food we eat. We use it in everything from baking to braising to pickling. But, author Michael Harlan Turkell writes that vinegar is "underappreciated and little understood." For his new book Acid Trip: Trav...
32:10 2017-11-03
For this week’s Please Explain, James Peterson stops by to talk sauces. He’s an award-winning food writer, cookbook author, photographer and cooking teacher who started his career as a restaurant cook in Paris in the 1970s. His book, Sauces: Classical...
30:43 2017-10-27
Our first Food Fridays Please Explain kicks off with vegan cooking! Ronen Seri and Pamela Elizabeth are the co-founders behind the vegan restaurant franchise Blossom and the authors of The Blossom Cookbook: Classic Favorites from the Restaurant That Pione...
36:03 2017-10-20
For our latest Please Explain, we explore what it means to be an introvert and what pressures they face when advancing their careers. We're joined by Morra Aarons-Mele, an internet marketer who has launched online campaigns for President Obama, Malala Yo...
31:17 2017-10-13
For this week's Please Explain, we explore how science is giving us a better understanding of how addiction works, and what that means for how we think about and treat it. We're joined by Fran Smith, author of "The Science of Addiction," National Geo...
31:35 2017-10-06
In a time when the president is openly attacking the press for negative stories and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville are claiming freedom of speech while protesting the removal of Confederate monuments, this week’s Please Explain is all about the First Amen...
30:02 2017-09-29
People spend about one-third of their lives asleep, but what actually happens when we close our eyes and begin to dream? For this week’s Please Explain we are joined by Wallace Mendelson to better help us understand. Mendelson is the former director of ...
33:27 2017-09-22
Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher join us to talk about their book Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life for our latest Please Explain about how our pets use science to survive. We explore the physics behind everything from how dogs lap up water to how a...
32:39 2017-09-15
For this week's Please Explain, we’re discussing DACA with Hasan Shafiqullah, Attorney-In-Charge of the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society. We're also joined by Pamela Resendiz, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico City, Mexico, and a commu...
32:35 2017-09-08
Cities and states across the country are either decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana. As the cultural shift toward accepting pot progresses, we chat with journalist Amanda Chicago Lewis for our latest Please Explain about what this means for consume...
34:21 2017-08-25
For this week’s Please Explain, we explore a crime that affects millions of Americans each year: Identity theft. We're joined by Axton Betz-Hamilton, an assistant professor of consumer affairs at South Dakota State University, to discuss how easy it is...
34:06 2017-08-18
For our next Please Explain, Vybarr Cregan-Reid jogs us through the basics of running. Cregan-Reid, who authored the book Footnotes: How Running Makes Us Human, reveals how running reconnects us to our bodies and helps us cleanse our minds. He explores ...
17:08 2017-08-11
Our latest Please Explain is about invisible currents that exist all around us with Bob Berman, author of the book Zapped: From Infrared to X-Rays, the Curious History of Invisible Light. Do you have questions about x-rays or microwaves? Wondering abo...
32:08 2017-08-04
For this week’s Please Explain we explore the critical role coral reefs play in marine life and how they’re threatened by “coral bleaching," which is a sign of mass coral death. We’ll be joined by Jeff Orlowski, director of the new Netflix documen...
32:16 2017-07-28
In a pickle over how to make the best preserves? Don't worry! Our latest Please Explain is all about preserving with Emily Paster, author of The Joys of Jewish Preserving: Modern Recipes with Traditional Roots, for Jams, Pickles, Fruit Butters, and More...
32:27 2017-07-21
For this week’s Please Explain! we explore the creepy-crawly world of insects with journalist David MacNeal. His latest book Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them looks at the critical role insects play in nature an...
31:03 2017-07-14
If your desk is a total mess, today’s Please Explain is meant for YOU! We tackle the crucial, yet all-so-difficult task, of getting organized, with Amanda Sullivan, author of Organized Enough: The Anti-Perfectionist's Guide to Getting -- and Staying ...
31:49 2017-07-07
Our latest Please Explain is all about the psychology and social evolution of cats with Thomas McNamee, author of The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions. Do you have questions about your cat's behavior? Write t...
31:11 2017-06-30
Dr. William Reisacher, an Otolaryngic Allergist and Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology and the Director of Allergy at Weill Cornell Medicine, will be here to answer your burning questions about bodily fluids – specifically those of the ear, no...
31:23 2017-06-23
Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, joins us for our latest Please Explain on ticks and Lyme disease. As global temperatures rise, there is an increasing prevalence of ticks, and tick-borne diseases, across...
31:17 2017-06-16
For this week’s Please Explain, we are joined by meteorologist Ronald Holle to understand how lightning works. Holle has spent decades studying lightning in places like Colorado and Florida. He explores lighting strikes, how they impact different part...
27:23 2017-06-09
Eric Barker is the author of Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong. He joins us for our latest Please Explain on the Science of Success. In his book, he details the counterintuitiv...
32:30 2017-06-02
For this week’s Please Explain, we’ll be talking about the mystery and magic of ocean tides with Jonathan White. He’s a marine conservationist, surfer and author of a new book called, Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean. White explores how t...
36:49 2017-05-19
Harvard psychiatrist and brain imaging researcher Dr. Srini Pillay will join us for this week’s Please Explain on focus, creativity and productivity. His latest book is Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind. In the book, he di...
31:52 2017-05-12
We end Food Fridays on a sweet note with a Please Explain all about honey and beekeeping! We’ll learn about the many different varieties and flavors of honey, and find out why raw honey - although twice as sweet as sugar - is filled with nutrients. We...
29:25 2017-04-28
Our latest Please Explain is all about the variety and enduring creativity of Spanish food, including Basque food. We'll be joined by Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero, New York City-based chefs and owners of El Quinto Pino, La Vara, Tekoá, and Txikito, ...
32:46 2017-04-21
Our first Food Fridays Please Explain will be all about pies and pie making with Ron and Melissa Silver, co-owners of Bubby’s. Bubby's opened over 25 years ago as a wholesale pie business, but it has grown into a string of restaurants. They’ll share t...
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