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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 broadRead more

Popular episodes

How To Sniff Like A Dog

Dec 8 • 31:15

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 Cognition Lab, explores the abilities of a dog’s nose, how it’s evolved, how it’s being put to use and how we can improve ou...

What's Your Cat Really Thinking?

Dec 1 • 30:01

How did cats get domesticated? Why are they so popular on the internet? Are they good or evil?...

We Get Fired Up Over Peppers

Nov 17 • 30:31

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 Presilla. She’s the author of Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor, which explores t...

Why Vinegar Deserves More Credit As An Ingredient

Nov 10 • 25:11

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: Travels in the World of Vinegar: With Recipes from Leading Chefs, Insights from Top Producers, and Step-by-Step Instructions on ...

The Secrets Behind Succulent Sauces

Nov 3 • 32:10

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 and Contemporary Sauce Making, has just been released in its fourth edition. James will answer all of our burning sauce-rel...

How To Go Vegan

Oct 27 • 30:43

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 Pioneered a New Vegan Cuisine. They’ll debunk some myths about vegan food/cooking, offer tips for home cooks and share some o...

How To Succeed Even If You're An Introvert

Oct 20 • 36:03

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 Yousafzai, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations, and others. She’s also the author of Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introver...

How Addiction Works

Oct 13 • 31:17

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 Geographic Magazine's September cover story. We're also joined by expert Dr. Rita Goldstein, a professor of psychiatry and neuro...

How The First Amendment Works

Oct 6 • 31:35

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 Amendment. Our guest is Floyd Abrams, author of The Soul of the First Amendment and a senior partner in the law firm Cahill Go...

What Happens When We Sleep?

Sep 29 • 30:02

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 the Sleep Research Laboratory at the University of Chicago and author of the new book The Science of Sleep: What It Is, Ho...

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