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Preview: Please Explain from WNYC New York Public Radio Podcast

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 principl



Last Build Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Copyright: WNYC
 



How To Sniff Like A Dog

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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 our own sense of smell. Her latest book is Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell

Note: Jonathan Capehart guest-hosted this segment of "The Leonard Lopate Show."

How To Sniff Like A Dog


Media Files:
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What's Your Cat Really Thinking?

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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 Tucker, correspondent for Smithsonian Magazine, and author of The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World.

What's Your Cat Really Thinking?


Media Files:
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We Get Fired Up Over Peppers

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:19:44 -0500

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 the history of peppers and the many dishes you can make with them.

We Get Fired Up Over Peppers


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate111717dpod.mp3




Why Vinegar Deserves More Credit As An Ingredient

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:16:50 -0500

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 How to Make Your Own, Turkell set out to give vinegar its due. He traveled the world, learning how countries from Japan to France make and use vinegar. He also collected recipes from chefs who are using vinegar in exciting, different and delicious ways. He joins us for our latest Please Explain to discuss vinegar's many uses and how you can make your own at home. Micheal Harlan Turkell will appear in conversation with Francine Segan, Ivan Orkin and Neil Kleinberg at the 92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St.) on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. Check out a recipe from Michael Harlan Turkell's Acid Trip below! OEUFS EN MEURETTE, FROM BERTRAND A UBOYNEAU, BISTROT PAUL BERT, PARIS, FRANCE SERVES 4 This dish takes the concept of bourguignon sauce and uses it to poach eggs. What you’re left with is the same rich stock, adding the decadence of a creamy egg yolk, with a side of toast to sop it all up. Bertrand, always in need of acidity, uses a portion of red wine vinegar in place of some of the red wine, which gives a much lighter quality to a dish that usually invites a postprandial nap, and instead has you feeling like conquering the day ahead. ¼ pound (115 g) THICK SMOKED BACON, cut into lardoons 1 tablespoon BUTTER ¼ pound (115 g) WHITE PEARL ONIONS, peeled, tops and bottoms trimmed 1 clove GARLIC, crushed ¼ pound (115 g) BUTTON MUSHROOMS, cleaned, cut into quarters 3 cups (720 ml) RED WINE, such as Burgundy, Beaujolais, Cabernet 1 branch THYME 1 cup (240 ml) RED WINE VINEGAR 4 EGGS, kept in shell, cold BLACK PEPPER PARSLEY LEAVES, optional TOAST and BUTTER   In a large saucepan over medium heat, render the bacon for 5 to 7 minutes, until it’s just browning but not burning. If it’s cooking too fast, lower the temperature. Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat (reserve the excess to cook with another time) and set the bacon aside (you’ll add it back in later, so try not to snack on it too much). Add the butter, onions, and garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until aromatic. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red wine, scrape the bottom of the pan to release the fond, and add the thyme. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, or until reduced by a third. Add the red wine vinegar and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. (If it’s too acidic for your taste, add ¼ cup water at a time until it’s not.) To poach the eggs, either in the pot of sauce itself (if you don’t mind a few stray pieces of egg white) or in a separate pot of water, bring the liquid to a bare boil. Make a small pinprick on the larger end of each egg, place in the liquid, and cook for 30 seconds (a Julia Child tip); this is just to set the whites. Remove the eggs and crack them into individual small bowls. Slide the eggs back into the pot to poach them. If you like a soft yolk, cook for only a few minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs and set aside. In individual serving bowls, evenly distribute the onion and mushroom mixture, then pour a bit of the sauce, enough to cover an egg, into the bowl as well. Place the eggs into the bowls and garnish with the bacon, freshly cracked black pepper, and parsley, if using. Bon appetit! Note: Jonathan Capehart guest-hosted this segment of The Leonard Lopate Show. [...]Why Vinegar Deserves More Credit As An Ingredient


Media Files:
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The Secrets Behind Succulent Sauces

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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-related queries – from béarnaise and hollandaise, to bolognese, crème anglaise, and everything in between.  Check out some of James Peterson's sauce recipes below! SAUCE BÉCHAMEL The amount of roux per given amount of milk depends on the use of the sauce. Thick  versions,  used  as  the  base  thickener  in  traditional  soufflé  recipes,  often  call  for  as  much  as  8  ounces  (250  grams)  of  roux  per  quart  (liter)  of  milk,  whereas  béchamel-based  soups  use  approximately  2  ounces  (60  grams)  per  quart  (liter)  of  milk. This recipe produces a medium-thick sauce, appropriate for vegetable gratins. YIELD: 1 QUART (1 LITER) INGREDIENTS                                                                    milk           1 quart                  1 liter butter        3 ounces              90 grams flour          ¹⁄³ cup                  80 milliliters seasonings (salt, pepper, nutmeg; optional)      to taste                to taste 1. Bring  the  milk  to  a  simmer  in  a  2-quart  (2  liter)  saucepan.  Whisk  it  from  time  to  time  to  prevent  a  skin  from  forming  on  its  surface  (see  Note). 2. In a second 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan, gently melt the butter and add the flour. Stir the butter and flour over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until the flour has a pleasant, toasty smell. (A) Remove from the heat for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. 3. Whisk the simmering milk into the roux.  Return the sauce to the stove and bring it back to a simmer while whisking. (B) 4. Once  the  sauce  has  returned  to  a  slow  simmer, turn down the heat and move the saucepan so  that  only  one  side  is  over  the  flame.  (This will cause a skin to form on only one side of the sauce’s surface, making it easy to skim.) Cook the sauce gently for 30 minutes to 1 hour, skimming off the skin. It is a good idea also to occasionally rub around the bottom and corners of the sauce-pan  with  a  wooden  spoon  to  prevent  the  sauce  from scalding. 5. When the starchy taste has cooked out of the sauce, it can be seasoned and strained, depending on its final use.  Béchamel should be stirred while it is cooling to prevent a skin from forming on its surface. Putting the pan over a tray of ice will, of course, speed cooling. Note: Some chefs do not first bring the milk to a simmer and instead pour cold milk, all at once, over the roux.  This  method  saves  time—and  a  pot—but  be  sure  to  whisk  the  sauce  vigorously  to prevent lumps and skin from forming. VARIATIONS Use a pretreated flour such as Wondra.  Simply  mix the  Wondra  (the  same  amount  as  flour  called for in the traditional recipe) in cold water until  smooth  (make  a  slurry).  Bring the milk to a simmer. Whisk in the slurry. Simmer until the sauce thickens. It should be smooth, but just in case, work it through a chinois. While béchamel is a fairly stable sauce, there are times  (especially  if  the  flour  is  old)  when  it  will  break.  To avoid this, blend hydrocolloids into the finished sauce.  Lambda  carrageenan  lends  an  authentic  dairy-like  mouthfeel  to  the  sauce  and  is  easy  to  use.  Start by adding 1%  lambda  carrageenan to the sauce and build up as needed to get the thickness you want.   James Peterson's cauliflower gratin. [...]The Secrets Behind Succulent Sauces


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How To Go Vegan

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 13:20:30 -0400

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 of their most popular recipes including Trumpet Mushroom Calamari, Sweet Potato and Coconut Cream Soup, and German Chocolate Cake.  Check out recipes from The Blossom Cookbook below! Pine Nut–Crusted Eggplant Eggplant is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. It is full of flavor, has a fantastic hearty texture, and is extremely versatile. Created as an inventive option for our gluten-free guests, this dish uses a combination of pine nuts and basil as the crust for the eggplant, and the creamy sauce is a wonderful finish. It’s sure to please and impress at any dinner party and is great for all seasons. Serves 3 or 4 1 medium eggplant, halved and peeled 1½ tablespoons salt 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes 2 cups pine nuts 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil Scant ¾ cup olive oil 4½ tablespoons chopped garlic 1½ teaspoons salt, plus more as needed 3 pinches of black pepper 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes 1 sprig fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped 1 cup artichoke hearts 2/3 cup white wine 2 cups Cashew Cream (page 000) 1 head escarole Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Slice the peeled eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices (each half should yield 6 slices). Fill a deep bowl with water and add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Soak the eggplant slices in the water for 20 minutes to help remove any bitterness. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the potatoes. Boil the potatoes for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft, then remove and place in a large bowl. While the potatoes are boiling and the eggplant is soaking, put the pine nuts, flour, and basil in a food processor. Process until the mixture has the consistency of bread crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil, 1½ tablespoons of the garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix well. Drain the eggplant and dredge the slices in the pine nut breading, making sure each slice is thoroughly coated. Set the breaded eggplant slices on a rack and let sit for 10 to 20 minutes to dry. Meanwhile, mash the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the garlic. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, and artichoke hearts and sauté until the tomatoes begin to soften. Add 1/3 cup of the white wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the mashed potatoes and the salt and stir well. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the eggplant slices and pan-fry on each side until they begin to lightly brown. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes to crisp. Make the sauce: In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ½ tablespoon of the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/3 cup white wine, the Cashew Cream, and 1 tablespoon chopped basil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir. In a separate medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining ½ tablespoon garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the escarole and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or until soft. To assemble, divide the sauce among three or four plates, then add the potato mixture, the escarole, and finally the eggplant slices on top. Cashew Cream Cashews . . . the cream of the crop! With their high healthy fat content, cashews are the best cream substitute, because when blended, they create an incredible richness for sauces. Who would ever think that an[...]How To Go Vegan


Media Files:
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How To Succeed Even If You're An Introvert

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:17:11 -0400

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 Introvert's Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You'd Rather Stay Home), and she shares strategies introverts can use to manage their anxieties while also achieving their goals.  

How To Succeed Even If You're An Introvert


Media Files:
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How Addiction Works

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 10:31:06 -0400

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 neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who is featured in the article. 

Note: Ilya Marritz guest-hosted this segment of "The Leonard Lopate Show."

How Addiction Works


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How The First Amendment Works

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 10:25:11 -0400

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 Gordon & Reindel. He has argued in numerous high-profile, free-speech cases in front of the Supreme Court including Citizens United.

How The First Amendment Works


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What Happens When We Sleep?

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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, How It Works, and Why It Matters. He tell us about the different stages of sleep, sleeping disorders and how outside forces like alcohol and sleeping pills affect our rest. 

What Happens When We Sleep?


Media Files:
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What Happens When A Dog Drinks Water?

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:12:23 -0400

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 ants use polarized light to navigate.

What Happens When A Dog Drinks Water?


Media Files:
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What's The Future Of DACA?

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:16:32 -0400

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 community organizer who advocates for workers and immigrants’ rights in Colorado as the Deputy Director for United for a New Economy. They explain what DACA is, how it’s changing, who it affects and what can be done about it.

Note: Jonathan Capehart guest-hosted this segment of "The Leonard Lopate Show."

What's The Future Of DACA?


Media Files:
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How Legal Pot Could Be Monopolized

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 10:13:49 -0400

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 consumers, and how the industry could become big business for some companies. Chicago Lewis has written stories about the pot industry for publications like Rolling Stone ("Medical Marijuana: A Beginner’s Guide") and GQ ("The Great Pot Monopoly Mystery").

Note: DW Gibson guest-hosted this segment of "The Leonard Lopate Show." 

 

How Legal Pot Could Be Monopolized


Media Files:
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Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 09:30:43 -0400

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 for thieves to get a hold of your information and ruin your credit. Betz-Hamilton will also share her own personal story of how her identity was stolen when she was a child, how that put on a path to becoming an expert in the field, and how she discovered years later that the thief was her mother.

Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate082517dpod.mp3




Why We Love To Run

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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 the world’s most advanced running laboratories and research centers, and draws on literature, philosophy, neuroscience and biology to understand our passion for running.

Why We Love To Run


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate081817dpod.mp3




All The Light We Cannot See

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 10:20:41 -0400

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 about the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21? Write to us in the comments section below, or send us a question on Twitter or Facebook!

Jonathan Capehart guest hosted this segment of "The Leonard Lopate Show."

All The Light We Cannot See


Media Files:
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Why Coral Is Dying Around The World

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 13:21:14 -0400

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 documentary “Chasing Coral," along with Ruth Gates, a scientist who appears in the film and is the director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

"Chasing Coral" is out now on Netflix.

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Why Coral Is Dying Around The World


Media Files:
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Become A Food Preserving Pro!

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 10:07:20 -0400

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--for Holidays and Every Day.

Melissa Clark guest hosted this segment of "The Leonard Lopate Show."

Check out one of Emily Paster's recipes from The Joys of Jewish Preserving below!

Bene Israel Quick-Pickled Eggplant

Whether fried, baked, roasted, or stuffed, eggplant is one of the signature vegetables of Sephardic cuisine. Indeed, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the British called eggplant ”the Jew’s apple” because it was so adored by the Sephardic Jews who were likely responsible for introducing the vegetable to their shores.

Eggplant has always been widely available, filling, and inexpensive: true peasant food. In the lean, early years of the Israeli state, for example, eggplant was one of the few vegetables widely available, much to the dismay of the recently arrived Ashkenazi Jews who had no idea how to prepare it.

Pickled eggplant is a specialty of the historic community of Jews in India, known as Bene Israel. This recipe has more of a Middle Eastern flavor than a South Asian one, but I love the idea that different communities of Jews have different takes on pickled eggplant. Two eggplants will give you three pints of pickled eggplant, which may be more than you want, so feel free to halve the recipe. On the other hand, this pickled eggplant is so tangy and mouth-watering, three pints can disappear in no time, especially if you offer some to guests. I like to put out these pickled egg- plant cubes as part of a lunch spread.

Makes 3 pints

2 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 dried chiles
12 mint leaves

Place the eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Cover with a paper towel and weight down with a plate. Allow the eggplant to drain for 30 minutes.

Sterilize 3 pint jars by filling them with boiling water and allowing then to sit for 5 minutes. Pour the water out and allow the jars to air-dry naturally. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, bring the vinegars, water, and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the eggplant and simmer until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant cubes to the jars. Add 2 cloves of sliced garlic, a dried chile, and 4 mint leaves to each jar.

Cover the eggplant cubes with brine, leaving 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) of head- space. Allow the jars to cool, cover them, and refrigerate. Allow the eggplant to cure for 2 to 3 days before serving. Pickled eggplant will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. 

Become A Food Preserving Pro!


Media Files:
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Don't Bug Out! The Secret World Of Insects

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:09:24 -0400

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 and in our culture. We discuss how conservationists are protecting threatened species, and how bugs are used in science, medicine and even food.

Don't Bug Out! The Secret World Of Insects


Media Files:
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How To Cut The Clutter And Get Organized

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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 -- Organized.

How To Cut The Clutter And Get Organized


Media Files:
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What's Your Cat Thinking About?

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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 to us on TwitterFacebook or post in the comments section below!

What's Your Cat Thinking About?


Media Files:
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The Yucky Stuff You've Always Wondered About

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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, nose and throat region. His clinical expertise lies in the diagnosis and management of airborne and food allergies in adults and children, but he can offer insight into mucus, salivary disorders and much, much more. 

Do you have questions about bodily fluids? Write to us on Twitter, Facebook or post in the comments section below!

The Yucky Stuff You've Always Wondered About


Media Files:
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Protecting Yourself From Ticks and Lyme Disease

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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 the country. Dr. Ostfeld is part of The Tick Project, a five-year study to determine whether neighborhood-based prevention can reduce human cases of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. He will speak about the prevalence of ticks, why they are spreading and preventative measures we can take. 

Protecting Yourself From Ticks and Lyme Disease


Media Files:
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The Shocking Truth About Lightning

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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 parts of the world and why the number of lightning-related fatalities in the U.S. has dropped dramatically over the last century. 

The Shocking Truth About Lightning


Media Files:
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The Science Of Success

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 10:55:55 -0400

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 counterintuitive strategies that can lead to success, and he challenges conventional wisdom about how to achieve success.

Got a question about becoming successful? Leave us a comment below!

The Science Of Success


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How Climate Change Will Alter Tides

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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 OceanWhite explores how tides shape lives and communities, including stories of an Inuit tribe in the Arctic that watches the tides in order to find food, and how a group of French monks live in a monastery surrounded by tidal waters. He also looks at how tides will change with the effects of climate change and how communities are preparing for those changes. 

Note: Jonathan Capehart guest-hosted this segment of "The Leonard Lopate Show."

How Climate Change Will Alter Tides


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate060217dpod.mp3




How Daydreaming Can Help You Focus

Fri, 19 May 2017 10:14:42 -0400

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 discusses his research on the helpful benefits of daydreaming, taking breaks, and even leaving work incomplete.

How Daydreaming Can Help You Focus


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate051917cpod.mp3




The Buzz Around Honey And Beekeeping

Fri, 12 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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’ll also get recipes and tips for cooking with honey, and advice for aspiring beekeepers from Kim Flottum, veteran beekeeper, editor-in-chief of Bee Culture (the preeminent American beekeeping magazine) and author of The Backyard Beekeeper's Honey Handbook: A Guide to Creating, Harvesting, and Baking with Natural Honeys. He’ll be joined by Amelie Tremblaya beekeeper from Tremblay Apiaries in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY.

The Buzz Around Honey And Beekeeping


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate051217dpod.mp3




Exploring Spanish Cuisine

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

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, which is New York's only Basque restaurant. They are also the authors of The Basque Book: A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito.

This episode of "The Leonard Lopate Show" is guest hosted by Deb Perelman. Perelman is a self-taught home cook, photographer and creator of SmittenKitchen.com. Her first book, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, was a New York Times bestseller. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two children, and is currently at work on her second cookbook, which is due out this fall.

Exploring Spanish Cuisine


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate042817dpod.mp3




The Secrets Of Pie Making

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:52:37 -0400

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 their secrets to the art of pie making, from the making the perfect filling to rolling out a flaky crust. Ron is also the author of Bubby's Homemade Pies

Bubby's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie (Courtesy of Bubby's) 

Makes One 9-inch Double-crust Pie

It’s serendipitous and practical combination: Sour rhubarb heightens the flavors of the strawberries, while the berries add flavorful natural fruit sugars to the rhubarb.

Pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie,chilled, such as bubby’s All-butter pastry pie dough or basic butter and shortening pastry pie dough
3 cups strawberries, halved or thickly sliced
3 cups (1 ½ pounds) rhubarb, cut into ½ to 1/3 - inch pieces
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on the top crust
4 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon orange zest
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Roll out the pastry and line a 9-inch pie tin with the bottom crust. Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust. Rechill the pastry if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, flour, zest, and salt. Mix the ingredients briefly by tossing them as you would a salad. Scrape the fruit into the pastry- lined pie tin. Dot the fruit with the butter and cover it with the top crust. Trim and crimp the crust; chill the pie for 10 minutes in the freezer. Cut vent slits if not using a lattice and sprinkle the top crust lightly with sugar.

Bake the pie on a lipped baking sheet for 10 minutes, or until the crust looks dry, blistered, and blonde. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F, and bake for at least 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden brown and visible juices are thickened and bubbly slowly through the slits in the top crust.

Cool the pie completely before cutting it, at least a few hours. Serve it at room temperature. Store the pie uncovered at room temperature in a pie safe or cover the pie with a layer of cheesecloth (so that the pastry can breathe) up to 3 days.

The Leonard Lopate Show needs your help! We’re conducting an anonymous 5-minute survey to learn a bit about you and the podcasts you love. You can find it at wnyc.podcastingsurvey.com.  We would really appreciate your help - knowing more about you helps us put together more of the shows you enjoy.

Thank you from all of us at The Leonard Lopate Show!

The Secrets Of Pie Making


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate042117dpod.mp3




Making Cents Of America's Tax Code

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Ever wonder how your tax dollars are spent? Or why the American tax code is filled with loopholes and special interest provisions that serve the interests of tax lawyers, accountants and huge corporations? T. R. Reid, a longtime correspondent for The Washington Post and bestselling author, joins us for this week’s Please Explain about the American tax code. His latest book is A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System. He’ll explain how our tax code works, how it differs from the rest of the world and how we can make it better.

Making Cents Of America's Tax Code


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate041417cpod.mp3




Understanding Psychosomatic Illness

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

For this week’s Please Explain, we discuss psychosomatic illnesses and the mind-body connection with Dr. Suzanne O’Sullivan. O'Sullivan is a neurologist and author of the book, Is It All in Your Head?: True Stories of Imaginary Illness. In her book, O’Sullivan chronicles the world of psychosomatic illnesses and shows how it can take over people’s lives.

Understanding Psychosomatic Illness


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate040717dpod.mp3




How To Navigate the Open Seas

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Our latest Please Explain is all about navigating the high seas and using water to help you find direction in your everyday life. We’ll hear from explorer and natural navigation expert Tristan Gooleyauthor of How to Read Water: Clues and Patterns from Puddles to the Sea.

Do you have a question, or a story, about navigating through open water? Leave us a comment!

How To Navigate the Open Seas


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate032417dpod.mp3




Spring is Coming. So Are Allergies.

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

‘Tis the season for sniffles. Millions of Americans suffer from allergies, seasonal and otherwise. For this week’s Please Explain, Dr. Clifford Bassett, the founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, joins us to explain what an allergy is (and isn’t), identify key triggers - from nuts to gluten to the nickel commonly used in cell phones - and offer both medical and nonmedical alternatives to treatment. Dr. Bassett’s book The New Allergy Solution: Supercharge Resistance, Slash Medication, Stop Suffering is out on March 21.

Spring is Coming. So Are Allergies.


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate031717dpod.mp3




What's At Stake With Clean Water Regulation Rollbacks?

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Dave Owen, Professor of Law at U.C. Hastings, joins us for this week's Please Explain to discuss the history of clean water legislation and what's at stake as the EPA attempts to roll back established water regulations. A recent executive order issued by President Trump instructed the EPA to review the "Waters of the United States" rule, an Obama-era clean water act that the president criticized for it's "horrible" treatment of small farmers and small businesses. Owen will discuss that 2015 water regulation, as well as the history and impact of the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974.

Have questions about clean water regulations? Leave us a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

What's At Stake With Clean Water Regulation Rollbacks?


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate031017dpod.mp3




Pulling the Curtain Back on NASA

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

This week's Please Explain is all about the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)! We pull back the curtain on the institution that explores the mysteries of our universe. Dr. Valerie Neal, curator, chair of the Space History Department at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and author of Spaceflight: A Smithsonian Guide and Where Next, Columbus? The Future of Space Exploration, joins us to talk about the inner-workings of NASA and to answer questions from listeners. 

Have questions about NASA? Leave us a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

Pulling the Curtain Back on NASA


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate030317bpod.mp3




Understanding CRISPR, the Sci-Fi-Esque Gene Editing Tool

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:58:21 -0500

Science journalist Jennifer Kahn joins us for this week’s Please Explain, which is all about CRISPR, an incredible tool that makes precise gene editing cheaper and easier than ever before. Researchers have used CRISPR to genetically engineer malaria-resistant mosquitoes and manipulate the genes so that they copy-and-paste themselves, making it more likely that the new generation of mosquitoes will also be resistant. Kahn will discuss CRISPR, how it can be used in humans, the ethical questions it presents, gene drives and the recent CRISPR patent decision. 

Have questions about CRISPR and genetic engineering? Leave us a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

Understanding CRISPR, the Sci-Fi-Esque Gene Editing Tool


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate022417dpod.mp3




Why Can't You Just Stop?

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Sharon Begley, the senior science writer for STAT, joins us for our latest Please Explain on compulsions to discuss her latest book Can’t Just Stop: An Investigation of Compulsions. She explores the spectrum of compulsions afflicting many people, from checking your smartphone frequently to the people who hoard and exhibit symptoms of OCD. Begley finds that the root of compulsion lies in the areas of the brain that triggers anxiety.

Have questions about compulsions? Leave us a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

Why Can't You Just Stop?


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate021717dpod.mp3




Demystifying That Four-Letter Word (Hint: It Starts with L)

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:40:55 -0500

Why do we fall in love with one person and not another? Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Today’s Please Explain is all about love and attraction! Dr. Helen Fisher, author, biological anthropologist and chief scientific advisor to Match.com, joins us to discuss romance, dating, and marriage. We'll be taking calls from listeners with questions about love.

Have questions about dating and love? Leave us a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

Helen Fisher will be talking about the anatomy of love, with Jenny Santi, on Tuesday, February 28th at Deepak HomeBase at 888 Broadway. The pre-reception begins at 6:30pm and the discussion begins at 7:00pm. For more information, click here.

 

 

Demystifying That Four-Letter Word (Hint: It Starts with L)


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate021017cpod.mp3




How You Can Have a Say, In Politics and Your Community

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 13:27:40 -0500

Itching to do something that makes a real change, but not sure where to begin? This week's Please Explain with Ami Dar, founder and executive director of Idealist, and Alex Kouts, chief product officer at Countable, is all about social activism. We'll be answering your questions about ways to become politically active, whether that means simply educating yourself on bills, participating in town halls, or contacting your representatives. We'll also be discussing ways to find volunteer opportunities that match your interests, skills, and availability. 

Have questions about social activism and/or volunteering? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebookor leave us a message on Anchor.  

How You Can Have a Say, In Politics and Your Community


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate020317dpod.mp3




Listening to Body Language

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 11:31:36 -0500

When is a shrug just a shrug? What are you really saying when you fold your arms across your chest? Whether we know it or not, we’re constantly conveying signals to other people through our body language and facial expressions. On this week’s Please Explain, we’re decoding body language and non-verbal communication, and looking at the psychology behind why we communicate this way with Dana Carney, Associate Professor at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. 

Have questions about body language? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook! 

Listening to Body Language


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate012717cpod.mp3




Oh, the Things Our Bodies Would Say

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Jonathan Capehart guest hosts today!

This week’s Please Explain is all about the weird and wonderful human body with James Hamblin, author of If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body. Hamblin, an M.D., is also a writer and senior editor for The Atlantic. He’ll answer all of our most pressing questions including, “If I lose a contact lens in my eye, can it get into my brain?” and “When I shave or cut my hair, does it grow back faster?”

Have questions (strange or otherwise) about the workings of the human body? Leave us a comment!

Oh, the Things Our Bodies Would Say


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate011317dpod.mp3




Why Fat Is So Misunderstood

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Our latest Please Explain is all about fat with Dr. Sylvia Tara, author of The Secret Life of Fat: The Science Behind the Body's Least Understood Organ and What It Means for You. Dr. Tara argues that fat, an endocrine organ that’s critical to our health, is one of the least understood parts of the body. She’ll explain how fat can use stem cells to regenerate; increase our appetite if it feels threatened; and use bacteria, genetics, and viruses to expand itself.

Have questions about fat? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook! 

Why Fat Is So Misunderstood


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate010617dpod.mp3




Finding Light on the Darkest Day: The Winter Solstice & Yuletide

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

It's widely known that the modern celebration of Christmas has its origins in Pagan traditions. The Roman Saturnalia was celebrated by exchanging gifts and candles. But there's much more to the story than that. On this week’s Please Explain, we’re looking at the pagan origins of holiday traditions rooted in the celebration of the Winter Solstice. Linda Raedisch, author of The Old Magic of Christmas:Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year, discusses the history, folklore, traditions, botany and recipes of yuletide and explains why they linger in our modern holiday celebrations.

Have questions about Christmas traditions and the Winter Solstice? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook! 

Finding Light on the Darkest Day: The Winter Solstice & Yuletide


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate122316cpod.mp3




A Deep Dive into Aquariums

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

As many of us know from childhood goldfish experiences, there’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to keeping fish fed, safe, healthy and stimulated. Imagine how much effort it takes to run a successful aquarium, where thousands of gallons of water housing everything from anemones to sharks and seals are at stake! On today's Please Explain, we're going behind the scenes at aquariums with two experts from the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Norwalk, CT: Publicist Dave Sigworth and John Lenzycki, their animal curator. 

Have questions about aquariums? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

A Deep Dive into Aquariums


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate121616dpod.mp3




What's Keeping You Up at Night?

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

Why can’t we sleep? The CDC estimates that 50 to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep or wakefulness disorder, caused by "broad scale societal factors such as round-the-clock access to technology and work schedules, but sleep disorders such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea also play an important role." 

Dr. Rafael Pelayo, Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, joins us for this week's Please Explain about insomnia and sleep disorders. 

Have questions about insomnia and sleep disorders? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook! 

What's Keeping You Up at Night?


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate120916dpod.mp3




Behold the Wonders of Butter

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

Julia Child once said, "With enough butter, anything is good." Wise words because after all, where would we be without butter, the building block of hundreds of recipes, from flaky croissants to rich buttercream frosting?

On this week’s Please Explain, we are talking all about butter, with award-winning writer and former pastry chef Elaine Khosrova, author of Butter: A Rich History. She traveled across the world to uncover the social and culinary history of butter, from Ireland to Tibet and everywhere in between. She also shares cooking tips and the best butter-centric recipes. 

Have questions about butter? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook! 

Event: Elaine Khosrova will be doing a reading, Q&A and book signing on Saturday, December 3 at 4 p.m. at The Golden Notebook (29 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY). 

Behold the Wonders of Butter


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate120216dpod.mp3




Have a Seat: The History of Chairs

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 10:34:56 -0500

This week's Please Explain has us on the edge of our seats! From the Klismos, to the Eames, we're talking about the history of chairs and chair design with Witold Rybczynski, an architect, writer and an emeritus professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s the author of, Now I Sit Me Down: From Klismos to Plastic Chair: A Natural History.

Have questions about chairs or chair design? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Have a Seat: The History of Chairs


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate111816dpod.mp3




How the Electric Guitar Revolutionized Music

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 13:22:34 -0500

Where would music be without the electric guitar, the instrument that gave us everything from the quintessential rock n' roll sound of the 1960s, to hardcore punk, and face-melting metal? On this week's Please Explain, Brad Tolinski, former the editor-in-chief of Guitar World, and author of Play it Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar introduces us to the inventors and musicians who developed the instrument that defines so many genres. Also joining us is Roger Sadowsky, the owner of Sadowsky Guitars who’s made instruments for Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Paul Simon, Lou Reed and Joan Jett, among others. 

Event: Brad Tolinksi and musical guest, Lez Zeppelin, will celebrate Play It Loud at Rizzoli Bookstore (1133 Broadway, between 25th and 26th Street) on November 11th at 6 p.m. 

Have questions about electric guitars? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

 What are some of your favorite electric guitar songs? We've made a playlist, and we want your contributions! Send us your favorite songs, and we might add them to the playlist. Check out the playlist here or below.

frameborder="0" height="380" src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify%3Auser%3Aandresop%3Aplaylist%3A4gsLqDdCXWflhYieELsd75" width="300">

How the Electric Guitar Revolutionized Music


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate111116dpod.mp3




The Science of Cheese

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 13:01:03 -0400

Ever wonder why Swiss cheese has holes? Why are so many types of cheese yellow in color? Or, what kinds of milk are best for making cheese? Chemist Michael Tunick has spent almost three decades working with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service creating new dairy products and improving existing ones. On our latest Please Explain, he’ll address the chemistry, physics and biology that results in cheese! He's the author of The Science of Cheese.

Have questions about cheese? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

The Science of Cheese


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate110416epod.mp3




Beyond Butternut: A Guide to Squash, Gourds, Pumpkins & More!

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Tis the season for squash! Although most of us are only familiar with a handful of squashes, there are 150 varieties of heirloom pumpkins, squash, and gourds. For this week's Please Explain, Chef Alfred Portale, executive chef and co-owner of the Gotham Bar and Grill, shares his favorite ways to cook different kinds of squash. Zaid Kurdieh, a professor and partner operator of Norwich Meadows Farm, LLC, a certified organic, diversified vegetable farm in Norwich, NY, also joins us to discuss squash varieties and share growing tips.  Recipes (Courtesy of Alfred Portale) Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Crème Fraîche         Makes 6 servings The porridge like consistency of this soup preserves all the distinguishing characteristics of butternut squash, to which hints of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon are added for a soul-warming autumnal starter that’s as comforting and nurturing as an evening in front of a roaring fire. To coax out as much flavor as possible, the squash is first cut into cubes that are heated slowly in butter until thoroughly caramelized and just beginning to break down around the edges. When shopping, look for a butternut squash with a long neck and pick it up to gauge its weight: if it feels heavy for its size, it will have a small seedbed, which means more usable flesh inside. The crème fraîche behaves almost like a condiment here; swirl it in, or let it rest decoratively on top. Thinking Ahead: The soup and the crème fraîche can be made a day in advance; if you do this, do not enrich the soup with butter until reheating the next day. SOUP: ¼ cup unsalted butter 4 pounds fresh butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch cubes Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste 2 shallots, peeled and sliced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 2 cups White Chicken Stock In a 12-inch saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the squash and season it with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nicely caramelized but still firm. When the squash is nearly cooked, heat 1 more tablespoon of butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, until translucent. Add the garlic, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf, and stir for about a minute. Add the squash and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, and purèe until smooth. Return the soup to the pot to[...]


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate102816dpod.mp3




Please Explain: The Leonard Lopate Show!

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

We're taking you behind the scenes at The Leonard Lopate Show on today's Please Explain with Executive Producer Melissa Eagan! She and Leonard will talk about the history of the show, share some of their favorite stories and look back at a few of our most memorable guests.

What have you always wanted to know about the show? Give us a call at 212-433-9692, send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

 

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Please Explain: The Leonard Lopate Show!


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate102116bpod.mp3




The History of Restaurants Revealed

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Centuries before the restaurant became a dining destination, a "restaurant" was actually a medicinal broth that contained ingredients like capon, gold ducats, rubies and other precious gems. So how did restaurants become what they are today? When did eating become an enjoyable, leisurely activity?

Rebecca Spang, author of The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, joins us for today’s Please Explain all about the history of restaurants! Dr. Spang is a Professor of History, Director of the Liberal Arts + Management Program and Director of the Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. 

Do you have questions about restaurant history? Give us a call at 212-433-9692, send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

The History of Restaurants Revealed


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate101416cpod.mp3




How to Define 'Creepiness'

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Reports of sinister clowns in the news have us thinking about creepiness. Why are some things simply scary, and other things genuinely creepy? On today's Please Explain, David Livingstone Smith, Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England, offers some insight in an essay for Aeon called, "A theory of creepiness." He tells us how scientists and researchers have attempted to measure and classify creepiness - from robots that are designed to look like humans (but something isn't quite right), to being put off by physical traits like "unkempt hair, bulging eyes, [and] abnormally long fingers."

David Livingstone Smith is the author of seven books, most recently, Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others.

How to Define 'Creepiness'


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate100716dpod.mp3




Bees, Wasps, Ants, Scorpions... Whose Stings Hurt the Most?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Is it worse to be stung by a scorpion or a bee? Ask Justin O. Schmidt, a biologist at Southwestern Biological Institute, who’s also affiliated with the Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona and the author of The Sting of the Wild. Dr. Schmidt has let more than 83 different species of stinging insects from all over the world attack him... all in the name of science!

Schmidt is the inventor of the eponymous “Schmidt Sting Pain Index,” which ranks the relative pain caused by insect stings on various parts of the body. On this week’s Please Explain, he’ll explain why insects sting in the first place, and what happens to them (and us) when they do it. 

Have questions about insect stings? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Bees, Wasps, Ants, Scorpions... Whose Stings Hurt the Most?


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate093016dpod.mp3




Sweet Dreams (and Nightmares) Are Made of This

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Dreams are a natural part of life, and throughout human history, people have tried to interpret their dreams. But dreaming, in many ways, still remains mysterious. On this week’s Please Explain, we’ll find out what happens in our brains while we dream, what causes nightmares and lucid dreaming, and why some of us talk and walk in our sleep. We’ll also learn about the many ways psychologists interpret dreams.

Joining us is Dr. Michael Breus, a Clinical Psychologist, Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He's the author of several books, most recently, The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More and Dr. Kelly Bulkeley, a dream researcher and Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, Senior Editor of the APA journal Dreaming and the author of Big Dreams: The Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion.

Have questions about dreaming? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Events: Kelly Bulkeley will be part of a panel at the New York Academy of Sciences on December 7th, talking about dreams and new research on the unconscious. He'll be giving a talk at the National Arts Club on January 30th about the film "Pan's Labyrinth" and lucid dreaming in Guillermo del Toro's childhood.

Sweet Dreams (and Nightmares) Are Made of This


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate092316dpod.mp3




The Secret Life of Ballerinas

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

The best ballerinas make it look effortless, gracefully dancing and leaping across the stage in beautiful costumes. But what do ballet dancers really go through, given the physical demands, in addition to the hours of practice, preparation and dedication? On today's Please Explain, we're looking at the secret life of ballerinas with Ashley Bouder, principal dancer in the New York City Ballet, and Tiekka Tellier, who spent 16 years as a professional ballerina and founded Everyday Ballet

Have questions about ballet? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Event: The New York City Ballet Fall Gala opens NYCB’s 2016-17 season on Tuesday, September 20.  Ashley Bouder will give her first performance since giving birth to her daughter, Violet, on Friday, September 23 in Balanchine’s Vienna Waltzes. For ticket's and performance information, visit the NYCB website

The Secret Life of Ballerinas


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate091616dpod.mp3




Is Cursive Obsolete? The Writing May be on the Wall

Fri, 13 Nov 2015 15:34:18 -0500

Handwriting has helped shape culture ever since the ancient Sumerians created an alphabet on clay tablets. But are digital communication and the internet threatening to make handwriting obsolete? Anne Trubek , author of The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting, joins us for this week's Please Explain all about handwriting!

Do you have questions about handwriting? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook! 

Understanding How The Media Reports on Health and Nutrition


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate111315epod.mp3




Translating the Untranslatable

Fri, 06 Nov 2015 12:30:12 -0500

On today’s Please Explain, we’ll attempt to understand what it’s like to translate the untranslatable! English audiences rely on translators for access to much of the world’s most important literature and religious texts, from Cervantes, to Voltaire, to the Bible. But unfortunately there is no magic formula when it comes to choosing comparable words from one language to another. Our guests for today's Please Explain argue that there is no such thing as a literal translation – rather, it’s a task that veers into the philosophical, and depends on each individual word, language set, and text. 

Esther Allen is a Professor at Baruch College, co-founder of the PEN World Voices Festival, and board member of the American Literary Translators Association. Jacques Lezra is Professor of Spanish, English, and Comparative Literature at New York University. He also was an editor for The Dictionary of Untranslatables.

Translating the Untranslatable


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate110615dpod.mp3




Humans and Horses: Together (Nearly) Forever

Fri, 30 Oct 2015 13:36:38 -0400

For our latest Please Explain, we are talking to the journalist Wendy Williams about the history of horses. Horses and humans have worked together for thousands of years, and they have made a big impact on the course of human civilization. Williams' book is The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion.

Event: Wendy Williams will be speaking and signing books at Rutgers' G.H. Cook Campus, at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health Building, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, on Nov. 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Humans and Horses: Together (Nearly) Forever


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate103015dpod.mp3




Should Fantasy Sports Be Regulated Like Gambling?

Fri, 23 Oct 2015 10:30:45 -0400

In 2006, Congress tried to crack down on illegal online sports betting. Nearly a decade later, Internet gambling is flourishing, and a new business that increasingly looks like gambling, fantasy sports, is winning millions of players and stoking controversy. For this week's Please Explain, we talk to James Glanz and Walt Bogdanich, part of the New York Times investigative team that, with the PBS series "Frontline," investigated the business, and the technology, of illegal gambling in the Internet age. 

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Should Fantasy Sports Be Regulated Like Gambling?


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate102315bpod.mp3




Why Are Life-Saving Drugs So Expensive?

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 11:12:36 -0400

When Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of a life-saving drug from $13.50 to $750 a pill, it brought the issue of high drug prices to the spotlight. The prices of many important drugs have been rising for decades, and drug companies are able to set prices freely for drugs in this country, often leading to prescription drugs costing far less overseas. For this week's Please Explain, we are discussing drug prices: examining the history behind the reasons that drug companies charge what they do for prescription drugs, and if there is anything that government can do to make drugs more affordable in this country.

Melissa Thomasson, professor of economics at Miami University’s Farmer School of Business, is a Research Associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research, and her work on the economic history of health insurance and health care has been published in top journals. 

Peter Bach is the Director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is a physician, epidemiologist, researcher, and healthcare policy expert whose work focuses on the cost and value of anticancer drugs. 

Why Are Life-Saving Drugs So Expensive?


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate101615apod.mp3




Lurking Behind Your Fear

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0400

In our latest Please Explain, we confront our worst nightmares! The gripping fear when you're walking through a haunted house is not the same as the gut-wrenching fear that your life might be in danger. Nor is it the same as the fear of being rejected by a potential mate or the fear of jumping out of a plane. And our reactions to those chilling moments can range from screams, to adrenaline rushes, to even laughter. Margee Kerr is a sociologist at the University of Pittsburgh, and she also moonlights at a popular haunted house, where she gets an inside look into what fear does to us and why we're so attracted to it. In her new book, Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear, she explains the science of fear, unraveling the various dimensions of its grasp on us and our society. 

 

Lurking Behind Your Fear


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate100915cpod.mp3




Why The Pop Music Machine Is Dominated by the Swedes

Fri, 02 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0400

For this week's Please Explain, the veil is lifted on hit-making! New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook spills the secrets of how to produce industrial-strength hits in his new book, The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory. The story of modern pop music today starts with Denniz PoP, a Swedish DJ who produced the band Ace of Base, and was responsible for their smash hit "The Sign." Remember that one? frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iqu132vTl5Y" width="420"> This was an age of dance music, of big soaring choruses, and Denniz PoP knew exactly how to tailor music for the clubs. Swedish musicians were able to combine R&B and Europop because they didn't have to contend with the racial legacy of R&B, says Seabrook. Even the fact that English was not their native language was an asset to these Swedish songwriters. They wrote songs based on the sounds of syllables, not the meaning of words. Gone were the songs with heavy metaphors, double entendre, and symbolism.  The Swedes industrialized a form of song-making that started with Hip-Hop, says Seabrook, the track-and-hook approach. Despite the fact that hit machines don't last long, Denniz PoP's disciples continued to churn out hits. Max Martin is responsible for many Backstreet Boys hits, and Britney Spears' infamous "Baby One More Time" (though the song was originally pitched to and rejected by TLC).  frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C-u5WLJ9Yk4" width="420"> But as the backlash against pure-pop music emerged and Napster ate into CD sales, many of these hitmakers began to lose work. Until a little show came along called American Idol. Kelly Clarkson worked with Max Martin and his protege, Dr. Luke, on her first smash hit.   frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R7UrFYvl5TE" width="420"> When Clarkson broke away from Martin and Dr. Luke and released an album of original music, it tanked. Max Martin, Dr. Luke, and their music machine continue to churn out hits.  EVENT: On Monday, October 5th, John Seabrook will be at Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217 at 7:30 P.M.  [...]Why The Pop Music Machine Is Dominated by the Swedes


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/lopate/lopate100215dpod.mp3