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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, 23 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Copyright: WNYC

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

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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

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Is Cursive Obsolete? The Writing May be on the Wall

Fri, 21 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0400

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! 

The Birds of New York City

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Eight Armed Mischief: The Deeply Intelligent Octopus

Fri, 14 Aug 2015 14:34:55 -0400

There are around 300 species of octopuses and their strength and knowledge combine to make them a serious force to be reckoned with... instead of merely a summer appetizer.

Sy Montgomery discusses her latest book The Soul of an Octopus for this week’s Please Explain. Montgomery immersed herself in the world of octopuses at the New England Aquarium, the reefs of French Polynesia, and the Gulf of Mexico. She befriended several of these creatures, revealing their strikingly different personalities. She also discusses how scientists are learning more about the deep intellect of these creatures, despite having a hard time measuring this intelligence. Octopuses have been known to escape their enclosures or spray researchers that they don’t like, and generally have a reputation for misbehaving. 

And don't forget to check out a compilation of the best octopus occupations, assembled by the Lopate team.

Eight Armed Mischief: The Deeply Intelligent Octopus

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