Please Explain (The Leonard Lopate Show)

Please Explain (The Leonard Lopate Show)

From WNYC Radio

Please Explain, where Leonard Lopate and a guest get to the bottom of one complex issue. History, science, politics, pop culture or anything that needs some explanation!More from Please Explain (The Leonard Lopate Show) »

Most Recent Episodes

Why Can't You Just Stop?

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.

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

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, 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.

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

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 Facebook, or leave us a message on Anchor.

Listening to Body Language

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!

Oh, the Things Our Bodies Would Say

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!

Why Fat Is So Misunderstood

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!

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

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!

A Deep Dive into Aquariums

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!

What's Keeping You Up at Night?

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!

Behold the Wonders of Butter

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).

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