Leonard Lopate - Please Explain
Cockroaches: They've Been Around Forever, And They...08/28/15
Our latest Please Explain is all about cockroaches! Even as our efforts to exterminate them have developed into ever more complex forms of chemical warfare, roaches’ basic design of six legs, two hypersensitive antennae, and one set of voracious...
The Birds of New York City
For this week's Please Explain, we'll get a guided tour of New York's bird life, neighborhood by neighborhood. Leslie Dayand Beth Bergman talk about the diverse birds living in the city, from Staten Island to the Bronx, from Central ParktoBorough...
Eight Armed Mischief: The Deeply Intelligent Octopus
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 bookThe Soul of an Octopusfor this week’s...
Why Leave Home After 5,000 Years?
The American Southwest is a land of great mystery. One of the most baffling riddles is why the ancient native tribes of the Four Corners, having occupied the region for more than 5,000 years, abandoned their homeland in the 14th century. David...
Guest Picks: Eleni Mandell
Singer/songwriterEleni Mandellperformed selections from her latest album, “Dark Lights Up” live in our studio.Check out some of her favoritefilms, music, and food! What have you read or seen over the past year (book, play, film, etc…) that moved or...
What is Meat? Changing the Answer Might Change the Planet.
Industrial agriculture and livestockare big contributors to greenhouse gasses. Makingone hamburger requires hundreds ofgallons of water. As more studies highlight the environmental impact of meat, somescientists and entrepreneurs are rethinking meat...
A Beginner's Guide To Kosher And Halal Food
Why isn't New York City's tap water kosher? What makes thecorner gyro stand halal? Where do the two standards agree and what sets them apart? For today's Please Explain we dive into the rules and regulations of dietary laws. We are talking to Lara...
The Weapon In Your Kitchen
Knives have evolved and been domesticated over the years. Predating the fork and spoon, the earliest knives were used as weapons. But as our culture (and culinary tastes) developed over the centuries, so didthe ways we use our knives, as didour...
Pulling the Perfect Shot
The arrival of the humble espresso marked a dramatic shift in the way people consumed caffeine across the world, andwhen espresso and espresso-based drinks became popular in the United States, coffee culture was forever changed. For this week’s Please...
Understanding those 4th of July Missiles That Explode Into...
Each 4th of July many of us crowd on rooftops, waterfronts and around televisions to watch the explosive magic of fireworks. Although large, professional pyrotechnic displays are a favorite, some people also enjoy setting off fireworks on their own....
The Secrets of Ramen
Ivan Orkin knows his Ramen.His restaurants have been named one of the ten best by Pete Wellsat The New York Times, and Ryan Sutton wrote in Eater that his Ramen is so good "it will make your eyes explode."He talks to us about his secrets for making...
The Fats and Oils That Give You the Perfect Meal
For today's Please Explain, we’ll talk cooking with fats and oils. Picking the right cooking oil is crucial when cooking,andoils vary in their health properties. As delicious as that coconut oil or schmaltz is, it might not be the best for your...
From Fast Food to Foie Gras: The Rise of the Burger
The hamburgerused to bethe symbol, and cornerstone, offast food, and all the illsassociated with it. But as themovement for fresh, organic, locally sourced food rose, so didthe lowly hamburger. For this week's Please Explain, we are talking all about...
Unclipping The History Behind Our Office Supplies
Office supplies. Cluttered around your desk,holding notes and lists, they seem not only indispensable, but universal. But there is a hidden history behind thesticky note, the stapler, and the paper clip. James Ward,the cofounder of The Stationery...
Cults have been around for thousandsof years, and they exist throughout the world, but when news reports break about a cult, it often seems like they have sprung up out of nowhere. For this week's Please Explain, we will beexamining the world of...
From Lobo to Fido: The Story of Domestication
Evolution is commonly seen as a process that happens in the wild, far away from human involvement. But humans and animals have evolved alongside each other for ages. The reason your dog understands you so well is largely due to evolution, and...
The Human Threats to The Livelihood of Birds
Please Explain this week is all about birds: how human activity is drivingseveralspecies to extinction, and what some people are doing to try and change that. Douglas Kass and Roger Kass, directors of the film Emptying the Skies, discuss the fate of...
Neil deGrasse Tyson Gives Dark Matter a New Name: 'Fred'
Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson joins us for Please Explain: The Cosmos! Most recently, he’s the host of National Geographic Channel’s first-ever late-night series, StarTalk. Based on Tyson’s incredibly popular podcast of the same name, the new...
The Sweet Adelines and The Lustre Quartet Explain The...
Members of TheSweet Adelines and the Lustre Quartetjoin usfor this week's Please Explain, which is all about barbershop quartets!
The Conservation Efforts Trying to Keep Frogs From Going...
In 2009, a frog was discovered in a rain forest in Ecuadorthat changed its skin texture from smooth to spiky,and in 2014,a new species of frog was found in Staten Island.
- Ithaca, NY
160 Varick St.
New York, NY 10013212-433-9692
More informationEvery week, Leonard Lopate and a guest get to the bottom of one complex issue that you’ve always wanted to know about. History, science, politics, pop culture, cats or anything that needs some explanation.
WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, Freakonomics Radio and many others. Find these and more great shows at wnyc.org