Brian Palmer

Brian Palmer is Slate's chief explainer. He also writes How and Why and Ecologic for the Washington Post. Email him at explainerbrian@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Medical Examiner
Oct. 16 2013 10:49 AMWhy Are So Many Kids Getting Myopia?Spending too much time indoors may impair children’s vision.
Medical Examiner
Sept. 12 2013 5:25 AMA Dog’s LifeAn infectious disease forces us to consider how many dogs a human life is worth.
Medical Examiner
Aug. 20 2013 5:45 AMThe Case Against the Annual CheckupGoing to the doctor when you’re not sick does more harm than good.
Rivalries
Aug. 13 2013 5:45 AM1,776 Feet. What a Letdown.The Manhattan skyline is a monument to competitive spirit. So why did One World Trade Center settle for fourth place?
Rivalries
Aug. 2 2013 2:49 PMHow Much Is a Sports Rivalry Worth?The economics of crosstown hatred.
Science
July 25 2013 11:58 AMWhich U.S. City Has the Worst Drivers?A Slate investigation.
Explainer
July 17 2013 2:43 PMWhy Do We Drink Lemonade When It’s Hot Out?The role of acidity in quenching thirst.
Medical Examiner
July 16 2013 4:04 PMThe New York Times Teaches the ControversyBoth sides are not equal when it comes to chronic Lyme disease.
Explainer
July 10 2013 2:31 PMThe C-Free DietIf we didn’t have California, what would we eat?
Explainer
July 9 2013 1:37 PMDo Airlines Retire Flight Numbers After Crashes?Asiana Flight 214 is still flying between Seoul and San Francisco.
Explainer
July 2 2013 2:57 PMWhat’s Life Like in an Airport Transit Zone?Where does Edward Snowden sleep? Can he get a Cinnabon?
Explainer
June 26 2013 2:47 PMIs This What Brown v. Board Felt Like?Comparing public reaction to the gay marriage and school desegregation cases.
Explainer
June 20 2013 4:08 PMWho Gets to Name New Diseases?The tangled origins of a deadly new virus called MERS-CoV.
Explainer
June 18 2013 3:45 PMCan You Inhale Calories?The dietary impacts of smoking alcohol.
Explainer
June 12 2013 4:28 PMInto AfricaHow would a captive chimpanzee fare in the wild?
Human Genome
Sept. 30 2013 11:45 PMWhere Are All the Miracle Drugs?The human genome was sequenced about 13 years ago. We were supposed to have major medical advances in a decade.
Moneybox
Sept. 4 2013 1:39 PMDitch Your Loyalty CardsLong receipts filled with coupons and free sandwich giveaways are a crutch for bad businesses.
Medical Examiner
Aug. 15 2013 7:42 AMBring on the Foreign DoctorsThey’re just as good as the homegrown variety. So why don’t we let them practice here?
Explainer
Aug. 5 2013 3:39 PMWhat Happens in Racial Sensitivity Training?How counselors will try to talk the racism out of Riley Cooper.
Science
July 30 2013 12:08 PMI Wish I Was a Little Bit ShorterThe research is clear: Being tall is hazardous to your health.
Explainer
July 18 2013 3:05 PMHow Accurate Are Juries?Your peers are far from infallible.
Explainer
July 16 2013 6:51 PMDo Other Countries Have “Stand Your Ground” Laws?Or do they require you to slowly back away?
Explainer
July 11 2013 3:41 PMHey, You! Get off of My Cloud!How much of the airspace above your home do you own?
Moneybox
July 9 2013 2:51 PMTipping Is an AbominationHere’s how to get rid of it.
Explainer
July 3 2013 3:00 PMFourth of July, Independence Day, Independent Day ...What are we supposed to call this holiday?
Explainer
June 27 2013 1:27 PMWhy Don’t U.S. Senators Hold Old-Fashioned Filibusters Anymore?Plus: If you can’t stand up, can you still filibuster?
Explainer
June 25 2013 4:03 PMHow Does SCOTUS Schedule Its Decisions?Do the justices save the big cases for last to create suspense?
Explainer
June 19 2013 2:29 PMWhich Is Safer: City Streets or Prison?Prison.
Explainer
June 13 2013 3:53 PMWhat Happens When You Defy a Secret Government Order?You have a secret trial and pay a secret fine.
Explainer
June 11 2013 1:22 PMShould Edward Snowden Have Had a Security Clearance?Everyone knew he advocated online privacy.

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