Brian Palmer

Brian Palmer writes about science, medicine, and the environment for Slate and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Email him at explainerbrian@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Explainer
Feb. 3 2014 3:17 PMWhat’s in “Bad Heroin”?The mysterious drug cocktail that may have killed Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Medical Examiner
Jan. 22 2014 11:52 PMCooking Up Cancer?It wouldn’t be crazy to give up grilled, smoked, or fried food.
Explainer
Dec. 19 2013 4:31 PMDo Whales Kill People?Most collisions between boats and whales are accidental. But not all.
Explainer
Dec. 16 2013 3:16 PMPaul Ryan Is the Early, Early Favorite in IowaWhat do polls years before an election really tell us?
Explainer
Nov. 19 2013 3:46 PMWas Brittany Murphy Poisoned?An iffy new autopsy report shows she had heavy metals in her hair.
Billion to One
Nov. 15 2013 8:08 AMBig-Bucks BacteriaIs there money to be found inside the human gut?
Future Tense
Oct. 23 2013 7:45 AMIn Sickness and in HealthMarriage may extend your life, but it also contributes to obesity.
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 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?
Medical Examiner
Jan. 30 2014 11:22 PMWhy Norovirus Is Such a MenaceThe amazing little pathogen does so much more than cause cruise-ship disease.
Medical Examiner
Jan. 15 2014 11:40 AMAlcoholics Anonymous vs. the DoctorsCould new addiction medications replace mutual-help groups?
Explainer
Dec. 17 2013 4:00 PMWould James Madison Have Agreed With Edward Snowden?What the Fourth Amendment originally meant.
Explainer
Nov. 20 2013 2:45 PMShould We Hold Thanksgiving Earlier?The economic impacts of this year’s shortened holiday season.
Explainer
Nov. 18 2013 5:22 PMHow Long Can You Hold Your Breath?The physical effects of training for world records and freediving.
Medical Examiner
Oct. 24 2013 11:41 AMRicky Schroder Tries to Be Erin BrockovichOrdinary people cannot detect cancer clusters. We should stop trying.
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.
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.

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TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.