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.

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.
Explainer
June 6 2013 4:01 PMPeople v. NSAWho represents the public at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court?
Explainer
June 4 2013 4:06 PMWill Your Dog Mourn Your Death?Or just hop into the next warm lap?
Explainer
May 29 2013 3:54 PMYou Dropped a Bong on MeCould Amanda Bynes have killed someone by tossing glassware out of a 36th-floor window?
Explainer
May 24 2013 10:36 AMHow Accurate Are AAA’s Travel Forecasts?Fact-checking the prediction that 31.2 million people will drive to Memorial Day destinations.
Explainer
May 22 2013 2:03 PM“A Peculiar Moaning Sound”How did people describe the sound of a tornado before the advent of trains?
Explainer
May 16 2013 2:54 PMWhat “Social Welfare” Work Do Tea Party Groups Perform?Does Karl Rove hold bake sales?
Explainer
May 14 2013 3:37 PMTaxing One’s EnemiesA brief history of scandals at the IRS.
Explainer
May 10 2013 8:18 AMDon’t School Bus Drivers Undergo Background Checks?Ariel Castro had run-ins with the police. Why was he allowed to drive children?
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?
Explainer
June 7 2013 11:55 AMThe Geneva SuspensionStaff Sgt. Robert Bales killed 16 Afghan civilians. Why wasn’t he charged with war crimes?
Explainer
June 5 2013 3:28 PMWhy Are Roses the Most Famous Flower?We could just as easily have a White House Petunia Garden, right?
Explainer
May 30 2013 2:56 PMDid Hitler Invent the Hitler Mustache?How popular was the style in Nazi Germany?
Explainer
May 28 2013 5:51 PMEmergency Exit Doors on Airplanes Are Locked?They don’t say that in the safety video!
Explainer
May 23 2013 1:06 PMHow Do You Fake Your Own Death?First, buy a boat.
Explainer
May 21 2013 12:35 PMCan a City be a Tornado Magnet?Moore, Okla., may be one of the unluckiest cities in the country, but it’s not alone.
Explainer
May 15 2013 3:26 PMWhy Is There So Much Salt in Processed Foods?Because salt is delicious.
Explainer
May 10 2013 11:10 AMAre Tiger Mothers (Literally, Tiger Mothers) Good Mothers?Measuring big cats against Amy Chua’s high maternal standards.
Explainer
May 9 2013 12:54 PMInvestigative IntuitionDo psychics ever solve crimes? Why do police consult them?

READ MORE STORIES

  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Nov. 25 2014 3:21 PM Listen to Our November Music Roundup Hot tracks for our fall playlist, exclusively for Slate Plus members.