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.

Explainer
May 1 2013 12:17 PMHow Do You Load a Cargo Plane?After a horrific crash in Afghanistan, a guide to positions, locks, and load masters.
Explainer
April 10 2013 3:15 PMThe World’s Most Indifferent BodyDo Senate debates ever change a senator’s mind?
Explainer
April 4 2013 3:12 PMHow a Bill Becomes Not a LawWhat happens to unconstitutional state laws? Can they just stay on the books forever?
Explainer
April 2 2013 3:17 PMCapital DecisionJames Holmes’ prosecutors will seek the death penalty. How do they decide that?
Explainer
March 28 2013 3:08 PMHow Good Is a $30,000 Bottle of Wine?Some are excellent, others undrinkable.
Explainer
March 22 2013 3:18 PMThere Goes the NeighborhoodWhat happens to your home’s value when a registered sex offender moves in next door?
Explainer
March 20 2013 3:44 PMOne Catholic, Two Catholics, Three Catholics ...Why can’t demographers agree about how many Catholics are in the United States?
Explainer
March 14 2013 3:45 PMUnus Pulmo What’s life like for a one-lunged pope?
Explainer
March 8 2013 12:53 PMIs Criminality Genetic?The family that preys together ...
Explainer
March 6 2013 9:41 AMWhy Did Hugo Chávez Hate the United States So Much?He once wielded a ceremonial gavel at the New York Stock Exchange.
Explainer
Feb. 27 2013 1:04 PMBig Breweries, Small BrewsWhy are American beers so weak?
Explainer
Feb. 21 2013 5:47 AMIs It True What They Say About Men With Big Feet?The difficulties of taking the true measure of a man.
Explainer
Feb. 15 2013 1:17 PMTax HolidayShould you stash your money in the Cayman Islands?
Explainer
Feb. 13 2013 1:39 PMHow Do You Win a Gunfight?With a fast hand.
Explainer
Feb. 7 2013 2:29 PMWhy Doesn’t the Postal Service Make Money?What do UPS and FedEx know that the USPS doesn’t?
Explainer
April 30 2013 6:01 PMKing MeWhy do so many European countries still have monarchs?
Explainer
April 9 2013 6:19 PMWeren’t We Supposed to Have Laser Guns by Now?Explaining the delay in 21st-century warfare.
Explainer
April 3 2013 4:41 PMSeriously, How Do You Get to Sesame Street?How professional puppeteers learn their trade.
Explainer
March 29 2013 2:01 PMWhen and Why Did We Stop Crucifying People?The slow death of an ancient torture method.
Explainer
March 27 2013 4:34 PMWon’t Somebody Think of the ChildrenDo opponents of marriage equality always claim that they’re merely worried about the kids?
Explainer
March 21 2013 3:32 PMNothing a Coat of Paint Can’t FixIs it legal to wear nothing but body paint in public?
Explainer
March 15 2013 5:51 PMWhy Do We Suspend Misbehaving Students?Don’t they want to go home?
Explainer
March 13 2013 1:20 PMToo High to LieCan truth serum prove that James Holmes is sane?
Explainer
March 7 2013 12:11 PMWhy Do Russians Love Ballet So Much?The country has conquered the ballet world.
Explainer
Feb. 28 2013 11:34 AMAmicus CuriousWill a Republican friend-of-the-court brief tip the Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage?
Explainer
Feb. 25 2013 3:47 PMWhy Don’t Americans (Knowingly) Eat Horse Meat?Horse meat has been found in Ikea’s Swedish meatballs.
Explainer
Feb. 20 2013 11:38 AMNot Guilty By Reason of GrogginessWe are confused when we wake up. Could Oscar Pistorius use that as a defense?
Explainer
Feb. 14 2013 1:54 PMBaseball Bats and Hammers Do Not Kill More People Than GunsWhy do people keep saying they do?
Explainer
Feb. 8 2013 2:56 PMGo Ask Your FatherWhy can’t an 18-year-old athlete sign a letter of intent?
Explainer
Feb. 6 2013 12:45 PMWhen Did God Get Into the Wedding Business?Civil unions probably pre-date religious marriage.

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But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 7:23 PM MIT Researchers Are Using Smartphones to Interact With Other Screens
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.