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. 6 2013 12:45 PMWhen Did God Get Into the Wedding Business?Civil unions probably pre-date religious marriage.
Explainer
Feb. 5 2013 12:32 PMPancakes: It’s What’s Not for DinnerWhy do we eat pancakes only for breakfast?
Explainer
Jan. 31 2013 12:29 PMDo Corporate Name Changes Ever Work?BlackBerry joins Sony, Exxon, Datsun, and Unisys in an expensive gamble.
Explainer
Jan. 28 2013 1:28 PMUncle Sam Might Want YouWill women have to register for the next military draft?
Explainer
Jan. 24 2013 6:26 PMCan States Exile People?“I hereby sentence you to life in Virginia, without parole.”
Explainer
Jan. 22 2013 2:13 PMCongratulations, Mr. President. And Thanks for the Cheez-Its.A mini-Explainer on how much the inauguration cost, and who paid for it.
Explainer
Jan. 17 2013 12:03 PMBureau of Bad HabitsWhy does the same agency regulate alcohol, tobacco, and firearms?
Explainer
Jan. 4 2013 4:26 PMCan Colin Powell Really Be Speaker of the House?Plus, why John Boehner might not be in line for the presidency.
Explainer
Jan. 2 2013 2:05 PMDemocracy or GerontocracyIs Congress getting older?
Explainer
Dec. 26 2012 11:35 AMCapitol Christmas GiftsDo ethics rules ruin Christmas for our legislators?
Explainer
Dec. 20 2012 3:45 PMIs the Second Amendment the Second Most Important?The order of the Bill of Rights is an argument for gun control.
Explainer
Dec. 18 2012 5:49 PMWhere Can I Fire My Gun?A mini-Explainer on how states regulate the discharge of firearms.
Explainer
Dec. 17 2012 3:26 PMIs John Boehner Allowed To Lower the Flag to Half-Staff?A mini-Explainer on who controls the height of Old Glory.
Explainer
Dec. 13 2012 4:14 PMWhose Smile Is It, Anyway?Can researchers reconstruct the smile of the real Mona Lisa from skeletal remains?
Explainer
Dec. 12 2012 3:16 PMAll the Pontiff’s MenHow do you get a job on a Vatican council?
Faith-based
Feb. 5 2013 3:20 PMMy Name Is Jehovah, and I’ll Be Taking Care of You TonightWhy do we pay waiters more than God?
Explainer
Feb. 1 2013 2:44 PMFido Seeking FidoIf your dog has gay sex, does that make him a gay dog?
Explainer
Jan. 30 2013 11:52 AMDocumenting the UndocumentedHow do you count unauthorized immigrants?
Explainer
Jan. 25 2013 1:12 PMIs It Safe to Eat Damaged Fruit?How to deal with a bruised banana.
Explainer
Jan. 23 2013 3:38 PMIs There Anything Left To Sanction in North Korea?A guide to doing business legally with the hermit kingdom.
Explainer
Jan. 18 2013 3:06 PMNeither Snow Nor Rain Nor Steep Hills ...Why did the U.S. Postal Service sponsor a cycling team?
Explainer
Jan. 16 2013 1:29 PMGuard DogDoes the Secret Service protect Bo Obama?
Explainer
Jan. 3 2013 3:59 PMBeer Barrel PoliticsWhen did alcohol become so heavily taxed?
Explainer
Dec. 27 2012 11:40 AMHow Many Times Can You Recycle a Piece of Paper?And why does China buy your crumpled Christmas-present wrappings?
Explainer
Dec. 21 2012 1:06 PMWhat Would Jesus Burn?Whatever happened to frankincense and myrrh?
Explainer
Dec. 19 2012 4:08 PMDoes Anyone Still Practice the Mayan Religion?If the world ends Friday, someone should get to take the credit.
Explainer
Dec. 18 2012 3:33 PMWhy Is the NRA So Powerful?How the gun lobby leverages modest resources into outsized influence.
Explainer
Dec. 14 2012 3:43 PMWhat Did Kids Read Before Hans Christian Andersen?Homer, among other things.
Explainer
Dec. 12 2012 4:51 PMWhy Are Anti-Union Laws Called “Right To Work”?A mini-Explainer on the history of management’s favorite political catchphrase.
Explainer
Dec. 11 2012 1:49 PMIs It Better To See a Younger Doctor or an Older Doctor?A mini-Explainer on youth versus experience in medical practice.

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