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The Explainer

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3.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
What happens to recalled meat?
What's the difference between a serial killer and a spree killer?
How do you stop a lava flow?
Does homeowner's insurance cover murder?
And what is Ovaltine anyway?
Answers to these and other fascinating questions you never thought to ask, from the writers at Slate Magazine
An entertaining and genuinely informative compilation of answers to some
...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 9th 2004 by Anchor Books (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Remo
Mar 04, 2012 Remo rated it really liked it

Los escritores de la Slate Magazine se preguntan unos a otros sobre cosas de sus artículos. ¿Por qué había soldados americanos en Irak con uniformes de camuflaje verde en vez de marrón? ¿Qué le pasa a la carne que retiran de los supermercados? ¿Qué es la Ley de Moore? ¿Por qué a algunas empresas en bolsa se les llama Blue chips? Una vez a la semana, cada uno de los redactores tiene que hacer de “Explicador” y contarles a los demás los resultados de sus pesquisas. Es como una serie de consultori

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Kirsti
Feb 24, 2008 Kirsti rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Can the pope retire? (Yes, but it hasn't happened voluntarily since 1294.)

Where did tarot cards come from? (Northern Italy in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century; they were used to play a bridge-like game called tarocchi)

Where did the phrase "pie in the sky" come from? (Lyrics by IWW member Joe Hill)

Is there really such a thing as a "water landing" when traveling on an airplane? (Yes, but it is probably not survivable.)

What happens to recalled meat? (It goes into landfills or becomes
...more
Sarah-Anne
What happens to recalled meat?
What’s the difference between a serial killer and a spree killer?
How do you stop a lava flow?
Does homeowner’s insurance cover murder?
And what is Ovaltine anyway?

Answers to these and other fascinating questions you never thought to ask, from the writers at Slate Magazine

An entertaining and genuinely informative compilation of answers to some of life's most improbable questions, from the writers of the online magazine Slate. Often inspired by events in the news, the “
...more
Joe
Aug 06, 2009 Joe rated it liked it
This book is a compilation of articles from Slate's "Explainer" column, with a small amount of additional explanation added to some questions.

I generally really like this sort of book, with answers to random questions. Unfortunately, this wasn't really a great example of the genre. The book itself isn't that thick -- I ran through it in a few casual days -- and the answers are so-so: they give some explanation, but nothing very in-depth.

The best part about this book was that it includes a number
...more
Susan
Jul 23, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: trivia buffs and news junkies
Shelves: nonfiction-adult
The good people at Slate Magazine crack open the questions people have after the headlines hit and overall they really do a bang-up job with it. The only slightly annoying thing that stuck with me was that there seemed to be an undercurrent of Clinton bashing, that became a bit distracting after the fourth reference or so. It's hard to deny Bill Clinton's history of newsworthiness, but his name (and foibles) were worked into the answers to questions that did not directly relate back to him enoug ...more
David
Feb 09, 2012 David rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a short, fun book about--well, practically everything. The book collects a very wide range of random questions--many of them are trivia, while some are weightier. Each question gets answered in a page or so, and the answers all seem to be well-researched and understandable. I loved the questions, "Inmates can't vote. So why can they run for congress?", "Is there cocaine on your money?", and "Can you kill someone twice?"
Eric
Jan 23, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it
This is the ultimate quick read giving you the ability to pick the "explained" topics you wish. I learned something on every page and had a good time reading it. A broad set of areas but I found the best ones having to do with law and institutions.
Jen Dee
Jul 27, 2013 Jen Dee rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for trivial information, so this book is perfect for me. Answers tons of questions I didn't know I had... Based off the column of the same name on Slate's online magazine.
Howard
Mar 03, 2008 Howard rated it it was ok
About midway between Ripley's Believe It Or Not and The Straight Dope.
Craig Cottingham
Jan 18, 2008 Craig Cottingham rated it liked it
#4 for 2008.
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