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Tag Archives | explainers

Why Wildfires Are Actually Helpful for the Environment

Wildfires scorch and blacken the Earth but turns out they’re actually essential for the environment and even good for the trees themselves. That’s right, this animation explainer from Ted-Ed explains how burning trees can actually help trees grow in the future. It’s because when trees overgrow they’ll have too thick of a canopy that’ll block […]

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How Nuke-Sniffing Air Force Planes Are Hunting for North Korea’s H-Bomb

Late last night, North Korea said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb , triggering a mini, human-made earthquake near the test site and causing the UN Security Council to call an emergency meeting. Hydrogen bombs are even more destructive than nuclear bombs, so it’s very scary—but experts think North Korea’s bluffing . How can we […]

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Most Popular Explainers of 2015

In between tips and how-tos, we also often do “explainers,” where we break down complicated topics into simple language. Our goal is to help you understand how these difficult topics work, and show you what you can do with the knowledge. Here are our best from the past year. Read more… Continue Reading from the […]

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Animation explains how tsunamis form and why they’re so scary

Waves come from the wind so tsunamis, which are basically bigger waves, must come from more wind, right? Not exactly. This cute animation explains that though normal waves are formed from above, tsunamis come from below from volcanic eruptions, landslides and earthquakes. They’re the real monsters of the sea. Read more… Continue Reading from the […]

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“Everything you need to know about X.” Why explaining the news is harder than it looks

Have you had something “explained” to you yet today? Chances are, you have. The last few weeks have brought the launch of three new sites designed to be companions to, rather than sources of, breaking news. The sites seek to boil down big stories by analyzing the data behind them, in the case of Nate Silver’s 538, or simply […]

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Ezra Klein’s Vox.com launches but it’s a bit undercooked

Vox.com, Ezra Klein’s general interest site that launched on Sunday night, looks a lot like the bastard child of BuzzFeed and Wikipedia. The site’s launch topics range from Obamacare to “Game of Thrones” and feature an eclectic mix of longer articles and listicles meant to help stories that normally appeal to insiders and experts find a wider audience. The site […]

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