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Foreign goods wait to be unloaded at the Port of Los Angeles. AP Photo/Nick Ut

What is a tariff? An economist explains

President Trump recently imposed steep tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. An economist explains what they are, how they work and why they matter.
The former president, seen here with the highest paid basketball coach in the NCAA, was known for getting into March Madness. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

What is March Madness – and the nonprofit that manages the mayhem?

Every March, millions of Americans watch the NCAA's annual college basketball tournament, while millions more fill in brackets to win their office pool.
Festival-goers relaxing at the ‘Woodfordia’ sign at the Woodford Folk Festival in 2013. Marty Ollman/AAP

How folk music went from daggy to cool

Folk's emphasis on authenticity and community has renewed appeal in today's beard-friendly, organic-appreciating culture.
The Roman weekday ‘dies Veneris’ was named after the planet Venus, which in turn took its name from Venus, goddess of love. Detail from Venus and Mars, Botticelli, tempera on panel (c1483). Wikimedia Commons

Explainer: the gods behind the days of the week

The origins of our days of the week lie with the Romans. Three are named for planets, the other four gods.
Residents look at the damaged hotel ‘Ane Centro’ after a 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Matias Romero, Oaxaca, Mexico. Angel Hernandez/AAP

Explainer: after an earthquake, how does a tsunami happen?

A 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Mexico on 8 September 2017. Fortunately, initial fears of a damaging tsunami hitting the coastline now appear unfounded.
Lasers being shone from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. These lasers help remove the twinkles in the night sky and help astronomers see stars clearer on Earth than ever before. F. Kamphues/ESO

Curious Kids: Why do stars twinkle?

How exactly do the stars twinkle in the night sky? As it turns out, the answer is full of hot air... and cold air.
The evidence so far suggests off-label prescribing for insomnia places users at unnecessary risk of harm. Flavio Ronco/Flickr

Explainer: what is Seroquel and should you take it for insomnia?

Quetiapine, sold under the brand name Seroquel, is a short-acting antipsychotic drug to treat major mental illnesses. It has also been increasingly prescribed off-label for insomnia.
Throughout Australian history, previous parliaments have changed the legal understanding of marriage – none needed a plebiscite. AAP/Lukas Coch

Explainer: with no free vote for now, where next for marriage equality?

The government seems determined to give voters a voice on marriage equality, and equally determined not to be bound by what those voters say.
Earth, shot from space, as it absorbs and reflects rays of light coming from the Sun - the same white-looking rays that give our sky its colour. NASA

Curious Kids: Why is the sky blue and where does it start?

Some people think the sky is blue because of sunlight reflected off the ocean and back into the sky. But that's not the real reason.

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