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After this episode, you’ll be able to explain how quantum mechanics affects everything from the way your jeans are cut to the headphones you use. Cindy Zhi/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

Trust Me, I’m An Expert: The explainer episode

The explainer episode. The Conversation, CC BY67.5 MB (download)
Today on Trust me, I'm An Expert, we're explaining the tricky topics: what is quantum mechanics? What does the research say about lone actor terrorism? And why do people like pimple popping videos?
People are bad at weighing risk, which is why so many Americans don’t get flu shots. AP Photo/David Goldman

How to deal with life’s risks more rationally

People have to make countless decisions on a daily basis that involve some degree of risk, from boarding a plane to crossing the street. The trouble is most of us don't weigh risk well.
Adios Raúl, hola Miguel. smael Francisco/Courtesy of Cubadebate/Handout via Reuters

Cuba’s getting a new president

Miguel Díaz-Canel, a 57-year-old engineer and Communist Party loyalist, is expected to succeed Raúl Castro as president of Cuba. Will change bring prosperity or instability to the Cuban people?
Foreign goods wait to be unloaded at the Port of Los Angeles. AP Photo/Nick Ut

What is a tariff? An economist explains

A global trade war seems well underway as China and the US exchange targeted tariff attacks. 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.

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