Explainer

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Visitors look at the painting The Visit from 1939 by Paul Delvaux during the 2011 exhibition Surrealism in Paris. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Explainer: Surrealism

As the longest-running avant-garde movement of the 20th century, Surrealism's scope and richness is perhaps unparalleled in its influence of modern art and culture.
The foot is the basic unit for what we consider to be romantic and beautiful: poetry. Khánh Hmoong

Explainer: poetic metre

Poetic terminology can be alienating, off-putting. Whispering "dactylic hexameter" in people's ears won't necessarily tempt them into reading heroic verse. But there is hope – and poetry – for us all.
Some voters in New South Wales may be forced to vote in a different electorate at the next federal election following a recent redistribution. AAP/Paul Miller

Explainer: how do seat redistributions work?

Any redistribution of electoral boundaries may significantly impact how parties are represented in the parliament. But how does Australia’s system of changing seat boundaries actually work?
Jazz was the most influential musical movement of the 20th century. What’s its story? The Count Basie Orchestra.

Explainer: the history of jazz

Jazz evolved from the fringes of American society into one of the most influential, and enduring, musical movements of the 20th century. How did it get from what it was to what it is now?
Magical realism has evolved into a heavily, and ironically, political literary form. Berli Mike

Explainer: magical realism

With roots in post first world war paintings of empty European cities, magical realism has evolved into a heavily, and ironically, political literary form.
The gender binary does not adequately describe the experience of people who identify as genderqueer. Black Hill Design/www.shutterstock.com

Explainer: what is genderqueer?

Germaine Greer's comments that "post-operative transgender men are not women" have provoked outcry from transgender activists. So let's have a meaningful discussion about gender, sex and the complex relationship between the two.
Early necrotising fasciitis is easily missed because the symptoms – fever, pain, swelling and tenderness at the affected site – may be non-specific or confused with a mild, superficial infection. Zurijeta/Shutterstock

Explainer: what causes necrotising fasciitis, the flesh-eating bug?

Port Melbourne VFL player Sam O'Sullivan is reportedly recovering in hospital after being infected with the flesh-eating disease "necrotising myositis".
When we speak of writer’s block, we may actually be talking about a ‘creation block’. M Yashna

Coming up blank: the science of writer’s block

The dreaded blank page haunts every writer. But what happens in your brain when you run dry? And, more importantly, what – if anything – can be done about it?
Allergies are becoming more frequent in the western world. Al Fed/Flickr

What are allergies and why are we getting more of them?

Allergies are reactions caused by the immune system as it responds to environmental substances that are usually harmless. But we don't yet have a cure or the ability to prevent them from developing.
Ideally, all states and territories would have consistent laws based on Victorian legislation. Juanedc/Flickr

Explainer: is abortion legal in Australia?

Abortion is a safe medical procedure, yet half of Australian women may have difficulty accessing a termination because they live in states and territories that designate it a crime.

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