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Explainers

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What are the stages of puberty and are they a good measure of sporting power?
Explainer
LGBTQ

What are the stages of puberty and are they a good measure of sporting power?

New rules affecting transgender women athletes in elite swimming have sparked controversy. What do they have to do with the stages of puberty? And what does the science say?

  • by Wendy Tuohy

Latest

Why do people queue for brunch?
Explainer
Food culture

Why do people queue for brunch?

On weekends across Australia, you’ll see them: the long queues outside feted eateries. Some cafes try to make long queues happen on purpose. What are they thinking?

  • by Osman Faruqi and Carla Jaeger
Our fast guide to the energy crisis and what you can do about it
Explainer
Energy

Our fast guide to the energy crisis and what you can do about it

How did we get here? Will price caps help households? And where will it end?

  • by Nick O'Malley and Angus Thomson
What are the Capitol riot hearings all about?
Explainer
US politics

What are the Capitol riot hearings all about?

The hearings aim to show that Donald Trump was central to a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 US election results. But how do they work?

  • by Farrah Tomazin
Top picks from the explainer desk

Top picks from the explainer desk

From world politics to sport and time travel, national explainer editor Felicity Lewis offers these recommendations for winter reading.

  • by Felicity Lewis
Where did all the power go? What caused the east coast energy crisis?
Explainer
Gas

Where did all the power go? What caused the east coast energy crisis?

A combination of forces has sent energy prices soaring. And now there’s talk of blackouts too. How did it come to this?

  • by Josh Gordon
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What’s stagflation, and what would it mean for you?
Explainer
Inflation

What’s stagflation, and what would it mean for you?

Big in the ’70s and ’80s, talk of stagflation has reared its head again. What is it, and are we heading for a new era of it?

  • by Clancy Yeates
What is monkeypox and should we be worried?
Explainer
Monkeypox

What is monkeypox and should we be worried?

Monkeypox has been recorded in Australia for the first time. What is it?

  • by Sherryn Groch
We’re now in the ‘age of pandemics’. Can we stop the next one?

We’re now in the ‘age of pandemics’. Can we stop the next one?

What needs to happen to avert another virus-borne global tragedy? We ask the scientist who helped discover Ebola, a Nobel laureate, and the man who first published COVID-19’s genetic code.

  • by Sherryn Groch
Food shortages, violence, economic ruin: How did things get so bad in Sri Lanka?
Explainer
Sri Lanka

Food shortages, violence, economic ruin: How did things get so bad in Sri Lanka?

How bad is the crisis in Sri Lanka? And what lies ahead for the island nation?

  • by Chris Barrett
‘I’m so OCD’ is a throwaway refrain. What actually is OCD, and how does it feel?
Explainer
Mental health

‘I’m so OCD’ is a throwaway refrain. What actually is OCD, and how does it feel?

More than half a million Australians suffer with OCD. How does it affect their everyday lives, and what are the treatments?

  • by Billie Eder