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How umami became the fifth basic taste

A biopsychologist explains what mushrooms, burgers, tomatoes, and aged hard cheese all have in common.

In 2018, movies didn’t just feature strong women. They shoved men aside.

From Mary Queen of Scots to Roma, this year’s movies flipped the script on men.

The Geminid meteor shower — one of the best of the year — peaks Thursday and Friday

Fragments from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon will burn brightly in the sky.

Daily Podcast

Today, Explained


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Wait, why did Canada arrest a Chinese CFO?

Canada arrested a Chinese executive at the request of the United States this week. It may set off a whole new Cold War.

The Latest

A woman died of a brain-eating amoeba infection. The suspect: her neti pot.

Scaling up good ideas is really, really hard — and we’re starting to figure out why

The Supreme Court’s surprising decision on Planned Parenthood, explained

A groundbreaking antitrust lawsuit is ensnaring the generic drug industry

Advent, explained

The Trump administration’s tone-deaf school lunch move

Trump is having a tough time finding his next chief of staff

The problem with beach nourishment

Trump makes a desperate attempt to downplay illegal payments to women

The controversy over Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’s wedding, explained

Good riddance to John Kelly

What’s left of affirmative action, explained

Why willpower is overrated

Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at its fastest rate in centuries

Why the cast of Vanderpump Rules will sell you anything

The Trump-era threat to democracy is the opposite of populism

From Vox Media

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House Intelligence Dems will look into Trump-Russia — and these 4 other things

The 2018 midterms had the highest turnout since before World War I

The somewhat absurd controversy over Maine’s ranked choice voting system, explained

Trump lashes out at “Leakin’ James Comey” over details in a publicly available transcript

Do you burn more calories exercising in the cold? Here’s what the science says.

My advice for aspiring explainer journalists

My Brilliant Friend offers Elena an escape — then yanks it away

On SNL, Robert De Niro’s “boogeyman” Mueller is scaring Eric Trump

Saudi Arabia reportedly saw Jared Kushner as an impressionable target

There is always a Trump tweet, chiefs of staff edition

Trump is using the Paris protests to push his anti-Paris Agreement agenda

John Kelly is out as White House chief of staff, Trump announces

Trump responds to Mueller’s damning new filings: “NO COLLUSION”

Trump’s ties to the Russian mafia go back 3 decades

“Witch hunts” explained, from Salem to Donald Trump

What we know about the alleged election fraud plot in North Carolina

How the Avengers: Endgame trailer hints that Captain Marvel will save the day (and Iron Man)

Trump names Army Gen. Mark Milley as new chair of the Joint Chiefs

Netflix’s Dumplin’ sweetly celebrates teen girls and Dolly Parton

Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Cohen is very ominous for Trump

Vox Sentences: Ebola strikes again in Congo

Trump directed Michael Cohen to make illegal hush money payments, prosecutors claim

Read: Mueller’s new filing accusing Paul Manafort of lying to the government