Slate has a regular (well, actually more of an irregular) column entitled Explainer, which is kind of a political Straight Dope with half the wit but three times the relevance. Recent columns have tackled such questions as Can the Phrase ‘Let’s Roll!’ Be Trademarked?, Why Do We Have A Fifth Amendment?, and What Happens To Your Confiscated Nailclippers? An archive of Explainer columns can be found here.

Slate carries another column called Medical Examiner, which is essential just Explainer set in a hospital. Today’s entry is riveting, and documents the growing evidence that children can acquire Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder and Tourette’s syndrome from that most ubiquitous of childhood ailments, strep throat.