Alia Hoyt

Contributing Writer

Alia is an Atlanta-based freelance writer who has contributed content to HowStuffWorks for going on a decade now, with a specialty in health writing. She’s also been published by TLC, Animal Planet, and a number of corporate clients. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), and might someday get around to setting up a professional website. Until then, check her out on LinkedIn.

She and her husband are proud parents to three handsome, too-smart-for-their-own-good boys. Alia is a passably not terrible tennis player, lover of all things dance and music, brownie-obsessed, avid reader and off-key car singer. Her two favorite types of people are those who have a healthy sense of humor and those who actually read articles in their entirety before posting comments.

Recent Contributions

What Is Probate and Can You Avoid It?

A lot of people don't like to think about death, which is why many estates go unplanned. But if someone dies without a will, their survivors may end up in a long expensive fight in probate court.

Capitalize This! The State Capitals Quiz

Every state has a capital city, which houses the government where all the legislative action happens. How much do you know about these capitals? Take our quiz to find out!

Cyanosis: Why Your Fingers Turn Blue

It might be OK for a Smurf to have blue fingers, but for the rest of us, it's something you don't want to see. Cyanosis is usually a sign of a bigger health problem.

NYC ClimateClock Counts Down Deadline to Climate Doomsday

Every minute, the time to do something about global warming gets shorter. In a move reminiscent of the Doomsday Clock, a new art installation, ClimateClock, aims to show this crisis visually.

Do Nootropics ('Smart Drugs') Actually Work?

Nootropics (also known as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers) are pills, supplements or beverages that are thought to enhance brain function. But experts caution on whether they really do anything.

When Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

Refinancing your mortgage may be a great way to lower your monthly bills, but you need to keep these points in mind.

Embracing Ennui: How Boredom Can Be Good for You

Everyone experiences boredom at some point and maybe even ennui, a chronic type of boredom. But surprisingly, ennui does have some benefits.

How to Choose the Best Trellis for Your Garden

If you don't already have a trellis working for you in your garden, you probably need one.

How Can I Tell Whether I Have Flu or COVID-19?

The symptoms for both are similar though there are a few differences. Treatment is also similar for mild cases of either. But severe cases of COVID are much more deadly, so how do you know what you have?

Thalassophobia: Do You Fear the Deep Ocean?

Should we blame this on the movie 'Jaws'? Many people have a fear of the ocean and what lies beneath it. How can you cope with this?

What Does Microneedling Do for Your Skin?

Touted as a way of stimulating new collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles or scars, microneedling is hot and trending. But is it safe?

Adopting a Pet Can Be Hard; We Have 8 Tips to Make It Easier

Although it may seem like there is no shortage of pets available for adoption, competition can be fierce for the more desired ones. Here are some ways to increase your chances of getting the pet you really want.

What Are Silverfish and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

You may have spotted these insects in your home. But are they bad to have around? And how do you get rid of them?

Foxglove: The Beautiful Bloom That's Good (and Bad) for Your Heart

This pretty flower has been known for centuries to have chemicals that can regulate your heartbeat but also poison you.

Would You Undergo Surgery Just to Be Taller?

Surgery to increase your height for cosmetic reasons is becoming more popular. But what's involved and should people do it?

How to Talk to Your Friends About Race and Remain Friends

Why do conversations about race get so awkward? And what are some ways to keep them friendly and productive?

The Wild Wild West Quiz

The Wild West is the stuff of legends, lore and awesome John Wayne movies. How much do you know about the days of saloons and standoffs?

How to Make Oobleck

Taking its name from a Dr. Seuss book, oobleck is a sticky green substance that changes from a liquid to a solid when pressure is applied — and is a great way to learn about non-Newtonian liquids.

Sacrebleu! It's the Foreign Phrases Quiz

A number of foreign phrases have permeated the English language. How fluent are you in these popular turns of phrase? Take our quiz to find out!

Why Professional Bakers Never Measure With Cups, Only Scales

While many home bakers, including most Americans, measure out flour and other ingredients with a cup, experts say you should ditch that cup for a scale. Here's why.