Chris Opfer has written about everything from genetically-modified rats on the Galapagos Islands to Middle Eastern barbers who use homemade flame throwers to cut hair. His work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Village Voice, New York Magazine, Pacific Standard and American Way, among other publications. Chris is a graduate of James Madison University and currently based in New York City.

Recent Contributions

It may not look like much, but this little piece of wristwear is very useful in a bind. Unlike other jewelry, it can help you get dinner, stop blood or make a shelter.

By Chris Opfer

On the fourth Thursday in November, Americans will gather to eat turkey and sweet potatoes, just like that first Thanksgiving ... Actually, not like that first dinner. Join us as we debunk some of the many Thanksgiving myths.

By Chris Opfer

Maybe you could care less about grammar. After all, it's a doggy-dog world? No. That might sound right, but it's one of 10 common phrases people say wrong.

By Chris Opfer

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Fight or flight aren't the only possible responses to an emergency situation. Flight can actually sometimes make the problem worse. When is trying to run a really bad idea?

By Chris Opfer

As you leave home on a winter morning, you may wonder whether to turn off your heat, turn it down or let it maintain a cozy temperature. Which will save the most energy and money? The answer might surprise you.

By Chris Opfer

The term "semi-automatic weapon" is used in the U.S. media often. But what does it really mean? Is it just another term for a machine gun?

By Chris Opfer

Who's the worst in the restroom? The person who drips on the seat, talks on the phone or hogs the mirror? We put all three – and some others – on our list of annoyances.

By Chris Opfer

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Jackie Robinson is rightfully lauded for breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947. But there were many unsung players who paved the way for Robinson's momentous breakthrough.

By Chris Opfer

That bully who tormented you in school might not seem to have changed much when he put you down at the 10-year reunion. But he's practically a whole new person.

By Chris Opfer

Welcome to Yellowstone, a natural wonderland that's home to stunning vistas, vibrant plant and animal life ... and a massive and potentially devastating supervolcano.

By Chris Opfer

The core of our planet is about as hot as the sun. Could it ever cool down? That's one thing you don't want to happen.

By Chris Opfer

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Baseball, taxes and unconscionable acts of mass violence. That's what April has been all about in recent decades. Are there really more acts of terrorism in April and if so, why?

By Chris Opfer

With all the Internet spying going on out there, it seems like it would be easy to know who's viewing your Facebook profile. Lots of apps promise they can, but can they really?

By Nathan Chandler, Garth Sundem & Chris Opfer

So maybe you don't have a great credit history, or you're having trouble coming up with a down payment. Renting to own is one way to become a homeowner -- but it has its pitfalls.

By Sarah Siddons & Chris Opfer

If you're contracted to work for a company, the money you receive is called "nonemployee compensation." You might just call it cash. Why does the name matter?

By Chris Opfer

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The Americas have been hit with some major hurricanes throughout the decades. But which were the worst ones in history?

By Chris Opfer & Sarah Gleim

The oceans are rising, and they're threatening to take down some of the world's brightest cultural gems. Here are 10 of the most notable spots endangered by climate change.

By Chris Opfer

These destinations are definitely for folks drawn to the dark side of life.

By Chris Opfer

Not only do bug zappers mostly kill beneficial insects, they also can serve you up a side of bacteria with your burger.

By Chris Opfer

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Climate change and industrial activity are wiping out large sections of the world's largest rainforest.

By Chris Opfer

Literary heavyweight Ambrose Bierce mysteriously disappeared in 1914 leaving behind a trail of myths and legends, but little evidence as to his fate.

By Chris Opfer

There's a fascinating story behind how punk, both the music and the cultural movement, spanned the globe, becoming way more than just a sound and a mohawk.

By Chris Opfer

St. Vincent, one of indie rock's female pioneers, helped design a guitar that some say is a perfect female fit.

By Chris Opfer

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A new study offers some insight into the possible health effects of edible marijuana.

By Chris Opfer

John and Horace Dodge were early investors in the Ford Motor Company, but the relationship quickly devolved into the feud of a lifetime.

By Chris Opfer