Dave Roos

Contributing Writer

Dave is a freelance journalist who has contributed hundreds of articles to HowStuffWorks since 2007. Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dave attended Duke University where he earned the B.A. in comparative religious studies that has served him so well. Dave began freelancing when he and his wife moved to Mexico in 2003, publishing articles about Mexican food and culture in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek. Nearly 15 years and three kids later, Dave and his family recently moved back to Mexico and just might stay a while.


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS


In the Netherlands, children get gifts from St. Nicholas, who's accompanied by his servant Zwarte Pieten (Black Pete), always wearing blackface. Lately some Dutch have been decrying him as racist while others claim it's just part of the culture.

Scientists have discovered the two gene families that play key roles in making fruits and vegetables either round or long. So, could a square fruit be on the horizon?

As details of the huge tax incentives offered by many states to lure Amazon HQ2 became public, some residents of the rejects wondered if their states dodged a bullet.

For more than a century, the mass of a kilogram was defined by a weight stored in a French vault. But now, instead of a hunk of metal, the kilogram's mass will be tied to a mathematical equation.

Archaeologists recently unearthed dozens of mummified cats from a 2,500-year-old Egyptian tomb. So what were they doing there in the first place?

It's the time of year when your mailbox is full of requests for donations from charities, both familiar and unknown. But how do you know which ones are best to support?

Why do most of us start relaxing as soon as we smell lavender or vanilla? Is it the memories they conjure up or is there a chemical reason?

A popular Native American aphorism says, "It's not about what you claim, it's about who claims you."

Lots of people believe that a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day helps to speed weight loss. But what does science say?

Ever get red light after red light when you're driving? Often, it's because traffic lights aren't synced to each other. But would doing so really fix traffic problems?

How can you answer the salary requirements question without selling yourself short? One expert says, "Just say no."

There's a magic number that gets casual players (maybe you) really interested.

Checking your kids' candy for poison or sharp objects? Locking up your black cat so it doesn't get snagged by a Satanist? Maybe you can relax after finding out the real stories behind these urban legends.

Hundreds of crops in developing countries are relatively unknown in the developed world because they're often hard to grow or export. But scientists have found that CRISPR editing can speed up traditional plant breeding techniques.

Many people instinctively turn on a light outside their homes when they're going to be out in hopes of stopping people from breaking in. But interviews with burglars tell a different story about what really deters them.

Midterm elections in the U.S. don't get the public excited the way presidential elections do. But there's a lot at stake, actually, during these contests. Why do midterms exist, anyway?

Airlines keep cramming in more and more seats, making flying nearly unbearable for some. But does that also make it unsafe?

What's so wrong with letting your kids walk home from school by themselves? Free-range parents hope to make their children happier and more resilient by allowing them to explore on their own. But not everyone agrees with this style of parenting.

Would you like to round up your purchase for charity? Those small donations are big money for nonprofits and the businesses that do the soliciting.

Just like bees, wasps are pollinators that are also endangered. But you rarely hear anyone pleading to save wasps. A new study finds out why wasps are despised by the public and researchers alike.