Dave Roos

Dave Roos

Contributing Writer

Dave is a freelance journalist who has contributed hundreds of articles to HowStuffWorks since 2007, with a specialty in personal finance, economics and business. Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he 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

Son of the venerated Marcus Aurelius, Commodus went in the other direction, killing scores of men and exotic animals in gladiatorial bloodbaths and dressing up in a lion's skin.

By Dave Roos

How can you tell if a charity is actually effective? Is it better to give one big donation or several small ones? We look at five of the most-asked questions about charity giving.

By Dave Roos

Maybe you thought hobos disappeared along with the Great Depression. But some folks are still living the life — albeit only part-time and without a bundle on a stick.

By Dave Roos

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You may experience sticker shock at the funeral home when you see the price of caskets. Why do they cost so much and is there anything you can do about the price?

By Dave Roos

Dostoevsky created some of the greatest novels ever written, full of psychological and religious insight. Here are five quotes that will stay with you, even if you've never finished one of his books.

By Dave Roos

The Fugates and the Combs families in rural Kentucky lost the genetic lottery, both sharing a rare recessive trait that made their skin look blue as they intermarried. What was the cause of this? And what happened to the families?

By Dave Roos

The biblical King Solomon is depicted as being very rich, very wise and very married to hundreds of women. But there is little evidence outside of the Bible that he existed. So what has been found so far?

By Dave Roos

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This fall festival is about food, faith, lights and gifts. But please don't call it an Indian Hanukkah.

By Dave Roos

Oliver Cromwell overthrew the British monarchy and became 'Lord Protector,' but was convicted of treason after he died and beheaded. What happened to his head next is a very strange tale.

By Dave Roos

One of the vital statistics of a company or an individual is called the debt-to-equity ratio. But the key is knowing how to interpret this important metric in relation to future needs and investment plans.

By Dave Roos

Day of the Dead is not a Mexican version of Halloween. It's a celebration of life — both here and beyond — when the souls of the departed come home for feasting and fun. Here's how it started.

By Dave Roos

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Wireless mesh networks promise to deliver high-speed Internet connectivity anywhere, anytime. Find out when you would use them.

By Chris Pollette & Dave Roos

Retiring at 50 might sound great, but there's a lot of saving, preparation and hard work you'd need to do to accomplish such a goal. Here's how to make sure you've saved enough.

By Dave Roos & Jeff Harder

Nutty Putty Cave, near Salt Lake City, Utah, was discovered in 1960 and sealed up forever in 2009. This is the story.

By Dave Roos

They're often mentioned in the same breath, but not every socialist is a communist, and not every communist or socialist country operates in the same way.

By Dave Roos

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The ancient city of Babylon was a byword for wickedness in the Bible. But what is the real story? And how did Saddam Hussein try to bring it back?

By Dave Roos

In about 100 years, Pentecostalism went from a startup renewal movement to the second-largest Christian denomination in the world, bested only by Catholics. What caused that astonishing rise?

By Dave Roos

Persians are famous for their long hair and snub noses. But this is no aloof kitty – they're so friendly, breeders refer to them as "dog cats."

By Dave Roos

It's that time of decade, when congressional maps get redrawn to reflect population growth — and often to improve one party's chances at the polls. So, when does redistricting become gerrymandering? The line is blurry.

By Dave Roos

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When it comes to buying that spooky-ish-looking Victorian mansion, the word is "buyer beware." No states mandate disclosure that a house is haunted and only a few require disclosure if the seller is asked directly.

By Dave Roos

Gas prices are notoriously volatile. Does the president have any control over how much you pay at the pump?

By Dave Roos

Some call it an artists colony, others a squatters' paradise. Either way, it attracts lots of visitors, billing itself as the last free place in America. So, what's it really like?

By Dave Roos

Every month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a report that looks at the unemployment rate, among other job-related data in the country. But who counts as "unemployed" can be tricky.

By Dave Roos

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More states are replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. What's prompted the switch and how you do celebrate it?

By Dave Roos

Is there something about American suburban high school culture that makes it fertile ground for school shootings? One researcher says 'yes.'

By Dave Roos