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

Why Does the Secret Service Protect a President's Adult Children?

The United States Secret Service provides 24/7 protection for the wives and kids of the U.S. president and vice president, including their adult children. But why do a president's children get protection?

Gallium Boils at 4,044 Degrees F, But Will Also Melt in Your Hand

More than fodder for melt-in-your-hand YouTube videos, gallium is a key component in LED lights and the powerful microchips in your smartphone.

The Story of Adam and Eve is Not Unique to the Bible

The first man and woman are formed from clay to live in paradise until they are forced to leave because of deceit. It's a biblical story but also one found in many other cultures.

Pareidolia: Why We See Faces in Almost Everything

We see faces in clouds, on buildings — heck, in grilled cheese sandwiches. But why is that? And how is this a help to our survival?

Was the White House Really Trashed at Andrew Jackson's First Inauguration?

For almost two centuries, Andrew Jackson's inauguration blowout has been cited as the wildest party ever thrown at the White House. But should we take that depiction with a grain of salt?

Is the Thermomix Worth the Hype (and the Price)?

It's not every day you spend $1,500 on a kitchen gadget, even one that bills itself as 22 appliances in one. So, is it worth the price? We decided to investigate.

The Real Story of Montezuma, the Last of the Aztec Emperors

You might say there are two Montezumas: the real one who lived and the one who was invented after his death by conquistador Hernán Cortés.

Were the Philistines Really Uncultured 'Philistines'?

The Philistines often show up in the Bible as a ferocious tribe waging war on the Israelites. But what do we know of them from archaeology?

Why Is Herodotus Called Both the Father of History and the Father of Lies?

Herodotus was a natural-born storyteller, whom scholars revere as the first historian ever, and critics dismiss as just a teller of tall tales. What's the real story?

The Second Coming Has Been 'Imminent' for 2,000 Years

Many Christians believe Jesus Christ will return to Earth to judge and rule it; they refer to it as the Second Coming. For centuries people have hoped it would happen in their lifetimes. So when — if ever — will it take place?

Paganism Is the Oldest, Newest Religion

Originally, 'Pagan' was a putdown for the country folk who continued to worship the old Roman gods, rather than embracing Christianity. Today, paganism is having a resurgence but with a modern twist.

The Immigrant Paradox: Why Acculturation Should Not Mean Assimilation

Studies have shown that for immigrants, assimilation into the new culture can be bad for your health, family relationships and educational attainment. Why's that, and how do you acculturate without assimilating?

Murder! Money! Power! Art! Meet the Medici Family

This wealthy banking dynasty of Florence rubbed shoulders with Michelangelo, Botticelli and Galileo. They counted two popes and two queens in their clan. How did they get so powerful, and how did they lose it all?

Do Diversity Training Programs Work?

Companies often have their employees undergo anti-bias or diversity training to improve internal relations and hiring practices. But do these programs work?

7 Reasons Bruce Lee Continues to Kick Butt

He died mysteriously just before the release of the film that would make him a household name. But there's a whole lot more to Bruce Lee than just an unusual death and kung fu magic.

What Is Universal Basic Income, and Should Everyone Get It?

UBI is 'basic' in that it meets your basic needs, and it's 'guaranteed income' in that you know that it's coming. Pilot programs want to test whether having UBI can change your life for better. And can we afford it?

The Journey of 'Uncle Tom': From Abolitionist Hero to Ultimate Sellout

'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was a wildly popular 19th-century novel about a heroic enslaved man in the American South. But along the way, 'Uncle Tom' became shorthand for a Black man who's subservient to whites. What caused the switch?

Did the Bible 'Borrow' the Noah's Ark Story From the Epic of Gilgamesh?

A story remarkably similar to the Noah's Ark flood account in Genesis was discovered in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a text 1,000 years older. Does that confirm the account or make it more of myth?

Do You Have to Tell Buyers Your House Is Haunted?

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.

All 'Aboot' Canadian Holidays

Canadian Thanksgiving is on Oct. 12 this year. How does it differ from the American version? And what other Canadian holidays do we need to get up to speed on?