Dave Roos

Dave Roos

Contributing Writer

Dave is a freelance journalist who has contributed hundreds of articles to HowStuffWorks since 2007 reporting on every topic under the sun: history, culture, politics, economics, technology, religion and more. He’s also a regular contributor to History.com and a writer/researcher for Stuff You Should Know.

Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dave attended Duke University where he earned a B.A. in comparative religious studies and more importantly met his amazing wife Mandy. They have three kids and live in Boise, Idaho.


Recent Contributions

The formation of the 12 tribes of Israel is one of the foundational narratives of the Bible. But nowadays, a new picture of the 12 tribes has emerged.

By Dave Roos

With so many people living in one state and working in another these days, taxes can be more complicated than ever before. Here are 11 tax tips to remember when filing.

By Dave Roos & Laurie L. Dove

Without the Great Compromise, the U.S. might not have become a nation. The political divisions between big and small states could have been too much to overcome. The final formation of Congress was a stroke of genius.

By Dave Roos

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Like many things, chess wasn't invented by one person but rather several people. Here's a short history of chess.

By Dave Roos

After the celebrity struts down the red carpet in her borrowed designer gown, must she return it? And what does the designer do with it?

By Dave Roos

The Ritchie Boys, many of them Jewish refugees, trained in the U.S. and returned to Europe to help defeat Hitler and the Nazis.

By Dave Roos

The iconic "school bus yellow" was the invention of an educator named Frank Cyr. But if yellow is so good for visibility, why don't all fire trucks use it too?

By Dave Roos

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Today, Martin Luther King is revered for his nonviolent struggle for civil rights in the United States. But most Americans didn't approve of him before his death, or many years after.

By Dave Roos

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?

By Dave Roos

The Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan" has revived memories of other royal scandals. Which ones really rocked the monarchy?

By Dave Roos

In 2010, a Lithuanian artist conceptualized a roller coaster fast enough to kill people who wanted a novel way to die. The idea is resonating again.

By Dave Roos

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Even if you think you hate fruitcake, a taste of Caribbean black cake could go a long way toward changing your mind. Let's dive into its rich and delicious history.

By Dave Roos

Chances are you get several packages mailed to your house. Are you worried about package theft? We've got some tips to derail porch pirates.

By Dave Roos

Throughout history, people have speculated as to who or what Gog and Magog were. Were they two people, one person and his land or two nations? And why were they associated with the Apocalypse?

By Dave Roos

Treasury bills are a low-risk investment — and you don't need a lot of money to get started. How does the U.S. government use these bills to manage its debt?

By Dave Roos & Sarah Siddons

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The stories these memoirs told were gripping, shocking – and ultimately untrue. Were you taken in by any of these literary hoaxes?

By Dave Roos

From astronauts to doctors to an archaeologist, we present eight scientists whose contributions to science, engineering and math were inseparable from their identities as Indigenous Americans.

By Dave Roos

Your computer is working slower than molasses, but why? We look at five of the most common reasons and how to fix them, with the help of experts.

By Dave Roos

"Safety coffins" were tricked-out caskets that provided a way for prematurely buried people to escape from 6 feet under, back when this fear was sometimes a frightening reality.

By Dave Roos

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This weekend's Powerball lottery is up to $800 million. Is that enough to get you to play?

By Dave Roos

For centuries, colonizers, missionaries and anthropologists have attempted to make contact with the residents of North Sentinel Island. But outsiders have learned the hard way that, even today, the Sentinelese just want to be left alone.

By Dave Roos

Most observant Mormons wear special underwear they call temple garments as a reminder of their faith. What are the rules around wearing it? And must they always wear it?

By Dave Roos

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. But not every shopper likes being asked. So, what's the right way to run these campaigns?

By Dave Roos

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In the 20th century, there were dozens of Skid Rows across America, but today only one has been at the same location for over a century: Skid Row, Los Angeles. Why has it lasted for so long?

By Dave Roos

Decades after the publication of "The Amityville Horror," not to mention the movie and its countless spin-offs, we're still fascinated by the story of this haunted house — even though many people now think it was a hoax.

By Dave Roos