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

What Is the Rasta Movement All About?

It started out as a small movement in Jamaica that went worldwide with the popularity of reggae music. Today you can find Rastafarians on every continent. But what is Rastafari really all about?

How Gold Prices Work and Should You Buy Some?

In challenging economic times, people often turn to gold as a hedge against a falling stock market. But is this a good idea?

What Causes Stock Market Trading to Halt?

During volatile periods in stock markets, exchanges will often employ "circuit breakers" to keep stock prices from falling too far too fast. So how do these work around the world?

What's the Secret Behind the Number 666?

These three numbers are a favorite of horror movies dealing with the occult. But where did they come from, and what or whom do they really refer to?

How the Pledge of Allegiance Went from Marketing Ploy to Classroom Staple

The Pledge of Allegiance started as just part of a marketing campaign to sell flags. But along the way, it became something much much bigger.

10 Tips That Make Working From Home So Much Better

If you're new to working from home, it might not be the dream you were expecting. But we have 10 helpful tips to make your teleworking days more productive.

You Know These 7 Supreme Court Cases by Name, But What Did They Decide?

Some Supreme Court cases are so well known they're often referred to by their case names (ever heard of Roe v. Wade?) But what were the cases really about and what did they decide?

Do All Scottish Families Have a Tartan?

The kilt is synonymous with Scotland but does that mean everyone with a Scottish surname has his or her own tartan?

Why Are We Still Talking About Plato 2,100 Years Later?

The ingenious Greek, who started as a young devotee of Socrates, laid the groundwork for more than two millennia of philosophical thought. But what did he say that was so remarkable?

Who Decided Which Books to Include in the Bible?

The books that make up the Bible were written over a span of 1,000 years. During that time, many other religious writings were also produced. So, who decided which would be part of the Bible and which would be left out?

What Caused the Rise – and Fall – of the Ottoman Empire?

For 600 years, the Ottoman Empire covered a territory stretching across huge swaths of Europe and the Middle East, until it all came down after World War I. What hastened its demise?

How Did 'Bourgeoisie' Become a Bad Word?

If someone calls your tastes 'bourgeois,' should you thank them or shake a fist? You might have to check first with Moliere, Marx or Migos to be sure.

What Does Medicare for All Really Mean?

It's one of those phrases bandied about by a variety of politicians. But what would it mean if the U.S. embraced this health care proposal?

7 Facts About Socrates, the Enigmatic Greek Street Philosopher

"The unexamined life," said Socrates, "is not worth living." So what was the life of this Athenian sage really like?

A Short History of Napoleon, the Ambitious, Charismatic Emperor of France

Statesman, military leader and Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the most fascinating characters in European history and his height was the least of it.

7 'Facts' They Got Wrong in School About Christopher Columbus

Did Columbus really prove the world was round? Did he think he had found a new continent? And how was he perceived back home?

How Wine, Art and Diamonds Defy the Laws of Economics

Economics law says that demand goes down when price goes up. But Veblen goods work the opposite way – when price goes up, so does demand. How do these goods get so lucky?

What Are the Different Types of Life Insurance?

You might be confused by the difference between term and whole insurance, as well as all the other life insurance products out there. Or whether you even need life insurance in the first place.

How the Declaration of Independence Birthed the American Nation

Most Americans can at least recite the phrase about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." But what else is inside this document? And what was left out?

What Are the Options for Life Insurance Payouts?

Many people think the only life insurance payout option is a lump sum after the insured person dies, but there are actually many choices out there. We look at some of them.