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

How to Protect Your Packages From Porch Pirates

During the holiday season, chances are you'll get at least one package mailed to your house. Are you worried about package theft? We've got some tips to derail porch pirates.

How Obituaries Went from Dry Death Notices to Tributes to Truth

Obituaries do more than just let the world know someone died. It's a chance to pay tribute to someone, advocate for a cause or even settle a score.

7 Key Questions in the U.S. Slavery Reparations Debate

The question of whether to pay reparations for slavery in the U.S. has been going on since slavery ended but picked up steam this year with a House hearing on the issue. We look at some key issues in the debate.

Second to None: Here's the Buzz on Buzz Aldrin

The second man on the moon is also a scuba enthusiast, math whiz, former combat pilot and the author of the first space selfie. Plus, he's the inspiration for Buzz Lightyear from "Toy Story." How cool is all that?

The Four-day Workweek Isn't as Crazy as You Think

Studies have shown that people spend less than half of each day really being productive. So, why not reduce the workweek to 32 hours and get more done? Although it's worked at a number of companies, others balk at making the change.

9 Fascinating Facts About Julius Caesar, 'Dictator for Perpetuity'

The Roman general and statesman's romantic exploits and bloody betrayal were juicy enough to fuel two different Shakespeare plays; he also lent his name to the C-section and the Caesar haircut. But not the Caesar salad.

Military Funerals Give Service Members and Families One Final Salute

Military funeral honors, involving a flag presentation and the playing of taps, can be very meaningful to the families of loved ones who served in the U.S. military. Who is eligible and how do you request these honors?

Humble Hero: Why Neil Armstrong Became the First Man on the Moon

This self-described "nerdy engineer," and fearless test pilot, had a calm demeanor that won over the NASA top brass, even though Buzz Aldrin badly wanted the honor of being first.

Should You Ever Discuss Politics at Work?

The easiest thing is probably not to do it, but it's almost impossible. Can a company forbid those discussions? We talk with an expert on how to have a civil political discussion at work.

8 Facts About Persian Cats, Kings of the Lap-Nappers

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."

10 Lively Facts About the Day of the Dead

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.

If a Robot Takes a Job From a Human, Should It Pay Taxes, Too?

Bill Gates thinks it should. Payroll taxes from workers fund Social Security, Medicare and defense among other federal programs. But other experts firmly disagree.

5 Large Nations With No Homeland

Millions of people around the world have no country they can call their own. Sometimes they're not allowed to have a birth certificate, go to school or work. What are some of the biggest groups in this category?

Celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights

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

Machu Picchu: The Secrets of This Fabled Mountaintop City

The twisting trail wasn’t the most direct route, but its heart-pounding ascents past other ceremonial sites built suspense for the final reveal.

When Presidential Approval Ratings Really Matter

Every week (or every day) there seems to be new poll giving new numbers on how many Americans approve of the president's job performance. But what do these numbers really tell us and when should we take them seriously?

Meet Hell-Cat Maggie, the Mythical Dame of the Dead Rabbits Gang

Hell-Cat Maggie, Gallus Mag and Sadie the Goat sure have colorful names. They're alleged to be members of various 19th century New York gangs. But did any of them really exist?

7 Reasons Alexander the Great Was, Well, Great

Not only did Alexander rule a territory of three continents, he founded 70 cities and even had Aristotle for a teacher.

Messy Legacy of Columbus Threatens Columbus Day Holiday

As more states are swapping Columbus Day celebrations for Indigenous Peoples' Day observances, does Columbus Day still have any relevancy?

8 Crazy Facts About the Washington Monument

From the beginning, this project was mired in political infighting, lack of funds and construction delays. Sounds familiar? Find out more intriguing facts about the Washington Monument.