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

Having kidney stones can feel like you've been stabbed in the back. But is it the stones causing the searing pain or is it something else?

By Dave Roos

The very first honorary degree on record was a brazen attempt to score points with a wealthy and politically connected bishop in 1478. Not much has changed since then.

By Dave Roos

The billionaire business owner launched an online pharmacy in March with drug prices slashed. But is the model poised to disrupt America's prescription drug business?

By Dave Roos

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Now that we're working at home more often than before, we may have got to know our neighbors better — and found out they're very noisy during the day. So, how can you get them to quiet down?

By Dave Roos

Interest rates are simply the cost of borrowing money. But they also have a huge effect on the U.S. economy. So, who decides what the rates should be and why?

By Dave Roos

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl is best-known for penning "Man's Search for Meaning," after surviving three years in Nazi concentration camps. This book has been a beacon of hope to millions over the years.

By Dave Roos

Chief Plenty Coups was chosen to represent all Native Americans at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This was a fitting honor for a brave and courageous leader of his people.

By Dave Roos

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They called her crazy. Even drugged her and kidnapped her to keep her silent. But in the end, she was always right.

By Dave Roos

Is the U.S. a democracy or a republic? Or both? And what's the difference, anyway?

By Dave Roos

Midterm elections in the U.S. don't get the public excited the way presidential elections do. But there's a lot at stake, actually, during these contests. Why do midterms exist, anyway?

By Dave Roos

When you hear the word "Samaritan," you might think of a hospital or charity or the Bible story about the Good Samaritan. But "real" Samaritans still exist in Israel, though their numbers are small.

By Dave Roos

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Pontius Pilate is best known in the Bible as the Roman governor who gave in to the crowd's demands to have Jesus executed. But contemporary historians don't have much good to say about him either.

By Dave Roos

An inversion of the U.S. Treasury bond yield curve has predicted the last seven U.S. recessions. Is the U.S. in for another one soon?

By Dave Roos

At just 21, Sophie Scholl fought a murderous regime — not with guns and grenades, but with ideas and ideals. This ultimately led to her execution.

By Dave Roos

Some of the biggest companies in the United States just announced stocks splits. What is a stock split and what does it signal to average investors?

By Dave Roos

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If someone is insulting you or your family and you clock 'em, can you get away with it, legally?

By Dave Roos

Can you name even one female mathematician? Don't worry if you can't. That just means you need to read our article on five famous female mathematicians to up your cred.

By Dave Roos

Celebrities usually gush that "it's an honor just to be nominated" for an Oscar or a Grammy. But the folks on our list didn't see it that way.

By Dave Roos

Counterfeiting has become easier with the availability of quality scanners and printers. But the U.S. Treasury has fought back by adding several hard-to-copy features to the bank notes. How can you spot a fake?

By Marshall Brain & Dave Roos

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She's been described as a chariot-riding queen of night and the mother of death, deceit and dreams. Who was this mist-shrouded figure that even the gods feared?

By Dave Roos

Started in 1882, this beautifully ornate church was the vision of architect Antoni Gaudí who conceived of it as a "forest in stone."

By Dave Roos

The pink and white blooms of the cherry blossom tree often herald the arrival of spring. But in Japan, the cherry blossom is also a well-loved symbol of fleeting beauty, nostalgia and loss.

By Dave Roos

Brutus' name has become synonymous with "traitor." But did he have a good reason to kill Julius Caesar? And what about their surprising 'family' relationship?

By Dave Roos

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Whether the circle is as big as planet Mars or as small as a tennis ball, the ratio of its circumference divided by its diameter will always equal pi (3.14). But why?

By Marshall Brain & Dave Roos

You think you'd never fall for a conman's (or conwoman's) shtick. But so did many of the victims of these five con artists. What scams did they manage to pull off?

By Dave Roos