Dave Roos

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

The black-haired "demoness" of folklore turns up in the legends of many ancient cultures but in the 20th century she has been recast as a feminist symbol. This is her story.

By Dave Roos

Chinese philosopher Confucius tutored many young men on ethical behavior. Here are five of his quotes about personal morals and good government that we can still learn from.

By Dave Roos

Nonviolence is central to the core of Jainism, as everything has a soul – animals, flowers and even bacteria, as well as people. How do Jainists practice this in daily life?

By Dave Roos

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This short four-line prayer is one of the best-known in the world. But who wrote it and how did it come to be associated with AA?

By Dave Roos

Ever heard anyone say, "He swears like a sailor"? Why do sailors get singled out for being extra-profane? Because there's a long, colorful history behind it.

By Dave Roos

In the 19th century, five Native American nations were given this title by the U.S. government because they adopted some of the practices of European Americans. Who were these tribes and what happened to them?

By Dave Roos

Gender-neutral names are becoming more popular for children. We have a great list for you to check out.

By Dave Roos

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We may think of Thoreau as the Walden Pond hermit who penned profound books on nature and philosophy. But he was also funny and sociable and valued his friends deeply. What can we learn from some of his best quotes?

By Dave Roos

Bass Reeves was no ordinary officer of the law. Over his three-decade career, this African American arrested more than 3,000 individuals and survived countless skirmishes with armed outlaws. In short, he was a real frontier hero.

By Dave Roos

Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory just made history with einsteinium. They held a sample of the short-lived element long enough to measure some of its chemical properties.

By Dave Roos

It's the oldest (and probably most obscure) monotheistic religion. So, how did it influence so many of the better-known ones? And will Zoroastrianism survive?

By Dave Roos

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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

An alliance between well-meaning social reformers and land-hungry farmers resulted in a federal act that caused Native Americans to lose millions of acres of land they had once owned. Here's what happened.

By Dave Roos

After WWI, the French built a fortress of bunkers known as the Maginot Line to stop another German invasion. But now it's come to stand for a defense strategy that inspires a false sense of security. What did they get wrong?

By Dave Roos

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?

By Dave Roos

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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.

By Dave Roos

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.

By Dave Roos

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?

By Dave Roos

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?

By Dave Roos

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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.

By Dave Roos