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 Journey of 'Uncle Tom': From Abolitionist Hero to Ultimate Sellout

'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was a wildly popular 19th-century novel about a heroic enslaved man in the American South. But along the way, 'Uncle Tom' became shorthand for a Black man who's subservient to whites. What caused the switch?

Did the Bible 'Borrow' the Noah's Ark Story From the Epic of Gilgamesh?

A story remarkably similar to the Noah's Ark flood account in Genesis was discovered in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a text 1,000 years older. Does that confirm the account or make it more of myth?

Do You Have to Tell Buyers Your House Is Haunted?

When it comes to buying that spooky-ish-looking Victorian mansion, the word is "buyer beware." No states mandate disclosure that a house is haunted and only a few require disclosure if the seller is asked directly.

All 'Aboot' Canadian Holidays

Canadian Thanksgiving is on Oct. 12 this year. How does it differ from the American version? And what other Canadian holidays do we need to get up to speed on?

Goodbye Columbus — Hello Indigenous Peoples Day

More states are replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. What's prompted the switch and how you do celebrate it?

What Is Mortgage Forbearance and How Do You Qualify?

Forbearance plans are typically offered as a way to keep borrowers in their homes during a period of unemployment or recovery from a natural disaster. The CARES Act makes it easier to qualify.

5 Reasons Why the Bay of Pigs Invasion Failed

It's been called one of American's biggest foreign policy failures. But why was it such a disaster? Let's count the ways.

How Hitler's Blitzkrieg Tactic Shocked the Allies in WWII

The Blitzkrieg shocked the world: How could an army defeat its enemy so quickly and no one could counter it? Luckily the Allies cracked the code.

Who Qualifies for Alimony These Days?

Alimony is on the decline in the U.S. but can still bring out a highly emotional response during divorce. Here's what you need to know about alimony.

Tungsten's Boiling Point Is 10,030 F and Other Crazy Facts

Tungsten's hardness and heat resistance make it a must for products like rocket engine nozzles, armor-piercing bullets and even the humble light bulb filament. In fact, pure tungsten boils at 10,030 F, the same as the photosphere of the sun.

What Is a Fiduciary Financial Adviser?

Not all investment professionals are fiduciaries — we've got four questions that smart investors need to ask a financial adviser before putting him or her in charge of their investments.

Racketeering Isn't Just a Crime for Mobsters

Racketeering didn't exist as a crime before 1970. So what is it and why was the Mafia instrumental in its creation?

Bullet Journal Ideas for People Who Hate To-do Lists

Bullet journals can be as plain or as fancy as you want them to be. They're just a way to organize your thoughts and plans. And it's easy to get started.

What Is Long-term Care Insurance, and Do You Need It?

The No. 1 retirement worry is running out of money, and future health care costs can really make it hard to determine if you're saving enough. Long-term care insurance is one way to plan for the future, but is it worth the cost?

Beyond the Oats Box: 9 Facts About Quakers

The most famous Quaker (the one on the oats box) is not even a real person. And this religious group, best known for its pacifism, has had much success in a sweeter area of food: chocolate!

Vasco da Gama, Portugal's Columbus, Is Just as Controversial

Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was a ruthless man determined to force his way into the lucrative spice routes of India. But without any valuable gifts to trade for the spices, the whole trip took a horrible turn.

The Germans Have a Word for the Slow Days of Late Summer: Sommerloch

You know that time in summer when everything slows down and not much is going on? The German word sommerloch neatly sums it up. But where did it come from?

Graphene: 200 Times Stronger Than Steel, 1,000 Times Lighter Than Paper

This is one 'supermaterial' that might actually live up to its hype. So what is graphene really, and why is it so versatile?

Beer Ads and Wild West Shows Hyped the Myth of Custer's Heroic 'Last Stand'

The Battle of Little Bighorn, where Gen. George Custer took his 'last stand' was no tale of bravery or military strategy. But beer ads and wild west shows transformed it into a mythical story of 'good' versus 'evil.'

Meet the Trebuchet, the Castle-crushing Catapult of the Middle Ages

Before the advent of gunpowder, enemy combatants used a powerful siege weapon called a trebuchet to forcefully launch projectiles — sometimes a large stone, a decapitated human head or a dead horse — at intended targets.