Ed Grabianowski

Contributing Writer

Ed Grabianowski has worked as a contributing writer for HowStuffWorks (you may know him as The Grabster if you’re a Stuff You Should Know fan) and also io9. His fiction has appeared in Black Static, David Wellington’s Fear Project, and other publications and anthologies. In his other lives, Ed has driven a race car, designed monsters for fantasy role-playing games, and is the singer and lyricist for a rock band called Spacelord.

Recent Contributions

When you take a photo and hear that distinctive click, you’re really hearing the sound of the camera’s shutter opening and closing in a fraction of a second. That shutter speed can dramatically alter photo quality — and fortunately, you can control it!

By Ed Grabianowski

Even the best camera needs a good photographer to capture the best images possible. No matter your skill level, you still need to know the basic photography terms and tenets. Here are 10 of the most important ones.

By Ed Grabianowski

You may see most bridges as those things you cross on your way to somewhere else, but where would you be if one collapsed? We've figured out 10 reasons why the worst happens.

By Ed Grabianowski

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Most automotive electronics can be powered using the cigarette lighter in our cars and trucks. However, if you want to power something more complicated, like a laptop, you'll need an inverter. What is an inverter? Read on to find out!

By Ed Grabianowski

Soldiers face danger every day -- detecting landmines, deactivating unexploded bombs and scoping out hostile buildings are tasks that don't always require a human presence. That's where military robots come in.

By Ed Grabianowski

When a super-realistic android or video character gives us a creepy feeling, it enters the uncanny valley. Why do we get spooked, and what can we do to avoid it?

By Ed Grabianowski

Natural selection is the idea that organisms that are best suited to survive pass their traits down. Is it true that only the strong survive?

By Ed Grabianowski

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Symbiosis is crucial to the survival of many species. In fact, you're a symbiote yourself.

By Ed Grabianowski

Sushi is much more than raw fish. Learn about types of sushi, where it came from, how to make it at home and what it's like to visit a sushi bar.

By Ed Grabianowski

Moonshining has evolved from backwood stills in the South. In fact, it's downright trendy in some bars. But, why is homebrewing and winemaking legal, but not distilling your own moonshine?

By Ed Grabianowski & Melanie Radzicki McManus

We'd be up a creek without Earth's atmosphere and the greenhouse effect it provides, but it turns out that an overactive greenhouse effect can result in a similarly devastating outcome.

By Julia Layton, Ed Grabianowski & Sascha Bos

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Glaciers are rivers of ice and are the largest moving objects on Earth. Learn about glaciers and find out how much freshwater are frozen in glaciers.

By Ed Grabianowski & Desiree Bowie

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are seemingly supernatural events that some people have when they're at the brink of death. Find out who typically has them and how people have tried to explain them.

By Ed Grabianowski

Ever heard of a military operation run out of a hollowed-out mountain? Welcome to NORAD, a defense command that monitors air and space for potential attacks on the U.S. Learn about NORAD and the unique location for the NORAD headquarters.

By Ed Grabianowski

When Australia became separated from the other continents, its species evolved in isolation. And yet, some of the Australian animals evolved in exactly the same way as the other animals in the world. How?

By Ed Grabianowski

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Torture was a very popular form of punishment in the Middle Ages, but it also served as a social deterrent and as entertainment for the masses. These 10 devices show just how creative torturers became with their tools.

By Ed Grabianowski

Getting stuck behind a car with malfunctioning brake lights can be extremely frustrating. But before sounding your horn, consider that the driver might not even realize that his brakes lights are out.

By Ed Grabianowski

We're all exposed to tiny levels of radiation, but a blast of it can leave you in agony — that is, if it doesn't kill you outright. What is it, what causes it and how can we treat it?

By Ed Grabianowski

When a Supreme Court justice retires, there's a lot of speculation and political maneuvering regarding the replacement. Find out how Supreme Court justices are nominated, who is qualified to serve and how a nominee is approved.

By Ed Grabianowski & Sarah Gleim

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The U.S. Supreme Court may be the highest court in the land, but the justices that sit on the bench sometimes reverse course. It doesn't happen often, but here are 13 Supreme Court cases in history that have been overturned.

By Ed Grabianowski & Melanie Radzicki McManus

Unique among the U.S. armed forces, the Coast Guard is perpetually on active duty, entrusted with lots of responsibilities, including saving lives at sea and enforcing maritime laws.

By Ed Grabianowski & Francisco Guzman

The legend of the samurai continues to permeate our culture, with countless movies and TV shows dedicated to the subject. How much of what we know about the samurai is truth and how much is myth?

By Ed Grabianowski & Chris Pollette

Heavy snowfall is just one mark of a bad snowstorm. But the biggest snowstorms of all time also brought strong winds and in some cases, major power outages.

By Ed Grabianowski, Sarah Gleim & Jesslyn Shields

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Initial public offerings have been around for centuries – every company with shares that are publicly traded on the stock market had an IPO at one point. Find out what an IPO is and how it makes people rich.

By Ed Grabianowski & Patrick J. Kiger

Vegetable oil as a fuel? While it certainly is an option for a few engines, we're probably a long way from using last night's grease as the fuel of the future.

By Ed Grabianowski & Kristen Hall-Geisler