Jacob Silverman

Jacob Silverman

Jacob Silverman is a staff writer at The New Republic, covering technology and foreign policy. He also wrote over 100 articles for HowStuffWorks, mainly on science and health topics. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing from Emory University and a master's in humanities and social thought from New York University.

Recent Contributions

The dead zone, caused by massive amounts of algae growth, is a vast area off the Gulf of Mexico that is deadly to marine life. How is human activity making the dead zone worse?

By Jacob Silverman

Out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are most often associated with sick or injured people, but scientists recently produced these experiences in healthy people. Learn how virtual reality can scramble your point of view.

By Jacob Silverman

We tend to think of the ground beneath our feet as terra firma, but sometimes it's as stable as a house of cards. What happens when the Earth opens up to swallow homes, cars and people?

By Jacob Silverman

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A man in Cornwall, England, went 11 consecutive days without a wink of sleep. Find out how he did it, why he did it and why you shouldn't give it a try.

By Jacob Silverman

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the world's largest landfill, and it can be found in the middle of the Pacific. Millions of pounds of trash collect here.

By Jacob Silverman

Collective hysteria can spread when a fear exists of exposure to a disease, combined with a contained environment. Learn more about collective hysteria works.

By Jacob Silverman & Austin Henderson

Are you the first to complain when it's too hot or too cold at work? Extremophiles have news for you: Suck it up. These hardy microbes make most of us humans seem like whimpering Goldilocks, and studying them may tell us more than you might imagine.

By Jacob Silverman & Desiree Bowie

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Vertical farming is a method of large-scale farming in an urban environment. Learn about the benefits of a vertical farm and vertical farming technology.

By Jacob Silverman

What's the difference between summer-grade fuel and winter-grade fuel? If summer-grade fuel is so great, why don't we use it year-round?

By Jacob Silverman

Wonder why we pay more money at the pump for summer fuel? Find out why summer fuel costs more than winter fuel.

By Jacob Silverman

The hunt for exoplanets, planets orbiting sun-like stars, is on! Thanks to new equipment, NASA has spotted thousands of them. But which ones might be able to handle life?

By William Harris & Jacob Silverman

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If your car persistently pulls you to the side of the road, it may be trying to tell you something. Relax. This simple service shouldn't cost you that much.

By Jacob Silverman

Even if you don't operate a scanning electron microscope all that frequently, you might want to brush up on these 10 scientific laws and theories. After all, they're some of our best tools for describing how the universe works.

By Jacob Silverman

You may have thought militaries stopped using napalm after the Vietnam War thanks to the United Nations, but this incendiary weapon lives on in modern warfare. Has it also been used in Iraq?

By Jacob Silverman

Environmentalists agree that beaver dams help the environment by creating wetlands but why are some landowners and farm owners getting riled up? How could these dams be hazardous to roads, bridges and levees?

By Jacob Silverman

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Cow flatulence produces the greenhouse gas methane, which is linked to global warming. Find out how scientists are working to reduce cow flatulence in livestock.

By Jacob Silverman

Homeowners insurance can help if your home suffers any sort of damage. Find out how homeowners insurance works and how to save money on premiums.

By Jacob Silverman

The man immortalized on the left was behind the three laws of motion and the universal law of gravitation. He was also competitive, temperamental and fascinated with alchemy. How well do you know Newton?

By Jacob Silverman

Selling a house is a complicated process, no matter how good the real estate market is. Whether you're a first-time home seller or not, you probably have a bunch of questions.

By Jacob Silverman

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Home equity loans can provide you with valuable financial flexibility, so long as the market is stable. Learn about the types of home equity loans and how to get the best rates.

By Jacob Silverman

We hope you'll never need to know the ins-and-outs of getting out of jail. Bail allows people to leave jail and continue their lives while awaiting trial. How does the bail system work?

By Jacob Silverman

Hand sanitizers can only get you so far in preventing a viral infection. Scientists are discovering how visible light can be used to destroy viruses. Learn about the laser technique and what it means for the future.

By Jacob Silverman & Patrick J. Kiger

Whether we're trying to save a sinking city or dig a massive tunnel, our appetite for construction knows no bounds. But if designers had known the actual cost of these 10 projects, they might have gone back to the drawing board.

By Jacob Silverman & Patrick J. Kiger

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It's a document many people find unsettling, but in the event of a health crisis that leaves you incapacitated, a living will ensures that your treatment wishes are honored. We'll take you through the steps it takes to create this document.

By Jacob Silverman

The land of opportunity is also the land of entrepreneurship, the striving businessperson and, consequently, the business student. Are you looking to add those three expensive letters to your academic credentials?

By Jacob Silverman