John Donovan

John Donovan

Contributing Writer

John is a freelance writer based in the suburbs of Atlanta. A longtime sports scribe with too much time covering college sports, the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball, he now writes on science, health, history, current events and whatever other weird non-sports stories that he and the editors at HowStuffWorks dream up. He has a journalism degree from Arizona State, a wife, a son, a dog that sheds too much and a bad case of eyestrain.

Recent Contributions

More than 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by a lone bullet while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, questions still remain. Was James Earl Ray the sole gunman, or was it a conspiracy?

By John Donovan

Ignoring a subpoena can land you in jail. So why would anybody do it?

By John Donovan

The NCAA scrapped the Bowl Championship Series in favor of a playoff system. But does it truly crown a national champion in college football?

By John Donovan

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The North Shore is known as the "Seven Mile Miracle" because of the epic surfing within a 7-mile stretch. It's also where the Triple Crown of Surfing competition runs from Dec. 21 until Jan. 21, 2022.

By John Donovan

Automaker Rivian has the potential to disrupt the EV market like no company has since Tesla. But can it dethrone Elon Musk's car company as the dominant maker of EVs?

By John Donovan

Camden County in South Georgia was once considered as a backup site for launching the Apollo missions. Now this quiet county could be the next big launching site to space.

By John Donovan

Dog owners know: Their four-legged friends are stuck to them like Velcro. But why? Are they afraid of being left behind, or is it something else?

By John Donovan

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The soldiers who stand vigil over the Tomb are the Sentinels of The Old Guard, a hand-picked group dedicated to honoring the memory of those who gave their lives for their country.

By John Donovan

Indigenous women have been going missing and been murdered along an infamous stretch of highway in British Columbia since the 1960s. But not much is being done to find them — or who killed them.

By John Donovan

Odysseus is the hero of the epic Greek poem "The Odyssey." But by today's standards, he might not be considered a hero at all.

By John Donovan

If our living space is to become outer space, we have a lot of challenges to address. And our first line of defense will be space architects.

By John Donovan

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Unit 731 was a covert biological warfare research unit of the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII. Some of the most heinous war crimes ever were committed there. Why is it still so shrouded in secrecy?

By John Donovan

Glass that glows? You bet. And that glow comes from a source you wouldn't believe. Uranium, the same radioactive ore now used to power commercial nuclear reactors.

By John Donovan

The 2004 incident in Granby, Colorado, left half the town destroyed. Now 17 years later, Marvin Heemeyer, the man who piloted the tank that crushed the library and town hall, has become a hero to antigovernment extremists.

By John Donovan

Suicide is a major challenge to public health in the United States. But like most public health problems, it can be prevented.

By John Donovan

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He palled around with Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, then later with President Teddy Roosevelt in New York City. He was a lawman, gambler and gunfighter who also was a sports writer, newspaper man and big fan of boxing.

By John Donovan

At least 100 technical experts from 24 countries will provide professional repair and maintenance to the athletes' prosthetics and orthotics at the Technical Repair Service Center in Tokyo.

By John Donovan

Like the Tokyo Olympics, the Paralympic Games are happening a year late. But these athletes are equally, if not more, impressive to watch on the courts, beaches and in the pool. We'll explain what it takes to make it as a Paralympian.

By John Donovan

Cities like Chicago are spending millions for high-tech systems that can identify and pinpoint the exact location of a gunshot. But are these systems worth the price tag?

By John Donovan

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The Mafia has controlled everything from the street-corner drug trade to labor-union leadership to high-level politicians. How did it start and what's its status now?

By Ed Grabianowski & John Donovan

Despite strict closing and mask orders, San Francisco was hit hard by the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. But some residents balked at the rules and that meant more people died.

By John Donovan

Mystical water witches are in high demand during these dry times. But are they better at finding groundwater than a science-driven geohydrologist?

By John Donovan

Emmett Till's vicious kidnapping and lynching still stands out among the thousands of lynchings in the U.S. after the Civil War. What was it about his murder that made the world stand up and take notice?

By John Donovan

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They'll compete in 10 events over two grueling days in Tokyo. Does that make the gold medalist in the decathlon the best athlete in the world?

By John Donovan

The Tokyo Olympics are happening a year late, but what was the delay like for the athletes who've trained their entire lives just to get there? For some, it was a huge physical and mental struggle. For others, it was just too much.

By John Donovan