Katherine Neer


Growing up, Katherine was constantly curious and loved to investigate things, be it taking apart small household appliances (and putting them back together — most of the time they still worked!) or delving into a new topic for school or simply her own edification.

When she realized she could make a career out of researching things as a librarian, she couldn't sign up for graduate school fast enough. After working with a few special collections — including North Carolina History, Design, Forestry, and Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences — Katherine joined the world of HowStuffWorks. Although her time as the corporate librarian lasted only a few months, she put her MLS to very good use as a former writer and editor for the site. She edited and wrote her way through a series of books, a newspaper column, Express magazine and various corners of and Discovery sites, including a stint as managing editor of special editorial projects.

Recent Contributions

10 Tips for Moving with Children

You've accepted the promotion and narrowed down the list of potential new homes, and you'll be moving soon. Now comes the hardest part -- planning the move and telling the kids. What can you do to make the move as anxiety-free as possible?

10 Things to Do When You Arrive at Your New Home

Your friends are meeting you to help unload the truck and arrange furniture. But what else do you need to do when you arrive at your new home?

10 Tips for Managing a Moving Sale

The big move is only a few months away. As you look around your home, you can't help but wonder how you accumulated so much stuff. You don't have to take it all with you -- you can have a yard sale.

5 Tips for Settling In to a New Town

All your stuff is finally at the new house and most of it is unpacked. So your house is starting to feel homey, but you're not quite as at home in your new town. What can you do to fix that?

Lo-carbing Basics

An increasing number of grocery stores and restaurants are responding to the needs of the low-carb consumer. Find out what this low-carbing lifestyle is all about.

Can head trauma really cause amnesia?

TV shows, movies and books depict characters that have suffered a bad injury to the head and have lost their memory. But could it really happen that fast? And will their memory ever return?

What if I forgot to remove a piercing before an MRI?

The magnets found in an MRI machine are incredibly powerful. It can pull a stethoscope right out of a doctor's lab coat. So what would happen if you forgot to take out an earring? Ouch!

What if I were on a roller coaster and the safety harness broke?

Roller coasters are getting bigger and bigger -- and scarier and scarier. What would happen if your safety harness broke on one of these giant rides?

What if I looked straight at an eclipse of the sun?

You've probably heard that staring at the sun is bad — even a few seconds can damage your eyes. But what if you looked at a solar eclipse?

What if I ate the silica packets marked "do not eat"?

Silica packets most likely contain silica gel or some other desiccant -- something that absorbs (collects) and holds water vapor. What would happen if you put that gel in your mouth?

Is It Unlawful to Remove the Tag From Your Mattress?

Most of us have heard that we're not supposed to remove the tags from our mattresses or pillows because it violates some kind of law. But what's the real story?

What if I didn't file and pay my income taxes?

The American tax system is a huge machine with a tax code that seems more complex than rocket science. Many of us have come to dread April 15th: Tax Day. So what if you just didn't file them?

What if I stopped paying bills?

If you miss a monthly payment to your credit card company, your credit score will drop and your credit report will show it. What else would happen if you stopped paying your bills completely?

What if I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet?

Each year, approximately 4,000 people go to the emergency room for injuries caused by accidents involving electrical outlets. While this number seems high, even more people never make it to the hospital. They die.

What if I ate only peanut butter for the rest of my life?

While peanut butter does contain a lot of the components you need in your daily diet, it doesn't have all of them. What would happen to your body if you only ate peanut butter?

If I couldn't get rid of gas in any way, would I explode?

People expel gas by either burping or flatulating. Although it's an embarrassing thing to have happen, it's also a necessity. But what would happen if you just couldn't pass the gas?

What if I never cut my hair?

If you never cut your hair, would you end up looking like Cousin It from the Adams Family? It's possible, but unlikely. So what would happen if you never visited the barber or beauty shop again?

What if I never took a bath?

Your initial reaction to the thought of no more baths may be "gross!" But there also could be more serious ramifications than an unpleasant layer of grime.

What if I Were Struck by Lightning?

Being struck by lightning is a little more complicated than a sudden collision with a flash of light from the sky, and not all strikes are equally lethal.

What if a wildfire came near my house?

Wildfires spread quickly consuming almost everything in their path -- including homes. What can you do if you see the inferno racing toward your home?