Kathryn Whitbourne

Kathryn Whitbourne

Kathryn is a senior editor and writer with HowStuffWorks. She has written on a variety of topics, ranging from Oprah to squirrels to the winter solstice. She has also worked as a magazine editor, a radio reporter and an editorial supervisor at PR Newswire. She holds a Communications degree from Cornell University and was born in Jamaica.

Recent Contributions

Who invented the toilet? While we wish it were so, it wasn't Thomas Crapper. Surprisingly, toilet design hasn't changed much since the first "water closet" patent in the 1500s.

By Kathryn Whitbourne & Jesslyn Shields

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery by learning more about this reggae superstar.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

If we took all the U.S. dollars, British pounds and every other currency out there and added them up, how much would it come to? Find out why it's so hard to figure out how much money there is in the world.

By Kathryn Whitbourne & Francisco Guzman

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For centuries, ancient cultures celebrated the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, as the "day the sun came back." Here are five enlightening facts about the winter solstice.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

You and your kids may have grown up watching "Sesame Street" so you may think you know all there is to know about Big Bird at friends. But not so fast. There are lots of surprising things about the Sesame universe.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

Stainless steel is highly durable and versatile. You'll find it in your kitchen, in your toolbox, even on top of buildings. And there are many easy ways to clean it.

By Marie Willsey & Kathryn Whitbourne

Register for Toys for Tots, and make the holidays a time your children will never forget. We'll show you how to register for Toys for Tots.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

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Voting on a Tuesday in November has been a U.S. tradition since the 1840s, but the timing makes it difficult for many people to exercise their right to vote. What are states doing about it?

By Patrick J. Kiger & Kathryn Whitbourne

The autumnal equinox is the day Earth is perfectly angled to the sun, so the day and night are of equal length. Well, almost.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

Americans typically view Labor Day as the official end of summer and a free day off from work. But have you ever stopped to think who was behind it? And why is it celebrated in early September?

By Kathryn Whitbourne

It may seem like there are no secrets left about Diana, Princess of Wales, but we've unearthed some facts that may be new to you.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

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Jamaica is known as "the biggest little country in the world" for good reason. This tiny island is globally renowned for its food and music, but what do Jamaicans themselves hold dear?

By Kathryn Whitbourne

Classic American lore would have us believe that Betsy Ross made the first U.S. flag, but some historians dismiss this as just a tale. So, who's right? If not Betsy, then who made the first flag?

By Jane McGrath & Kathryn Whitbourne

Scientists created this expanding black hole illusion to show how your mind can trick your eye.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

Homer Simpson's favorite snack was once called 'oily cakes.' Find out more about this and other fun facts on doughnuts.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

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Does your back flare up when a storm is coming? Many people swear that rain makes their joints hurt more. But science has had a hard time proving this.

By Alia Hoyt & Kathryn Whitbourne

The Cinco de Mayo holiday is far more popular in the U.S. than in Mexico. Why is that and what does it celebrate?

By Julia Layton & Kathryn Whitbourne

Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner, there's a taco to suit the occasion. But how did this Mexican street food become so popular in the U.S.?

By Kathryn Whitbourne

But lots of people think it will. Where did our beliefs about amnesia come from?

By Kathryn Whitbourne

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Denim pants have gone from mining camps and ranches to the White House. How did they get so popular and why are sales shrinking now?

By Kathryn Whitbourne

Zippers are found on so many products. But have you ever noticed that "YKK" is on the pull-tab of most zippers? Find out where these mysterious initials come from.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

If you look outside your window right now, you'll probably see one running up a tree or checking you out. How did the squirrel get so commonplace?

By Kathryn Whitbourne

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You may have noticed signs on the highway that warn "Bridge Ices Before Road." What causes this to happen?

By Kathryn Whitbourne

With his good looks and appealing voice, this youngest member of the Gibb brothers seemed destined for a long music career. But it was not to be. What went wrong for Andy Gibb?

By Kathryn Whitbourne