Kristen Hall-Geisler

Kristen Hall-Geisler

Contributing Writer

Kristen Hall-Geisler is a freelance writer and book editor living in Oregon. As an automotive journalist since 2006, she's honed her research and interviewing skills with HowStuffWorks, The New York Times, TechCrunch, Popular Science, US News & World Report and more. She loves falling down the rabbit hole of research and emerging with a book or article that others find useful and — she hopes — entertaining while still being based on solid sources. She is the author of the historical novel "Skull and Sidecar" as well as the nonfiction books "Take the Wheel: A Woman’s Guide to Buying a Car Her Own Damn Self" and "Lightning in a Throttle: Three Early Electric Vehicle Victories."

Recent Contributions

To be "on the lam" means to be on the loose or on the run, but what does "lam" mean and where does this colorful phrase come from?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

How did blue collar, white collar (and pink collar!) end up in our lexicon, and what are the origins of their meanings?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Venomous and poisonous mean very different things and are often used incorrectly. We'll clear up the confusion.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Your dog barking at the mailman? Loud. But he's got nothing on these seven. They're some of the loudest animals on the planet, and they're probably not the ones you'd expect.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler & Yara Simón

We all grew up playing 'Ring Around the Rosie.' But what does it even mean?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Those with strong stomachs may have watched the videos making the rounds of people who have tonsil stones. What are tonsil stones you ask? They're smelly, little white globs of who knows what that get built up in the, well, pockets of tonsils. Those with weaker stomachs can skip the videos and head right for the info below. And those with maybe a little tendency toward hypochondria will be glad to know tonsil stones are probably no big deal, even if they're gross.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

The two passengers might not be human, but they have a job to do. They're manning Artemis I to be zero gravity indicators.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Is 'Jim Wilson' really a code name airlines use to refer to a corpse being transported on a plane? Or just an urban myth?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Some people love to do it, others hate it, but washing your car could add years to its life.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler & Sascha Bos

Showering every day is likely something you take for granted. But for astronauts on the International Space Station, it's not an easy task.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Castles and palaces may seem the same, in their grandiose architecture and palatial structure. But the two buildings were constructed by monarchs for different purposes.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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If you're buying a new car, you know air conditioning is almost certainly a standard feature. But it wasn't long ago when AC was an expensive option. Find out how this now nearly universal feature works.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler & Sascha Bos

When people talk about race cars or high-performance cars, turbochargers usually come up, too. That's because turbochargers can boost a car's horsepower significantly without much effort.

By Karim Nice & Kristen Hall-Geisler

If you're looking for a new car or truck, there's a chance you're considering a hybrid. Before you sign any paperwork, take a look at why you may not want to.

By Patrick E. George & Kristen Hall-Geisler

When your car overheats, the best thing you can do is head to a garage for coolant. But in a pinch, you can add coolant yourself, if you're careful. We'll tell you how.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Vehicle fires account for nearly one of every eight fires reported. But cars don't just burst into flames like we see in the movies. So how do they catch fire?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler & Cherise Threewitt

Anyone with a manual transmission knows that a clutch connects and disconnects the engine and transmission. But did you know that automatics have clutches, too? Read on to discover how a clutch car works!

By Karim Nice, Charles W. Bryant & Kristen Hall-Geisler

Anyone who's been to the ocean has probably seen the foamy white stuff that clings to the sand after a wave breaks and recedes, but what the heck causes that bubbly foam and is it dangerous?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Hand warmers work through simple chemistry. A massively sped-up version of oxidation (the chemical reaction that makes rust) is to thank.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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A multiplication table is an easy-to-use grid of numbers that can help you learn to multiply quickly by using the chart and, eventually, your memory.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler & Austin Henderson

Americans generate more than 200 million tons of trash each year. Want to put some of it to work? Try composting. It creates a natural fertilizer and can save valuable space in that landfill.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Kristen Hall-Geisler

It isn't magic but instead science that causes the bottled water to completely freeze — and some pretty simple science at that. So, how long does it take water to freeze?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler & Austin Henderson

Black ice is hazardous. Even worse, it's nearly invisible on the road surface. Learn more about black ice at HowStuffWorks.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Putting sugar in someone's gas tank has long been rumored to ruin someone's car. But does it really work?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

If a device has a motor, engine or spring, it probably has gears! But what do gears do, exactly, and how do they do it?

By Karim Nice & Kristen Hall-Geisler