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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

What Does It Mean to 'Take It With a Grain of Salt'?

'Take it with a grain of salt' means to be skeptical about something. But where does the phrase come from?

What Are the 7 Diatomic Elements?

Diatomic elements are molecules composed of only two atoms, every time, always. There are only seven of them on the entire periodic table.

Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other's Butts?

To a human it's unimaginable — sniffing another's derriere. But to our canine companions, it's totally normal. But why? Why?

What's the Difference Between Poisonous and Venomous?

The two words mean very different things and are often used incorrectly. We'll clear up the confusion.

Why Do Dogs Have Anal Glands?

All dogs have anal glands that serve multiple functions. The problem is they can also get blocked or infected, and even leak, which is really disgusting if you're a human.

Why Was the Mad Hatter Mad?

The Mad Hatter makes quite an impression in the 'Alice in Wonderland' books and movies. But the expression 'mad as a hatter' actually predates this character. So, where did the term come from?

Why Birds of a Feather Mob Together

Bird mobs are not roving gangs of thug birds. But they are bands of birds coming together to harass bigger predators. And the behavior is loud and raucous.

What's Scarier: No Toilet Paper or Wiping With One of These 5 Alternatives?

What in the world do you wipe with when you're totally out of toilet paper? You can try one of these alternatives. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

10 Tips That Make Working From Home So Much Better

If you're new to working from home, it might not be the dream you were expecting. But we have 10 helpful tips to make your teleworking days more productive.

What's the Difference Between a Castle and a Palace?

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.

Farts Can Be Silent, But Can They Be Deadly, Too?

Maybe you've never even thought about it when you've smelled — or emitted — a particularly odoriferous fart. But can that fart spread disease?

Has Guinness World Records Set Any World Records?

The company is known for compiling thousands and thousands of off-the-wall records set by others. But does it hold any records of its own?

Spotify Playlists Have Gone to the Dogs ... and Cats ... and Hamsters

More than 70 percent of pet owners play music for their pets so Spotify has created custom playlists just for your furry friends (and your favorite iguanas, too).

Why Can't You Smell Your Own House?

You almost never notice the way your own place smells. Why is that?

Why Is New York City Called the 'Big Apple'?

Why not the Big Kumquat or the Big Banana? New York's fruity moniker actually had its beginnings in the sports pages and jazz clubs of the 1920s.

Why Do Cats Need to Knead?

This quirky, but endearing, behavior — also known as 'making biscuits' — is common in all domestic cats. But what is your cat saying when she's mixing dough on your belly?

Why Do We Say 'Holy Cow'?

The Hindu religion considers cows holy. But that's certainly not why we utter the expression. So what's the story behind it?

If at First You Don't Succeed, Try Tripe Again

Humans have been cooking and eating tripe for centuries. Think you can stomach it?

No Joke: Dead Butt Syndrome Is a Real Pain

We know science rarely says anything good about sitting all day. But did you know that if spend too much time on your bum, you could end up killing it?

Geoducks: The World's Most NSFW Mollusk

These saltwater clams are the largest on the planet, and some can live as long as 100 years. And despite their, well, looks, they're pretty darn tasty.

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