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

You'll Never Guess Why Thomas Jefferson Raised Geese

The Founding Father was a prolific writer during his day. He wrote so much, in fact, he required a steady supply of quills.

What's the Meaning Behind the Latin Phrase 'Caveat Emptor'?

The Latin language may be dead, but this phrase, which originated 2,000 years ago, is still used in legal and financial docs. So what does it mean?

Why the 2020 Fire Season Has Been So Hellish

Dozens of wildfires have scorched millions of acres in the western U.S. this year. One Oregonian tells what it's like living through the record season and if it's a preview of what's to come.

How Many Butts in a Buttload?

If you've ever expressed the charming idea that you have a buttload of something – a buttload of laundry to do, a buttload of tacos to eat – you may have wondered what the measure of a buttload actually is and where the phrase came from.

Find a Gold Ticket, Win a Candy Factory. For Real

If you've ever dreamt of living out 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' now's your chance — golden ticket hunt, winning a candy factory and all.

Why Do We Say We're 'In a Pickle'?

Ever found yourself in a pickle and wondered, "Hey, why the heck do we call it a pickle?" Let's see if we can swim through the brine and find out.

Prunes: They're Not Just For Pooping

Sure, eating prunes can help you have regular bowel movements, but these sweet dried plums can also help you build — and maintain — strong bones.

Why Your Baby Could Be Giving You Mommy Thumb

New parents — especially new moms — are prone to an ailment known as mommy thumb. It's painful and real, but what is it and how is your baby causing it?

Celebratory Yard Signs Are Having a Major Moment

Thanks to COVID-19, big celebrations are canceled. So it's no surprise people aren't saying 'Happy Birthday' with a simple card, but with a huge yard sign instead.

Super Cool Science: How to Make Instant Ice at Home

Purified water will 'instantly freeze' under certain conditions, and you can even make it happen at home. Is it magic? No. It's science!

Why Your Hair Is Tougher Than Razor Blades

You think stainless steel is a strong metal. So would it surprise you to learn it can't hold an edge when it comes to your hair?

Who Is Karen and Why Is She So Mad?

The name Karen has somehow become the universal term for the angry, white woman. But when and how did that happen?

What's the Difference Between the Fibula and Tibia?

You probably remember the jingle from kindergarten...the shin bone's connected to the, wait, what bone is it?

What's the Difference Between Ethyl Alcohol and Isopropyl Alcohol?

The two different types of alcohol are commonly used in hand sanitizer today. But does one work better than the other?

What in the World Are Tonsil Stones?

Never heard of tonsil stones? They're nasty little stones that can form in your throat. So should you freak out if you have them?

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.