Patrick Kiger

Patrick J. Kiger has written for HowStuffWorks since 2008 covering a wide array of topics, from history and politics to pop culture and technology. He worked as a newspaper reporter for the Pittsburgh Press, and the Orange County Register in California, where he covered one of the biggest serial murder cases in U.S. history, and also as a staff writer at Baltimore Magazine. As a freelancer, Patrick has written for print publications such as GQ, Mother Jones and the Los Angeles Times, and on the web for National Geographic Channel, Discovery News, Science Channel and Fast Company, among others. In recent years, he's become increasingly interested in how technological advances are altering urban life and the design of cities, and has written extensively on that subject for Urban Land magazine. In his spare time, Patrick is a longtime martial arts student and a fan of crime fiction, punk rock and classic Hollywood films.

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While Londoners on the East End saw their fair share of grime, drugs and prostitution, nothing could've prepared them for Jack the Ripper's bloody rampage in 1888. What's the story behind this legendary killer?

Protons and neutrons, the particles that form the nuclei of atoms, are themselves made up of even smaller particles known as quarks.

Red flag laws allow police to seize the firearms of a person who is viewed as a potential threat to commit a violent act, without charging them with a crime. But how often do they prevent mass killings?

Two mathematicians have solved a decades-old math problem by harnessing the power of a virtual supercomputer.

Electric-propelled boats, which are much quieter and more environmentally friendly than gas-powered motorboats, are finally beginning to hit the waves and find their market.

As far as we know, it has never happened, but a murder in space would most definitely create numerous jurisdictional, legal and investigative complications.

Monsoons are a regularly occurring seasonal climate feature in the tropics, where a contrast between land and ocean temperatures causes shifting winds and brings heavy rainfall.

Trump's recent inquiry into the possibility of the United States buying Greenland made us wonder if countries can actually buy and sell each other.

Many people worry that drones will invade their privacy, though experts say the fear is greater than the actual threat.

You've seen the presidential seal whenever you've heard a U.S. president formally speak, but do you know its history and significance?

While alcohol consumption is not completely alien to the space program, not much is known about its effects on the body outside our atmosphere.

Magnets have always been solid, but scientists have now created a material that's both liquid and magnetic, able to change shape and adapt as necessary.

Did you know that a moon can leave its orbit around a large planet and go out on its own?

Titan is the only moon in the solar system with much of an atmosphere, and the only one known to have liquid rivers, lakes and seas on its surface.

The San Andreas is the most famous and closely watched fault line in the world because of the fear that it could shake, rattle and roll at any time.

The world has only had time zones since the late 1800s. Some people think we should eliminate them and have just one universal time.

Less than 100 miles from Las Vegas, is the most famous secret military installation on the planet: Area 51. For decades, the U.S. government refused to acknowledge it existed. But now, the secret is out.

Hypersonic missiles, which could reach distant targets in a matter of minutes and wreak destruction with their own kinetic energy, are a potentially destabilizing threat to world peace.

NASA has built a lightweight robotic helicopter capable of flying in the thin atmosphere of Mars.

U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers routinely jump out of helicopters into dangerous waters, risking their lives to save others.