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.

RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS


For the first time, technology giant IBM has created its very own typeface, IBM Plex.

The Constitution gives the U.S. Senate the power to expel one of its members by a two-thirds vote, but it hasn't happened since the Civil War, and there isn't a well-established process for doing it.

Smartphones could become obsolete by 2020, replaced by a new generation of wearable communication devices that will change the way we interact with the world.

The annual Leonid meteor shower is back, and peaks the in the early-morning hours of November 17 and 18. It's made up of tiny bits of debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle.

William McKinley was popular, successful, re-elected and assassinated. He shaped money's influence in politics, and transformed the United States into an international power. Why isn't the 25th president better known?

Sorry, democracy grinches: a single voter's decision can make a difference. American citizens have cast rare, but possible, pivotal votes throughout history.

A groundbreaking study finds light skin pigmentation gene variations originating in Africa, eroding the notion of race as a biological characteristic, and shedding light on cancer and evolution, too.

Gerrymandering the political trick of manipulating the size and shape of electoral districts, to give one party an advantage. It's always been a problem, but technology has taken it to new heights.

The rise of Hindu nationalist political parties and the iconic tomb's Islamic identity underscore religious friction in the world's largest democracy.

Will the programming of truly driverless cars prevent them from violating traffic laws? That might actually make traffic move faster.

Despite increased production, a potential shortage of plutonium-238 fuel could jeopardize NASA's distant missions.

What's the likelihood we're living in 'The Matrix'? A new study suggests it's pretty likely we're real after all.

Every autumn, Earth passes through a stream of debris left by Halley's Comet, resulting in nighttime meteor showers in mid-October.

How are driverless trucks changing trucking? Will human truckers still exist in the near future?

A lawsuit in federal court in Colorado seeks to establish that the Colorado River ecosystem has legal rights similar to those of a person.

Bump fire stocks enable a shooter like Las Vegas killer Steven Paddock to fire a semi-automatic rifle at nearly the rate of an automatic. How do they work?

Researchers have found a way to use evaporation from lakes and reservoirs to generate electricity, and say that could become a major renewable energy source.

Was our current era defined by the introduction of the iPhone, the hashtag, and a professional wrestling appearance by a future U.S. president?

Camera-equipped commercial drones are cheaper and require less training. Is it time to say goodbye to your local eye-in-the-sky traffic reports?

We often think that if a drug has been studied by scientists and given a favorable outcome, then it must be safe and proven. But many kinds of biases can creep into a study, rendering it less than effective.