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.


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

Spaghetti models are a way of visualizing data from many different hurricane models to predict a storm's probable path.

Measuring how fast an aircraft travels depends on whether you factor in the speed of the wind behind it.

If fettuccine rock exists on Mars, it would suggest the existence of microbial life there.

While most of the rest of the world has switched to Celsius, the U.S. continues to use the Fahrenheit temperature scale, apparently out of simple inertia.

And an additional $11,000 will allow you to use the space toilet.

Coconuts, found on islands in the Pacific, really would be an excellent food source for a castaway.

Opinions differ about whether the U.S. has become an oligarchy, a society in which a wealthy elite has most of the power.

We've been cruising to and from the International Space Station since 2000. Isn't it about time we started moving on to other space destinations and establishing human outposts?

Who takes the hit when the U.S. president levies tariffs on our trading partners?

The Great Depression may seem like ancient history, but many of the factors that contributed to it still pose economic risks today.

To what extent is U.S. intelligence able to conduct surveillance on the internet activity and electronic communications of U.S. citizens?

The Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, ended with a stalemate and left North and South Korea as adversaries. It also changed the course of U.S. national security policy.

The Manhattan Project built the city of Oak Ridge in rural Tennessee, where secret facilities produced uranium-235 for the atomic bomb.

The big blacked-out sections of the Mueller report are calling attention to redaction. The process of redaction can be sophisticated or simple. And sometimes, not completely fool-proof.

JFK. Tupac. Bonnie and Clyde. They each died in a car, but what happened to those famous vehicles after the fact?

Mathematician Andrew Booker has found the three cubes that add up to the number 33, a long-unsolved math problem.

Although it doesn't happen often, large passenger jets crash for many reasons, from mechanical failure to pilot error.

A Boston-based company plans to manufacture a supersonic business jet that will replace windows with video screens.

Cleaning an airliner for the next flight is a complex undertaking that must be carried out rapidly.