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


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.

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?