Patty Rasmussen is a freelance writer based in the Atlanta area. She’s written about everything from Major League Baseball to economic development to the reason why calico cats are almost always female. Patty enjoys writing for HowStuffWorks because it means she’s usually picked first for trivia teams.

Recent Contributions

Betty White died at the ripe old age of 99. We look back on her life and amazing television career.

By Patty Rasmussen

Edward Osborne "E.O." Wilson never grew out of his "bug period" as a child and, as a result, became one of the world's foremost experts on the subject of ants.

By Patty Rasmussen

Want to put your money where your values are this holiday season? Certified B Corporations are companies that voluntarily commit to verifiable standards of social and environmental accountability.

By Patty Rasmussen

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If you travel to the small Island of the Dolls in Xochimilco, near Mexico City, listen closely. You may hear the whispered conversations of the dolls that hang around.

By Patty Rasmussen

They seem to be all around us — immersive exhibits that enfold the viewer, moving us into the art instead of keeping us at viewing distance. So, why are they suddenly so popular?

By Patty Rasmussen

The office of the Senate parliamentarian provides access to nonpartisan and confidential legislative expertise to help develop new legislation and understanding of the rules that govern the Senate.

By Patty Rasmussen

The French and Indian War, also called the Seven Years' War, was not the French against the 'Indians,' but a massive French and British land grab that indirectly led to the American Revolution.

By Patty Rasmussen

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History has been made as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo steps aside and Kathy Hochul becomes the state's first female governor.

By Patty Rasmussen

Between a yearlong delay and a still-ongoing global pandemic, Tokyo 2020 (or 2021 if you prefer) is not the Olympics anyone expected. But it's sure to be one we will never forget.

By Patty Rasmussen

A brilliant political strategist and Putin critic, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been poisoned, imprisoned and recently ended a hunger strike. What's next for him?

By Patty Rasmussen

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. But a few breeds stand out for being, well, exceptionally large. Which hold the records for being the biggest?

By Patty Rasmussen

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You might think the difference is only in the name, but it's more than that. The slight variations in recipes, aging and even geography make whiskey and bourbon two different alcohols.

By Patty Rasmussen

With a very friendly personality, the Egyptian Mau can be trained to do almost anything a dog can do, from walking on a leash to fetching a ball.

By Patty Rasmussen

Magpies are much-maligned as harbingers of doom, thieves of shiny objects and songbird eggs, but they're smart, monogamous for life and actually hold funerals for one another.

By Patty Rasmussen

Reconciliation is a secret weapon the Senate uses to pass huge tax and spending bills quickly through Congress. So what is it, and what does it mean?

By Patty Rasmussen

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The most obvious feature of Manx cats is their lack of a tail, but there is a lot more to them than that, including the fact that they have dog-like personalities and make great pets.

By Patty Rasmussen

Dame Jean Macnamara's research helped eventually lead to the Salk vaccine for polio. Her lasting legacy as an advocate for people with disabilities still lives on today.

By Patty Rasmussen

Getting lost in a book is one of life's greatest pleasures, but is a digital book just as pleasurable as a paper book? And which format is the best for learning?

By Patty Rasmussen

Halloumi cheese, delicious all by itself, is a great alternative to meat because, fried or grilled, the flavor can't be beat.

By Patty Rasmussen

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Paprika comes from the dried Capsicum annuum variety of red peppers, and can range in flavor from sweet to very hot.

By Patty Rasmussen

This pretty pink fruit is part of the flower of a climbing cactus. The plant likely originated in Central America but you can find the fruit almost anywhere today.

By Patty Rasmussen

Its name is a derivative of a Mayan word for "hair" and by the looks of it you can see why. But how do you eat a rambutan and what does it taste like?

By Patty Rasmussen

When threatened, the slow loris licks venom secreted from a gland under its arm. Licked and loaded, the loris is ready to poison an attacker with a bite.

By Patty Rasmussen

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Graham crackers were invented by Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham as part of a radical 19th century diet. His goal? To curb joy and desire.

By Patty Rasmussen

What did these two U.S. presidents, who were also father and son, have in common beyond their first and last names?

By Patty Rasmussen