Sarah Dowdey

HowStuffWorks

Sarah Dowdey has written nearly 200 articles for us. She also cohosted the podcast "Stuff You Missed in History Class." She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Georgia.

Recent Contributions

Clean coal -- isn't that an oxymoron? Not anymore. See how energy companies are using coal in cleaner ways to generate massive amounts of electricity. Alternative fuels may be making headway, but coal isn't used up yet. Find out why.

By Sarah Dowdey

Eco-conscious people purchase carbon offsets to help reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. But do offsets actually help, and what does Pink Floyd have to do with them?

By Sarah Dowdey

Green roofs, long popular in Europe, are making their way into the United States. Find out what a green roof is and how it can solve some problems conventional roofs have.

By Sarah Dowdey

Advertisement

While actual footprints measure size, weight and speed, carbon footprints measure how much carbon dioxide (CO2) we produce in our daily lives. Do you know how big your carbon footprint is?

By Sarah Dowdey

Until recently, most people assumed that if Mars had liquid water, it no longer did and hadn't for quite some time. But scientists have recently noticed some anomalies in photos of Mars that may suggest there is water. Could there be life, too?

By Sarah Dowdey & Robert Lamb

Christmas is celebrated by hundreds of millions of people around the world each year. But what do presents, three wise men and Jesus have to do with each other anyway?

By Sarah Dowdey

Reincarnation is the concept that the soul, or some aspect of the soul, is reborn into new lives. Has Western science proven that it really occurs?

By Sarah Dowdey

Advertisement

Vegans take vegetarianism several steps further, avoiding even animal products like honey and silk. Learn about what it's like to be a vegan and why veganism seems to stir up controversy.

By Sarah Dowdey

Lots of families take a weekend break with a trip out to the park or zoo. But with a little preparation, you can have a similar experience in your own backyard. Get ready for a wild trek through home territory.

By Sarah Dowdey

Did King Tut put a hex on a group of archaeologists and dignitaries? Or is a mosquito to blame for their mysterious deaths?

By Sarah Dowdey

Flavorists are enlisted by food manufacturers to concoct new and improved flavors for food. But how natural is the process?

By Sarah Dowdey

Advertisement

From Jimmy Choo to Omni Hotels, retailers are following the latest advertising trend: scent marketing. Can a pleasant smell make a big sale?

By Sarah Dowdey

Despite what people say, the tongue isn't your body's strongest muscle. But you do depend on it for eating, tasting and speaking.

By Sarah Dowdey

The Dalai Lama is known for his compassion, wisdom and patience. But how does the 14th Dalai Lama govern his people in exile?

By Sarah Dowdey

The principle behind karma is that people's actions affect their present and future lives. Is karma an idea or an actual substance that sticks to the soul?

By Sarah Dowdey

Advertisement

The Audubon Society promotes legislation that protects wildlife, birds and the ecosystems that support them. Learn about the society's past and present.

By Sarah Dowdey

The EPA was established to protect human health and the environment. How does the agency interpret and enact environmental legislation?

By Sarah Dowdey

With its fleet of ships in tow, Greenpeace uses nonviolent tactics to bring attention to environmental abuse. How did Greenpeace start, and what does its name mean?

By Sarah Dowdey

Smell is a basic sense, but scientists are still exploring how it works. Why are researchers, developers and even government agencies so curious about smell? What makes a seemingly simple sense so tantalizing?

By Sarah Dowdey

Advertisement

Taste might seem like the simplest sense. But we know much less about taste than we do about sight and hearing. Why is taste so mysterious? And what on earth is umami?

By Sarah Dowdey

Your luggage gets "mishandled" by an airline and favorite pieces of your wardrobe, souvenirs and toiletries disappear into a black abyss. Or do they? Actually, your wardrobe is hanging out in Scottsboro, Ala., and it has some interesting company.

By Sarah Dowdey

Did you know that there are almost as many types of vegetarians as there are reasons for becoming one? Find out why vegetarians are such a diverse lot.

By Sarah Dowdey

Freegans live off the grid, refusing to buy, work or rent. How do they do it? Dumpster diving. Why do they do it? That's a little more complicated.

By Sarah Dowdey

Advertisement

In detective movies or TV shows like "CSI," photographers swarm in and take countless pictures of a crime scene. But how does crime scene photography really go down?

By Sarah Dowdey

Acid rain is caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from power plants, cars and factories. Find out how acid rain is produced, how it affects natural and man-made objects and how governments aim to reduce it.

By Sarah Dowdey