Recent Contributions

In the United States, there's Harvard University. In the U.K., there's Oxford University. Each is the oldest in its respective country, though neither has been around quite as long as the oldest university in the world.

By Sascha Bos

In Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, amidst the vast forests and archaeological sites, lies the awe-inspiring city of Chichén Itzá. This ancient Maya metropolis is renowned for its architecture, intricate mythology and reverence for Kukulkan, the feathered serpent god.

By Marie Look

If you’re feeling especially optimistic, you might say that, as a society, we’re becoming more open and accepting of different sexual identities and preferences. Of course, there’s always backlash, but in recent years, it’s become more popular to be upfront and unashamed of who or what one is sexually attracted to (within the bounds of consent and maturity).

By Zach Taras


To U.S. taxpayers, April 15 comes with lots of scrambling and sweating to send some cash or paperwork to the IRS. But why does Tax Day fall on that particular date? And why is it on April 18 sometimes?

By Dave Roos

Pre-paid cell phones, aka burner phones, are a common way for people to make calls and text anonymously, but can burners really escape detection?

By Talon Homer

If you took one of our recent newsletter quizzes, you've come to the right place for the answers.

By Madison Orradre

One of Earth's most interesting natural features, the Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water on the planet, defying conventional classifications to be both a sea and a lake.

By Marie Look


Flame colors span a spectrum that tells a tale as old as fire itself. Many people wonder what color is the hottest flame; more than a testament to the natural fascination with fire's beauty, this question underscores a fundamental principle in the science of thermodynamics and combustion.

By Clarissa Mitton

In 1996, the Pokémon trading card game launched in Japan, just months after the release of the Pokémon Red and Green games for Nintendo's Game Boy. Now, 28 years and 52.9 billion cards later, the Pokémon trading card game continues to captivate players and collectors alike.

By Sascha Bos

It happens all the time. You see an ad on television for an amazing car you've always wanted, and the monthly payments shown are actually within your financial grasp. But is that "attractive lease offer" really all it's cracked up to be?

By Josh Clark

Japanese automaker Honda is best known for their VTEC system. Almost all of their newer vehicles are equipped with VTEC engines. But what does it actually do and how does it maximize engine performance?


There are three types of ducks: dabbling, diving and perching. Wild ducks are classified based on their habitat and behavior.

By Sascha Bos

In the heart of ancient Mesoamerica, amidst the vibrant cultures of the Aztecs, Mayans and other indigenous peoples, one deity held a central place in religious belief and cultural imagination: Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god.

By Marie Look

Do you need to calculate the rate at which something changes over time? Whether it's the change in the x-value over the change in the y-value of a line on a graph, or the distance travelled by a car over the course of an hour-long drive, you'll need a rate of change formula.

By Sascha Bos

Adding a chemical called tetraethyl to fuel can significantly improve the gasoline's octane rating. But what is octane? And how does it improve the gasoline we buy? Read on to explore this fascinating molecule.

By Marshall Brain


Ford whipped the public into a frenzy back in 1957 with its marketing campaign for the Edsel, "the car of the future." The Edsel was supposed to be everything American car buyers wanted. But — for many, many reasons — it was a terrible flop.

By Jamie Page Deaton

Traction control helps limit tire slip in acceleration on slippery surfaces. Many of today's vehicles employ electronic controls to limit power delivery for the driver, eliminating wheel slip and helping the driver accelerate under control.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

If you've never had the experience of towing a trailer, then you probably don't know what tongue weight is. Sure, it may sound funny — but to someone hitching up a heavy load, it's very serious.

By Scott C. Benjamin

Outdoor enthusiasts love towing, RVing, and camping with 5th wheel set-ups. But what is a 5th wheel, exactly? Read on to find out how this hitching mechanism can be easily installed and used!

By Jamie Page Deaton


How does the thermostat in a car's cooling system work? I had to test my thermostat today and was amazed as I watched it!

When it comes to braking, different drivers have different reaction times. Your time can depend on driving skills, vehicle capabilities, and road conditions. Read on to test how much braking distance you need.

By Josh Briggs

The camshaft has a huge effect on engine performance. It helps let the air/fuel mixture into the engine and get the exhaust out. Learn all about the camshaft and how a new one can radically change an engine's behavior.

By Karim Nice

We're here to debunk the myth that matte finish paint is super- high maintenance. It just needs proper upkeep to truly shine.

By Cherise Threewitt


Squeaky brakes can panic a driver, as brakes are arguably the most important safety feature in automobiles. Sometimes the concern is warranted, as the brakes are going bad. Other times, however, there may be nothing wrong at all. So, how can you tell the difference?

By Sarah Siddons

I'm always hearing people talk about pumping nitrous oxide into an engine. How does nitrous oxide help an engine perform better?