Advertisement

Innovation

Do you know how common everyday items, such as mirrors, fireworks or sunglasses work? This collection of Innovation articles explores the workings of objects you may come into contact with on a regular basis.

Topics to Explore

Advertisement

Learn More

How Hollywood Screen Siren Hedy Lamarr Helped Pioneer WiFi and GPS

Hedy Lamarr's twin passions were acting and inventing. During World War II, she came up with a secret communication system that paved the way for technology like WiFi and GPS. But for decades, people thought this was an urban legend.

Video Software System Syncs Lips to Other Languages

A new video translation technology not only converts speech into another language, but makes a speaker's lips move accurately in that language.

Why Are Legal Pads Yellow?

They're instantly recognizable — mostly for their color. We're talking about yellow legal pads. So who decided they'd be yellow, anyway?

The 'SnotBot' Drone Is Making Scientific Research Easier on Whales

A drone with some petri dishes attached is making research much less stressful for whales and scientists alike.

How Morse Code Works and Still Lives On in the Digital Age

The heyday for Morse code is primarily over, but this communication method using dots and dashes still has its place in our digital world.

Three Famous Hypotheses and How They Were Tested

From Isaac Newton to Ivan Pavlov, scientists have developed and tested hypotheses through carefully crafted experiments for centuries. Here are three groundbreaking hypotheses and the predictions they tested.

The Ultimate Downsize: Living in a Shipping Container Home

The trend toward tiny houses and rabid clutter clearing have combined to lead more than a few people away from the traditional home and into shipping container life.

Eugenics Overshadows the Legacy of Scientific Genius Francis Galton

Galton was a pioneer in meteorology, psychology, statistics, biometrics, forensics and anthropology. But all of that is overshadowed by his promotion of and work on eugenics.

New Liquid Magnets Go Places Solid Magnets Can't

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.

Turning Air Pollution Into Ink

The pollution produced by cars, trucks and factories can be recycled as ink, cleaning the air of dangerous particulate matter and turning it into a useful product.

How That Creamy Chocolate Is Made

Who doesn't love a smooth, creamy bar of chocolate? The process to make one is pretty tricky, but sooo worth it.

Barrels and Barrels of Aged Beer

We're talking the science of aging beer with the brewmasters of Sweetwater Brewery.

Jane Goodall: A Global Face for Global Peace

In her legendary 60-year career, Jane Goodall has made being an intrepid scientist, environmentalist, writer and teacher look easy.

Thomas Edison vs. Nikola Tesla Quiz

There's a lot of controversy surrounding the two one-time work colleagues turned bitter rivals. Find out more with our quiz.

HowStuffWorks: Candyland Comes Alive at Candytopia!

"Candy Queen" Jackie Sorkin took her love of sugary sweet candy and turned it into a crazy, colorful world of art and illusions.

Toilets: The Past and Future of the Flush

The toilet hasn't evolved much in 400 years, but modern science is hoping to change that.

All Salt Is Not the Same

Salt is something most of us use without thinking about it. But with so many options available, how do we know what's best?

Would Sonic the Hedgehog Be Able to Survive His Own Speed?

Humans routinely break the sound barrier in supersonic aircraft. Could everyone's favorite hedgehog do it, too?

Database of 18,000 Retracted Scientific Papers Now Online

The blog Retraction Watch released an online database of more than 18,000 papers and conference materials that have been retracted since the 1970s.

Algae: Pond Scum or Food of the Future?

Algae represents big money to some investors and could provide protein to help solve the problem of world hunger.

Robot Revolution: Coming to a Restaurant Near You

Robots are starting to show up in the restaurant industry, but their developers say they're designed to work alongside human workers, not replace them.

Who Was Rube Goldberg, and What Are His Contraptions?

A Rube Goldberg machine is intentionally designed to perform a simple task in the most indirect and circuitous fashion possible. Meet the funny man behind these one-of-a-kind contraptions.

Tiny Patch Can Help Detect Contaminated Foods

Foodborne illnesses kill more than 400,000 people every year. But researchers in Canada have created a patch that could put an end to consuming contaminated foods.

Is 'Young Blood' the Fountain of Youth?

A startup in California is touting the anti-aging effects of transfusing teenagers' blood on older people.

Sanctioned, Synthetic, Savory: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

From the latest on the future of license plates to the history of ketchup, catch up on some of our best stories of the week here.

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement



Advertisement

Advertisement