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.

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Although it's fairly easy to make at home or pick up at your local grocery store, ice cream is actually a very complex substance. Learn what goes into ice cream, how it's made and who invented it.

By Ed Grabianowski

Phytochemicals may protect us from diseases like cancer and heart disease. As the research mounts, companies are seeing dollar signs: You'll now find phytochemicals in a variety of supplements. Find out just how beneficial phytochemicals are, where you find them in nature and at what point the benefits turn to risks.

By Stephanie Watson

Think the days of backwoods stills and black market liquor are over? Think again: Police are still arresting moonshiners. How is moonshine made? And why are homebrewing and winemaking legal, but distilling your own moonshine isn't?

By Ed Grabianowski

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Breast implants are becoming a popular high school graduation present for parents in the U.S. to give their teens. Learn all about breast implants and the surgical process of augmentation.

By Robert Valdes

In the past few years, tooth-whitening has exploded as the physical upgrade of choice. Unlike nose jobs and chin tucks, just about anybody can afford to try this at home. Learn about different whitening techniques and how they work, and decide if you should give it a try.

By Dr. Jerry Gordon

It's a great pick-me-up in the morning and a perfect finish to a good meal. Ever think about trying to make this stuff at home? Find out what espresso actually is and how to make a perfect shot every time.

By Madeline Bullock

If you've ever tasted a Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut, you know there's something special to these melt-in-your-mouth treats. How do they make a doughnut that's crispy outside yet soft inside? Find out.

By Tom Harris

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Remember "astronaut ice cream"? That was freeze-dried. You can find freeze-dried spaghetti and meatballs and even omelets. Find out what "freeze-dried" means and how such a state is achieved.

By Tom Harris

Black lights look like normal lights, but they do something completely different. Switch one on, and fingernails, laundry detergent, highlighters, money and teeth will glow in the dark. Find out what why.

By Tom Harris

Better than buttons? Maybe. Less time-consuming than laces? Definitely. As far as fastening mechanisms go, the zipper is a work of art. Learn exactly what makes up a zipper and how it all fits together so perfectly.

By Tom Harris

Before digital cameras, you needed instant film to get instant pictures. With instant-film photography, you can watch the image slowly come together in a matter of minutes. While it seems like magic, the process relies on elements of science. Find ou

By Tom Harris

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They dispense everything from hairspray to cleaning products to whipped cream. Without them, you'd be doing a whole lot of pumping.

By Tom Harris

You see light sticks everywhere during the holidays – especially Halloween. Have you ever wondered why these cool light sources glow? What's happening when you crack one? Take a look inside a light stick.

By Tom Harris

On July 2, 2001, heart failure patients gained new hope, as surgeons performed the first artificial heart transplant in nearly two decades. The AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart is the first completely self-contained artificial heart and is expected to at least double the life expectancy of patients.

By Kevin Bonsor

You know that bumper sticker that says "Shoot your TV"? Click here to find out what would happen if you actually tried it (it's best to let us do the dirty work).

By Marshall Brain

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How does a ball point pen work?

This stimulant drink comes from beans that are roasted and ground and, for many of us, it's a staple of life. But do you know where coffee grows and how it gets to America? How a French roast differs from an Italian roast? What a coffee cherry is? Or how decaffeinated coffee is made?

By Debra Beller

I live in California, where we are having a power crunch. I have a hypothetical question: Could I power my computer or my TV with a bicycle generator?

How does chlorine work to clean swimming pools?

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I have been smoking for 50 years and have always wondered why cigarettes have filter tips. I can remember when none of the cigarettes on the market had filters, and now nearly all of them do. Does the filter do anything?

My glasses have an anti-reflective coating. How does that work?

Dissolvable stitches are a convenient medical marvel. What causes them to dissolve?

How does a Dippy Bird work?

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From Beaujolais to Bordeaux, Madeira to Merlot and Sancerre to Shiraz, wine can complement almost any food. And, one glass of red wine daily may be a heart-healthy habit. Learn how wine is made, from grapes to glass!

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Crayola crayons have nurtured childhood creativity and remained safely edible for over 100 years. Now learn their story- how they originated in the 19th century, how they've changed, and we'll even tell you how old that familiar label is.