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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Aren't there machines that can detect liquid explosives?

Learn how a machine can detect liquid explosives in sealed containers.

How Fast Food Works

Unless you're in a particularly remote area, you can't go far in most developed countries without finding a fast-food restaurant. Learn how fast-food restaurants came to be and why they're so popular.

How Synthehol Works

What if we could enjoy all of the pleasurable effects of alcohol, without having to worry about the harmful side effects? Learn about synthehol and other alternatives to alcohol.

How Artificial Sweeteners Work

Many dieters use artificial sweeteners as a way to cut sugar without eliminating all things sweet. But did you know that some artificial sweeteners have almost as many calories as sugar? Find out how artificial sweeteners work.

How Sushi Works

Sushi is much more than raw fish. Learn about types of sushi, where it came from, how to make it at home and what it's like to visit a sushi bar.

How Ice Cream Works

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.

How Moonshine Works

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?

How Breast Implants Work

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.

How Tooth Whitening Works

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.

How Espresso Works

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.

How Freeze-Drying Works

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.

How Black Lights Work

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.

How Zippers Work

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.

How Instant Film Works

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

How Aerosol Cans Work

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

How Light Sticks Work

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.

How Artificial Hearts Work

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.

What if I shot my TV?

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).

How Coffee Works

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?

Could I power my computer or my TV with a bicycle generator?

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?

How does chlorine work to clean swimming pools?

What does the filter on a cigarette do?

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?

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

What are dissolvable stitches?

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


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