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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Tired of hearing about things like monounsaturated fats, partially hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids and not knowing a thing about any of them? Find out what you need to know here.

By Marshall Brain

If you've ever been to an aerial fireworks show, then you know that fireworks have a magic all their own. Ever wonder how they make such incredible colors and designs? Learn all about these pyrotechnics!

By Marshall Brain & Austin Henderson

Because sustenance ensures our survival, food preservation is one of the oldest technologies developed by human beings. Find out what's being done to your food to make it last longer.

By Marshall Brain

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Ever wonder what, exactly, you are putting in your body when you eat? Would you like to know the real difference between a "fat" and a "carb"? Learn all about food and how your body uses it!

By Marshall Brain

Got a few grays? Just want a new look? Well, if you are like 75 percent of women, you're part of a billion dollar industry. Learn all about hair coloring and choosing the best color for you.

By Marshall Brain

Want to keep your dog out of the neighbor's yard but feeling guilty pulling out a leash? You might consider an underground or wireless pet fence. Learn how these fascinating systems work and why this specialized fencing industry is booming.

By Melissa Russell-Ausley

There's a candy called 'Pop Rocks.' When you put it in your mouth it makes a loud popping sound and it feels really weird! How do Pop Rocks work?

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Hydrogen peroxide is something that is used to clean cuts. Have you ever wondered why it foams when placed on a cut? Learn about hydrogen peroxide.

By Yara Simón

Yesterday you talked about hydrogen peroxide, and the day before you talked about Pop Rocks candy. Since we are talking about things that fizz, what about Alka Seltzer? How does it work and why does it fizz?

It's technical name is sphygmomanometer and it takes your blood pressure. But how does it do that?

Many of the things I buy contain little packets of crystals. Some of them actually say "Silica Gel" on them, but many are unlabeled or say something like, "Do not eat." I have found these packets in electronics, vitamins and even in some pepperoni I

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How do chickens create eggs? Does the chicken's body make the shell and fill it with the white and yolk somehow, or does it make the white and yolk and then somehow wrap the shell around it?

Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide that’s used in everything from transporting goods to removing skin imperfections. Learn more about dry ice and how to use this versatile compound effectively and safely.

I'm having T-shirts printed, and the people at the shop keep talking about "silk-screening." How does silk-screening work?

By Austin Henderson

A nautical mile is used for navigation at sea. It is a unit of measurement based on the circumference of Earth. How does it relate to a standard mile and a kilometer?

By HSW Contributors

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Nothing quite thrills like seeing fireworks light up the night sky. A lot of design and planning goes into creating the awe-inspiring shapes we've come to love.

By Karen Kirkpatrick

Some truly bizarre and troubling things have been done through the ages in the quest for scientific knowledge. The 10 experiments on this list all made humans into lab rats.

By Maria Trimarchi

You may have heard of Topsy the elephant and her sad demise at the hands of Thomas Edison. But what's the real story?

By Nathan Chandler

Using a portable toilet at an outdoor concert or festival might be disgusting. But it sure beats going in a field! Now, imagine if your job were to clean out those suckers.

By Dave Roos

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Surprisingly, the date stamped on your unopened can of tuna doesn't really have much to do with how safe it is to eat. So what does it mean, and how can you decide whether to eat it or chuck it?

By Laurie L. Dove

You might have heard of George Washington Carver and Neil deGrasse Tyson. But what about Patricia Bath? Or Percy Julian? Meet 10 African American scientists who have made the world a better place for everyone.

By Laurie L. Dove

Stethoscopes started as a way for 19th-century doctors to put some distance between themselves and grubby patients. Today though, this simple listening tool is one of the best ways to diagnose a range of problems.

By Julia Layton

Ahhhh, the good old No. 2 pencil and its oft-used eraser. Have you ever wondered exactly what science is at work when that pink, rubbery lifesaver eradicates your blunders?

By Maria Trimarchi

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In 1925, after an auto paint job gone wrong, a young research assistant was struck by the idea for adhesive tape. But how does tape actually stick, and how are we able to peel it off a roll?

By Julia Layton

Before the scientific method came along, science dabbled in some pretty far-out ideas in its youth. Remember miasmas? And spontaneous generation? And the four elements?

By Nicholas Gerbis