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


Learn More / Page 4

Curious, Cool and Captivating: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

A compilation of the coolest new podcasts, videos and articles at HowStuffWorks.

Why It's Important That NASA Studies Both Earth and Outer Space

President Donald Trump has proposed cutting the agency's Earth science budget. But doing so could negatively impact construction, farming and infrastructure projects.

We Bet We Know What Your Favorite Number Is

Around the world, in study after study, one color and one number always emerge as faves. Can you guess what they are?

Academics Worry That Predatory, Pay-to-Publish Journals Hurt Science

Critics worry that journals with lax standards are lowering the reliability of scientific literature — and exploiting the inexperience of young researchers.

Hear and Now: Kengoro, the Sweaty, Pushup-loving Robot

Plus, you're probably merging into traffic all wrong, and we help you get smart about your smartphone battery.

Scientists Can Induce Visual Hallucinations by Showing You This Annoying Video

Researchers have discovered a way to trigger and control a visual hallucination without drugs, illness or direct brain stimulation.

A Teen-designed App Could End Lonely School Lunches

The app aims to make the school cafeteria a kinder and more welcoming place for all students. But will it work?

Will Nissan's New Self-Driving Chair Usher in a Golden Age of Sloth?

As if it weren't enough for the robots to steal human jobs, the era of autonomous furniture is apparently upon us.

Hear and Now: Cats Dig Food Puzzles

Plus, robots are angling for nearly 8.7 million U.S. jobs by 2021, and the superhero team has been around for way longer than you might guess.

How Hair Dye Turns Your Hair That Great Shade of Pink or Purple

Ever wonder what's happening as your hair changes color? Permanent hair dyes physically and chemically change each hair, whether it's mermaid blue or bleach blonde.

Excel Is Autocorrecting Scientific Research. And That's Not Cool

After surveying thousands of published genetics papers, researchers found nearly one-fifth had errors caused by Microsoft Excel in their supplementary files. Uh-oh.

Hear and Now: Dogs Are Guinea Worm's Best Friend?

We're close to slaying Guinea worm in humans, only now it's arisen in dogs. The team also has news on humpbacks and on how personality and musical taste are intertwined.

Revolutionary Camera Captures NASA's Most Powerful Rocket in Amazing Detail

The HiDyRS-X camera is a slow-motion, high-definition, dynamic range powerhouse built specifically for rocket science.

How Applause Starts and Spreads Is Oddly Scientific

The practice of clapping to show our approval is an ancient one. But recent research suggests that applause actually spreads like a contagious disease.

So Exactly What Is American Cheese, Really?

It's melty, it's gooey, it's oozy, it's yellow, it's processed It's on your burgers and in your grilled cheese sandwiches. But, uh… what's it made of?

New Device Turns Grape Juice to Wine in Just an Hour. Where Do We Sign Up?

Researchers develop a gadget that lets winemakers hasten the fermentation process, experiment more.

What Do Scientists Think of Science Coverage in the Media?

Very often, media coverage of scientific studies is misleading or just plain wrong. What do scientists think would make it better?

How Animal Testing Works

Animal testing has a long, gruesome history, but it's also saved countless human lives.

Homemade Flamethrowing Guitar Plays Seriously Hot Licks

British DIY engineer Colin Furze recreates the pyrotechnics seen in heavy-metal shows and Mad Max: Fury Road.

Newly Created Transparent Wood Could Change How We Build

Swedish researchers have figured out how to take the color out of wood and make it 85 percent transparent. It's part of a trend of new see-through materials.

10 Questions That Science Can't Answer Yet

Science is forever uncovering the mysteries of our universe, but some questions remain elusive. What topics have us still scratching our heads?

How Color-changing Ice Cream Works

Sure, novelty foods can seem gimmicky sometimes, but color-changing ice cream is a treat that's fun for your taste buds and your eyes. Learn the chemistry behind the confection — it's sweeter than you think.

How Daylight Saving Time Increases the Risk of Having a Stroke

New research shows a small but measurable link between daylight saving time and incidence of ischemic stroke, and cancer patients and the elderly are at a higher risk.

Is Extra Credit Messing With Science?

College students who volunteer to participate in academic experiments for extra credit don't exactly represent humanity. And that's a problem for research.