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HowStuffWorks

Why 'Shrinkflation' Has You Paying More for Less

Pardon the personal question, but have you noticed that you're going through rolls of toilet paper faster than usual? There's a good reason for that — toilet paper rolls are shrinking. In the past couple of years, major brands like Charmin, Angel Soft and Costco's Kirkland Signature have all...
ECONOMY

What's the Difference Between Raw and JPEG Files?

A raw file gives you more options when it's time for color correcting or other photo enhancements. Talon Homer. Raw shooting capability used to be reserved for expensive professional DSLR cameras. Nowadays, many mirrorless cameras (those without a reflex mirror), point-and-shoots and even smartphones can record raw photos, but the literature explaining their characteristics can be lacking. This may lead people to stick with JPEG to avoid confusion or to shoot raw formats without knowing how to use them to their full potential. Let's find out the differences between raw and compressed image files, with visual examples. We'll also give you reasons why you may (or may not) want to consider using raw formats in your photography.
TECHNOLOGY
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How Does the U.S. Classify Its Most Sensitive Documents?

Before coming to academia, I worked for many years as an analyst at both the State Department and the Department of Defense. I held a top-secret clearance, frequently worked with classified information and participated in classified meetings. Classified information is that which a government or agency deems sensitive enough to national security that access to it must be controlled and restricted. For example, I dealt with information related to weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation.
U.S. POLITICS

Kicking the Bucket: The Fictional Deaths Quiz

Image: Geena Davis (left) and Susan Sarandon in "Thelma and Louise." Credit: Fotos International/Getty Images. Death in real life is tragic, but in books, plays, movies and so on, it's entertainment. How well-versed are you in some of the most famous fictional deaths throughout history?
BOOKS & LITERATURE

16 Uses for Salt That Don't Involve Cooking

Surely you have a shaker of salt sitting on your table or in your spice cabinet. It's by far the most popular seasoning for several reasons. Salty is one of the five tastes that humans can distinguish (the others are bitter, sweet, sour and umami or savory). So salt enhances our foods by essentially upping their natural flavors.

Why August's Moon Is Known as the Sturgeon Moon

Mark your calendar for Aug. 11, 2022. That's the day August's full moon, known as the sturgeon moon, reaches its peak. More specifically, its top illumination comes at 1:36 a.m. GMT (9:36 p.m. ET). If you're busy then, no worries. You can enjoy a nearly full moon the nights before and after (Aug. 10 and Aug. 12).
ASTRONOMY

The Presidential Records Act Is Essential for the National Archives

The FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, Aug. 8, 2022, has sparked a vigorous outcry from Trump and his allies. The details of the search are not clear, but reporting by The New York Times confirms that the search was "at least in part" for presidential records that Trump had taken from the White House and were being sought by the National Archives and Records Administration.
POTUS

How Does Amazon Deliver Stuff So Fast?

These days, whether you're ordering a book, a smartwatch, a tablet PC or a pair of slide sandals, chances are you're anticipating finding that item in a box on your doorstep tomorrow. You're not alone. A 2021 Forrester Consulting study of 12,000 consumers in the U.S. and other countries, conducted...
BUSINESS

Try a Tattoo Without the Commitment

When I was much younger and wanted to get a tattoo, I was given some great advice: Wait one year to decide because it will be on your body permanently. I did just that and waited the 365 days before I pulled the trigger and I've never regretted it. But...
ATLANTA, GA

Hisashi Ouchi Suffered an 83-day Death By Radiation Poisoning

On the morning of Sept. 30, 1999, at a nuclear fuel-processing plant in Tokaimura, Japan, 35-year-old Hisashi Ouchi and two other workers were purifying uranium oxide to make fuel rods for a research reactor. As this account published a few months later in The Washington Post details, Ouchi was standing...
ACCIDENTS

10 Tips to Pack Like a Pilot

Packing a suitcase for a flight is an art, and perhaps nobody does it better than pilots. Many have to jump on a plane at a moment's notice and jet across the globe. The average commercial pilot flies around 85 hours per month, making them some of the most seasoned travelers on the planet. So when it comes to efficient packing, these are the pros who know how to pack light and smart. Here are some of their smartest tips for packing.
LIFESTYLE

Should Everyone Get a Monkeypox Vaccine?

A vial of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine sits on a table at a pop-up vaccination clinic that opened in Los Angeles, Aug. 3, 2022. The Jynneos monkeypox vaccine provides strong protection against infection but is in short supply. Mario Tama/Getty Images. Monkeypox isn't going to be the next COVID-19. But...
PHARMACEUTICALS

What Is the Muslim Holy Day of Ashura?

Ashura (عاشوراء) is a Muslim holiday that's observed in 2022 from sundown Sunday, Aug. 7 to sundown Monday, Aug. 8. Ashura, which means "tenth" in Arabic, corresponds with the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. For Shia...
RELIGION

What Are Muscle 'Knots' and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

Imagine you've just completed a tough upper-body workout. Your muscles feel a bit tired, but all in all you're able to go about the rest of your day just fine. The next morning, you wake up and realize the back of your shoulder blade feels stiff. When you rub your shoulder muscles, it feels like you're prodding a little gumball under your skin. Every time you try to move it around, the area feels tight, with slight spasms of pain.
FITNESS

Bring Water and a Permit to Catch 'The Wave' in Arizona

The Wave — a 6-mile (9.6-kilometer) series of canyons in northern Arizona — may look like the set from a sci-fi movie or perhaps the terrain from a distant planet, but this stunning geological formation is part-and-parcel of Earth's majesty. Sculpted by wind and water over millennia, The...
ARIZONA STATE

Are Skittles 'Unfit for Human Consumption'? A Lawsuit Says Yes

Want to #tastetherainbow? That bag of Skittles may be more than you bargained for. Those colorful, chewy candies with a sweet-tart flavor profile have prompted some consumers to take the candy maker to court over a potentially dangerous additive. A class-action lawsuit filed July 14, 2022, against Skittles' maker Mars,...
LAW

The World's Shortest War Lasted Just 38 Minutes

It's generous to call the Anglo-Zanzibar War a "war." The entire conflict lasted less than an hour and the victory was ludicrously one-sided, yet this 1896 standoff between the British Royal Navy and a stubborn sultan is commonly cited as the shortest war on record. Today, Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous...
GERMANY

What's the Biggest Spider in the World?

Common names of animals aren't known for their precision, and sometimes they're just plain misleading. For instance, a flying fox is just a big bat, ringworm is actually a fungal infection, jellyfish aren't fish, and sure, anteaters eat ants, but they consume more termites and other insect larvae than ants. The Goliath birdeater? Well, this spider is huge, but it doesn't eat birds often enough to warrant the name.
ANIMALS

'Heatflation': How High Temperatures Send Food Prices Soaring

Vicious heat waves are sweeping parts of the globe, along with the dangers that come with blazing-hot temperatures: wildfires, dehydration and even death. The hot weather could also push prices up for food, making inflation even worse. Western Europe has been facing sweltering temperatures; the thermostat hit triple digits more...
ENVIRONMENT