By this author

By Rachel Swaby on at

Dry Cleaning: It's Not What You Think

For me, dry cleaning has always belonged in a category of miracles, along with colour-safe bleach, dry shampoo, and acupuncture. They seem to work, but is it only because we'd like to believe they do? So we decided to take a look past the counter and '80s-style decals to figure out, what is dry cleaning, anyway?

Why Rubber Rules

By Rachel Swaby on at

When Charles Goodyear figured out how to take the smelly sap from some trees and turn it into the rubber of industry, the finished, stretchy product bounced a crazy diverse number of materials out of their soon-to-be former jobs. Like sheep intestines. Ick.

How Glass Changed the World—Over and Over Again

By Rachel Swaby on at

You probably haven't given much thought to the fact that there's a slab of chemically strengthened glass in your pocket, deflecting blows from keys or change or any other hard objects might slide or scrape or scratch against it, or that the hundreds of millions of similar slices of glass lining pockets around the world wasn't possible not so long ago.

Your Passwords Suck

By Rachel Swaby on at

The only person you can rely on to keep your password secure is yourself. And let me tell you, you're probably not doing enough to keep number one safe. The reason: Your special lump of letters, numbers, and symbols are likely spread over too many sites, are not long enough, and are probably too personal. Most of our passwords suck. And it's kind of a big problem.

Why You have B.O. and Other Sweaty Facts

By Rachel Swaby on at

With all the exuberant resolutions and New Year's exercising, there's going to be a lot of sweat—or sweating it—this month. The anxiety got us wondering, why do we sweat? Is it different in smell and texture depending on the cause? Does it sometimes maybe even smell good?

How Fleece Conquered the World

By Rachel Swaby on at

There was a time in the late 1990s when fleece suddenly became ubiquitous in my life. I blame Old Navy. Their boldly-hued, fuzzy pullovers dominated every commercial break during the holidays and clothed everyone in my high school.

How Christmas Tree Lights Evolved from Major to Mild Fire Hazard

By Rachel Swaby on at

Before our Christmas tree lighting needs were taken care of with £20 and a trip to Argos, creating the atmosphere meant placing candles—wax towers topped with fire—onto seasonal kindling. Think it's frightening now when your dog tugs a branch? Just imagine your living room bursting into flames for the sake of Christmas cheer.