Local News

Have a Question? Web Site Explains 'How Stuff Works'

Posted March 7, 1999

— Ever wonder how yourcar works, or howbread works, or how yourimmune system works? A Web site hosted by an inquisitive Raleigh author and software developer answers hundreds of those questions.

WRAL Technology reporterTom Lawrencelearned"How Stuff Works"from author Mr. Brain -- Marshall Brain that is!

"How Stuff Works" is a huge site, full of easy to read information about how most everything around us works. Even thosedouble bell alarm clocks.

"It has that complicated look about it, but when you actually look and see what's happening, it's really quite simple," says Brain.

That's the key to Brain's success. He's written ten books including "The Teenager's Guide To The World." That book lead to "How Stuff Works" for people who want to know.

"Someone who was curious about technology could come and learn about it, and it would be fun," says the author.

How about stuff about cell phones?

"If you understand it, it would be really hard to make this boring. You know it's just so amazing. It's got a 1,600 channel radio inside of it and it's got a computer inside of it and it's got all this stuff," explains Brain enthusiastically.

"Stuff" is Brain's obsession.

"I use the word a lot," he says. "That's where the title comes from."

The Web site has caught the attention of TV producers who may spin off aPBSshow.

"Something pretty lively and fun, but still having a lot of good information and content," says Brain. "And then the Web site would be where you go for more information."

Brain says he uses the library, encyclopedias and the Web for research. But does this know-it-all know everything?

According to Brain, "No, I'm afraid I don't."

Brain is working with a lawyer to put up information about how the legal system works, a brain surgeon about how the brain works and a woman in China about how the abacus works.

Brain says his site is proof that the Web can and does serve up great content, particularly about "How Stuff Works!"

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