is a media company that is internationally recognized as the leading provider of information on how things work. Founded by Marshall Brain, offers in-depth articles that explain the world from the inside out to millions of readers every month. media offerings include: Express - Print and online magazine subscribed to by 15,000 schools/teachers, reaching 900,000 students Books - Two books published by Hungry Minds: "" and "How Much Does the Earth Weigh?" CD - A "snapshot" of the entire Web site (as of February 2002) on CD-ROM Video - Syndicated television vignettes airing in 10 U.S. markets through a partnership with Primedia Digital Video Radio - Syndicated radio vignettes distributed through Cox Radio Syndication - Award-winning online destination for anyone who wants to know how anything works - Business spin-off of, providing information on the inner workings of the business world - How Fitness Works, the fitness spin-off of that provides information on how to get in shape and lead a healthy lifestyle Print & Online Syndication - Syndicated to newspapers, magazines and Web sites, including The Los Angeles Times, USA Today Online, and Plant Engineering

You can learn all about the company through the links below. How '' Works tells you how the company got started and where it's headed. Other links give you complete contact information, maps to the office and other useful information about the company.

We hope you enjoy, and we look forward to hearing from you!

How We're Covered in the Media

May 2002
Yahoo! Internet Life
"HDTV 101"

"The next time you try to buy a television, prepare to face a torrent of acronyms, formats, specs, and screen measurements that may make you think twice about whether you really need to join the modern entertainment age. It's not entirely your decision to make, though, is it? Broadcasters, TV manufacturers, cable and satellite providers, and the federal government are all pushing us down the path to the futuristic world of high-definition TV, whether we want to go or not, and our PCs may be coming along, too.

"...Which is, of course, why we have the Internet. Start at Marshall Brain's How HDTV Works [] for a 10-minute lesson on HDTV basics: what it is, why it's different, and what you need to buy. It's here that we learned the important difference between a true HDTV and an HD-ready TV (the latter requires a set-top converter)."

April 26, 2002
"E-commerce on the Web"

"According to the motto at HowBizWorks, 'Business doesn't have to be boring.' Bravo! We were pleased to discover this engaging collection of business tutorials from the well-informed folks at If you're new to the Net, be sure to start at the beginning of Lee Ann Obringer's excellent guide to 'Promoting Your Online Business.' Or start with the section on cross-selling, and you'll understand why we're so jazzed about the new 'Yahoo! Cross-Sell' feature. You'll see how it fits in to your online arsenal of informative content, special Web promotions, courteous email communication, and superior customer service. Make your store a pleasant place to shop and visitors will come back for more."

April 17, 2002
Tucson Citizen
"Best of Best Web Sites Should Include These 5 Gems"

"...When I was little and I had questions about stuff, I would ask my mom or dad. If they didn't know the answer, they would go to the set of Encyclopedia Britannicas and look it up. Now that I'm an adult -- and too cheap to plunk down the cash for a set of Britanicas -- I go to the Web when I have a question about something. is the Mr. Wizard of Web sites. You can ask questions. You can read the gee-whiz stuff posted daily and, in general waste a lot of time. If you ever wanted to know how a MagnaDoodle works, this is your Web site."

April 15, 2002
Tech Directions
" CD"

"Do you want to know how bats work? How helicopters work? How hypnosis works? These questions and hundreds more are answered on the website at And now, due to popular demand, the entire award-winning website is on CD. Version 2.0 contains a complete image of the website as of February 8, 2002. All the articles, illustrations, and animations are there, along with a search tool that lets you find articles quickly. The CD is ad-free, and you can access everything without being connected to the Internet. All you need is a computer and a curious mind. Educational pricing available. Go to for ordering information."

April 1, 2002
"50 Best Websites"

"Site founder Marshall Brain (yes, that's his real name) was obviously one of those 7-year-olds obsessed with understanding how everything in the universe works; now he's one of those adults. In 1998 the electrical engineer and former teacher started posting his breezy, well-organized essays on the mechanics of engines and motors, complete with diagrams. Today is an eclectic encyclopedia that covers everything from torque converters to dieting to DNA. The site's search engine trolls the Web as well as its own content; search for hot rods and you will pull up links to sites about vintage cars and bodybuilding, plus Brain's pages on lightning and batteries."

April 2002
"Reviewing the Wild, Wild Web"

"I would guess that digital photography is the type of endeavor that would attract a lot of techies. Man, do I have a site for you. Do you want to know how a car engine works? Would you like to discover what makes a cell phone tick? A TV tock? What's inside that mysterious Microsoft X-Box? How'd that rich guy from New Hampshire (yeah!) put that Segway scooter together? And more importantly, how do digital cameras work?

"This site is great fun. All your questions about a multitude of subjects can be found here. (How does aspirin work?) Go look at those when you're done with the digital camera section. Because 99 percent of all your basic questions about digital photography can be answered here. (For the record, I'm not very technical. I know how to take photos, but don't know much about lens design.)"

March 26, 2002
Woman's World
"Now it's Easier to be a Great Mom!"

"Eager to answer the questions your curious toddler can't seem to stop asking? This web-site explains everything from why we need to sleep to why we can't tickle ourselves to why onions make you cry."

March 24, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Surfing the Net with Kids"

"We only hear about earthquakes in the news every once and a while, but they are actually an everyday occurrence on our planet. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 3 million earthquakes occur each year. That's about 8,000 a day, or one every 11 seconds! explains the science of earthquakes in a 10-page site for middle and high school students. Look in the Lots More Information page for links to additional articles on seismographs and building quake-proof structures."

March 23, 2002
"Science and Technology Week"

"If you're looking for the best sites on the world wide web, "Time" magazine has come up with its top picks of the year. You can find the entire list at the newsstand next week, but if you can't wait, Josh Quickner gives us a sneak peak.

"'...A web site for people who like this television program would probably be I love this site. It's done by a guy named Marshall Brain, that's really his name, and he has a wonderful way of describing how everything works. Everything from a computer to DNA.'"

March 15, 2002
"70 Top Web Sites"

" was justifiably honored with a People's Choice 'Coolest Site of the Year Award' in 1998. In language we can all understand, with clear diagrams to supplement the text, this Web site explains both natural phenomena and human inventions."

March 7, 2002
The Dallas Morning News
"'Fashion' a Word That Barely Fits"

"From one of the best online sources for plain English explanations of high technology comes this marvelous article on the emergence of digital jewelry. That's right, folks -- accessorize and digitize in a flick of the wrist. Predictions of how the personal computer could be dismantled into key pieces of jewelry is where Yves St. Laurent meets Dick Tracy. The authors post a five-page account of how this stuff will work and who's already trying to make it happen."

February 26, 2002
PC Magazine
"Top 100 Classics"

" - The name really says it all."

February 21, 2002
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Cool Stuff"

"The engineer in your life will love this site. In fact the good thing about is that explanantions are in simple-enough terms that English majors will get it, too. For example, a question about how a gun silencer works compares it to popping the balloon with a pin vs. untying the end of the balloon. A fun site to spend an hour or two surfing around, you'll find answers here to such varied questions as 'How do cellphones work?' 'How does gasoline work?' 'How do organ transplants work?' and 'How does chocolate work?' There's also a daily survey question. A clue to the readership: Respondents to a recent question about which movie should win the Best Picture Oscar answered 'The Lord of the Rings,' 38.7 percent; 'A Beautiful Mind,' 9.2 percent; and 'In the Bedroom,' 0.6 percent."

February 21, 2002
Detroit News
"Hot Sites"

"Lock Picks. Stun Guns. Recessions. No matter what the subject, explains it all with photos, diagrams, animations and more. Fun factory tours, do-it-yourself experiments and more make this a must for even the remotely curious. Bookmark It!"

February 2002
District Administration
"Curriculum Web Site Awards 2002"

" is an amazing site where people can get clear, straightforward information complete with colorful animated illustrations on how things work, from car engines and television monitors, to aspirin and breathalyzers. The expanding site already offers more than 2,500 articles with 2,000 graphics, and receives 6,000 questions a month asking for additional explanantions. The content is organized by category -- such as computers & Internet, body & health -- but also offers a powerful search engine and daily features including "Gadget of the Day," "Question of the Day" and a Top 40 list of articles."

January 2002
Contra Costa Times
"Search is Over for Helpful Internet Reference Sites"

" provides answers to that age-old question, 'but how does it work?' Well-written explanations accompanied by snazzy graphics make the site a worthwile read. Besides the feature articles, the site includes a place to propose questions and a daily survey. "Appropriate for the young, the young at heart, and, of course, the perpetually curious."

January 2002
USA Today
"Force on the Field"

"The momentum generated by a 340-pound player running 15 mph, the average speed of someone running 40 yards in 5.1 seconds, is the same as: A 17-pound bowling ball shot out of a cannon at 300mph. Source:"

January 2002
The Dallas Morning News

"This Internet mainstay of great information also helps folks understand the pros and cons of buying a cellphone and what to look for in their new gadget. To get to the heart of this big site, scroll down to How a Cell Phone Works, then page down to the feature on what to avoid, where to buy, and what features or pitfalls to keep in mind while shopping. Go to the Lots More Information link from there for more articles on service plans and cellphone radiation levels, for starters."

January 2002
Yahoo Internet Life
"100 Best Sites - Best Science & Technology Resource"

"If you want to keep the gang spellbound with fascinating stories of how nuclear radiation, kidneys, and Web servers work, the hundreds of illustrated, easy to-follow tutorials here are exactly what you need. Just want to satisfy your curiosity about how boomerangs do their thing? That's covered, too."

December 8, 2001
Wired News
"Ginger's Scheme All in the Lean"

"'When you start to tip the machine forward, it starts moving forward to catch you,' said Doug Field, the former Ford vehicle development specialist who's now Segway's chief engineer. 'It's like when you're trying to balance a broom on the palm of your hand. If it falls in one direction, you move to that direction to catch it.'

"Adds Marshall Brain, creator of, 'It doesn't read your thoughts; it reads your lean. It's comparable to a lie detector, which looks at your blood pressure and your brething rate, not at whether or not you're really telling the truth.'

"' Brain foresees other uses, as well. 'Imagine a self balancing ladder that can move itself around when you lean. Or a two-wheeled suitcase that 'walks' vertically next to you in the airport rather than you having to drag it along,' Brain said."

December 4, 2001
ABC News
"How IT Works"

"...Marshall Brain, an author and founder of, Inc., believes that the Segway uses the same principle. 'Take three gyros and electronics and you can sense movement in any direction,' he says. But, more than just sensing a change in direction, Brain says 'IT's taking signals from [the sensors] and deciding what is happening to the vehicle and deciding what to do.'

"...Brain who has not been on a Segway, notes that while gyro sensors have been around for ages, it is the hardware and the software that makes the Segway truly unique. 'We're just getting to the point where we have enough computing power that it can mimic what humans can do,' he says."

December 2001
Car & Travel Monthly
"Your College of Automotive Knowledge"

"Cynics say that the Web gives us unlimited access to an unending supply of untrustworthy information. This site may change their minds. The brianchild of a guy named Marshall Brain, delivers exactly what its name promises. Its automotive section explains major systems and includes links to in-depth technical background. If you can't tell a camshaft from a CV joint, here is a great place to start."

December 2001
REV Magazine
"Save it For a Brainy Day"

"Some guys go through life ignorant of everything except how to achieve the perfect coif and maintain their Mustang's 4.6L V8 engine. While those are undoubtedly vital talents, they aren't going to keep prospective girlfriends in thrall for long (if at all). Surveys in women's mags repeatedly yield that females consider the brain the sexiest organ, so you'd be a fool not to flex it often. You don't want to be the weakest link.

" is ground zero for aspiring know-it-alls. The site was conceived by Marshall Brain (no joke), a 40-year-old overachiever with seemingly boundless knowledge and curiosity. With dead-simple navigation and a breezy, highly conversational style, Brain and his staff writers offer handy primers on infinite topics, from "How Lie Detectors Work" to "How the Electoral College Works" to "What Makes Your Knuckles Pop" (bursting bubbles in the synovial fluid between your joints, FYI). Search specific topics or become an expert in general fields like "Electronics and Telecom" and "Living and Entertainment." If any question remains unanswered, wade into the site's discussion forums and suggest a topic."

December 2001
American Educator
"Ways to Get Started Using Technology with Your Students"

"Investigate any of the topics on "" This Web site explains in plain English, often with good graphics, how almost anything works. Your students will have fun exploring car engines or how mosquitoes 'work,' and everyone will learn."

December 2001
Teaching K-8
" Express"

" Express for ages 8-14 combines science, technology and the Internet. Features include science topics, web links and activities for exciting quests, puzzles and games, experiments and EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE - a biographical study of a person in science.

"The TEACHER'S CORNER is free online support for the print publication with links to the National Science Education Standards. EXPRESS QUEST INTERNET PROJECT, HOW STUFF WILL WORK, NEATSTUFF FEATURED TECHNOLOGY and EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE are stand-alone topics with free online lesson plans, curriculum links and worksheets with answer keys. Don't miss GAMEWORKS with fun games to exercise those brain cells, NO WAY! for trivia facts and SCITECH ON TV. The archives let you implement a topic you missed or weren't ready to use in your curriculum when it was an active unit. HOMEWORK WIZARD is a collection of resources for searches, reference, science questions and a Science Fair listing for individual and class projects."

November 12, 2001
The Wall Street Journal
"Internet Can Offer Solution to Homework Dilemma"

"...Another is, a service of, Inc.. Founder Marshall Brain - yes, that is his real name - launched the site as a hobby in 1998 and then incorporated it a year later. Today, publicist Michael Kroll estimates, students represent 27% of the site's three million unique visitors each month, drawn as much by the articles about how different things work as they are by the extensive database of scientific experiments for students of all ages.

"The site is still best known for its answers to mechanical questions - how a car engine works, how a cruise missile works. Even so, that hasn't prevented the site's authors from explaining the hows and whys of Nostradamus, the U.S. military draft, Osama Bin Laden, flatulence and root beer."

November 2001
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"It Takes a Brain to Explain"

"Marshall Brain, author of "" and "How Much Does the Earth Weigh?", is here to give us the answer to 'that's a good question.'

"How does Marshall Brain work? And how does Marshall Brain's brain work? And how does Marshall Brain marshal that brain into interesting stuff?

"Enough already with the brain stuff. We're talking about "," a new book of interesting explanations of things from, yes, Marshall Brain."

November 2001
IEEE Spectrum

"A good reference and a good read, presents clear, well-illustrated explanations of how things work. Airplanes, cruise missiles, hybrid cars, batteries, file compression, digital cameras, routers, microwave ovens, sunglasses, radio-controlled toys, and more are covered. The book makes complex ideas interesting and understandable to adults and kids alike."

November 2001
"How Does it Work?"

"Want to find out if it's true that drinking ice water burns calories? Need to learn how to fool a lie detector? Then head to, where hundreds of such questions are answered. Not only does the site tell you how military pain beams will work, but you'll learn how to get rid of tattoos, how to write JavaScript programs and how to fix a toilet."

November 2001
PC Upgrade
"The Web's Best-Kept Secrets"

"Marshall Brain's brilliantly feeds one of humanity's most enduring and universal traits: curiosity. Car engines, forces of nature, roller coasters, human biology, DSL, lock picking, and even mummies are among some of the many topics available for exploration on the site's home page on any particular day.

"Topics are organized by categories ranging from computers to home appliances. There's even a Cool! category for those interesting unclassifiables. You can browse the Question of the Day archive for answers to ponderables like "Why is the back of a refrigerator painted black?" appeals to those who continue to wonder about the world."

October 24, 2001
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Caught on the Web"

"Oh that tricky Bowl Championship Series. How exactly does it work? You take The Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls, toss them together with eight separate rankings compiled by those true experts of any sporting endeavor -- mathematicians and businessmen (Lee Corso has nothing on Jeff Sagarin) -- toss in a side of "strength of schedule," and this supposedly determines the two best college football teams in the country.

"Regardless of your faith in the BCS, if you're a college football fan, it probably would be helpful to know how this thing works. "And the place to find out how things work is Want the inner-workings of a blimp explained or instructions on how to build your own cotton gin? Is the mystery that is gum disease racking your brain or are you just plain curious about organizing your own safari? It's all there at"

October 2001
Mobile Computing & Communications
"101 Best Mobile Web sites"

"The ultimate dummies guide to just about anything, is painstakingly clear. It uses non-technical language (with acres of diagrams) to dissect everything from car engines to toilets to Bigfoot. Sections on technology and gadgets are particularly strong."

October 2001
Yahoo! Internet Life
"Best Student Research Sites"

"How is a nuclear bomb detonated? Why does Alka-Seltzer fizz? What's the deal with DNA? Using diagrams, animations, illustrations, and (most important) clear writing, explains all manner of complicated devices, systems, and concepts without the Ph.D.-speak. There are hundreds of topics here that decipher the human body (heart, brain, lungs), as well as human achievements -- both the bad (cigarettes) and the good (toilets)."

September 26, 2001
"Best Locally Run Online Site"

"Already hailed around the nation as one of the best Web sites out there, Raleigh-based gives practical, easy-to-understand information on a myriad of topics too diverse to list here. But a random visit to the site revealed featured articles such as "How Paintball Works," "How Quicksand Works" and "How the Jaws of Life Work."

September 17, 2001
The Wall Street Journal
"Attacks Raise Issue of What's on the Web"

" is a fascinating Web site where people can learn how televisions work, or what a surprisingly small amount of gold exists in the world.

"The Web site also has informative sections like "How airport security works" and "How much fuel does an international plane use for a trip?"

September 2, 2001
The Charlotte Observer

"If you've ever wondered how anything works, from a halogen light bulb to a chain saw, here's the site for you. Run by a guy named Marshall Brain (honest), this site explains in simple language how all kinds of things work. The wide-ranging site has areas devoted to everything from diets to body parts, but there's a substantial amount of information in the areas devoted to home improvement, repair and appliances."

September 2001
"Feed Your Brain:"

"From cars and computers to ASA and black holes, this site provides detailed explanations of how and why things work. Well written and easy to understand."

August 22, 2001
The Dallas Morning News
"Web Site Founder Learning How Business 'Stuff' Works:"

"Marshall Brain's started out as a hobby and grew into a global phenomenon. Millions of fans regularly flock to the site, seeking answers to questions they didn't know they had -- like 'How Quicksand Works' or 'How Lock Picking Works.'

"Mr. Brain, 40, who has the manner and sensibility of a former computer-science instructor at North Carolina State University, rewards visitors to the site with clear writing and bold, detailed graphics. His articles put technical concepts into terms that general readers -- particularly young people -- can understand easily."

August 2001
Working Mother
"Answer Life's Hard Questions:"

"If you have no clue what makes heavy airplanes fly and how skyscrapers get so tall, find the answers at The jam-packed site provides easy answers to your kid's trickiest inquisitions. You might want to look a few things up yourself, like how urban legends work -- where they started, how they spread -- or how aliens might behave, if they existed."

July 26, 2001
Philadelphia Daily News
"Hey, You Don't Need the Beach to Surf:"

"The guy who runs this site says his name is Marshall Brain. I don't think so. But he's got a canny, delightful, bet-you-can't-read-just-one site here, full of exactly what the title says: explanations of how things work. Like animatronics. Lie detectors. Bowling pin-setters. Computer viruses.

"There are even explanations of the soon-to-be's ('How Military Pain Beams Will Work') and the maybes ('How Bigfoot Might Work')."

July 23, 2001
"Surf Report:"

"Articles and color animations that explain how a car engine works, how lock picks work, among many, many other topics."

July 20, 2001
"Surfing into Saturday, Home Improvement Sites:"

"This site is guaranteed to keep you hot on the trail of what you wanted -- by taking you off on any number of fascinating digressions into info you weren't looking for. From 'How Animatronics Work' (for fans of "Jurassic Park III") to 'How Military Pain Beams Will Work'(for devotees of futuristic warfare) and even 'How Dieting Works' (for those who spend so much time at this site that they're missing their exercise). is every inquiring mind's dream. Newcomers, the welcome page will give you a tour of HSW animations, the Top 40 articles and more. Pack a lunch, you'll be at this site for hours."

July 2, 2001
US News & World Report
"Twist and Shout:"

"If a little physics doesn't make you queasy, discover how "false gravity" in a loop-the-loop keeps cars on track and you in your seat. Loopy coasters also use wheels locked into three different grooves -- if false gravity fails."

July 2001
GMC Directions
"Chariots of the 21st Century:"

"The distance between two points is getting shorter. The ride is getting smoother. And the flow of human cargo is getting more and more constant. The machines that get us from here to there are propelling us into the future a lot sooner than we thought. The builders of modern transportation - airplanes, trains, ships and spacecraft -- are continuosly reaching and overcoming obstacles to increase capability similar to how GMC continually strives to improve.

"'There is a strong human need to move ourselves to different locations and see other things,' says Marshall Brain, founder and CEO of a Web site that explains modern technology called, Inc. ( 'From a business standpoint, there's something hugely different about being face to face with someone, rather than on the phone, because communication is richer at that level.'"

June 7, 2001
Los Angeles Times
"Children Can Learn"

"For those curious about how nearly anything works,, at, is the right destination. The site is packed with information on topics including Computers and the Internet, Engines and Automotive, Electronics and Telecom, Science and Technology, Body and Health and Entertainment.

" recently launched a children's print magazine and companion site called Express at Here, kids can explore such categories as Extraordinary People, a look at exceptional figures of science and technology, and Toy Autopsy, where popular toys are dissected and explained.

"Also featured is How Stuff Will Work, an amusing take on tomorrow's technology, and Teacher's Corner, which includes lesson plans, work sheets and classroom activities. In No Way! Mysteries and Misconceptions, kids learn engaging tidbits. For instance, elephants are the only mammals that can't jump."

June 2001
"Most Educational Design:"

"When I was a child, my mother would occasionally find me curiously disassembling one of her household appliances. Fortunately when I have a curious child, the Web site offers an alternative to the hands-on approach. This site offers explanations for everything from toasters to quantum computers. From how sharks work, to the details of biological cloning, your discoveries at will be endless."

May 24, 2001
The New York Times
"For One Web Site, Some Explaining to Do:"

"Marshall Brain cannot sit still. When he sits in meetings for his company, his left leg pulses restlessly. When he talks, his hands are always busy -- twisting a rubber band, playing with pocket pliers or massaging a Swiss Army knife he has kept for 20 years. Its red paint has worn to shiny silver.

"But at least one project stops Mr. Brain, 40, from fidgeting: the act of taking something apart. On a recent Thursday he appeared almost serene as he took a power screwdriver in hand, removed the plastic casing from a wheeled toy robot and gazed at the gears and circuit boards inside.

"'Look,' Mr. Brain said, running his hands over the robot's wheels. 'It's actually four-wheel drive.'"

May 2001
Writer's Digest
"101 Best Web sites for Writers:"

"It's fast, it has great graphics and animation, and it's just plain fun. In fact, it's addictive. Where else can you find out what WD-40 means (Water Displacement, 40th attempt) and whether flour is inflammable (it's not). Not only can you add credibility to your fiction, you can wow'em at your next cocktail party."

May 2001
"To Satisfy Your Curiosity:"

"There are two kinds of people in the world: the ones who played quietly with their Beanie Babies as children and the ones who kept asking their moms why rocks are hard. The folks in group B should check out this site, which explains everything from 'How Cell Phones Work' to what the 'WD' in WD-40 stands for (water displacement). Why? Go ask your mom."

April 30, 2001
Albany Times Union
"The Answer Man:"

"Admit it. You've been wondering how your refrigerator works. Or how helicopters fly and why chopping up onions makes you cry.

"You aren't alone. Millions of other folks have been flocking to to read explanations on everything from what makes roller coasters roll and toasters toast.

"In a year when dot-coms are crashing and burning, is an award-winning Web site that attracts more than 2 million unique visitors per month, wins industry and consumer accolades, and once was touted by former Vice President Al Gore as 'representing the very best of the Web.'"

April 16, 2001
VAR Business
"Dig This:"

"From chocolate to VPNs, one Web site goes into great detail to explain topics that have always intrigued you, as well as some you've probably never considered.

" is an award-winning site with topics such as 'How VPNs Work,' 'How Crash Testing Works,' 'How Chocolate Works,' 'How Napster Works' and 'How IT Might Work.'

"Articles are presented in more than 20 categories -- from appliances to health care to computers -- on this popular site, which boasts more than 2 million visitors monthly."

March 26, 2001
Design News
"Website Explains Basics:"

"The brainchild of the aptly named Marshall Brain -- who has degrees in electrical engineering and computer science -- (HSW) started out geared to the needs of teenagers. Brain, who wrote nine books about advanced software and another called Teenagers' Guide to the Real World (that tells teens what they need to know to create useful lives), thought it would be a good idea to give young people information to show them how the things they learned in school could be applied to real life careers. Brain says, 'Schools don't do a good job at relating math and science to the real world. But, if somehow the teens got intereted in science and technology, then I wanted to show them how they could create it.'

"The only books he could find were meant either for graduate engineers or children. He says, 'There was nothing in the middle. So I decided to develop a little Web site that would show teens how to create technology. I started part-time with an article I wrote at my kitchen table about how the internal combustion engine works. It turned out that a lot of people want to know how things work. I like that stuff, and wanted to help other people see how cool technology is.'"

March 12, 2001
VentureWire People
" of Raleigh, N.C.:"

"' founder Marshall Brain admits he is a know-it-all. So launching an online publication about how common devices function seemed like a natural step. Since its launch in January 2000, the company has expanded to include a print publication targeted to middle school students and teachers called HSW Express, and a TV show is in the works.

"Now all Mr. Brain needs is a CEO.

"Mr. Brain, who will continue as chairman of the company once a CEO is hired, has enlisted the help and infinite knowledge of the company's board members. The board members include Dave Blivin and Thomas Tull from Southeast Interactive Technology Funds; Jay Helvey, CEO of; Kirk Holland from; and Stacy Jolna from TiVo."

March 2001
"The Macworld Web Awards:"

"Ever wondered how a car's engine works? Or pondered the inner mechanics of your refrigerator? Students of all ages can learn about such fascinating topics at Marshall Brain's ( Get the lowdown on everything from artificial-snow machines to nuclear power plants."

February 16, 2001
WCCO-TV Minneapolis
"This Site Unravels Mysteries of Technology:"

"Sometimes you just need to know how your toaster works. Other times, your curiosity flames up, and you must figure out how your digital clock works, or how your fan can swivel back and forth the way it does.

"Sometimes your desire for knowledge is a palpable thirst that must be sated. For all these times, and many others, there is a Web site that can answer your questions:

"Why? Why? Why? If 2-year-olds could read, they would love this site. It explains everything. For instance, do you know how a toilet works? Neither did I, until I read How Toilets Work on this Web site."

February 11, 2001
The Arizona Republic

"The site delivers. It tells how all kinds of things do what they do. Big emphasis, of course, is on technology, but health, society and many other topics are touched on too. One article describes how audio speakers work, walking you through the basic physics of sound, the nitty-gritty of speaker systems and even looking at some alternative designs. Along the way, you can gather nifty tidbits like 'a speaker is the reverse of a microphone' - why didn't we think of that before?"

February 5, 2001
The Press of Atlantic City
"You Have Questions? This Site Has Answers:"

"What a wonder-filled world we live in -- our houses are lit by electric lights, we drive gasoline-powered cars anywhere we want to, we spend hours killing time surfing the Internet on our home computers.

"And while many of us have a simple grasp of how most of this stuff works, few of us know the details of, say, how our cable modem connects us to the Web instead of beaming the latest episode of 'The Sopranos' into our machines.

"Well, if you're curious about what makes the things we use operate - or you're just looking for a good place to research your next science project - you might want to check out"

January 29, 2001
The News & Observer
"Homework Help Now Provided by Mr. Brain:"

"The apparent power source for the Cary-based is a boundless, unquenchable curiosity that resembles a kind of intellectual cold fusion ( The site is bursting with new questions inspired by the latest science and the latest news, and with insatiable zeal for answering them. Last week there were new articles explaining the workings of India's earthquake, California's power crisis and the protective gear worn by those big men who played in the Super Bowl yesterday.

"Given the childlike spirit of this enthusiasm, it's only natural that HSW would spin off a sci-tech site for fourth through eighth grade students and teachers, called Express ("

January 28, 2001
The Sunday Times UK
"What a Site:"

"Marshall Brain's brilliantly executed site is the best place on the net for plain-English explanations of everyday objects, processes and phenomena. Ever wondered how helicopters fly? Or why onions make you cry? Brain's highly qualified team of engineers and scientists demystify complicated topics with a mixture of technical accuracy and panache.

"This is the ultimate site for the technically and terminally curious: an all-encompassing primer categorized under Body & Health, Science & Technology, Around the House and so on. If this sounds like a Gradgrind dream, full of facts, at least they are beautifully illustrated."

January 14, 2001
Los Angeles Business Journal
"Partnerships Lead to Exposure for"

"First off, Marshall Brain is his real name. Second, the self-described "normal, average American guy," who was born in Santa Monica 39 years ago, started out just wanting to write an article or two that people like him could understand.

"So, about three years ago, he wrote a how-to article about car engines and put it on his personal Web page. Eventually, he did 100 or so similar articles about how things work (for instance, the pendulum clock, batteries, electrical motors, etc.)."

December 16, 2000
Wilmington Morning Star

", the North Carolina media company that provides one of the top-rated Web sites in the nation,, publicized its first major offline offering, HSW Express. HSW Express is a free magazine targeting elementary and middle school students. It offers cool articles and colorful graphics about science and technology, linked to Web-based teaching tools for teachers. 'This is one of several media offerings we plan to launch in the offline space,' said Marshall Brain, Founder and CEO of the popular brand."

December 5, 2000
PC Magazine
"Quick Clips:"

"Check out this recently re-launched site to find clear explanations on just about anything. New features including Gadget of the Day, Cool Place of the Day, and Book of the Day will entice readers into making repeat visits.

"Learn why most zippers say 'YKK' on the pull tab, what WD-40 stands for, and how Pop Rocks candies work, or pose questions of your own. This is a site where you're bound to learn some fascinating stuff."

December 1, 2000
The Business Journal
"Brain's Website Seeking Top Gun:"

"With revenues on pace and 2 million online visitors pouring in every month, Cary-based is on the hunt for a new chief executive. The candidate, says President and co-founder Marco Fregenal, will be an executive with broad electronic media experience. 'Since we are a media company, we're looking for someone who has contacts with the top 20 media companies and the big media players,' he says. 'Someone who can take us to the next level.'"

December 2000
Sony Style
"Owner's Manual for the Universe"

"You can't get more useful than an all-encompassing primer on the inner workings of everything from jet engines to jellyfish, can you? And yet one wonders what percentage of the visitors to the site actually put what they read here to any practical use. Still, it's knowledge, right? And the nitty-gritty, interesting kind at that. Rest assured that you can while away countless guilt-free hours perusing this owner's manual for the universe and come away feeling blissfully informed without actually having gleaned any information to help you finish that spreadsheet your boss wanted on his desk two days ago."

December 2000

"Marshall Brain -- allegedly his real name -- knows it all, or at least does a great job researching the answers. He explains the inner workings of familiar technologies, ranging from diesel engines to Web servers. Scroll down to the list of 'Top 10 Questions' for his replies to readers' odd queries about such subjects as how to ignite flour."

November 1, 2000
Australian Financial Review
"Site Offers Peek Under Technology Bonnet:"

"If the early 21st century has a theme, it could well be 'No user-serviceable parts inside.' We are welcome to use technology, but we are not expected to understand it.

"It's a far cry from the days when a young person's first driving lesson consisted of a lesson in basic mechanics. To drive properly, the theory went, you need a grasp of what's happening under the bonnet.

"For those who feel empowered by insight into the technologies around us, is a welcome web resource -- a technically accurate, entertaining and plain-English explanation of the science of computing, telecommunications and beyond."

November 2000
eCompany Now
"Need a Quick Primer on Cable Modems or Clutches?:"

"In the Cary, North Carolina headquarters of, a Web site that explains, well, how stuff works, nothing has a long shelf life. On the CEO's desk, there's a gearing from a lawn sprinkler, a piece of rock-climbing equipment and a baby monitor. Their days are numbered; soon they, like hundreds of products before them, will be dismantled in the name of research.

"With explanations ranging from how to write Java programs to how light sabers work, the site boils complicated processes down to simple step-by-step explanations. If you're headed into a business meeting and need a quick technology primer, this site can be a lifesaver. It's a haven of clarity about technologies, business practices and nagging mysteries (just how do Sea Monkeys work?), which may explain why it has become so popular. In July, the site broke onto the list of the 500 most popular sites, as measured by PC Data Online."

October 27, 2000
" Inks Three Licensing Agreements:"

", an online magazine that offers educational and entertaining articles about how everyday things work, has landed contracts to syndicate its content to the LA Times, USA Today Online and Plant Engineering.

"'The LA Times is launching a section, every Thursday, called Tech Times, and an edited version of content will be part of that section starting in November,' Michael Kroll, marketing and public relations associate, told

" content will also appear weekly in the science section of USA Today Online in November. And starting in January, Plant Engineering, a Cahners publication, will feature a monthly column by founder Marshall Brain.

"Earlier this week, announced an agreement to distribute content monthly to Research Triangle-based and its more than 600 media affiliates. 'All the licensing partnerships draw from content that's already been developed or will be developed,' Kroll said. 'What these partnerships do for us is help us to continue building the brand and bring our content off the Web and into consumers' homes via magazines and newspapers.'"

October 17, 2000
CNBC - Power Lunch
"Cool Web Site of the Day:"

"Today's Cool Web Site doesn't really have anything to do with business or investing. But I guarantee you'll want to visit it, and you'll be passing it onto a friend or two.

"It's called Do you want to know how a CD player works? Or what makes a helicopter fly? Or how vitamins work in your body? Or what makes Christmas lights blink? It's all here, and a whole lot more. How a car engine works, a silicon chip, MP3 music players, electric light bulbs."

October 2000
Redband-The Internet Audio Network
"Ever Wonder How Your Toaster Works?:"

"Ever wonder how your toaster works? What about an electric toothbrush? Marshall Brain explains the innerworkings of things -- from Aspirin to vacuums -- at"

"I think that people... feel more comfortable about their surroundings -- all the technology around them -- because they actually understand it." -Marshall Brain

Download the free Real Player to access the full interview.

October 2000
Business North Carolina
"How Works:"

"Sitting in his office, Brain fiddles with a gadget that looks like an egg beater, the kind you crank by hand. As he fiddles, he talks about advertising income and his seven-person sales force based in Los Angeles. The egg beater is metal and shiny with a purple handle, and Brain can't stop cranking it. He rattles on about e-commerce, selling hats and T-shirts and other revenue sources. Then there's the TV show, and suddenly the egg beater stops. Brain looks up. 'We will definitely do a TV show.'

"Then there's the kids magazine, which will send to teachers around the country. (Marco) Fregenal says the magazine will be free to schools but profitable for the company, which will sell ad space. The monthly magazine is geared toward kids in grades 4 through 8 and should debut by year's end. 'We look at this as continuing to build our brand,' Fregenal says. 'We have a company of doers. We do things quickly. We think about it and implement.'"

September 27, 2000
Beyond Computers Radio Show - National Public Radio
"There is a Place to go When you Need Some Food for Thought:"

"One place I can spend hours is a site called at It's an amazing resource not specifically a Kid's site, but great for anyone with a curious nature. Have you ever wondered how lie detectors work or pendulum clocks, one-way mirrors or cancer. has a tremendous archive of brief and easy to understand articles on topics ranging from the mundane to the esoteric. How do car engines or jet engines work, what about submarines, Social Security, 3-D glasses, dry ice, dry cleaning... It's Endless."

To hear the spot, please scroll to 41:20 out of 58:59 on a Real Player.

Get your free Real Player download here.

September 7, 2000
Apple iReview
" Receives 5 Stars:"

"Few and far between are the sites that appeal to both the kids and the adults in the house., the winner of Cool Site of the Day’s 1998 award for Coolest Site on the Internet, is just a spot. Created by Marshall Brain (really, that’s his name), is neatly organized into topics ranging from Your Body to Computers to Careers. Brain writes much of the site’s content, though he also enlists other authors and experts to disseminate information on their topics of expertise.

"Search by keyword, and the site delivers reasonable and relevant returns to your inquiry. For a quick introduction to what the site has to offer, try the Top 10 Articles, which explain how toilets, telephones and television work, or the Top 10 Questions, which solve the mysteries of light sabers, root beer and MP3s. The articles' friendly and informative dialogue encourages you to understand the world around you. You can sign up for a newsletter if you like, but no registration or other personal information is needed to access the site."

September 6, 2000
ZDTV Call for Help
"Site of the Week"

"They say curiosity killed the cat, but we don’t buy it. That’s why we keep going back to, one of our favorite sites for the eternally inquisitive.

"We spend most of our time in the computer section reading articles such as How Microprocessors Work or How Routers Work. But the site goes way beyond computers. If you’ve ever been curious about the physics of football or the mechanisms behind the manual transmission, this is the place to go."

September 2000
digital south
"The Real Heroes of Southern Technology:"

"Anyone who can get funding these days for an online operation targeting consumers must be some sort of Houdini, right? Well, Brain is no magician, but rather a former N.C. State computer science teacher whose raging curiosity and knack for explaining complicated gizmos has serendipitously led to that rarest of creatures in mid-2000: a consumer site that might actually be a viable business.

"Brain seems like one of those amiable, brainy characters who pops up with a program on PBS. He's written 10 books and was elected to the prestigious Academy of Outstanding Teachers for his classroom work. Pictures of Brain on the site show a tiny looking Brain standing on a gigantic backhoe during the making of "How Hydraulic Machines Work," and with his son and a snowman during Raleigh's freak blizzard this year."

August, 21 2000
" Takes on Submarines:"

"As Russia prepared to rescue its nuclear submarine that sunk last week in the Barents Sea, Raleigh-based was busy researching how a submarine works. By Wednesday of last week, the provider of online content that explains how everyday things work featured information about submarines on its home page.

"Together, founder Marshall Brain and senior editor Craig Freudenrich co-wrote an article that discusses how life support is maintained aboard a submarine, how a submarine is powered, how a submarine finds its way in the deep ocean and how a downed submarine is rescued.

" is about providing information to help people better understand the things around them, as well as current events, spokesperson Michael Kroll told at Fusion Ventures’ back-porch networking event. Our response to the Russian submarine accident proves that we can deliver valuable information at the right time."

August 11, 2000
" ranks in the top 500 Web sites:"

", which offers educational and entertaining articles about how everyday things work, says it now ranks among the top 500 U.S. Web sites, according to PC Data Online.

"The company said a recent slew of partnerships have driven traffic to its site, enabling to rank as number 497, with 1.5 million unique visitors each month, reading 11.6 million pages of content."

August 4, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
"You'll never see a toilet the same way again:"

"If you're curious about how things work in your house, head straight to at Here the toilet is viewed for what it is, a tech wonder.

"Marshall Brain (honest!), the brains behind the site, says, 'The toilet. The commode. The john. The porcelain throne. No matter what you call it, it is inevitable that we come to this device because every home has at least one. But more importantly, we come to it because the toilet is a technological marvel-a really cool water-handling system!'"

August/September 2000
Champ Car
"The Big Picture:"

"Ever wished you could go behind the scenes and learn the nuts and bolts of how Champ Car racing really works? Thanks to the folks at ( and Motorola, you know have the chance. You'll learn fine details on the inner workings of the cars; how the drivers train for their jobs; and what really goes on in the pits during the races (among other things)-all illustrated with dramatic 3D graphics like the one shown here. Log on and check it out."

July 17, 2000
" Announces '50 to Watch' List of 1,200 Emerging Companies in 24 Markets for 3rd Quarter:"

"Every quarter, reporters and editors evaluate the hot growth companies in the region to find the ones worth watching. We're focused on the private and small- to mid- cap public companies that we feel are changing the economy, but not getting much credit for it.", Inc. has made the list.

July 13, 2000
The Atlanta Constitution
"Net Site Describes '':"

" is a Web site with a simple, though daunting, mission. It aims to explain how things work in language that non-experts can understand.

"There are hundreds of subjects covered, from car engines and cell phones to telephones and toilets. In addition to well-written explanations, there are diagrams, photos and animation to help make things clear."

July 7, 2000
Times Publishing Company
"Web Site We Like:"

" got started -- where else? -- at someone's kitchen table. Two years ago, Marshall Brain (his real name) was kicking around the idea of writing about how things work. Raised on Popular Science magazine, he was one of those kids who took things apart and put them back together. So he wrote an article on car engines, put it on the Web and attached links to the article so readers could learn more. Brain, a computer science teacher and author, started adding articles on weekends and in his spare time. Before long, he had nearly 100.

"The site now employs 35... and there are even plans for a theme park in Orlando. 'I think people are by nature curious and love to learn about things,' said Brain, 39, who lives outside Raleigh, NC, with his wife and two children. 'And one thing I really enjoy is making things clear and understandable.'"

July 1, 2000
Los Angeles Daily News
" -- Really!:"

"A site that, believe it or not, actually does what it says, describing in simple, earnest (and exclamation point-filled!) language how stuff, of all kinds, works.

"What's cool: Right now, it's the special section on how fireworks, uh, work. Consider it an explosive expose on aerial explosives, perfectly timed for a hot holiday."

July/August, 2000
Meridian Magazine
"Brain Power:"

"The peripatetic 38-year-old Brain has been on a mission to know it all since childhood. An electrical engineer by training with one software-development start-up already under his belt, he launched as a hobby in 1998. He worked an hour every Saturday morning figuring out things he was curious about and writing concise explanations, which he illustrated himself. He drove up and down the North Carolina coast to see where the power lines went and toured a Caterpillar factory to learn about tractors. In the office, he is no less intrepid: Brain bravely plumbs the theoretical (pondering how time works) and the terrifying (reading about root canal in detail)."

June 27, 2000
The Oklahoman
"Web Site Sure Knows its Stuff:"

"It all began in January 1998 when Brain was asked by a friend how car engines work. Rather than offering a quick answer, Brain researched the topic and wrote a detailed, and illustrated, article on the subject. Out of that experience, a spark was ignited. Brain loves writing, and he loves finding out and then explaining ''"

June 18, 2000
The Herald-Sun, Durham
", Inc. lends its support to help open Big Brothers/Big Sisters:"

", a Raleigh-based company has adopted both the Durham and Orange counties Big Brothers/Big Sisters agency and Raleigh's program. The CEO, Marshall Brain, had a Big Brother after his father died when he was 14. 'He wants to show his appreciation for the program,' said Jodi Jackson of

"'Big Brothers/Big Sisters will be the signature charity for,' Jackson said. 'We'll be supporting the agency on a local, Triangle-wide level,' she said."

June 15, 2000
The Charlotte Observer
"How-it-works Site Clicks for NC Founder:"

"Marshall Brain has always wondered what makes things tick. Now, anyone going to his Web site,, can find out, too. It became a full-fledged company with 25 employees this year. The site has hit the critical level of 1 million visits a month and is selling advertising worth at least $30,000 a month. Big money needed to develop a business has come from venture capital totaling $5.4 million. 'That's the seed of -- I'm sitting in my house writing the fun articles on how stuff works.'"

June 9, 2000
BULLETIN - News for the North Carolina State University Community
"Vice President Gore and U.S. Sen. John Edwards make a trip to Centennial Campus and are introduced by Marshall Brain:"

"Gore and U.S. Sen. John Edwards were introduced by Marshall Brain, former NC State teacher and current chairman and CEO of, a start-up e-commerce company located in the Centennial Campus small business incubator facility. Brain described his company as an Internet success story, which started with two employees in January and is now a 30-person organization.

"' is also a Centennial Campus success story,' Brain said. 'Centennial Campus is a unique public-private partnership that has worked well for my company, and companies like mine. Having access to the resources of this campus and the university has been a real boost.'"

June 9, 2000
Upside/Southeast Technology Conference Supplement
"The conference awards Marshall Brain and his site Best of Show:"

"A hobby that grew from the passion of a brilliant former college professor with an aw-shucks demeanor has morphed into a well trafficked Internet site that took home the Best of Show Award at the Upside Southeast Technology Conference.

"Brain was a hit at this year's conference, especially after his site had won the top Demonstration award. In accepting the honor, he told the audience that he must answer two questions wherever he goes. The first: Is Marshall Brain really your name? To which he replies, The answer is yes, it's on my driver's license and everything. The second is ubiquitous to the New Economy: How will you make money? To that one, Brain told the audience, 'Our goal is to build a gigantic brand that will revolve around many revenue models, including advertising, sponsorships, and e-commerce.'"

June 6, 2000
Winston Salem Journal
"Detailed Writing:"

"In the beginning, Brain posted his articles on his personal Web site, which he started in 1998. People read them and told their friends. The site took off without advertising and few news articles.

"The Web site contains articles ranging from how a toilet works to what WD-40 means to how hurricanes form and what nutrition is. An exploration of racing cars is to be on the site soon."

June 2, 2000
News & Record
"Web Site has all the Answers:"

"'That's the seed of -- I'm sitting in my house writing the fun articles on how stuff works,' Brain said in his tiny personal office, crowded with books and boxes and a sawed-open car muffler -- the subject of a future article.

"Soon, Brain will move his offices from a North Carolina State University business incubator to an independent office."

June 1, 2000
Speed Vision Online
"PacWest to Give Inside Look at Champ Cars:"

"PacWest Racing has taken a step toward helping fans and non-fans alike understand just how the Champ Cars are able to run 220mph circles, as the No. 18 Motorola Mercedes/Reynard of Mark Blundell is featured in a four-part series on the Web site.

"The Web site, developed by Marshall Brain, takes an in-depth look at everything from the engine and chassis, down to the intricacies of a pit shop. A 3D animation program allows users to look at the components at any angle, and to see just what is involved in making the car go.

"'Champ cars are absolutely amazing pieces of technology. The drivers are remarkable athletes who need incredible stamina, strength and concentration,' said Brain. 'In writing this article, the PacWest Motorola Racing Team and CART gave me unbelievable access to the car and the team, so I got a true, behind the scenes look at the technology, the people and the sport. It is amazing!'"

June 2000
Business Leader
"I Gotta Know:"

" (HSW) has garnered countless educational awards and much recognition, including 'Coolest Site of the Internet 1998' from Cool Site of the Day, 'Reference Site of the Year 1999' from and Popular Science, '50 Best of the Web.' has also been featured on the History Channel and honored by Forbes Magazine in its Best of the Web 2000.

"With recognition like that, must be living up to its goal to clearly explain technology, biology, and the world in a way that is interesting and accessible to anyone that wants to learn."

May 25, 2000
Business Wire CA
"NxView Technologies Creates Interactive, Web-based Champ Car:"

"NxView has teamed with with, CART, Motorola, and The Pac West Racing Group in the creation of a four part series on the Champ race car. Each part will spotlight a different aspect of the popular racing cars -- from chassis design, to engine specs, to CART races.

"'NxView objects and models are designed to help businesses best show their products and processes to deliver business results,' explained Myles A. Owens III, Chairman and CEO of NxView. 'By partnering with, we're able to interactively illustrate their informative content, plus give their visitors the most productive Web experience possible.'"

May 18, 2000
"Meet the 'Brain' Behind"

"It all began in January 1998 when Brain was asked by a friend how car engines work. Rather than offering a quick answer, Brain researched the topic and wrote a detailed, and illustrated, article on the subject. Out of that experience, a spark was ignited. Brain loves writing, and he loves finding out and then explaining ''"

May 10, 2000
" Gets $4.5 Million Funding:"

", which offers educational and entertaining articles about how everyday things work, closed a $4.5 million second round of financing from Southeast Interactive Technology Fund, and the Centennial Fund.

"Speaking to from the fifth annual Upside/Southeast Technology conference at Duke University in Durham, NC, President and Chief Operating Officer Marco Fregenal told the company plans to rapidly increase its content, launch a modest advertising campaign to begin building its brand, add more people to its editorial staff and begin implementing a revenue model."

April 25, 2000
Toronto Star

"There are hundreds of articles in 28 categories, from sports (how do ice rinks work?) to weather to food (the comprehensive guide to catering is helpful). Since you're online, it might be a good time to get the low-down on Web servers and Web pages. Explanations include links and, in some cases, experiments to try.

"You may also ask your own questions, which many have done before you. A scroll through the archives reveals you need never live in ignorance of pressing matters such as: What causes flatulence? Is flour inflammable? What do they put in hot dogs? If all the matter of the universe moved into one corner, how much space would it take up?"

April 5, 2000
"Meet the 'Brain' Behind"

"In January 1998, Brain sat down to write an article for a teenager on how car engines work, complete with diagrams. He enjoyed it so much that, out of his own curiosity, he continued to explain how pendulum clocks, electric motors and batteries work. With electric things come batteries, 'and it just took on a life of its own,' said Brain, a former professor at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

"'Then it became an obsession,' Brain told 'Everything I looked at I'd wonder, how does that work?'"

March 24, 2000
The News & Observer on the Web
"How it Works: It Makes Money, or so Founder Hopes:"

"Marshall Brain is working hard on transforming his hobby into a business. The cost of conversion: $5.9 million. That's how much venture capital Brain is raising in an attempt to turn his popular Http:// Web site into a multifaceted money machine. Brain and the management team he's assembled have designs on using the Web site -- which, as the name implies, is dedicated to explaining the intricacies of how everything from toilets to jet engines do what they do-to sell educational toys and gizmos. Eventually, they hope to move into other media, such as books, television and magazines. 'The goal,' said Brain, 'is to create 'a gigantic brand.'"

March 17, 2000
Internet News Bureau
" Venture Fund II Portfolio Companies Form Strategic Alliance to Provide Education Services to Online Learners:"

" Venture Fund II portfolio companies, and today announced a strategic alliance designed to combine's unique instruction referral services with's online learning community. Venture Fund II is part of the affiliated venture capital arm of Corporation (Nasdaq: INTM)"

February 8, 2000
Entertainment Weekly Online
"Answers to Life's Toughest Questions:"

"Ahh. Here in one simply designed site, lie the answers to life's questions. Well, at least those important ones your kids turn to you for, such as "Why is the sky blue?" and "What does horsepower mean?" Instead of floundering about, trying to disguise the fact you have no clue, log on to author/teacher Marshall Brain's (yes, that really is his name) much-needed site and find out exactly what you need to know."

February 8, 2000
Library Spot
" is Library Site of the Year":

" is proud to announce that, Raleigh, NC, has been selected as the 1999 Reference Site of the Year.

"Judges found How Stuff Work's content current and practical, offering answers for everything from how the engine in your car works to what makes the inside of your refrigerator cold. Judges also noted a user-friendly interface and a great combination of visual, audio and text explanations."

February 3, 2000
"Find out"

"The site covers more than just mechanical items. It also explains things like how cavities form in your mouth, and how fat functions in your body. You could spend hours learning how stuff works, certainly enough to answer a few questions from curious kids."

September 19, 1999
Washington Times
"Site Takes Things Apart to Look Inside:"

"' originally was created to help teenagers learn about the fun and fascinating parts of technology so they can understand it and feel comfortable with it,' Mr. Brain says.

"'I can distinctly remember, as a teenager, wanting to understand programming, electronics, mechanics, etc., but everything I read was over my head.'"

January 30, 1999
San Antonio Express-News
"Brain's Child on the Web:"

"So goes the tale of Marshall Brain, an aptly named Raleigh software executive with a penchant -- some would say an obsession -- for explaining technology to regular people. A year ago, he started a Web site to demystify the inner workings of gadgets like car engines, VCRs and airplanes. And now it has him hobnobbing with the Web elite.

"Brain's site -- at -- won the grand prize last week at the Cool Site of the Year awards, a 700-person New York schmooze-fest that is the closest the industry gets to television's Emmys." Press Releases
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June 24, 2002 Launches “How Stone Lithography Works”, Inc., the award-winning multimedia company that is internationally recognized as the leading provider of information on how things work, has launched “How Stone Lithography Works.” The article, located at, is a step-by-step, illustrated guide that highlights the process of stone lithography. enlisted the help of master printer Toby Michel of the Angeles Press and artist Peter Alexander of Los Angeles, California, to fully explain the art form. Stone lithography was invented in 1798, the first new printing form in nearly 300 years and the first printmaking technology that allowed artists to work using traditional techniques. Typically, an artist draws/paints on a stone with a greasy substance, the stone is moistened with water, oil-based paint is rolled onto the stone and a piece of paper is pressed onto the stone to reproduce the print.

April 20, 2002
Marshall Brain Receives Orthogonal Medal from North Carolina State University

    Marshall Brain, founder of, Inc., was awarded the Orthogonal Medal from North Carolina State University (NCSU), receiving national recognition for his contributions in engineering graphics. The award is given annually by NCSU to professionals who have distinguished themselves in the field of graphic science.

    The Orthogonal Medal was established in 1985 by the Graphic Communications faculty at NCSU. The name of the Medal is derived from the right-angular relationship of three mutually perpendicular planes that intersect to create four quadrants used in developing theory of orthographic projection for recording the shape and size of three-dimensional objects. Within each quadrant depicted on the Medal is the likeness of a notable person whose accomplishments contributed significantly to the development of graphic science as a field of study.

April 8, 2002 Named one of the "50 Best Websites" by Time Magazine, Inc., the award-winning media company that is internationally recognized as the leading provider of information on how things work, was named one of the "50 Best Websites" under the Information and Reference category in the April 1, 2002, edition of Time magazine, saying:

      Site founder Marshall Brain (yes, that's his real name) was obviously one of those 7-year-olds obsessed with understanding how everything in the universe works; now he's one of those adults. In 1998 the electrical engineer and former teacher started posting his breezy, well-organized essays on the mechanics of engines and motors, complete with diagrams. Today is an eclectic encyclopedia that covers everything from torque converters to dieting to DNA. The site's search engine trolls the Web as well as its own content; search for hot rods and you will pull up links to sites about vintage cars and bodybuilding, plus Brain's pages on lightning and batteries.
February 26, 2002 Named one of the "Top 100 Classics" by PC Magazine, Inc., the award-winning media company that is internationally recognized as the leading provider of information on how things work, was named one of the "Top 100 Classics" under the Search, Reference and Portals category in the February 2002 edition of PC Magazine, saying: - The name really says it all.
January 2, 2002 Named "Best Science & Technology Resource" by Yahoo! Internet Life, Inc., the award-winning media company that is internationally recognized as the leading provider of information on how things work, was named "Best Science and Technology Resource" by Yahoo! Internet Life in the January 2002 issue (Top of the Net - Special Issue), saying:

      If you want to keep the gang spellbound with fascinating stories of how nuclear radiation, kidneys, and Web servers work, the hundreds of illustrated, easy-to-follow tutorials here are exactly what you need. Just want to satisfy your curiosity about how boomerangs do their thing? That's covered, too.
November 16, 2001 Receives NCEITA 21 Award for Corporate Education, Inc., the award-winning media company that is internationally recognized as the leading provider of information on how things work, was honored by the North Carolina Electronics and Information Technologies Association (NCEITA) with a 2001 Corporate Education Award. received the award during the annual NCEITA 21 Awards ceremony, held last night at the North Raleigh Hilton. The NCEITA 21 Awards, the oldest and most prestigious technology industry awards in the state, are given annually in 21 categories to the leading companies and individuals in North Carolina's technology industry. Nearly 300 IT leaders from across the state gathered to celebrate the winners of this year’s awards.

October 2, 2001
Primedia Digital Video and Announce Video Venture

    Primedia Digital Video, a division of PRIMEDIA Inc. (NYSE: PRM), and, Inc. announced today that they have formed HSW Video, LLC, a joint venture to create video programming based on the successful brand created by Marshall Brain., Inc. has produced more than 2,500 articles covering a wide variety of educational, informational and entertaining topics including computers, automobiles, science and technology, body and health, living and entertainment, around the house, and aviation and transportation.

    HSW Video currently produces and syndicates TV vignettes hosted by Marshall Brain. The vignettes air during news programming. Recent segment topics include “How Cromakey Works,” “How Caffeine Works” and “How Smoke Alarms Work.” The vignettes are currently airing on local news stations in nine U.S. markets.

July 17, 2001 Launches “How Animatronics Work” in Conjunction with the Launch of Universal Studios’ “Jurassic Park III”, Inc., the award-winning media company that provides the top-rated Web site, has launched “How Animatronics Work” this week in conjunction with the launch of Universal Studios’ “Jurassic Park III.” The article, located at, is a graphic-intensive walk through the creation of Spinosaurus, a new dinosaur animatronic created for "Jurassic Park III" by Stan Winston Studio (SWS). explains how SWS worked with Universal Studios and the film's production team to develop the Spinosaurus design, how it compares to earlier animatronics, what processes SWS uses to make the animatronic more lifelike and how it is controlled.

April 30, 2001 Launches Co-Branded Web Site on Lycos Zone, Inc., the award-winning media company that provides the top-rated Web site, today launched a co-branded Web site on Lycos Zone (, the smart, engaging site for kids (ages three to 12) by Terra Lycos. The Web site, located at, will provide users in Lycos Zone's Homework Zone with a wealth of clear and comprehensive information on how things work.

    The co-branded site utilizes many features of the parent Web site, Lycos Zone users will now have access to thousands of answers on how stuff works. The articles are accompanied by illustrations and 3D animation and are written in a clear, straightforward, entertaining way that makes them appealing to people of all ages.

April 10, 2001
Hungry Minds and to Launch New Book Series

    Hungry Minds, Inc. (NASDAQ: HMIN), the leading how-to knowledge company (formerly IDG Books Worldwide), and, Inc., the award-winning media company that is home to the top-rated Web site, today announced a publishing agreement.

    Together, the companies will create a new book series that expands on the Web site’s clear and engaging content and brings it to a print audience. The announcement was made today by John Kilcullen, chairman and CEO of Hungry Minds, and Marshall Brain, founder, chairman and CEO of

March 19, 2001 Express Debuts "Free to Schools" Program at 2001 NSTA National Convention, Inc., the award-winning media company that launched Express magazine for teachers and students late last year, will debut a new "Free to Schools" program at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Convention in St. Louis this week. The new program allows teachers to receive free copies of Express for their classrooms. Ten thousand copies of Express will be available at NSTA to help launch the program.

January 3, 2001 Announces One Year of Success, the Internet media company that provides one of the top-rated Web sites in the nation,, announced today the anniversary of its first year of operation. The company was founded on January 3, 2000 by noted author and entrepreneur, Marshall Brain.

December 4, 2000 Launches Magazine for Kids: "HSW EXPRESS", the Internet media company that provides one of the top-rated Web sites in the nation,, announced today the publication of its first major offline offering, HSW Express. HSW Express is a free magazine targeting elementary and middle school age kids. It offers cool articles and colorful graphics about science and technology, linked to web-based teaching tools for teachers.

October 23, 2000
KOZ and Announce Strategic Partnership, Top Web Site's Content Available to Growing Network of KOZ Affiliates

    KOZ, one of the Web's leading commerce and community networks, and, the online magazine, announced today a strategic partnership to provide syndicated (HSW) content to KOZ's nationwide media affiliates. KOZ affiliates will be able to receive the first installment of syndicated HSW content on November 1, 2000.

September 18, 2000 Launches New Web Site, Ranked 409, the Raleigh-based e-learning company, announced this week the launch of its newly designed Web site, as well as an online store. The site’s growth during the last six months has amazed skeptics and loyal fans alike, with traffic growing exponentially to 1.8 million unique visitors monthly, who are reading nearly 20 million pages of' content. Remarkably, the Web site has reached this level of penetration, and a ranking of #409 of all U.S. sites on the Web (PC Data Online, Aug. 2000), before launching any type of advertising campaign. “We are amazed, thrilled and excited about the explosive popularity of When we founded the company last January, we never thought we could achieve such a reach in only nine months,” said Marshall Brain, founder and chief executive officer of the company. “This shows us that people are eager for content that provides clear and simple explanations for all the amazing stuff around us."

August 7, 2000 Ranks in Top 500 U.S. Web Sites, the award winning online educational magazine, is now ranked among the top 500 U.S. Web sites, according to PC Data Online. PC Data online is the largest Internet usage research panel in the industry, with over 120,000 participants. Citing July figures, PC Data Online shows ranked #497 among U.S. Web sites, with 1.5 million persons visiting the site monthly, reading 11.6 million pages of HSW content. This is the eighth consecutive month that has increased its visitor traffic and page views, moving from the top 1000 sites into the top 500 in just a two-month period. On average over the last three months, has increased its page views by 34.5 percent. "At this rate of growth, should be close to 20 million page views by October, just in time for our third round of financing" says Marco Fregenal, president of "We can contribute these steady gains to our fresh daily content, as well as numerous business partnerships which we have launched during the last quarter."

June 14, 2000
Vice President Gore and Share View of E-Government, the award-winning online magazine, was honored this week in a speech made by Vice President Al Gore on N.C. State University's Centennial Campus in Raleigh, NC. In his speech, which announced the administration's initiative to put all government on the Web by 2003, Gore hailed as an Internet-based company representing the best of the Web.

    "I came here to the Research Triangle to release a comprehensive plan for the kind of information-age government that I am convinced we together can create," Gore said. Marshall Brain, founder and CEO of, Inc., also gave an address, discussing beneficial applications of Internet capabilities to governmental operations. "I can imagine a site called -- it tells me exactly what I need to do, helps me through the process and then lets me do it all in seconds, in one easy place," Brain said. "It also tells me about government programs available to me based on my situation. I love to see our government moving in this direction."

May 23, 2000 Announces CHAMP CAR RACE WEEK, an award-winning online magazine that features clear and entertaining articles on how everyday things work, announces a partnership with Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART), the Motorola PacWest Racing Team and NxView Technologies to launch the Champ Car Series. This four-part series of articles will feature the amazing, technologically advanced Champ Car, illustrated with new 3-D interactive animation.

May 10, 2000 Receives Second Round of Venture Funding, an award-winning online magazine that features clear and entertaining articles about how everyday things work, has finalized its second round of venture funding. Southeast Interactive Technology Fund, and the Centennial Fund have injected $4.5 million into the five-month-old business. Marshall Brain, an author and former computer science professor who operated the Web site for more than a year before incorporating it as a business in September 1999, said the funds will help the company continue its fast-track growth. "These funds will enable us to further develop the company in order to significantly increase traffic to the site, expand our editorial staff and achieve our goal of making the world transparent by helping people understand the technology all around them," he said.

February 17, 2000
'Cool' Online Magazine Probes ''

    An online magazine called is taking the Internet by storm with its approach to demystifying everyday life through clearly written and "cool" articles, such as How a Car Engine Works, How Caffeine Works and How Tattoos Work.

How to Schedule a Media Interview
For media and/or public relations inquiries, please contact:

How Our Partnerships Work has been very fortunate to find partners who have believed strongly in the power of the brand and have put their own muscle behind promoting a company that at the outset did not have a lot of marketing muscle of its own. has formed partnerships that have built new multimedia divisions of the company and joint ventures; some partners desire to license our content or even the use of our writers so that they, too, can communicate in "our style." We are still looking for the partner who can fulfill Marshall's dream of building a theme park. Multimedia Partners

Hungry Minds is our publisher and distributor for two books so far,
"" (based on the articles found at and "How Much Does the Earth Weigh?" (based on the Question of the Day feature at Due to the success of the first releases, two more books are due out this fall. If you want to schedule Marshall Brain for an appearance at your bookstore for a book signing, please contact Michael Kroll at

Primedia is one of the largest multimedia companies in the world, known for its niche publications and acquisition of Most people do not realize that they are also into video production. With the Primedia Production Group, we have formed a joint venture called HSW Video, LLC. The mission of this project is to leverage the brand to create both long- and short-form video. Current projects include:

  • 60-second vignettes created for local news broadcasts and other syndicators of short-form content (you can view samples here)
  • Home video series due out in the fall
  • 30-minute children's TV program
If you are a local news director or other syndicator of short-form content and you would like more information, or if you have a proposal for a distribution partnership, please contact Beth Richards at

Marshall Brain stars in 60-second radio vignettes that are produced and syndicated by Cox Radio. Cox Radio also syndicates radio talk show talent such as Neil Boortz and Clark Howard. You can hear audio samples of these vignettes here.

Content Syndication
We have been fortunate that so many companies see value in not only what we write but also in the way we write it. Below is a short list of some of the companies who have syndicated our content.

We have provided Web content to great partners such as Verizon, FujiFilm, Progress Energy, Yahoo!, Lycos, AOL Time Warner and USA Today Online. We have provided print content to reputable sources such as the LA Times newspaper, Plant Engineering magazine, and Pearson Education. We have been a video content source for partners such as CNN, NBC and Tech TV.

If you are interested in licensing the use of our content, contact Beth Richards at Advertising Partners has had steadily growing traffic since its inception, and the people who come to the site are curious about the latest technology and consumer products. And because our brand has grown in other ways, such as books, magazines and video, has become a great marketing vehicle for a number of manufacturers and retailers. You can go to How to Advertise with Us to see the kinds of advertising offers. These are just some of the partners for whom we've developed great marketing programs:

  • Nextel
  • Circuit City
  • Progress Energy
  • Nintendo
  • Intel
  • LycosZone
  • Verizon
  • Learning Network
  • Samsung

If you are interested in advertising in Express magazine, or if you would like more information about a Web advertising program, please contact Janice Clark at

If you are interested in a custom marketing program, please contact Beth Richards at

How to Contact Us
If you would like to contact for any reason, we would love to hear from you!

Content Suggestions:

  • To register for the newsletter or change your existing registration information, click here.
  • To remove your e-mail address from our newsletter, click here.
Content Contacts: Business Development & Content Syndication: Express - Magazine for Teachers and Students:

Corporate Information and Advertising Requests:

  • If you have media and/or public relations inquiries, click here.
  • If you would like a media kit on, Inc., click here.
  • If you would like to advertise with us, click here.
  • If you would like to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.
  • To receive permission to use one of our graphics, click here.

More ways to reach

  • To reach by phone, the number is: (919) 882-5000
  • To reach by fax, the number is: (919) 854-9952
  • To post a letter to, the address is: 5625 Dillard Drive, Suite 217, Cary, NC USA 27511

How to Locate Us
This page will help you locate Click on the map below to view driving directions to our office: Headquarters - Raleigh, N.C.

How to Obtain a Media Kit
Click here to view a promotional video on and Marshall Brain.

If you wish to receive a media kit, please contact:

    Michael Kroll
    5625 Dillard Drive, Suite 217
    Cary, NC USA 27511
    Phone: 919-882-5000
    Fax: 919-854-9952

How to Advertise with Us
Thanks for your interest in advertising with! Just as the content on is unique, so are the advertising opportunities. is a huge site covering thousands of topics. Over 3 million unique visitors come to each month, and they read approximately 34,000,000 pages. readers are interested, educated and curious, and they are always looking for new things to learn about.

Below are some of the many ways your business can take advantage of the unique advertising options available with

Integrated Sponsorships
An integrated sponsorship lets you showcase your product or service with a comprehensive collection of advertising inside a related article or category.

Verizon is an excellent example of a integrated sponsorship on the cell phone article. This package offers the advertiser total exclusivity on all ad offerings throughout the entire article: banner (top/bottom), sidebar (various sizes), Unicast pop-ups, Shoshkeles and text links. The advertiser is able to communicate messages in a variety of creative ways over time. This type of sponsorship gives the advertiser extended exposure to targeted audiences. High click-through rates have been demonstrated with integrated sponsorships.

An integrated sponsorship can apply to an individual article or to an entire category of articles.

Run-of-Category/Article Package
Sponsor a category or article by choosing any one of our ad offerings. Available are banner (top or bottom), sidebar (various sizes), Unicast pop-ups, or Shoshkeles. This sponsorship allows the advertiser to choose the desired means of reaching the audience.

Run-of-Site Package
This is an option for the advertiser who is interested in reaching the general reader. Available are banner (top or bottom), sidebar (various sizes), Unicast pop-ups or Shoshkeles.

Company Tour
An exclusive profile that takes an in-depth look at how a particular company "works," this editorial describes what the company does and what benefit it yields to consumers. It serves not only as a branding/exposure method for the company in the spotlight, but also as a third-party client/investor relations tool.

The Stuffatorium is a unique section that features cool and amazing products or services. Based on the cost per click, the client can choose a target category and audience.

Express Magazine Express is a large-format full-color paper magazine and Web site for 4th through 8th graders. Circulation is currently over 900,000. Each magazine has seven full-page advertising slots as well as feature sponsorship opportunities. The magazine has received fantastic ratings from students, teachers and parents. If your audience is pre-teen, this is an outstanding advertising vehicle.

Download the PDF version of the first issue to see what Express is all about. Actual publication size is 12 by 11 inches, full-color. The companion Web site offers articles and teaching aids.

Contest Sponsorships
Every two weeks (a "bi-week"), gives away prizes in the Contest System -- if you are a member of, you are automatically eligible to win. The "points box" appears on every article page on the site and receives millions of impressions per week. Your product name (as well as a small company or product logo) appear in the points box, and your product is described on the contest page. This is a great opportunity to expose your product to millions of readers.

Link Sponsorships
All articles have links. You can include your product or company in the link section of any article at a very reasonable price.

Newsletter Sponsorships sends out a text e-mail newsletter on both a daily and weekly basis (according to visitor preference). Newsletters inform visitors of the latest updates and articles on Currently, this is a text-only sponsorship opportunity. offers various ad opportunities that allow the advertiser to reach and interact with users in ways that are truly unique and always value-added. Contact an account manger to discuss and develop a media placement that will achieve your advertising objectives. Advertising

How Our Awards Work

Time Magazine
50 Best Web sites

PC Magazine
Top 100 Classics

Popular Science
50 Best of the Web

Yahoo Internet Life
Best Science and Technology Resource

Sci/Tech Web Award

Forbes Magazine
Best of the Web 2000

PC Magazine
Top 100 Web Site

"Great Site"

Tech TV Screen Savers
Site of the Week

PC Magazine
Top 100 Web Site

Entertainment Weekly
Received an A+

TBS Superstation
Super Site

Discover Magazine
Web Pick

The History Channel
Featured on TV Show "The Internet Behind the Web"

Washington Post Online
A+ Rating

Coolest Site on the Internet

Education Web Award

sciLINKS Selection
An NSTA Program

Seattle Times
4 Stars!!!

Yahoo! Pick of the Week

USA Today Hot Site

Netscape Netcenter
Cool Site

Homework Central

Cool Site of the Day

MSN Internet Start
Web Directory
4-Star Site

Kim Komando Kool Site

My Virtual Reference Desk
Site of the Week

The Scout Report
Science and Engineering

WebToday Destination

Exceptional Educational Web Site

Third Age
Recommended Site

Creative People On-Line
Site of the Week

Everything Computers
Link of the Week

Hottest 100 Kids Web Sites

Tesco net web choice

Food and Leisure Hot Site Featured Homework Resource

Surfing the Net with Kids
Fabulous Site

Educating Net Spotlight Site

Beetown Communications
Top Bee Award

Computer Currents
Link of the Week
Medical Award

Top 500 Website

Mobile Entertainment
Cool Website

Schoo lsnet Web Guide
Site of the Day
Top Ten Web site

Next Wave Stocks
Top 50 Sites

Here on the Web

Awesome Library
Top 5% in K-12 Education

Smart Computing

Education Gazette
School's website of the week

5 Stars


Study Web
Link for Learning

Kid Friendly Site

ClickOfTheDay Site

Outstanding Site

Access Internet Magazine
The Best of 1999

Library Spot
Reference Site of the Year

Interviews with Marshall Brain

Date Time Event Organization Show Location
9:05 a.m. EST
Radio Interview
Rochester's Good Morning Show
Rochester, MN

To schedule an appearance by Marshall Brain, please contact
Michael Kroll at 919.882.5000 X2057.