How 2009 Worked

  • 2009 in Pictures
  • Health Care Reform
  • Gadgets
  • Carbon Free Grand Prix
more on 2009
Top 5 Tech Trends of 2009

Every year, a brand new wave of hardware and software hits the market. Some products go boom, and others go bust. As 2009 drew to a close, what technological trends turned out to be the year's biggest hits?

What is the lipstick indicator?

You may think that something called the "lipstick indicator" sounds a little silly. Fair enough. But this tiny spending decision speaks volumes about consumer confidence -- especially during recessions.

How the Smart Grid Will Work

For the longest time, the U.S. power grid slogged on, unchanged and rarely challenged. That is, until 2009, when the idea of a smart grid -- a modernized electric network -- starting making the news.

Is your drywall making you sick?

In the aftermath of the housing boom in the early 2000s, homeowners started to learn that poor-quality drywall could make them sick. How do you know if your drywall is toxic?

Are there dead bodies on Mount Everest?

In April 2009, a Sherpa led a team of 40 people up Mount Everest to clean up the pile of garbage that's collected on the mountainside. But is there a cleanup plan for all those dead bodies?

Who invented the Barbie doll and why?

This year marked Barbie's 50th anniversary. Her career has included turns as president, a paleontologist and an astronaut -- and she's always dressed to kill. Who could believe this all-American icon has scandalous German roots?

How Cloud Computing Works

In 2009, cloud computing became more than just a buzzword. From the rise of netbooks to some notable service outages, people couldn't stop talking about how cloud computing will change the way we use computers.

How Swine Flu Works

The outbreak of swine flu caused everything from panic to ennui. At HowStuffWorks, we went below the protective masks to figure out what this disease is, how it differs from seasonal flu and how to prevent it.

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The Top 10 Questions of 2008

At HowStuffWorks, we're always curious, and 2008 gave us a lot to be curious about -- financial bailouts, skyrocketing food prices and, of course, the Google algorithm. Here are our top 10 questions of the year -- answered. What are yours?


The Top 25 Questions of 2009


A recession, an Octomom, a Balloon Boy and the sudden death of Michael Jackson ... 2009 was one odd ride. How many of the year's biggest moments do you remember?

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