About the Author

Ed Grabianowski is an author and freelance writer. He’s worked as a contributing writer for io9, HowStuffWorks, and Sweethome, and his fiction has appeared in several publications. Ed took second place in David Wellington’s Fear Project.

How Samurai Work

The samurai are the legendary armored swordsmen of Japan, known to many westerners only as a warri­or class, as depicted in countless martial arts movies. While being a warrior was central to a samurai’s life, they were also poets, politicians,…

How To Win On Cutthroat Kitchen

Watching Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen can be frustrating for gamers — the contestants may be great chefs, but they don’t know crap about using the rules of a game to maximize their chances of victory. If you’re appearing on the…

True Detective -- Church in Ruins

“Cross that one off the bucket list — a Mexican standoff with actual Mexicans.” Frank’s sardonic sense of humor not withstanding, I don’t have a lot to say about this week’s True Detective. It was pretty disappointing, poorly written, badly…

The Best Motor Oil for the Average Car

Motor oil is a tough subject because of the complex chemistry involved and the difficulty seeing the actual effects of different formulations or brands. To solve this puzzle, I threw out everything I thought I knew about oil and spent…

Film Review -- The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014)

I was expecting the usual remake, something with more realistic gore effects and blandly pretty actors than the original, but not as much grit or soul. But this odd meta-sequel surprised me. To begin, this isn’t a remake at all,…

True Detective -- Other Lives

What seemed to be a kind of boring procedural episode held a huge, bizarre clue that things might be weirder than they seem. Once again it’s all about surface and submersion. I’ll admit, even as a self-proclaimed True Detective fanboy,…

10 Bizarre Ways a Volcano Can Kill You

Obviously, an erupting volcano can kill you in several direct ways — typically via heat and/or explosive force. But there are some rare and weird ways to die near a volcano. Did you know that a volcano can make your…

True Detective -- Down Will Come

My grand theory about this season finally begins to take shape. I want to spend most of my time talking about the grand theory, but there are a few plot points and clues to cover first. Frank’s storyline about going…

Controversial RPG Blue Rose Returns With More Intrigue, Psychic Powers

When the first edition of Blue Rose was published 10 years ago, it found a core audience of gamers that loved its unique take on romantic fantasy—and a few who pushed back against the game’s progressive push for inclusiveness. Now…

True Detective -- Maybe Tomorrow

“I’m feeling a little apoplectic myself.” I had to watch this episode twice again to make better sense of it. I think it’s because on the surface it’s kind of a bland procedural. The cops are going around tracking down…

True Detective -- Night Finds You

It’s going to be hard to talk about anything else in this episode of True Detective other than that thing that happened. But let’s try. I had to watch this one twice to start to grasp things. My first mission…

True Detective Season 2 -- The Western Book of the Dead

True Detective: Season 2 is finally here, and it’s time to start unravelling the mysteries and unpacking the symbols. I love this sort of thing. To be sure, these aren’t going to be weekly recaps. I’m not going to rehash…

The '80s Marvel Super Heroes RPG Was Class 5000 Awesome

The 1980s Marvel Super Heroes RPG was well-designed and was supported by a ton of supplements and adventures. But the greatest thing about it was the FASERIP chart, the one chart that could tell you once and for all who…

How Shark Attacks Work

The sudden violence of a shark attack is truly a terrifying experience for the victim — but are sharks really man-eating monsters with a taste for human flesh?