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HowStuffWorks - Learn How Everything Works!

HowStuffWorks explains thousands of topics, ranging from the flu to black holes to conspiracy theories, with video and illustrations so you can learn how everything works.

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Everything (or every thing) is all that exists; the opposite of nothing, or its complement. It is the totality of things relevant to some subject matter. Without expressed or implied limits, it may refer to anything. The Universe is everything that exists theoretically, though a multiverse may exist according to theoretical cosmology predictions. It may refer to an anthropocentric worldview, or the sum of human experience, history, and the human condition in general. Every object and entity is a part of everything, including all physical bodies and in some cases all abstract objects.

A conspiracy is a secret plan or agreement between persons (called conspirers or conspirators) for an unlawful or harmful purpose, such as murder or treason, especially with political motivation, while keeping their agreement secret from the public or from other people affected by it. In a political sense, conspiracy refers to a group of people united in the goal of usurping, altering or overthrowing an established political power. Depending on the circumstances, a conspiracy may also be a crime, or a civil wrong. The term generally implies wrongdoing or illegality on the part of the conspirators, as people would not need to conspire to engage in activities that were lawful and ethical, or to which no one would object. There are some coordinated activities that people engage in with secrecy that are not generally thought of as conspiracies. For example, intelligence agencies such as the American CIA and the British MI6 necessarily make plans in secret to spy on suspected enemies of their respective countries, but this kind of activity is generally not considered to be a conspiracy so long as their goal is to fulfill their official functions, and not something like improperly enriching themselves. Similarly, the coaches of competing sports teams routinely meet behind closed doors to plan game strategies and specific plays designed to defeat their opponents, but this activity is not considered a conspiracy because this is considered a legitimate part of the sport. Furthermore, a conspiracy must be engaged in knowingly. The continuation of social traditions that work to the advantage of certain groups and to the disadvantage of certain other groups, though possibly unethical, is not a conspiracy if participants in the practice are not carrying it forward for the purpose of perpetuating this advantage.On the other hand, if the intent of carrying out a conspiracy exists, then there is a conspiracy even if the details are never agreed to aloud by the participants. CIA covert operations, for instance, are by their very nature hard to prove definitively. But research into the agency's work, as well as revelations by former CIA employees, has suggested several cases where the agency tried to influence events. Between 1947 and 1989, the United States tried to change other nations' governments 72 times. During the Cold War, 26 of the United States' covert operations successfully brought a U.S.-backed government to power; the remaining 40 failed.A "conspiracy theory" is a belief that a conspiracy has actually been decisive in producing a political event of which the theorists strongly disapprove. Political scientist Michael Barkun has described conspiracy theories as relying on the view that the universe is governed by design, and embody three principles: nothing happens by accident, nothing is as it seems, and everything is connected. Another common feature is that conspiracy theories evolve to incorporate whatever evidence exists against them, so that they become, as Barkun writes, a closed system that is unfalsifiable, and therefore "a matter of faith rather than proof".

Video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media. Video was first developed for mechanical television systems, which were quickly replaced by cathode ray tube (CRT) systems which were later replaced by flat panel displays of several types. Video systems vary in display resolution, aspect ratio, refresh rate, color capabilities and other qualities. Analog and digital variants exist and can be carried on a variety of media, including radio broadcast, magnetic tape, optical discs, computer files, and network streaming.

An explanation is a set of statements usually constructed to describe a set of facts which clarifies the causes, context, and consequences of those facts. This description of the facts et cetera may establish rules or laws, and may clarify the existing rules or laws in relation to any objects, or phenomena examined. The components of an explanation can be implicit, and interwoven with one another. An explanation is often underpinned by an understanding or norm that can be represented by different media such as music, text, and graphics. Thus, an explanation is subjected to interpretation, and discussion. In scientific research, explanation is one of several purposes for empirical research. Explanation is a way to uncover new knowledge, and to report relationships among different aspects of studied phenomena. Explanation attempts to answer the "why" and "how" questions. Explanations have varied explanatory power. The formal hypothesis is the theoretical tool used to verify explanation in empirical research.

Black is the darkest color, the result of the absence or complete absorption of visible light. It is an achromatic color, a color without hue, like white and gray. It is often used symbolically or figuratively to represent darkness, while white represents light. Black and white have often been used to describe opposites such as good and evil, the Dark Ages versus Age of Enlightenment, and night versus day. Since the Middle Ages, black has been the symbolic color of solemnity and authority, and for this reason is still commonly worn by judges and magistrates, including the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.Black was one of the first colors used by artists in neolithic cave paintings. In the 14th century, it was worn by royalty, clergy, judges and government officials in much of Europe. It became the color worn by English romantic poets, businessmen and statesmen in the 19th century, and a high fashion color in the 20th century. In the Roman Empire, it became the color of mourning, and over the centuries it was frequently associated with death, evil, witches and magic. According to surveys in Europe and North America, it is the color most commonly associated with mourning, the end, secrets, magic, force, violence, evil, and elegance.Black ink is the most common color used for printing books, newspapers and documents, as it provides the highest contrast with white paper and thus the easiest color to read. Similarly, black text on a white screen is the most common format used on computer screens.

The personal pronoun you is the second-person personal pronoun, both singular and plural, and both nominative and oblique case in Modern English. The oblique (objective) form, you, functioned previously in the roles of both accusative and dative, as well as all instances following a preposition. The possessive forms of you are your (used before a noun) and yours (used in place of a noun). The reflexive forms are yourself (singular) and yourselves (plural).

1000 or one thousand is the natural number following 999 and preceding 1001. In most English-speaking countries, it is often written with a comma separating the thousands unit: 1,000. It may also be described as the short thousand in historical discussion of medieval contexts where it might be confused with the Germanic concept of the "long thousand" (1200).

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