Noelle Swan

Web-first content


Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 4.47.57 PMNoelle’s perennial galleries, quizzes, and list stories explore new ways to engage readers through visual and interactive story telling.


Fireworks pizazz: How do they do that, anyway?!

July 4, 2014 – Fireworks aren’t just for the Fourth of July in America. People the world over have tantalized one another with pyrotechnic displays for at least 1,000 years. This effect, reminiscent of ‘rockets’ red glare,’ comes from a small cylinder known as a comet containing a single explosive star that streaks straight up into the sky.

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High-tech firefighting: what’s hot now, what’s on drawing board

June 16, 2014 – Every year wildfires scorch millions of acres of land in the United States and cost the nation billions of dollars. We still know little about how wildland fires spread, and they can take weeks to bring under control. Here’s a look at seven cutting-edge technologies that are helping to fill in the gaps in firefighting capability.


Library of Congress

What do you know about US women in war? A quiz.

May 26, 2014 – A year after the Pentagon lifted the ban on women in combat, US women are still fighting to prove they can serve alongside their male counterparts. Since the days of the Revolutionary War, however, American women have voluntarily put their lives on the line for their country as they navigated battlefields to tend to wounded soldiers, penetrated enemy lines to gather intelligence, and disguised their identities to fight alongside men.

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1960s plus 50: How well do you know the tumultuous decade? Take the quiz!

February 19, 2014 – From civil rights to the space program, and women’s liberation to Woodstock, the 1960s brought revolutionary change to science, music, politics, and norms of behavior in the United States.

How much do you know (or remember) of the tumultuous decade?

 3c11094rThe Beatles: How well do you know the Fab Four? Take the quiz.

February 7, 2014 – Fifty years ago, a moptop crew of Liverpudlians known as The Beatles stepped off a plane at JFK International Airport, where thousands of screaming teenagers and hundreds of reporters and cameramen awaited their arrival. The year was 1964 and Beatlemania had already started to sweep America, but no one – probably not even The Beatles – was fully prepared for the profound mark that the foursome would make on the music world, both in Britain and the United States.

Nearly every musical hit on the charts today bears echoes of The Beatles’ influence, and the public appetite for Beatles tunes still persists. iTunes sold 2 million Beatles songs in the first week that the digital music website offered their catalog, a full four decades after the band broke up. Many would argue that they are the greatest band of all time.

Ready to invest in Bitcoin? Test your knowledge with our quiz.

January 17, 2014 – Bitcoin has come a long way since first hitting the scene in 2009. Initially dismissed as a passing fad by the financial industry, the digital currency now boasts a number of high-profile investors, and is even accepted at major retailers like Test your readiness for the Bitcoin revolution.

Year-round giving: 8 family volunteering opportunities

December 30, 2013 – While many families find the inspiration to volunteer in the community during the holiday season, it can be even more meaningful to find a way to give back throughout the year. Volunteering on a regular basis can help the family to feel connected to the community, instill a sense of social responsibility in children, and ensure that those in need have ready access to help, no matter the season.

5 snapshots of girls’ education in the Muslim world

October 11, 2013 – The courage, poise, and wisdom of Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education in Pakistan, has captured the hearts and minds of Westerners. While Western girls may take their education for granted, in the Muslim world, girls must cross cultural and religious barriers to attend school. Here are five snapshots of girls’ education in the Muslim world.


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