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April 1 2014 9:04 AM

What Keeps a Journalist Passionate About Working on a Long-Running Story?

Answer by Charles Duhigg, staff writer at the New York Times, author of The Power of Habit:

I find there are two things that keep me going.

First, there's an emerging fascination with a topic the more you learn about it. When I started working on the iEconomy series, for example, about Apple's supply chains in Asia and the factories that manufacture iPhones in China, I really didn't know (or, for that matter, care) much about electronics manufacturing. But each world unfolds like a puzzle the deeper you get inside.

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March 31 2014 12:39 PM

What Mistakes Do Graduates Make in Their First Jobs?

Answer by Jason Ewing:

Being more loyal to your company than the company is to you. I've managed too many teams that have entry-level employees, and I see this too often. You like your first company—they gave you your first real shot! You should be loyal, right?

March 28 2014 8:12 AM

What Does It Feel Like to Have Bipolar Disorder?

Answer by Mills Baker, in fairly successful treatment for 12-plus years:

I have bipolar disorder, as does my mother and as did her mother. I am the sort of person who "seems" bipolar to people—that is my energy, creativity, instability, mercuriality, and easy gregariousness confirm many of the popularly imagined stereotypes about bipolar people.

That said, I think only in their extremes are mania and depression actually unintelligible to ordinary folks. That is: At their utmost intensity, they are unlike anything a normal person ever experiences (mania is, in particular, qualitatively different at the end than any healthy mood state), but at most times, they are not at all different from the maximally intense moods everyone knows—just more so, longer-lasting, and disconnected from normative causes.

March 27 2014 8:50 AM

What's It Like to Have Cancer as a Young Adult?  

Answer by Angela Teng:

In July 2012, at age 33, I found out I had cancer.

After going over the pathology reports and letting me know that the type of cancer I have is a “rare and aggressive” kind, my doctor said I needed to get my uterus and ovaries removed right away. I will never have kids of my own.

March 26 2014 7:37 AM

How Do Writers Know What They Want to Write About?

Answer by Ellen Vrana, writer, blogger:

This is the approach I use to generate content and ideas.

I’m an essayist. (Although I prefer “woman of letters”—can we start that?) My writing is less than 5,000 words. I will write longer someday and will use this approach; it’s served me well.

March 25 2014 8:23 AM

What Does the Hashtag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen Mean?

Answer by Eivind Kjørstad, nerd, nature-lover, penpal, runner, dad, feminist:

It's a jab at the way some feminists act.

March 24 2014 11:22 AM

What Was Your Inspiration to Be a Musician?

Answer by Travis Barker, musician, songwriter, producer, Blink-182:

For me, it's all I ever wanted to do. When I was 5 years old, I had this book I used to write in. When my mom asked what I wanted to do when I got older, I always said, “I am going to be a drummer when I’m older,” not “I want to be a drummer.” There was nothing that came along between the ages of 5 and until my mom passed away when I was 16 that I wanted to do more than play the drums. On her deathbed, my mom told me to play the drums. So, my future was mapped out for me.

March 21 2014 8:23 AM

What's It Like to Film a Movie Sex Scene?

Answer by Kathryn Hahn, actress, Bad Words:

Q: What is it like having simulated sex as an actor?

A: It’s always awkward. In Bad Words, it was my pal Jason Bateman, which made it hilarious. It helps that there were a bunch of people in there with us.

March 20 2014 8:37 AM

Is Turbulence Dangerous?

Answer by Eric Silski, airline transport pilot, airline captain, aviation enthusiast:

They are risky in that, should you decide to unbuckle your seatbelt, you might get thrown and hit your head or otherwise injure yourself. There are hundreds of flight attendants who get injured every year due to turbulence-related incidents.

March 18 2014 7:41 AM

Is There Any Truth to the Claim That Einstein Was a Fraud?

Answer by Jay Wacker, professor at Stanford University in particle physics and astrophysics:

In order to evaluate the claim, consider this one piece of evidence: In one year, Einstein produced four transformative results:

  1. The photoelectric effect, which is really what set off quantum theory
  2. Brownian motion, where he proves the existence of atoms that were not accepted generally by physicists (though chemists believed in them)
  3. Special relativity, where he showed that the constancy of the speed of light led to a new type of kinematics
  4. The equivalence of energy and mass, where he showed that mass is a type of energy