What Does the U.S. Coast Guard Do With the Drugs It Confiscates?
Answer by Jason Wells, founder of National Advancements for Proactive Safety and former special agent:
It genuinely depends on the situation. What most people don’t understand is that the U.S. Coast Guard has the unique position of both being a military organization under the compliance of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and serving in a federal law enforcement capacity (its jurisdiction being maritime law enforcement). “Posse Comitatus” prohibits the United States military from enforcing laws in our country, so that is why the U.S. Coast Guard is not under the umbrella of direction provided by the Department of Defense (it is under Department of Homeland Security).
What Advantages Does Hyperloop Offer Over High-Speed Rail?
Answer by Bruce Upbin, vice president of strategic communications at Hyperloop One:
There are a few: cost, speed, safety, and flexibility. Obvious caveat: Hyperloop networks don’t exist yet, and high-speed rail networks do. Advantage: high-speed rail!
Is It Better to Be a “Worker Bee” or a “Killer Bee” on the Job?
Answer by John L. Miller, software developer who has worked at Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Oracle:
Should you stay behind the scenes and work or be aggressive and self-promotional?
It all depends on your industry and your goals. I’ve worked in software at Microsoft and other large multinationals. I’ve managed individual contributors and managers of individual contributors. I’ve alternately been quietly productive and aggressive. I prefer being more visible.
Why Can’t Some People Curl Their Tongues?
Answer by Adriana Heguy, molecular biologist and genomics researcher:
Interestingly, tongue-curling ability is not solely genetic, and the genetic component may be very small. Monozygotic (identical) twins are not always concordant for tongue-curling ability, so if there is a genetic component, it’s clearly not Mendelian. In other words, it’s not a trait coded by one single gene, and it’s clearly influenced by the environment—in this case, practice. But for some reason this is one of the “myths” about genetics that gets spread around in high school, where it is used as an example of a simple Mendelian trait with a simple dominant-recessive nature.
Why Hasn’t There Been a World War III?
Answer by Balaji Viswanathan, history buff:
Primarily because of nuclear weapons. Without nuclear weapons, World War III and World War IV would have started and ended in Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, or even India.
Why Do Chefs on Hell’s Kitchen Struggle So Much Compared With the Ones on MasterChef?
Answer by Sabrina Ali, fan of Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef:
Hell’s Kitchen is a brutal, schadenfreude-inducing show, while MasterChef is more or less a feel-good show.
Why Are There So Few Conservatives in Academia?
Answer by Jordan Boyd Graber:
I'm a professor. I'm fairly centrist (fiscally conservative, socially liberal, generally pro-market libertarian), which makes me very right-wing compared with my colleagues. I would have definitely been a Republican in the past century (before the Southern strategy) and was actually registered as one until recently, partially for game theoretic reasons. At the national level, I've donated to more Republicans (Mitt Romney, John Huntsman, and Ron Paul) than Democrats (Lawrence Lessig).
What Are the Best Ways to Invest Money?
Answer by Rob Ennals, product manager at Quora, former product manager at Google:
People tend to overemphasize the returns from investing in the stock market and underemphasize the returns from investing in yourself—particularly when you are young.
How Does the Brain Create Consciousness?
Answer by Yohan John, Ph.D. in cognitive and neural systems from Boston University:
Does the brain create consciousness? I'm not so sure. At the very least, I know that no neuroscientist has caught the brain “red-handed” in the act of creating consciousness.
What’s the Best Way to Spot a Potentially Terrible Roommate?
Answer by Koyel Bandyopadhyay, sociologist:
How can you find that someone who gives you peace when you demand it, and also when you don’t demand it? How can you find that someone who cleans or doesn’t, just like how you’d like it? How can you find that special someone who will never desert you when it’s time to split or pay the rent?