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April 13 2015 2:13 PM

How Do You Improve Self-Expression Skills?

Answer by John Ramos, owner of the Student Power:

It's all about getting the message across, isn't it? In the last few months, I think I've improved my communication skills considerably. Here's what I did:

Write (almost) everyday. I committed to writing 500-1,000 words a day, whether on Quora, my blog, or my book. It forces you to find the right words and expressions to convey your message. You'll start to notice that some sentences are poorly built. Verbose and clutter become a constant concern. You start turning fragile suggestions into powerful affirmations.

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April 10 2015 7:40 AM

What Was Dental Hygiene Like During the Middle Ages?

Answer by Tim O'Neill, M.A. in medieval literature and have studied most aspects of the period for many years:

People in the Middle Ages considered healthy, white teeth a sign of beauty and wrote of sweet-smelling breath as a desirable attribute. So, not surprisingly, we have extensive evidence that people liked to keep their teeth clean and a large amount of evidence of toothpastes and teeth powders, as well as mouth washes and treatments for halitosis.

April 9 2015 7:42 AM

How Do Some People Always Stay Upbeat?

Answer by Franklin Veaux, small-business owner, sexuality educator, writer:

I am a person who is upbeat almost all the time.

Nobody is always upbeat, of course. Everyone is capable of pain and sorrow, hurt and heartbreak. But I'm resilient. Sadness doesn't stick to me. On the rare occasions when I feel unhappy, that unhappiness is transient. My normal emotional state is deeply, profoundly happy. If you could bottle how I feel most of the time and sell it, there might never be another war again.

April 8 2015 7:22 AM

Do Astronauts Aboard the International Space Station Have Cleaning Schedules?

Answer by Clayton C. Andersonauthor, U.S. astronaut, retired:

If I answer this question, please don't tell my wife! You see, on board the International Space Station, we were scheduled to "clean" our home every Saturday morning. Since I was the only U.S. astronaut living on ISS at that time (June to November 2007), I was responsible for cleaning the entire U.S. segment. If she finds out I actually do cleaning, it could spell doom for me here in Houston.

April 5 2015 7:17 AM

Why Isn’t Jazz More Popular?

Answer by Mills Baker, studied and played music:

Many of these answers are excellent; I think they largely suffice to explain why jazz isn't more popular. But I think one controversial dynamic has gone unmentioned: race. Because this question is not really about the absolute popularity of jazz—after all, why isn't classical music more popular? or polka?—but about its decliningpopularity.

April 3 2015 1:09 PM

What’s the Hardest Part of Being a Twin?

Answer by Kah Seng Tay, an identical twin:

I'm an identical twin of many years, with my other twin—ahem—within close proximity (through school, home, and work) for all but three years of that.

I have a list of these difficulties:

April 2 2015 7:07 AM

What Was Europe Like Under Moorish Rule?

Answer by Tim O'Neill, master’s in medieval literature and have studied most aspects of the period for many years:

There was a period in Moorish Spain where Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived in relative harmony and cooperation. Christians and Jews were considered dhimmis and were second-class citizens who had to pay a tax and had some restrictions on worship, trade, and interaction. But these were often loosely applied or unenforced, and there certainly was a period under the caliphate of Córdoba where there was general interfaith tolerance and saw a flourishing of learning and culture in Al-Andalus.

April 1 2015 1:52 PM

What’s It Like to Be Nominated for an Oscar?

Answer by Couper Samuelson, executive producer, Whiplash:

I was an executive producer of Whiplash, so technically I wasn't nominated for an Oscar. (Only the producers are nominated.)

March 29 2015 7:37 AM

Why Do Game Shows Use Actors as Contestants?

Answer by Eric Mueller, contestant on seven game shows, and I've helped with many more run-throughs and pilots:

As someone who has been on a lot of game shows (and who has tried to be on a lot more), I can tell you that there is a huge pool of professional actors who go out for game show auditions regularly. It's not hard to understand why: If you're an actor, you probably have a flexible job to allow for auditions, it's a chance to get in front of casting folks, it's a chance to win some money, and you get validation and attention. (Never underestimate the power of validation and attention when it comes to actors.)

March 27 2015 7:40 AM

What Skills Are Necessary for All Careers?

Answer by Richard Walker, entrepreneur, CEO, author of It's My Life! I Can Change If I Want To:

Let's face it: Who is happy with his or her first choice of careers? Few people start with something and stick it out forever. Even successful athletes start other careers, and you should too. The challenge is to use your first career to build up skills that are needed in all industries, organizations, and situations. The top three skills we all need to be successful in life and in our careers are communication, leadership, and confidence.

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