What’s It Like to Win a Beauty Pageant?
Answer by Bianca Peters, Miss Malibu 2010:
In 2010, I won the Miss Malibu beauty pageant. For those unfamiliar with Malibu, think Baywatch and the most scenic Southern California beach and all the beauties it attracts. I'm not from Malibu, nor am I tall, a blond bombshell, etc. I joined the competition on a dare.
What Skills Should Software Engineers Have for the Next Decade?
Answer by Pedram Keyani, worked at Google, was an early engineer at Facebook, and now at Uber:
If you are looking to be a great general-purpose software engineer, then the skills for the next five to 10 years are very similar to the skills needed in the past five to 10 years:
How Much Would It Cost to Build a Star Destroyer?
Answer by Kynan Eng:
A Star Destroyer will cost $636 billion to build the parts on Earth, plus $44.4 trillion to get it all off Earth and to Mars. At that launch cost, it's definitely worth investing in asteroid mining and refining technologies first. (The price of the ship went up by a few tens of billions due to an updated figure I found for the Gerald R. Ford–class aircraft carrier. Government budget blowouts are a real problem in the Galactic Empire.)
What’s It Like to Work With David Duchovny?
Well, David is David, so as you know, he's funny and irreverent and we have a laugh. We laugh about the olden days and about how different it is to do the series as old people. He has a better memory than me, so the conversation is usually him being reminded of something we did and me saying, “Really? That happened? In which of the 20,000 episodes?”
Do Interns Help Tech Companies’ Growth?
Answer by Gayle Laakmann McDowell, founder and CEO of CareerCup; author ofCracking the PM Interview, Cracking the Coding Interview, and Cracking the Tech Career:
It's pretty well understood at tech companies that interns are a net negative (in the short term) for a company.
Does Being a Good Cook Require Excellent Knife Skills?
For most cooks, knife-skill demands are somewhat of a background hum. They're there, but they're not the main melody. While uniformity and speed are super important, most of that can be achieved with tools (mandoline slicers, fan peelers, etc.) or handed to the one guy whose life revolves around making brunoise.
What’s It Like to Compete as Part of a Ballroom Dance Team?
Answer by Tony Cheang, collegiate competitor:
It's really immersive.
I remember distinctly in my first year of dancing how large a role the older members on the team played in getting me ready for my first competition. They held office hours to help with arm styling in the Latin dances, position of the frame in the standard dances, walking synchronously on and off the floor, bowing, and the like. There were review sessions on the five routines we learned in a month and talks about the importance of floor placement and rotation to show your number to the judges. The night before the competition, us rookies went to a “hair party” to learn how to lather our hair in gel, shape it with a fine-tooth comb, and freeze it into place with half a can of hairspray and a hairdryer set on high.
How Do Polyamorous People Create Fairness and Balance in Their Relationships?
Answer by Claire J. Vannette, polyamorous since 2006:
I don't. “Fairness” is not my goal. My goal is to nurture each relationship and add value to each partner's life, not to equalize all relationships and treat each partner the same. Different people have different needs. If I'm dating a guy who wants to see me once a week and a gal who wants to see me twice a week, do I need to see both of them once a week or see both of them twice a week? No. Fairness doesn't enter the picture.
What’s It Like for a Deaf Person to Hear for the First Time?
Answer by Cristina Hartmann, dual citizen of the deaf and hearing worlds:
Context is everything. Those videos are flashes of a fleeting moment in someone's life that people deem as inspirational with little understanding of what's truly happening. Like most of life, things are more complicated than a few minutes of sentimentality. As someone who has undergone the process of “hearing for the first time” twice with bilateral cochlear implants, I can assure you that my experiences cannot be reduced into a two-minute cute video.
What’s It Like to Live in Beijing During the “Red Alert” for Smog?
Answer by Karen Ma, author and lecturer, lived a combined 25 years in Japan and China:
I could feel the terrible smog getting into my throat and lungs recently, when I went teaching and when I had to go to my kids school. And yes, my kids' school is one of the few that didn't shut down despite the “red alert” warning, much to their disappointment. I guess the school wants to remind us that they'd spent tons of money on an indoor air-safe dome, precisely for days like today. So why let it go to waste?