The best answer to any question.

Aug. 6 2015 7:17 AM

How Do Chain Restaurants Maintain Uniform Menus Among Branches?

Answer by Keith Ball, chef, cooking instructor, wine educator, hospitality consultant, and writer:

Chain restaurants generally have at least some packaged food that is shipped from a corporate commissary or processing or manufacturing facility. Many sauces—alfredo, for example—and par-cooked items freeze very well and are shipped to each store in bulk or portioned packages.

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Aug. 5 2015 7:10 AM

Do Restaurant Chefs Taste Their Food?

Answer by Jonas Mikka Lusterblogger, former cook, 20-plus years in kitchens and counting:

Yes. But not the way you think we do.

I don't eat “off the pass” as some people presume we do, stealing a broccoli here or a fry there. That'd be bad. I also don't make it a habit running around my kitchen and tasting my cooks' prepared food—that would take too long and is very insulting toward them. They're professionals, they taste, they know what I expect; micromanaging staff in those matters is extra-annoying behavior.

Aug. 4 2015 7:27 AM

Why Do People Publicly Identify Themselves as Trans?

Answer by Krystle Hannigan, fiftysomething woman who’s experienced many changes:

I can only speak for myself. In my case, I transitioned in my late 40s. Over time, it became evident that some people never suspected I was trans. Some people sensed I was somehow different but couldn't specifically figure out how. Other people knew immediately, or at least strongly suspected, that I was trans. So I simply couldn't be bothered to invest the energy in caring one way or the other.

Aug. 3 2015 12:01 PM

Why Do We Cry?

Answer by Diane Meriwether:

Research suggests we don't weep because we are upset (like we might run because we are afraid); we cry tears to get over being upset.

First of all, there's nothing uniquely human about emotional crying. If you pick up a very young kitten, it will set to the same sort of noisy unhappiness a human baby will exhibit. Other animals can whimper, howl, or wail and do so for the same sorts of emotions that cause us to cry. The difference is they do it dry-eyed. 

Aug. 2 2015 7:53 AM

What Would Have Happened if Germany Had Invaded the U.S. During World War II?

Answer by Jon Mixon, semi-pro historian:

Then the war either would have ended early (like 1942 or 1943), or there would have been massive numbers of German casualties with nothing to show for it.

Aug. 1 2015 7:22 AM

When Can the “Pay What You Want” Model Succeed?

Answer by Carl Shan, has sold multiple books under pay what you want:

To really answer this question, it's important to figure out what it means to “succeed.”

July 31 2015 7:24 AM

How Accurate Is Pirates of the Caribbean?

Answer by Ernest W. Adams, game design consultant, author, and professor:

Hardly at all in any respect. The clothing is probably the closest, although it's too diverse and flamboyant, and of course Capt. Jack Sparrow's getup is purely the product of Johnny Depp's deranged imagination.

July 30 2015 7:38 AM

Why Are U.S. Comics Colored and Japanese Mangas Not?

Answer by William Flanagan, longtime manga and anime translator:

Quite a few reasons.

First, price. The Japanese manga magazines are phone book–sized (Harry Potter–book sized for the younger set who've never seen a phone book) weekly magazines that do their best to allow even elementary schoolkids to buy them without breaking their allowances. So the magazines use very cheap recycled paper and only one color of ink. You get some 300-600 pages of manga for under $5. And although they have some advertisements, there are relatively few. Again, for the most popular magazines, they come out every week.

July 29 2015 7:11 AM

What’s It Like to Work With Pixar Director Pete Docter?

Answer by Craig Good, former camera artist at Pixar:

Pete is a prince among men. I worked with him from the very start of his animation career all the way through Monsters Inc. He joined Pixar right out of school (I mean the day after) as the world's tallest animator. He made all of his own clothes. He baked. He wrote music. His story skills were already head and shoulders (pun intended) above his peers.

July 28 2015 7:10 AM

Who Is the Most Powerful Being in the Tolkien Universe?

Answer by Stephen Tempest:

God is the most powerful entity in Tolkien's universe. The Elvish name for him is actually Eru Ilúvatar, meaning “the one, father of all.” So the question becomes: Who is the second-most powerful being?