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April 8 2016 7:17 AM

Why Do Jedi Turn to the Dark Side?

Answer by Damien Allan, I've watched the Star Wars movies dozens, maybe hundreds, of times:

There are three quite well-known movies that discuss exactly this: the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

In The Phantom Menace, Yoda says, “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” This is a succinct foreshadowing of Anakin's eventual fall. Every evil or bad character in Star Wars has one or more of the major bad qualities George Lucas equates to the Dark Side: greed, fear, and anger and hatred. Anakin eventually embodies all of these at the point he chooses Palpatine over the Jedi.

April 6 2016 7:01 AM

What’s Surprising About Growing up in Hawaii?

Answer by Nathan F. Yospe, software developer, Hawaii born and raised:

Most people already know Hawaii is expensive, and everyone knows how beautiful it is. The oceans, flowers, waterfalls, rainbows, mountain streams, tropical fruit, and rainforests should come as no surprise. What may surprise some is that Hawaii has its own culture. We're American, but we're kinda not. 

April 1 2016 7:13 AM

How Do We Get More People to Become Primary Care Physicians?

Answer by Jae Won Joh, M.D.:

A few thoughts:

Don't require an undergraduate degree before medical school. We're currently asking people to go into a relatively lower-paying field after accumulating a minimum of eight years of educational debt and three years of rapidly growing interest during residency training for family medicine, internal medicine, or pediatrics—why?

March 31 2016 7:06 AM

What Are Typical German Habits?

Answer by Judith Meyer, well-traveled native German, author of Understanding Germany:

Bringing flowers when visiting someone.

As long as the flowers are a colourful bouquet (or even a pretty potted plant) and not just roses, this won't necessarily be interpreted as a romantic gesture. Bring flowers when visiting elderly people in particular; parent-age people may also find a bottle of good wine or a box of expensive chocolates acceptable. Never come empty-handed. If you're going to a student party, you might bring something very cheap like a salty snack or a bottle of soda, but never come empty-handed.

March 30 2016 7:14 AM

How Can Parents Stop Texting From Becoming a Distraction for Kids?

Answer by Michelle Roses, raising two daughters:

Keeping in touch is great, but we've evolved into a society that requires immediate communication. We accomplish this via texting and following our social media feeds. Suddenly, “Katie is frustrated the line at Starbucks is slow” is important.

March 29 2016 7:09 AM

How Were the Sets and Costumes Designed in The Witch?

Answer by Robert Eggers, director, The Witch; Sundance Film Festival directing award, U.S. dramatic category:

Years of research went into understanding the everyday life of an English settler in early New England. In the writing process, I wanted to understand the agricultural traditions from England and how they would have changed coming to North America. I worked with museums and historians and consulted somewhat with people in the living history community.

March 25 2016 7:05 AM

How Do I Deal With a Misogynistic Co-Worker?

Answer by Sabrina Ali, marketing, former investment banking analyst:

It depends on whether your workplace is generally misogynistic or not.

If your workplace is generally misogynistic and this co-worker is one of many like-minded people, the best options are below, in increasing order of escalation:

March 24 2016 7:08 AM

Are We in a Higher Education Bubble?

Answer by Daniel Kaplan, classroom teacher for 15 years:

In a way, yes. First, we have to look at how we have dealt with education and the pathways young people have historically taken. We could track it all the way back to when the middle class was largely composed of journeymen who worked their way through being apprentices to being masters, guildsmen, and business owners. We eventually marginalized this system more and more until it largely died at some point. It was pretty rare as we moved into the 20th century. We started pushing education quite a bit more. When we started offering free education for the brave men who fought for our country in World War I and World War II, we weakened that system even more and created huge numbers of college-educated Americans who once would have been part of the blue-collar workforce.

March 23 2016 7:21 AM

Where Do the Voices in Our Heads Come From When Reading?

Answer by Paul King, computational neuroscientist, data scientist, software entrepreneur:

There are many theories about this, but no definitive answers just yet.

March 22 2016 7:14 AM

What’s a U.S. Senator’s Schedule Like?

Answer by Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator for Massachusetts:

I have a commuting job. Monday afternoon through Thursday night, I'm in Washington—committee hearings, legislation, constituent meetings, policy expert briefings, and floor speeches about the issues we're fighting for. Friday morning through Monday morning, I'm in Massachusetts, meeting with constituents, attending events, visiting schools and businesses and organizations all across the Commonwealth. My days are packed pretty tight.

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