The best answer to any question.

July 11 2015 7:24 AM

Should Schools or Parents Teach Kids to Be Good Members of Society?

Answer by Jonathan Brill, parent of three kids, two dogs, and two fish:

Yes, schools should teach and reinforce lessons consistent with what's commonly accepted to be good citizenship, or at the very least social best practices—if for no other reason than these kids have to be trapped in confined, highly social spaces with one another for something like 13 years. They should know how not to be beastly to one another for the 30-plus hours a week they're spending at school.

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July 10 2015 7:19 AM

What Skill Will Be Essential in Future Workplaces?

Answer by Auren Hoffman, CEO of LiveRamp, started and sold five companies (and many more that failed):

The future of work is about focus and resilience.

In a more connected world, the spoils will go to fewer and fewer people. The winners will be the ones who are the very best in their fields. These people will be extremely focused on the one thing, because to be the very best will mean to spend less time on other matters. 

July 9 2015 7:09 AM

Why Are Anime Characters’ Voices So High-Pitched?

Answer by William Flanagan, longtime manga and anime translator:

The high-pitched tones of some of the characters are there to serve the story. They are there to emphasize the childlike qualities and innocence (or, in some cases, contrast the innocent sound with evil intent) of the characters. No, most Japanese people in real life do not have high, squeaky voices. Again, this is simply to serve the story and not to represent real life accurately. I will elaborate.

July 8 2015 7:10 AM

What It’s Like to Be a Woman in a Male-Dominated Profession?

Answer by Michelle Victor, desktop support technician:

I'm an IT, and from what I've been told, there's a general push from most companies to hire more woman in tech. I would say that being a woman gave me an advantage in that sense. To be quite frank, I believe I may have been given interviews because I am a woman, but I got hired because of my skill. I'm not afraid to command the respect I deserve from the very first interview, which makes entering the male dominated workforce pretty easy for me.

July 7 2015 7:32 AM

Should All Children Learn to Play Musical Instruments?

Answer by Julie Anne Exter, board-certified music therapist:

The benefits of starting your child down the path to learning a musical instrument are easy for parents to fantasize about but hard to quantify. Bear in mind that I'm talking about the actual nuts-and-bolts competencies of learning how to read music, play scales, improvise, and eventually play Carnegie Hall. When we start our kids off in piano lessons, or violin lessons, or [insert your fantasy instrument of choice] lessons, it's my feeling that we need to be careful not to make the mistake of doing the dreaming for them.

July 2 2015 7:35 AM

What Qualities Make a Good Vineyard?

Answer by Lucas J. Meeker, winemaker at the Meeker Vineyard:

I think this question is a bit leading, and I'll explain why, but first I'll take the bait.

The primary qualities I assess at any vineyard site are:

Drainage: how, where, and how quickly water goes through the vineyard. This is an assessment of the kind of soil, slope, elevation, and surrounding topography.

July 1 2015 7:36 AM

How Realistic Is the Psychology in Inside Out?


Note: This post includes spoilers.


Answer by Anita Sanz, clinical psychologist:


I just saw Inside Out with my family, and I really enjoyed the movie. I'll leave it to the memory experts to comment on whether the way the film portrayed the way that short-term memories are encoded, stored, and used is close to accurate. I loved the way it was done using the little balls, tinted with the color of emotions.


June 23 2015 12:26 PM

What’s the Value of an Editor in Publishing?

Answer by Gideon Rose, editor, Foreign Affairs:

Good editors really can add value, in two ways.

First, editors are industry professionals who can educate often-naive authors about the facts of life in the real world of publishing. (Agents are great at this too, often even better.) The other answers have some excellent details on this, but I think it boils down to: Just because you want to write it doesn't mean somebody else wants to read it, and certainly not that he or she wants to pay for it.


June 22 2015 12:27 PM

What Can You Tell About Someone From the Character He Plays in World of Warcraft?

Answer by Julie Anne Exter, Blood Elf Holy Priest, avid gamer for 15 years:

I'll approach this question from the three major roles one can play in a five-man group, regardless of race/class combinations: the tank, the healer, and the dps (which stands for damage per second, for those of you who have not reached level 100 in Being a Nerd). These three roles call for three distinctly different styles of gameplay, and I suspect that it's three unique personality types who go in for each. Join me as we examine:


June 19 2015 7:40 AM

What Is the Best Corkscrew for Opening Wine?

Answer by Lucas J. Meeker, winemaker at the Meeker Vineyard:

I have opened, literally, thousands of bottles of wine. One summer I got tennis elbow from opening so many bottles working in our tasting room.