The best answer to any question.

April 14 2017 7:05 AM

How Can You Help Students Cope With Getting College Rejection Letters?

Answer by Bruce Epstein, technologist and college counselor:

As colleges announce their final decisions, most homes are roller coasters of emotions. Spring is a time of elation, depression, and often both. I've helped dozens of students apply to colleges and grad school as a college counselor. Most people focus on the “college” part, but the “counseling” part is just as important. Here are some tips for handling the ups and downs of college decision season.

April 13 2017 7:03 AM

What’s the Most Fulfilling Part of Being a Professor?

Answer by Ben Y. Zhao, professor of computer science at University of California–Santa Barbara:

There are quite a number of answers to this question, and depending on your personality, they will likely produce varying levels of impact. Instead of trying to come up with an exhaustive list, I will do my best to mention a few of the top fulfilling moments I’ve experienced from my personal perspective.

April 12 2017 7:02 AM

Why Does the BDSM Community Dislike Christian Grey?

Answer by Franklin Veaux, sexuality educator:

The simple answer is because he is not a BDSM practitioner; he is a stalker and an abuser.

The complex answer: Christian Grey is a fictional character created by a writer (and, later, a movie studio) with no real-world BDSM experience for an audience with no real-world BDSM experience. He routinely violates boundaries, ignores consent, stalks Ana, engages in clumsy and wildly unsafe activities, has poor communication skills, and exhibits many traits of an entitled narcissistic abuser.

April 11 2017 7:06 AM

What’s It Like to Own a Pet Lizard?

Answer by Donna Fernstrom, reptile breeder and keeper:

A few basics:

Expect to spend considerably more on the enclosure and equipment than you do on the animal. Keeping reptiles is similar to keeping fish—most of your attention will go toward keeping the environment correct. The fish themselves may cost pennies, but the tank costs hundreds. It’s the same with reptiles. Don’t skimp.

April 10 2017 7:03 AM

What Does It Mean to “Pass” in the Transgender Community?

Answer by Jae Alexis Lee, trans woman, researcher, and advocate:

Passing refers to transgender people’s ability to be correctly perceived as the gender they identify as and beyond that, to not be perceived as transgender.

You’ll frequently hear conversations around “passing privilege,” and there’s a good reason for that. Trans people who aren’t perceived as being transgender experience significantly less harassment than trans people who are visibly trans.

April 7 2017 7:02 AM

If the Confederacy Had Won the Civil War, Would It Have Survived Into the 20th Century?

Answer by Carter Moore, who consistently wrecked the grading curve in U.S. history classes:


I think what’s been lost to history is the fact that the Union was not, in the war’s early years, wholly united around the war effort. The public’s enthusiasm was not helped along by setback after setback against the Confederacy. The Confederacy’s best chances of winning the war were in Lee’s Maryland campaign in 1862, which, if it had been successful, could have resulted in a brokered peace.

April 6 2017 7:04 AM

What’s It Like to Be a Quadruplet?

Answer by Tracy Hess, quadruplet:

Since being a quadruplet is all I know (as opposed to being a single child, twin, etc.), I don't know how it would feel to be anything other than a quadruplet. So the best way I can answer the question is that for me, being a quadruplet is probably similar to people who have siblings close in age. Sometimes you get along and have a built-in best friend, while other times you hate each other. Sometimes I would get along better with one sister than another, but that would rotate. I attribute being very competitive with the fact that while growing up, I was constantly fighting for my parents' attention and had to figure out who I was as an individual instead of being just “one of the four.”

April 5 2017 7:04 AM

What Are the Chances of Surviving a Plane Crash?

Answer by Tom Farrier, former director of safety, Air Transport Association:

Ignore Hollywood. Aircraft involved in crashes are safer than at any time in history, thanks to decades of experience, research, and safety enhancements. According to the Aviation Safety Network, in 2016 there were about 163 aviation “accidents” worldwide, including those involving business jets and military transports as well as jet and propeller airliners. A grand total of 24 resulted in fatalities, meaning only about 15 percent of all accidents in this grouping—which themselves are extremely rare events—actually resulted in lives being lost. Only five of the fatal 2016 accidents were in the U.S, and none involved a major U.S. air carrier.

April 4 2017 7:04 AM

What Makes Pixar’s Movies Exceptional?

Answer by Craig Good, an original Pixar employee who worked there for 31 years:

I’d say there are a few key things at work here.

Pixar does not make children’s films. It has yet to make a single one. When you make a film aimed at an audience or a demographic, you are making the insane claim that you have the ability to read minds. Most bad big-budget movies are made for an audience. Pixar, on the other hand, makes movies its employees want to see. At some point in production it has to make sure that the film is still suitable for a young audience (note that it didn’t shy from a PG in the case of The Incredibles), but it does not make the movies for children.

April 3 2017 7:03 AM

Why Do People in Mainland China Believe Only a Few Died in Tiananmen Square?


Answer by Clay Shirky, teaches social media at NYU in Shanghai:



Many of the answers to this question hinge on the phrases “only a few” and “in Tiananmen Square.” Your answer will vary depending on the assumptions you make about those phrases.