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April 17 2014 12:19 PM

How Do You Successfully Produce a Movie?

Answer by Robert Evans, producer and author:

I am often asked to define the term producer. These days it can be anyone from a financier to the fiancé, but a real producer is the guy who employs everyone, including the director.

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April 14 2014 11:09 AM

How Do We Retain What We Learn?

Answer by Robert Frost, engineer and instructor at NASA:

Retention means being able to easily access the information later. To do that, one wants to have that information in a neural network that is robust and well indexed. To do that, one needs to ensure the following during learning and after:

April 12 2014 7:13 AM

What's the Hardest Part of Parenting?

Answer by Eivind Kjørstad, father of three:

Opportunity cost. The hardest thing about any choice is that to choose one thing always without exception means pushing away other things.

April 10 2014 1:52 PM

What's It Like to Emigrate From China to the U.S.?

Answer by Siying Chen, actress:

Being Asian-American to me means that you're constantly straddling two worlds. Being Asian-American means that you'll forever be caught in the middle, never being completely part of either world.

April 9 2014 1:38 PM

Does Any Language Have Tritransitive Verbs?

Answer by Thomas Wier, assistant professor of linguistics at the Free University of Tbilisi:

Short Answer: Yes, but not in English.

What do we mean by valency, anyway?

To answer this question in more detail, it's important to distinguish different kinds of grammatical valency. As in chemistry, grammatical valency is a measure of a kind of asymmetry between a nucleus and potentially several satellite words that are structurally dependent on that nucleus.

April 8 2014 8:22 AM

How Do You Survive an Interview on The Colbert Report?

Answer by Jennifer 8. Lee, Colbert, Today show, Early Show, CNN, etc.:

Don't try to be funny.

That was the piece of advice that was repeatedly given to me in 2008 when my friends first heard I was booked on The Colbert Report to talk about my book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, on Chinese food in America. I had never watched a full episode of The Colbert Report because not only do I not have cable, but I also don't own a television (which makes me a bit of an oddity, but very productive).

April 7 2014 4:23 PM

What's It Like to Have an Extremely Attractive Sibling?

Answer by Lisa Lin:

I'd like to offer the perspective of someone who grew up alongside an incredibly beautiful older sister. Basically, having a beautiful sister compounded all of the sufferings of being unattractive because people will naturally make comparisons. We went to school together and were only two years apart, so essentially everyone who knew me happened to know my sister as well. What hurt the most were the casual, innocent comments that weren't intended to harm but nevertheless heightened my awareness of how differently people regarded the two of us because of our looks. Someone would say something like, "That's your sister? You two don't look anything alike." They would comment on how beautiful my sister was, with the implication that I was not. For a teenage girl with growing longings for acceptance, being ignored while a sibling was showered with compliments and attention might as well have been a blow to the face.

April 2 2014 11:38 AM

How Do Musicians and Producers Create Albums?

Answer by Steve Aoki, DJ, producer:

I always start with the music first, and then I generally have a wish list of what singers I can imagine on a particular song. I also want to try new stuff, too. For example, the song I wrote with Snoop is a Reggae-Dubstep record, which I never write. It’s totally not what you would expect, but I wanted to try it out. So, I wrote a general concept and sent it to Snoop. He sent me his vocals, I re-wrote to his vocals, and then I fleshed it out. That’s essentially the process with every singer I work with.

April 1 2014 9:04 AM

What Keeps a Journalist Passionate About Working on a Long-Running Story?

Answer by Charles Duhigg, staff writer at the New York Times, author of The Power of Habit:

I find there are two things that keep me going.

First, there's an emerging fascination with a topic the more you learn about it. When I started working on the iEconomy series, for example, about Apple's supply chains in Asia and the factories that manufacture iPhones in China, I really didn't know (or, for that matter, care) much about electronics manufacturing. But each world unfolds like a puzzle the deeper you get inside.

March 31 2014 12:39 PM

What Mistakes Do Graduates Make in Their First Jobs?

Answer by Jason Ewing:

Being more loyal to your company than the company is to you. I've managed too many teams that have entry-level employees, and I see this too often. You like your first company—they gave you your first real shot! You should be loyal, right?

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