The best answer to any question.

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.

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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?

July 27 2015 7:04 AM

How Did Armies Keep Archers Supplied With Arrows While Fighting?

Answer by Stephen Tempest, qualified amateur historian:

During the Hundred Years' War, England had a centralized, state-controlled organization for manufacturing arrows in bulk. These were then issued as required to the soldiers on campaign.

July 26 2015 7:27 AM

How Are Comic Books Released?

Answer by Robert Frost, have more than 15,000 comics in my collection:

In America, Wednesday is new comic book day. The two big publishers, Marvel and DC, each publish about 50 comics a month, which means about 12 comics each Wednesday. Individual titles are usually on a monthly schedule, although Marvel often likes to increase that schedule to biweekly for its most popular titles during the summer, and some artists work on a slower schedule, putting out one issue every two months.

July 25 2015 7:22 AM

What Prompted the Renaissance?

Answer by Tim O'Neill, head inquisitor against bad history:

What people refer to as the Renaissance (as opposed to the earlier Carolingian, Ottonian, and 12th-century renaissances) was a movement in art, architecture, and literary writing that began in Italy in the 14th century and spread to other parts of Europe in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. It was in many ways a curiously conservative and backward-looking movement based on apeing an idealised version of ancient Greco-Roman culture. As history writer James Hannam puts it: “It was a time when, in order to be up to date in writing or architecture, artists had to model their work on a prototype that was over 1,000 years old.”

July 24 2015 1:10 PM

Why Does the U.S. Have So Many Military Bases Abroad?


Answer by Tim Hibbetts, A-6E, F/A-18C pilot, operational level of war planner:



The U.S. military is that house guest of dubious benefit, questionable timing, faulty manners, but impeccable credit.


July 23 2015 12:08 PM

What Are the Differences Between American and Australian Values?

Answer by Peter Baskerville, Australian citizen:

There are many big-picture values that Americans and Australians share.

As an Aussie, I see that both nations highly value individual freedom and fully understand that it's not free but rather comes at a significant price. This is why Australia has been one of America's staunchest allies in every global conflict for more than 50 years in an effort to defend and protect that freedom. They both value the concept of democracy: being governed by a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. So we have each adopted constitutions to protect this system of governance. They also value capitalism and the economic system where a country's trade and industry is controlled by private owners in a competitive pursuit of profit, rather than controlled centrally by the state.

July 22 2015 7:08 AM

What Makes LeBron James So Good?

Answer by Jonathan Brill, NBA fan:

If you were going to design the world's best basketball player, you might do something like this:

Make him big enough so that he can play either wing spot and even climb into power forward should the need arise. Magic Johnson was 6-feet-9 and famously played center for an injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1980 finals. Ben Wallace was only 6-feet-9, and he was the most dominant defensive center in the game for a few years. Larry Bird was 6-feet-9 and he was the most dynamic forward in history. You don't want to go much shorter than that because you start to give up size, and if you want to play inside out, size is critical. Not just height, but having the kind of frame that will support the weight needed to bang inside. Guys like Ron Artest and Shawn Marion are good modern-day equivalents. LeBron James is like Magic Johnson, only with 20 pounds more muscle, better conditioning and diet (in Magic's defense he came up in an era where it was still OK to go out drinking and do a nontrivial amount of drugs the night before a game), and a football wide receiver's hands.