The best answer to any question.

Sept. 29 2014 12:21 PM

What’s the Best Way to Identify Knockoffs From Designer Items?

Answer by Tonya Chen Mezrich, founder and creative director, at Mike and Ton:

Fakes are harder and harder to differentiate from the real ones, as production houses that produce the real ones are starting to “knock off” the very work that they do for expensive luxury labels. However, the best way to recognize fakes is to look at the details. Listed below are five good details to look for when distinguishing a fake from a real product.

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Sept. 28 2014 7:48 AM

What Was the Process for Making the Film St. Vincent?

Answer by Ted Melfi, writer, director, producer, St. Vincent:

The process for making every single film is different. I’ve made nine movies as a producer, so I’ve been in the trenches for years. I’ve helped, pushed, and tried to get movies made every single time, and no matter what, it’s a completely different process each time.

Sept. 26 2014 9:53 AM

What Was It Like to Choreograph the Back to the Future Movies?

Answer by Brad Jeffries, choreographer for Back to the Future:

First of all, not everyone involved with Back to the Future was able to work on the second and third films. Due to the nature of the film industry, where one goes from project to project, some people were unable to work on all three films. I was lucky enough to be able to participate in all three, and all of us received black leather bomber jackets with the logo and additional stripes to indicate if you had worked on all three.

Sept. 22 2014 8:07 AM

Why Haven’t the Philadelphia Eagles Ever Won a Super Bowl?

Answer by David Applegate, Bleeder of green:

Let me add a bit of historical context.

The NFL has existed since 1920, with the first official championship game being played in 1933. The 16 teams of that league, which was the dominant football league in the U.S., were joined by eight AFL teams in a 1966 merger. After some expansion and a rearranging of the teams into two new conferences (NFC and AFC), the championship game was renamed the Super Bowl in 1970 and was thenceforth conducted as a game between the winners of those new conferences. Previously, the championship game was played between the winners of the Eastern and Western conferences of the NFL.

Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM

How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?

Answer by Robert Frost, trained International Space Station astronauts to operate the motion control system:

There have been numerous experiments into plant growth in space. It's important to scientists on the ground because it can help us better understand how plants function, which can help us to grow food more efficaciously. It's also important to NASA, because when we finally start sending astronauts away from low Earth orbit, they may need to grow their own food and maintain their own regenerable atmosphere.

Sept. 12 2014 1:07 PM

What Protocol Does a Hotel Follow When a Guest Is Found Dead in a Room?

Answer by Mike Holovacs, 10 years front-facing experience, front desk, concierge, valet/door supervision; 2014 master's in hospitality:

I've not caught a body while working myself, but my current boss's body count is eight, and a prior boss of mine is well into double digits. I did have someone drop from a coronary in front of me, but he died in the ambulance. (Yes, hoteliers know exactly how many on-property deaths they have been privy to in many cases. Unless you've lost count ... )

Sept. 10 2014 7:09 AM

How Do You Differentiate Good Acting From Bad Acting?


Answer by Marcus Geduld, Shakespearean director, computer programmer, teacher, writer:



If anyone tells you there are objective standards, they're full of crap. This is a matter of personal taste. There are trends. There are many people who loved Philip Seymour Hoffman's acting. But if you don't, you're not wrong. At worst, you're eccentric.



I'm a director who has been working with actors for almost 30 years, and I'm the son of a film historian. I'll give you my definition of good acting. But I really want to stress that if I say, “Pacino is great,” and you disagree, my experience does not make me right and you wrong. It just means we have different tastes.


Sept. 8 2014 8:46 AM

What’s It Like to Work at Starbucks During Pumpkin Spice Latte Season?


Answer by Nadia Singer, former barista:



Pumpkin spice latte and peppermint mocha seasons were some of the busiest times of year at the Starbucks I used to work at. It was interesting to see how many new people would show up just to drink one of these “delicacy” items and also to see people who ordered the same thing for 300-plus days a year make the switch. There wasn't a day that passed by leading up to fall that a customer didn't ask when the pumpkin spice latte would be back.


Sept. 1 2014 7:23 AM

How Do Casinos Catch Card Counters?

Answer by Ben Mezrich, New York Times best-selling author of Seven Wonders, Bringing Down the House, and the book that became The Social Network:

Interesting question. They actually employ former card counters and have them sit in the security booths and watch players via the security cameras. If they see a lone card counter raising and lowering his bets, they either send more drinks to slow him down, or they'll eventually send a pit boss or security to ask him to leave.

Aug. 26 2014 7:38 AM

Lois Lowry on Her Writing Process and Literary Influences

Answer by Lois Lowry, author, The Giver:

Q: What is the process that a writer goes through while writing a novel?

A: I sit alone in a room every day and do my work, and that’s what I love doing. I enter the lives of these characters that I know are fictional and have appeared in my imagination. But they become so real to me that when I finish a manuscript, it's like leaving behind a family that you’ve been close to, and I love that process.