The best answer to any question.

May 19 2015 7:11 AM

What’s It Like to Work as a Dominatrix?

Answer by Dirk Hooper, fine art fetish photographer, BDSM mentor, and journalist for the BDSM community:

I've been a proud member of the BDSM community for more than 20 years. I've served as a full-time slave to two professional dominatrixes (lived with one of them). My best friend is a professional dominatrix, and I've done either professional photography, Web design or marketing for dozens of other professional and lifestyle dominatrixes.

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May 17 2015 7:31 AM

Was Tywin Lannister an Evil Man?

Answer by Michael O. Church:

Yes, sort of.

I think that understanding the Game of Thrones world requires separating those whodo evil from those who are evil. There are multiple layers to everything. Jon Snow is closest to a hero, but a rule-breaker in a world where the first notable action of the epitome of good (Ned Stark) is to execute a deserter. Daenerys has some noble ideas, but she burned a woman alive in order to birth living war machines (dragons). Catelyn Stark describes smallfolk (peasants) as “useless mouths,” and Jaime Lannister's most infamous act was one that saved King's Landing and the lives of everyone in it. Tywin Lannister does quite a lot of evil (he's far less likable in the books). Is he evil, as opposed to merely being one who does evil? Is that even a useful question? I'm not sure that it is.

May 15 2015 12:47 PM

What Was the Greatest Empire in World History?

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan, history buff:

The Mongols would be my top choice. They have done some extraordinary things that have never been done before and never been done since. Within decades they built a random region literally in the middle of nowhere to become an invincible superpower. Would you be surprised if I told you that they were also great engineers and extremely good learners who changed world more than any other superpower?

May 14 2015 7:38 AM

Who Would Win in a Fight Between Jaime Lannister and Khal Drogo?

Answer by Joe Pepersack, big data/dev ops architect:

Jaime Lannister. 

In Game of Thrones, Westerosi knights wear full-plate armor, often carry shields, and use heavy piercing weapons designed to defeat said armor. Their equipment and fighting style are geared around frontal assaults.

May 13 2015 7:32 AM

What’s It Like to Testify at a Nazi War Crimes Trial?

Answer by Eva Kor, Holocaust survivor:

Originally I was supposed to testify in the trial of Oskar Gröning after a whole list of people, but somehow they called on me to be first. That court was pretty disorganized, so I decided that as soon as I got the opportunity to speak, I would do it.

May 8 2015 7:44 AM

Did Marvel Create Daredevil as a Batman Copycat?

Answer by Mark Hughes, lifelong comics reader and collector, I've written about comics for years at Forbes and Batman-on-Film:

No, Daredevil was not created as a Batman copycat. The original Daredevil looked like this. So, when first created, Daredevil was a brightly colored character, quite different from Batman. His personality was also much more typical of the Marvel superheroes of that time and wasn't inspired by Batman at all.

May 7 2015 7:32 AM

Why Do Trans Women Conform to Societal Stereotypes About Femininity?


Answer by Tamara Wiens, in transition since 2012:


There are a number of different things to consider when thinking about why some trans women conform to societal stereotypes of femininity and whether that is a necessity for them to be considered women, either by themselves or by society. The short answer, cutting right to the chase, is: No, there is no need for any woman, cis or trans, to conform to any stereotype of femininity to still be a woman—the challenge truly comes from whether you are accepted as the woman that you claim to be.

May 6 2015 7:36 AM

Why Do So Many Music Venues Use Ticketmaster?

Answer by John Harper, I've had “the greatest idea” for a new ticketing startup every year for the past 10 years:

This is not meant to be a pro-Ticketmaster response, per se. You asked where it adds value for venues and artists, so naturally this would be things it does right.

Here are some value adds, in no particular order:

May 5 2015 7:21 AM

What Are the Drawbacks to Studying Criminal Justice?


Answer by Tim Dees, criminal justice technology writer and consultant:


There are a couple I can think of:


Criminal justice is viewed as a nonrigorous program. In most schools, there is not a lot of reading, writing, and critical thinking within the program. It's possible to make it a rigorous program by beefing up courses and requirements, but many schools don't want to do that. If their programs becomes too difficult, students will drop out in favor of attending other schools where the programs are easier. Unless the person evaluating your credentials has some insight into how difficult the program is where you obtained your degree, the degree may be devalued because of the reputation of criminal justice programs elsewhere.


May 4 2015 1:25 PM

How Does Data Influence the Pop Song–Writing Process?

Answer by David Plantz, creative director, media consultant, music writer/producer:

Data is certainly popular enough to sustain businesses like Hit Songs Deconstructed, which writers, producers, record label, and radio executives subscribe to. Just like in other parts of the entertainment industry, following music trends is important to economic success, not only for executives but also for artists.