The best answer to any question.

March 31 2017 7:02 AM

Is It Legal to Own a Sloth in the U.S.?

Answer by Mercedes R. Lackey, owned by 12 parrots, a starling, five cats, and eight peafowl:

No, no, no, NO. Do not get a pet sloth. Wild animals make very poor pets. Before you even consider any exotic animal, you need to ask the following questions.

Do you already have a vet within a 45-minute drive of your house lined up who is willing to treat your sloth? If not, is your regular vet willing to put in the extra time after work to study how to treat it? If the answer to this is no, then you cannot have a pet sloth. Most vets will refuse to treat an exotic animal even if it is dying. Sloths have extremely particular digestive systems, and they generally don’t display illness until they are very sick indeed.

March 30 2017 7:03 AM

Can an Untrained Man Armed With a Primitive Spear Kill a Lion, Tiger, or Bear?

Answer by Stefan Pociask, primitive weapons collector and tracking instructor:

This will be fun. You’ll learn about spears! But to that question, the answer is “no.”

If you change the question to: “Can a single, average-sized, athletic man armed with a primitive spear and minimal training defeat a lion, tiger, or bear in a fight?” the answer would be yes. He can, but it’s certainly not assured. A tremendous amount of luck would be required. It’s unlikely.

March 29 2017 7:03 AM

Is Eating at McDonald’s Better Than Nothing?

Answer by Laurence Shanet:

Let’s look at this question mathematically. While it’s easy to vilify McDonald’s by employing hyperbole, such as “It’s not real food” or “That stuff will kill you,” in the end, I think the numbers will provide the answer you need. So let’s break this question down into its two component parts:

March 28 2017 7:04 AM

Which Authors Are the Best at Developing Characters?

Answer by Cristina Hartmann, writer:

Well-written characters are part and parcel of great literature, but a few authors stand out from the crowd. They consistently turn out an army of well-crafted and fascinating characters you’ve met before—because they’re so damn real. They don’t rely on plot to make them interesting—they just are. They never, ever write the same character twice. (Sorry, Philip Roth.) They’re simply maestros of their craft.

March 27 2017 7:03 AM

How Much Fake Blood Has the Horror Movie Industry Used?

Answer by Kynan Eng, who specializes in tech startups and research, neuromorphic engineering, mobile big data, and VR:

My best guess is that 619,920 liters of fake blood (around one-fourth of an Olympic swimming pool) have been used in the production of “proper” horror movies—ones that had a commercial release. This is based on 17,712 horror movies, 5 liters of blood per horror scene, five horror scenes per movie, plus two scenes requiring blood for set-dressing. Note that these numbers don’t include movies with lots of blood but no horrror categorization, such as 300, Death Race, or Rambo.

March 24 2017 7:17 AM

How Can You Succeed at Learning Higher Math as an Adult?

Answer by Dmitriy Genzel, computer science Ph.D.:

Usually the problem that people like you have is that they got lost at some point in their education. Usually it isn’t at the level of the last class you completed, but somewhere earlier. We all use our intuition to do math. You can learn the rules, but if you don’t understand what they are for and why they are the way they are, you are limiting what you can learn. The rules are like training wheels on a bike, and as you get to the next level, your instructor assumes you know how to bike, and then you crash.

March 23 2017 7:06 AM

What’s It Like to Airbnb-Hop Instead of Renting an Apartment?


Answer by James Altucher, author, entrepreneur, and Wall Street investor:



For a year I’ve mostly lived in Airbnbs. I decided my life needed a purge. I don’t know why I felt this way—probably a combination of a lot of things. It wasn’t a consistent life strategy. It’s just something I did. I threw everything out, I didn’t renew two apartments I was renting, and I didn’t start renting anyplace new. I had no place to live.


March 22 2017 7:04 AM

Why Is It Offensive to Tell Someone He or She Looks Tired?

Answer by Gayle Laakmann McDowell:

Forget about the word offensive. That word confuses a lot of people and causes silly debate over what qualifies as harm. What matters is if it's hurtful/harmful. It often is.

March 21 2017 7:03 AM

Does Tennis Equipment Need to Be Tweaked at Different Temperatures?

Answer by Laurence Shanet, former college/satellite tennis player, tennis coach, USRSA certified stringer:

For a recreational player, there is little need to tweak your existing equipment. Contrary to what many players will tell you, research has shown that even fairly high-level players can’t distinguish string tension differences of up to 10 pounds when using blinded conditions. That said, there are a few ways your equipment will vary at different temperatures.

March 20 2017 7:03 AM

How Much of a Pilot’s Training Is Emergency Landing Practices?

Answer by Stan Greenspan, licensed private pilot:

You can teach anyone to fly straight and level in about 10 seconds. Push the wheel or stick forward, and the ground gets bigger. Pull the wheel or stick back, and the sky gets bigger. Turn or push right, you turn right; turn or push left, you turn left. Congrats, you can fly straight and level. It takes about 10 brain cells to do this, so you can do everything else while you fly straight and level.