The best answer to any question.

Aug. 3 2015 12:01 PM

Why Do We Cry?

Answer by Diane Meriwether:

Research suggests we don't weep because we are upset (like we might run because we are afraid); we cry tears to get over being upset.

First of all, there's nothing uniquely human about emotional crying. If you pick up a very young kitten, it will set to the same sort of noisy unhappiness a human baby will exhibit. Other animals can whimper, howl, or wail and do so for the same sorts of emotions that cause us to cry. The difference is they do it dry-eyed. 

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Aug. 2 2015 7:53 AM

What Would Have Happened if Germany Had Invaded the U.S. During World War II?

Answer by Jon Mixon, semi-pro historian:

Then the war either would have ended early (like 1942 or 1943), or there would have been massive numbers of German casualties with nothing to show for it.

Aug. 1 2015 7:22 AM

When Can the “Pay What You Want” Model Succeed?

Answer by Carl Shan, has sold multiple books under pay what you want:

To really answer this question, it's important to figure out what it means to “succeed.”

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.

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.”