The best answer to any question.

July 2 2015 7:35 AM

What Qualities Make a Good Vineyard?

Answer by Lucas J. Meeker, winemaker at the Meeker Vineyard:

I think this question is a bit leading, and I'll explain why, but first I'll take the bait.

The primary qualities I assess at any vineyard site are:

Drainage: how, where, and how quickly water goes through the vineyard. This is an assessment of the kind of soil, slope, elevation, and surrounding topography.

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July 1 2015 7:36 AM

How Realistic Is the Psychology in Inside Out?


Note: This post includes spoilers.


Answer by Anita Sanz, clinical psychologist:


I just saw Inside Out with my family, and I really enjoyed the movie. I'll leave it to the memory experts to comment on whether the way the film portrayed the way that short-term memories are encoded, stored, and used is close to accurate. I loved the way it was done using the little balls, tinted with the color of emotions.


June 23 2015 12:26 PM

What’s the Value of an Editor in Publishing?

Answer by Gideon Rose, editor, Foreign Affairs:

Good editors really can add value, in two ways.

First, editors are industry professionals who can educate often-naive authors about the facts of life in the real world of publishing. (Agents are great at this too, often even better.) The other answers have some excellent details on this, but I think it boils down to: Just because you want to write it doesn't mean somebody else wants to read it, and certainly not that he or she wants to pay for it.


June 22 2015 12:27 PM

What Can You Tell About Someone From the Character He Plays in World of Warcraft?

Answer by Julie Anne Exter, Blood Elf Holy Priest, avid gamer for 15 years:

I'll approach this question from the three major roles one can play in a five-man group, regardless of race/class combinations: the tank, the healer, and the dps (which stands for damage per second, for those of you who have not reached level 100 in Being a Nerd). These three roles call for three distinctly different styles of gameplay, and I suspect that it's three unique personality types who go in for each. Join me as we examine:


June 19 2015 7:40 AM

What Is the Best Corkscrew for Opening Wine?

Answer by Lucas J. Meeker, winemaker at the Meeker Vineyard:

I have opened, literally, thousands of bottles of wine. One summer I got tennis elbow from opening so many bottles working in our tasting room.

June 17 2015 7:10 AM

How Is the Western European Restaurant Scene Changing?

Answer by Jonas Mikka Luster, trimethylxanthine addict:

Western Europe manages, more than before, to be a hodgepodge of food and cooking.

France seems to finally recover from the stiff traditionalism of Paul Bocuse and his contemporaries. Places like Holybelly or Clamato in Paris, the developing “Bouchon” scene in Lyon, or the food trucks in Marseille, take on the old guard—and win. Reservations in Michelin-starred places are at an all-time low, but those brasseries, bistros, Bouchons, and food trucks see lines wrapping around the block. French diners want substance, perfect execution, and sub-30 euro ($34) dinners.

June 11 2015 7:05 AM

What Makes a Great Sushi Chef?

Answer by Kaz Matsune, private sushi chef, sustainable fish director at Breakthrough Sushi:

To learn the techniques of sushi is given. I believe the following traits show the fundamental character of a person and his discipline as a chef.

Most of the traits may seem small and tedious. The fact is that sushi preparation is made up of hundreds of small and (what may seem) tedious daily routines. One can easily skip those routines if one wants to. What makes the difference at the end of the day is one's willpower to hold on to his discipline to do all those small steps. Ultimately, it is an accumulation of those daily routines that will make a good sushi chef into a great one.

June 10 2015 7:25 AM

Could the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Be Considered Terrorism?

Answer by Jon Davis, military and cultural historian, veteran of U.S. military:

Hiroshima and Nagasaki effectively ended a period of warfare that began with the advent of modern artillery and aerial bombing and ended with the downfall of one of the most aggressive empires in history. They weren't, despite many people's belief, unique in the scale of devastation because of the weapons used to bring them down. There are dozens of situations when we see entire cities wiped off the map both during, and even before, World War II. That practice didn't start with the Americans, and the Japanese are just as guilty of it.

June 8 2015 7:24 AM

How Does a Spouse Who Wants Kids Cope With Having a Spouse Who Doesn’t?

Answer by Megan Walker, freelance writer:

I always knew I wanted to have children. It never even crossed my mind that I may not have them—it was just a given. I was almost 27 when I met the man who would become my husband, and while I knew the night we met that he was it for me, we dated for a couple of years before we married, exactly one week after my 29thbirthday. He was 35. We'd discussed children before marriage, of course, and while he confessed that he had a lot of fear at the thought of being a father, he said did want to have them.

June 7 2015 8:02 AM

Why Is Lord of the Rings Considered Such a Classic?

Answer by Ernest W. Adams, game design consultant:

That's a question with a long answer, but I'll give you the two-minute version.

It's not about the races or the references to the destruction of the English countryside. Academic enthusiasm for it really has very little to do with conventional fantasy tropes at all. It's about the depth behind every sentence on the page. Most fantasy authors make up some gibberish and call it a language. Likewise, they make up some place-names and call it done. For them the goal is to get the plot hammered out and sell their books.