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Jan. 25 2017 7:04 AM

What Are Some Etiquette Rules for Sushi Chefs?

Answer by Kaz Matsune, founder, business owner, speaker, author, sushi program designer at Breakthrough:

Here are some restaurant etiquette rules in sushi and Japanese kitchens.

Say “good morning” at the beginning of the shift. No matter what time of the day your shift starts, you always greet by saying “ohayo gozai masu,” good morning in Japanese. This is common practice at restaurants in Japan, as well as in the entertainment industry. In the beginning, I felt weird saying “good morning” at 3 p.m., and after a while, I got used to it, and it just became natural. Why and when this rule started is unclear, though, some say the word “ohayo” signifies the beginning.

Jan. 24 2017 7:02 AM

How Do I Have Better Conversations?

Answer by Matthew Manning:

Here is how to become more intelligent and have better conversation:

Do all of the obvious things that people are going to suggest and that you could probably figure out yourself. Chief among these is, of course, is reading more. Read all the time, even when you are waiting in line at the DMV, even when you are in the bathroom.

Nov. 1 2016 7:04 AM

What Don’t Most People Know About Air Force One?

Answer by Ron Wagner, USAF pilot in presidential wing at Andrews Air Force Base:

When I received my special air missions certification as a pilot at Andrews Air Force Base, I got a guided tour of the secret places on base, like the SAM command post, which would soon provide me with mission support, and the SAM warehouse, which would provide me with logistical support. Here are some things I saw that took my by surprise:

Oct. 31 2016 7:03 AM

Is Civility Possible in a Dungeons and Dragons game?

Answer by David Durham, dungeon master:

I have the luxury of running games with a group of very seasoned players. The game takes place every Monday evening in Atlanta, and has for more than 30 years, from 8 p.m. until midnight. Most of the participants have logged at least 10 years in the game. Five of us have been there from the beginning. Currently, there are around 12 who regularly attend, and there’s a sizable waiting list to get into it. I don’t know how unique this situation is. We may be setting records in the annuls of D&D gaming, for all I know. The campaigns are based on the game’s second edition, but we have adapted anything we like from subsequent editions and absorbed them into the mechanics of our games.

Oct. 27 2016 7:02 AM

Is It Possible to Open an Airplane Door Mid-Flight?

This question originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

Answer by Ron Wagner, airline pilot and former USAF aviator:

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Sure, no problem at all, if you’re strong enough to pull sideways with 3 to 4 tons of force.

Every once in a while back in my airline days, a young flight attendant would breathlessly race into the cockpit to warn us that a guy in an emergency exit row was trying to open the door. She’d ordered him to stop, but he just kept trying. Now she needed one of us to come back and stop him. We just laughed and told her to ignore him. Because it is funny.

At cruise altitude, the average exit hatch has about 3 to 4 tons of pressure holding it in place. Even on the ground, once the pressurization is turned on, there’s maybe 400 to 800 pounds of pressure. Yes, airliners pressurize a bit on the ground, which prevents pressure bumps that would pop your eardrums during takeoff. It’s less than 1 psi, but multiply that by hundreds of square inches and you’ll see that even if we went back to try to stop the guy, even on the ground, if he was strong enough to pull it out, we weren’t going to stop him.

Now, escape hatches are different from the main doors and are pretty easy to design because since they’re removed from the inside, they’re simple plugs, and pressurization makes them essentially impossible to remove. The main doors do indeed open outward. Why don’t they blow out?

Airliner doors are ingeniously designed. Few people realize it, but it’s some really excellent engineering. Next time you’re boarding a Boeing, take a good look at the mechanism. Upon closing, the door swings inside the cabin and then nestles outward into a frame where the door becomes a plug. They’re called plug doors. In aviation, you always want physics to work in your favor, so cabin doors use physics to remain in place rather than fighting physics with some massive locking mechanism.

Without this design, eventually with daily use on tens of thousands of planes, over decades, one of these locking mechanisms would eventually break and a door would open in flight. I’ve never heard of a plug-type cabin door opening in flight.

Unfortunately, designers have not always used that principle on all aircraft doors. The doors on the lower baggage bins on a DC-10 are a tragic example. They used a locking mechanism, something akin to a bank vault. Very strong, but something that must not deteriorate with thousands of uses by baggage handlers. Sadly, a couple of them failed.

One such example was the crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 981. The rear cargo door blew out with such force that the entire aircraft frame buckled. (MD never built planes as strong as Boeing.) The buckled floors left the control cables under the floor hanging slack. The pilots' yokes in the cockpit were just loose and floppy. All they could do was let everyone pray while they watched the plane slowly go out of control and crash.

This crash resulted in a complete redesign of the locking mechanism, and no more DC-10 nor MD-11 cargo doors have blown out. But those accidents, combined with others caused by sloppy design, eventually caused the DC-10s to cease passenger operations. They now only carry freight.

Can an airplane's exit door be opened in mid-flight? originally appeared on Quora. More questions on Quora:

Oct. 26 2016 7:05 AM

Is Newton’s Principia Still Relevant?

Answer by Paul Mainwood, degrees in physics and philosophy:

I would love to know how many people in the world today have actually read Isaac Newton’s Principia. They don’t have to have read it in the original Latin, just a decent translation into English or their own native languages. But they do have to have read it all the way through.

Oct. 25 2016 7:03 AM

Do Fighter Pilots Know What Their Bombs Are Hitting?

Answer by John Chesire, former naval aviator and combat fighter pilot:

When I was a fighter pilot, I never dropped any bombs without knowing exactly what my target was. I also prided myself on being extremely accurate. The only exceptions were “sky spots” in free-fire combat zones in South Vietnam when flying off an Air Force lead aircraft with better navigation than ours.

Oct. 21 2016 7:05 AM

Why Is Miso Soup Sometimes Served With a Lid?

Answer by Kaz Matsune, founder, speaker, author, private sushi chef at Breakthrough Sushi:

There are many reasons to use a soup lid in Japanese cuisine, and many reasons why sushi restaurants in the United States may not use a lid. Here are a few ideas:

Oct. 20 2016 7:04 AM

How Does an Aircraft Carrier Maintain Fleet Readiness?

Answer by Marty Erdossy, captain, U.S. Navy (retired):

To maintain fleet readiness, a ship’s crew must be trained and proficient enough to effectively operate the ship in combat. Additionally, the ship and its equipment must be fully operational and reliable. Finally, the ship should have the supplies, ordnance, and fuel on board required for the ship to conduct sustained combat operations.

Oct. 19 2016 7:06 AM

What Would Happen if Google Experienced a Major Outage?

Answer by Ashish Kedia, web solutions engineer at Google:

In August 2013, Google and all of its services came down for two to three minutes. Internet traffic as a whole went down by a massive 40 percent. A similar incident occurred in May 2009.

Note that these events were just for two minutes. Imagine if it had been for 30 minutes. It's highly unlikely, but if it did, here is what I think would happen.

During the first few minutes of the outage, people will check their internet connections. Some will even call their ISPs. Those who are tech savvy may check for hardware failures on their side (which is more likely than a 30-minute outage on Google’s end).

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