The best answer to any question.

Oct. 4 2015 7:36 AM

Why Did Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom Fail?


Answer by Harold Kingsberg, reader:



Somewhere along the line, Aaron Sorkin (as a television writer) lost his sense of humility, and his shows have been far worse for it.



Sports Night was a fairly lightweight show that was at heart a workplace comedy. The office workers were rather more competent than anyone you'd find in The Office, and they took their jobs seriously, but at the end of the day, it was a workplace comedy, and it didn't really aspire to be anything more than that. It wasn't there to teach you—it was there to entertain you, and while it did occasional hit hot-button topics, it didn't lose sight of its primary goal.


Video Advertisement

Oct. 3 2015 7:19 AM

What Types of Alcohol Should Every Home Bar Have?

Answer by Domhnall O'Huigin, used to work in bars, dives, roughhouses, shantys, and shebeens:

So you've decided to host a shindig, huh? Well, your first problem is the Internet. The days of un-self-conscious straight drinks are pretty dead, and everyone has a favorite Hiberno-Peruvian cocktail made with y'tang y'tang berries or whatever that he had in a great little bar in Machu Picchu, but let's press on.

Oct. 2 2015 7:06 AM

What Laws Should Be Passed to Reform Policing?

Answer by Tim Dees, retired cop and criminal justice professor:

If I could change any law, I would grossly simplify the tax code, but I assume since I'm a former police officer, it's more interesting to hear about how I would change law enforcement and criminal justice.

Oct. 1 2015 7:13 AM

Does Pornography Harm Sexual Libido?

Answer by Franklin Veaux, author of the BDSM erotica novels Nineteen Weeks,Elicitation, and Evocation:

Short answer: No.

Long answer: I'm answering this question while I'm at a conference for sexuality researchers, at a panel on which sits a guy whose area of academic expertise is human sexuality.

Sept. 30 2015 11:42 AM

What’s the Psychology Behind the Fear of Missing Out?

Answer by Anita Sanz, clinical psychologist:

The fear of missing out is an old—actually an ancient—fear, being triggered by the newest form of communication: social media.

Our survival as an individual within a tribe, and thus our survival as a species, once hinged on our being aware of threats both to ourselves and to the larger group. To be “in the know” when we roamed around in small groups was critical to survival. To not be aware of a new food source, for example, meant you literally missed out on something that could mean the difference between life and death. When humans began to create more stable farming communities, being in the know involved paying attention, being in the right places at the right times to get resources and information, and engaging in the gossip of the day as it filtered through the community.

Sept. 28 2015 10:57 AM

Why Is Germany Taking in So Many Refugees?

Answer by Judith Meyer, well-traveled native German, author of Understanding Germany:

This welcome seems to have blindsided international media, especially the reception at the Munich train station with a huge applauding crowd and the police having to ask people through Twitter not to bring more donations because the station is overflowing.

Sept. 27 2015 7:35 AM

Why Are The Bachelor and The Bachelorette So Popular?

Answer by Katie Nguyen, recruiting coordinator:

I haven't been watching the series from when it first started, but in the past few years I haven't missed a season. Here are a few reasons why The Bachelor and The Bachelorette series do so well with audiences:

Sept. 26 2015 7:19 AM

How Do You Create a Successful Sketch Comedy?


Answer by Dan Knight:



I can only speak from a U.K. perspective, so I’m not sure about the state of sketch shows elsewhere in the world. I’m with you to a degree when you say most of them are awful, but this isn’t necessarily true for everyone. Just because you (and I) think they are bad, it doesn’t mean everyone does. So this is the crux of the problem.


Sept. 22 2015 7:08 AM

What Are Common Mistakes That College Students Make?

Answer by Ben Y. Zhao, professor of computer science, UCSB:

Obviously, a question of this type has many valid answers. Here are a few that pop to my head in terms of importance and prevalence.

Sept. 21 2015 11:41 AM

How Can Clark Kent Disguise His Superman Identity Only by Wearing Glasses?

Answer by Mark Hughes, lifelong Superman fan, comics reader, and collector; Forbes movies blogger:

Three things are very important to remember here, which explain how Clark Kent's glasses work for protecting his identity as Superman.