The best answer to any question.

Oct. 9 2015 7:19 AM

Is Hermione Granger White?

Answer by Monika Kothari, abecedarian:

I love this question! To begin, let's just take a few moments to interrogate the general assumption that Hermione is white. Is there any definitive evidence of her race? Is Hermione white because Emma Watson is white? Is Hermione white because she appears to be white on some of the book covers?

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Oct. 8 2015 11:24 AM

What’s the Best Way to Find a Mentor?

Answer by Gayle Laakmann McDowell, founder and CEO of CareerCup; author of Cracking the PM InterviewCracking the Coding Interview, and Cracking the Tech Career; former software engineer at Apple, Google, and Microsoft:

You don’t ask someone to be your friend, so why do you ask him or her to be your mentor? Think about your closest friends—or even your less close friends. When you asked them to be your friend, what were your terms? How often would you hang out? What would you do? What would the expectations be on each side?

Oct. 7 2015 7:16 AM

What Lessons Do Girl Scouts Learn Selling Cookies?

Answer by Michelle Victor, Girl Scout from kindergarten to high school:

I was a Girl Scout from kindergarten through senior year of high school, and I can say that there is no better time to be a Girl Scout than during cookie-selling season. Looking back, selling cookies was possibly the best exercise for me throughout those years, and with every passing year, I felt more excited and more confident for the successes and rejections that come with selling cookies.

Oct. 6 2015 7:05 AM

Is Pro Wrestling Scripted?


Answer by Bobbi Billard, former WWE developmental contract wrestler:


Yes and no.

In regard to the moves done in the ring, with the TV show Women of Wrestling, it was like a dance routine, and every move was scripted and practiced in advance for a month leading up to the show. 

Oct. 5 2015 1:04 PM

Why Is Ronald Reagan So Idolized by the GOP?

Answer by Ross Cohen, B.A. in history and political science:

I think the shortest, simplest explanation is that Republicans see Ronald Reagan as the last successful Republican president, one who inspired many of them and started them on an ideological trajectory that led them to today.


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.

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.