The unanswered Explainer questions

Slate's Explainer column answers questions about current events. Sometimes they do it multiple times, as they did when I asked them how to pronounce the name Pinochet and they said Pee-no-CHAY, then later corrected themselves with pin-oh-CHET, and then again re-corrected themselves with Yes.

Yesterday, the Explainer provided a selection of the questions they received and didn't answer and invited the readers to vote on which one they would like to see answered. My favorite question was the one that begins "I have a sister that stresses the hell out of me," and goes on and on about the car accident, how her sister complains and complains, how she had to tell the sister to stop bugging her with her problems, I mean, I was in a car accident, and concludes, "I really need to know if a person can really stress you out with the same old thing over and over and over again. PLEASE ANSWER BACK ASAP." Comedy gold. If you made this stuff up people would say it was too unrealistic.

As for which one I would actually like answered, I don't know. They're all so goofy, and the answer wouldn't be all that enlightening.

Comments (12)
  1. Andy C says:

    "I really need to know if a person can really stress you out with the same old thing over and over and over again"

    Presumably the answer would be "See the comments on The Old New Thing and what it does to poor Raymond" :-)

    Have a good Xmas!

  2. SM says:

    "What comes after 999 Trillion"

    999,000,000,000,001 ?

  3. Noog says:

    Raymond, do you stairs in your house?

  4. Gabe says:

    I really would like to know if all that cookie dough from ice cream could be collected and turned into real cookies. I propose melting the ice cream and filtering out the little dough pellets. Then roll them up into little balls and back them.

  5. James Summerlin says:

    The question I would like to have answered:

    Mr. Chen.  What made you decide to become a developer and not something else (i.e. musician, writer, geologist, et. al.)?

    Also, Mr. Chen, this is my first post to your blog using Windows Vista RTM (TechNet Plus subscriber).  I’d like to thank you for a job well done.  Vista is a pleasure to use!


  6. Poobah says:

    I read this explainer yesterday and had a good laugh.  I’d love to see a treatment of the probability of ingesting a molecule of Abraham Lincoln’s.

  7. Tom says:

    I thought the soap one sounded familiar:

  8. Nanashi says:

    There are so many good ones I don’t think I could choose just one.  Hopefully someone else will give some else like Cecil Adams will give the unanswered ones some treatment.

    Raymond, do you stairs in your house?

    I do believe the phrase "comedy gold" has become a common part of internet parlance by now.

  9. someone awful says:

    Raymond Chen said Comedy Gold! </catchphrase>

  10. Gabe says:

    I’ve always wondered why raw cookie dough was only considered safe to eat in ice cream. The fact that they have left out the eggs when adding it to ice cream would explain that (the raw eggs in cookie dough are a potential source of food poisoning until baked).

  11. Sven Groot says:

    "Can someone be forced to masterbate?"

    Holding them at gunpoint would probably work. :S

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