Unanswered Questions

164
votes
0answers
85k views

Has Stack Overflow saved billions of dollars in programmer productivity?

John Carmack is a renowned developer and CTO. His Twitter account has over 100,000 followers. On the occasion of Stack Exchange's 5th anniversary, he quipped on Twitter: [... Stack Overflow] has ...
47
votes
0answers
6k views

Are light-on-dark colour schemes for computer screens better for programmers?

There is somewhat general scientific agreement that in general case for reading, dark text on light background is more readable than light on dark. However, most studies have shown that dark ...
23
votes
0answers
1k views

Do performance incentives work for knowledge workers?

In this animated video of his talk, Dan Pink claims performance incentives do not work, and can actually lead to worse performance. In summary, he quotes two studies (which he unfortunately does not ...
21
votes
0answers
556 views

Is gearing down more energy efficient than braking?

When spotting a red light or similar, I often release the gas pedal, gear down and let the engine decelerate instead of pressing the brake pedal. I was taught that this was more energy efficient for ...
20
votes
0answers
483 views

Did the NYPD use an ambulance to trick protesters into cooperating?

I saw this tumblr post (with over 50,000 notes, so it's notable), which says: Tonight the NYPD tricked protesters into helping them by driving empty ambulances through the crowd. We thought they ...
20
votes
0answers
619 views

Did Thomas Edison test 1600 materials for the filament of his light bulb?

From this webpage: In 1879, after testing more that 1600 materials for the right filament, including coconut fiber, fishing line, and even hairs from a friend's beard, Edison and his workers ...
20
votes
0answers
411 views

Has anyone been caught using inductive coupling to steal power?

There are lots of references to the claim that people have stolen power through inductive coupling on the Internet: The most common claim it that it was a farmer somewhere that noticed electricity ...
20
votes
0answers
1k views

Did Henry Ford predict revolution if people understood the banking and monetary system?

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. Several sites ...
19
votes
0answers
366 views

Can you sharpen scissors by cutting Aluminum foil?

I needed to sharpen a pair of scissors, so I did a quick Google search to learn the technique. I was very surprised to find a number of sites suggesting that scissors can be sharpened by cutting a ...
19
votes
0answers
421 views

Is the US more tolerant of failure than other cultures?

I've come across several sources claiming that the US is more tolerant of trial-and-error than other cultures: (The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb) "American culture encourages the process of ...
19
votes
0answers
4k views

Does the brain limit muscle strength in humans, but not in other apes?

In researching whether the brain limits our muscle strength, Sciencedaily has a quote: Add to this the effect of severe electric shock, where people are often thrown violently by their own extreme ...
18
votes
0answers
258 views

Does water bring out the flavor and aroma in scotch?

I've often heard that adding just a few drops of filtered, room termperature water to scotch helps to "bring out the flavor and the aroma." The scotch guy at my store told me it involves a chemical ...
18
votes
0answers
2k views

Is Shaolin monk Hu Qiong using “Chi energy” to withstand an electric drill?

In one of the episodes of Stan Lee's Superhumans (the excerpt in question can be viewed here) a Shaolin monk named Hu Qiong claims that by training his body and "transfering Chi to the right part of ...
17
votes
0answers
549 views

Are Roman numerals used in the end credits of films to mask their age?

© Time Warner Studios MCMXCVIII A post on MTVSE questions why movies use Roman numerals in the copyright notices of the end credits. The accepted (and referenced) answer (ref 1, ref 2) states that ...
17
votes
0answers
3k views

Is rape a crime about violence and power, or a crime of passion?

Adam Carolla, from the popular radio show Loveline, and in the Guiness Records for the most downloaded podcast of all time made the following claim (1 min mark): rape is not a sexual crime, you ...

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