Tell us: If you had a bazillion dollars…

It’s holiday season! And, sure, the holidays are all about giving, but what about getting? Shouldn’t we take five minutes and think about what we’d do, if say, we all of a sudden found ourselves with a bazillion dollars?

So here is Answers.com‘s question to you: If you had a bazillion dollars, what would you do first? Obviously, you’d do a whole lot, but what would be the first thing you’d do with the money…

[poll id="7"]

Don’t forgot to fill in your choices in the comments… Looking forward to hearing some creative ideas (with fake money).

[Thanks, Suzanne!]

Year in review: Q&A from the news.

What a year for news – iPads, volcanoes, an oil spill, and more. The Answers.com community was busy answering as quickly as the questions came in. So here we are at year’s end to share some of the Q&As from the most popular news events of the year. If you’ve got your own fond memories of a question on the site, please share in the comments below!

One of the top three questions on Answers.com in January 2010 was “Where is Haiti located?” Searches for the Caribbean nation exploded after a deadly 7.0-magnitude quake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12, killing approximately 230,000 people.

After only seven months on air, Conan O’Brien hosted his Tonight Show on January 22. NBC forced the quirky redhead out of his spot after Jay Leno’s ratings plummeted at the 10 p.m. spot. The debacle only emboldened Conan’s admirers who dubbed themselves Team Coco. He eventually moved his act to TBS.

Apple announced their anticipated tablet computer in January, calling it the iPad. Female hygiene jokes abounded on Twitter, but eventually the world came to love the touchscreen gadget.

Quarterback Drew Brees led the New Orleans Saints to their first Super bowl win in the franchise’s history. The victory revitalized a city downtrodden from Hurricane Katrina five years earlier.

Much of Washington, DC, was buried under snow during February 2010. Dubbed “Snowmageddon” or “Snowpocalypse” the series of blizzards dropped more than 55 inches of snow in the DC/Baltimore areas, an all-time record.

During the 52nd annual Grammy Awards, Beyonce Knowles became the first woman to win six awards in one night, including Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”

President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a sweeping health care overhaul, into law on March 23.

Twitter starts selling advertising on its site for the first time since its 2006 (?) founding. “Promoted tweets” bought by advertisers appear above other content.

Eruptions from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano created an ash cloud so huge, it grounded European flights for six days in April.

Lady Gaga reigned on YouTube in April 2010. With more than one billion views, the pop star broke the record for views from a single channel.

A BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded on April 20, killing 11 men and eventually leaking an estimated 185 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean ecosystem. The leak wasn’t completely capped until mid-September.

David Cameron became the youngest British Prime Minister in 200 years. He was elected on May 6.

And on the other end of the age spectrum, octogenarian actress Betty White hosted Saturday Night Live on May 9. Proving the power of social media, the Facebook page “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” gained several hundred thousand followers and campaigned to get the actress on the show.

The 2010 World Cup kicked off on June 11 in South Africa and football fans worldwide endured monthlong Vuvuzela-induced headaches.

What a year of Q&A! Stay tuned for 2011 – we wonder what will make the news then!

Double071, Double071 on Answers.com.

What do you do when your chosen user name is already taken? You improvise! And that’s just what Double071 – our Featured Contributor – did when he discovered that Double007 had already been snatched up by the Answers.com community. As you might have guessed, Double071 (or Dimo in the offline world) loves all things James Bond.

So tell us Dimo, do you sleep with Answers.com under your pillow? Let’s find out!

What is your Answers.com user name and the history behind it?

To begin with, my Answers.com user name is Double071. I am a big James Bond fan, but Double007 as a user name was taken, so I decided to drop a zero and put in my birth year instead.

What is your age?

39

Where do you live, how long have you lived there and why do you like the area?

I live in a small neighborhood on the west side of Los Angeles, called Mar Vista. I have lived here for almost six years. I like the area because I am close to a lot of other places and the beach.

Where did you grow up and do you have any special memories of your childhood?

I grew up in Bulgaria, until I was 12, when I came to the US. The memories that I have are of me playing with my friends and learning to ride a bicycle.

What educational information would you like to share?

I attended high school in Los Angeles, then Santa Monica City College, and then Sonoma State University. I received my first degree, an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Santa Monica College. I then obtained a second degree, a B.A. in Geography from Sonoma State.

What are some of your past or present occupations?

I have worked mostly as a cashier, then a wine steward, and a GIS analyst, as a Census Taker, and most recently as a poll worker.

What are your key area(s) of knowledge, interest or expertise?

My key areas of knowledge and interests are a few. I consider myself an expert when it comes to travel related questions, as I am a geography major. I am also quite knowledgeable about automobiles, as I subscribe to a magazine about cars and have been interested in cars since I was about 5 years old. Another area of expertise of mine is tennis. I play tennis and am very knowledgeable about the game and its facets.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

One of my hobbies is tennis. I also enjoy cycling, both mountain and road, and hiking. I have several collections. One is collecting National Geographic magazines. Others include a CD collection, a movie collection, a DVD collection and a die-cast car collection.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

I actually like hip-hop and rap music, I like discovering and going to unique places and I like to drive.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I am proud of what I have accomplished in my life so far.

What are your special goals or dreams?

To get married and start my own family.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

I am somewhat shy, until I get to know someone, but then I tend to get very funny.

What brought you to Answers.com?

It was something that I came across on the Web, and did some in my spare time, but it became more interesting.

What keeps you coming back to Answers.com?

Just answering questions relating to what I know, and, more importantly, trying to get the people who ask these questions to do so correctly, both in terms of spelling and grammar.

What is your favorite Answers.com activity?

Answering questions.

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.

A 2010 Year in Review… in poetry.

The giant disco ball is set up in Times Square,
Wind gusts and sniffles abound everywhere.
The last calendar page is ready to tear,
And Uggs are officially the preferred footwear!
So as 2010 gets buried in snow
(Or actually not, if you’re in the hemisphere below)
This is the time to reflect, create a New Year’s vow or two,
It’s the Answers.com 2010 Year in Review!
We’ll travel month by month, so sit back and enjoy
Horrible, wonderful, and insane; this is the real McCoy…

January

Haiti was hit by an earthquake, Richter measured 7.0
Strongest magnitude recorded there, from tectonic plates below.
With donations from celebrities like Giselle and Sean Penn,
The Red Cross, FIMA and even the U.N.
Help came swiftly and people opened up their hearts
We are the World was re-sung and topped all the charts.
JD Salinger was finally caught, by that Catcher in the Rye,
You were a recluse but a genius; it’s sad to say goodbye.
The longest annular eclipse of this millennium was hot,
So was Senator Scott Brown, winning Ted Kennedy’s spot.
Jay Leno retired from The Tonight Show, Conan took his place
Six months later he was ousted – ouch, slap in the face!

February

Steve Jobs announced the release of the stylish iPad,
The competition from Tampax could’ve hurt just a tad.
After 44 years the Saints finally reached into their soul
Beating the Colts at NFL’s 44th Super Bowl.
Beyonce’s a winner too, six awards on Grammy night,
First time for a woman – you go girl! Pretty tight!
Toyota wasn’t so lucky, recalling nine million cars,
For sticky accelerators that were not up to par.
Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili dies while training,
Olympics ban the Canadian luge for the athletes remaining.
Obama wants to finally end Don’t ask, Don’t tell
The Supreme Court is iffy; California says ‘swell.’

March

Tiger Woods finally admits to cheating on his wife,
It wasn’t a car accident after all, that threatened his life.
Gatorade didn’t buy it, nor did AT&T,
They dumped him as sponsors; everyone but Nike.
Chile is smacked with an earthquake, a tsunami then rises,
While the southern U.S. gets hit with blizzards of monstrous sizes.
At Sea World, Tilikum kills a trainer named Dawn
He’s an orca after all, you can’t blame his brawn.
Apolo Ohno speed-skated to his eighth Olympic win,
Ends up on a Wheaties box; then you know you’re truly in!
GM announces it will stop making the Hummer,
Tree-huggers cheer while manly men grunt ‘bummer.’
The 82nd Academy Awards were lively and fun,
Sandra Bullock scored ‘Best Actress,’ then adopted a son.
Up and Avatar were movies that globally sold,
If you’re blue and cartoony, you bring home the gold.

April

The lava erupted out of Mt. Eyjafjallajökull, headed south
Which was faster than the name could escape from our mouth.
Air travel was halted, Europe was distressed,
In Arizona, the Anti-Immigration Bill was the mess.
The BP oil rig explosion kills 11 in the Gulf,
Nobody could cap it, not even Gandalf.
Pelicans were dying, sea turtles were in strife,
Gas prices were the concern – but at what cost to life?
Duke wins the NCAA championship, they’re now the best
Russia signs an arms reduction treaty with the U.S.
Obama’s health care reform bill officially makes the cut,
Democrats are joyed, Republicans go nuts.
Polish president Kaczynski and his wife die in a plane,
Lindsay Lohan’s ankle bracelet falls out of its range.
In China and West Virginia there are explosions in mines.
NFL drafts begin – yup, it’s come to be that time.

May

The Afriqiyah A330 airbus crashed near the sea
Coming up from South Africa, bound for Tripoli.
The aftermath was scary, just shrapnel and fire,
But miraculously emerged one lone Dutch survivor.
‘Lookin at Lucky’ and ‘First Dude’ are names of horses
That placed 1st and 2nd at the Preakness courses.
Gary Coleman laid to rest, (child star from Diff’rent Strokes),
He had a tough life from the media, his wife, his folks.
Faisal Shahzad parked his car conveniently in Times Square,
Fully equipped with a bomb, including an ignition flare.
A vigilant pedestrian called in and he was forced to abort,
Don’t think you can mess with the people of New York!
Speaking of justice… Elena Kagan was appointed
As Obama’s first pick; hope he won’t be disappointed.

June

Roy Halladay earns MLB honor and fame,
The true-blue Philly threw his 20th perfect game.
The Indianapolis 500 is won by a Scotty,
Dario Franchitti, whose dad owns a chain of gelati.
FIFA took over full force; Shakira Wakka Wakkas,
Beckham was injured, but we still had our Kaká.
Vuvuzelas were blasted; the sound is annoying ‘like whoa’!
But hotties Ronaldo and Cruz were able to soften the blow.
Eclipse was released, fans are spreading the love,
Which team do you play for: Edward or Jacob?
After 25 years, Larry King leaves CNN,
The first phone-in TV talk show has come to an end.
Japan’s Prime minister resigns, Hatoyama can’t pass the test,
While England drinks itself silly at a summer beer fest.
China ends ties to the dollar, which could prove quite tragic
Hogwarts is no longer exclusive to wizards with magic -
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter finally opens its doors,
So muggles can actually play quidditch and even the score.

July

Hurricane Alex hit Mexico, but was quickly silenced,
Hurricane Mel Gibson was charged with domestic violence.
Paul the Octopus is a sports fan, psychic and gifted,
Each Mundial team that he chose won just as predicted.
Spain beat Holland 1-0; Red is the clear winner,
No Leffes now, just Sangria en el victory dinner.
When George Steinbrenner died, the Yankees lost their dad
Giuliani, Yogi Berra and New York City were ever so sad.
Justin Bieber’s video Baby became the most YouTubed ever,
His hair might be silly, but what’s behind it is clever.
BP caps the gushing oil well after 86 days,
The fish high-five with their fins, jump up, do the wave.
Serena Williams takes Wimbledon, LeBron signs with the Heat,
The U.S. and Russia swap spies as soon as they meet.
Chelsea Clinton marries Mezvinsky, clad in Vera Wang,
It’s interfaith so lechaim and amen they sang.

August

The 62nd Emmy Awards boasts Jimmy Fallon host,
Mad Men was the series that took home the most.
In the Arizona state primaries, the winner’s John McCain,
He may not be president, but as Senator he reigns.
Kaymer won the PGA Championship, took home the purse,
But on PlayStations everywhere, he doesn’t come first.
Debates ensue on Ground Zero, where the Twins Towers stood,
On whether a mosque should be built near this precious ‘hood.
The owners contend it’s freedom of expression,
Families object; it’s more than a constitutional question.
Proposition 8 was struck down, overturned – then appealed
(I’m gonna need some Pepto by the time this case is sealed.)
Former Senator Ted Stevens died in a crash from the air,
The WHO declared the end of the H1N1 scare.

September

Tragedy turned happy when Antoine Dodson made the news,
He fights off a Bed Intruder and then tops off iTunes.
Keenan Cahill is self-made, lip-syncing ‘teenage dream,’
He looks younger than his age, but he really is 15.
Sesame Street is in trouble – parents give a tough time
Over Katy Perry’s cleavage (though Elmo didn’t mind).
The sheep are running wild; the Kiwis don’t know where to perch,
A 7.2 earthquake hit New Zealand, out there in Christchurch.
Reggie Bush returns the Heisman; he was a steroid-taking man,
Sarah Shourd is the hiker who gets released from Iran.
Terry Jones decides for everyone that it’s Quran Burning Day,
Pastor, to spread God’s word, this just ain’t the right way!
British Police arrest five men over a threat to the Pope,
Lady Gaga wore a meat dress, while PETA tried to cope.
Continental merged with United – it’s the only way to fly
Kenny McKinley of the Broncos has finally said goodbye.

October

A cholera outbreak in Haiti hits the region wide and far,
Rehydration is the key to make the disease say au revoir.
A record was broken by the international space station -
For the longest time humans lived in galactic habitation.
The Social Network was released, every Facebook fan attends.
Is Mark Zuckerberg the good guy, or did he screw over his friends?
33 miners were trapped in Chile in the San Jose mine,
Just as the town gave up hope, they got a note – ‘hey, we’re fine.’
Food and water were sent daily through a pulley in the ground
69 days later, all emerge – without a single frown.
Halloween is finally here and the costumes that all score
Involve The Situation and the whole cast of Jersey Shore.
Indonesia has three disasters; Mother Earth can be so mean
The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for Graphene.

November

Obama visited the Far East to promote better trade relations,
Offered to remove Sudan from the list of terror-sponsored nations.
Prince William asks Kate Middleton to be his dear princess,
With Diana’s diamond ring, it shows the love she represents.
In the 106th World Series, the Giants beat the Rangers,
Trader Joe’s recalled cilantro that could cause potential dangers.
Reps took over the House, fulfilling Obama’s fear and dread,
While the Democrats have re-elected Pelosi as their head.
The Deathly Hallows was released, part 1 of the adventures,
When the second half is out, the cast will all be wearing dentures.
Miley Cyrus is now legal, she had her Sweet 18,
Bon Jovi goes on tour, lookin’ good in skinny jeans.
North Korea’s Kim Jung Ill decides to shell Yeonpyeong,
South Korea’s swift response said, ‘We’re ready, bring it on!’
WikiLeaks unveiled a collection of top secret U.S. files,
On Dancing With The Stars, Bristol Palin was all smiles.

December

Leslie Nielson, we will miss you, you left us way too early,
Call him Dracula or Agent, but please don’t call him Shirley.
Angry Birds is all the rage – kill those pigs, they’re all corrupt,
At Level 3 you get the blackbird; with a tap, it self-destructs.
FIFA’s next World Cup in Russia, in the year twenty-eighteen,
Then it’s on to Qatar, where their plants produce benzene.
In the U.S. once again, Aiden is the most popular boys’ name,
For girls no more Isabella – it’s Sophia that now reigns.
Mark Madoff committed suicide; so sad it makes you steam,
Now he’s the latest victim of his father’s ponzi scheme.
Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapper is guilty, he finally gets his time
Derek Jeter makes more millions, it’s with the Yankees that he signs.
NASA discovered bacteria which on arsenic can thrive,
Replaces it for phosphorous; not the usual, but it’s alive.
WikiLeaks is constantly Googled – in SEO it’s leadin’
But it’s founder Julian Assange is still accused of crimes in Sweden.

Wishing you an excellent 2011

from

Answers.com’s Top Questions for 2010.

Hope you’re proud of yourself! You sure did accomplish a whole lot this year. You and the rest of the Answers.com community, which now includes over 5 million registered members, have now answered more than ten million questions.

Considering the top questions throughout the year, it seems you really did accomplish a whole lot offline too. Answers.com was the place to go for answers about thousands of topics, but the biggest area we were able to address was: What are you trying to do?

Top jobs questions

Top relationship questions

Top cooking questions

Top time questions

But the top lookups on Answers.com weren’t all questions, and they weren’t all about accomplishing something. Answers.com users came to read about topics for schoolwork, education-planning, background-checking or just plain interest.

For the record, Facebook and YouTube beat sex, but sex beat love. Let’s not look too deeply into that.

Top people

The top two people are the very symbols of exploration, wide-ranging interests, and deep and wide knowledge. The third – well, he’s just trendy:

Top science

Remember 11th grade science? Neither do I. That’s probably why so many science topics made the list site-wide; the following took the lead:

Top history

Interesting descending order, don’t you think?

Top university majors

Well, more like top lookups that make it seem like college students out there are researching possible majors:

It’s been a wonderful year for Answers.com: Our product team saw hundreds of features through, our content team integrated thousands of new topics and videos into our reference library, and you, the community, continue to amaze us every day.

As the clock ticks towards 2011, we thank you for the questions, answers and other contributions you have given over this past year. Looking forward to another year together, fulfilling all our curiosity!

Redlight, GreenlightAV – Let’s GO!

The user name of this week’s Featured Contributor, GreenlightAV, brought me back to my childhood and days of playing one of my favorite games, Red Light, Green Light. I always enjoyed being “it” – having the power to make people go and stop; go and stop like funny little puppets (I know. I’m evil.). It was just so much fun to play!

Unlike this game, however, GreenlightAV is always going – wiki-ing away primarily in our Television and Video category. Having worked in audio visual and television broadcast for 25 years and founder of Green Light AV (consulting and design services for commercial and home presentation systems), you’d say that he has a little knowledge to share.

Ready for more? Well let’s GO!

What is your Answers.com user name and the history behind it?

GreenlightAV is the name of my company. We do engineering work for video and audio systems and being an engineer, I never got creative enough to dream up any other name.

What is your first name?

My real name is Peter.

What is your age?

I’ve made it into my fifties. That sounds really old, doesn’t it?

Would you care to tell us about your family?

I am a very proud dad to two beautiful teenage girls, seventeen and eighteen years old. One lives with me in the UK while the other lives in Ohio. It means I get to spend way too much time on planes as I travel between the two places, and I have two places I can call home. My happiest times are when I am with both of them together. They are intent on giving me a hard time whenever they get together but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

One starts at university next year and the other begins her degree course in two years time. They have grown up way too fast. It is delightful to see them growing into beautiful, confident young ladies, but I sometimes wish they were still the small giggly kids they once were.

Do you have any pets?

As the back yard of our apartment is right on a canal, we have been adopted by a pair of ducks who come to visit most days. In the summer when the doors are open, they will march around the family room demanding food. If the doors are closed, they will simply knock on the doors until they get an answer.

Where do you live, how long have you lived there and why do you like the area?

My UK home is in a small market town west of London. We live in a complex of about 50 apartments on a tiny island surrounded by rivers and canals. It’s just a few minutes walk from the center of the town with a traditional market square. It’s a typical British town with a four hundred year history. We finally made it into the twentieth century last year with the opening of our one movie theater in the town. The only down side is that the nearest branch of Wal-Mart is some 3,500 miles away.

My second home is East of Columbus, Ohio. It’s very different to England with wide open spaces, forests and big rolling hills nearby. Ohio state is slightly smaller than England and has only one tenth of the population of England. In comparison, Ohio is just full of wide open spaces, and I have a sense of freedom while I’m there. It’s also home to the Ohio State college football team. Being British, I understand American football about as well as most Americans understand cricket. I watch them and pretend to be a football expert when I’m there but I can’t fool anyone. Wal-Mart is a very convenient 5 mile drive.

What are some of your past or present occupations?

I’ve spent my life working in electronics for television and audio. I spent a number of years working in broadcast television and got to travel around the world from the US in the West to China in the East. It was a great opportunity to see parts of the world although I spent many more hours in TV studios than sightseeing. Currently, my work is based on systems design for commercial theaters, home theaters and studios. My travel is more limited now, with business taking me around Europe and the US but no further.

What are your key areas of knowledge, interest or expertise?

I slipped into television almost by accident but as I have spent most of my life working in broadcast and commercial television, that is where my expertise lies. It has been an exciting time to be in television with the move to both digital and high definition happening over the last twenty years or so. Much of my experience has been in signal processing and conversion between the hundred or more television standards that exist around the world. I confess that it makes me a professional nerd but I’m happy being a nerd.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

My main hobby is wood work. I confess that I’m not as good as I might be but I love creating things out of a material that has so much personality. I have built beds, desks and tables and entertainment centers over the years. I see Norm Abrams in his New Yankee Workshop and I am inspired to go build yet more furniture.

What do you like to do for recreation?

Life is way too busy sometimes, but I look forward to spending quality time with my daughters. Camping, sitting on the beach, hiking in a forest, being dragged on to the world’s biggest wooden roller coaster are a few of the highlights. Canoeing down a river somewhere in Ohio each summer has become something of a tradition. It’s the time when my two girls get to dunk me in the water as many times as they can. Oh what fun it is (for them)!

Day to day, I find cooking is relaxing and fun. I’m a long way from being a chef, but I normally turn out edible meals and once in a while I produce something that is really rather good.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

Random fact 1: My travels have taken me to twenty nine different countries, but I’ve still only been to fourteen different states in the US.

Random fact 2
: I have a habit of recording useless facts like the one above.

Do you have any special talents you’d like to share?

My time spent in sound engineering has helped me become close to pitch perfect. I can tune instruments with ease. It’s not a useful skill to have because I have never been able to play any musical instrument.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

I’m fairly laid back about most things. I tend to be very organized, and I have an obsession with things being clean and tidy. The exception is my desk, where I spend my working hours in a state of happy chaos.

What brought you to Answers.com?

I came across the site while I was researching some information. I saw an answer that could do with an improvement, so I signed up and started answering questions. Four months or so later I had an e-mail from Crystal asking me to take on the role of Supervisor. I guess I was hooked by that time.

What keeps you coming back to Answers.com?

That’s a really good question. Honestly, I don’t know what keeps me involved with Answers.com but it’s nice to share some of the knowledge I have, and I’m still here after three years. Answers.com is a little addictive, and I have got to know some great people here who are also addicts.

Apart from being part of a friendly network, I try to produce well-written and useful answers and to correct some of the mis-information that is out there regarding digital and HD television. Although there are some retailers and manufacturers who publish good information, many offer misleading guidance to buyers and consumers. I guess I am trying in a small way to pass on accurate and relevant information to people who take the time to ask questions and do some research before making big financial commitments with home entertainment.

What is your favorite Answers.com activity?

I spend a lot of time cleaning up answers and making sure that the spammers and vandals are kept in check. Sadly there are a few who try to damage the site so I play my part with many other Supervisors to make sure they don’t get far. My favorite activity is answering questions within my own field of expertise.

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.