Top March Madness Q&A

ncaalogoThe Big Dance kicks off this week. Have you filled out your bracket? Don’t worry, there are only 147.5 quintillion ways to do it! Whether your team made it to the tourney or not, you’re asking lots of basketball-related questions on Answers.com this week. Here are a few of the most popular:

How did the phrase ‘March Madness’ originate?

Why are the rankings of basketball teams in the NCAA tournament called seeds?

Has anyone ever filled out a perfect NCAA tournament bracket?

What school has won the most NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships?

How much do college teams receive in prize money for attending or winning the NCAA Basketball Tournament?

What is the lowest seed ever to win a NCAA Basketball title?

Let us know in the comments who you think will win it all this year.

Answers to Six Popular Job Interview Questions

jobinterviewJob interviews can be daunting even for the most qualified candidates. It’s easy to iron a shirt, get a haircut and be on time, but the real legwork is prepping for intimidating interview questions. While every company has a different hiring style, many tend to use tried-and-true interview questions (it’s no wonder these questions are among our top content on Answers.com). Are you preparing for an upcoming interview? Check out our answers to six popular job interview questions:

  • Describe yourself. It’s open-ended, yes. But keep it focused on traits that match what the employer is looking for.
  • Why did you leave your last job? Resist the temptation to bash your boss. Instead talk about how this company will give you opportunities your old company couldn’t.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? The trick is to talk about your weaknesses so that they can also appear to be a strength. Try to tailor your responses to the job you are applying for.
  • Why should we hire you?  Uncover your interviewer’s greatest wants and needs and then list your achievements and traits that match those needs.

Do you have more tips for job interviews? Share them with us in the comments.

Crowdsource Your Valentine’s Day Plans

valentinesWhat are you giving your Valentine this year?  You might be opting for a traditional gift of chocolate, a sentimental card, or roses (198 million are sold every Valentine’s Day). But if you want to get more creative, our Answers.com contributors have great tips when it comes to planning Valentine’s Day gifts.

Guys take note:  the answer to What should you get your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day?  has plenty of ideas for how to make your lady swoon.

Ladies, you already know that men are simple creatures. This contributor thinks they want only three things. Can you guess what they are? Hint: not flowers.

Still out of ideas? Check out more Valentine’s Day Gift Giving Q&A here.

P.S. The worst Valentine’s Day gifts.

Know Your Super Bowl Trivia?

football browniesWhether you watch it for the game, the commercials or the halftime show, the Super Bowl is must-see TV. Super Bowl Sunday has become a de facto American holiday and chances are you’ll be among the 110+ million sitting around a TV come February 3.

Super Bowl questions reign supreme on Answers.com this time of year. Before you chow down on wings and nachos, brush up on your NFL trivia with these popular questions about Super Bowl 47:

How many people watch the Super Bowl?

Which NFL teams have never played in a Super Bowl?

Has a rookie quarterback ever gone to the Super Bowl?

Which NFL team has won the most Super Bowls?

Which city has hosted the most Super Bowl games?

What NFL player has the most Super Bowl rings?

How much do NFL players get paid for winning the Super Bowl?

Does the losing team of the Super Bowl receive rings?

This year’s big game is a matchup between the San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl champs five times) and the Baltimore Ravens (one-time Super Bowl winners). Who do you think will take home the Vince Lombardi trophy? Tell us in the comments.

Five facts about Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Jr.This week the US celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. The civil rights leader is perhaps most famous for his “I have a dream” speech, delivered to more than 200,000 people in Washington on August 28, 1963. That March on Washington was influential in the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

In honor of MLK Day (January 21) here are five facts you might not know about the iconic civil rights leader:

  1. Martin was born as Michael King. His father, Martin Luther King, Sr., was also born with the name Michael but changed it to Martin when he was 22. He intended his son to also be Martin but claims that the birth certificate stated the wrong name. MLK Jr. never legally changed his name so he died as Michael King.
  2. Martin was only 26 years old when he led the Montgomery bus boycott.
  3. Martin wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in the margins of a newspaper because that is the only paper he had.
  4. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, but did you know five years before that he was stabbed with a letter opener by a homeless woman?
  5. The most well known part of Martin’s celebrated speech, “I have a dream,” were improvised.

Illinois was the first state to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday. Not until 2000 did all 50 states follow suit, with Utah being the last to recognize the holiday. Martin’s birthday was January 15 but the US celebrates the leader on the third Monday of January every year.

Most Anticipated Celebrity Babies of 2013

kimkardashianCelebrity pregnancies are a hot topic on Answers.com. You’re always curious about what stars are expecting and when. Maybe it’s the “they’re just like us” factor that entices us. Is it reassuring to see A-listers suffer from morning sickness and excessive weight gain just like us? Or maybe it’s simpler than that and no one can resist a sweet newborn, celebrity or not. Either way, here’s our list of the most anticipated celeb babies of 2013.

The royal offspring of Prince William and his commoner-turned-duchess wife, Kate Middleton, tops our list of the most highly anticipated celebrity baby due to arrive in 2013. Rockstar progeny are a dime a dozen. A tot heir to the throne? Now that doesn’t happen often. Kate is due in early summer with the child that will be the future king or queen of England.

What do you get when you mix the DNA of Hollywood’s most overexposed reality star and a narcissistic rapper? Kimye, the nickname of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West‘s baby-to-be. Kanye announced the pregnancy at an Atlantic City concert in December and the Internet has been abuzz since. Get this — Kim’s divorce from Kris Humphries (remember their infamous 72-day marriage?) won’t even be finalized by the time the baby is born. Oy. Prepare yourselves for an onslaught of coverage about this babe.

Who else is expecting a bundle of joy in 2013? People Magazine’s sexiest man alive, Channing Tatum, will become a father in 2013. Jenna Bush, daughter of former president George W. Bush, is pregnant with her first baby and due in spring. And Jessica Simpson announced her second pregnancy, only seven months after giving birth to her daughter, Maxwell.

Any other celeb babies we missed that you’re anticipating? Check out more Q&A on Answers.com’s celebrity pregnancy category page.

Are you superstitious about the year 2013?

no_13th_floorHappy New Year! But is it really happy for those superstitious about the number 13? For this week’s featured topic, let’s take a look at triskaidekaphobia — the fear of the number 13.

  • The word triskaidekaphobia has Greek origins — triskaideka is 13 in Greek (treis = three, kai = and, deka = ten) and phobia is, of course, fear of.
  • Many believe the superstition has ancient origins. The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, dating back to 1780 BC, omits a 13th law. Others credit Judas for the superstition. An apostle, Judas betrayed Jesus at the Last Supper and was the 13th to sit at the table. Read more reasons the number 13 is unlucky in this great answer.
  • Did you know? Many high rise buildings do not have a floor 13, either skipping it altogether or substituting it for 12A.
  • The specific fear of Friday the 13th is known as paraskevidekatriaphobia. Friday the 13th will occur twice in the year 2013 — Friday, September 13 and Friday, December 13. What is the origin of the fear of Friday the 13th? Check out this answer.

Tell us: Are you superstitious about the number 13? If you are, would you delay a wedding or having a baby in 2013?

The Newtown Tragedy: When There Are No Answers

holdinghandsHere at Answers.com we would love to believe there is an answer to every question. But why a young man would kill his mother, 20 first graders, six adults and then himself, we don’t know. And we may never know. Our hearts are broken over the senseless loss of life and innocence and our minds yearn for an explanation.

Many of the questions you searched for on Answers.com this past weekend were related to the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy. You wondered how many gun deaths are in the United States every year (around 30,000). You asked how many Americans own guns (nearly half). And you were curious which countries ban firearms (the UK has some of the strictest laws).

But those are just facts. And none of those facts can fully explain the evil that visited Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, December 14, 2012. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this tragedy and we hope for a brighter future.

What are the names of Santa’s Reindeer? (and other Holiday Q&A)

xmastreeIf our traffic reports are any indication, you are excited about the holidays. Questions about Santa, Christmas trees and Advent are some of our most popular this month. Here are the holiday questions you’re searching for and clicking on most this season:

And just for fun, here’s one that made us laugh: What is Grinch Mean Time?

Happy holidays from the Answers.com team!

Five Questions about Kate Middleton’s Pregnancy

williamandkateAfter months of tabloid speculation, it’s official — Kate Middleton is pregnant. St. James Palace announced the news on December 3 after the Duchess was hospitalized for morning sickness.

Questions about the highly anticipated announcement have been rolling in to Answers.com. Here are five popular questions about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy:

1. When is Kate Middleton’s due date?

2. Is Kate Middleton having a boy or girl?

3. Will William and Kate’s child be heir to the throne?

4. Can Kate Middleton’s baby inherit the throne if it is a girl?

5. Where will William and Kate live with their baby?

Ask and answer more questions about Kate Middleton in the comments or in our category about the Duchess here.

Thanksgiving 101 on Answers.com

Planning a feast for family and friends this Thanksgiving? Or are you opting for a dinner out but are curious about the history of the holiday? Either way, we’ve got answers to your Thanksgiving questions.

Let’s start with the basics: When, where and how did Thanksgiving originate? Plymouth isn’t the unanimous answer to this question. Some believe the first thanksgiving feast was held in sunny Florida of all places. And who do we have to thank for this day off school and work? Which US president made Thanksgiving a national holiday? 

Now onto the meat of the matter: turkey. One of our most popular questions every year is how do you cook a turkey? Hint: it’s pretty easy, but timing is everything so you may want to check out our detailed answer to how long do you cook a turkey? The most frequent question on Butterball’s Turkey talkline is how long a turkey takes to defrost. Here’s our answer.

Thanksgiving traditions don’t end with turkey and potatoes. Many families turn their TVs to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or NFL football on Thanksgiving Day. So, when was the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Two NFL teams always play on Thanksgiving. Which ones?

And in case you have a lull in dinner table conversation, here’s a few bits of turkey-related trivia to have up your sleeve:

Fascinating Facts about Costco

Costco, a warehouse club where customers pay to shop, is a fascinating example of American business culture. Where else can you buy a lifetime supply of mayonaise, toilet paper and a casket in the same store? Check out these questions and answers for a closer look at this giant retailer.

How many products does Costco sell? Given how big these warehouses are, the answer may surprise you.

What is Costco’s number one selling product? Hint: You use it every day. Well, we hope you do.

Since Costco makes most of its money off of membership fees (about $55 a year), it can offer steep discounts on many products. So, what exactly is Costco’s price markup?

It’s nearly impossible to leave Costco without hitting up the food court. Which makes us wonder, why are Costco hot dogs so cheap? and What do the Costco food courts sell in international locations?

Costco is the world’s largest retailer of wine. It also sells a lot of meat. How many rotisserie chickens does Costco sell a day?

What other questions do you have about Costco? Ask them in the comments or in our Costco topic on Answers.com.

Five Questions about Presidential Elections

On November 6, Americans will elect their next president and we’ve got answers to your questions about elections.

1. Election Day is always held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Which makes us wonder: Why are US elections held on a Tuesday?

2. Alright, so you cast your ballot. Now what? How do elections exactly work? And what is the electoral college all about?

3. Elections are the best example of the democratic process, but were there ever US presidents that weren’t elected by the people?

4. So maybe you have a jaded view of voting. What are two good reasons you should exercise your right to vote?

5. Many Americans have the option to vote early or by mail, but if you’re planning on going to the polls Tuesday, you might be wondering when the polls close in your state.

P.S. Curious who is going to win? Check out these weird ways to predict the presidency. And if you’re not happy with the result, find out when the next presidential election is here.

Baseball, Coffee & Costumes: Weird Ways to Predict the Presidency

Forget the polls, here are some quirky ways to foresee who will be our next commander-in-chief.

1. World Series 

According to baseball researchers, there’s a correlation between the league that wins the World Series and the party that takes the White House. If the American League wins, it’s more likely a Republican will win the election. If the National League takes it, a Democratic win is in the cards.

2. Halloween costumes

Sales of presidential candidate Halloween masks can foretell the winner, according to Spirit Halloween stores. The more masks sold, the more likely a candidate will win.

3. Coffee Cups

Convenience store chain 7-11 claims that their 7-Election coffee cups are a more accurate predictor of the American vote than professional polls. The chain sells blue and red cups to represent the rival parties and whichever sells the most predicts the winner.

4. The Redskin Rule

If the Washington Redskins win the game before Election Day, the incumbent party will win the election.

5. The Kids Vote

Scholastic holds a mock kids vote every year. And since 1940, the results of that election have predicted the winner every time except twice. This week, Scholastic released the results and the kids picked Obama.

Looks like it’s up to sports to determine the winner. In addition to winning the kids vote, Obama has a lead when it comes to Halloween mask and coffee cup sales. Who do you think will win this election?

Top 10 Pop Culture Halloween Costumes for 2012

Thinking of dressing up as a witch or vampire this Halloween? You’re not alone. Witch, vampire and pirate getups are the three most popular costumes this Halloween season, according to the National Retail Federation. But if you want to look beyond the broomstick, think about costume ideas based on pop culture and current events from 2012.

Here are 10 ideas for pop culture Halloween costumes this year:

1. Gangnam Style

PSY’s Gangnam Style, a rap song that parodies an upscale district in Seoul, South Korea, is 2012′s biggest viral video. Throw on some shades, tuxedo and sneakers and enter your Halloween party doing the horse-riding dance and you’re a shoe-in for best costume of the night.

2. President Obama or Mitt Romney

It’s election day just six days after Halloween. Dressing up as the incumbent or his rival is sure to spark a debate amongst your friends, especially if you bring along a birth certificate or tax return.

3. Big Bird

Everyone is rallying behind Sesame Street’s main personality, after Mitt Romney proposed cutting PBS funding in the first presidential debate. Buy a bunch of yellow boas to fashion a Big Bird costume, and be prepared to entertain the kids.

4. Lost Tourist using Apple Maps

Apple Maps, part of the new iOS6, is notoriously bad. Hospitals are misnamed as supermarkets, bridges plunge into water and entire cities disappear. (CEO Tim Cook had to issue an apology about it all.) So it’s not all that far fetched to dress up as a hypothetical tourist, lost from using Apple Maps. Or, even better, don a black turtleneck and be Steve Jobs rolling over in his grave.

5. Olympian McKayla Maroney

Alright, so you can dress up as any of the Fab Five, or maybe Ryan Lochte if you’re comfortable in a speedo. But our pick for the best Olympian costume would be gymnast Mckayla Maroney of “Mckayla’s not impressed” meme fame. A leotard, tight ponytail and pursed, unapproving lips are all you need for this costume.

6. The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen or Effie Trinket

If you’re a fan of going all out for Halloween, Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games is your girl. White hair, gaudy makeup and outlandish clothing will make you an Effie lookalike. Minimal more your style? Channel Katniss Everdeen’s hunter chic with some cargo pants, boots and braided hair. Don’t forget your bow and arrow.

7. Prince Harry

What happened in Vegas is all over the Internet for this royal. A Prince Harry costume? Hmm, how about boxers and a beer can? Not much creativity is required to mimic the party boy.

8. Justin & Selena

If you need a couples costume idea, try lovebirds Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Shaggy hair and hightops for Biebs, wavy locks and boho chic clothes for Selena are all you need. Oh and memorizing the lyrics to “Baby” wouldn’t hurt.

9. Sam Shakusky & Suzy Bishop

Hipper than Justin & Selena? Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom featured a quirky young couple in love. Wear a scouting uniform for Sam Shakusky, and a vintage pink dress for Suzy Bishop.

10. Snooki’s baby boy Lorenzo

Slather on some fake tanning lotion, pop in a pacifier, and you’re set! Alright, we’re sorry Lorenzo, you’re pretty cute.

What do you think of our ideas? If you have any of your own pop culture themed costume ideas, let us know in the comments. If nothing struck your fancy from this list, don’t worry. Answers.com contributors have your back. Check out the answer to What are some good Halloween costume ideas? for tons of ideas.

Answer of the week: Why are NFL players wearing pink?

Real men wear pink. In October at least. If you’ve watched an NFL game the past couple of weekends, you probably noticed players donning hot pink cleats, gloves, towels, wristbands and hats. No, your favorite team hasn’t changed colors. The league is sporting the feminine color in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, this October.

Pink is the de facto color for breast cancer awareness, ever since pink ribbons were handed out at the 1991 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in New York City. The color has become so ubiquitous every fall, some companies are accused of “pinkwashing” — selling pink products to boost profits without donating money to a breast cancer charity or having limited transparency of where the funds are directed.

All apparel worn by NFL players in October will be auctioned off and proceeds benefitting American Cancer Society’s screening outreach program.

Read more Q&A about the NFL and breast cancer on Answers.com.

Five questions about Vice Presidents

via ABC News

In honor of this week’s vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, we bring you five questions about our nation’s co-pilot.

  1. Vice Presidents are much more than second fiddle. But exactly what is the job of the US Vice President?
  2. What are the chances we could have a President Biden or President Ryan? It’s happened in the past quite a bit. What Vice Presidents later became Presidents?
  3. The President earns a $400,000 salary every year. So, how much does a US Vice President make? 
  4. Here’s a hypothetical: Who would become Vice President of the US if the Vice President dies? 
  5. The White House is home for the commander in chief. But where does the US Vice President live?

Bonus question, because we’re curious: What is the origin of the word vice? If you have more questions about vice presidents, ask us in the comments or in the US Vice Presidents category on Answers.com. The vice presidential debate will be held at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky on Thursday, October 11 starting at 9 p.m. eastern.

 

All your cold & flu questions answered

Flu season is back again. Have you gotten your flu shot? Our co-workers over in the Jerusalem office are ahead of the game and got theirs last week (see photo).

To prepare you for a season of tissues and cough drops, here are some of our popular questions and answers about the common cold and the flu.

 

Why does the flu have a season?

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

How do you avoid catching a cold or flu?

Can you catch a cold from being in the cold?

When are you most contagious when you have a cold?

And just for good measure… If you hold in a sneeze will you blow a hold in your brain?

Read more cold and flu Q&A in this category.

Answers.com meets Justin Bieber

After a four-hour wait, our meeting was very brief. Mere seconds, in fact.

“Hi, I am from Answers.com,” I said, walking up to Justin Bieber. “We answer questions about you everyday…”

Before I could finish my sentence, I was whisked off the stage. Though the “VIP” photo op was so short, it was still enough to leave many fans crying and hyperventilating.

Bieber, who appeared a bit tired, made his rounds in New York City this week on the Today Show, the View, David Letterman and Macy’s, just down the street from the Answers.com offices, where he promoted his new perfume. His fans followed his every step.

“When I say Justin, you say Bieber! Justin! Bieber! Justin! Bieber!” the girls chanted inside Macy’s.

Screaming fans, mainly tweens and children as young as four years old, stood in the stand-still line for three to four hours before they were able to redeem their VIP passes to meet the star. One of them, a 14-year-old from Saudi Arabia, purchased 100 bottles of his perfume to give to friends back home. She had already used half of the bottle of fruity, floral scent herself.

“I have seen his movie Never Say Never 155 times and I know everything about him,” my new Bieber-obsessed friend said.

The fans excitement was contagious. So much so that I followed them after the photo op at Macy’s to AMC Cinema where Bieber arrived to support his girlfriend Selena Gomez in the premiere of Monte Carlo.

Bieber teamed with the company Give Back Brands for his promotion and all proceeds from his perfume Someday will go to charity.

To see how much the Answers.com community loves Justin Bieber check out his category for yourself.

Answers.com gets a VIP pass to Justin Bieber!

It is a rare day that an Answers.com employee doesn’t encounter one of the 63,000 questions asked about international teen sensation Justin Bieber on the site. So when Justin Bieber fans were just a block away from Answers.com headquarters Wednesday to stand in line to meet their idol, we couldn’t help but see them for ourselves.

Teens came from Uptown Manhattan and Brooklyn and as far away as Norway and Florida, at Macy’s Herald Square to purchase his new perfume “Someday” and get a VIP pass to see the star Thursday. Our summer intern, Brooke, went to meet the Bieber Fever-ed Fans and somehow got so swept up in the commotion that she, too, will be seeing Justin Bieber on Thursday!

One group of teens from New Jersey said it was their fourteenth attempt to meet him. They were successful at 12 attempts and have seen him on the Today Show and at a book signing at Barnes and Noble.

One teen from Long Island said she heard about the contest last night and said she decided to “Never say never” by taking a chance to come wait in line and buy a ticket.

A family of five stood in line as their youngest daughter simply wept. They were in New York City on vacation from Norway and the daughter appeared to have missed her chance to see Justin Bieber.  But no, she was actually just crying because she was so happy her biggest dream was coming true.

Men in business suits were seen standing in the line. No doubt to purchase the tickets for their Bieber-obsessed daughters.

One teen from Washington, D.C. took the bus down Wednesday morning with his mom to buy tickets and surprise his girlfriend with them. Justin Bieber is her favorite, he said.

Only 325 VIP passes were available for fans to purchase. The VIP ticket included a perfume package of Bieber’s new perfume “Someday”  and a pass to meet the star and get a professional photo with him on Thursday. Check the blog tomorrow for a photo of Brooke with the teen idol!

Here are some of Answers.com’s most popular Justin Bieber questions:

What is Justin Bieber’s official fan phone number?

What is Justin Bieber’s official fan mail address?

How old is Justin Bieber?

How tall is Justin Bieber?

Who is Justin Bieber currently dating?

Does Justin Bieber have siblings?