How can I explain the powers of the Prime Minister vs. the President of India to a 10-year-old?

Answer by Staya Rathi:

I will let you know the way my father explained it to me:
President is Papa

  • Official head of the Family
  • No internal powers but all internal actions are taken in the name of Papa
  • He is to maintain Foreign Affairs
  • Papa can only act on aid and advise of mummy
  • Mostly act as a Stamp
  • Have discretionary powers as he can hold decision or delay any particular topic.
  • All the children file mercy petitions to PAPA

Mummy is Prime Minister

  • Actual head of the family.
  • All finance related matters are approved by mummy.
  • All the family related matters are planned and approved by Mummy.

Hope it helps. 🙂

How can I explain the powers of the Prime Minister vs. the President of India to a 10-year-old?


What are some good tips on getting along well with kids?

Answer by Diane Meriwether:

Pro Tip: First time you meet a shy toddler, compliment their shoes. 
Here's why:

You want to reduce the tension by initiating a friendly conversation about something that you can both see and agree on.  The minute you say, "Look at your cool red shoes!"  or "Are those pants blue?" the little one will follow your gaze down. The child now has something comfortable to look at besides your scary stranger face while she gets used to your presence and voice.  

Don't compliment the child directly.  Go for what they are wearing or holding.  You're looking to bring positive focus to something personal, but not so personal that you run the risk of making her more self-conscious. 

Bonus points if you can integrate a color or cartoon character that the child knows the name of:
You: "Is that Mickey Mouse?"
Child:  "Mickey Mouse."
You "Yeah, Mickey Mouse.  I like Mickey Mouse."
Child: "Micky Mouse."

Now that's meaningful small talk, toddler style. 

P.S. this works with grown ups too.

Photos per Tineye: Paul Hakimata

What are some good tips on getting along well with kids?

In what ways does your body improve when you make a habit of running a few miles every day?

Answer by Joshua Engel:

Note first of all that if you want to run, it's actually better to run every other day than every single day. Running strengthens certain muscles, but if you run the same way every day, you'll training exactly the same muscles, and in the same way. It's better to have a more varied schedule, to cross-train and to give yourself some time off.

Still, it's better than nothing. It burns calories and increases cardiovascular fitness. As your muscles get acclimated to the effort, they will become stronger and have more endurance. You will find that you run the same distance in less time, and you should increase the distance to keep running for the same amount of time. Estimates vary, but the general advice is that you should exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes at a time in order to derive real benefit from it, e.g.:

Exercise: How much do I need every day?

There's definitely an advantage to doing something every single day, as it does become habit, which encourages you to keep doing it and to make time for it. That's a mental change, not a physical one, but the mental benefits of running are at least as big as the physical ones.

Physically, running also appears to improve the overall strength of your bones and your joints. Bones respond to the stress of running by becoming denser and stronger. It is a myth that running damages joints; joint damage is caused by a lot of things as you get older, and running is seen in most studies to help the joints, e.g.:

5 Experts Answer: Is Running Bad for Your Knees?

In what ways does your body improve when you make a habit of running a few miles every day?

What is the threshold amount of mass that would collapse upon itself and form a star?

Answer by Robert Frost:

We typically define something as a star if it is emitting vast amounts of energy because of nuclear fusion reactions happening at its core.

By nuclear fusion, we mean an exothermic reaction in which atoms are combined to form heavier atoms.  In our sun, hydrogen is combined with hydrogen to for deuterium and then another hydrogen to form Helium-3.  Two Helium-3 atoms then combine to form Helium-4.  This reaction emits very energetic gamma rays that excite matter as they work their way to the surface of the sun.  Our sun is relatively small.  Larger stars can continue the fusion reaction, creating heavier and heavier atoms – carbon, neon, oxygen, silicon, iron, and so on.

So, this is the basis of our definition.  How big does an object made primarily of hydrogen have to be to initiate the fusion reaction at its center?  What conditions are needed?

We need it to be hot enough to for the electrical repulsion between the protons of each atom to be overcome.  And we need enough pressure to compress the atoms so that they are within 1E-15 meters of each other.  The force that can provide both of these conditions is gravity.

It takes about 1.4E29 kg of hydrogen for gravity to generate enough force to create pressures and temperatures high enough for the fusion reaction to begin.

Jupiter has a mass of 1.89E27 kg.  So, if we divide 1.4E29 by 1.89E27 we find out that Jupiter would have to be 74 times more massive for it to become a star.

That is the absolute minimum – so it wouldn't stay a star very long if we stopped there.  That's why we typically see the number as somewhere between 75-100 times as much to ensure it would have a long life as a star.

You asked for the mass relative to Earth.  Jupiter is 317 times more massive than Earth, so the least massive star would be about 23,775 times more massive than Earth.

What is the threshold amount of mass that would collapse upon itself and form a star?

Does Wikipedia spend way too much money yearly?

Answer by Oliver Emberton:

$40m is a pittance.

You're making a common mistake, made by many who haven't actually attempted such a thing. Wikipedia is – in your words – "just text". You can run "just text" on any old computer. Sure, all you need is a bit of money for hosting and OH MY GOD YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW WRONG YOU ARE.

*deep breath*

Ok, let's assume you're now in charge of Wikipedia. How might you get it in the hands of 500 million people each month?

First, you're going to need hosting. This isn't a service you can pick up from GoDaddy (this pic is 3 years old but you get the idea):

Notice you have hundreds if not thousands of computers. They're interconnected in complex and novel ways – ways that require teams of experts to design and build.

Now imagine that all the above parts are constantly changing, breaking and under attack. All. The. Time.

All your computers will eventually die. All will need patching to stay secure. This isn't your home laptop. You can't just take down all of Wikipedia to run Windows Update every night.

Have you got a plan for that? To create and maintain one you'll need a team of experts around the world, and such people usually don't work for llama beans.

Now think of your software. Your software has to work in three hundred languages. Have you ever tried changing a program that has to work in three hundred languages? It goes a little like this:

"I'll just add this checkbox to our software. It'll only take 5 minutes!"

5 minutes of coding.

"That was easy!"

Except now that feature needs testing in 27 different browsers, where you'll learn it doesn't work on Windows 7 Coal-Powered Edition, and you forgot to support pink Blackberry phones and oh, yeah, it needs a team of people to translate into 300 different languages.

Testing is a feat in itself. Something that seems to work fine when 5 people test it can obliterate your infrastructure when 5 million people are using it. Scaling technology is hard. That's why every big site from Twitter to Quora to Facebook experienced constant downtime in their early years, because the best brains in the business still agonise over how to make websites work when they get that popular.

Of course, we haven't actually dealt with the business of running Wikipedia itself. A community used by half a billion people needs constant policing. It needs quality control, PR, HR, accounts, policies, and hard working people to raise the paltry $40m a year it costs to run from cynical folk who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

For about 0.05% of the US education budget, running as a non-profit, Wikipedia educates HALF A BILLION PEOPLE EACH MONTH. Think about that.

Frankly, we should be petitioning Jimmy Wales to run Planet Earth, because I'm pretty sure he'd do a better job than the rest of us.

Jimmy for President, anyone?

Does Wikipedia spend way too much money yearly?