The question-and-answer website, Quora, was co-founded by Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever. Both are former employees of Facebook. Since made available to the public on 21 June 2010, the site has grown to an estimated 500 000 registered users (as of January 2011).

Now that you have a low-down on what Quora is all about, you will understand why these questions are ‘interesting’. Users get to ask any question, and any user can answer them. All you have to do is register on the site (you can register with your Facebook or Twitter account if want). Here are some examples.

How many different methods are there for tying your shoelaces? Apparently there are about 18 different methods to tie a shoelace. I know one way, and i have no idea what it’s called.

Who would win in a fight between Aristotle and Plato?

To the dismay of the author of this question, he never received any satisfactory answer. Except, of course for a logical one: they are both dead!

How many ping pong balls can fit into a 747?

At Google, this is a job interview question. So if you are planning on applying there soon, here is the answer: “The 747-400 has a passenger volume of 876 cubic meters, plus a cargo volume of 159 cubic meters, for a total of 1035; the balls have a diameter of 40 mm; this gives about 22,870,000 ping pong balls.” Noteworthy is that this amount of balls would make the aeroplane too heavy to lift off the ground.

How many cans of beer can fit in an upside-down regulation frisbee, taking surface tension into account?

The answer to this is five and a half, in case you were really wondering.
What have been the most absolutely mortifying, horrendously awkward social moments for Quora users? This is one answer from one of the Quora users: “On a conference call, using a wireless phone with headset. Head to the loo and urinate, forgetting to put the phone on mute. 100+ people on the call.” Yikes.

What’s the best way to escape the police in a high-speed car chase? Former patrol officer, Justin Freeman, gives an in-depth explanation as to why you should not (try to) do this. Other (more fun) users said things like using a sportbike (160 mph capability) instead of a car, making many turns to confuse the driver, and some even explained how they themselves got out of these predicaments (mostly anonymous users).

Given our current technology and with the proper training, would it be possible for someone to become Batman? Mark Hughes, Screenwriter and Forbes Blogger, gives an interesting view on ‘How to become the modern day Batman’. Many others also give their views. Have a look at http://www.quora.com/Superheroes/Given-our-current-technology-and-with-the-proper-training-would-it-be-possible-for-someone-to-become-Batman.

What’s it like to be a drug dealer? Some former drug dealers were kind enough to answer this question. The stories are quite touching and very revealing of what a drug dealer (and sometimes user) can be like. I found it quite interesting, maybe you will too. Read them at http://www.quora.com/Recreational-Drugs/Whats-it-like-to-be-a-drug-dealer.

How does a programmer become a Brogrammer? Admittedly, this was the first time i had ever heard of Brogramming. I’m still a bit confused as to what this actually means so here’s the website and you can check out the answers for yourself http://www.quora.com/Brogramming/How-does-a-brogrammer-become-a-programmer.

What are some interesting examples of photographs which show historical figures in unexpected places or company? This question was answered quite well. There are some great classic, old pictures here (some of which I have never even seen). Enjoy them here: http://www.quora.com/What-are-some-interesting-examples-of-photographs-which-show-historical-figures-in-unexpected-places-or-company.

What is the worst piece of design ever? This question really gave the users an opportunity to vent about some design they find ‘utterly useless’. A few of them really made me laugh. Plastic bags for bananas, the fact that Britain still uses two taps for hot and cold water (as opposed to the rest of the world using only one), the Nokia N-gage (don’t know how many of you still remember this one). There are many more at http://www.quora.com/Design/What-is-the-worst-piece-of-design-ever.

Which are some of the most epic photos ever taken? The users really did post some epic photos (thank God for Google). One photo that really touched my heart was that of a little crawling away from a vulture, waiting for her to die so that it can eat her. The photo, taken by Kevin Carter, is shot during the Sudan Famine in 1993. See the rest of the pictures here: http://www.quora.com/Photographs/Which-are-some-of-the-most-epic-photos-ever-taken.

How do now-grown adults feel about having been conceived and raised in the Nazi ‘Lebensborn’ program? One anonymous user answered this question, saying he was brought up in a Lebensborn home and then adopted. You can read the story and all the comments at http://www.quora.com/Racism/How-do-now-grown-adults-feel-about-having-been-conceived-and-raised-in-the-Nazi-Lebensborn-program.

What does it feel like to have a spouse or partner commit suicide? Ok, so this one can be a bit depressing to read. All the answers are deep and touching stories on the user’s own traumatic experience. It is an interesting question though. Read the answers and stories here http://www.quora.com/Suicide/What-does-it-feel-like-to-have-a-spouse-or-partner-commit-suicide.

I know that by using google, you can have any information at your fingertips. What I love about Quora is that users get to answer questions from their own perspectives. They can give some hard to deny facts, or just simply say what’s on their mind. They can also get personal with their own stories when answering questions.

We always hear that no question is a ‘stupid’ question. This certainly rings true for Quora users. I enjoyed reading theses questions and answers. I learned so much that I did not know before. The funny thing is that i didn’t know that I wanted to know those things. It reminds me that if you listen (or in this case, read) carefully, those questions that you are too afraid to ask might be answered.

Leandre de Bruyn is working for the CMS web development company, Karma Digital Media in Cape Town South Africa.

Most Interesting Questions On Quora