I figured since we're in the private beta stage, that we can use some more 'refining' of what's good and bad for this site. I suggest placing questions and/or answers that are of low quality, on the edge of off-topic, or just plain not good as 'answers' to this question. Users can then up-vote or down-vote as they agree or disagree.

Note: I personally don't think that closed questions as off-topic should be included here as we are at a 'refinement' stage and not definition. Also please don't include 'thank you' or 'comment' answers as these are not what we are looking for. Finally, if your question or answer is included here, please don't take offense, we are trying to improve the site and it's users. For example, my first post of this answer to "Lungs on Fire" was a terrible post and should've been a comment, but I improved it and now it's better.

  • Good idea, but I don't know if this shouldn't be deleted before it comes out of private beta, this is borderline argumentative.
    – going
    Mar 3, 2011 at 21:20

6 Answers 6


This answer given to my glucosamine question:

Yes they do help.

There has been a number of surveys that say the tablets do help in some way or another.

Benny, Age 12.

This immediately received two upvotes.


Should I run when it is cold?

While the main gist of the question is a great question and the answers are good too, the question is far too general. Another problem is that the question is awfully short, which is a common sign of a bad question.

So what's my problem with the question? Define cold In California they would complain it's cold if they can't run in shorts, while in Canada they might find it cold when they have to wade through snow and in England they have to deal with rain while it's cold. The problem is: everybody starts answering the question for what they consider cold.

This also means that none of the answers is likely to be 'the best', because it will only be the best for some. So preferably, either the question would focus on one kind of condition, because else one of the answers would have to sum up how you should handle gradually increasing conditions and I don't see that happen.


I asked a question about available tools for monitoring a running workout. To prevent 'bad' answers, I included several required features and added an 'elaborate' answer.

But sadly it sparked several oneliners in return:

If you own a iPhone or a Smartphone install one of the apps to help you out.

I would also use a running GPS like Germin.

I have a Garmin Forerunner 305, and have used it for over a year. I love it. It offers training, and the software shows graphs and shows reports. There is 3rd-party software for even more functionality.

I edited two of them to include more information, so you could actually compare some of the features, but I just wish users took the time to add a decent answer or not at all...

  • I noticed people in beta are afraid to downvote, flag or close. Does everyone know they have the power to flag or vote to close? If the question/answer can't be improved, I recommend trying to get rid of it. What do you think?
    – jmort253
    Mar 7, 2011 at 6:31

What are the most effective exercises for weight loss?

Again, another Oprah type question.

I've voted to close.

  • True, though when I get back this weekend, I hope we can fix it a little bit. Because listing the exercises in order of calories/HR/time would be a great resource
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 4, 2011 at 6:45
  • @Ivo - Maybe a CW question with a title that stands out well, let me know if you need any help
    – going
    Mar 4, 2011 at 7:18
  • We should find a scientific resource that lists all the calories per workout, so we can give a definitive answer to this question
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 5, 2011 at 20:14
  • I voted to close. It just needs one more vote as of now.
    – jmort253
    Mar 7, 2011 at 6:33

So what's the deal with aspartame?

The question itself seems to stem from a discussion, which generally is a bad sign for any question as it means there's a lot of debate about the answer. Furthermore, I don't think it's up to us to 'judge' chemical products without conducting some longitudinal study.

While we could cite trusted sources, we can't know beforehand if these sources exist, so that's a slippery slope. More importantly, I think there are enough questions you could ask regarding nutrition that we don't have to cater to these discussions.

  • Disagree with this one. The title is a bit provocative, but question wasn't horrible as it gave a specific amount of aspartame that would be taken. I don't think we want to set a precedent of only asking questions that we know in advance there are published studies answering (if I knew, I'd just go read the study instead of posting here!).
    – G__
    Mar 3, 2011 at 19:40
  • I'd turn it around @Greg, because we don't know if there's an answer we shouldn't allow these questions. Based on what @Aaronaught said on Area51 I do think we need some form of "No Original Research" policy. Unless the knowledge it as least accepted to be 'common' knowledge to experts in that fields, I don't think it should be allowed.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 3, 2011 at 20:21
  • I'm not saying we should be this strict to require citations with every answer, but especially when we're talking about something that's non-trivially measurable, the questions just invite discussion and argumentation. Which off course in itself is off-topic as well...
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 3, 2011 at 20:26
  • 1
    Understand - but I think the onus is on the answerers, and not the asker, to know if there are appropriate citations. Someone asking a question is asking because they don't know the answer (or resources to get the answer) for that particular question.
    – G__
    Mar 3, 2011 at 20:49
  • Exactly! Which is why I would prefer to not allow the questions at all. Especially when that doesn't mean you can't ask any nutritional questions, just not questions like these.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 3, 2011 at 20:51
  • I voted to close as I felt the question itself was worded as subjective. However I feel that questions of this nature a allowable, if and only if they are on-topic... i.e. "related to strength, endurance, agility, and cardiovascular fitness". Mar 3, 2011 at 23:07
  • A better way of asking that one would be "does the consumption of asparatime negatively affect a work-out for weight-loss". Mar 3, 2011 at 23:08

Main causes of failure sticking to a diet

I've already vote to close this. Is there anything new or factual that can be brought to this question that hasn't been discussed on Oprah and a million other tabloid shows?

  • I think there are potentially interesting answers that wouldn't be "Oprah" answers (which I think are usually blaming "willpower" or "mental toughness"). But there can be some very interesting physiological reasons - the body starts craving foods more and more as it gets more depleted of some necessary resource (e.g. fats). For this reason, I voted to reopen the question; if it does get opened again, I'll try to write up an answer on this to reduce the Oprah factor.
    – G__
    Mar 4, 2011 at 13:22
  • @Greg - The problem I can see with this is people providing answers that are more bad than good.
    – going
    Mar 5, 2011 at 1:51
  • @xiaoxouzi True, the quality of answers was low (and yes, this question certainly lends itself to such), but it could have higher-quality answers (and if it should be reopened, I volunteer to provide one).
    – G__
    Mar 5, 2011 at 1:54
  • 2
    Maybe there's a better way to ask this question so that we have it on the site - because I think it's a critical concept for people struggling with their weight to stop blaming willpower and start looking at physiological reasons. Eating less is correlated with losing weight, but that does not prove that eating less causes weight loss.
    – G__
    Mar 5, 2011 at 1:56
  • @Greg - I can accept that, but the only way I think that could happen is if you prepare a question, supply the answer(s) and then lock it or protect it.
    – going
    Mar 5, 2011 at 23:05

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