Deano’s answer to: “If there were a clone of me, would the clone think and act like I do? Why?”

It depends on the type of clone.

In television, books, and the movies, the popular conception of a clone is a “fully formed copy” of the original, with the same memories, skills, physical attributes, etc.

In the hard science of the real world, cloning is already happening, but mostly at the “genetic coding” level – the resulting organisms, while “copies of the original blueprints”, are “constructed in different locations/climes”, and in a way “from different materials”… Think of it like buying the same size plank of the same variety of wood from Home Depot each week – every one will be just a little bit different, though they’ll all “measure up” equally in their specification.

At least in the sense that our memories and experiences make us who we are, such clones would be lacking. That said, there’s no reason why cloning as a process could not be advanced to the point where these additional aspects were also recorded, copied and implanted into the clone(s).

Thus, to answer your question, such an outcome may someday be possible, but for now, the best you can hope for is (after 9-odd months) a newborn sibling who may or may not resemble you throughout its maturation, who will grow up in a world vastly different from your own childhood (no matter how hard you try to replicate your own childhood, the food chain, global warming, and Facebook are all working hard to make that a near impossibility.

As such, your clone will likely bear little resemblance to you now when it reaches your current age. Still, you probably won’t be able to find a better donor when you need a kidney/heart/lung/retina/bone marrow replacement down the line…

For that reason alone, I can imagine a near-future where Hollywood celebs “adopt their own clones” rather than third world refugee babies.

This answer originally appeared on Quora: If there were a clone of me, would the clone think and act like I do? Why?

Deano’s answer to: “Why do parents let their kids watch Star Wars at such a young age (4-7 years old, for example)? Isn’t all the Darth Vader / killing stuff psychologically not good for little kids?”

My daughter is currently rolling along just fine with old Tom Baker Doctor Who episodes… Which fall around the same era/level of violence. Based on her total lack of reaction to the violence and “scary monsters”, I’ve settled on her turning three as the time most appropriate to opening the original trilogy can of worms.

Far more than the content, though, is HOW it is consumed. When she watched Ghostbusters the first time, we stopped it twice when it got too scary – and we talked through the story whenever she was confused or had questions. We do the same with Doctor Who, and now she’s the one explaining the basics of time travel to mommy whenever we’re watching a 20 minute episode while waiting for dinner to come out of the oven.

Watch it with your kids, watch their reactions, and be ready with a pause or stop when things need explaining, or get to be overwhelming. And yeah, if they start having nightmares, or freaking out their teachers/fellow students at school, maybe tone things down for a bit. 😉


After her birthday, my daughter was home sick from preschool for a few days, and we went ahead and tested the waters, watching Star Wars. I told her as we started, and consistently during the tense parts of the movie, that she could let me know, or just turn away from the screen if it got too scary.

Her thoughts on Star Wars:

  • the only things that are definitively killed are robots (Storm Troopers, droids) bugs (Greedo) and maybe Obi-Wan Kenobi (though she also theorized that he simply jumped out of his clothes, and was running around the Death Star naked).
  • Darth Vader dresses a lot like Batman, and might be a ninja.
  • “When the orange guys go ‘pew-pew’ on the skeletons house, and they fly in the hole, and then the other man and his doggy comes in and scares away Darth Vader and he spins and spins, and then and then it all goes boom and the doggy doesn’t get a medal from Princess Leia.†

In short, kids often make different connections with narrative works, and Star Wars is no different. Where you may see a movie depicting at various points

  • planetary genocide,
  • good guys shooting first (if you still watch on VHS, anyway),
  • and of course adults playing in wet garbage,

it’s more likely that your kids are seeing something else (okay, they probably also see the garbage thing, and are plotting how to replicate it on trash day using the garden hose and a city sanitation vehicle). The key job for you as a parent, is to understand what it is they see, and help “nudge” their potentially harmful interpretations back on track.

Again, as I mentioned prior to my update, it’s much more important that whatever you let young children watch, you watch together. Even something seemingly innocuous like the Berenstain Bears(*) can off “go off the rails”, or significantly diverge from what you would consider “healthy messaging” on a given topic, so simply looking for and relying on a movie rating or age advisory is bad, lazy parenting, and often worse than letting your kids see fictional battle stations housing thousands of living beings blow up to the cheers of the protagonists.

(* see:… for the proof)

(† that part still pisses me off, every time, and she noticed it too! Made me so proud…)

This answer originally appeared on Quora: Why do parents let their kids watch Star Wars at such a young age (4-7 years old, for example)? Isn’t all the Darth Vader / killing stuff psychologically not good for little kids?

Deano’s answer to: “During TV and movie credits, what does it mean when an actor has ‘as X’ after their name?”

The opening credits on TV shows(*) work very similarly to those in the movies – it’s just that absolutely no one cares who wrote on directed a TV show, pretty much ever. 😉

With notable exceptions, like all-alphabetical listing, the order the stars appear in is negotiated like everything else as part of their contract. The particular placement the querent refers to, however, is special – it’s the equivalent in TV terms of the “marquee spot” – that spot usually reserved before the movie title to mention a particularly well known star, etc.

Pretty much everything about Mark Hughes‘ answer is correct as far as the many many whys of how someone ends up with the spot – for the newcomer who is being pushed as “studio product”, it may be the name recognition angle. For a recurring role played by a big name, it’s the glory of the last spot itself… And many times, it’s just whoever fought for it the hardest.

Ironically, if you read some of the stories about who gets what in both TV and movie credits (dig, dig, dig, they are out there online, but it’s easier to find in actor/show biographies, for sure), you start to dig up some really interesting behind the scenes gossip – many times, taking the “with… as…” spot meant giving up a bit of salary, or some other perk… But oh how glorious it must be, all these years later, to show up like a phantom as the last thing viewers see in the opening sequence… I definitely think whoever gets that spot laughs loudest, longest, and best compared to their on-set nemeses – who may have been better paid, appeared in more episodes, hand more lines, input on stories, etc.

(technically, we’re just talking title sequences, as a lot of modern shows and movies either skip opening credits, or just run text credits in-frame while ACT I “starts cold” (which is, in the end, better for the viewer, it means we get that many more minutes of show back from the bean counters who somehow like to think of an hour as consisting of what’re we down to these days, 42 minutes?!?)

During TV and movie credits, what does it mean when an actor has “as X” after their name?