There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven. ~Brigham Young
Question #22773 posted on 02/02/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What kind of dancing would typically be used in the broadway play "West side story?"

- Jason Jackson

A: Dear Jason,

"West Side Story" uses jazz dance and partner dancing with some ballet flourishes.
The Hale Center Theatre is going to put on "West Side Story", you should check it out!

-I just met a girl named la bamba
Question #22767 posted on 02/02/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

It is coming up on that time of year when everyone is doing their taxes and I have a few questions. If I am required for my job to have a car and cell phone, are those expenses tax deductible? What about my car insurance and gas? I do get $400 per month from my company as as reimbursement, but it is taxed very highly as it is seen as a bonus. What problems does this pose? Also, could you please make a little list of other deductions that people might not think of or overlook? Thanks a lot.

- Badgrass

A: Dear Badgrass:

It sounds like to me that a trip to H&R Block would be in order to get help with your taxes. Your questions are pretty complex, and if I were you, I would want professional help.

A: Dear Badgrass,

First, we are not tax professionals. If you run with what you read here and tell the IRS auditor that the 100 Hour Board said you could deduct _______, it won't fly. So read Schedules A&B Instructions yourself and decide or talk to a professional.

Ok, first of all, when it comes to business expenses, you can only deduct expenses that exceed 2% of your AGI. That means that if you make $30,000, you can only deduct expenses over $600. So once you figure out all your appropriate job related expenses, total it all up and then subtract 2% of your AGI. What remains is all you can claim.

Second, straight from IRS Publication 529
You can deduct only unreimbursed employee expenses that are:
  1. Paid or incurred during your tax year,
  2. For carrying on your trade or business of being an employee, and
  3. Ordinary and necessary.
An expense is ordinary if it is common and accepted in your trade, business, or profession. An expense is necessary if it is appropriate and helpful to your business. An expense does not have to be required to be considered necessary.
Your cell phone still fit the description? The only place that cell phones are mentioned specifically (that I could find) is that you can deduct their depreciation (loss of value). I can't find anything about cell service. "Supplies" needed for your job are ok to deduct, but I am unable to find where it defines "supplies."

Outside of the IRS site, I found several advice columns that say what I thought was the case: you can deduct the percentage of your bill that is attributed to business expenses. So look over the last 4-6 months' woth of cell bills and figure out the percentage of minutes used for business. If the average is 40% of your minutes, then you can take that 40% of your cell bills and put it towards your total job expenses.

Moving on to the car, this is sketchy area largely because I don't know how your employer is compensating you. That's the first question. Only unreimbursed expenses can be claimed. Due to lack of information on this particular topic, I am going to refrain from giving you my opinion on whether to claim it.

My suggestion is to get some tax help. If you don't want to go to a tax business (or can't afford it), check out and see if you qualify there.

Question #22763 posted on 02/02/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do you herd a donkey, anyway?

-Petra's mom

A: Dear Petra's mom,

Herding donkeys as a guard animal:
Donkeys are used in goat and sheep herds and apparently have a natural affinity for herding. This instinct, when coupled with an inborn dislike toward dogs makes them excellent protectors of vulnerable herds from dogs and coyotes. Apparently, female donkeys are preferred to males, who are more aggressive and might attack the sheep/goats they are supposed to be protecting. The key to a successfully incorporated donkey is to raise them from birth. Read more from the Texas Department of Agriculture here:

-la bamba
A: Petra's Mother, who alone knows her secret identity along with Optimistic...

I don't know much about herding donkeys, but I know that to lead them somewhere, you have to have a rope that you don't put tension on, or have a stick and an apple appended to said rope.

That is All
Not Horatio
Question #22762 posted on 02/02/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is piracy legal on the low seas?


A: Dear Boonerbashi,

Piracy is an illegal act no matter where you go. The only difference between the high and low seas is that piracy on the low seas is restricted to those pirates who aren't tall enough to pillage on the high seas. It's very similar to the signs at theme parks that say, "You must be at least this tall to ride the [insert suitable theme park ride name here]."

Picture a somewhat diminuative pirate sailing up to the entrance to the high seas, only to find a sign saying, "You must be at least this tall to pillage here."

- Optimistic.
A: Dear Boonerbashi-

Just in case you want a real answer...

No, it is not. The "high seas" are international waters, while the "low seas" are national waters--seas and coastlines that belong to the nations that lie nearby. The Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies are generally charged with preventing piracy on the "low seas."

-The Franchise
A: Dear Mr. Mukherjee,

Well, these other writers beat me to it. (As a pirate would say, "Arrrrrrrgh!") Sorry, bub. There's always next time.

A: Dear The Franchise,

We're supposed to be writing real answers?...Oh. Oops.

Question #22757 posted on 02/02/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Who coined the phrase "best thing since sliced bread"?

- Jadis

A: Dear Jadis,

Your mom. Oh, no, wait, probably not. Sorry, it's almost just a reflex at this point.

The phrase has a twentieth-century origin, obviously, since pre-sliced bread is a twentieth-century thing. (Well, and now it's a twenty-first century thing, too, but let's not split hairs. Or, er, bread.)

To get more specific, pre-sliced bread was first marketed in 1928, when Otto Frederick Rohwetter invented a mechanical bread slicer in Battle Creek, Michigan. The phrase was then popularized in the 1930s, when Wonder Bread began an ad campaign emphasizing the innovation.

As for the first individual to say it, I doubt anyone really knows that. Perhaps it was Rohwetter himself, or perhaps it was just some clever advertising agent working for Wonder Bread. In any case, the phrase makes quite a bit of sense, whether or not you consider sliced bread to be the end-all-be-all of innovative prowess. If you do, bully for you: you get to use the phrase seriously. If you don't, you're in luck: the phrase is often used sarcastically, to describe anything that is, well, almost cool. (For example, the Wikipedia article on this phrase cites the phrase being used about Wikipedia itself, the iPod, thermal depolymerization, Sara Lee crustless bread, and liberty.

Me, I'd use it about the Board. "The 100 Hour Board: the greatest thing since sliced bread." Yep, that's us. We're bigger than a breadbox, too.

Question #22756 posted on 02/02/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What's your favorite color?

-The Leprechaun

A: Dear Leppy:

PINK. Barbie pink, pale pink, bubblegum pink, magenta pink. . .any kind. It's so spunky and fun.

And I'll probably get mocked for putting this. . .but HOORAY for pink!

A: Dear The,

I've been a fan of cerulean blue for ages.

A: Dear the Leprechaun,

Yellow. There's a story behind it, too.

When I was in seventh grade, I had a huge crush on a girl in my class. One night she called my house (be still my heart!) just to talk to me. Looking back on it, I can tell that she wasn't doing it because she was interested in me at all, but rather because she was playing with my heart, but I didn't know that at the time. Anyhow, she asked what my favorite color was. Being the indecisive person that I am, I didn't have one. However, I didn't want to look like I didn't have a favorite color in front of this girl - heaven forbid I should fail to impress her - so I had to choose one on the fly. I picked yellow.

The girl didn't end up being mine in any sense of the phrase, but I stuck with the color. Whenever I'm faced with a choice of colors, I will invariably choose yellow. Such are the things that I'll do for a girl, even one I haven't even heard from for years.

- Optimistic.
A: Dear Leprechaun,

If you looked through my closet, you'd probably assume that my favorite color is orange. After all, I own 5 orange shirts (3 short-sleeved, 2 long-sleeved), 2 pairs of orange pants, an orange sweater, an orange tank top, an orange scarf, and even orange shoes. But it's not. I just love to wear bright colors, and orange is the best of the bunch, because it's so bright and unexpected.

However, Optimistic has already stolen my thunder as to my real favorite color. That's right, it's yellow. (I own more than the average number of yellow shirts, too, just for the record.)

After yellow, turquoise is probably my favorite color, and then purple. I can't wait for the day that I devise an outfit that combines all three colors.


PS: Optimistic, that's so very yellow of you. Why am I not surprised?
A: Dear Mascot of the Fighting Irish,

I've always been a blue sort of guy, although Rule # 2 is "Always pick the red kind" so I think I'm a wee bit torn.

-- Brutus
A: Dear Leprechaun,


- Xanadu
A: Dear scary movie with little green men...,

I overheard this conversation from a previous post of mine. I think it was worth quoting.

KEEPER: Stop! What is your name?
GIRLILAD: Sir GIRLILAD of Clydbuildinia.
KEEPER: What is your quest?
GIRLILAD: I seek the Holy Grail.
KEEPER: What is your favorite colour?
GIRLILAD: Blue. No yellow! Aaaaahhhgh!

OK so I pilfered that from Monty Python. For me it's blue.

Have Fun Storming the Castle,
-Il Guanaco... No yellow! Aaaaaahhhgh!

PS. It's still blue.
A: Dear Leprechaun,

Mine really is orange. (Petra, that imposter . . .) But I'm also a fan of sage green. Especially on fishnets.

-A. A. Melyngoch
A: Dear Irishman,

I'd like to assume that you're asking so you can give your favorite Board writer flowers. If that's the case, my favorite color is pink.

And Petra, although you may claim that your favorite color is yellow, I'd like to point out that you wore green to our last Board party and I thought you looked smashing. Maybe it was your bangles.

- Lavish
A: Dear Lucky Charms Mascot,

I'm going to go with orange. The tropical variety.
Looks good on flowers, candy, and best on me.

-la bamba
Question #22689 posted on 02/02/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why do human infants not have bad breath? I mean, nobody is going to use toothpaste on a newborn obviuosly, yet there is no foul odor like there is on us grownups. The only thing going in (and out) of there is lots and lots of breastmilk/formula, as the case may be. Any ideas?

- The Answer is 42, who is a bit jealous of her 3 week old son in this matter

A: Dear Slightly Jealous Answer,

The main reason that infants don't have bad breath is that they don't have teeth to harbor bacteria like we do. Also, if your baby is breastfed, breastmilk doesn't go bad like formula does and would keep bacteria from getting a foothold as well.

Don't worry, he'll grow out of it.

- Lavish
Question #22687 posted on 02/02/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Has the Board been used yet in research projects? A.A. Melengoch mentioned that it could be used for Linguistics 330, but I'm wondering if anyone actually has. Also, has it been used for any research above an undergraduate level?

- Mania

A: Dear Mania,

The official word from the Linguistics Department is "not yet." (OK, that's two words, but you know those linguists: they're wordy.) My contact in the department said the delay is partially because they're waiting for the corpus to be a big enough size to really be stastically useful, and partially because few of the other professors know about the Board as a linguistic resource, and therefore cannot either use it themselves or encourage their students to do so.

The Board has been used in one official Ling Dep't publication, though: the textbook currently being used for Linguistics 430, written by the professor who teaches that class, uses quotes from Board responses as sample sentences for students to parse. This is no coincidence, however, and no ordinary use of the Board as a corpus: our very own A.A. Melyngoch was in charge of creating the sample sentences in the book, and so she took many of them, with minor editing changes, from her Board responses. (At this very moment, actually, I'm parsing a sentence that begins "If I puckered first, but he still kissed back..." See Board Question #13737 for more details.)

However, I do know that there has been at least one research paper written using the Board (along with other sources) as a corpus of ordinary written English. My good friend Appalled recently wrote a paper (inspired, outlined, and researched by me) about the changing history of the word "Nazi" in English, which drew heavily on evidence the Board as a corpus, in addition to the British National Corpus, Google, and Overheard in New York. It was quite an interesting paper, if I may say so myself.

And now you know two things: the Board has not yet officially been used for linguistic research, and if you ever have to write a paper for a linguistics class, call me and I'll end up practically doing it for you.

Question #22669 posted on 02/02/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

As I understand it, seminary students are currently expected to learn 25 scriptures each year (making 100 scriptures from all the standard works for a student who attends all 4 years).

Has this always been the case? I think I remember scripture chasing with more -- I think there were 40 different scriptures each year.

Is this accurate for the late 70's or am I totally making more of my experience than it was?

- Scripture-Chase-Champion-Has-Been

A: Dear Scripture-Chase-Champion-Has-Been,

It's true. There used to be 40 scriptures a year from a Standard Work, totaling to 160 scriptures to be memorized. I don't know when the change to 25 occurred, but as of 1980, it was still 40.

So, good news: You're not delusional!

I was spoiled. We young 'uns had it easy.

- de novo -