There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven. ~Brigham Young
Question #23290 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In regards to Board Question #23183, if you want to put music from your iPod to a different computer, you have to connect your iPod to the computer. Then, after cancelling the automatic updates (it wipes out your iPod because it synchronizes what's on the computer, which is nothing, with what's on your iPod), go to My Computer>your iPod> Then go to your toolbar, and click Tools> Folder Options > View > Show hidden files and folders. Then close out of that and you should see a formerly hidden folder named "iPod_Control". Go in there, then music, and all those folders are all your songs. Just copy and paste onto the computer. Now all the songs on your iPod are on your computer. Dandy, isn't it? Probably not what you were wondering, but a nifty little hint, nonetheless.

- Moo

A: Dear Moo,

Yes, but if you'll notice, all of the file names are changed (which can be overcome) and the songs are all over the place. It's cleaner to just copy all of the music from the old computer to the new one. Anyway, you're gonna hafta clear the iPod and re-copy the files to associate it with the new computer anyway.

-cubic nerd
Question #23281 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
Comment on Board Question #23235 and thusly Board Question #13952

I think some conscienscious lookers may have noticed that the voice of God is not listed in the IMDB cast list. I find it not unreasonable to assume that Will Swenson said, "Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name-hear ye him," from Third Nephi chapter eleven verse seven. As ygolohcysP says, "Not a sermon, just a thought."

Have a Nice Day!

- The other the RM

PS: There are all sorts of rumors out there about good Brother Kofod. You may all hear others.

Question #23280 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear Katya,

There actually is a word in English for "back of the hand" (Board Question #23188). It's called opisthenar, found in medical dictionaries, such as here (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/opisthenar)
The OED doesn't have it, however.

As for the foot, maybe someone should coin the word opisthoplantar to fill the huge gaping hole currently present in English.


- neologist

A: Dear neologist,

I have learned a new word, and that almost always makes my day. (Yesterday it was "thumb cut." It's been a good week.)

- Katya
Question #23277 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

About Board Question #23183

There is a way to have an iPod with music from more than one computer. You just adjust the way that the songs are uploaded from automatic to manual, or I think that you can do it with only having certain playlists automatically updated, but I am not sure.

Not allowing an iPod to be synced with more than one computer is more of a simplicity issue than anything otherwise. The options required to make a multi-computer sync practical are enormous. Besides, the circumstances that would require a multi-computer sync are very rare.

Also, if you need to transfer your music, you can just copy your whole music library from one computer to the other. That way, even when you pair your iPod with your new computer, it shouldn't have to change anything, especially if you remember to transfer your library catalog file. If you never have both of your computers at the same time, then cubic nerds suggestion is the way to go. Don't forget to de-authenticate your old computer if you have an iTunes account as well.

- Fredjikrang

Question #23264 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Hey Bishop Pedro,

According to University policy, a bishop won't tell the HCO what transgressions a person has done. However, if the sin warrents the action, the bishop can take away an eccesiastical endorsement of a student. However, from what I've seen this is only in the most flagrant of cases, when a student willfully and consistently breaks the law of chastity, word of wisdom, etc.

So if the said person's friend is truly trying to repent, the bishop will probably not take away his eccesiastical endorsement. This is not saying that the consequence for the sin next to murder is taken away--that will be between the young man and the Lord. But he will only hurt himself by hiding his transgressions.

The Honor Code Office does not have a brute squad, gestapo, or any other police of enforcing the contact that every student signed. However, they do try to look into problems when they are brought to their office's attention by concerned students, parents, or faculty.

Don't take them for granted. They are the reason that BYU is the place all our parents want us to attend.

.Whistle-Blower.

Question #23213 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Here are some fun questions:

What if there were no hypothetical situations?

Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice?"

If a person told you they were a pathological liar, would you believe them?

If you make a cow laugh, will milk come out its nose?

- Anonymous

A: Dear Anon:

Ah, good ones. But I have another. If you choke a smurf, what color will it turn?

Hmn. . .


Mojoschmoe
A: Dear whomever you are,

What if there were no hypothetical situations?

Were that true, the ensuing paradox would cause the entire universe to collapse in on itself. Life as we know it would cease, trapped in a state of simultaneously being and not being capable of creating a hypothetical situation.

Hey, you asked.

- Optimistic.
Question #23212 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If all the nations in the world are in debt, where did all the money go?

$ $
<
(__)

A: Dear you,

The money has been...spent.

There are varying levels of debt between and among countries as well as different time scales for repayment. That being said, money has been spent on services and perishables instead of being invested by the countries who receive aid. It's a hard decision to make: feed 1000 people or feed 500 and invest the other half?

-to the point
Question #23211 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Does God exist?

- S. H.

A: Dear S.H.,

Yes.

-faithful
A: Dear SH:

Yes, I agree with faithful. I believe all the board writers will agree with them as well.


Mojoschmoe
A: Dear S.H.,

I asked Him a little while ago if He existed. Turns out He does.

If you're ever wondering in the future, rest assured that you can take my word for it. He most certainly does exist.

- Optimistic.
Question #23210 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

There have been alot of rumors about a crew team (the sport of rowing) here at BYU, and I know many a faithful rower who have tried in vain to find the mythical BYU rowing team. Can you tell me if there is actually one in existence and if they have people to contact? Part deux: Are there any ergometers (rowing machines) that work on campus?

- Without an oar

A: Dear oarless,

Check this out:
Board Question #14022

-la bamba
Question #23209 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In my travels to and from classes, I tend to look through a lot of windows. I've noticed that all windows are not created equal.

Why is it that some windows have metal wires sandwiched in the glass? I can't tell if the chicken wire is embedded in the glass itself, or if the wire is placed between two separate sheets of glass. Either way, it doesn't make sense. What are the wires for?

- Ferguson McSqueege

A: My Dearest Ferguson McSqueege,

The "chicken wire" you refer to is sandwiched between layers of glass, to make a type of safety glass. This wired glass has about the same impact resistance as normal glass, but in case of breakage, the wire retains the pieces of glass, instead of allowing them to go flying. Wired glass is often used as a low-cost fire glass, so you will see it on the majority of fire doors.

-The Right Reverend Rusky Roo
Question #23208 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is it that web addresses can only contain Latin characters? (Actually, I'm not entirely sure that this is true, but fairly confident.) Why is it that, say, the Russian version of Wikipedia has to have addresses like this: ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9C%D1%83%D0%B7%D1%8B%D0%BA%D0%B0 ?

- Мания, the antianglocentric

A: Dear Мания,

Well, the simplest reason is that RFC 3986 says so. Anything other than letters, digits, or the hyphen, period, underscore, and tilde, can only be included in a URL as part of a so-called "percent code". The percent codes, like the ones in the example you gave, are really two-digit hexadecimal numbers preceded by a percent sign.

Now, these percent codes can be presented as different things, depending on the site you are visiting. For example, the Wikipedia site you mentioned interprets the percent codes as Russian letters. However, these same percent codes could refer to Arabic letters or Korean characters, for example. This would depend on the particular language being used by a website or user.

So, why are only Roman characters allowed to appear normally in URLs while all other languages have to use percent codes? It's probably because the Internet mostly originated from the United States. The people who make the standards (such as RFCs, which are documents outlining standards for the Internet) are mostly English speakers, and so that's what ends up taking precedence in the standards. It may be "anglocentric", but it's probably going to be the standard for a while.

Quandary
Question #23206 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What it the Flectcher building used for?

No name

A: Dear No Nym:

According to the map located at http://map.byu.edu/Map.html, the Fletcher Building is currently used for he majority of the Office of Information Technology, including media services, as well as the Chemistry Department's Thermochemical Institute.

Hooray for BYU.edu!


Mojoschmoe
A: Dear No Name,

The most public use of the FB is the Information Technology check out. So, if you want to rent a projector or a screen or something else like it, you can head on into the Fletcher Building.

Overall, it is a really weird building. I used to have an office there.

That is all.

Horatio
Question #23205 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What would Forthright sister mean?
fruitsalad

A: Dear fruitsalad,

It sort of depends on the punctuation. "Forthright" means "blunt, direct, or squarely." A "forthright sister" would be a "direct or blunt sister." On the other hand, I would interpret "Forthright, sister!" to mean something more like "darn straight!"

- Katya
Question #23203 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
okay, this may sound ridiculous at first, but it's truly a serious question, and one that i have been thinking about for awhile. can a lack of trials be a trial? or is it an indication of one's lack of strength? i most certainly don't have the perfect life, but i also have plenty of good things going on in my life. growing up i've always been blessed in many different aspects of my life. however, i see so many people here at school who have had ot over come or are overcoming many trials, and it's always so impressive to me how they continue on. and they always learn so much and grow in their faith after going through a trial. i can't ever think of anything like that in my life, and i fear that it is because i couldn't handle it if the Lord were to try me. how can i become stronger? or is that a completely off the wall assumption, that lack of trials equals lack of faith? i'm sorry, this is turning out quite long, but i just wonder everytime i talk to somebody about this, am i really that weak, and what can i do to show the Lord that i do have faith, and am trying? thanks so much,

wanting to do better

A: Dear wanting,

can a lack of trials be a trial?

Sure. If you look at trials as a way to grow and learn, then having to develop qualities such as patience or thoughtfulness or lack of judgment in the absence of difficult situations could be a trial, in a sense.


or is it an indication of one's lack of strength?

I'm very suspicious of 1:1 correlations between, say, keeping commandments and getting blessings or being faithful and going through trials. I don't see that it's so easy to quantify these things in the first place, and it has been my experience that life is rarely so fair.

Also bear in mind that your view of your own life as compared to others isn't perfect. You may be discounting things you've been through simply because they didn't seem that hard, or being overly hard on yourself for not going through what other people have. Heavenly Father gave you your own life with your own experiences for a reason, and not necessarily because he didn't think you were strong enough for someone else's life. It's possible that he's blessed you with more because he expects you to do more with it, unencumbered by family problems or mental illness or financial difficulties. Don't sell yourself short for having more blessing than others, just use your advantages to do that much more good in the world.


how can i become stronger?

Resist the temptation to ask for more trials. It's a sign of great naivete, in my opinion, and there's nothing more annoying or inconsiderate when you're already going through a hard time than hearing someone bearing a tearful testimony about how much they love trials and how they wish they had more. To paraphrase a friend of mine "Whenever someone tells me they wish they had more trials, I always offer to hit them. No has ever taken me up on it."

It's easy to romanticize the idea of a trial, especially in a Mormon community where we tend to speak of problems only in neatly didactic packages which also include what amazing things we learned from our trials and how greatful we really are for them. In my life, the really horrible things that have happened have been things I only just survived, spiritually, emotionally and sometimes physically, and I don't parade them around, pretending that I'm so happy and greatful for all of it. I'm not. Hard things are hard and I don't like pretending otherwise.


or is that a completely off the wall assumption, that lack of trials equals lack of faith?

I'm not convinced of this logic. Trials are definitely one way to improve one's faith, but I don't think that every step forward in spiritual maturity necessarily has to be prompted by some tragic event or difficulty in life. If you can learn from other people's mistakes and trials without having to go through your own, so much the better.


i just wonder everytime i talk to somebody about this, am i really that weak, and what can i do to show the Lord that i do have faith, and am trying?

Just because you're not going through a trial yourself doesn't mean that you can't learn and grow from other people's trials. When we are baptized, we promise to "bear one another's burdens, mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort." If you do your best to help those that you know are going through a difficult time, then you are taking their burdens upon yourself and taking their trials upon yourself as well, both in the sense of hardship and in the sense of having an opportunity to learn and grow.

If you know someone who is going through a rough time, don't wish that you were also having difficulties. Be supportive, offer service, pray for wisdom in how to help them, for charity in how to love them, to see them as Christ does and to act as He would in your place. That's all we came here to learn, anyway.

- Katya
Question #23202 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
well, i was wondering if anyone else has ever had this problem. right now i am single and just dating. i would like to serve a mission, so i'm not too interested in marriage right now. i'm not very often in relationships, however whenever an opportunity to be in one does present it self, i always have the same problem. i'm interested in too many guys! even if i'm totally in love (somewhat) with the guy, the idea of committing myself to that one guy just freaks me out. between the commitment, and just the idea of one person, i don't often find myself dating one guy. i'm never like, scandalous with all the guys, i just enjoy hanging out with lots of different people since i was kind of a "floater" in high school. what can i do to get over this? or should i not worry about it now? how can i change my mindset about this when i am ready for marriage? sorry, lots of questions, pretty much because i'm just unsure what to do next.
thanks,

a student.

A: Dear Student,

You know, I used to be just like you. Growing up, I was one of the most indecisive people on the planet. When I met your dad, I wish I could say it was love at first sight. Some people say their love was just that. But it was never like that for me. I'm hopelessly wishy washy, and it took me a long time to settle down and commit, even when I knew your dad was a good guy.

So, dear, I suggest you consider why you are this way. Are you just naturally interested in many people? Or is it because you don't feel ready to settle down? Both, maybe?

Before you worry too much about settling down and committing, pray about it. If the time's not right, go right on ahead liking your bevvy of boys. If you want to go steady with one boy, though, you do need to curtail your interest in others. If you can't, then you should reconsider whether dating that one boy is the best idea.

But if you feel okay about going steady with the boy, or even marrying him, and you're still having trouble letting go of your interest in other boys, pray for help focusing on your boyfriend/fiance. And instead of looking at all the ways that other guys are better than yours, focus on why you think your man is great.

My problem was that when I got in a relationship, I was too picky. Suddenly, I noticed that all these guys I was never interested in before had amazing traits that my guy just didn't have. But I couldn't have everything. Eventually, I had to decide what was most important to me and be happy that your dad had it, instead of wondering if I was going to miss out by choosing this guy over that one. I couldn't have everything, and neither can you. Be choosy, but don't spend so much time comparing that you miss out on the really great guys.

And remember, dear, don't be afraid of commitment, but don't rush into marriage, either.

-Your Mom

*Oh, yes. I almost forgot to say--if you feel that your "floating" needs aren't being met, start making more girlfriends. And throw parties with lots of girls and guys, so you can get your fill of talking to all sorts of people, including guys, without hanging out in a way that could be hurtful to your boyfriend.
A: Dear student,

Your situation sound a lot like Board Engineer's situation at the time she wrote Board Question #11378. Nine months later, she was engaged. You're still pretty young, and there are still a lot of directions in which your life could go. Don't be a player, but don't stress about not wanting to settle down and be serious just yet. If you get engaged and you still can't focus, write back.

- Katya
Question #23193 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you find a website that has a picture of Mr. Swirly from the TV show "Doug?" Thanks a whole heap.

- stickittotheman

A: Dear Stick,

I can find a picture of the Mr. Swirly restaurant from Doug.

-Phoenix
Question #23182 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Where does the tradition of wishing someone "good luck" come from?

- Lucky Ducky

A: Dear Ducky,

From gambling. No, seriously, that is most likely where it came from. According to Randomhouse.com
The word luck was borrowed from Middle Dutch or Low German; it is cognate with forms in several other Germanic languages. It seems to have been first popularized as a gambling term, not surprisingly. The ultimate origin is uncertain.
So if the word luck originated with gambling, it is a fair bet that telling someone you hope that the good variety is with them came from the same place. And hey, when you've double downed on 11, who wouldn't want luck with them?

-Rafe
Question #23178 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Where do all the animals go during winter? I know some animals hybernate, but what about insects and reptiles? Reptiles are cold-blooded, and I don't think they hybernate. I guess they're not real common in cold areas, but... yeah. Enough talking on my part. Thanks-

Pettio Myantosh Likiwikikiki

A: Dear Pettio Myantosh Likiwikikiki,
Many insects die when the weather gets cold. Their eggs are often underground and survive the winter, only to hatch in the spring. Some insects will burrow underground and actually hibernate like some mammals do. This goes for reptiles as well; many reptiles will burrow underground to ride out the winter. But neither insects nor reptiles are really that common in colder areas. So yeah. Enough answering on my part.

- de novo -
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So did Abraham Lincoln really say that if you are a racist, I will attack you with the north?

- Diversity Tomorrow

A: Dear Diversity Tomorrow...because today is almost over,

No, he did not. But if you try and hurt Mozart, you're going to get a bullet to your head, courtesy of Butch Cassidy.

--Dwight Schrute
Question #23156 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear Horatio,

Re: Board Question #23058

Thanks so much for that answer. It was probably the only question I've asked the Board that really mattered. Fortunately, I found a solution about an hour after asking you guys. There's a guy on my floor who just *happens* to be going to the same concert and has some seats available in his car. But still, thanks. You and your Boardmates are awesome.

- Chris

P.S. thanks also for answering the really really retarded questions that I ask too. Those are always fun.

A: Dear Chris,

You are very welcome. We pride ourselves in our ability to answer all questions... from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Enjoy the concert (in future or past tense).

That is all.

Horatio the Complimented
Question #23153 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So, I took my fiance out to Asuka's last night for Valentine's Day and noticed that the prices were higher (I think about $4-5) and they wouldn't let us use the "Starving Student Card". Has anyone else noticed price hikes on Valentine's Day or other holidays at particular restaurants?

- Poor College Student

A: Dear Poor,

Can I just point out an obvious thing: it was Valentine's Day... one of the busiest days of the year. Most restaurants in the state were filled with happy (or hopeful) couples trying to celebrate the holiday. Everybody decided to go to the nicest restaurants and celebrate their love.

Most restaurants do some sort of a price hike or extra gratuity on such crowded days. Why? Because it is crowded. Even more, why would they take a discount coupon on the biggest day of the first quarter?

Many restaurants, especially in Park City and other fancy areas, decided to have a "Valentine's Day Special." And, by "Special" they mean that they have a set dinner menu that is, in fact, more expensive. They try to focus the dinner on couples (becuase they don't expect a lot of corporate meetings) and make the whole process easier on the restaurant staff.

Overall, you should not be surprised to pay a premium when you go out for Valentine's day. If you wish to avoid such a situation, I recommend you take your wife out for a nice dinner on February 13th. Then you can cook a nice dinner for your wife on the 14th and avoid the rush/extra price.

Of course, it is a holiday. Don't be cheap.

That is all.

Horatio the Resauranteur
Question #23144 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When is the next issue of the Collegiate Post coming out?
Also, I can only find the October copy online. Are there pdf copies of the more recent issues or past issues anywhere?
And if you wouldn't mind, can I get a brief history of the Collegiate Post?
Thanks!
- My Name Here

A: Dear Your Name There,

You have come to the right place. Not only does the 100 Hour Board automatically know everything, I happen to be really, really in the know about the Collegiate Post. (Well, I'd be slightly more in the know if I went to meetings a little more frequently, but...stuff comes up. You know how it goes.)

A brief history of the Collegiate Post, in 250 words or less: it was started in 1996 as a sort of neo-Student Review, sometime after the Student Review was shut down for printing controversial things. However, its student founders (among them one of my old friends, so I do know their names, but I don't know how they'd feel about me posting them) didn't want this publication to get nixed by the administration as well, so they very carefully went through the proper administrative channels to found it; hence, it is jointly funded by the Honors Department and the College of Humanities, and typically has a faculty advisor around to supervise. (Well, sort of.) It was originally intended to be an academic paper, discussing contemporary issues from an academic perspective, and it was originally published on newsprint, much like the Daily Universe (but, of course, much better). It was also intended to be released on a fortnightly basis, but that has never happened once, in the four years I've been on the staff. This semester, though, the staff, under the direction of our amazing current editor-in-chief, has decided to take the Post in a new direction, with a slightly more "magazine" feel and layout, and a slightly less frequent publication goal. (Not that we make this one successfully, either. But one must cut us some slack, as we're all student volunteers.) Hence, you'll probably be seeing the Post on a monthly basis now.

As for when the latest issue is out, I can proudly say: right now! The February issue, with a theme of "Time Machine," is currently on the racks on campus. Look for it outside the library, in the JKB, in the JFSB, and...in various other buildings. Read, marvel, enjoy. I hear the statistics in this issue are especially cool.

I'm still not sure about PDF copies of back issues. I don't think they're available for public consumption, but I know who probably keeps them. If you really want copies, email me at byupetra (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll, um, find you a copy or two.

-Petra

Question #23127 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So are those court TV shows for real? You know--Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, etc. I'm in law school and I don't see how these "courts" can have binding rulings and jurisdiction over people from all over the country.

Von

A: Dear Von,

People who audition to have their cases tried on Judge Judy sign a release to make the decision legally binding. If you watch until the end of those shows (I know... it's painful beyond 2 minutes of freakish curiosity) you will often notice a disclaimer as part of the credits.

Since I'm not in law school, I don't necessarily know the legal implications of this. But, basically the show's have the two participants sign a waiver. In return for accepting the Judge's decision as legally binding, the two participants promise not to re-try the course in another small claims course. They also recieve compensation for their appearance on the show and a requirement to pay the difference.

Basically, all of these shows act as a legal mediator for small claims under a certain dollar amount (I think it is a $5000 claim maximum). They only have legal standing insofar as the participants grant them legal standing. I am sure that, before that silly music start's playing, they sign multiple pieces of paper that make Judge Judy's decision legally binding in their case.

Now... as for Texas Justice... I think that is just a complete joke. Kinda like Jerry Springer... only pretending to be a moderator rather than an instigator.

That is all.

Horatio the Legal Analyst
Question #23103 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

The other day I noticed what looks like a large column of steam on the east side of the Provo police station. What is that for?

- pippin galadriel moonchild

A: Dear Pippin,

Sorry this took so long. I had to wait over the holiday weekend for someone to be available to talk to. It was kind of stupid too because they just confirmed what I had guessed and told me I was asking odd questions. (No kidding people... [eye roll])

Well. That column of steam is coming from a boiler room between the Provo Police Department and Fire Department. The boiler room contains a boiler which, according to Wikipedia, is simply a "closed vessel in which water or other fluid is heated under pressure. The steam or hot fluid is then circulated out of the boiler for use in various process or heating applications." So basically, the boiler is turning water into steam. To further complicate things, some boilers operate on a closed system (meaning that 100% of the steam produced is returned to be reused) though most operate on an open system (some of the steam produced is not fed back into the boiler). It looks like this one is an open system and part of the steam produced is also being released.

- Lavish
Question #23070 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How does the United State's dependence on foreign oil compare to other westernized, industrialized nations, both in terms of total importation and percentage of energy used?

- Mania

A: Dear Mania,
There are at several factors to consider when evaluating dependence on foreign oil. The first is actual consumption-exactly how much oil does America use? The answer, according to NationMaster.com, is more than 20 million barrels a day. That's more than three times the second-place consumer, China, and about a quarter of the world's total consumption. America is very much dependent on foreign oil in that it uses a lot of it. We should remember that America is a pretty big country, however, with a relatively large populous. The U.S. ranks Number 17 in per capita oil consumption, but the fact still remains that our way of life depends heavily on that steady stream of oil from overseas. America imports 10.4 million barrels of oil a day, coming in at Number 6 in per capita oil imports.

Another important factor of foreign oil dependence is domestic oil production. The U.S. is actually the third-largest oil producer in the world, coming in behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. We crank out more than 7 million barrels of oil a day. While it certainly isn't enough to keep up with consumption, it places us in a considerably better position than many industrialized nations. I'm not sure if you intended to exclude countries like China and Japan from the sample by stipulating "westernized" nations, but I will include them anyway because of their strong presence in the global market. Japan has one of the worst-case scenarios in the event of a foreign oil crisis. Japan imports virtually all of its oil because of its high oil consumption (#3) and its low oil production (almost negligible). Russia, on the other hand, is in a much better position than almost any other industrialized country, since it produces much more oil than it consumes, selling much of it to Europe or China. The U.S. lies somewhere in between Japan and Russia, since it needs to import oil but at least has some domestic oil production. We are better off than many countries, such as China or India or much of Europe, because a higher percentage of our oil comes from domestic sources.

In the final analysis of American dependence on foreign oil, there are a few things to consider. First, if there were to be a true shock to the system (not that little hiccup after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita), our way of life would get very expensive very quickly. The U.S. has untapped oil reserves in places like Alaska and off the coast of Florida, but it is still cheaper to buy oil from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait or Venezuela than invest billions of dollars in our domestic supplies. In a short-term view (a time frame of about 15 years or so), we are very dependent on foreign oil. However, in the long run, the U.S. is capable of adapting to an energy crisis through both domestic oil investment and infrastructure changes. If the price of oil rose high enough, public transit would start looking pretty good to most people. And while more than 70% of electricity in the U.S. is produced from fossil fuels, an energy crisis could make a shift over to alternatives such as nuclear energy. With a renewed interest in developing alternative energy sources, we may see new developments in the coming decades that may change some of these underlying assumptions. But I think it is safe to say that we are quite dependent on foreign oil now, but could wean ourselves of the addiction within a generation if we had to.

For more information on the topic, check out the CIA World Factbook entry on oil consumption and NationMaster.com's Energy page.

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Question #22974 posted on 02/22/2006 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

This Spring/Summer I want to take River Recreation and Rock Climbing under RMYL. I can't seem to find any information on the RMYL website about these classes. Can you help? Are there fees associated with the class for field trips, etc? How much climbing and river time will we get? What kind of information is covered in the class? Anything you can tell me would be great!

- punkybrewster

A: Dear punky,

I talked with the RMYL secretary, and she seemed to know more about rockclimbing than river recreation, but she said that as far as fees go, you pay a $20 fee for access to equipment for the semester. The first few weeks of class, as would be expected, are more lectures, teaching the basics, but after that, it sounds like most of the time you're out doing the activity. To sign up for rock climbing, go to the RMYL office (273 RB) and have the secretary put your name on the waiting list. For river recreation, raincheck the class online and bring an add card the first day of class. For more information, I would suggest looking in the class schedule for when you want to take the class and find the professor's name and give werf an email or phone call.

-Wilhelmina Wafflewitz