Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus
Question #45132 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Regarding Board Question #44928,

Invention and innovation are the best!!

If this is something that interests you as a career, consider the fields of industrial design and usability. Industrial design tends to be more art-based, while usability tends to be more psychology-based.

If this is just a casual whim, I have run across a number of design contests over the years from a variety of sources. Every so often, a consumer products company will sponsor a contest that is basically a design or invention contest. There are also those "idea contests" where the best idea gets like $25,000 to get started on production or implementation.

Or, if you have specific products in mind, the customer service department of your favorite company would love to take your free advice. That's all it will ever be though. They are only obligated to pay people under contract. Start calling yourself a consultant and you'll be in business :)

-Former designer, turned user experience specialist

Question #45123 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Regarding Board Question #45004,

The Lectures on Faith are a great resource for this question (and are accessible at on campus or through the library's web site). In them, Joseph Smith teaches that the worlds could not have been created except by faith. He also teaches that in God "the principle of faith dwells independently." Take from that what you will, but everything seems to suggest that faith is an eternal principle.

- Baksiidaa, the Lao Farang

Question #45121 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Comment in reference to Board Question #45042,

Also be careful xkcd 266, when using sticky-tac or the like to hang things from the ceiling. The spackle in Helaman Halls and Wyview (as well as Heritage, I suspect) on the ceiling comes off rather easily. The first chink to come off is $25 and every successive one is $5, and toothpaste doesn't cover it up nearly as well as it does pin holes in wallboard. The prices may have changed since I was an RA but have, if anything, been raised. There is probably some way to get the same effect. Just talk to your RA before you put them up as to find the best solution that doesn't end in you paying $3,645... (Just kidding, I'm sure they stop counting at some point...)

Have Fun Storming the Castle,

- Il Guanaco, the former RA.

Question #45116 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Two comments about Board Question #45034:
I am also from Canada. In my high school, 80% was an A. BYU just took my guidance counselor's word for it that I had a 4.0 GPA without worrying about the different percentages. But Krishna is definitely right about the ACT being more important. And I would just like to add this to Krishna's statistics about the numbers of Canadians at BYU: The percentages look small, but they are a pretty active group of people. There is a Canadian club that has Remembrance Day ceremonies and Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, and you will meet Canadians everywhere you go (and also people who served missions in Canada).

- Canadian Nerd Alumna

Question #45112 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Regarding Board Question #44961 and Board Question #45055,

One of my VERY favorite summertime activities is going up to Sundance Resort in Provo Canyon for free movies every Wednesday. They show a variety of movies in an outdoor ampitheatre after dark, and it gets chilly enough to cuddle up in a blanket with someone warm. They usually start up sometime in late June and go through August, but I would recommend calling the resort for an update on this year's schedule. (801) 223-4567

Just you, the movie, and millions of stars overhead!

-Movie watcher

Question #45070 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What's the dealio with Hispanics liking bright colors? I mean, why are their houses always so...colorful?

And what's the dealio with Asians not being good drivers? (if you think this is racist, then just go on the freeway and see for yourself).

-Mr. Left

A: Dear Mr. Left,

You have kind of a history of ignorance here, so I'll be brief: knock off the stereotyping. And if you feel like you must continue, kindly find another forum on which to do so. It's not welcome here.

-Claudio, who knows Hispanics that live in brick houses and extremely careful Asian drivers
A: Dear Mr. Left,

As to your "Hispanics liking bright colors" idea, I think it might be a trait of cheerful folk art in general. Here is an example of Mexican folk art, and here is an example of Russian folk art. They both have bright colors in them. So it might be true that bright colors are common in Hispanic art and architecture, but it's not unique to that ethnicity.

A: Dear Mr. Left,

What's the dealio with non-Hispanic non-Asians flaunting their ignorance?

-Madame Mimm
A: Dear Mr. Left~

You know, just the other day I was complaining about my iTunes playing the same song too many times, and ignoring some of the other songs in the library. I then read an article about that precise subject which seemed to support my theory. As I read the article, I was cheering, "Yeah, YEAH!" because it supported the view I had already formed.

In the comments of the article, people who know more about statistics than I do pointed out how unsound these numbers were, and how they proved nothing. After a discussion on my blog, I learned that my iTunes was actually about as random as I could ask for, given the nature of what random really means.

I'm getting to my point now: Humans look for patterns, because it's the only way our brains can understand a world that doesn't make any sense. Some Utahns like to accuse Californians of being bad drivers, and a lot of non-Utahns come here to complain about Utahn driving. In fact, neither party is entirely correct, because all but the most unreasonable of people realizes deep in their heart that good and bad drivers will come from virtually anywhere.

So you've formed your stereotypes about Hispanics and Asians here. I'll ignore the one about Hispanics, because I'm willing to accept that there is an artistic preference in the culture, and I think Whistler answered that nicely. As for Asians, however, I know for a fact that you've encountered good Asian drivers, but you just haven't bothered making note of it. (Who makes note of good drivers, anyway?) You've also encountered bad white, hispanic, black and whatever other race of drivers, too, but the fact is your brain has decided that Asians are bad drivers, so every time you see one cut you off or whatever, you think, "A-HA! SEE?"

In Linguistics we learned about linguistic stereotypes, and our teacher gave us this common-sense rule: "If evidence can support a stereotype, it will. If evidence can debunk a stereotype, it might."

Enough preaching from me, anyway. I really want you to look at the world in a more educated way, but if you don't, I guess I'll see you again next time an entire population ticks you off.

Question #45068 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

You know those Lindt Lindor chocolates that come in the chocolate-bar-shaped packages and they have 18 little unconnected squares inside? They have this little tiny picture on top of each square that looks kind of like something out of the Book of Abraham. What is it supposed to be a picture of?

- nerd girl, who really likes dark chocolate

PS - They have them at the bookstore if you need to get one for research purposes. I would buy you one, but I'm not in Utah at the moment.

A: Dear nerl,

Not wanting to waste money on a box of chocolates (what would I do with an entire box?), I poked around the googles and finally found a pretty decent picture on this chocolate lover's blog.

My guess is that it's a dragon. It has two feet, a curly tail, two wings, and a triangle for a head. All it's missing is some consummate Vs. Consummate!

Googling "lindt dragon" and... yes, on their own web site there is mention of the "Dragon Classique / Smooth Marc de Champagne truffle filling in milk chocolate and decorated with the Lindt dragon in dark chocolate." I'm going with dragon.

-=Optimus Prime=-
A: Dear -=Optimus Prime=-,

What would you do with an entire box? You could, you know, eat it...

Question #45067 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So, I have a dilemma on my hands and I would really appreciate some advice. Here goes. . . .

So, I have a friend (this really is a friend, not me) that's had a history of getting into trouble with boys. We're both seniors in high school, so obviously she's still too young to be getting seriously involved, at least not without unhealthy results. The thing is, I have reason to believe that she has ended up with a very unfortunate and potentially unhealthy result. I think she might be pregnant. She's quite obviously gotten bigger in the stomach area, and not gained hardly any weight elsewhere. She constantly carries a blanket in front of her, even when she's walking through the halls, and she's been acting really strangely for the past few months. My other friends have noticed it as well, and we're not quite sure what to do. She does have a serious boyfriend, and although we hate to think so, there's a very large possibility that they could have made a mistake.

If she really is pregnant, we're not looking to criticize her or reprimand her. We just want to make sure her parents know so she can get the proper care and attention. The problem is, we don't know how to approach her and find out what's really going on. If we asked if she's pregnant and she isn't . . . well, that'd just be awkward. And if we asked if she's pregnant and she is . . . what do we do? My main question is, how do my friends and I approach her about this without hurting her? Should we ask her, or just leave her alone?

- Very Concerned Friend

A: Dearest Very Concerned Friend,

My advice to you is to talk to her parents, if possible. Tell them what you wrote to us, that you're not sure, but that you're worried about her and want to help her if you can, no matter what the issue is. Her parents most likely already know of a pregnancy, and if they don't they will soon find out anyway. If they are willing to confirm it, or hint at it, then you can talk to your friend. Don't mention that you asked her parents, just tell her those same concerns. She will most likely be very embarrassed at first, or even deny it, but if you assure her you're not there to judge but to support and help, I'm certain she will become grateful for the listening ear and supportive arm.

It makes me glad to know that if she is pregnant, she has friends such as you to support her. Good luck.


Old Bald Guy
Question #45066 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I think I would like to start reading some blogs, but I really don't know where to start. Can you guys recommend any good ones?

- Curious

A: Dear Curious ~

Here is a list of all of the Board writer/reader blogs that I read. Well, at least the ones that are anonymous blogs. Board writers that have since turned their blogs into real life blogs I decided to leave out. If you're really curious, many of them have links in the archives, so start searching! Also, if you subscribe to these in Google Reader, they will recommend other blogs to you. Who knows, maybe you'll find some real life blogs, too.

Also, if there are any writer blogs I have missed, I apologize. Also, I am mad at you for not giving me your blog URL.

Also, some of these blogs are updated far more often than others. I believe there is at least one that hasn't been updated since April 2007. Others update quite frequently.

Genuine Draft
Dragon Lady
A.A. Melyngoch
Curious Physics Minor
Uffish Thought
Novel Concept
Theodore (This one comes highly recommended.)

~ Dragon Lady
A: Dear blogreader,

Besides DL's list (which is great), it depends on what you're into. Besides other writers' and friends' blogs (usually easily found on Facebook profiles), here are a few I subscribe to:

6 A.M. (Richard Edelman)
Noelle Regina (her open-letter format is fun whether you know her or not, and she's a good writer)
Hello Juliet: A Pretty Little Look Book ("Arts and crafts and design and love and some other stuff.")
Robert Poste
KD Paine's PR Measurement Blog (Katie Paine)
The Leila Texts (this girl gets tons of misdirected text messages all the time and she posts/responds to them here)
The Weoarld Wide Worb (a social/political commentary blog, "beating your face electronically since 2008)
Art Observed
Kanye West
Melissa Kelsey Photography (I want this woman to do every photo shoot I ever need - I hear she travels, too)
Elbows Music Blog Aggregator
Web Strategy by Jeremiah

All right, I think that's all for now.

Question #45065 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

A health and hygiene question: How much protection, if any, do those flimsy paper toilet seat protectors really provide? They certainly don't keep the occupant from feeling the moisture trapped below. How much of the germs still get through?

- *Prudence*,who wishes that those choosing to sqaut over the pot would also lift the seat first.

A: Dear Prudence,

They aren't meant to be waterproof. If there's liquid on the seat, I'd suggest grabbing some toilet paper and wiping it off first. Then the toilet seat protector will keep you from having to touch any residue. (Or, you could use toilet paper for that too.)

—Laser Jock
Question #45064 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What gets a celebrity on the "A-List" and who composes it? Are there similarly B, C and D lists? Can you give me some examples of the celebrities on each?

- Curious, not on the A List

A: Dear Curious,

There exists no actual A-List which is written down on a piece of paper. The term refers to the most popular celebrities at the time. And yes, there are references to B, C, and D-List celebrities. And, somewhat surprisingly, there is a Wikipedia page about the A-List.

So, how does a celebrity get on the A-List? Have a string of popular films, be in-demand enough to get 20 million per film, have a large presence in news/gossip magazines, have a large fan base, etc. Kathy Griffin has a reality show on the Bravo network called "My Life on the D-List" which refers to those less-popular lists.

As to who composes the list? Largely, the public. The people we pay to see are the ones who become A-List celebrities. However, the celebrity themself, their agents, their managers, their directors, their co-stars, their PR-people all have roles in making us want to pay to see them.

A-List Celebrities:
Will Smith (most bankable actor in Hollywood), Jerry Seinfeld (though much less so since his show went off the air, he'd be a B-List if a pretty poor animated film hadn't become a blockbuster solely because of his involvement), Johnny Depp (put there by Pirates), Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, etc. Robert Downey Jr. may have made the leap up to the A-List with Iron Man.

I was going to give a list of celebrities on the other levels, but I started to struggle in defining what a B-List celebrity would be. So I googled around to find what other people have said about this, and found this helpful site devoted to celebrity sightings in LA, which I will quote from liberally to explain the different levels of celebrity status (warning, there's profanity I'm editing out which you'll encounter if you follow the link):
A-List. An A-List celebrity generally appears only in quality studio movies and independent films, not on TV, and is rarely seen in public. Upon sighting, you immediately pull out your cell phone and call everybody you know. [...] Some TV stars, notably from HBO, attain A-List status, but only for a short while. For example, the Desperate Housewives were A-List last season, but they are bordering on "B-" at present.

B-List. B-List celebrities are the toughest to categorize. For most Los Angelinos, B-List means TV celeb on a currently running series (think, Matthew Fox), or untalented or over-exposed movie actor (think Jessica Alba or Johnny Knoxville). B-List sightings are generally kept to yourself until the inevitable LA conversation topic — celebrity sightings — rears its ugly head.

C-List. C-List celebrities include anybody you are embarrassed to actually recognize. This group is a hodgepodge, but it goes without saying that almost all reality TV stars and daytime soap stars will never climb any higher than this rung. These sightings you generally keep to yourself. My most embarassing C-List sighting ever was Carrot Top.

D-List. These are the most disgusting of the celebrity trash, yet often the most publicized and sought-after, if only because they are so [...] stupid, drug-addicted, spoiled, and over-exposed. Not only that, they are dangerous to themselves and others. They are celebrated by gossip blogs and magazines everywhere because the masses demand schadenfreude. Obviously on this list are Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Mischa Barton, Courtney Love, Ashlee Simpson, and a host of other twisted misfits. Actually, I m thinking of implementing a new celebrity-sighting rule: If you visit LA, and do not see every single D-List celebrity, you should report the missing D-Listers to the police immediately. They may be overdosed in a ditch somewhere and in danger of not going unphotographed.
If you're still curious, defines the different levels of celebrity:
As by Hollywood standards, the "cream of the crop" or the best, most popular, and highest paid actors and actresses.
1. B-list
A list or group of the ones that are not as not as desired, admired or well known as those on the A-list. Usually used when describing actors.

e.g. A B-list actor usually cannot afford to turn down as many roles as a mega star can.

2. B-list
A derogatory term for a person/group of people who think they are 'all that', but are in fact not.
C-list celebrity
Typically someone who is famous yet few can understand why. They are a perfect example of the "famous for being famous" paradox. Many of these people had a reason at one stage to be famous but memory of this has long since faded. In older days, the c-list was typically populated by people such as Jordan and Paris Hilton. Now with the reality television explosion, the list has grown.

C-list celebrities have difficult understand that they are really not that famous. This leads to amusing incidents where a c-list, on being told that they can't order the Pizza Hut buffet after 5pm will become angry and ask "Do you know who I am"?

A c-list doesn't need any kind of skills other than being a shameless self-publicist.
Well, there are some definitions. Hope that helps.

-Humble Master
Question #45063 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are the most scenic areas in or near Provo?

-Pretty places

A: Dear lover of pretty places,

1. My apartment
2. Nielson's Grove (a park over near Wal-Mart)
3. South Forks Park (up in Provo Canyon)
4. The landscaped area on BYU Campus with the waterfall

Those are some of my favorites!
A: Dear Pretty places,

Some of my favorite places are:

- Rock Canyon, especially in the summer when you can hike up as far as you want to and just get away from everyone and be in the cool canyon
- The back of Mt. Timpanogos. Whether it be Stewart Falls or the actual hike, I love it there.
- The gardens at Tahitian Noni. They are beautiful right now; go while the tulips are still out!
- That one cemetery that overlooks the valley. I don't know what it's called exactly, but I do know how to get there. I know it's kind of strange, but at sunset it can be a breathtaking view. And it is the view my great-grandpa wanted to have when he woke up resurrection morning.

I have lots of places, but those are good for now. Happy hunting!

- steen

A: Dear Pretty faces,

Don't forget the tried and true classics. Bridal Veil Falls, Squak Peak, and the view from the "Y" are still technically scenic, even if cliche.

If you're into urban scenic, there are a lot of cool houses south of campus, around Center Street.

-=Optimus Prime=-
Question #45062 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I recently got blunt Louise Brooks-y bangs. I think they're great, but I don't know what to do when I exercise. They're relatively short, so if I pin them back, they make two freaky horns on top of my head. Holding them back with headbands tends to create this weird, spiky lion's mane of fringe. If I don't do anything, they get all sweaty and they look absolutely repulsive and they stick to my forehead (it's not pretty). What should I do?

- hilf mich

A: Dear mi,

I think it's obvious. Stop exercising.

-=Optimus Prime=-
A: Dear hilf mich,

This sounds really 80s, but maybe you could wear a sweat band. Or a hat (especially if you're outside!). Uh... good luck.

A: Dear Gertrude,

When I pin my bangs back, I twist them before I pin them so the ends that would stick up weird are sticking down against my head instead. Try that.

-Kicks and Giggles
Question #45061 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I finally came up with a great idea for a book--I've always wanted to write one. This got me to thinking: to use a pen name, or no? Obviously, it would seem that you guys are pretty partial to pseudonyms, but of course, it's sort of a different situation. I guess I can see both sides of it: if you use a pen name, nobody knows who you are, so you can be completely free with your writing. Also, if a woman got married and her name changed, she wouldn't have to deal with that conundrum--because I'd imagine you'd have to have some way of helping people recognize that it was the same author. Using your real name is nice, if you like fame. You could do press releases and do book signings, things that it seems to me a pen-named author couldn't do. My question is, what are all your thoughts on the use of a pen name when writing books, and what do the publishing companies think? Which is more appealing to them and why? I'm just very curious about all the issues behind this (I say that as though it's very serious, hahaha). This is important to me, because if I ever get this book written, I need help deciding what authorship identity I want to establish. Thanks for your help!

-'llustrious and ubiquitous

A: Dear IaU~

At least in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi genres a pen-name will make pretty much no difference to your publish-ability or, frankly, to your level of fame, since die-hard fans have a nasty way of figuring out who you are anyway. (I'm looking at you, Board readers!)

By the way, if you are writing either Fantasy or Sci-Fi, you should shoot me an email: hobbes at theboard dot byu dot edu and all that. I'd be interested in conversing with you.

Good luck either way!

A: Dear Writer,

Stephen King wrote novels as Richard Bachman to get around the limitation of publishing only one book a year. Mary Ann Evans wrote as George Eliot so that her work would be taken seriously. Charles Dodgson wrote math books under his given name and children's books as Lewis Carroll.

If you have a good reason for a pen name, I don't think there's anything wrong with one. However, if it's just a matter of avoiding a name change, I think it would be easier to keep writing under your maiden name or use both names so your readership knows it's you.

- Katya
Question #45060 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In regards to Board Question #44765, there's actually a huge amount of Hebrew custom involving the disinterment of bones. Frequently, after the body had decomposed the bones were dug up and placed in small boxes called "ossuaries". Extensive writings in Talmudic literature (specifically Ebel Rabbati: discuss burial rules and traditions.

The following article covers this (though not in depth), but also give some great references for further research in the bibliography: (Sorry that I didn't have time to hunt down a better source, but his notations should do you well.)

So, yup, lots of precedence, all a matter of tradition. Incidentally, it's nice to be able to go to one spot to remember your family members than walking all over Israel on Memorial Day.

In my opinion, this may have been started because Hebrew Law states bodies must be buried as soon as possible (no more than 2 nights after death). If you're down visiting the fam in Jerusalem and die suddenly, they're not going to have time to drag you all the way up to Bethlehem. But, wait some time, and when you're no longer stinky and much smaller, tossing your bones in a box and bringing them back home is much simpler.

Hope that helps!

- granola girl

A: Dear Granola ~

Sorry. I should have been more clear. I meant that there isn't a whole lot of Biblical Hebrew tradition on this. You are absolutely right, however, that this is much more detailed in sources such as the Talmud. As I have little to no experience and expertise in the Talmud, however, I didn't explore this. Consider me Biblical-centric or something. I assume that when people ask for Hebrew tradition that they're talking about Biblical Hebrew, not modern. Thank you for the links and explanations of the modern tradition; I'm sure our original questioner will greatly thank you.

And as a side note, I would much rather walk all over Israel on Memorial Day than all over the U.S. Israel really isn't all that big. You can drive from the top to the bottom in about 6 hours. I mean, Utah is about 10 times larger than Israel. (Utah at 84,889 square miles and Israel at about 8,019.) But that's neither here nor there. (Hmm... that saying doesn't really work as it really is here and there.)

~ Dragon Lady
Question #45059 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is a normal GPA for someone graduating with a bachelor's degree? Do most people get really good grades in their major classes? I'm trying to figure out if i should change my major cuz I'm not that great at it.

- But I Love it??

A: Dear Student,

What is a normal GPA for someone graduating with a bachelor's degree?

It really depends, although you can probably assume that it's between a 2.0 and a 4.0. Some people work and take 18 credits and still have near perfect GPAs, while other people go less than full time and still struggle. People who are trying to get into very competitive graduate programs presumably try to get better grades than people who don't have that motivation and some people just do better in an academic environment than others.

Do most people get really good grades in their major classes?

My grades in my major classes were a little better than my overall GPA, but the difference wasn't huge. I got nearly perfect grades in my physics minor, but that's probably because I didn't have to take any of the harder upper division courses.

I'm trying to figure out if i should change my major cuz I'm not that great at it. . . . but I Love it.

If I had to pick between studying something I was interested in but bad at or good at but bored with, I'd take the interesting thing every time.

- Katya
Question #45058 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,
What's your take on tithing and the tax relief checks?
I tithe on my full paycheck, before taxes are taken out, so when/if I get a tax refund (which I didn't this year), I don't tithe on it, since I already tithed on it.
I don't know if that same logic applies to the tax relief checks. What do you think?

- The mite of the widow

A: Dear Mite

I believe that logic applies, as the tax relief check is essentially a bonus tax return. The government is returning a portion of our taxes (the checks are prorated according to how much you paid in taxes).

-Humble Master
Question #45054 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I recently signed up for housing at BYU. It was pretty insane! I thought I'd be living in Helaman or Heritage Halls, but that didn't work out (all of the rooms were taken). I was fortunate, however, and got one of the last rooms Wyview had to offer. I looked at the pictures online afterwards. It looks pretty nice...but it's significantly cheaper than Helaman and Heritage.

I guess my question is this: why is this the case? From what I've read, Wyview is pretty clean and safe. I also read that Wyview is comparatively far from the main campus and that the rooms might be pretty small. Is that really what makes it nearly $100/month less expensive than, say, a shared room with a sink at Helaman Halls? Is there something that I should be concerned about?

Thanks in advance for your input.


A: Dear Concerned,

Generally the further away from campus you get, the less expensive apartments get. I live a good 20 minute walk from the main part of campus and Wyview is a good little bit further than my apartment. It́’s all about location baby!

-The Cheeky Chickie
A: Dear,

You're also not paying for a meal plan in Wyview, like you would be in Helaman. That knocks some of the cost off.

And no, there's nothing to be concerned about. Wyview has some pretty nice apartments--I didn't have any complaints about them. My biggest beef with it was that the ward was mostly freshmen and sophomores, and that's a nice thing for you. The walk is long, but it's bearable.

-Uffish Thought
Question #45053 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'll be attending BYU in the fall. I'm really excited about it!

I've heard that BYU filters certain websites, such as YouTube and MySpace. But do they filter out any of the broadcast networks' websites, preventing you from streaming shows on them?

Also, just wondering...if you have an iPod Touch, would YouTube work on that? I don't use it a ton, but sometimes YouTube is pretty convenient. I wouldn't think that it'd work, but I figured that I might as well ask anyways.

Thanks in advance!


A: Dear JM,

Congratulations on coming to BYU. I'm a pretty big fan of it myself.

Although I can't claim to know about every single broadcast network website, I've never heard of people having problems streaming shows from there. However, YouTube is blocked no matter what you use to access it (as long as you're using BYU's internet), so I'm afraid your iPod Touch wouldn't do any better than your computer.

—Laser Jock
Question #45047 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is there any possibility that someday we could commercially use electricity from magnetic ropes? If not, why not?

- frankensauce

A: Dear frankensauce,

I don't really see it happening. Although there's a lot of energy there, it's true, it's not particularly easy to harness. I think a good comparison would be trying to use energy from an earthquake. For now they're just a cool phenomenon in space that can explain pretty auroras, and I expect they'll never be a source of electricity.

—Laser Jock
Question #45037 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If oxygen production stopped at the moment this question posted, how long would it take for all of us to run out of air?

-oh two

A: Dear oh two,

Let it first be said that I am no scientist.

I found ridiculously different numbers for the volume of the atmosphere, so I took the average and came up with 1,075,612,729,648 cubic km. About 21% of that is oxygen. According to, humans breathe 700,000 cubic inches per day. Times that by the 6,809,748,050 people that make up the human population as of 10:00 pm on May 12, (I'm assuming all animals and anything else that uses oxygen is dead. Deal with it.) and we as a species are breathing 4.766823635 e15 cubic inches of air every day. That converts to 78.114249835 cubic km. At that rate of breathing, it would take us 13,769,738,716 days or 37,725,311.5506 years to breathe up the entire atmosphere. Give or take a few million.

Now please realize that this is probably not anywhere near accurate. For starters, every person uses a unique amount of air. Second, the air we breathe out is about 15-18% oxygen, so we actually put some oxygen back out. Also, we can survive on lower levels of oxygen than we breathe now. Third, if the animals were dead like I've assumed and all plants were dead (since they're obviously not there to produce oxygen), we'd all die a whole lot sooner of other things. Like starvation.

Moral of the story, don't worry about it. We'd run short on a whole lot of other vital things before oxygen.

Question #45029 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

On a number of historical buildings around the country, as well as in everyday architectural decoration (including a door-knocker that I found while pizza delivering in Oregon), I've seen a reoccurring design motif involving a fish (or two, often times mirroring eachother) with lots of plant-related patterns between and around them (link to an example: and a close-up of one of the fish's faces:

I've found myself entirely entranced by the design, and would like to know what it's called and where it originated from.

- Fishboy

A: Dear Fishboy,

The fish motif seems to come from pretty much everywhere. In my perusal of historical architecture I've seen it in Asian, European, and African architecture/design. The Asian motifs appear to be inspired by the Chinese zodiac. Africans appear to have been inspired by the nature around them, and the European motifs appear to be linked to the use of the fish as a Christian symbol. It also seems to be popular among modern architects such as Frank Gehry (who has designed some SWEET fishy stuff).

Question #45021 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I am getting close to graduating and will have an editing minor. I have worked on several publications and even done some internships, so I feel that I have some valuable experience and a developed, marketable skill. I would like to do editing work for grad students who are not native English speakers. I know they need to produce high-level writing and often need help since they do not speak English as their first language.
I have two problems though. First, I don't know how to advertise to them. It seems like a shot in the dark to put a little notecard up on the Wilkinsons Center ad board or write a little paragraph on craigslist. I'd like to do something more professional and effective, but don't know how to go about it. Second, I don't know what to charge. Frankly, I can't afford to work for less than $10 an hour and would like to work for much more. And I shouldn't have to sell myself short since I have put many years, much money, and a ridiculous number of studying hours into my education to develop these skills. But I understand too well the desperate financial situation of students and can only imagine how that escalates as a grad student. What do you think is an appropriate amount to charge? Is it a better idea to charge by the page?


A: Dear Duck,

First some comments, then I'll try to answer your questions.

Just because you put in ridiculous amounts of hours developing your skills does not automatically qualify you to make good money. If this were the case, music performance majors would be the richest people in the world. If your skill is not in demand, people won't pay for it, regardless of your effort.

Demand for professional editing in graduate work is reduced for a couple of reasons. First, every graduate student has an advisor. I know my advisor is a "grammar nazi" and in any case it is in their best interest to polish papers, of which they are often co-authors, through whatever means they can because their professional reputation is on the line. And if the paper is a thesis or dissertation, it will have to be read by additional members of the faculty. Second, editing is not heart surgery, and lots of people are good enough and willing to do it for free. Despite being in a technical field, I know an awful lot about grammar and editing and have read over many a fellow student's paper. I may miss something you wouldn't, but chances are the error is benign enough to take away nothing from the paper. Third, there are other official university resources. I don't think they offer straight-up, free editing, but there are ways of getting help with writing.

So keeping those things in mind, how do you advertise and how much should you charge? To advertise you have to put your name out where these people are likely to look. Do you think non-native English speakers are going to read the Daily Universe classifieds? Or peruse the Wilk Board? Then advertise there. I think your best bet is to advertise where the students actually are. See if you can post flyers in the graduate areas of buildings with the most non-native English speakers (I would guess the technical buildings, like Clyde, Talmage, Eyring, etc). See if you can leave flyers at the Writing Center, or any other university writing resource. And don't forget timing. Ask around to see if there is a time when students are more likely to be writing papers (end of semester?), so your ads are more effective. Think like a grad student. Where would you look?

Pricing is the tricky part, as you know. Honestly, I just don't see a demand for pricy editing, so it's going to be a cost-benefit decision for you. What I can tell you is that as a grad student, I would be uncomfortable with an hourly rate, not knowing how fast you work and how much I was going to pay at the end. I think my preferred payment method would be a lump sum for the paper. Perhaps with ranges, like $XX for 0 to 20 pages and $YY for 21 to 50 pages.

Oh, and one more comment, for what it's worth. Writing styles for various disciplines can be very different. I have several times made the mistake of using a word in what otherwise would have been acceptable usage, only to find out that it had a very specific meaning in my field and my usage was implying something I didn't mean. There are issues of word choice, style (technical writing is often extremely compact compared to flowery literary papers), and conventions you would have to watch out for. You're probably aware of this, but I thought I should mention it.

-=Optimus Prime=-
Question #44947 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the setup of the Mezzanine Suite in David John Hall?

- tjiofnfeasny

A: DrEeAaRder,

After receiving a private guided tour of the mezzanine suite in David John, I must say that it vaguely reminds me of a sorority house. Imagine a very large L-shaped room. The room is shared by five girls, so there are five beds, five closets, and five desks all lining the walls of the L. There are two doors into the room, one at either side, and two windows, both of which have very scenic views of the parking lot.

Out in the open there is a double sink counter with lots of little drawers for all your hygienic needs. Where the two sides of the L meet, there is a very small bathroom with one toilet and one shower that is clearly meant for a skinny person.

On the pro side, the suite is quite spacious (except for the bathroom) and there is lots of natural sunlight. There is also one small nightstand and some big metal shelves that apparently come with the room. On the con side, you'd have to deal with the habits, bed times, alarms, and drama of four other people. I wouldn't last a week, but you just might love it.

Question #44712 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So I was a Haitian Creole speaking missionary back in the mid-1990's. We figured that we were the smallest language in the world as far as missionaries go. At the time Haiti wasn't open, so there were (give or take) 40,000 missionaries, and 16 spoke Creole (4 in Boston, 12 in Ft Lauderdale). So 0.04% of the missionary popualtion was Creole speaking (yeah we were elite). What is the smallest language spoken by missionaries across the world today? (Not including native speakers who get called to their own countries)

- Dude from Canuckistan, (as it was put in Canadian Bacon a hilarious John Candy Movie)

A: Dear Bud Boomer,

Well, more than a few phone calls to the Missionary Department later, I can't give you a definitive answer. Nobody seems to know and they can't give out exact statistics because it changes on a weekly basis. I got some 'best guesses' of Arabic, Marshallese, Gilbertese, and Icelandic.

A: Dear Dude,

I had a friend who served a Temple Square, Hebrew-speaking mission. OK, she wasn't officially called to be a Hebrew-speaking missionary, nor did she learn it in the MTC, but she took advantage of her knowledge of the language whenever tour groups from Israel came to see Temple Square, which was apparently not uncommon.

- Katya
Question #44635 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear Rating Pending,

You are one of my favorites. Why have you yet to put up a blurb on the "about us" page? Tao has one and has been here about as long as you.

-lost and hopeless

A: Dear Lost Person,

Writing "Blurbs" on the About Us page is not something that is mandated. Case in point: I don't have one either. I'm sure I'll get one up eventually. Maybe Rating Pending, or myself, will one day have a burst of creativity and sit down and write one. For now, you'll just have to fulfill your desire for all things Rating Pending by reading his responses.

-The Cheeky Chickie
Question #44593 posted on 05/14/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Could you give me your opinions on evolution? I personally think that human evolution is false (after all, what would Adam think when he died and his parents weren't there?), but animal evolution, I believe is quite factual.

- Levi Jones

A: Dear Levi Jeans,

I see no contradiction with human evolution and God's creation. In fact, it seems rather illogical to me to accept the evolution of animals and not of humans, when there are countless similarities between the species. The fact that God had a hand in it isn't incongruous, even according to the scriptures.

First, the similarities. Has the fact ever struck you that most mammals, birds, reptiles and lots of other creatures have a head, with two eyes, a nose, mouth and brain? Why aren't they arranged differently? That most of them have 4 appendages, each with 5 "fingers", even though some are vestigial (birds, manatees, etc). These and thousands of other similar characteristics give incontrovertible evidence of a shared ancestry.

Now, about God's involvement. Now I don't want to wrest the scriptures, but it is interesting to me that in the creation narrative the author states:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.
We have no guarantees that the internal workings of our bodies are in any way like God's, just the appearance. In fact, we are told that in the resurrection our bodies will be drastically changed into a perfected form, with hints of altered internal functionality and abilities.

With that idea in mind, let's assume you have been tasked with creating a fully functioning organism capable of reproducing itself and living in harmony with, and able to protect itself against, its environment, which is completely new. Plus, you want it to look like you. Now I'm no expert in how God does his work, but it doesn't seem like a bad idea to someone to whom time has no meaning to create or harness some simple life, and simply use the natural laws of mutation/evolution to His advantage by poking and prodding throughout the millenia until he had created something in his image. Think of it as writing a computer program to solve a problem instead of doing it all by hand. He could have done it either way, but by doing it this way He not only achieved His purpose in creating Man, but before that culmination was able to populate the earth with all manner of plant and animal life as a desired side effect (which coincidentally follows the order of the creation account). So perhaps lots of creatures have heads and 5 fingers because those were the creatures most likely to form something in the image of God.

Once this image of God had been created from the "dust" (or primordial ooze or whatever you want to call it), through some process unknown to us God was able to "breathe into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul". In some way, spiritual beings were and are fused to physical bodies in order to experience a mortal life.

Now let me state emphatically that this is only my opinion, not any kind of formal doctrine. I might die and find out I was completely wrong. The important thing for me is that by thinking of it this way, I am not distracted by the issue and can focus on what is truly important in this life -- improving myself and becoming more like God spiritually (since the physical part is already taken care of). I hope this helps.

-=Optimus Prime=-
A: Dear Mr. Jones,

I think that it's just fine to admit that there is no clear answer given at this point. Is it possible that God used evolution as a tool to create man? Of course! Is it possible that man was literally created from the dust of the earth? Of course! To suggest otherwise would be to imply that God is less than omnipotent. My personal thought is that God created man. Though we may be uncertain of his exact method of creating, he made us what we are now.

For what it's worth, here's a link to BYU's Board of Trustees official statement on the Church and evolution. Thanks to my biology professor!

A: Dear genes,

Evolution make sense to my scientific mind, but as I have learned more and more about the human body, there is no way our very existence could have happened by chance. Everything is just too perfect. When I write music, there are subtle elements that show up because it is me writing it. Why, then, cań’t the Creator also have recurring patterns in His work? That́’s what makes this Earth so amazing.

- steen