Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus
Question #47521 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

This is a lengthy comment for Wisteria on the subject of travelling in Europe (Board Question #47426).

A note about hostels: I've stayed by myself (as a little 19/20 year old girl) in many of the cheapest hostels in London, and never felt unsafe in any of them. The YHA hostels were always more expensive (sometimes considerably so), so I never stayed in them, but I never felt unsafe. (As a testament to my sense of safety, I did feel quite unsafe when I spent the night hiding under a tree with drunk people up the road shouting obscenities at each other.) I've also stayed in (mostly YHA) hostels in Liverpool, Conwy, Lizard, and Penzance, and never felt unsafe in any of them. If you travel with a laptop or other valuables, just be sure that they have somewhere you can lock up your valuables (sometimes the rooms will have lockers, sometimes they'll keep them locked up for you behind the front desk). Use common sense and try to be back to your room at a reasonable hour at night.

A free alternative to a hostel is the train station. I spent one night in Paddington Station, and felt somewhat safe, although it was not particularly comfortable, and I had to share it with all the homeless people from the surrounding vicinity, as well as a security guy (hence the feeling of safety). The train station wouldn't really work comfortably for more than a night - I used it because I was just too cheap to get a hostel for 4 nights instead of 3.

I don't have any travel experience in Europe outside the UK, but I can tell you that if you're planning on travelling to several different cities, you should look into two different modes of transportation: A Eurail train pass, and cheap flights on smaller airlines such as Flybe, Ryanair, and Easyjet. Depending on where you are planning to travel/how many stops you want to make, one will be cheaper than the other, but those are probably your best options. Also, if you plan to travel between major cities in the UK, look into National Express FunFares (London - Cardiff for £1 is my favourite!). An upside to travelling by train is that trains will usually drop you off in the centre of the city, whereas those cheap little airlines might fly you into an airport 20 miles outside the city, so you'll have to factor in the cost of travel from airport to city. The smaller airlines also have rather stringent (and stingy) luggage restrictions.

When you go sightseeing, try to heavily balance out the sites that you pay for with activities that are free. Even some places that cost are free at times. You can get into Westminster Abbey for free at evensong, for example, and I've seen some museums that were randomly free on particular days of the week. Also, if you're a student, it might be worth the investment for you to get an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which will often get you discounts on admission to places or even on train fares. Always ask for a student discount (and try to look and act like a poor student rather than a rich American).

Don't buy expensive souvenirs; take pictures instead. Or just enjoy yourself.

Travel during the off-season. The weather will be worse, but places will be less crowded and accommodation and airfare will be cheaper.

Take advantage of your hostel's free breakfast, even if it's a little gross and gets old after a while.

Make eyes at the cashier in the grocery store. You never know when he will decide to throw in a free banana.

If you use the tube in London, get an Oyster card. It will save you money every time you use it. Look for similar offers in other large cities.

If you're not in a hurry, walk. If you must take public transport, choose a bus over a taxi (get the idea?).

Check to see if your bank charges a fee for foreign transactions. If it does, consider getting a lot of cash out of the ATM at the beginning of your trip so you don't have to do it often (just don't keep it all in one place, please). Even if it's convenient to just pay with your card all the time, you don't want to come home and find out that your bank was charging you a foreign currency conversion fee for every single transaction.

Amen to what Hermia said about not eating out as a way to save money. Although... I tend to eat out with the money that I haven't spent on souvenirs because food is just such a great way to get a feel for the place that you're visiting. But don't waste your money on... Subway or the like. Eat something cool that you wouldn't find easily at home. It can still be pretty cheap. And if you do opt for the grocery store only route, at least buy things there that you wouldn't buy at home.

Buy produce at an outdoor market rather than the grocery store.

Lastly, I tend to make a hobby out of planning cheap European vacations for myself, so if you have specific places that you are planning to travel to, I may know more depending on whether or not I've ever looked into them. And there are probably things I've forgotten. I'm pretty sure you and I are Gchat friends already if you care for more.

I apologize for not including any links in this. I was lazy. Use Google.

Cheers,

-Tangerine

Question #47520 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
Regarding Board Question #47427 about Pirates of the Great Salt Lake.

My sister is a huge fan of this film and sends me the official newsletters from the filmmakers. I got one today that said this:

The EXACT date of release fer Pirates of the Great Salt Lake be December 9, 2008. The movie will be an exclusive rental at Blockbuster Video, and should be available fer sale at other major retail outlets. We've already seen a page dedicated to it on Amazon.com.

-Redoubt

Question #47516 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Comment regarding Board Question #47439:

It's possible that your phone has predictive texting, but that the setting just isn't enabled. For some reason the default setting on my last cell phone had it disabled, but I just found that setting and changed it and now it works. A "Verizon LG Silver something" is new enough that it should probably have it. I wouldn't know how to tell you where to find the setting, but if you handed it to a friend (or a technology-savvy little brother or someone) and said something like "Man, I can't find the setting to enable predictive texting on here! Could you see if you can find it?" they could probably hook you up.

- Nerd Girl

Question #47462 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So, i remember seeing part of this very alarming documentary about the declining population of bees worldwide, and the implications of such a thing. What do you guys know about this issue? Does anyone know the cause yet?Also, I remember them mentioning this village or something that doesn't have anymore bees and they have to pollinate everything by hand. Is this correct or am I making that up? Is there any way i can get a hold of this documentary to show my roommates who were also wondering about this issue with me?

Myna Mehere,
who never really felt one way or the other about bees until she began to understand somewhat of their place in ecology

A: Dear Myna Mehere,

The documentary you saw was most likely Silence of the Bees a Nature-produced documentary about the surprisingly alarming facts you've mentioned already. It premiered last October and has already played several times on PBS, but luckily for you, you can watch the entire episode on the link provided above (which I found simply by Googling, "documentary bees pollination" by the way).

I was interested to see your question because just last Friday, in a most random fashion, I was eating some Häagen-Dazs raspberry sorbet (it's like eating frozen baby-laughs. It's really that good!), and I noticed that Häagen-Dazs has decided to champion the cause of the bees. You can find more about that here if you're interested.

- Rating Pending (who would hand-pollinate a field of flowers for some Häagen-Dazs right now . . .)
Question #47461 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you suggest some music (songs, artists, or radio stations) that would be good to have as background music during a party? I don't want anything too alternative (or too pop-y, on the other side of the spectrum), and I'd like something low-key enough that the music isn't the focus of the party.

- Host

A: Dear Host,

My cousin and I were talking about jazz the other day, and he commented that it could make great low-key background music for a party. It depends on your tastes and the party, but it could be a nice option.

—Laser Jock
A: Dear Host,

Anything by Kings of Convenience is still my favorite choice for chill background music. Muse is always cool, but perhaps a little too rockin' for background music?

-Whistler
A: Dear "with the most,"

It absolutely depends on the party. I think that the music can set the tone of the party, and that people like music they recognize or at least feel comfortable with. I think getting a good mix of '80s hits or even classic rock would be great background music. A lot of the indie, new-age stuff that I like to listen to on my own isn't exactly the most upbeat party stuff.

- Rating Pending (who is now having trouble getting "Take On Me," by a-ha out of his head)
Question #47460 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do I let a guy know I'm not interested in dating him?

I don't want to be mean about it or anything, just let him know very firmly that I'm not interested.

On a related vein, why are the guys I'm not interested in the ones that ask me out?

- Eris

A: Dear Eris,

I really appreciated the one time that a girl I had taken out a couple of times just flat out said that she didn't see us being in a relationship. Saved both of us a lot of time and energy and we stayed friends instead. Just say it.

-Curious Physics Minor
A: Dear Eris,

I agree with CPM 100%. Just tell him directly that you're not interested. I don't know of any guy, anywhere, that would rather a girl play games and avoid him and always be "busy." Guys appreciate directness. Yes, it's slightly more awkward at the time, but the awkwardness only lasts five minutes.

I was talking with a friend the other day about an experience where a girl thought he was pursuing her (he wasn't), and she wasn't interested. Her solution was to avoid him and pretend he didn't exist when they ran into each other. As a result of a couple of chance encounters, she became convinced he was stalking her. She sent him angry messages and blocked his attempts to explain via e-mail (or any other communication). What could have been resolved by a short conversation turned into a huge headache that lasted for months, and was incredibly awkward. To girls everywhere: please, please just be direct.

Why are the guys you're not interested in the ones that ask you out? Well, statistically speaking, you're not interested in more guys than you are interested in. I think that explains a lot of it.

Also, you may need to brush up on your flirting skills. Knowing how to show interest and get a guy's attention makes a big difference. There will still be plenty who just aren't interested, but at least you'll be able to send a message to the ones that are (or might be). I know a couple of girls who can get dates for almost any time they want, and usually with specific guys. It's all in the flirting. Even though most girls aren't as flirty as they are (and never will be), you might try stepping it up a little.

—Laser Jock
A: Dear Eris~

How do I let a guy know I'm not interested in dating him?

Stop leading him on.

I don't want to be mean about it or anything...

Then don't waste his time and money by being "nice." A lot of girls concede to a first date out of some bizarre sense of obligation. I've accepted that. However, if you accept a second date with someone you know you're not interested in, you're the villain. Sorry.

~Hobbes
A: Dear 'Rissy,

1. Carve the URL of this question into his car (you're gonna need a lot of keys); make out with him and hope he notices how not-in-earnest you are; hire a singing telegram to deliver the message; star in a feature film opposite Jude Law, and mail him an autographed copy that says "Jude Law is so much hotter than you!" in 2013.

2. You have a knack for liking closeted gays; someone put a Post-It note on your backpack that says "DWEEBS WANTED;" your Relief Society president has taken cookies to every electrical engineer in your ward, begging them to ask you out; the hot guys in every single one of your eight classes are engaged--every danged one.

Dark Chocolate
Question #47459 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My roommate and I tried google Chrome this week and both of us love it. The only question I have as I stop using my beloved firefox is chrome as secure as firefox? Firefox takes great pride it their browser being safer than others.

A: Dear Ethel,

Chrome is a very new browser and is still in beta. Even though it's based on older technologies, the fact that it has been largely untested by the general community means that security bugs will be found (especially in the javascript engine since that's completely new). Chrome may one day surpass Firefox's security, but for now Chrome just hasn't been around long enough for me to trust it entirely.

-Polly Esther
Question #47454 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I remember my Elementary School Librarian reading a book to us about a girl who has her head tied onto her neck with a ribbon. She gets married and her husband wants to know why she always has the tie on her neck. She tells him not to touch it, but he does and her head rolls down the hill. The pictures in the book were all darker I think, and the artwork was a lot like Tomy De Paulo (sorry if that's not spelled right), but I've looked through a lot of his books and can't find it.

I've asked dozens of librarians (at BYU, at Provo and Orem) and none of them know what book it is. I know it wasn't published after 1995, and I think probably sometime in the 70's or 80's. I would love if you could find what this book is, so I can read it again and prove to my friends and family that I'm not insane. Thanks for your help!

- does that make me crazy

A: Dear No,

I owned that very book. It's called Scary Stories to Read When It's Dark, by Arnold Lobel, et al. That story is called "The Green Ribbon".

-habiba
Question #47453 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why do each of you enjoy writing for the board so much?

- D'artagnan.

A: Dear I Know Your Regular Alias:

The cowriters are witty, intelligent, fun, and all-around awesome; I like learning new things; and I like expressing my thoughts in researched, paragraph-length form.

---Portia
A: Dear Ethel,

It fills a void where I would normally have meaningful relationships.

-Polly Esther
A: Dear Chris O'Donnell,

It combines my love of reading and writing about a large variety of subjects, my mild to moderate Internetting skills, expressing my typically tepid and middle-of-the-road opinions, and coming up with moderately clever-sounding things to say. Also, there's a larger and more stable audience than when I normally try to get my point across.

- Rating Pending (who also loves how often, hopefully inadvertently, people are using this little ending tag that he likes to do)
A: Dear D'artagnan. ~

Umm... good question. Probably because I love to write, I love an audience, sometimes I'm vain enough to think that people actually care about and want my advice, and I like the friends I've gained through the Board. Looking back, I'd say because I found my husband via the Board. But I can't claim I foresaw that.

~ Dragon Lady
A: Dear D'artagnan,

I've always loved researching and answering questions. (Opportunities to hobnob with my fabulous fellow Board writers are merely icing on the cake.)

- Katya
Question #47451 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I keep hearing about the blog http://seriouslysoblessed.blogspot.com/ and I just don't know why a.) so many people know about it and b.) why do so many people think it is so cool?

- that girl

A: Dear That Girl,

Like all things awesome and viral on the internet, the link first got spread by word of mouth, i.e., email. After just a few weeks, the Utah media picked up on it, which is key to its current success. (It got coverage from KSL, Deseret News, and The Salt Lake Tribune for starters.)

I once had a professor who would tell us that church doctrine should be held to the highest level of respect, but that Mormon culture deserved to be mocked as frequently as possible. The popularity of the blog is best summed up by a young Liz Lemon: "It's funny 'cause it's true!" The writer is so spot-on with her portrayal of the LDS newlywed and mommy-to-be blogs that if you've spent any time on the internet, you can see where she's getting her inspiration. Think about how many girls you know that typify TAMN to even the slightest degree. The number is astronomical, right?

It's not mean or ill-intentioned, either. The tone is very lighthearted and all in good fun. The usage of terms like "frills" and "Lake Pal" pokes fun at the Utah accent and not just Mormons. The humor of the posts has remained consistent over the past few months and I believe it will remain that way. Trust me, there's still plenty of material to draw from.

The greatest strength of the blog, in my opinion, is that the author has adapted her presentation to fit the growing audience. With the giveaways, store, and advertising, there is no way she's not bringing in a decent amount of cash to pay for all of those pedis. You really do have to admire someone who can skewer Twilight, materialism, and scrapbooking while being, like, so totally cute at the same time.

-Buttercup and TAMN BFF 4eva!!
A: Dear TAMN?

Buttercup's answer was totally sufficient, so I simply add my own two cents because I think "Seriously, so Blessed" is, seriously, SO brilliant. If you are not familiar with the the blog, I would suggest that you start by reading this post. (There are a lot of good "first" posts to read, this is just one of my favorites to give you an idea of what's going on.)

My favorite type of humor is satirical in nature (other things that I heart: Mark Twain! The Onion (careful, sometimes a bit raunchy)! Stephen Colbert's Colbert Report! The movies This Is Spinal Tap and Best in Show! The list goes on. Just not here.). Thinking about hilariously clever writing makes my brain leak endorphins like thinking about lemons makes your mouth water.

The satire and comedy of "Seriously, so Blessed" is that it so accurately pokes fun of not individuals, but of an entire group/attitude of people. The writer's name, TAMN, means Tiffany/Amber/Megan/Nicole. She is a composite of the shallow-but-think-they're-deep, harmless-but-happy, bleached blond Mormon princess that so many, many people who are familiar with Mormon culture (and specifically Utah-Mormon culture) can recognize instantly (there were at least six in my home ward growing up. They are so identical to each other it is hard to remember the exact number.). A few choice examples of the excruciatingly funny and accurate attitudes of TAMN:

- The Utah accent (and the constant misspellings)!, (Lake Powell = "pal," four wheeling= "four-willing," grateful= "greatful" etc.)

- The shallowness! (oh, so much shallowness) ("[In MIA Maids], we pasted pictures of ourselves over the ug chick's in the Strength of Youth pamphlet . . . who wants a frump staring at you when your trying to feel uplifted?")

- Assumptions about other people! ("My sweet darling old maid friend Yvette is down in the dumps because honestly, she has the saddest slash most boring life ever. She hasn't TOLD me that but I can sirmise it from her condition of singleness . . . )

- Clueless selfishness and trivializing of eternally important things! (Reminiscing about her wedding day "So, blahblahblah, ceremony, blahblahblah, time for PITCHERS! I came out for pics and there was TONS of brides out there, which not to be rude but I was TICKED cuz I’d reserved all the rooms under fake names so we could be the ONLY ones, but some brats snuck through, which was a huge trial for me so I prayed for patience.")

Why is it popular? Because it is 1) accurate and 2) hilarious. I cannot recommend this website enough. I can only aspire to be as clever and awesome as this author is. For rills, you guys.

- Rating Pending (whose other favorite quote is, "I need to focus on my Powell happiness. SUMMER and SUNSHINE and TANS and JJWT!! And my cute new swimsuit! It's a bikini, but a totally modest one, because I know who I am and how important that is!")
Question #47450 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm trying to remember of the name of a short video that I watched in Sunday school. Outside of members from my home ward, I've never met anyone who has seen it. It was a video made for youth by BYU. It starts out with "When the saints go marching in" music and it is about some kids who are tempted to drink beer, but ultimately do not (sorry to spoil the ending). We called the video "Eagle City", but I don't believe that is the actual title. I think the video is from the same era as "The Phone Call", but I'm not really sure. Any ideas?

- Guy with bad memory

A: Dear Guy with bad memory,

Ah, one of my personal favorites. It's called Measure of a Man and was filmed in 1962.

~Hermia
Question #47447 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I recently purchased a picture of the First Presidency at the Church Distribution Center. I think it's the "official" picture, if there is such a thing. It has President Monson sitting, President Eyring standing on the left, and President Uchtdorf standing on the right. My question is: Is Elder Eyring really that much taller than Elder Uchtdorf? Or is Elder Eyring standing on a box? (I saw President Uchtdorf in the Salt Lake Temple in July and he is a tall man, so is President Eyring even a taller man?)

How tall is each member of the First Presidency? I realize this isn't important to my eternal salvation, but it would be interesting to know.

from a reader who is short on answers and long on gaining information

A: Dear Ethel,

Thank you for asking this question; it helps me prove my continual rightness. I saw that picture and just knew someone would ask a question about it.

President Eyring is not standing on a box, nor is he that much taller than President Uchtdorf. President Uchtdorf is sitting on the table which can be seen behind him.

Through various means, I'm told that President Monson and President Uchtdorf are both about 6'1" and President Eyring is around 6'3". To paraphrase a quote President Monson is known to use, "Here and there, and now and then, God makes [three] giant[s] among men."

-Polly Esther
Question #47436 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I absolutely love the movie "The Princess Bride". Ever since I saw that movie for the first time, I have wanted my wedding dress to look just like Buttercup's dress (but white)-- I think it's gorgeous. Not her wedding dress, the blue dress she wears when she goes to talk to Humperdinck and he gets mad and says "I would not say such things if I were you!" You can see it here:
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e316/bfroggy326/bluedress.jpg
So I know a really nice lady who is a great seamstress and, if she had a pattern, she could make the dress and alter it just for me, and the only thing it would cost me is for the material. I looked around online and I see places where I could order Buttercup's wedding dress, or see close-up pictures of the details on her blue dress, but what I need is a pattern for the blue dress. Is there any way that yall can get that pattern for me?

- Soon-to-be-engaged

A: Dear Congrats,

OK, I thought this question would be utterly impossible. I was rather surprised to find at least half of an answer for you.

Here's the skinny: you're not the only one who loves this dress. After sifting through a couple of creepy cosplay sites (shudder), I was able to find this girl, who made the dress. Unfortunately, her process is explained only vaguely. She does, however, explain that she used a modified (as to how modified...well, you'll have to figure that one out) Lord of the Rings pattern from Simplicity. After looking at a few of those, I think the one closest to the final product is this pattern.

I imagine you might be able to get in touch with the girl that made this. Try contacting her through her blog that I linked to earlier. If you can't...well, you're going to have to figure out the same kind of modifications she did.

I wish you luck in this sorta cool/sorta weird endeavor!

-Claudio
Question #47428 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What would happen if you released liquid nitrogen in space? Would it be too warm and become a gas again? Or would it freeze and become solid? Or stay a liquid?
Also, what would happen to smoke if you released it into space?

- nitrogen in space

A: Dear Ethel,

Matter has four accepted states: gas, solid, liquid, and plasma (but we'll skip plasma because it doesn't matter for your question).

The state a particular chunk of matter is in at any given point of time is determined by pressure and temperature.

At sea level, since pressure is constant at one atmosphere, nitrogen is gaseous until around 77.2K at which point it condenses into a liquid; at 63.15K it freezes into a solid.

As pressure decreases, the temperature at which nitrogen condenses reduces, but the freezing point remains fairly stable. Near 0 atmospheres they hover around 63K going instantly from solid to gas and back (like dry ice).

Now the ambient temperature of outer space is approximately 3K (or -270 Celsius). And pressure beyond 100km high drops below 0.0000986923267 atmospheres. Now these are not very accurate numbers, but that notwithstanding, you can be fairly certain that liquid nitrogen released into outer space would become solid.

This is assuming you aren't near any celestial bodies. Obviously as you approach something that radiates heat or energy then temperature can increase. Once temperature passes around 63K you revert back to a gaseous state.

-Polly Esther
A: Dear Extra-Terrestrial N2,

Good question(s). And Polly Ester pretty much covered it all. I just thought I'd add a few thoughts. Space is really freakin' cold. There is no denying that 3K is downright chilly, the problem is that temperature is a property of matter, and space tends to be rather devoid of matter. So now what we need to talk about is methods of heat transfer. Heat can move by radiation (a stove top's thermal radiation can get high enough to emit energy in the visible spectrum), conduction (the hot stove top's high energy molecules conduct their energy to the less energetic molecules of your hand, leaving you in an excited state), convection (movement of heat by movement of heated material: you running screaming from the kitchen has effectively 'cooled' the room, as you took your excitement elsewhere). Conduction is what we are most familiar with when we think of heat exchange, but it is virtually nonexistent in space due to the overwhelming lack of things to conduct to. In space, radiation is the thermodynamic king.

Therefore what the 3K really means is that the ambient microwave radiation that fills space imparts enough energy to keep things at around 3 Kelvin. Given enough time anything will radiate its energy away and end up at 3K. Depending on a lot of factors this can take quite some time. It is what happens while we are waiting to cool off that all the fun stuff happens*. Radiation is a rather slow process whereas decompression is rather fast, rendering liquid nitrogen gaseous long before it radiates enough energy to freeze. But the very act of the liquid molecules becoming gaseous and flying off is a case of convection, and if conditions are right, you may be able to shed enough energy that way to freeze the nitrogen that is left. In the end, though, Polly Esther's conclusion stands, the conditions in deep space are such that nitrogen freezes solid. Even if it was gaseous immediately after being jettisoned, the vapor will cool down and be molecularly solid, if rather diffuse.

As for smoke, it is merely particles suspended in air, (although in low gravity they tend to be bigger than here on Earth), it would likely get scattered as the air around it was diffused, and take its place among the rest of the dust dancing among the stars.

Is not the space between heaven and earth like a bellows?
It is empty without being exhausted:
The more it works the more comes out.
Much speech leads inevitably to silence.
Better to hold fast to the void.(V,3-7)


-Tao

*Sorry movie fans, opening your helmet would not flash freeze you into an astronautsicle.
Question #47414 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do they decide how many of each size Band-Aid to put in each box? Its seems pretty random.

- bandaged bandit.

A: Dear bb,

Based on the Band-Aid product information on drugstore.com, it looks like they put in more of the sizes and styles they think you'll need more often and fewer of the sizes that are more unusual. E.g., the box of Assorted Sheer Adhesive Bandages contains 34 of the common 5/8" x 2 1/4" size, but only 2 of the large 2 1/4" x 3" size. Also, the contents of each type of box are standardized, so there shouldn't be any variation from box to box.

- Katya
Question #47408 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a question that is probably stupid and noob-like, and I hope it doesn't qualify as a customer service or computer support question . . .

I recently (okay, 5 months ago) moved into an apartment and due to various miscommunications, problems and lack of time, haven't been able to get internet installed. I recently discovered that my cable line has been cut, and the cable outlet is connected to a wireless antenna (this one: http://www.pacwireless.com/products/vagi_series.shtml) It's been like that since I moved in, but I hadn't ever bothered to look at it closely until now.

Comcast doesn't seem to be able to give me internet through this antenna, because they want to just install a new cable outlet and/or cable line, and that's leading to other problems.

Anyway, the question is, how can I get internet through this thing? Can Comcast do it? Is there a specific company that can do it for me? Should I just hook my computer into the cable outlet and see if it magically brings me internet?

- Redoubt

A: Dear Redoubt,

I'm not sure if you can get internet through yout wireless cable antennae. This e-book suggests that you can receive wireless internet through the Yagi-type antenna that you have. However, I don't know if Comcast can supply you with wireless internet through the antenna, and this definition of Yagi antennas says that they can only broadcast one-way (meaning that the internet wouldn't work). You can go ahead and hook your computer into the cable outlet to see what happens, at the worst nothing will happen. It looks like Comcast will have to install a new cable (unless a reader can help clarify things). Sorry!

-Whistler
A: Dear Redoubt,

The type of antenna you linked to is only used on the 2.4 GHz spectrum, i.e. for wi-fi. That antenna would be useful only for connecting to a wireless network somewhere. It's possible that there are commercial wireless networks here in Provo, though I haven't heard of any. Another guess is that someone was using it to steal internet from an unsecured wireless network in the area; such an antenna would increase your range significantly. A slight correction to Whistler's answer: a Yagi antenna will both transmit and receive, but is very directional—it only picks up wireless signals that are directly in its line of sight, and not off to the sides or behind it. (That's what the definition means when it says it "only radiates in one direction.")

Bottom line: if you want internet, you're going to have to go through Comcast or a similar internet service provider. You will probably want to shop around and find an ISP that offers service and a price that best suits you; the Yellow Pages would be an excellent place to start. And whoever you choose will most likely want to hook up their service in place of the current setup, unless you do find a wireless ISP that meets your needs.

Good luck!

—Laser Jock
Question #47304 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was in the marriage prep class with Brother Barlow and he told us a story/quote about how a cheetah attacks its prey and most often fails, but continually attacks each prey as if it will be successful. The success rate was like, 9 out of 10. Then he compared that to how people should attack dating. I don't believe I have this information anymore and I've been trying to find this quote/story online. I tried lds.org and looked in the archives here even to see if someone else has asked before. Can you help me find the source of this story?

- Emetelai

A: Dear Emetelai,

Hmmmm. I was unable to find anything like what you are referring to, but that doesn't really surprise me that much. It doesn't seem to be part of any published talk, or like a common fact known by cheetah enthusiasts. In fact, according to Cheetah Outreach, only 50% of cheetah attacks result in bringing down prey and 50% of those are stolen by other predators. However, we can extend Brother Barlow's analogy and safely say that this too is similar to dating.

My guess is that this example was just something that Brother Barlow heard once from somewhere and he made the connection to dating and incorporated it into his lectures.

This might be a superfluous addition on my part, but I became curious to find if there was truth in any other commonly shared, mildly inspiring, animal related stories. You'll be happy to know that there is indeed some truth in some of them.

- Rating Pending (who "sure made a difference to THAT one!")
Question #47286 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a big personal project on my mind, and as part of it, I would like to simulate the solar and lunar cycles. But, I am having trouble finding data.

Specifically I would like to find a graph that shows light intensity and color of sunlight throughout a day, assuming no cloud cover and a latitude near the equator. It doesn't have to be real numbers for intensity, just percentages of peak, but I would like to know the actual color temperatures (in Kelvin) as the day goes on. Again, a graph would be great, or an equation to calculate the intensity and color at different times of the day would be even better.

Also, I want to find an equation, or at least enough data to derive an equation, to describe the moons cycles of rises, sets, and phases.

Any ideas? Were can I find equations/data such as this?

Thanks!

- Fredjikrang

A: Dear Fred,

This is an article that describes the light intensity through the day in a rainforest near Santarem, Brazil (in case the link doesn't work for you, the article is entitled "Light Intensity Measurments in Rain Forest Near Santarem, Brazil" by P.S. Ashton in Journal of Ecology, v. 46, no. 1).

As for the rest of it...well, frankly, I'm no expert on these kinds of things. As such, the best I can do is link you to a number of things that might help you out, but you'll have to glean them yourself.

List of common color temperatures

Color temperature of light sources (with a decent hour-to-hour breakdown)

Calculating correlated color temperature

Calculating various daylight spectra

Determining new moon formula


Calculating full moon cycle

I hope there's some helpful stuff in there. Good luck!

-Claudio
Question #47256 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
I know that there are more important things than just rankings, but BYU went from being ranked 69 to 79 to 113 by the US News and World Report. Why the dramatic drop in rankings? In all seriousness, what happened?

- the confused BYU student

A: Dear Confused,

I spoke with Joe Hadfield with University Communications, who was very helpful in pointing me in the right direction. As I'm sure you know, there are a myriad of subcategories that go along with the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Apparently, BYU's rankings in these subcategories have changed very little over the years, indicating that there really has not been a great deal of change. Ultimately, it is important to remember that the U.S. News and World Report uses a rather complicated system in assigning rankings (to read more about it, click here), and that BYU's rankings can also be greatly influenced by how similar universities are scoring.

So, in short, you're right. Rankings don't mean everything. If you look at the more specific criteria rankings, you'll see that BYU is by no means taking a steep dive.

~Hermia
Question #47183 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a girl friend (note the space) who I haven't known for very long. She seems to be on the border of friend and girlfriend. As a guy who seems to get stuck in the friend zone, I am moderately disgruntled because I'd prefer her to be a girlfriend in addition to a friend. What are some workable methods of turning a girl friend into a girlfriend?

Also:

Dear Uffish,

What are some methods that would work on you? If it helps, pretend I'm not me.

- MustacheBoy, who calls off his dating hiatus for a certain special someone. Or two someones. Whatever.

A: Dear Indecisive:

Your question had the incomparable distinction of being the inspiration for the sixth post in our thrilling "I Bet Our Readers' Lives Are Actually This Exciting. No, Really" series! That's right, you, MustacheBoy, have won the honor of being the questioner to elicit the continuation of Board Question #42038, Board Question #42069, Board Question #43668 . . .

"the topic or post you requested does not exist" (grumble, grumble)1 . . .

and Board Question #44235.

Of course, in the time it took for me to dig through the cobwebby corners of the Internet to refresh my memory and write this sucker up, Uffish has probably gone through one, if not two, other boyfriends. Sorry 'bout that.
___________________

James was somewhat in awe of his ex-girlfriend. She was so put together, where he was so disheveled. It seemed a hair never fell out of place of her sleek blonde ponytail, and that a silly or unexpected word never came out of her mouth. She was all business, and if she had stalked him down this way, there must be a reason.

Over escargot, Saffronie leaned in, lowering her voice.

"I think you need to stay away from that brunette chick."

"Why are we talking about her? She never even returns my calls. Moot point."

Their margaritas arrived. Fronie's little cocktail umbrellas always stayed perfectly shaped.

"No, it's not. I think she knows." Her voice lowered to a whisper.

"What do you mean, she knows?"

"She knows!"

"Yeah, right. That was so long ago. And in California, remember?"

"I think she's out to get you, and you'd better watch your back."

"Can we not talk about Amelia? I want to talk about . . . us." He might need a few more stiff drinks if she kept pestering him like this.

"Yeah?"

"Well, you just flew across the country, swooping into my life, wanting to pick up where we left off, like nothing ever happened. What about me being 'too nice of a guy'? What about my cruddy job?"

"It's all in the past." She gave him a meaningful glance. "I've had enough of the bad boys. And--puh-lease--money is not an object."

This was true. She had enough of that. Still, James wasn't sure how ready he was to be the man on the rebound: but he was never one to like being alone.

"Well in that case, here's to us!"

* * *

The chink of glasses meeting was lost over the traffic of the street below. Amelia was disgruntled to see her phone ringing, and Dr. A. showing up on the caller ID.

"What?" she said, shortly.

"Vvhy aren't you in Cahliforniah? Do you want zee job to become you, instead?"

"I have my reasons! Are you stalking me or something? Believe me, I know what I'm doing."

"We will see about that. Your phone has a GPS device--ah hope dat answers your question."

She looked in horror at the device that betrayed her. It felt good to let the 500-dollar gizmo sail out of her car window, plummeting to the river below.

* * *

James, being a man of principle, deep down, thought he should call Amelia, to make sure she knew where they stood. He didn't know what to make of the artificially cheery voice telling him the number had been disconnected.
___________________

1My mediocre archiving skills have come back to bite me! Argh. Surely one of you faithful readers has copied and pasted the entire chronicle, staged it with your friends, and gotten 500,000 hits off it on YouTube. It's been four months, after all! So, yes, if you had the prescience to copy down installment number four, a victim of the sad (but perhaps necessary) pogrom over at the Message Board, please, email me. portia, byu.edu, you do the rest.

---Portia
A: Dear,

A good method for turning one of my boy friends into a boyfriend would be for me to already be interested in him, and have him start expressing interest. Assuming she hasn't already decided about you, I'd turn up the thoughtfulness and attentiveness for a week or two, then ask her out, and go from there.

Or, to turn your own advice back on you, you could give her a big hug, and then "accidentally" kiss her. Not so plausible now that you have to do it, is it?

-Uffish Thought
A: Dear 'Stacheo,

Not only is it a really good really bad joke, it may very well help you out. Remove the space. If you have deigned to continue reading this now after rolling your eyes, thanks for hearing me out. Oftentimes the most telling feature of the relationship of significant others when compared to good friends is the amount of space between the participants. Not just physical space, but space between communications (i.e., more of the "just dropped by" occasions), closer goals, interests, and philosophies. Knowing that you are willing to go out of your way to visit or assist can mean a lot in a budding relationship (note: actions convey this notion, not words).

As usual, Uffish has the core of it though: the interest/attraction has to be there. Without it most attempts to elevate a relationship just come across as sad when they avoid being creepy. I am currently of the opinion that this initial instigating interest cannot be invoked, it must be there at some level naturally, nothing you can do will force its creation.

The female always gets the better of the male by stillness.(LXI,4)

-Tao

PS Uffish, what is so implausible about the big hug and "accidental" kiss idea? I am not sure the "accidental" façade would hold for long, but perhaps that is just me. When I kiss a girl, she stays kissed.
Question #47091 posted on 09/18/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So, I just got back from the PCC on Oahu. Good times, but I have a question. Why is it that they serve coffee at the PCC? I thought it was owned by the church. If I drink coffee at the PCC can I keep my TR ?

Here is the strangest part - I can order coffee at the PCC, but they still serve caffeine free Coke products.


- Polynesian Coffee Confused

A: Dear PCC,

I'm sorry for the delay. I was waiting to hear back from the PCC. I think it was worth the wait:
One of the primary purposes of the Polynesian Cultural Center is to build friendships with people from countries all over the world. In so many ways, we are successful in doing so. Unfortunately, we have learned that many people were being offended by their experience of attending the PCC, which is open to the general public and caters to the general public, paying a good sum of money to enter the PCC, and then learning after they arrived that there was no accommodation at all for those who have come from other faiths and who hold different beliefs.

Few visitors know beforehand that the PCC is owned and operated by the Church. Nearly everyone appreciates the Church's efforts to help young people from Polynesia and from many other countries get an education normally would not have such an opportunity. They do not, however, appreciate feeling like we are "forcing" our beliefs upon them against their will.

They have purchased tickets and in so doing strongly feel that some reasonable accommodation for their beliefs is appropriate and proper. In fact, it is strongly expected. A number of guests have felt so strongly about this issue in the past that they have become boisterous, loud, even angry, when they learned they couldn't even get a cup of coffee. Some have made disturbances in front of other guests expressing their "disgust" with the Mormon Church for forcing its beliefs on others, especially after they have paid to come to the PCC. Instead of making friends for the Church, we found we were actually alienating many people.

This problem had become so significant that we addressed the issue with the First Presidency. After careful and prayerful consideration, they approved a reasonable accommodation to those of other faiths and other beliefs. This reasonable accommodation includes coffee, a soft drink with caffeine, and designated smoking areas.

There is at the same time clear direction to go no further than this in accommodating those whose desires or requests conflict with Church teachings.

Again, thank you very much for your message. I hope this response has helped in creating some understanding.
There you have it. Don't be silly. Just because it's there doesn't mean it's okay for you to drink.


-habiba