Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus
Question #47690 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I gotta say, I was pretty disappointed with Portia's and Linoleum Blownapart's responses on the Palin question (Board Question #47579). Governor Palin certainly isn't perfect, but let's be accurate in our statements and accusations. Hobbes already corrected Linoleum, so I'll focus only on Portia's reply.

ABORTION
First off, the LDS church doesn't condone abortion or say that it is abortion is an approved practice in cases of rape. Official policies are simply that in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger, the decision of whether an abortion should take place should be made after seeking the Lord's will through prayer. The church doesn't say it is ok. It simply says that in those situations, the member won't be penalized or sanctioned for having an abortion if after prayer they believe it to be the right thing. I believe that the difference between approving of a practice and choosing not to sanction someone in certain circumstances is a very significant distinction.

Specifically regarding Governor Palin, so what if her personal beliefs are more stringent than that? The question is whether she would work to pass legislation that would outlaw all abortions. What does her record have to say about that? Check out this Newsweek article that is critical of her for not pushing more pro life policies and bills based on the beliefs she espouses. The abortion legal issues she was most outraged over? The overturning of a state law that required girls under the age of 16 (read: CHILDREN) to get their parents consent to have an abortion. Sorry, but I will side with Gov. Palin on this issue as I can't agree that such young children who can't are deemed too immature to even drive a car should be able to legally hide and conceal from their parents their making of major medical decisions and their undergoing of elective medical procedures.

Yeah, Gov. Palin has some pretty tight views on abortion, but she isn't looking to make you live by them.

RAPE KITS
Your claims are false and way off base. Can you show any proof that she 1) had knowledge of the policy, 2) approved the policy, 3) that anyone was actually charged by the police department for rape kits? I'll take a stab that you can't because every article I could find failed to show any proof. Their proof amounted to the police chief whining about a new law and their opinion that the mayor should know and approve every policy and opinion of the police chief.

I'll go one further than showing that no proof has yet surfaced and direct you to this article that goes through and refutes every argument about the rape kit issue that has been brought up.

WAR & THE GEORGIA/RUSSIA CONFLICT
Item 1: Georgia is slated to be admitted to NATO (see the NATO page on Georgia relations and scroll down to "Intensified Dialogue" to read about Georgia's impending membership).

Item 2: According to the North Atlantic Treaty, member countries are obligated to view an attack against any one member country as an attack against all member countries. Now, the treaty was written in 1949 and does stipulate that the attack must take place in North American or Europe. At that time, no countries that didn't fit that description were members. I don't think it is at all a reach to believe that as more countries outside of those geographical areas are admitted as members of the Alliance, that the restriction of where the attack takes place will be removed/ammended or will simply be ignored in current policy and actions. Ater all, Georgia's not even a member yet and after the previous aggression by Russia NATO is already supporting Georgia in "assessing the damage to civil infrastructure and the state of the ministry of defence and armed forces; supporting the restablishment of the air traffic system; and advising on cyber defence issues" (from previous link).

Item 3: As a member of NATO, the USA would (most likely, see previous item) be obligated to consider an attack against a NATO member Georgia and thus be required to respond to "assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith . . . such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain . . . security."

So, Gov. Palin was right on the money with what the USA would be required to do. Either we assist in beating back Russia or we violate our treaty agreement.* Would you rather we break our word? I would have thought that based on our current favor in the eyes of the rest of the world, the USA should be doing what it can to reinforce our willingness to live up to our word and agreements with foreign nations.** Would fighting Russia be a great, fun time for all and the best thing for our own personal interests? Probably not, but we should abide by our word.

ECONOMY
I'm no economist so I'll forgo saying much here except that I'm not sure that giving the regulatory system a "complete overhaul" and "getting the government out of the way" are mutually exclusive. She said overhaul the system, not necessarily expand.

CONCLUSION
I've got no qualms with criticizing and critiquing those running for public office. Taking a good hard look at them is essential. The more scrutiny the better. I just like to see it based on fact and voting records, not inflammatory speech, empty rhetoric, rumored stories, idle speculation, deceit, and comedy television.

- Rafe, who is pretty disgusted by the offerings from both sides of the aisle in this election

*It should be noted that NATO does not require any individual country to respond to an attack through military means. This means that the USA doesn't necessarily have to go to bat against Russia. But as we do have the best, most well equipped, most well funded, and largest army (well, China's is bigger, but do you really see them stepping up to the plate against Russia?), which country do you think will end up shouldering the majority of filling the NATO troop requirements?

*I'll note here that I am generally opposed to USA participation in NATO and UN type organizations. I much more agree with George Washington's policy articulated in his 1796 farewell address: "'Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world." Emphasis mine.

A: Dear rafe,

The mitigation:
Woah there sparky. Portia said she didn't agree with Palin's stances and used the phrase "I do not find..." which means it's her opinion, which she's perfectly entitled to.

The inflammation:
If you're suggesting that we'll ever go to war with Russia over little old Georgia, you're delusional. But I forget myself. Sarah Palin knows everything about Russia. After all, you can see it from an island in Alaska, the state she's the executive of.

Seriously though, she's not right on the money about what the U.S. would be 'required' to do. To attach obligation jumps huge chunks of logical steps. Also, the actual U.S. getting personally involved and using NATO forces (though they may be mostly U.S. soldiers) are two entirely different things.

And dear dear rafe, take it from someone who spends a considerable amount of time studying various aspects of foreign policy: a statement made in a speech 212 years ago before free trade agreements, global communication, global economy, military technology beyond muskets and cannons, and international politics is not any sort of foundation for modern foreign policy. We can't hide between two oceans anymore.

May you have a blessed day, and may your blood pressure not explode before Election Day.

-habiba (who can't wait for elections to be over so we can move on with life already)
Question #47677 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In response to post Board Question #47495, there was a change in plans. You should have received an email telling you to go to the Marriot Center Ticket Office with your student ID card Monday through Friday, 9-4 and you pick it up there.

- fjord girl

Question #47673 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In response to Board Question #47560, this is a link to an article that helped me a lot. Plus it's kind of interesting. http://www.slatetv.com/id/2193208/

- jtth

Question #47614 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do I make my shoes not so smelly?

The Whole Nother

A: Dear Bill Door,

Put a dryer sheet in them (while you are wearing them). No, really. Of course, this only works for close-toed shoes. Do it with sandals and you'll just look tacky.

-Azriel
Question #47613 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do I send mail overseas, specifically to France, Austria, Indonesia and Brazil? Do I just use a lot of regular stamps or is there a special kind of stamp I have to use?

Thanks!

The Whole Nother

A: Dear Druella,

Go to the post office. Tell them you need some airmail stamps, then tell them where you are sending your letters to. They will accommodate your needs.

-Azriel
Question #47612 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I am a British student here at BYU and met and started dating the most amazing man during right at the beginning of the four months I was at home in the Summer (he's also a Brit, studying in England). We are very serious about each other and have decided to put in all the effort we can to make our relationship work even though we are over 4,000 miles away, with the goal of one day being a lot closer! I know this will all work out somehow, but I am considering different options at the moment- is it best to remain here studying for another 2 and a half years, while he's studying there? Or to look for similar courses in the UK? Or drop out of uni together? Is it wrong not to complete my education and get married instead?

- Weighing up the options!

A: Dear Brit:

I believe that as much as possible, it's of the utmost importance these days for people to finish their degrees. I can understand wanting to return to the UK to be with your man, but I am sure there is a school you could transfer to. My tuppence.

---Portia
A: Dear Weighing~

Obviously you are the only person who can answer this question with any hope at accuracy.

I would also strongly encourage you to finish your degree, especially if you can find a way to do so while being in the same locale as this fellow.

I've heard tales of women who drop their education to get married, and it seems like they usually regret it, because the opportunity to really focus on education again will not come for many years. That's only anecdotal evidence, though, and you can take it for what it's worth.

Long-distance relationships are very emotionally draining. I know that from way more than just anecdotal evidence.

Good luck!

~Grandpa Hobbes
Question #47609 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My mother in law is still convinced that Obama is Muslim and that she would never vote for a "terrorist for President." I tried politely for half an hour to explain just how wrong this idea is in every way, shape, and form, but she just could not let it go and I didn't want to push it any further because I don't want bad in-law relations. But I did try my best to explain what a "smear campaign" is and why she shouldn't necessarily believe everything she gets in an email.

But, this did get me wondering. Have there been other smears in this campaign that I should be aware of for my own sake so I am not misinformed? For instance, I don't really like McCain a whole lot but maybe I have some false ideas about him that really aren't true, just like my mother-in-law can't let go of the false idea of Obama being a Muslim Terrorist, and this could be clouding my judgment. It's so hard to tell what is true and not true with today's media, you know? So if you know of any other smears I should be aware concerning either ticket, I would appreciate the help in making a more clear decision!

- Aardvark

A: Dear Ethel,

Have you looked through Snopes? Every untrue e-mail you could ever hope to see and more all in one spot! It may also help with your mother-in-law.

-Polly Esther
A: Dear Aardvark-

You have the lucky opportunity to participate in the pilot program of my new initiative! I call it: Punches for Ignorance. With your help, it'll be a big hit!

Pun!

-Foreman

PS- Before anyone gets upset, I don't actually advocate punching one's mother-in-law. In this specific instance, I would instead suggest noogies. Atomic Noogies.
A: Dear hope you love your spouse!:

Here is a good summary of Obama's religious beliefs, from Newsweek, a reliable source (of course, maybe your mother-in-law thinks livejournal pages are reliable sources . . . sigh):
Born to a Christian-turned-secular mother and a Muslim-turned-atheist African father, Obama grew up living all across the world with plenty of spiritual influences, but without any particular religion. He is now a Christian, having been baptized in the early 1990s at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. But rumors about Obama's religion persist. In the new NEWSWEEK Poll, 12 percent of voters incorrectly believe he's Muslim; more than a quarter believe he was raised in a Muslim home.

This article
discusses a smear campaign against McCain back in January. From what I've read, these were more common in his 2000 run.

This opinion piece discusses two statements of Obama's that have been twisted: the sex ed issue and the "lipstick on a pig" comment. In the former case, Obama's stance was more along the lines of a "don't talk to strangers" lesson, and the latter was referring to what he views as ineffectual Republican policy, not Palin or anyone else in particular.

As far as I can tell, Obama has on the whole (not perfectly, I'm sure, but still) stuck to his mantra of positive campaigning. If you hear a specific rumor, you can always check out Snopes, as previously suggested. I think one of the best resources for impartial facts about candidates is ontheissues.org.

I think your mother-in-law's views that Muslim=terrorist is more disturbing than anything else, but what can one do . . . sign her up for Islam and the Gospel, perhaps? Ha.

---Portia
Question #47607 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

are any of you in the habit of listening to music before you go to sleep? if so, what are some of your favorite nighttime songs or artists?

- josh groban fanatic

A: Dear Grobanator,

I just doze off now, but in my younger years I used to fall asleep to Ace of Base's album "The Sign" every night. Yes I did.

-habiba
A: Dear Doppelpunkt

Growing up, always. I had cassette tapes like Church Mice and My Turn on Earth and Phantom of the Opera that I would listen to on a nightly basis, sometimes throwing in some Pocahontas or some other soundtrack, eventually making it to those nature+harp/piano tapes (I didn't get a CD player until 9th grade, hence cassette tapes).

Now it depends on how tired I am when I'm going to sleep, if I'm bored with the music in my CD player or not, and how lazy I am (sometimes I am just way too lazy to turn on the stereo). If I do listen to something whilst falling asleep, I tend to favor instrumental soundtracks (such as Finding Neverland, maybe even some Pirates) or the Lifescapes CDs that you can find at Target (love me some nature).

But, every once in a while, I still turn to the classics (I now have My Turn on Earth and the Phantom of the Opera -original London cast- on CD! Alas, no Church Mice, though).

-Azriel
A: Dear teenage girl,

I have successfully used the following as lullabies:
Vaughan Williams- The Lark Ascending, Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Chopin- Nocturnes
Barber- Adagio for Strings
Tchaikovsky- String Serenade
Messiaen- Quartet for the End of Time
Beethoven- Symphonies 6 and 8
Bach- Air on the G string, many of his chorales
Sibelius- Violin Concerto

You get the point. And I may even listen to Josh Groban too, sometimes.

--Gray Ghost
A: Dear jgf:

No, I have never had this habit. I prefer silence.

---Portia
A: Dear Fan of the funky lookin' kid with the amazing voice,

As seems to be the trend, I usually only listen to music that either has no words or is in a language that I don't readily understand. Josh Groban, Era, and E Nomine have all been my serenades at one point or another. I also can usually get away with songs that I have heard very many times, so Disney and some Showtunes also have made the list.

Music and food
Will induce the wayfarer to stop.(XXXV,5-6)


-Tao
Question #47606 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do each of you (personally) define a "best friend"? How do you and your best friend (or best friends) act to each other, what do you guys do, when do you talk to them, how often, is it a "we are best friends" relationship or "we're good friends who hang out with each other just slightly more than anyone else" or what? Basically, what exactly is a "best friend" to YOU??

- Miss Missy

A: Dear Miss Missy~

You asked, so I'll answer: I think the term "best friend" is stupid and meaningless. I don't rank my friends.

~Hobbes
A: Dear Miss Missy,

I mostly agree with Hobbes. I think that many people have this weird, "you win out of all of my friends" sort of idea that comes along with the "best friend" title. I do not have one "best friend," nor do I consider one friend to be of higher "rank" than another ("second-best friend," "third-best friend," etc.). However, I do recognize that I am closer to some friends than others, and use the phrase "one of my best friends" to describe several such people. In my little circle of acquaintances, there are a few people to whom I feel closest and who know me best. Those in this non-exclusive group are my "best friends." These are the people with whom I socialize regularly, communicate constantly, and in whose presence I am most comfortable. It's a rather informal thing, though, and I don't make a big deal out of it.

~Hermia
A: Dear Missy,

While I had a tighter group of many best friends in high school, we grew apart after graduation. I know, shocker, right? The reality is that we're still close, but things change. I was fortunate to have my very closest friend as my roommate for many semesters and I would definitely say that she's my "best friend."

We can talk for hours at a time, both in person and on the phone. Schedules rarely permit this, but it's great when we get to talk in-depth. We talk about boys and shop and go to movies and get ice cream. That's pretty much the stereotypical girl friendship, but I wouldn't have it any other way. We can be goofy or serious around each other, but most importantly, we act like our true selves, without pretense or hype. There are times when we don't agree, but issues get worked out one way or another. Our friendship is based on understanding, love, and trust. It's not a competition in the slightest, it's more that we know each other so well we're practically sisters. To me, that's a best friend.

-Buttercup
A: Dear Miss ~

The title "best friend" has been bestowed on different people throughout time. The list is small.

As a small child, it was Nymph. She was the cousin that I spent all of my time with. Our paths separated, however, as we started school and found different groups of friends.

Around 5th grade, The Goblin King spent most every day at my house, against both of our wills. But good sense won out and we started doing everything together. She was the one I confided in, and who knew everything about me. I still call her my best friend, even though I hardly ever get to see her anymore.

All through high school and even now I consider Mom a best friend. She has been there with me through the thick of everything. She's willing to talk to me about anything and everything. Often I get chastised by roommates for treating Mom as a friend rather than as a mother.

In college I roomed with Sparrow in five different places and spent a semester in China with her. We grew to know each other very, very well. For a long time after we both moved to Utah, she was the only person in close proximity that I really felt a bond with. I had lots of other friends, but none that I trusted as much as I did her.

Desdemona has been my best friend for the last several years. She and I roomed together for over 4 years. We struggled through crazy roommates together; we laughed at the same inside jokes together. People wouldn't let us be on the same team in Catch Phrase because we could basically read each others' minds. (Seriously, who hears, "There is a country" and on that alone can properly guess "French Fries"?) She was there during one of the hardest times of my life, and still loved me, even when I didn't feel very lovable. We giggle to keep each other from crying. She knows secrets of mine that hardly anyone else knows. In return, she confides her secrets in me as well. She respects my standards, even when they differ from hers, and she makes recommendations to me based on what she knows I'll like. Basically, though we're quite different people, we're quite comfortable with each other and trust each other.

Yellow is my newest best friend (and my first ever boy best friend). He and I are practically the same person in different bodies. We definitely have differences (for example, I can't play the piano nearly as amazingly, and he doesn't like to cook like I do), but for the most part, we are the same. We have the same views on most things. We have the same humor. We both delight in making others roll their eyes. He loves to eat; I love to cook. He has the amazing ability to make it all better when I'm feeling down. He loves me despite my emotional tendencies. He knows just how to make me laugh. We can talk about everything... even if it's an awkward topic. He accepts everything about me and just loves me for who I am.

So... it looks like my main qualifications in a best friend is someone that will love me for me, someone who will trust me and someone that I can trust, someone I can easily talk to, and someone who can make me laugh. I'm sure in many other peoples' lives, that can be said about any number of their friends. And although I have many close friends that I love dearly, there is typically only one (or at very lucky times of my life, two (not counting Mom who is a default for eternity)) person who truly fits the bill of "best friend".

No, I don't rank my friends, but I find no problem in admitting that I typically have one friend that is there for me all of the time, that knows more about me, and that cares more about me than any of my other friends. It's not a ranking... it's just fact.

~ Dragon Lady
Question #47605 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the Amanda Knight Building used for? I've heard a rock band practicing in there a couple times, and there's a sign out back that says "Spanish Department Parking Only." I really want to know what goes on inside.

Thanks!

- Pillowy

A: Dear Drapes,

From the College of Fine Arts and Communication's website, "The Graphic Design, Illustration, and Photography Programs are centered in the Amanda Knight Hall." I have also had various teachers with offices in there, specifically Creative Writing professors.

-Azriel
Question #47604 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I desperately need to prank a co-worker by putting his name-tag in a Wilkinson Center vending machine. The name-tag would need to be in place on Saturday the 27th at 7 am. How can I carry-out this awesome prank without ending up in the police beat?

- Sincerely,
Citizen Pam

A: Dear Citizen,

I'd suggest buddying up to someone in BYU Vending really fast. I bet you could find a willing soul to put your coworker's nametag in a vending machine.

Other than that...well, the only other way to be able to get something into the machine would also allow you to get things out. Vending machines are pretty carefully designed to keep you out. If you found some way to non-destructively break in, you could get the name tag in there, but that would definitely be illegal. I'd recommend finding an accomplice with a key.

—Laser Jock
A: Dear Citizen Pam,

In my time with vending, I did in fact learn how to break into a certain kind of machine without keys, and what you're saying is not only possible, but rather easy.

Sadly, I am honor-bound not to reveal this information, and have no intention of doing so.

-The Vending Machine Bandit
Question #47602 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board (to whom I am not worthy to send this question),

My favorite sandwich at Subway has to be the Italian BMT. I worked at Subway for a year or two, and I heard a rumor regarding what the initials stand for. I won't reveal it here, to give y'all a bit of a challenge, but I'd be interested in knowing for sure what the BMT stands for!

- Hungry Kitty

A: Dear Hungry,

According to Subway.com, it stands for "Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest." It was a promotion based on the Brooklyn Manhattan Transit system (note the acronyms...) back in the day, and it's stuck.

-Yellow (who answered this question within 30 minutes of its submittal)
A: Dear Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow (etc. ). . .

I have had three of these sandwiches this week. Really.

That is all.

- Furious George.
Question #47601 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is there a crutch on top of the Tree of Wisdom?

xkcd 350

A: Dear xkcd,

It is a little known fact, but late at night the seemingly inanimate Tree of Wisdom awakens from its slumber and waits for unsuspecting prey to pass under its branches. Being somewhat sluggish, the Tree only devours the weakened prey that trails the rest of the herd. And of course, it only eats the good stuff, which means that the occasional crutch ends up stuck in its teeth.

--Gray Ghost
Question #47599 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear Knowers of things that need knowing,

Should I die and wish to appear to someone in a vision...

What strings would I have to pull in Heaven?

- Not planning on dying, but making sure just in case...

A: Dear Not Planning~

Unfortunately, the only canonical precedents we have for that are in cases of divine necessity.

That said, there are always strings. If you're the cunning devil I suspect you are, you'll be able to locate them once you're dead.

~Hobbes
Question #47598 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Board Question #47451 got me thinking. Do you think that the Mormon-made movies and blogs, etc. that poke fun at Mormon culture are damaging to the reputation of the church? I know they're all in good fun, and they are kind of funny, from a member's point of view. But from an non-member's point of view, they make all members of our church look like complete idiots. Do you think that as a church, we're shooting ourselves in the foot, because of how we depict ourselves in movies and on the internet?

And speaking of Mormon media, Rating Pending was out of line in Board Question #47451. Acknowledging stereotypes is one thing, but unashamedly perpetuating them is not cool. The shallowness of TAMN is not an accurate representation of the typical young Utah-Mormon mom. Having lived among these "shallow" Utah-Mormons, I've found that most of the people here, especially the women, are just as intelligent, unselfish, and sincere as Mormons from other places. Maybe if you took some time to actually get to know these "silly" Utah-Mormons and look past their quirky culture and accent, you'd find some pretty amazing people. Stop being so superficial. Mormons who sneer at and encourage stereotypes about Utah-Mormons have no reason to think they're any better. Shame on you, Rating Pending.

[/rant]

- Someone who doesn't normally get this fired up, but also isn't normally disappointed in the Board.

A: Dear Someone,

If I were not a member of the Church, I think I would respect a religion that produces members who are capable of laughing at their cultural (non-doctrinal) quirks. Personally, I feel that members of the Church would harm its reputation if they were unable to laugh at themselves and separate doctrine from cultural elements. I also believe that we fall into a dangerous trap when we refuse to take a good, hard look at ourselves and our behavior simply because we are behaving as other members of the Church do. For this reason, I believe that tasteful self-satire can help members of the Church by giving us the opportunity to take a look at ourselves and consider whether or not our cultural behavior is really in keeping with the doctrine in which we profess to believe.

Since you brought up TAMN's blog, I will use it as an example. I have been reading it for the past month, and enjoy it immensely. Now, I completely agree with you that we need to be careful about not dismissing or mocking people who appear to be "shallow." I was having a conversation about this with my roommate just last night. We decided it seems that if someone seems to be just another part of the mass Utah-Mormon stereotype, we can unfortunately neglect to realize that their beliefs do indeed run deeper than green-Jello casserole. We then miss out on the opportunity to get to know wonderful, sincere people who truly believe and practice what the Church teaches. However, this is not meant to be the case with TAMN. She is not a real person, but an amalgam of silly and sometimes-problematic behavior that is unfortunately quite common in our culture. Now, some of the blog's stereotyping is done in good fun. We realize that we are a quirky sort of people, and can take pride in being different with our Utah accents, baby-fashion obsessions, and the like. Just because we laugh at things like this doesn't mean that we are bitterly mocking it; often those who laugh the hardest at satire of such things are the ones who are involved in them the most.

Other stereotyping, however, deals with more serious issues. For example, one never gets the feeling that TAMN has anything resembling a real testimony. She loves the Church because she gets to hang out with and be admired by her cute Mia Maids, be viewed as the perfect newlywed with the perfect husband and twin fetuses, and generally feel so righteous and superior because she knows about "the plan." Despite her claims to the contrary, TAMN's "happiness" is often dependent on material things. Now, if TAMN were a real person, we would be wise to recognize that she, like each of us, is flawed and could indeed have a deeper testimony than she lets on. However, this is not the case. We know that this is satire, and that it is meant to point out real and valid concerns that we should all consider. It is far too easy to become so wrapped up in the false, cutesy, "All is well in Zion" world we have created and forget the real reason for the Gospel: to bring us to Christ and Eternal Life. Anything that highlights this issue, whether through the use of humor or otherwise, can do a great deal of good by reminding us to both learn to laugh at ourselves and stay focused on what is truly important. If someone misses this point and uses the blog as an excuse to mock real people, it is unfortunate, but such people would likely be perfectly content to be mean-spirited anyway, blog or no blog.

~Hermia
A: Dear rant ~

For your first point, I think it has to do with the non-member viewing it. Just as some members like them and some don't, some non-members will think we're loons and some will recognize that we have cultural quirks just like everyone else.

I have an aunt that is not LDS. She went with my parents to see Singles Ward when it was in the theater and she laughed harder than my parents did. When it was over she told them that her favorite part of the movie was that the movie wasn't entirely LDS-centric... that people from many various religions could see the same jokes within their religions. That was not what we expected to hear at all. We thought it was so LDS-centric that she wouldn't understand most of it. There were definitely things my parents had to explain (like who Steve Young was), but for the most part, she got the jokes and saw the stereotypes in her religion as well.

I'm sure other people would watch the movie and think that we were not intelligent in the slightest.

As for your second rant, I'm slightly confused. You said, "The shallowness of TAMN is not an accurate representation of the typical young Utah-Mormon mom." Umm... he never said it was. He said, "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." Those are two very different definitions. The typical young Utah-Mormon mom would be many more than "at least six in my home ward growing up."

I don't think that Rating Pending was trying to stereotype all Utah-Mormon women. Rather, he was stereotyping a subgroup of those women.

~ Dragon Lady
A: Dear Someone~

Actually, I become suspicious of any person or organization that is unable to laugh at itself.

I think our friend TAMN is a great contribution to Mormon Culture, because it shows we don't take all our little quirks quite so seriously, and it helps Mormons themselves to be a touch more introspective about what their religion actually means.

As for Rating Pending, I think you may have misread his post, as Dragon Lady pointed out. However, even if he were being a jerk (and I hold that he was not), bigotry against Utahns is so prevalent at BYU and among members of the Church that you really just need to get used to it. Ignorance isn't worth getting fired up over.

Oh, but that isn't to say that you shouldn't go around blasting people's arguments to pieces when they make those silly obtuse statements against us. Have fun with it!

~Hobbes
A: Dear You're Fired,

The question has no doubt been answered sufficiently by my fellow writers (thanks for backing me up, my peeps). Undoubtedly, I do not need to add my two cents to the already epic-sized answer . . .






. . .






But I am anyway! (Whee!)(for the summarized version, scroll down to the bottom!)(But I went to a lot of trouble to write this, so . . . don't do that after all.)

Do you think that Mormon-made movies and blogs, etc. that poke fun at Mormon culture are damaging to the reputation of the church?. No, actually I don't. I think that people who defame and lie, who tear down testimonies, who mock Church leaders, who disregard inconvenient counsel, who use their membership in the church as an excuse to be intolerant, mean-spirited or self-righteous do far more damage than The Singles Ward, Divine Comedy, Seriously, so Blessed, Pat Bagely, Eric D. Snider, and The Home Teachers ever will (although The Home Teachers was pretty terrible . . .). Taking Hobbes' statement a little further, I think that a group being unable to laugh at itself is, in the end, probably more harmful then good-natured teasing that is done by or even at that group.

And speaking of Mormon media, Rating Pending was out of line (well, that's entirely possible . . . in theory) in Board Question #47451. Acknowledging stereotypes is one thing, but unashamedly perpetuating them is not cool. Your comment reminds me of something that the president of The Onion (a satirical newspaper, now satirical news media source) said once about angry letters: "So it’s like, 'I love it when you make a joke about murder or rape, but if you talk about cancer, well my brother has cancer and that’s not funny to me.'. . . I'm using extreme examples, but whatever it is, if it affects somebody personally, they tend to be more sensitive about it." I feel that might be what is happening here. (Fun tangent!: Place, "Dear Editor" or "Dear Daily Universe" in front of the second paragraph and doesn't it just fit perfectly on the Reader's Forum of the D. U.? I'm just sayin' . . .).

I am curious what form of "acknowledging stereotypes" you would find appropriate, dear reader. Would it be appropriate for someone to write, "You know, I have noticed that many girls in our culture marry at quite a young age. Also, these girls can be materialistic. Also, they often have husbands who aspire to go to medical/business/dental/law school. Let us quietly notice and ponder upon these things." Yes. It would be appropriate. And no one would bother reading that because it would be boring. The genius of what Seriously, so Blessed does is that it says that by letting a character say it for us. This is humor of the "It's funny 'cause it's true!" variety. (Note: that is the entire running gag of the Singles Ward and don't think they didn't know it.)

"Unashamedly perpetuating them"? I think what you mean that what the author of Seriously, so Blessed is that she is unashamedly pointing out stereotypes. She is definitely not perpetuating them. (No one is going to read this blog, and think, "Huh, I guess it IS ok to text in Church after all!") And, to the author's credit, she is pointing out stereotypes in such a way that people can laugh at them. It takes a much smarter person to find a way to poke fun at a group than to simply complain about the same group in some kind of mean-spirited or back-biting way. If someone takes these gentle jibes as reason to look down on the kind of person that TAMN is, that is their own mistake and not the intention of the author.

I've found that most of the people here, especially the women, are just as intelligent, unselfish, and sincere as Mormons from other places. Phew! I'm sure glad that we can agree on something. I'm also glad that we can agree that I never implied that most Utah-Mormon women are as shallow and superficial as TAMN is. In fact, I'm pretty sure I was careful to use many, many adjectives to describe exactly which Utah-Mormon-females I was talking about ("shallow-but-think-they're-deep, harmless-but-happy, bleached blond Mormon princess"). Do these individuals (who take their doctrine from e-mails and think that Dr. Pepper lip-gloss is the key to catching your man) exist in Mormon culture outside of Utah? Perhaps. If they do, I welcome the blog that pokes fun at them too.

Maybe if you took some time to actually get to know these "silly" Utah-Mormons and look past their quirky culture and accent, you'd find some pretty amazing people. Stop being so superficial. Mormons who sneer at and encourage stereotypes about Utah-Mormons have no reason to think they're any better. So that we're absolutely clear, most Utah-Mormon women are not like this. I grew up in Utah (surprise!). I have been a Utah-Mormon for a long time now. I know lots of Utah-Mormon women. Lots and lots. I'm related to literally many dozens of them and am friends with many dozens more. I have sprung forth from the righteous womb of a Utah-Mormon-woman (love ya, Mom. Sorry for referencing your womb.). I would be a liar and an idiot (well, more of one) if I honestly believed or implied that TAMN represents more than a small, very noticeable fraction of Utah-Mormon-women. Does TAMN represent Utah-Mormon culture as a whole? No she does not. Nary a joke about Jello or large families to be seen. Again, she represents only that small portion of the population that those of us who are familiar with Utah-Mormon culture, who have been spoon-fed Utah-Mormon culture since day one, can recognize and, having identified, can laugh at.

The author does not think that these people are of less eternal worth for their silly eccentricities, as I do not (I would be in some big trouble if eccentricities=condemnation). But laughing at their foibles is not the same thing as condemning them for their failings. I do not think that there is a thin line here and I don't think that this blog is skating that line, even if there was one.


THE SUMMARY:

So here's the skinny. I think that perhaps you misunderstood 1) the tone of my endorsement of Seriously, so Blessed, 2) the humor of Seriously, so Blessed or 3) the small, small group of persons actually being mocked in Seriously, so Blessed. Seriously, so Blessed is funny not because it is mocking all Utah Mormons, and this is not why I support and endorse it (look here’s another link in case you’re just tuning in and wonder what all the hullabaloo is about. Go there and rejoice in the hilarity!). I love it, read it, aspire to be as witty and observant as this person because those stereotypes exist for a reason and, wonder of wonders, the author has found a way to poke gentle fun at those who live up to them. She does not condemn (as I do not) those who believe as TAMN does or do as she does. She lets TAMN point out things that they do that are silly, sometimes inappropriate, things that are done by this very small, but very noticeable percentage of our population.

- Rating Pending (who is surprisingly anxious to defend causes that are not, in the long run, that important. Like his opinion.)
Question #47597 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Recently I've been seeing a boy (short blonde hair, skinny, looks to be freshman?) around campus who may often be seen wearing all black, and sporting feline ears and a tail! I have wanted to go up and ask his name, but everytime I see him he looks busy, or he's talking with someone else (or maybe I'm just shy...)

Who is this cat boy? Why does he wear such an outlandish outfit? Is he single? Inquisitive minds want to know! Or, at least, one of them does.

- Kurious Kitty

A: Dear Kurious,

He's talking to people? Hmmmm . . . Well, good for him.

- Furious George
A: Dear [shucks, I liked Furious George's greeting better],

I don't know who this is and haven't heard of him around campus either. Clearly we run in different circles (and mine does not include anything cat-related besides noticing that Garfield really isn't very funny anymore).

As far as his outfit, one possible explanation is that he is a furry, or someone who ascribes to furry fandom. Evidently this is a group who enjoy dressing up as, pretending to be, reading fictional literature (magazines, comics, etc.) all about anthropomorphic animals. (Note: I would recommend being cautious about doing much/any internet browsing about "furries." The first and only Google search I did revealed the Wikipedia article and a bunch of other things that I would not care to ever see again.)

The actual reasons why this cat-boy dresses up as he does? Haven't got a clue. Perhaps he lost a dare. Perhaps the tail is real. Perhaps he was involved in a costume shop explosion. The possibilities are endless! (Well, no. That's actually about it.)

- Rating Pending (who thinks that owning a pair of Mickey Mouse ears is not the same as being a "furry.")
Question #47596 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My plan upon coming to college was to double-major in Computer Science and Linguistics. Having heard the infamous tales of people-who-had-tried-to-double-major, I decided to go with the 'almost complete your major, then apply for both at the last second' methodology. However, it seems now that, for various (financial, personal, health-related) reasons, I may have to choose between one and the other.

The computer science field is famous for having high-paying jobs, but being almost astoundingly boring. On the other hand, I've heard next to nothing about jobs in the field of linguistics!

Should I decide to major in Linguistics, what kinds of entry-level positions may I expect, what eventual career paths will be available to me, and will I make enough money so that my future (hypothetical) wife won't have to work as well? And how do my options here compare with the options in the CS field?

- Toni

A: Dear Toni,

The fact that you consider the field of Computer Science to be "astoundingly boring" is the answer to your question.

One of the greatest things to happen to the CS department was the dot com bust. I was happy to be rid of the students who were in the major for no other reason than "it pays a lot." If you don't enjoy it, don't do it; you'll make the rest of us happier. In my experience there is a correlation between people who don't enjoy their work and people who are not good at their work. Those of us that do enjoy it get annoyed when we have to continually deal with people who aren't any good at it and don't even enjoy it in the first place.

So do everyone a favor and pick Linguistics (assuming you do actually like that field).

-Curious Physics Minor
A: Dear Toni,

Here is a summary of what my friends and I did with our linguistics degrees:

Katya - worked for a library vendor for two years, went to grad school to become a librarian.

Melyngoch - went to grad school for an English PhD.

Petra - went to Indonesia for a year on a Fulbright, then started work on a linguistics PhD.

::: Latro ::: - joined the Air Force.

Eotena - got a master's degree in linguistics (then a master's degree in anatomy, then another master's degree in I forget what, currently looking into PhD programs).

Unfortunately, it looks like you'll end up going to grad school. (That, or you can embrace Integrity, Service, and Excellence.)

However, I have to say that a double major in linguistics and computer science is a pretty killer combination. You could end up doing hardcore work in artificial intelligence, or you could write programs to help you parse language corpora, or other linguistic data.

My suggestion is that you contact Deryle Lonsdale, who is a professor who specializes in computational linguistics. He'll be more familiar with job prospects and educational requirements in the areas of linguistics which employ CS skills. Simply introduce yourself (in person or by email) as a new student who's interested in both CS and linguistics, and who was told that he (Dr. Lonsdale) would be a good person to talk to about careers in that field.

Good luck!

- Katya
Question #47595 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I live in a dorm in Helaman Halls, and have various items that I like to keep on my walls. The current policy here is that we must use some sort of 'tak', easy removable rubbery adhesive, to stick stuff up. Now, this is all very well and good, I was happy to go out and buy some Handitak, and this worked almost well. I found that things would only stick to smooth surfaces, e.g. my door, and not e.g. my wall.

Nonetheless, I was doing quite well sticking things to my door, until suddenly today, within the span of a few hours, everything that had been stuck to the doors became un-stuck!

What is the most efficient (read: reliable) adhesive which is still compliant with hall policy? Or will I have to re-stick everything each month? >_<;

- Toni

A: Dear Toni,

The on-campus guidelines for decorating also allow you to use 3M Command products, which are designed to hold firmly and release cleanly, without damage. I'd recommend giving them a shot if sticky-tack isn't working for you. You can get a wide variety of products (hooks, strips, etc.) that should allow you to stick up your decorations. The downside is that these products can be a little expensive, especially if you change your decorations often. Good luck finding a way that works for you!

—Laser Jock
Question #47593 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Would you happen to know the reason for the crackdown on seminary this year? My high school senior-BYU student hopeful-daughter is freaking out about the new grading system, etc. She has faithfully attended early morning seminary for the past three years and has loved every minute of it. Now she claims that it's not as enjoyable as in the past and feels like another class to worry about. Our seminary teacher is awesome and loved by her students. She doesn't have an answer for me and her concern is that kids who aren't Church-school bound will stop attending. She has assured us that there are plenty of ways to get extra credit to make up for tardies or late assignments. Do you know what's up???

Thanks!!

A and K's mom and faithful 100 Hour Board reader

A: Dear someone's mom,

Wait, assignments? Like homework? When I was in early morning seminary your "grade" was based almost solely on showing up on time. If there had been more requirement than that I guarantee I wouldn't have been doing it and if the teacher hassled me I would have stopped going. I never really got the point of seminary, guess what, at six o'clock in the morning, I'm not learning regardless of the subject matter.

-obstreperous
A: Dear Faithful,

My mom is a Seminary teacher in the east and she has not heard of any such "crackdown." So I'm assuming it is either something that is being doing by your daughter's individual teacher or perhaps by the stake/area that you live in. But seriously, that does suck. I probably would have gone anyway, but I wouldn't have liked it.

~Krishna
A: Dear A and K's ~

Grading is specific to the seminary/stake. I assume you are not in Mormon-central and thus don't have released time seminary. Thus, grading is probably set by your stake. If you are truly concerned, talk to your daughter's seminary teacher and ask her who is over the seminary system in your stake.

Now as for my opinion on how to deal with it... If your daughter is planning on going to any Church university, tell her that it's just preparation for college religion classes. They actually have assignments, too. I think this is a good time to teach your daughter that religion isn't simply attending easy Sunday School classes, but that if she really wants to learn the material, she has to study it. And this is the most excellent time of her life to actually learn the gospel.

That's my opinion anyway. I know I shan't be joined by all in that belief.

~ Dragon Lady
Question #47592 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

As an undergrad, am I allowed to conduct independent research on BYU students? I just got into a bunch of research classes for my major, so I'm doing all these group projects right now, and we have to get IRB approval for things, etc etc...but I have a cool idea for a project unrelated to the ones I'm doing for my classes. Would I need to get approval for such an endeavour? Does it have to be for a class?

What's the deal!

-Psych major

A: Dear Psych,

As you know from applying for IRB approval, there is often a little space to put in a professor who is helping you out with your research. If there's no professor there, the IRB committee is not going to like that, and probably won't approve of it. So, get some professor to be your mentor/adviser, at least in name, and have at your independent research. Having a mentor for a research project can also help you get published (and working with a professor on other research projects will increase the likelihood of a professor wanting to help you with your projects). You don't have to be in a special class to conduct psychology research, you just have to have the initiative and a professor who's willing to help.

-The Supershrink
Question #47591 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

The Office is soooooooo much better than 30 Rock! So how come 30 Rock came out with all the awards at the Grammys????


.:That's What She Said:.

A: Dear What,

While I enjoy The Office as well as 30 Rock, I think I'd have to tip my hat to 30 Rock a little more. While on the surface it seems like a rather stupid show (especially some episodes) there is actually a lot of great social and political commentary going on that is lacking from The Office. In my opinion that would be the most likely reason for 30 Rock edging out The Office in awards.

-Curious Physics Minor
A: Dear TWSS,

Hmmm, this is going to be hard. But really, this is something I could do all night. Alright, let's get to it.

I think that you probably subscribe to the comedy school of: "Funny Characters Doing Funny Things." (The valedictorian of this school is probably Will Ferrell. Other notable graduates are Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and The Three Stooges). This is a terrific school that typically produces some fine comedy. Their upscale, cross-town rival comedy school is, "Funny Characters Saying Clever, Underhanded Things." These characters are also funny, sometimes equally crazy and even one-dimensional, but they still get to make jokes that poke fun at a huge range of social issues instead of them being funny for themselves. (Some notable success stories from this school are the writers and cast of Arrested Development, Steve Martin, John Stewart and Stephen Colbert).

As much as I love, love, love, and genuinely delight in the Office, much of the comedy is character based. This is by no means a complaint. And while I think that Steve Carrell and Rainn Wilson are geniuses for the characters they flawlessly present, the overall presentation of the show has a much narrower range of the kind of skewering and the jokes that they can make. 30 Rock lets even the dumb characters say fantastically witty things and while that can be chaotic and ridiculous at times (and some episodes are better than others), I can definitely see how the writers and producers who make up the awarding panels of the Grammys prefer that style of comedy.

Well, that wasn't too long. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. I thought it was quite satisfying.

- Rating Pending (who wants to watch the 30 Rock episode with the "Rural Juror." Hilarious.)
A: Dear Rating Pending,

It's hard to go wrong with a Kevin Grisham novel.

Dear Or He Said,

The Office won the Emmy for The Season That Mattered, otherwise known as Season Two. But compared to Seasons Three and Four, 30 Rock Seasons One and Two were far better. I watch The Office for the relationships between the characters, but joke for joke, I'd pick 30 Rock. I'd also attribute it to the fact that the Academy likes to reward quirky, off-beat humor, but then again, Two and a Half Men keeps getting nominated. (And Bryan Cranston? Really, guys?)

On the subject of Best Actor, Alec Baldwin is a comedy genius, even though he's a jerkface in real life. I adore Steve Carell, but Alec is just SO good. You want proof? Watch this therapy role-playing scene with Jack and Tracy. It is pure gold and that is a term I do not use lightly.

Really, all that matters is that it's finally time for new tv again. Let us rejoice!

-Buttercup
A: Dear Anyone who cares,

Anything that lessens the Office furor that seems to have reached epidemic proportions is good in my book. Unless, of course, it is only replaced with something more inane and mind-numbing. Replacing the flu with West Nile is no cure. I am sure that this is not the case here now that I think about it. If, as Buttercup mentioned, 30 rock is now on their second season and this is the first I've heard of it, I'd deem it positively benign compared to the Office.

the people must have something to which they can attach themselves(XIX,9)

-Tao
Question #47590 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the meaning behind the cougar stickers on the football players' helmets?

-Sticky

A: Dear Sticky,

The gold ones are for off-the-field achievements (academic, community service, etc.) and the blue ones are for on-the-field achievements, which naturally depends on each player's position.

-habiba
Question #47547 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Which countries do NOT currently have missionaries in active service?

Oswaldzik

A: Dear friend,

I first saw this and thought, "Oh! That's fun!" and claimed it for my own. It turned out to be a bigger project than I thought. Mercy.

Disclaimer: Some of these countries may be covered by missions of a different name. None of these have their own mission.

Abkhazia
Afghanistan
Algeria
Andorra
Angola
Antigua and Barbuda
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brunei
Burkina Faso
Burma
Burundi
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
China
Comoros
Congo
Côte d'Ivoire
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Djibouti
East Timor
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Grenada
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Korea, North
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Lithuania
Macedonia
Malawi
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Mauritania
Mauritius
Moldova
Monaco
Montenegro
Morocco
Nagorno-Karabakh
Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
Niger
Northern Cyprus
Oman
Pakistan
Palau
Palestine
Qatar
Rwanda
San Marino
São Tomé and Príncipe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Slovakia
Slovenia
Somalia
Somaliland
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Swaziland
Syria
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Togo
Transnistria
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Tuvalu
Uganda
United Arab Emirates
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Vatican City
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Western Sahara
Yemen
Zambia


Wow.

-habiba
Question #47387 posted on 09/27/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
Joseph Smith said that the gold plates were about the thickness of common tin. Emma said that they made a rustling sound when she thumbed the edges. I've taken this to mean that the plates were much thinner than we usually portray them. How thin is "common tin"? Or perhaps I ought to ask, How thin was the kind of tin that was common in Joseph Smith's day and area?
-Jorge

A: Dear Ethel,

The Shields website, using the dimensions of the plates themselves, estimates that each plate would have been around .02 of an inch thick.

In case you’d like a visual, there was a gold-plated book found from around 600 B.C. – which means it would have been made about the same time as Lehi’s plates. It isn’t the same size (as this book is only 5x4.5 centimeters and 6 pages long), but the page widths would be comparable.

I was going to get a more authoritative answer from an acquaintance of mine, but then she had a big project at work, got sick for a few days, and now she's left for a week of vacation. I've decided waiting another week for her to get back was a little unreasonable, though, so we'll just leave it at at .02 of an inch.

-Polly Esther