Whenever he thought about it, he felt terrible. And so, at last, he came to a fateful decision. He decided not to think about it. ~John-Roger and Peter McWilliams
Question #92006 posted on 02/05/2019 10:04 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you really heat an entire room with candles and terra cotta pots? Or is this a pinterest fad that I should skip?

Thanks,

Pirate

A:

Dear Pirate,

I mean, you definitely could. You could also theoretically heat your room with the body heat of gerbils. The real question is whether or not it will require a ridiculous amount of candles. To know that we will need to know two things: how much energy is required for heating a room, and how much heat candles provide.

I was going through some pretty in-depth calculations using this website (it's fun if you want to check it out), but it was getting unnecessarily complicated so I decided to simplify. This website says that multiplying the square footage by 10 gives you a pretty decent estimate of the energy needed to heat a space. For a 12" x 12" room that equates to 1440 watts. If we divide this number by the average heating capacity of a candle it will give us the number of candles we need.

Unfortunately, candles don't come with watt ratings like light bulbs do, but fortunately one Quora user already calculated the average heat output for basic Amazon brand tea candles. His calculations give an average of about 34 watts per candle. That means we would need about 42 candles to heat a 12" x 12" room. Also, we would need to replace the candles every 4-5 hours. So you could do it, but it is by all measures totally impractical, expensive, and extra. But if that's your aesthetic then you could totally go for it.

Peace,

Tipperary

P.S. I would also not recommend heating your pirate ship with candles. That's a definite fire hazard, my dude.

Question #91959 posted on 02/05/2019 6:46 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Which National Parks have you personally visited? Out of those, which do you most highly recommend for a nice vacation (however you would define a nice vacation)?

-Got a pass, now planning

A:

Dear America The Beautiful,

I've visited Glacier, Yellowstone, Redwood, Capitol Reef, Arches, Zion, and Bryce. I've been to many of the Utah state parks as well, but I don't think the national parks pass gets you into those, unfortunately (else I'd totally recommend Goblin Valley and many of the surrounding hikes in the slot canyons.)

Like Anathema, I HIGHLY recommend Glacier National Park. It may be one of the most picturesque places I've ever been in my life. It was legitimately breathtaking.

My personal favorite Utah spot is Zion because it's very large so there are so many different amazing places to explore. That's where my dad used to take us camping all the time, so I'm a little sentimentally attached to it too. Of course, all the Utah Nat'l parks are relatively close together so you can hit them all together if you wanted.

Cheers,

Guesthouse

A:

Dear you,

I have been to Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Bryce, the Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Capitol Reef, many various national forests,... and I think that's it? Those are all the parks that I've been to that I can list off the top of my head.

My top suggestion for a vacation would be Glacier. It has absolutely stunning vistas, and is full of gorgeous mountain hikes. For parks in Utah, I would suggest Bryce. And definitely go to Yellowstone while you're on this national park kick.

Finally, just for you (and cause Alta's picture below inspired me), here are some of my favorite photos I've taken at some of these national parks.

(Yosemite)

(Bryce)

(Yellowstone)

(Glacier)

~Anathema

A:

Dear food of life,

Yo, I'm sorry. This was kept over because I wanted to include pictures of the parks I've visited, but they were spread across too many flash drives and I decided actually responding to your question was more important than providing you with crappy pictures. I'll find them if you ask, though. Anyways, parks I done seent:

• Glacier NP: Really pretty, absolutely worth visiting.

• Yellowstone NP: Yellowstone is quite fascinating, with a mixture of geothermal features and provides the most reliable sightings of wildlife and Chinese tourists in the Lower 48.

• Grand Teton NP: Some fantastically pretty views are the extent of my visit to this land.

• Arches NP: I visited over Thanksgiving Break and was surprised how small the park seemed to be. But it's neat, I guess.

• Bryce Canyon NP: I liked this place enough I decided to work here for a season upon graduating. Also, I needed a job. You can ditch most of the crowds by venturing off the Navajo and Queen's Garden loops and venturing along the Under the Rim trail for a bit. It's a beautiful area, if you don't mind a bit of a walk.

My favorite thing to do at Bryce Canyon is hiking the Navajo Loop by moonlight. Are you visiting when the moon is full, or close to it? Visit an alternate Bryce Canyon where the hoodoos and trails take on an otherworldly pallor in the pale light, a place where you're likely to be all alone. It's incredibly rewarding.

Be smart about it, though. Familiarize yourself with the trail by day, take a source of light and map in case it gets cloudy, take warm clothes, be wise.

• Zion NP: It's magnificent, but the crowds dull much of the splendor me. Do your best to visit some time besides a holiday weekend.

• Capitol Reef NP: I clearly don't know how to visit this park right, because it has been boring every time.

• Canyonlands NP: I particularly enjoy the Needles district for day hikes and Cyclone Canyon for an overnight hike.

• Yosemite NP: It looks cool, if a bit crowded. If I rock climbed, I'd probably love it. What I do love is the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias, because big trees. Also, have you heard of the crazy climbing documentary Free Solo? In this film, the talented climber Alex Honnold free solo climbs (no ropes, no harness, or anything) El Capitan, a 3,000 foot cliff rising over the valley. It's in IMAX theaters this week.

• Great Basin NP: It's close to Salt Lake—just four hours driving, the same amount it takes to get to Bryce Canyon—and it has a feeling of isolation I crave. The West Desert is unlike anywhere else I've been, and is an entirely different feel than harried Southern Utah.

• Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP: It was winter, so I've barely looked down into its dark depths.

• Grand Canyon NP: The North Rim is really all I've seen of this place. I need to actually hike around in it, or ideally raft through it... some time.

• Olympic National Park: It was sort of crowded, but maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I'd been able to get off the main trails where toddlers couldn't go.

• Mammoth Caves NP: Some fun wild caving tours are available here if you arrange beforehand, which I did not. They're the longest cave system in the world, but the lack of formations make them a tad disappointing after Carlsbad Caverns, I'm afraid.

• Carlsbad Caverns NP: I love caves, and this cave inspired awe and wonder. While you can visit the cave beforehand without a tour, there's a bunch of additional more-adventurous tours available if you plan ahead of time that take you to some crazy portions of the massive subterranean lair. If you go during the summer months, call ahead and ask to volunteer with the once-weekly bird survey which has been going on for years. You descend to the mouth of the cave and count returning avians at dusk... and then sit there for and hour as four hundred thousand leathery mammals stream past at arm's-length. I haven't done this yet—I was there in the spring, when the bats were largely absent— but when I return you can bet I'm gonna get me to that bat party.

• Guadalupe Mountains NP: Sure, it's the highest peak in Texas, but does it really deserve National Park status? I daresay it does not, but it's forty minutes from Carlsbad, so if you're in the neighborhood, you may as well.

• Big Bend NP: Big Bend shows a wild Texas that, due to its altitude, isn't quite as hot as you'd expect. It's home to the furthest-south population of aspens in the USA. You can poke Mexico here. Take that, Mexico. Take. That.

• Hot Springs NP: Urban, with a rather different feel than the other parks in the area. You can drink the water, which is... fun? I wouldn't go out of my way to get here.

• Great Smoky Mountains NP: Located in the Appalachian mountains, the most visited National Park in the US is quite nice, even if it is just some random mountains.

• Haleakalā National Park, which I really, really wanted to visit as sort of a Board pilgrimage more than for any other reason, since it is the namesake of alumnus writer Haleakalā. The silversword plants and volcanic landscape really make it a striking park. And if you're already visiting Maui, there's no good reason to not stop by.

Of the national parks I have visited, I probably enjoyed Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Glacier, and Haleakalā the most. Remember National Forests, Monuments, and state parks often afford better chances for solitude than the Parks.

Suerte,

--Ardilla Feroz, erstwhile National Park employee

A:

Dear Wanderer,

I have been to Yellowstone, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef.

I would highly recommend all five of them. Yellowstone was my favorite overall, but Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef are all super close and would make for an amazing 1-2 week trip.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Pass,

Similar to the other writers, I've been to Glacier, Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Zion, Arches, and the Grand Canyon. Writing them all out makes me feel pretty lame that I haven't been to more, but it's fine I guess.

My top recommendation is also for Glacier (you've got to go see it before it all melts!), but also only go if you're not going to pollute it up and litter and deface the rocks and whatnot (the same goes for all the National Parks). I love the National Parks, and I love that we have the opportunity to go see them, but I also worry about the strain that the sheer number of visitors who have no clue how to respect the environment puts on them. So by all means enjoy them, but also be smart and don't do dumb things.

I would also recommend waiting until the government shutdown (which is still ongoing as of writing this answer) is over to enjoy your National Parks pass. The vast majority of National Parks employees are furloughed right now, and the parks don't have "visitor services, restrooms, trash collection, facilities or road maintenance." So you could go, but it wouldn't be a very pleasant experience with overflowing trash cans and absolutely filthy restrooms.

But to end on a lighter note, here's a picture of baby mountain goats frolicking not more than 20 yards away from me at Glacier. What a magical place.

-Alta

A:

Dear you,

First off I second Alta's statement when she said not to visit any National Parks right now. Hopefully the government shutdown doesn't last too long and the parks get the proper care they need soon!

My list is so similar to everyone else's I can just copy and paste most of it: Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Zion, Arches, the Grand Canyon, the Grand Tetons, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Honestly, you can't go wrong with any of the national parks in Utah, especially Zion. But besides that, I really love the Grand Tetons. I also love love love Yellowstone, but not for the reason you'd probably guess. I love it for this painting:

In 1871 Thomas Moran, a painter, joined a group to take the first U.S. survey of the land west. His paintings of Yellowstone, particularly the vibrant colors of the area, shocked the members of Congress who saw it. They assumed it couldn't be real, but thankfully a photographer had also captured the landscape (though in black and white). Together, this painting and the photographs convinced government officials to make Yellowstone protected as a national park.

I went to D.C. a year and a half ago and I got to see this painting in real life (I'm not sure if I'm disappointed or proud to say I was more excited to see a painting of Yellowstone than I was to see Yellowstone itself). But the painting isn't taking any liberties - Yellowstone really is that gorgeous, and you should definitely put it on your list of national parks to visit.

-guppy of doom

Question #92005 posted on 02/05/2019 4:52 p.m.
Q:

Chocolate Milk Enthusiasts,

This week the mint brownie chocolate milk was available for purchase on campus. I think it was amazing and that they should keep up production, even unto replacing the cookies and cream milk they have had as long as I can remember. The new mint brownie chocolate milk tastes better, more balanced with less sugar and calories and more protein.

Did you buy a bottle? What is your review? Any idea what kind of protein is in this milk? (I'm thinking soy protein, like in those Odwalla protein drinks, of which my favorite is also chocolate. . . yeah, I might have a chocolate problem!)

Cuckoo for Cocoa-Mint Drinks

A:

Dear you,

I walked over to the creamery and tried a bottle as soon as I saw the announcement. My thoughts? It was okay. I agree that it is lighter than the cookies and cream milk (but so is pretty much everything). The mint is pretty subtle, which is good cause I was worried it would taste like toothpaste. Personally, I enjoyed it, but I actually still prefer the other two flavors. My bet for protein is that it just has milk protein. Also, while it is healthier than the other milk flavors, I wouldn't call it a health food.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Sonny the Cuckoo Bird,

BLEHHHHHH

Cheers,

Guesthouse

Question #92002 posted on 02/05/2019 3:16 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If two people are blocked from each other on Facebook*, but are both tagged in a post/comment made by a mutual friend, or by someone else in a group that they are both members of--do both people still see the post?

-My Name Here

*I understand that blocking on FB can only be initiated by one person, and not by both people at the same time.

A:

Dear nameless,

So I sent this question to my two friends and suggested that we do an experiment on this. My friend's response: "A. They both see the post bc the person who posted isn't blocking either of them. The other blocked person's tagged name appears as text rather than a link to their page."

-guppy of doom

Question #92003 posted on 02/05/2019 2:16 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do you guys have an absolute limit to how long you let questions go unanswered? Like do questions ever sit like 3 or even 6 months without being answered. I realize some questions take a while but why even call it the 100 hour board if it takes like 2-5 weeks usually for questions to be answered. Just wondering if you have a policy in place for how long a question can go unanswered? If it’s been like 6 weeks than there’s a good chance the asker might not even care about the question at that point.

-Patient Patty

A:

Dear you,

We probably should such a policy in place, but we don't. There's even a question in here that's over a year old.

Sorry.

-Writer

A:

Dear Patient,

Thanks for reading. You certainly aren't the first person to ask a version of this question. As writers, our lives are pretty busy. This isn't anyone's full-time job. If someone were willing to pay us a competitive salary to do this, I think you'd see more answers responded to within 100 hours. We're doing our best and hope you'll stay with us even if it takes a bit longer to get answers than you'd hope.

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Dear Patty,

When the Board was named, life was simpler. If you look at the early questions in the archives, it makes sense that things could be answered within 100 hours. But we can't change the name now... it's part of the tradition.

As the Internet took over the world, people became experts at finding answers to their own questions by looking them up (what a novel idea!) Gradually, the questions that people asked the Board got more and more complicated. They required more depth and more time to find answers to. I have 3 questions that I'm working on right now that are overdue by at least 100 hours. But all three of those questions would be virtually impossible for me to answer within 100 hours.

So no, we don't have a limit to how long questions stay in the inbox. Most of us really do try to get things done in a timely manner. Sometimes, questions don't get satisfactory answers unless we take the time to read them thoroughly, think deeply about our answers, and write and proof and edit our answers. And really, it's in your best interest. We totally get that sometimes that means the answer no longer matters, but it may matter to other people too.

For example, you may think that simple 'what's your opinion on ____?' questions wouldn't take very long to answer. Au contraire, mon ami! We care about making sure our answers to opinion questions are nuanced! More than once, I've thrown up my immediate reaction to questions like this and been lovingly rebuked by some of the other writers, mentioning that perhaps I was too harsh, or needed to think about something a little more. Writing a good opinion takes a while.

Also, there is etiquette to the Board. If someone starts an answer to a deep research question, it's kind of rude to take over for them... so even though you notice that something is way overdue, you don't want to step on the other writer's toes if they started an answer.

NOW, that isn't to say that there aren't some questions that are in our inbox that have definitely been in there for way too long. None of us can disagree with that. Sometimes, we hold things over for a ridiculously long time... and we are sorry. Sometimes, we start something, but as we realize how time-consuming it is, we begin to push it to the bottom of our priority lists. We prefer not to think about those questions, so they stay in our box for inexcusable amounts of time.

Some of us are grad students, others are parents, others have full-time jobs. Some of us rely on scholarships to pay for our undergrad degrees so we have to get A's and that takes a lot of work. We promise we're trying, and we don't take forever because we want to. It's just reality. Don't forget, we don't get paid to do research for you guys.

Sometimes, a weeks-old question will get pushed out when we give it a less-decent answer and hope that maybe someone has a correction to add. But we don't like to do that. We prefer to give good answers, so we let things go over hours (probably too often... admittedly.)

I'm also kind of lazy sometimes. When I notice that I get like 10 upvotes tops on a good answer, it's hard to motivate myself to work on something I feel like nobody really cares about. The Board is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable things I do, but also is one of the most severely underappreciated. I get lazy because there isn't really a reward for my work in the end. People sometimes mention how much they like our answers, but lots of the time we get people who criticize us for various things... and that's kind of hard to deal with (for me anyway.)

Anyway, this was all a long-winded way of answering your question. Basically, things are a little bit different and more complicated now than they were when the 100 Hour Board was first conceived. And we apologize for that. We know there are things we could do better... but we also do try hard to give you good answers to your questions. Because we care about you! So thanks for stickin' around and being patient, even though sometimes it's boring and/or hard. Thanks for remembering that we're human too.

Cheers,

Guesthouse

A:

Dear person,

100 hours is the minimum time it takes to ask a question. Not the maximum time. ;)

-Sheebs

A:

Dear you,

Until I came around, there wasn't a need for an upper-question hours-limit, because usually the editors just kill it. But my unanswered question is at not one year, but a year and a half, and I'm anxious and ashamed about it, but I don't want to let it go, because I really do want to finish it. But hot dang, it needs to end.

-problematic

Question #92000 posted on 02/05/2019 8:04 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I need help finding a song. I used to listen to it all the time when I was a kid, but I have no idea what it's called. Here's what I know: it's about a girl named Alice who has a rocking chair and the postman falls in love with her. It's by a girl band.

Thanks!

- For Nostalgic's Sake

A:

Dear Nostalgia,

I am sorry to report that I too was unable to find that song. I tried several different word combinations and waded through dozens of songs and couldn't find what you were looking for. If any of our awesome readers know what song this is please leave a correction.

Peace,

Tipperary