"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers
Question #92358 posted on 06/12/2019 2 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are your honest thoughts on people with attached earlobes?

Be honest now.

-The Confessinator

A:

Dear Confessinator,

1. I tend not to notice people's earlobes.

2. If they're the kind of attached earlobes that have no rounded part at all, I think they look a little odd. However, if I had a close friend or family member with that type of earlobe, I'm sure I'd get used to it. (Or maybe I already do and I've just never noticed because of #1.)

- Katya

A:

Dear Confessinator

None.

-Humble Master

A:

Dear unexpected,

I used to think that they inherited the recessive gene for attached earlobes, which means that both their parents must be at least carriers of the recessive gene. But as I just found out, that's a lie.

So now whenever I see someone with attached earlobes, I will be reminded of this xkcd and Wikipedia's list of common misconceptions. I'll probably feel the urge to overshare my newfound knowledge with them.

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear The ~

I love Yellow. But I’m irrationally smug that all three children got my unattached earlobes. 

Otherwise, I never pay attention to other people's earlobes. I only noticed my kids' (and thus Yellow's) because everyone seems to care who babies look like, and I'm terrible at that, but things like attached or unattached earlobes are something I can actually concretely identify. (But 2/3 got his eye color. And 0/3 got mine. So he won there.)

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear TC,

Folks with attached earlobes? Honestly, I find them too clingy. Though most of the other folks are a bit loose....

>Blinding White Flash<

Question #92351 posted on 06/12/2019 11:49 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it just me, or does The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild tacitly endorse idolatry, crossdressing, and the wanton slaughter of indigenous peoples?

-Yikes!

A:

My dear Watson,

Are you insinuating that crossdressing is on the same level as slaughtering indigenous people? Because it doesn't take a consulting detective to realize that there's a difference between wearing clothes of the opposite gender and, you know... genocide.

-S. Holmes

A:

Dear Yoikes, 

1) Nintendo isn't obligated to make their games fit your Western Christian morals

2) Legend of Zelda has its own unique world complete with different cultures, races, and religions... So 'idolatry' to you is just part of the 'religion' in the game. 

3) What game doesn't have you kill bad guys? The Yiga worship bananas and uphold the evil of Ganon's rule... so they're bad guys. If you're going to condemn this game for something like that, then you better start making a list. 

4) Please tell me you're not one of the people that would ban face cards at girls camp (because heaven forbid we play something evil like Go Fish or Egyptian Ratscrew!) 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

A:

Dear yIkEsSs!11!,

I played Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze last summer and loved it so much. But halfway through I had a revelation: Donkey Kong is the Bad Guy. Why does he bonk all those innocent creatures on the head and knock them out? Why does he fight that penguin? Why does he barge into their territory and steal their bananas? Is it worth it? Why can't he just be their friend and share bananas? Deep stuff.

-Mico, who got all the secret levels, just saying

A:

Dear Zoinks,

If you have a problem with the portrayal of divinity in Zelda, you have eliminated the option of consuming ANY fantasy and most fiction, and that's ridiculous. Does pressing "(A) Pray" in front of a statue of Hylia really offend your sensibilities so badly? Do you really think that it's the physical image that makes idolatry bad?

Riju doesn't even care that Link is in town, despite the fact that voe are strictly forbidden. He just has to wear those clothes to keep the guards happy. Honestly, it's surprising how few people can tell that he definitely isn't a vai, and quite convenient how everyone who can doesn't care. Anyway, as others have pointed out, cross-dressing is a pretty silly thing to be upset about. Link (and many other video game protagonists) are designed to be player avatars; is it morally wrong for a woman to play a game with a male protagonist, or vice versa?

Indigenous peoples? You mean Ganon's minions, clearly unnatural beings who are regenerated through his foul power every few moons?

-The Entomophagist

A:

Dear Y,

I was more concerned about the physics, personally. Pushing giant blocks with a magnet? Arrows go faster in bullet time? TELEPORTING??

Man, I love this game.

-Kirito

A:

Dear Ye,

Just want to pop in to say it's good to respect other religions and customs. I would have no qualms offering a prayer in a different religion's temple/holy place in real life as long as doing so wasn't offensive to practitioners of the religion. I don't think we should be so quick to label things that are different to us as 'idolatrous'. Also, the most esteemed S. Holmes' point.

~Anathema

Question #92350 posted on 06/12/2019 11:49 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board alumni,

Thank you for writing and for your commitment to this community that really helped me get through 2 degrees at BYU (2009-2015). I was reading the board yesterday and felt inspired by the way people have changed after BYU--I wonder if you could speak to your hope (or lack thereof) for positive changes in the church or church-adjacent communities? I don't practice anymore since I've been rejected for being a woman who married a woman, and when I've read the board occasionally after leaving BYU, I consider it to be a sort of barometer for possible changes in the culture/church. I would love to hear your perspectives on hope (or otherwise).

-KC

A:

Dear KC,

Can I be frank?

The changes going on with the Church and its culture are not nearly enough, and they aren't happening fast enough. People who pat themselves and the Church on the back typically aren't being harmed by the current state of things, and that is beyond frustrating to me. I love the people I know who are involved, and I think that one day the Church will have values more in line with mine now. That doesn't change the fact that it isn't enough, it won't be enough, it hasn't been enough, and the people who are hurt are constantly being cajoled or shamed into accepting the table scraps that there are.

That being said, I've always thought the Board was some of the best that the culture has to offer, and it has changed rapidly since I was a writer in 2008-10. It was very, very different back then. I called myself the Black Sheep for a reason, and I'm not really that far out there anymore. That is encouraging. There are good people here and in the Church at large.

But it. Is. Not. Enough.

You're some kind of a woman who loves women. Me too. I guess I feel like hope in these situations is dangerous. It's easy to get your hopes up and then have your heart broken all over again. I think some folks will just say that is lazy cynicism, but the alternative can really be dangerous, especially for youth and more vulnerable populations. So be careful, have support that will absolutely have your back outside of the structure, and meet your needs, you beautiful human. Say hi to your wife for me.

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear KC,

Congratulations on your wedding! I hope that you and your wife have a lifetime full of happiness together and that you find spiritual peace, whether that's outside of the church or otherwise. I know how it feels to be alienated from the church because of your LGBT identity, and it hurts to have the community you grew up in make you feel like you don't belong anymore. Wishing you and your wife the best in finding closure.

As far as BYU in particular, I do think things are changing–they changed so much in the few years that I was a student there and seem to be still changing for the better. When I was a freshman, a trans former student said that they never heard of a BYU student transitioning and believed they would be kicked out. In my time at BYU, I met (and became one of) several trans men and women who were able to transition and graduate. Personally, I never faced discrimination from professors or students (besides a couple of roommates who more just asked weirdly invasive questions than actually harassed me)–the only people I ever had trouble with were administration officials. Even then, they were kind–it just takes a long time for policies to change, especially at a traditional and fairly conservative college like BYU.

LGBTQ policies are still far from perfect at BYU, but I think they're heading in the right direction. From what I've seen, it seems that the people are changing but the Church policies themselves are, well, slow to change. But the little things give me hope. It gives me hope that my former BYU professor grandpa who used to call gay people mentally ill now believes that there's a biological origin to LGBT identity and believes that in time, the policies will change. It gives me hope that my Trump-supporting aunt was the biggest advocate of my transition at the family reunion and reminded people to use my name and pronouns. These things give me hope because it makes me feel like people and cultures can change and find compassion for people whose experiences are different from their own.

As more LGBTQ Latter-day Saints come out and straight/cis members realize that the queer community isn't an enemy but good, kind people who they know and love, I think things will continue to change and I hope for the better. That doesn't mean it's easy to be a queer BYU student or a former or current church member right now. But I think it means that maybe the pain will be worth it and that someday, LGBT members will have a place in the university and in the church. I hope so.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear,

My impression is that a bunch of the recent changes are ones I wholeheartedly am onboard with, and I love that they're happening. I also ache for those who were scolded for feeling the new way while the old one was still viewed as unchanging, and it makes me worry that as-yet-unchanged issues that are even closer to my heart will be reinforced in exactly the interpretations I fear most--I fear my conscience is misaligned with the church (and with truth, if the church is right, which more and more is the expect-what-you-dread trope).  And at the same time, I also get a horrible little self-satisfied jaded demon on my shoulder who says the church is giving in too much to the pressures of society and truth should never change and should always be unpopular. (That last one is like believing the strangers who say nasty things about you and thinking your friends are lying you to make you feel better. If you go through it logically, you realize your friends probably have better context and deeper understanding -- you don't really think the thing that doesn't sit right, but man oh man does humanity love to feel uncomfortable at the expense of accuracy. I don't know that that made sense, but it's the best I can do now. Actually, both those things are really two sides of the same horrible coin.)

But for me personally, I was scolded for a lot of those things, or listened to members of my congregations getting all self-righteous about those things and how awful the people who struggle with them are, because they didn't realize they were issues where the church's stance didn't sit right with me or they didn't know that they were failings (or "failings") that I have & hide. Church has gone from mostly uplifting and good for me (in my childhood and teens with my limited experience and few opportunities to mess up), to mostly fine and occasionally great (most of my time at BYU), to mostly painful and occasionally fine and rarely good (in the years soon after BYU), to so painful that not only church hours, but also the hours and days that surround church are painful because of the anticipation or my obsession about the worst bits afterward (in the past yearish). [P.P.P.S -- another way of putting this is that the church helped me form my boundaries of "Us" and "Them," and then as time went on I realized that I am a "Them," not an "Us" according to those boundaries, and what's more, I have spent literal decades trying to become "Us" and failing at it repeatedly. I want to be a member of an all-inclusive "Us," but feeling like an imposter, even an openly-admitted imposter, was/is hurting me.]

Please recognize, readers all, that I know that my mental and emotional pain with the church is not often (or even usually, probably) based on the actual events of real-life church sessions. My brain has created an acid-filled moat with hidden stone spikes around the culture around the hedge around the law, which is probably a simplification of the actual principles, anyway. I know that, logically. But knowing my symptoms are illogical doesn't make those symptoms vanish, and it was getting to the point where I was starting to worry about my own safety if I kept putting myself in that position by attending. 

So while I am cautiously optimistic about the general trend of church and church-adjacent changes, I don't see them as something I'm really part of anymore, and I've got cognitive dissonance when my obviously-overgeneralized picture of the average faithful member says they embrace these new revelations (or "revelations") and were always ready to do so, when it's that same fictional member who dug the acid-moat directly under my doctrinal house. Yayyy, mixed metaphors. 

-Uffish Thought

P.S. While some members and possibly past me would think my current ... gosh, faith crisis, I guess, though I have to talk down my inner snob who doesn't want to participate in any kind of trendy group or phrase ... is a result of mixing with members who acknowledge their own doubts and going to therapy, I see those things more as things that helped me find my true beliefs (like that faith -- as in hope for things not known but true -- is natural and can co-exist with doubt, and that any just -- as in fair -- gods would love their children and want to see them whole and happy and healthy and helping each other) and helped me see that I was tying myself into unhealthy knots by beating myself up for falling short of perfection and prioritizing rules that I didn't actually really believe matter myself (like coffee-drinking and length of sleeves, etc). Both helped me love myself and value my own well-being in the way that, on my truest and most balanced days, I believe God would want for me. In other words, some church members want all church members to wear blinders all along so they're not distracted by confusing/nonessential nuance and truth, and I've come to want those blinders off earlier and more culturally-endorsed early exploration of nuance, so it's not overwhelming and damaging when members realize they've been building their personal foundations on lies or half-truths. 

P.P.S. And then I remind myself of lessons that I myself teach my English classes (because I think in metaphors and microcosms), and I remember how I tell my students that the "put a comma where you would pause while speaking" rule is a lie, which outrages them, but then I point out that they couldn't have understood the 11 more-accurate rules we learned without first learning parts of speech and types of clauses and sentence constructions and more, and "commas at pauses" is about as accurate as a kid in elementary school can understand! It improves their usage even if it causes them to develop errors too. Which is guess is the "milk before meat" principle, right? And so then I chase my tail in logical figures eight, and I can't escape because I'm obsessive (but not usually compulsive, whee!), and I have a meltdown. And what the tools-for-parents-with-struggling-kids website I found today when I was getting excited about doing extra research on my own after class said about how to help with meltdowns is: give the melting-downer an escape to a quiet, private place, and don't burden them with talking (additional stimulation) -- just sit with them while they calm back down again after too much sensory input. So I'm parenting myself, here, and my stepping away from church activity is my escape to a quieter place, and I'm trying not to beat myself up for reducing the church-based harmful-to-me input while I settle down and try to sort it all out. I don't know if I'll ever fully walk back into the overwhelming stimulus that is church for me again, but even if the church is exactly true in this moment (it's whole and completely developed, there is nothing more, hooray!), if God is loving and just, They'll probably be differentiating for me, anyway, and allowing/supporting a modified program for me so I can eventually reach the same outcomes as all the "standard" students, by coming at them sidewise rather than straight on. The cookie-cutter approach doesn't work for all learners, and while the church agrees that there are exceptions, it doesn't do well at implementing those for those that need them or even systemically identifying those that need exceptions, in my experience. So, uh, yeah. Here I am, which is not quite there. And it will probably be fine, once I can catch my breath again.

P.P.P.S. Hello, actual individual asker, KC! Congratulations on your wedding and on making choices that are accurate reflections of your understanding of what is healthy and pure and uplifting. I hope to develop equal integrity in my own actions, in time. 

A:

Dear KC, 

It feels a bit out of character for me to respond to a question like this, but I thought I would add another perspective. I hope that by doing so I don't diminish anything the above writers have said. I also want to acknowledge that I am straight, cis, and white, and have never had to face a dissonance so many others face in reconciling their identity with the church. I also agree that many have been hurt by not only the slow-paced changes of the church, but also by the backlash and TBM members switch codes and validate the same beliefs for which they ridiculed others in the past. I think this is wrong and harmful and the way the church at large balances individual and prophetic revelation (as well as change in general) should change. 

With all that said, I feel... relatively hopeful. Yes, the changes are happening slowly and are not enough, but they are happening, and in a more zealous way than I have seen in my lifetime. I don't want to discount these small things that are happening, especially since I don't think there's anyway a major change would happen without small things like this laying the groundwork. There are also unofficial leaders like By Common Consent, Rosemary Card, Ty Mansfield, Calvin Burke, writes at The Exponent, and many others that provide so much hope to me for the future of the church as they further the discourse. I'm given hope by my bishop who doesn't have newlyweds give talks together, and will have an all-female sacrament program, and seems to listen intently to all concerns he hears. These are all small things, but it's been encouraging to me nonetheless. 

I've also felt more hopeful as I've separate my own faith from the church as an organization. Even though organization as large as the church takes a great amount of time and concerted effort to change, I feel okay personally changing as I find truth. I don't feel the need to be perfectly inline with every lesson or conference talk, and I think that has been a really positive change in my life. I've also found many peers who do the same, and that, too, makes me more hopeful for the future of the church. 

I want to say here again that I've managed to be in the church for a few decades and come out relatively unscathed by well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) but harmful people and doctrines. I recognize this is a luxury I have that not everyone does, and I don't mean to project my beliefs that have arisen from my experiences onto others. While I am hopeful, I want to be evermore aware of those who are not and the harmful aspects of the culture and doctrine. 

Thanks for the question, and congratulations on your marriage! 

-a writer

Question #92347 posted on 06/12/2019 11:48 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board alumni,

How would you help the Board? Is there anything we, the current writers, could do to boost this thing? No, I don't think the Board is disappearing overnight, and I think my fellow writers are fantastic (I love you people).

But I think we--well, I--could do more, or perhaps just do differently, so is there something you'd suggest? Maybe give the Facebook page another go? Branch out to the 'Gram? Stop rescuing EFY kids from the tunnel worms?

-a frustrated writer

A:

Dear Afru,

  1. Advertise on campus
  2. No cop-out answers (nobody cares how busy you are)
  3. Strict adherence to 100 hours (nobody cares how busy you are)
  4. Fewer vanilla answers (every answer should have humor, personality, or flair)
  5. Improve the system (update look, no blank front page / auto-load more questions at end of main page, etc.)
  6. Make it as good as it was during the golden age when each specific reader started reading.

-=Optimus Prime=-

A:

Dear a frustrated writer,

100 hours or bust. 

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear friend,

I 100% agree with what the other alumni have said about having a stronger social media (Twitter in particular) presence, updating the website, and answering questions within 100 hours. Another thing I think that the Board could leverage to its advantage is search engine optimization. So many students (or future students) come across the Board after googling their questions about BYU. That's how I found out about it. We could use that to our advantage and make the Board questions come up higher in search engine results so that current students remain a large part of the Board's community and can easily become introduced to it.

It probably wouldn't be practical to use SEO keywords (terms that are frequently searched for related to our demographic) in all answers, but even just including some in our "About Us" and other pages could help. Though it could be an interesting experiment to try them in some answers and see what happens. At the non-profit I currently work for, my content team supervisor has able to achieve in one quarter higher views to our website than we used to receive in several years combined just by introducing SEO practices to our website.

-Van Goff

A:

Hey,

Same as above: answers over 100 hours should be relatively rare. Waiting 4 days for a response is exciting. Waiting weeks or months for a question to post makes people stop caring about asking questions.

Best,

MwaM

A:

Dear writer,

I've got fairly strong feelings about two things, but I feel like they have the potential to come into conflict.

On the one hand, 100 hours is a commitment, not just a suggestion. I mean, I'm not standing over the Board with a stopwatch waiting for my questions to post, but I generally expect an answer to a fairly basic question within 4-5 days, and waiting longer than a week makes me that much less likely to ask similar questions in the future.

On the other hand, I love spectacular answers. Concealocanth, with my encouragement, took around a month to answer Board Question #67987 (asked when I was still a reader). It was worth the wait, and I would have been disappointed if she'd written something minimal within the usual deadline.

I'm not entirely sure how to reconcile these two things, other than use common sense, listen to what readers explicitly tell you, don't hold questions past 100 hours unless you've got a really good reason, and for the love of all things don't ever hold a question beyond one month. (Yes, I broke this last rule several times. No, I never had a good excuse for it.)

As for more structural things, first I'll repeat my suggestion from Board Question #92280: there should always be at least one question, and preferably several questions, on the front page. An empty front page makes the site look either derelict or broken. Second, I think it would be really helpful to notify readers when their questions are published! The Board already sends a notification when a question is rejected without breaking anonymity, and I can't imagine it would be too difficult to extend that to answered questions too.

Finally, I do think part of the Board's decline in readership has nothing to do with the Board itself. I explained it last year in my answer to Board Question #91256, but honestly I think this explains it better:

the internet is screenshots.jpg

The Board's options are limited (Facebook is going to be a tough sell for anything that relies on anonymity, for instance), but there's definitely more that can be done. I think that, purely in regards to engagement, the best example of good engagement by a similar organization is By Common Consent's Twitter account. Yes, it's an account associated with the blog, but it's also active enough to have a following in its own right. It routinely posts things only marginally related to BCC's core mission, interacts with other Twitter accounts, and generally behaves the way you'd expect a Twitter account run by a human being to behave. It's not a perfect model, but I think it has some valuable lessons.

So what would I like to see the Board's Twitter account do? Tweet a lot! Give all of the writers access to the account and have them post things (anonymously or signed) on a regular basis, even if they're not directly Board-related. Talk about how you feel. Comment on the news or the latest viral tweet. Post polls. Interact with fans. Like and reply to other people's tweets. As The Man with a Mustache suggested in a flagette, make a point of posting a link to a Board question, whether new or classic, at least once a day. Looking through the Board account's history, it looks like it was run pretty well during October, but since then it's dropped off the face of the internet. I'd love to see that level of presence maintained.

Regardless of your approach, I wish you the best. The Board is a good and valuable institution. Next year is the Board's 25th anniversary, and I'd love to see it survive and thrive for another 25 years and beyond.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear writer, 

Y’all need to expand your community. Honestly one of my favorite Board memories was sneakily putting fliers all over Heritage Halls with Concorde and a few others. It's easy to do and it gets the message out quick!

I think having more than one writer answer the same question is also really appealing to readers. Even if it’s a quick, "Everything that writer said plus a few sentences of my own two cents."

Google Forms and surveys are a good way to get feedback. I saw some notes that it was recently done on the Board page but I do think that any type of feedback is beneficial. I wouldn't just post it on the Board; Tweet it and share it on Facebook as well.

Lastly, y’all are close-ish to 100k questions. MILK IT FOR ALL ITS WORTH.  Contact the Daily Universe or the BYU Alumni Magazine or heck, even the Daily Herald and get an article published. People unfamiliar with the Board will be intrigued that there’s a website that’s been around for so long it’s answered a literal 100,000+ questions and older readers might return. 

Best of luck! The Board brought me so much joy while in university so I hope it does the same for you current writers. 

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear Frustrated,

Put Board leadership in the hands of current BYU students.

To be clear, all three editors right now are AMAZING people who have done phenomenal work for the Board. I just think that when you graduate it's easier for the Board to become less of a priority and not something that you would be willing to invest serious energy into as far as marketing and re-design go. It seems that writers who are current students (and I think there are a lot of great ones right now) have more incentive and opportunity to advance the Board in those ways.

I think all the ideas listed in the above answers are great. 

I also think all you writers and editors are great! It's 100% okay for change to happen slowly, and all of you are doing a wonderful service by volunteering any of your time to help out and entertain random people on the internet. Thanks for all you do.

Love,

Vienna

A:

Dear writer,

I've always felt that the Board is hard to advertise because the writers are so focused on keeping their writership a secret. Ideally, the Board would have enough word-of-mouth momentum that the writers wouldn't have to expose themselves at all. But I count myself lucky to have heard about the Board from the one person who told me about it, and that was back in 2011 when it was really going strong.

One idea would be to encourage writers to talk about the Board with friends if they're comfortable with that, rather than feeling like it's a secret identity. The best advertising will come from the writers themselves, and the best readers could be friends who are somewhat personally interested. Just don't reveal your actual 'nym (though some people may figure it out). Anonymity has different importance to different people but I didn't mind knowing there was a handful of people who knew I was a writer.

Maybe I'm just nostalgic, but I love the classic aesthetic of the Board. I don't think a major overhaul to make it function like Reddit would work well. You go to Reddit for Reddit stuff and the Board for Board stuff. But of course some smaller updates to the site every now and then could show readers that the Board is still alive, especially if you talk about those updates as they come.

If you're not getting enough questions asked, you could try things to generate your own content. Set up a schedule of questions from the editors or writers. Make a series highlighting great answers in the archives. Discuss things, debate things, etc. Most people on any website are just lurkers anyway, and they won't care if the questions come from readers or are self-generated.

YouTube, for example, has a view count on each video, so that people who don't engage at all still show up as an engagement. The Board right now has no way indicate the people who come and only read, which has to be most of the visitors. Maybe include a view counter on answers, or a visits counter on the website. Something like that could help the website feel more alive, and help readers feel like they're engaging in something without having to make an account.

-Kirito

A:

Dear Felix,

The website needs a complete aesthetic revamp. No one wants to use a website that looks like it was made in 2010 (which I think this website was). The people who made it did a great job, but a new color scheme and a more minimalistic layout would go a long way. 

Also, yeah, word needs to get out about the Board. Advertisements around campus would be really cool. 

-Adelaide

Question #92342 posted on 06/12/2019 11:46 a.m.
Q:

Dear yayfulness,

Did you make an embarrassing mistake in Board Question #91271, and would you like to fix it?

-this is obviously not yayfulness

A:

Dear obviously not yayfulness,

Yes, yes I did. Two embarrassing mistakes, in fact.

(If you’re actually reading this, I’m assuming you’ve already read my answer to Board Question #91271, so I’m not going to repeat myself. This answer probably won’t make too much sense without that context.)

The first mistake is named Tristan da Cunha, and it's a tiny blip of a volcano in the southern Atlantic Ocean with a permanent civilian population of about 250 and a fascinating history which I shamelessly binged about a month ago. It's also about 2,075 miles from the nearest temple in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The African coast is several hundred miles closer, and if a temple is ever built in Cape Town, South Africa, Tristan da Cunha will be evicted from the 2,000 Mile Club. Until then, though, I'd be remiss to deny it its rightful place.

The second mistake is that, in my zeal to find the furthest point from a temple in central Asia, I completely overlooked that the THIRD-LARGEST CITY IN RUSSIA IS THERE, TOO. Novosibirsk (population 1.6 million) is over 2,100 miles from the nearest temples in Finland and Ukraine. It's one of five (!) cities of over a million people in the 2,000-mile zone, the others being Krasnoyarsk, Russia (1.1 million), Almaty, Kazakhstan (1.6 million), Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (1.0 million), and Urumqi, China (3.6 million). There are seven branches in the Novosibirsk-Krasnoyarsk area plus one in Almaty; two of these branches, at Barnaul and Kemerovo, are 2,205 miles from the Helsinki temple and thus the two LDS congregations furthest from a temple.

Last year, I started working on a list of potential temple sites that could take places off the 2,000-mile list. Exactly one week after that answer got published, a temple was announced for Yigo, Guam, barely 1,000 miles from Pohnpei, Micronesia (formerly the second-most distant inhabited place from a temple outside of mainland Asia). Since then, I've refined the list quite a bit. I really wanted to illustrate it with a map somehow, but I spent the last two weeks arguing with QGIS and so far QGIS has won every time. So instead, here's a table. Temple sites to watch are places which meet three criteria: first, they have a substantial population; second, they have an established Church presence; and third, they are not close to an existing temple.

2,000 Mile Areas Temple Sites to Watch Countries to Watch
Central Asia Moscow, Russia; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Samara/Tolyatti, Russia; Saratov, Russia; Yerevan, Armenia1 Russia, Mongolia, Armenia2, India
Easter Island none none
Rodrigues Antananarivo, Madagascar3 Madagascar4, Mozambique, Malawi
Tristan da Cunha Cape Town, South Africa South Africa
Kullorsuaq and Nuussuaq Glasgow/Edinburgh, UK; Oslo, Norway; Belfast, UK; Newcastle, UK5 UK, Norway
Qeqertat none none
Al-Hofuf Bucharest, Romania; Yerevan, Armenia; Pskov, Bulgaria Bulgaria, Romania, Armenia, Russia, India

I'm reasonably confident that if a temple is announced within 2,000 miles of any of the areas in the first column in the near future, it will be built at one of the sites in the second column. I'm reasonably confident that any temple announced outside of the countries in the third column won't be within 2,000 miles of any of the areas in the first column.

-yayfulness

1 All of these would reduce the size of the area, but none would eliminate it entirely
2 I'm using Hungary as my baseline expectation for when a European country receives its first temple: over 5,000 members and 22 congregations, at least some of which are wards.
3 Maputo, Mozambique could technically be on this list, depending on a temple's exact address. Rodrigues is 11 miles wide, Maputo is 14 miles wide, and the westernmost point in Rodrigues is 1,997 miles from the easternmost point in Maputo.
4 As the temple-having country in Africa with the smallest LDS presence, Kenya sets my baseline for the rest of the region: just short of 15,000 members and 50 congregations, at least some of which are wards.
5 Newcastle is within 2,000 miles of Nuussuaq but not Kullorsuaq
Question #92341 posted on 06/12/2019 11:45 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Anyone have suggestions for how to support your spouse during an extremely difficult year? My husband is a first- year attending surgeon, and holy cow the stress is real. I feel so inadequate to help him process his stress and, occasionally, grief. What can I do, o ye who have been married longer than we?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear Name,

I'm not too sure this is going to be very comforting to you, but I think that something important to keep in mind is that the job of support is not particularly glamorous or satisfying. Nothing about your question suggests that you're acting in any way selfishly; I'm just pointing this out. When I consider the times in my marriage when it has been my primary job to support my wife through a hard time, I realize that some part of me was imagining that I would be this stalwart supporter through thick and thin and that there was some movie audience watching me and all the girls were sighing and saying, "I wish I were married to someone like that," and all the men were saying, "now that's a real man." In reality, however, the job of support through difficulty can be in and of itself difficult and isolating. A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Understand that feeling stressed or frustrated is not an indication that you're doing anything wrong. Taking someone's stress will be stressful. And even though he'll go back the next day into that same stressful situation and you're maybe having a hard time too doesn't mean that he's not leaving home with a thought in his mind that you've got his back. It might not always show, but that feeling will last after this period of time in your life fades and will become a foundational aspect of your marriage.
  2. Nothing much is going to change because of your support. OK, that sounds bad. What I mean is this: some things have to be lived through and not solved. Example: so, my wife is having a particularly difficult pregnancy right now. She's in pain most of the time that's strong enough that she sometimes can't do even simple things (walking downstairs, holding one of our other children, getting a glass of water, etc.). And no matter how much I do to help her, tomorrow she's going to have those same problems. Sometimes I get irrationally frustrated with her when she asks me for help, ("Why isn't this getting better?"). In my better moments, I know that the point of my support is not to solve her problems, but to help her know that she's not alone and that even though I can't fix her problems, I'm going to make any part of it lighter that I can and that these actions are a symbol of my love. Any desire for her to be "better" is actually inherently selfish because I want to be relieved of the burdens that I'm relieving. This is hard for me and I'm deeply imperfect when it comes to this form of support because I end up getting frustrated over my lack of control and the loss of my own freedom and desires. But that's what we signed up for. Some day, the roles will be reversed and I'll be grateful for her support of me.

This whole post sounds kind of pessimistic, but I think it's important to realize that this kind of support will not feel glamorous or flashy or movie-like. It will likely be a tough go for a while. But it's also important to remember that that's what it needs to be and that it not feeling great is not a sign that you're doing it wrong. Again, I'm not sure if this is terribly comforting, but it's the best advice I can think of to give. Good luck!

Best,

The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear My Name,

is there a group of spouses or partners in the same boat? An older spouse who can lend a sympathetic ear?

Sometimes having a community that gets it gets us through the hard times. And it might be hard to explain the specific challenges to others.

 

-A Spouse 

Question #92331 posted on 06/12/2019 11:45 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Vienna called it “one of the best movies ever made.”

Katya called it “fantastic.”

Humble Master called it “an absurdly perfect film.”

So, gathered Boardies and Alumni, tell me:

What is your favorite thing about Paddington 2?

-Frère Rubik

A:

Hi Frère,

This is actually a very rude question, as it's impossible to narrow down to just one.

But the movie is a pillar of true, genuine kindness and love. Paddington has a deep love for every person he meets. He knows them individually and cares about what his friends care about because it makes them happy. It may be blasphemous, but oh well: the way Paddington cares about people and their individual needs is how I imagine the idea of a god’s love would be.

But apart from that sappy stuff, it's insanely hilarious. I don't want to just list jokes, because context matters, but I will say that while my sister and I were just in London a few weeks ago, we spent WAY too long in St. Paul's Cathedral whisper-shouting, ”stop that stunning sister!” and trying to get pics of her running away. And visiting all the London Landmarks, (from both the popping book and Paddington's life).

And while we're on the popping book, let's talk about *that scene* with Aunt Lucy's imagined visit. It tonally and visually stunning, in a way that a sequel to a children's movie did not have to be! Paul King did that for us!

Also, the details: the prison newspaper, the to-do list in the Browns' kitchen, Phoenix Buchanan's old headshots, the end credits—I could go on. No detail that had the option for jokes was left wanting.

This was the role Hugh Grant was meant to play. I maintain he was unjustly snubbed of at least a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Phoenix Buchanan. He had the charm, the status, and the talent to pull of every aspect.

But of course, the ending. I don't want to give anything away for those poor souls who haven't seen it yet, but from the moment Paddington says "But it's not okay," until the end, I am in tears. Every time. And I've seen this movie an insane amount of times. (Remember when MoviePass let you see a movie as many times in theaters as you want? Let's just say I took full advantage.)

In summary, the combined heart, humor, attention to detail, and magnificent performances make this a fantastic, absurdly-perfect film, easily one of best movies ever made.

Sincerely,

Ace

P.S.  A fun post-film discussion topic: How would Paddington would help you individually on his morning route? (Examples from the film include: remembering keys, studying for a test, bringing breakfast. Examples from my friends include: throwing an alley-oop set up for a perfect dunk, kindly reminding to turn on headlights, etc.)

A:

Dear Frère Rubik,

Thank you, Vienna, Katya, Ace, Sherpa Dave, and Humble Master for the recommendation. After I saw this question, I watched Paddington 2 to investigate and think my heart grew a little warmer as a result. Such a wholesome movie.

Similar to Ace, I think my favorite part was how this movie shows what true compassion and kindness looks like. And even if it is theoretically blasphemous, she has a point about the spiritual metaphor and I kinda like that.

-Van Goff

P.S. To answer Ace's question, he would probably remind me to clean up my house a little before I go because it's always nicer coming home to a tidy house after work and I need to get better at that.

A:

Dear person,

I was a captive audience.

-Sheebs