"It's kind of fun to do the impossible. " - Walt Disney
Question #92425 posted on 07/07/2019 5:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I think of this question every single morning, and I'm glad I finally remembered to ask.

Let's say I'm finishing up my morning shower and I wring out my washcloth to hang it on the inside of the door. If I had unlimited strength, could I wring the washcloth out so hard that, when I was finished, it was totally dry? In other words, could I force every molecule out of the material so that it was bone dry?

Don't know why. I just think of these weird things.

Thanks.

-Washrag Randy

A:

Dear person,

Let's say your washcloth is made of cotton. Cotton is good at absorbing for a couple of reasons. First, water is a dipole (has an electrically positively charged "side" and a negatively charged "side" to the molecule) and cotton's electric charges are distributed unevenly along its cellulose fibers. These uneven charges cause the water and cellulose fibers to be attracted to each other. Second, the cellulose fibers are structured in such a way that it is easy for water to move along and inside the fibers. This makes it very easy for water to "hang out" on and around cotton.

Wringing your washcloth is twisting. Thus, the force we are applying to the washcloth is torsion. Torsion is comprised of both compression and tension. When you twist the washcloth to get water out, what you are doing is using compression to force the cellulose fibers closer together. This reduces the amount of surface area that the water can "hang out" on. However, because torsion is both compression and tension, we cannot increase the compression without increasing the tension. And, eventually, the tension will cause the washcloth to rip. 

I don't know how to do the math to prove it, but I'm certain that the washcloth would rip before every molecule of water will be forced out of the material. If you were going to destroy a cotton washcloth, would you compress it as hard as you could? Or would you pull it tight as hard as you could? The latter, of course. To force every molecule out would mean reducing the spaces between and within the cellulose fibers until they were so small that water molecules are too small to fit inside. That's extremely tiny. 

So no, you could not not wring out your washcloth so hard that all the water would be forced out.

But wait.

Let's say, for the sake of fun, that your washcloth has infinite tensile strength and that your hands are infinitely strong. That is, the cloth could never rip and you won't break your bones, rip or burn your skin, or anything like that. The cloth can only be damaged by the compression part of twisting. Let's say that you, with your infinite strength, start wringing the washcloth. The cotton would give off lots of heat. This would make the water turn into steam at about 212 F. So parts of the washcloth that are touching the air would be dry. However, there is still water at the center of the washcloth, which surrounded by several layers. If you don't unravel the washcloth periodically to allow the water inside to evaporate and instead keep squeezing, the cloth is likely to ignite once it reaches 400-750 F, after which you wouldn't have a washcloth anymore.

-Sheebs

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 #92277 posted on 06/07/2019 10 p.m.
Q:

Alright Board,

Since you all basically passed on question #91937 when originally asked, I thought I would tee it up again for Alumni Week. I know there are a lot of quantitatively-oriented people in the Alumni group, and I figure they might have fun with it.

----Original Question----

I regularly ride UTA FrontRunner from the North Temple Station to the Provo Station. I do this for lots of reasons, one of which is my perception that I'm reducing the carbon and particulate emission of the trip by taking FrontRunner versus driving. A few days ago, I was looking at the massive diesel fuel tanks on FrontRunner, and it made me wonder how many people have to ride the train in order for the fuel saved from not driving cars to offset the fuel burned by FrontRunner.

Question 1: how many vehicle miles must FrontRunner be taking off the road per FrontRunner mile in order for the train to "break even" in terms of carbon and particulates?

Question 2: Do we have any decent way to calculate, based on FrontRunner trips and ridership data, if FrontRunner, as a whole, is making things net better off in terms of carbon and particulates?

Assumptions: Assume that every vehicle mile is driven by a theoretical "average" vehicle. Assume that nobody is driving to or from train stations.

(I also understand that there are lots of other reasons to have a public transit program. I'm just talking about the pollution aspect here, and am not trying to label FrontRunner as "good" or "bad" on this basis).

-G

A:

Dear Jeepers, 

Hey man, I'm just here to prove that the current writers are still totally capable and awesome. I'm not particularly quantitatively inclined... which is why I didn't answer this the first time. But I'm not going to let this one slip past us. So for this answer, Tipperary and I put our heads together to tackle this question. 

First of all, we need to make an assumption: 1 vehicle mile = 1 passenger mile. Because cars can carry fewer people than Frontrunner can, it's easier to calculate things in terms of individual riders, assuming that each person that rides Frontrunner is one fewer person driving. 

Now for the facts: 

The average car emits 0.89 lbs of CO2 for every mile driven (see data found here.) Using the 1=1 assumption, that means Cars have a "per passenger mile" emission of 0.89 lbs. 

Frontrunner will emit X lbs of CO2, even if it's making its rounds with no passengers. The emissions per passenger goes down the more people that ride (logically. X/n will decrease as n increases.) To find where the point of equality is, we need to know how what n equals that would result in a 0.89 lb per passenger mile emission rate. 

Using data from the 2013 Sustainability Report, we charted the relationship between how many daily riders are on Frontrunner and the emissions per passenger mile reported for that year. Here's that chart: 

Emissions.jpg 

The points read from left to right, plotting 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and the farthest point extrapolating the emissions for 2018. The red point represents the point of equality that we found, indicating how many riders would have to take Frontrunner daily to equal the same emissions per passenger mile as if they were driving. That number is 3775. 

In other words, as long as there are at least 3775 riders on Frontrunner daily, it "breaks even" in terms of carbon emissions. I couldn't find reliable information on particulates, so we're just going to decide it's the same number (even though it's probably more, since diesel emits more PM2.5 than petrol cars do. But, since there isn't specific numerical information about PM2.5 emissions of Frontrunner, I can't answer that for now.) 

So, is Frontrunner really better for the environment? Based on this data, yes. The most recent data shows that Frontrunner hosts 17,600 riders daily, more than quadrupling the necessary ridership to make up for the emissions. Plus, as technology advances, we think of even more ways to improve emissions, and based simply on the fact that Frontrunner can take more people than cars ever can, it will always be more efficient.

Hope this satisfies your query. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse and Tipperary

Question #92250 posted on 05/20/2019 12:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are some foreseeable improvements that will come to the board or that you would like to see come to the board in the next few years?

-Inklings

A:

Dear Agent,

Here is the list of improvements planned for 2019 stolen directly from the desk of the editors in the Board Lair. Many rebels died to acquire these plans, but I think you'll find them worth the sacrifice.

  • Different language versions of the Board. Eventually all languages will be supported, but our first languages will be Parseltongue followed by Esperanto.*
  • Augmented Reality Board.* Enough said.
  • Multiverse board. This allows you to receive perfect answers to hypothetical questions by directly asking these questions to writers in an alternate universe where your hypothetical question is a reality.*
  • Board Empathy Link. This feature will allow writers to experience the emotions of readers and perfectly answer their dating questions.*
  • Television chocolate. Readers will be able to pull actual chocolate bars out of their phones or computer screens.*
  • Pure Incognito Mode. This allows you to ask questions completely anonymously. Your questions will be untraceable by search history, the FBI, and scrying wizards.*
  • 99 Hour Board.* Boom.

There you have it folks. Exciting changes are coming to the Board. You can trust me. Please ignore any and all asterisks.

Truly yours,

Totally Real Facts

*This feature may or may not be totally made up and completely ridiculous.

Question #92116 posted on 03/23/2019 12:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear an undetermined amount of Hours Board,

I have 4 questions sitting between 200-2000 hours. Why don’t you like me?

-One-tear crying face

A:

Dear you, 

Don't cry. We hold your questions over because we love you!

-Sunday Night Banter

Question #92043 posted on 03/17/2019 8:26 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

#92017 was fascinating to read about to me. How many offshoots of the LDS church are there and what did/do they believe? What's the most interesting one out there?

-I've heard of the FLDS and RLDS church before but that's it

A:

Dear same here,

Prepare yourself. Here are basically all the offshoots of the church Joseph Smith established. Data comes from this amazing timeline (seriously go look at it). There may be churches missing but hopefully I got all the orders right, and more info on these churches can be found here, which I liberally used and often straight out copied without using quotation marks (thank you Wikipedia and please forgive me).

This is really, really long. Sorry about that. But it's super fascinating. I think the most interesting one is the Perfected Church of Jesus Christ of Immaculate Latter-day Saints (number 30). Not only did they believe in polygamy, but the founder taught menstruation could be eliminated through righteousness, priesthood alchemy could turn common metals into gold, and that his partner's pregnancy was an immaculate conception. All in all, a religion founded by a man who has no clue about female anatomy. 

tl;dr: most of these churches held the same tenets of Mormonism. The founders usually thought they had the true authority, or the mainstream church went astray by certain practices (like practicing or not practicing polygamy).

The first church: Church of Christ. 1830. Founded by Joseph Smith.

  1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (This is us.) Founded 1844. Brigham Young declared himself president and prophet after the death of Joseph Smith. Estimated membership: 15,882,417. Referred to as LDS Church from here on out (Sorry but it's the shortest and easiest way to keep track with all these churches). Yes, technically we are a break-off church.
  2. Pure Church of Christ. 1831. Defunct. Founder claimed he received a revelation that he was the prophet and the true revelator, not Smith.
  3. Independent Church. 1832. Defunct. Founder denounced Smith and the Book of Mormon.
  4. Church of Christ (Booth). 1836. Defunct. Believed Smith wasn't a prophet and the BoM wasn't scripture.
  5. Church of Christ (Parish). 1837. Defunct. Believed Smith was a fallen prophet, rejected the BoM and parts of the Bible.
  6. Church of Christ (Chubby). Late 1830s. Defunct. Created to minister to African Americans.
  7. Alston's Church. 1839. Told LDS members to stay in Missouri instead of moving to Illinois.
  8. Church of Jesus Christ, the Bride, the Lamb's Wife. 1840. Defunct. Believed Smith wasn't a prophet and the BoM wasn't scripture.
  9. Church of Christ (Page). 1843. Defunct. Hiram Page, a BoM witness, started this one.
  10. True Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1844. Defunct. William Law, who published the Nauvoo Expositor exposing Smith's practice of polygamy, formed this church (but did not claim to be a prophet, just the president). Said Mormonism was true but polygamy was a corruption.
  11. Church of Christ (Wightite). 1844. Extant. Founder rejected Brigham Young's claims of leadership. Moved with followers to Texas. Most followers joined the RLDS church.
  12. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Strangite). 1844. Estimated membership: 300. Strang (founder) had a letter from Smith calling him to be president (but of the church or the stake?), said angels told him he was Smith's successor. Found the Voree plates, a record of an ancient Native American. Was initially followed by William Smith (Smith's brother), Martin Harris, William E. McLellin, Lucy Mack Smith, and other famous people, though these people left when anti-polygamy Strang suddenly became super pro-polygamy (apparently no one can resist the lure of having multiple wives). He founded a town and crowned himself king of the church. Uses the Bible, BoM, and Strang's Book of the Law of the Lord, which Strang claims he translated from the Plates of Laban. Ordained women to the priesthood, practice animal sacrifice, Saturday Sabbath. Believes God is one God and that Jesus is the son of Mary and Joseph but adopted by God.
    1. Church of Christ (Aaron Smith). 1846. Defunct.
    2. Church of the Messiah. 1861. Defunct. Led followers from Maine to Palestine and failed to establish a mission there. Mark Twain wrote about the failed settlers returning home in his book The Innocents Abroad.
    3. Holy Church of Jesus Christ. 1964. Defunct. Church headquartered in France.
    4. Church of Jesus Christ (Drewite). 1965. One congregation left. Founder was excommunicated from Strangite church.
    5. True Church of Jesus Christ Restored. 1974.
  13. Church of Jesus Christ of the Children of Zion (Rigdon). 1844. Defunct. Founded by Sidney Rigdon. Believed Smith was a fallen prophet for practicing polygamy. Attempted to live the law of consecration and failed. Rigdon deserted the group and lived with relatives until his death.
    1. Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite). 1862. Estimated membership: 22,537. Fun fact: I met a Bickertonite on my mission in Georgia! He told us they believe in the BoM. Founder broke off from Rigdon's church after they moved to PA. Have the priesthood. Have offices of deacons and deaconesses, though these ordained offices are not part of the general priesthood. Have the president, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the 70. Rejects polygamy, celestial marriage, two separate priesthoods. Teaches that Smith taught some wrong stuff and many LDS denominations fell into error by following them. Believes in the Godhead, the Bible and BoM, the doctrine of Christ, only men get the priesthood authority, communion (wine and bread), and racial integration.
      1. Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite). 1907. Defunct. Dispute over nature of life in the millennium split the Bickertonite Quorum of the Twelve in two (wow imagine that happening to our church). Later merged with Primitive Church of Jesus Christ (below).
      2. Primitive Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite). 1915. Defunct. Rejected the First Presidency as a valid leadership organization. Later merged with Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ (above).
  14. Church of Christ (Whitmerite). 1847 and 1871. William E. McLellin claimed Smith designated David Whitmer as his successor. Many LDS leaders agreed, including Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, Hiram Page, and John Whitmer. Most remaining members eventually united with the Church of Christ (Temple Lot).
  15. Church of Christ (Brewsterite). 1848. Defunct.
  16. The Bride, the Lamb's Wife. 1848. Defunct. Founder claimed he was taken to heaven to talk with Smith, who designated him as his true successor.
  17. Congregation of Jehovah's Presbytery of Zion. 1848. Defunct. Founder claimed he was "Baneemy" mentioned in D&C 105:27 (I looked it up. The old verse said "my servant Baurak Ale, and Baneemy, who I have appointed..." and the current version says "my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and mine elders, whom I have appointed..." So sorry about that Charles Thompson). He also said God rejected the church after Smith's death, and he had been called to renew the priesthood.
  18. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Gladdenite). 1851. Defunct. Founder claimed Nephi (one of the three Nephites) gave him the golden plates, the Urim and Thummim, the breastplate of Moroni, the Liahona, the sword of Laban, and two crowns representing the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods. Said he was washed, anointed, robed, and throned in a vision, and claimed he was David the king. Martin Harris followed him (This is Harris's what, third offshoot he's joined? Say you're a prophet and he'll back you up, apparently). Brigham Young initially said they should kill this founder, but later said to just leave him and their church alone. Members later helped form the Church of Christ (Temple Lot).
  19. Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite). 1853. Estimated membership: 12. Founder said he was a member of the Quorum of Seven (D. Michael Quinn believes this was a subcommittee within the Council of Fifty), and thus the only one with priesthood authority after everyone else apostatized. Practice United Order, retains Nauvoo-era Temple endowment and Baptism for the Dead. Doesn't practice eternal marriage, polygamy, or missionary work because God rejected all the gentiles after Smith died.
    1. True Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite). 1953. Defunct? Split over presidential succession issue, folded with death of its founder.
    2. Restored Church of Jesus Christ. 1980. Estimated membership: 25. Founder claimed to be the "One Mighty and Strong" Smith prophesied would come to set the church in order. Teaches a bipartite god (God the Father and Jesus Christ only).
    3. Church of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. 1985.
  20. Church of the Potter Christ. 1857. Defunct. Founder claimed he was Jesus.
  21. Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS). Renamed Community of Christ. 1860. Estimated membership: 250,301. Organized by Joseph Smith's son. Never practiced polygamy, ordain women to the priesthood today, accept the LGBTQ community. minnow and I went to a congregation last week; they have similar hymns, a woman presided and directed, and only those with the priesthood can give talks. Priesthood ordinations come from leadership, so not everyone has it. It felt more like your average Christian church than the LDS church.
    1. Church of the Christian Brotherhood. 1918. Defunct. Left the RLDS Church due to their denial that Smith practiced polygamy (the RLDS Church eventually accepted it). Founder rejected most of Mormonism's tenets, as polygamy proved Smith was a false prophet.
    2. Church of Jesus Christ Restored. 1960s. Estimated membership: 40. Instituted polygamy and the United Order. Church leaders found guilty of sexual exploitation and abuse.
    3. Church of Jesus Christ (Toneyite). 1980. Founder claimed to be "Elijah and only prophet" of his organization.
    4. Church of Christ (Clark). 1985. Keep annual feasts, including Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, etc.
    5. Independent Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1985.
      1. Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 2000. You can watch all their broadcasting live from the Centerplace of Zion on their Facebook page.
    6. Church of Jesus Christ Restored 1830. Mid-1980s. Split when RLDS Church opened priesthood to women and built the Independence Temple.
    7. Church of Jesus Christ (Zion's Branch). 1986. Estimated membership: 200. Opposed RLDS Church giving women the priesthood. Wow a lot of people had a problem with women gaining equality. Their beliefs are very similar to LDS beliefs except they don't do baptisms for the dead, a temple endowment, eternal marriage, and polygamy.
    8. Lundgren Group. 1988. Estimated membership: 20. Described as a cult. Founder was dismissed from RLDS Church, practiced methods of "mind control" on his followers, claimed he was God's last prophet, and was later executed by the state for murdering five people. This is actually a really disturbing story.
    9. Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1991. More people having issues that the RLDS Church allowed women to hold the priesthood. Seriously people we have THREE new churches simply because the RLDS Church decided women should have a more equal role.
  22. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Gibsonite). 1861. Defunct. Organized in Pacific Islands, had a gathering place established on Lanai, HI. Founder sought, and gained, power in the Kingdom of Hawaii, but wasn't a very good advisor.
  23. Church of the Firstborn (Morrisite). 1861. Assumed defunct. Believed in reincarnation - taught Joseph Smith was a reincarnated Mormon and Apostle Paul, and that the leaders were reincarnated Moses and Cainan. Taught the Second Coming was imminent and not to plant crops. The specific day of the Second Coming kept changing because it never happened.
    1. Kingdom of Heaven. 1866. Defunct. Lived a communal life in Washington until 1881. Taught reincarnation, that the founder was the archangel Michael who lived previous lives as Adam, Abraham, and David. Declared his son the reincarnated Jesus Christ, who came to be called "Walla Walla Jesus" (...cool). Declared his second son to be God the Father. Both of his children died.
    2. Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Most High. 1882. Disbanded in 1969.
    3. Order of Enoch. 1884. Believes in reincarnation, founder taught he was the "One Mighty and Strong" and was a reincarnated Joseph Smith, Adam Enoch, Moses, David, Ezekiel, and George Washington (...cool). Rejected polygamy, believes the millennium will happen in the 24th century. Wrote a book with 7 major teachings: Brigham Young led the church astray; African Americans are not cursed as Young taught, but should be allowed to get the priesthood and enter the temple; the Lost Tribes are not living at the North Pole (I guess we believed that?); reincarnation is real; Joseph Smith sinned in practicing polygamy and that's why he was killed; Morris (Church of the Firstborn founder) was a prophet; their founder was Jesus reincarnated.
  24. Church of Christ (Temple Lot). 1863. Estimated membership: 5,000. Led by Quorum of the 12, reject office of prophet, reject baptism for the dead, celestial marriages, D&C, and the Pearl of Great Price. Owns the lot designated by Smith for the temple of the New Jerusalem in Independence, MO. Believe they have the priesthood and are the only true church. Heavily influenced by David Whitmer's writings.
    1. Church of Christ (Fettingite). 1929. Estimated membership: 2,450. Founder claimed to have received revelations from John the Baptist. Adopted seventh day sabbatarianism. Doctrine and practices are virtually identical to the Church of Christ (Temple Lot). Only true church.
      1. Church of Christ (Restored). 1937. Only true church. Reject Saturday Sabbath, but otherwise same as Church of Christ (Fettingite).
      2. Church of Christ With the Elijah Message. 1943. Estimated membership: 12,500. Virtually same as Church of Christ (Temple Lot).
        1. Church of Christ (Leighton-Floyd/Burt). 1965. Estimated membership: 35.
        2. Church of Christ With the Elijah Message, The Assured Way of the Lord, Inc. 2004. This name tho. Similar to Church of Christ (Fettingite). Believes the Godhead is one person, not three.
      3. Church of Christ (Hancock). 1946. Defunct. First LDS denomination to be established by a woman. Accepted the Bible and BoM only at first but eventually rejected the BoM. Jerald and Sandra Tanner are former members. Kept only KJV Bible and BoM. Modalistic view of God (one God, different manifestations). Members joined Protestant churches after it dissolved.
    2. Church of Christ At Halley's Bluff.1932. 
      1. Church of Israel. 1972. Few LDS beliefs or practices remain in the church. Is racist. Believes white people are descendants of Adam and Jewish people are descendant of Cain and Satan. Deeply distrusts the government and most home-birthed children in the church do not have social security numbers. Believes the medical profession is "Jewish" and discourages the use of doctors and immunizations. 
  25. The Church of Zion (Godbeites). 1868. Defunct. Split to be more liberal and inclusive. Were the original core of Utah Territory's Liberal Party, but as they became more anti-Mormon and critical of polygamy, their influence died out.
  26. Council of Friends.1920s. Also known as the Priesthood Council. Created to continue the practice of polygamy after the mainstream church stopped its practice. Founder claimed LDS President Taylor gave him and others keys to ensure polygamy would continue even if the LDS Church stopped practicing it. Splintered into...
    1. Latter Day Church of Christ (Kingston). 1935. Estimated membership: 3,500. Originally LDS Founder preached polygamy, was excommunicated. Claims they maintain Smith's original teachings (including plural marriage). At first all members wore all blue clothes without outer pockets and went bareheaded and barefoot. There's intra-family marriages and possibly child marriages.
    2. Apostolic United Brethren. 1954. Estimated membership: 10,000. Has a temple in Mexico and an endowment house in Utah. Views the LDS Church as legitimate and divine, though wayward. They're the Sister Wives people. Believe in the United Order, polygamy, and the Adam-God doctrine.
      1. Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times. 1955. Founder was excommunicated for practicing polygamy and declared himself the "One Mighty and Strong" sent to redeem LDS people; reported 19 prophets visited him. They actively proselyte to LDS members so if you see the pamphlet "Priesthood Expounded" it's from them. They converted nine LDS missionaries in France, which has been called the "worst missionary apostasy in the history of the [LDS] Church."
        1. Church of the First Born Lamb of God. 1972. May still exist? The founder was the Presiding Patriarch of the Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times but started teaching that he, not his brother (the president), had the authority to lead the church. He was excommunicated and so he started his own church. He prophesied his brother would be killed and one of his followers shot his brother. And then he and his followers committed dozens of assassinations of members of that church and other Mormon fundamentalist groups. The founder died in prison during his life sentence. Lovely.
      2. Church of the Firstborn. 1955. Estimated membership: around 100. Founder said the "One Mighty and Strong" would be an Indian prophet. Here's their Facebook page in case you want to learn more.
      3. Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS). 1954. Estimated membership: 10,000. Largest group of LDS people who practice polygamy.
        1. Centennial Park. 1984. Estimated membership: 1,500. They've been on TV quite a bit ("The Outsiders", on Oprah, Polygamy, USA). Most live in Centennial Park City, Arizona. Practice polygamy, but the woman chooses her husband.
          1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Kingdom of God. 1990. Estimated membership: 200-300. Practice polygamy, the United Order, and believe in the Adam-God doctrine.
        2. Church of Jesus Christ (Original Doctrine) Inc. 2000. Estimated membership: 700. Created after Warren Jeffs excommunicated their founder. Practice polygamy; most members are descendants of six men.
      4. Church of Jesus Christ in Solemn Assembly. 1974. Estimated membership: 400. Helped create the Confederate Nations of Israel, an organization patterned after the Council of Fifty. Members can be atheist or from any religious denomination or any sexual orientation. About 25% of members practice polygamy. The first openly gay mayor in Utah history belonged to this group.
      5. Church of the New Covenant in Christ. 1975. Founder was LDS and believed the Church should still practice polygamy. Said he received revelations from Jesus and John the Baptist, and that he was taken to the City of Enoch where Smith ordained him to all the priesthood keys and declared him the "One Mighty and Strong." Headquartered in Oregon. Supposedly they practice free love, drug experimentation, and heterosexual and homosexual group sex. The founder now has abandoned teaching polygamy and wants to reorient his family life away from its patriarchal structure, though he hasn't divorced any of his five wives.
        1. Sons Ahman Israel. 1981.
      6. Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1978. Estimated membership: 100-200. Founder claims to have been visited by God and Jesus and holds all the priesthood keys. Church was formed two months before the ban on the priesthood was lifted; founder claimed he foresaw this "apostasy" through revelation. Organized basically the same as the LDS Church. Teaches polygamy, the United Order, the Adam-God doctrine, and the Curse of Cain doctrine. Thankfully they don't allow women under 18 to be sealed into plural marriages. Yay for no child marriages!
  27. Third Convention. 1936. Formed by Mexican LDS members who broke away after dispute over local governance and autonomy of the church in Mexico (the LDS church wouldn't give them a Mexican mission president). Most members eventually came back to the DLS Church.  
  28. House of Aaron. 1943. Estimated membership: <1,000. This denomination does not want to be known as part of the LDS movement, but their founder was baptized into and excommunicated from the LDS Church. 
    1. Zion's Order, Inc. 1950. Estimated membership: 100. Use LDS scriptures besides D&C 132, in addition to 650 revelations to their founder. Teaches the LDS Church must return to practice the United Order.
  29. Independent LDS congregations in Nigeria. 1953. Joined back to common LDS church in 1978. Basically people converted but there wasn't enough church leadership, so they deviated from LDS Church doctrine. Practiced polygamy and established their own black priesthood hierarchy, both which were prohibited by the LDS church at the time.
  30. Perfected Church of Jesus Christ of Immaculate Latter-day Saints. 1955. Founder claimed to be a reincarnated Moroni and was visited by a reincarnated Joseph Smith ("Our Druid Brother"). Founder claimed he had the Urim and Thummim and the seer stone Joseph used to translate the BoM (though Joseph didn't use the former, only the latter). Taught polygamy and druidry, mainly reincarnation. The founder taught that menstrual blood was corrupt and that menstruation could be eliminated through righteousness (I'm torn between laughing at this and being concerned that a lot of cultures believe this and women really do suffer because these beliefs), that priesthood alchemy could turn common metals into gold, and that the "One Mighty and Strong" was a "young white Indian". The founder's partner gave birth to twins, and the founder declared it was an immaculate conception (This guy thinks periods can be stopped by righteousness, I'm honestly not surprised he doesn't know how pregnancy works).
  31. Independent LDS congregations in Ghana. 1964. Joined back to common LDS church in 1978. Founder found a BoM and started his own congregations. Once blacks got the priesthood in 1978 the founder and most of the group were baptized into the LDS Church.
    1. Apostolic Divine Church of Ghana. 1976. Extant. The part of the above church that did not join the LDS Church.
  32. United Order Family Of Christ. 1966. Lasted until 1974. Founded in Colorado specifically for young gay men only, ages 18-30. Practiced the United Order. Was the third gay Christian church founded in America.
  33. School of the Prophets. 1982. Founder published the Book of Onias that condemned LDS Church leaders. He got excommunicated and started his own church. You can read their Second Book of Commandments here. According to the website, this isn't another church, but rather an organization to chastise LDS members into repenting and following the law of consecration, the United Order, etc. Oh wow they even have a Facebook page with a picture of Jesus whipping current day apostles. Almost all of their posts include #LDS #Mormon #Repent. They must not have heard President Nelson's recent GC talk about our name. Oh guys this is just too good.
  34. Church of Jesus Christ (Bullaite). 1983. Founder taught he was the "One Mighty and Strong". Requires his followers pray in his name.
  35. Restoration Church of Jesus Christ. 1985. Dissolved in 2010. Majority of members were LGBT. Called the "Gay Mormon Church" or the "Liberal Mormon Church." Founder was a former LDS bishop excommunicated for being homosexual. Used all LDS scripture plus The Hidden Treasures and Promises, which was revelation given to their church leaders. Was the first LDS denomination to ordain women to the priesthood. Held Heavenly Mother as an equal member of the Godhead. The Word of Wisdom was good advice but not a requirement. Practiced home teaching, endowments, celestial marriage, and LGBTQ marriages, including some homosexual polygamous marriages. Had about 500 people.
  36. True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days. 1994. Estimated membership: 300-500. It was a "new restoration" for the "very last days" before the 2nd Coming. Was upset at LDS Church for scattering members instead of gathering them, discontinuing polygamy, and the temple changes. Taught polygamy; law of consecration; limited reincarnation; gathering of the Saints; that the founder was Joseph Smith reincarnated; that Armageddon would happen in 2004; later that Christ would appear in March 2000; does the original temple endowment; sugar, honey, and meats are forbidden. Did you just ask for a Facebook page? Go check out their cover picture - it's super Masonic! 
  37. Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1994. Extant.
  38. The Church of the Firstborn and the General Assembly of Heaven. 2001. Practices polygamy and the law of consecration. The founder claims to be the Holy Ghost and the Father of Jesus.
  39. Church of Jesus Christ in Zion. 2004. Estimated membership: 1,000. Founder is a former LDS member.
  40. Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ. 2007. Headquarted in England. Added the Book of Jeraneck to scriptural canon.
  41. Fellowships of the Remnant (Snuffer). 2013. Estimated membership: 5,000. LDS Church deemed it a large enough problem to have then-Elder Oaks address members in Boise, Idaho in the "Boise Rescue". Snuffer (founder) claimed the LDS Church lost the priesthood authority. Said Brigham Young was in apostasy (Adam-God Doctrine). Most followers think Smith didn't practice polygamy (yeah sorry guys he did). Believes Mary, the mother of Jesus, is Heavenly Father's wife and our Heavenly Mother.

So all in all we got about 88 offshoots. Holy heavens above.

-guppy of doom

Question #92026 posted on 02/12/2019 2:22 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I need your help. My sanity is at stake. There is a song stuck in my head, but I don't know what it is called!! Here's what I know: It's a female singer singing about a woman named Alice who is in love with the postman. A possible line, ''hey alice, do you wanna go out tonight?"

I have searched for hours to find the song and I just can't. Please help. I need this song out of my head. Thank you.

-R

A:

Dear repeater,

When you posted this question the first time, I tried looking it up and could find nothing. Tipperary couldn't find anything as well. Judging by the lack of corrections on the post, it seems none of our readers know it either. I suggest you write your own version of the song, publish it, and see which band sues you for copyright issues.

-guppy of doom

Question #91971 posted on 02/08/2019 12:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

The writers in 2012 weren't too keen on answering Board Question #68368, citing it was tedious and there was no known reason. Looking at the dates, there was a reason: something big happened within a day or two of the date listed (New York Times, September 10th 2001 tipped me off). I won't repeat the question, but what might be the big events that this reader was subtly referencing? (and for bonus points, something that did happen on that unsuspecting overlooked day in history)

-Corsica S.

A:

Dear C.S.,

So I know you didn't ask for us to answer the original question, but I started to because I was curious and then I got into it and then it was just too late. And tedious is right

Some of the papers required payment for access, others are small enough that the only archives are in local libraries as microfiche. I don't get paid enough as a Board Writer to be able to afford Washington Post articles from 20 years ago or travel to Kansas, but I tried my best. However, I don't think all of them are actually referencing super significant dates. I did a lot of local research in and around those dates both nationally and locally based on the newspaper... and some of them just didn't turn up anything interesting. But, since you asked and because I looked it up anyway, here you go: 

Deseret News--January 9, 2012

For this one, it's really hard to tell which thing was the headliner, but here's the link to all the articles for that day.

Fave bonus story of the day:  A couple entered an unlocked Taylorsville home, watched TV, took showers, and drank hot cocoa and then left. Didn't take anything. They just.... trespassed and then left....???

I looked up the news for January 7-11 and didn't really find anything that stands out as particularly memorable. January 9th, 2012, is about 1 month before Joshua Powell and his two sons were killed (murder-suicide) in their home. Also, it was right when Mitt Romney was running for president, so that was definitely a lot of what the Utah news was about. You can tinker around in the archives yourself, but I genuinely have no idea what 'larger event' may be nearby. Readers who may know may enlighten us all. 

Ogden Standard-Examiner--May 15, 1999

This is one that I simply couldn't find. I also couldn't find much about any news from other sources around that date. There was a major tornado in SLC within a few months... but nothing particularly notable, unless readers (again) are aware of something. 

If you're dying to find out yourself, I emailed the Standard-Examiner and they said that the Weber Library has microfiched articles. 

Chicago Sun Times--August 31, 2004

WM. KENNEDY SMITH SWINGS BACK // HIS LAWYER: IT'S 'SOLEY AND EXCLUSIVELY' ABOUT MONEY // He denies sexual assault, his attorney calls accuser's suit 'a gross abuse' of legal system... That's mostly it... most of the major news headlines on and around that date are about the sexual assault accusations of William Kennedy Smith. 

The day before, the Republican National Convention started for 2004 in which George W. Bush would be nominated, and demonstrators carried mock coffins outside Madison Square Garden. 

New York Times--September 10, 2001 

Published weekly, so there wasn't anything specifically for the 10th, but on the 9th the headline was "Fear of Recession Ignites Discussion of More Tax Cuts." How exciting! And you definitely already guessed the nearby date. 

Los Angeles Times--September 12, 2001

I bet you can guess with this one. "Terrorists Attack New York, Pentagon: Thousands dead, injured as Hijacked US Airliners Ram Targets, World Trade Towers Brought Down"... and that's pretty much all the news that day. 

Washington Post--November 7, 2000

WP wanted to charge me to look at anything in their archives, which is stupid. But Nov. 7, 2000, was the historical election where George H. W. Bush won against Al Gore in what has been determined to be "the closest election in U.S. History." I'm sure that day they weren't quite talking about the problems with Floridian votes because that wouldn't be until later that night. Undoubtedly though, the Post had frontline news focused entirely on the election. 

Los Alamos Monitor--March 22, 1997

The only news I could find was that a nuclear physics study lab in Los Alamos got a new president and supposedly some really important documents went missing. In 1997 I found indications that China had stolen some data or information from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the White House found out in the summer. Anyway, whatever it was, it definitely involved a nuclear physics study lab. I couldn't find any exact sheets or headlines, but some of the general news around that date indicates that's what was going on. See Here and Here

Topeka Capital-Journal--February 29, 1996

No idea here either... but if you really care, you can check out the Microfilm at the Kansas Historical Society on Reel NP 4403. Maybe something about the murder of Michael Jordan's father in North Carolina is the date being referenced?  

Concord Monitor--June 17, 1995

I'm pretty sure there was no published newspaper on the 17th, but the headlining article for the 18th says, "Center questions still linger: Council votes tomorrow". Further research explains that the city was trying to buy property for a civic center, and that was the major news for most of June in Concord. June 20th news indicates that the City Council voted (13-2) to buy the property and spend $3 million on building the center. Again, that's mostly what they're focused on. See Here.

Savannah Tribune--April 1, 1990

I really don't know what the original asker of the question was going for. Nothing particularly notable happened in April or March of 1990 in Savannah specifically. Here and here are lists of events in GA in April 1990... and I don't see anything. Granted, at this point I stopped looking as hard because I didn't feel like there was much to find. You can find murders and political scandals and "newsworthy" events for all of these dates, but none of them really add up to me. If you're interested, lots of big golf Tournament stuff happened on April 1, 1990 around the nation... so there's that.

 

So, my dear Corsica... I have no idea what dates all of these newspaper references are nodding to. I almost doubt that all of them are pointing to anything specific, because I dove into countless rabbitholes to get the originals and also to find historical events connected to the dates... and some of them just turned up completely empty handed. Maybe my standards weren't high, and maybe I just wasn't sure what to search for. I don't remember any of these dates... but if we have readers who are appalled that I could possibly miss something obvious about any one of them, drop a correction because I would genuinely like to know. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

Question #91949 posted on 04/05/2019 12:24 a.m.
Q:

Dear Anne, Certainly,

What do you want to say before you retire?

-Anne, Certainly

A:

Dear you,

It's weird to be writing this. My first answers posted in October of 2011 - I've been at this for over 7 years. When I started I'm not sure I'd even declared an undergraduate major. Since then, I've finished undergrad and law school, gotten married, been admitted to the bar, and survived the first year of being a mom. So, basically, the Board's been one of the constants in my life during a time when a lot has changed.

Since no answer by me would truly be complete without subheadings, let's get some things written that I'd like to say.

Things the Board has taught me:

1. Waiting a few hours is frequently a good idea when you think you have something important to communicate. I often try to not be a jerk even in first draft answers because fellow writers will still see that stuff, but even when I think I'm writing cautiously or clearly, my writing almost always benefits from later review. This is one of the best skills I've learned from the Board: to reflect before speaking/writing. Writing on the internet is interesting because it lacks so much context. It's really hard to use inflection to convey tone (though you can do a bit with emphasis, etc.) Accordingly, I've learned to look at what I'm saying and try to see how someone else would interpret it - particularly someone who might disagree with my opinion. 

2. You really can procrastinate something forever and it isn't usually that helpful. The dirty not-so-secret of the Board is that 100 hours is a goal/aspiration, but not always a reality. Indeed, we've seen questions go into the 4 digits. Sometimes this totally makes sense, and there are totally valid reasons that I've put Board stuff on the back burner to do stuff like, you know, school, or family, or other stuff that matters more in the real world than green thumbs-up. However, having that ever-climbing overdue in my inbox feels icky. I wish and also don't wish that I had that on things I'm procrastinating in my real life: "It has been +12 days since you said you were going to take care of X..." Once it hits a few hundred hours you're like "uggghhh I don't even want to deal with it." But eventually you're either going to have to do it or delete your answer and lose out the effort you already put into your partial answer, so there's that.

3. Listen not just to what people say, but what they should have said. That may sound super patronizing, and maybe I am (though I hope not), but one of the things I've noticed on the Board is that it isn't uncommon to have a reader write in a question and provide enough background to make it pretty clear that the problem they've identified either isn't really the one that's causing their issues or is only a part of the cause. For example, if I write in a Board Question that says:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've been writing for an online website for 7 years now, but I'm retiring. I don't really have any friends or hobbies other than writing for the website, and I don't know what to do other than sit at my computer staring at a blank screen all day once I've quit. Which should I start writing for afterwards, Quora, or Yahoo! Answers? 

~Anne, Certainly

If that were a real question, it's pretty clear that the answer wouldn't just be either Yahoo! Answers or Quora, the answer would hopefully also encourage me to find friends by doing X, Y, and Z, and to pursue new hobbies, which I can try by doing A, B, and C so that I can have a more improved, balanced life. 

While it's important not to assume that you just know better than someone else about their own life, I think that it's important to look not only for the questions that are asked but the questions people don't yet realize they need answered. This can include clarifying definitions, correcting incorrect assumptions, identifying problematic attitudes, etc. 

This is useful in relating with others and understanding ourselves. When we look beyond just what someone's saying and instead try to understand their whole problem or scenario, we're able to understand and respond to them more effectively. Further, sometimes this sort of reading-between-the-lines is going to be appropriate to analyzing our own communication and what we might NOT be saying (out loud or even to ourselves.) Hopefully over time I'll be able apply to my life the skill of looking past the first level of questions to find what's underneath.

4. Some things are worth it and some things aren't. This is one that gets hit home a lot with the Board. There are some questions that are perfect for a really involved "here's this cool thing I did in the real world and photo-documented for this answer" or "here's a 3000 word essay I wrote about this topic with a bunch of deep reflection and cited sources." There are also questions that, after looking at or attempting, you can tell that you're not going to be able to answer the way you want to, or that aren't worth doing something crazy for.

5. It's okay to not know everything. The Board has allowed me to confront a lot of areas where only incomplete answers are possible. This is something that I've also experienced a lot in my life. There are tons of areas like "planning for my future" and "how to be a parent" and "testimony of the Gospel" where there's an outline of information available and plenty of ways to learn more but I'm pretty far away from being able to provide a completely fleshed out, perfectly-written answer that closes the book on every relevant issue. And that's something I've gotten to be more okay with. Not knowing everything is okay and that it doesn't make the knowledge that you do have and can share useless.

6. Helping people vs. being right. This is a principle in a lot of different places in life, but the Board has been one of mine. I was reading a comment yesterday about the importance of compromise rather than "winning" in marriage, and writing Board answers has a bit of a similar vibe in that part of the goal of the Board is for us to say what we think and believe, but sometimes we want to convince YOU of what we think and believe too - and there are some types of language that are more helpful for convincing people than others. Trying for clarity and compassion rather than writing to people who I already know agree with me helps me think more clearly and, I hope, write better.

Things I'll miss:

1. Not only is the Board cool, but the Board WRITERS are cool. This means that the behind-the-scenes is a major bonus to being a Board Writer. Though I haven't been able to make it to events since moving out of state, I've had some good times with fellow Boardies, and that includes relationships that either never would have happened without the Board or that would have been drastically different without the Board. Some of that still carries through - a text with Sheebs about whatever (usually at night when at least one of us should be asleep), seeing Owlet and her baby on my instagram, that sort of thing. But I'll miss being one of the writers. It's a pretty neat group of humans, even if I always have a hard time figuring out "Wait a minute. This person on my Facebook. They're a writer. But who are they?" (I'm not great with names to start... add in pseudonyms and the fact that you often interact with writers online more than in person and things get confusing.)

2. Being challenged and forced to think. Not that I won't find this in other areas of my life, but there's been a lot of value to me to know that there are certain writers who have different opinions than me. It makes me want to write in a way that makes my opinions defensible, even if they're not persuasive. It makes me want to write in a way that's loving even if it's not agreeing. I think that's valuable. 

3. Being Anne, Certainly. Not to say that Anne, Certainly isn't going to remain a part of me (awww) or that Anne is drastically different than who I am in real life, but Anne has more time to reflect on things and is more careful with how she speaks and may be consequently be a bit wiser or kinder than [me]. Hopefully I can become those things over time. 

4. A great outlet to write with an audience. I really enjoy being given an interesting prompt and being allowed to just go ham on it. 

5. A great outlet to procrastinate and waste time. I mean, obviously, I can still read but the writing part.

Things I want to say:

Thanks. It's been a cool part of my life to do this for so long, and I'm going to miss it. Feel free to email me whether or not we've spoken before. Thanks to those of you who emailed me, talked to me in real life, and asked questions and read answers. Keep telling people about this place, keep reading, and keep writing in.

Closing Anne, Certainly Advice:

Here's some advice you guys didn't ask for; a few things that, in my opinion, are important to a lot of the questions people ask us here and that most of us face, or that have been important to me:

1. Pay attention to how kind you are to yourself - remember to take the time to consider whether you would judge another as quickly as you judge yourself, whether you would say to another the things you say to yourself, and whether you would treat another the way you treat yourself. Apologize when you're not being good to yourself, and then try to do better.

2. Remember that there are lots of worse things in relationships than 10 minutes of awkwardness, and lots of them come from trying to avoid every 10 minute period of awkwardness. As long as you're trying to be respectful and kind to others and yourself and paying attention to make sure you respect the wants and needs of others minor inconvenient awkwardness can really help. See, e.g. the conversation flirting with someone so they know you'd go out with them if they asked, the phone call declining a date (or being rejected),  the quick discussion about boundaries on things that make you uncomfortable, etc. 

3. In spiritual matters, don't forget that if faith and doubt are opposites, doubt is an action (like faith is) and not just a state of mind: this means that for those who want to continue in the Gospel despite questions, troubling concerns, or other trials, your continued Church attendance, prayer, scripture reading, and holding to covenants are an act proving that you have faith even when you do not feel you can stand up at a pulpit and say that you know X,Y, and Z. Don't convince yourself that lack of knowledge is lack of faith, or that an imperfect testimony is no testimony or no faith.

4. Get blessings. Whatever you're struggling with, God wants to help with, and the Priesthood is one way He does this. 

5. It is okay that your capacity is not the same all the time. What you could do last year is not the measure of what you should be doing now. If you get sick (mentally or physically) or if you get busy or if you get overwhelmed, it is okay that "your best" may not give you the same results as it will during other times in your life (or the same results other people might get).  One of my favorite quotes is by Orson Scott Card (from the book Xenocide): "We must do all we can do without destroying our ability to keep doing it." You are building a self, and it might be that this week 90% of labor goes towards working on the "endurance" part of yourself and you have to send in project delays on the "learn skills" or "do service" parts or other priorities. That's okay: you can be "engaged in a good cause" even when your abilities and limitations don't permit you to do as much for it as you want. 

To borrow a quote from my namesake: "Dear old world [and Board]... you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you." Thanks for the opportunity.

Love,

~Anne, Certainly

Question #91882 posted on 01/09/2019 3:28 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

According to the U.S. government Office of Women’s Health (https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/sexual-assault-and-rape/sexual-assault) the term “Sexual Assault” includes non-consensual sexual activity by physical contact, as you might expect, but “can also be verbal, visual, or non-contact.” Examples include voyeurism, exhibitionism, or sending some unwanted texts or “sexts.” It includes sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment in turn is officially defined by the Office of Women’s Health to include behavior such as making comments about your clothing, body, behavior, or romantic relationships. Making sexual jokes or comments, whistling or catcalling. Spreading rumors about your personal or sexual life.

I like the way this understanding of sexual assault emphasis that sexual assault is not just sexual physical contact. It places the blame on the perpetrator even though the perpetrator may be blissfully unaware that his sexual jokes, comments, body exposure, or whistles may be harmful to his victims, who are never at fault. And it is not up to the perpetrator to determine if his conduct is within the appropriate social norms, traditions, or customs for the time and place. It is solely how the victim perceives his behavior as being unwanted and sexual in nature. My question is, what do you like or dislike about the Office of Women’s Health’s definition of “sexual assault?” Is it useful?

Pat

A:

Dear Pat,

I think this definition is unclear in ways that have allowed you to interpret it differently than I would, and that kind of ambiguity bugs me when it comes to a term people are going to take legal (or other punitive) action based on. 

You and I agree that:

a) It is not a victim's fault if they are sexually harassed

b) It is possible to sexually harass someone without touching them

Here's where you and I diverge somewhat. You say that "it is not up to the perpetrator to determine if his conduct is within the appropriate social norms, traditions, or customs for the time and place. It is solely how the victim perceives his behavior as being unwanted and sexual in nature." Let's break that down.

Point 1: A perpetrator does not get to determine whether what he did is within appropriate norms of time/culture/place.

This is accurate in the sense that you can't just decide that something is okay and that means it is okay. Furthermore, I think that while some behavioral standards are influenced by time and place, consent is consent (and nonconsent is nonconsent) and basic fundamentals of morality are constant through time and culture.

Point 2a: Sexual assault is determined solely by the victim feeling that s/he does not welcome the behavior...

Point 2b: ... and by him/her perceiving the behavior as sexual.

These are where my biggest problems with your interpretation lie, I think. In general, I think that crimes should require intent (or, as it's referred to in law, a mens rea or evil mind) as well as doing something that causes a bad result (the actus reus" or evil hand). Though some crimes are statutory and have no mens rea, it's probably not a great idea to eliminate the requirement generally for reasons I don't want to dive off into here. (Submit another question if interested).

This does not mean that someone must intend to sexually harass you, because there are various states of mind that will suffice for a mens rea, depending on how we choose to write and adjudicate our laws. For something like sexual harassment, I'd probably favor a definition that included lower mental states like "recklessness" or "wilfullness." (e.g. it's harassment if a reasonable person really should know that you don't welcome this person's attention, but they're super stupid about it, or purposefully trying to ignore your "no" signals.)

What I take issue with is the fact that you've eliminated any objectivity by determining that both welcome/unwelcomeness and sexuality of conduct are determined internally by the victim rather than based on some sort of objective standard. 

Most people who sexually harass someone will know that their actions are unwelcome. However, it's problematic to convict people of crimes (either legally or in the court of public opinion) based on criteria which could be invisible to anyone but the victim

To be clear:

-Someone about to act sexually towards another person is responsible for ascertaining consent

-Every individual always has the right to refuse or withdraw consent

That's not really what we're concerned with here, though. My concern with your interpretation of this definition is summed up by the following scenarios. I do not suggest that these situations represent the majority of sexual harassment, but they could (and may actually) happen and that means that the definition needs to account for them.

Hypothetical 1: Carol is a friendly worker who greets each co-worker as they pass her receptionist's desk. She likes to compliment people and will often congratulate them on work-based accomplishments or mention things like new haircuts or glasses or such. One day Carol says to Dean "I like your plaid shirt Dean, lookin' good! Have a great weekend!" as he leaves the office. Dean thinks that Carol's comment on his shirt is sexualizing him, because he is a bodybuilder who works hard to build up his pectoral muscles, and because he thinks she knows he has a photoshoot as a swimsuit model this weekend. 

Problems: Carol may not have even known that Dean had a swimsuit shoot this weekend, much less been making a creepy allusion to how Dean's pecs would look during it. All she meant to do was to compliment his tie, and 99 people out of 100 would perceive no problem here. However, if Dean gets to determine what behavior is sexual (rather than a reasonable, objective standard being applied), this constitutes sexual harassment if Dean didn't like it and thinks Carol meant it sexually. 

Hypothetical 2: Geoffrey is on his second date with Linda, a girl he has been friends with for a few weeks. They are watching the newest season of "Great British Bake Show" in Geoffrey's apartment, alone, after eating dinner together. Geoffrey says to Linda "Can I hold your hand?" Linda says yes, but is secretly uncomfortable because she has already decided that she doesn't want to go on another date with Geoffrey. Linda isn't happy about holding his hand, but doesn't want to say no and make the rest of the night awkward.

Problems: In most real-world situations, there are ways to tell that someone isn't into you or they'll tell you. However, there are also scenarios where people intentionally hide what they're feeling.. In these situations, I don't think we can hold someone else responsible for knowing that another's feelings on welcomeness differed from what their actions portrayed. 

I'll restate that these scenarios are not what we are usually concerned about when we discuss sexual assault: we are most frequently concerned about situations where it's pretty clear that something was both sexual and unwelcome to all parties: victim, perpetrator, and objective observer. While ambiguous cases like the above may occur, what people commonly mean by sexual harassment is much more clear, harmful, and blatant

But when we set up a rule that's going to define when people get punished for something, I prefer it to be inclusive of not just the most likely scenario, but of less-likely-but-possible ones as well. Accordingly, I have problems with the way you've read this definition, and thus with the ambiguity in the definition itself. I think a definition for sexual assault must clarify the standards by which actions are evaluated, and I don't think that relying on things that can occur solely in a victim's head (even if they usually don't) is appropriate when it comes to punishing someone else. If we only look at the victim's mind, we run the risk of punishing people for behavior that they didn't and shouldn't have had reason to know was wrong.

 

So what would I change? I'm reluctant to come up with my own word-for-word definition because  it would probably be inadequate in many ways. That being said, here are elements I think we need to get across in defining sexual assault for legal purposes, and that we should consider when deciding whether an accused perpetrator deserves non-legal punishments (like shunning, job loss, etc).

1. A perpetrator who does something that they know or that, interpreted by a reasonable person with knowledge of relevant context, is sexual. 

So, I want something that's objectively sexual to have occurred. This will vary by context.

A man walking into an LDS Relief Society meeting wearing a Speedo and interrupting the lesson to stand with his groin at eye level in front of the woman who refused to date him may well be sexual (and unwelcome, but we'll discuss unwelcomeness next). However, standing around in a Speedo at the beach while you enjoy the waves at your feet is probably not.

Pulling off your friend's wig as part of a prank war at a Halloween party is probably not sexual, but pulling off the wig of a Hasidic Jewish coworker may well be.

However, we can look objectively at those situations, if we know the relevant context (things like: history between the people concerned, the location, the culture and individual history of the people concerned, etc.) This enables evaluation according to an objective, reasonable standard as to whether conduct should be interpreted as sexual. It lets us know whether someone should have known what they were doing would be seen as sexual.

2. A perpetrator who does something that they know or that, interpreted by a reasonable person with knowledge of relevant context, is unwelcome. 

So I also want something that's objectively unwelcome to have happened. Again, the context matters.

A woman who says "I really need to go to work" when her husband goes in for a kiss in the morning, but who continues to kiss her husband may well be happily consenting despite her protests about the time. If we know enough about the couple's relationship dynamics and current circumstances, we may be able to interpret the ensuing makeout as fully consensual even though the same words could indicate a nonconsensual encounter under different circumstances. (For example: the same woman saying that she needs to get to work to the creepy guy who's following her on the sidewalk trying to invite her to coffee at his apartment.)

Again, this objectivity allows us to evaluate whether the perpetrator should have known that his actions were unwelcome (and thus harassment).

Note: In my opinion, it is possible to be hurt by the actions of another and for your pain to be real, even if what they did does not qualify as "harassment" under these criteria. We should support those who need our help dealing with pain and sadness. However, it is also important that we do not set up definitions that assume that any time one person is hurt another person must be legally (or morally) worthy of punishment.

Essentially, here are the possible scenarios

1. The perpetrator and an objective observer can tell that the victim would be offended by the sexual act: This is harassment.

2. The perpetrator does not know the victim would be offended, but the objective observer can tell. This is probably still harassment, because it's important for society to have reasonable standards of actions. You can't go around harassing people or committing crimes just because you're stupid or purposefully ignorant of basic behavioral standards.

3. The perpetrator knows the victim would be offended, but the objective observer doesn't know. This is the concerning situation. I acknowledge the troubling possibility that there is secret knowledge held by predators that doesn't make it to a jury or any other observer that enables the harasser to use externally reasonable behavior to harass someone. Such action is clearly immoral, but I do not have a good answer to how a morally sound and consistent legal system can identify and punish it without using rules that are subjective and/or creating a risk of false conviction (the prevention of which is a major fundamental of the American legal system). 

4. The perpetrator does not know and an objective observer does not know that the action is sexual/unwelcome. In this case, we should still seek to help the person who is feeling pain or sorrow, but I do not think it's moral to punish someone for something they couldn't have reasonably known was going to hurt the other person. 

In summary: The two elements I suggested above (objective sexualty and objective welcomeness) describe how we can evaluate someone else's behavior without having access to their brain, and I believe that this is the standard we should generally use for law and one we should frequently consult (though not necessarily always emulate) for social or other institutional rules/standards.* It doesn't seem fair to me to use the internal workings of a victim's mind as the sole determinant of what is and isn't sexual harassment. In order for sexual assault to mean something other than "Something I don't like," I think there needs to be a tether to an objective standard. However, objective standards like these never excuse immorality: Each of us is accountable to ourselves and to God for our own motivations and actions, and we won't get off by saying that something we knew was wrong even if an observer couldn't know that.

This is a long-ish answer, and I hope I have written it well enough to make it clear that: 1) Sexual harassment is never acceptable and is always immoral and sinful and 2) it is important to have objectively discernable criteria for determining what qualifies as harassment when we will label and punish someone as a harasser.

~Anne, Certainly

 *It's important to me that the legal system err on the side of avoiding false conviction. By contrast, there may be times where social or other institutional sanctions, punishments, or even just adjustments are appropriate with less evidence. To make an analogy: criminal cases usually require conviction "beyond a reasonable doubt" while civil cases may punish someone if the evidence is "a preponderance" (basically >50% chance). If we're only 51% sure Jerry harassed his coworker Kelsey, I don't want Jerry in jail, but I'm fine with his company choosing to fire him or relocate his position to another office.

posted on 01/12/2019 9:34 p.m.
I work at a very large corporation with operations across the United States. We invest a significant amount of time and money in our sexual harassment training, policies, and enforcement. I suspect our policies and enforcement are standard for a U.S. based corporation.

When evaluating allegations of sexual misconduct, we apply a "reasonable person" standard. Our policy most certainly does evaluate sexual harassment from the recipient's point of view. We don't rule out sexual misconduct simply because someone doesn't have a malicious intent. However, when evaluating whether certain actions are inappropriate, we apply a "reasonable person" standard. In other words, would a reasonable person interpret the conduct as sexual harassment?

So, in Anne Certainly's first example, our company would potentially find that a reasonable person wouldn't consider that to be sexual misconduct and there would not be any negative consequences for either employee.

I'm not an expert on this by any means, but I just wanted to share how one large U.S. company applies this type of definition in real life situations. I suspect that this "reasonable person" standard is a very common application of this definition.
Question #91798 posted on 06/05/2019 8:12 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Alternate history question.

Before the turn of the century (that is, the 20th century), disputes with Mexico lead to war with the United States. When all is said and done, before 1910, the new Mexican-American border (along with parts of the Caribbean) now looks like this.

How different is world history from 1910 onward?

-Tippecanoe and Tyler Too

A:

Dear Old Hickory,

Here's a (non-chronological and obviously non-comprehensive) bullet-pointed list of various ways the world would be different if Cuba and large parts of what is now Mexico were part of the US.

  • Well first of all, we wouldn't have the "Fifty Nifty United States" song, because we almost certainly would have ended up with more states, and saying something like, "Fifty seven nifty United States" just isn't nearly as catchy.
  • Obviously Cuba would have had very different leaders from 1910 on. One of the things that would mean is no Batista regime. Backed by the US, Fulgencio Batista led an authoritarian government in Cuba between 1940 and 1944, and then again between 1952 and 1959. Especially during his second presidency, he was pretty much the worst (suspended their constitution, censored the media, made deals with the US mafia, and, oh yeah, used secret police to carry out up to tens of thousands of public executions). Not having Batista in power would have been GREAT for Cuba. For one thing, they would have avoided all the state-sponsored violence that happened under him, and for another, their economy would probably be a lot better. Due to his close ties with the US, Batista made a lot of deals with American businesses, moving the most profitable industries and land over to American hands, and sort of screwing over Cubans. During his presidency the gap between rich and poor Cubans got considerably wider, leading to many Cubans (including Fidel Castro) becoming pretty soured on capitalism.
  • On that note, if there were no Batista, Fidel Castro may never have been revolutionized. Batista's regime only ended in 1959 because Castro overthrew it in the name of doing what was best for Cuba (aka getting rid of a president who routinely tortured and killed his own people). But if Batista hadn't been there being the worst, Castro might not have had anything to rebel against. 
  • Then again, Castro was very anti-imperialist, so maybe he would have still led a revolution, just this time it would be against US control of Cuba. But considering how powerful the US military was in the 1940s and 50s (right after we won WWII and dropped an atomic bomb on Japan), I don't know if he would have risked rebelling against the government. The US government was not in a mood to put up with much dissent during that time (as evidenced by McCarthyism), and even if Castro had tried something, I doubt he would have been as successful. So while it's entirely possible that Castro still would have led a revolution, I don't think he would have ended up taking control of Cuba, and the rest of my answer still stands.
  • Also, McCarthyism probably would have spread to Cuba in a big way during the Red Scare, and a lot of people would have lost their jobs or even been imprisoned.
  • Of course, we can complain about Batista's human rights abuses, but Castro didn't end up being so great himself. Human Rights Watch has had Cuba on their list of countries to keep an eye on for years, in large part because of Castro's own authoritarian policies, keeping himself in power at the expense of the people, many of whom were kept in poverty and in a state of constant fear because of the lack of political freedom. So no Castro in power probably would have also been beneficial to Cuba.* 
  • And let's not forget about Che Guevara. Although he was Argentinian, he played a huge role in the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and that's when his face became an internationally recognized symbol. So no Cuban Revolution, no cool Che Guevara merchandise. And then what would the cool kids in high school wear to show how woke and edgy their economic views are?
  • In a world where Che was never revolutionized and made famous through his association with Castro, South American history would have also unfolded very differently. Che used guerilla warfare and revolutionary tactics throughout South America, and the Montoneros in Argentina drew a lot of their inspiration from him. They were trying to turn Argentina into a "Socialist Fatherland," and to that end used a lot of violent guerilla tactics. This in turn led to a lot of right-wing backlash, and a right-wing military dictatorship in Argentina led by Jorge Videla. The fighting between the Montoneros and the right-wing Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (AAA) is known as the Dirty War, and during this time 30,000 normal Argentinians disappeared (meaning they were killed, mostly by the AAA and Videla's secret police). So without the Montoneros, it's possible Argentina never would have had their Dirty War. But Videla probably would have still ended up taking power, so things would have still been terrible for Argentinians during that time.
  • The Cold War would still have happened, but if Cuba were part of the US there wouldn't have been any Bay of Pigs fiasco, in which JFK sent a covert invasion force to try and overthrow Castro's government (because it was communist, and the Cold War era United States was all about ending communism), and which is generally considered to be a huge failure of his foreign policy.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis, which is the closest we ever got to actual nuclear war with Russia, also would have been averted.
  • Moving on from Cuba, if the Yucatan Peninsula were part of the US, probably all the beautiful Mayan ruins there would have been completely commercialized and destroyed :(
  • Culturally speaking, Juan Rulfo is a famous Mexican author who's especially known for his writings inspired by the Mexican desert. However, if all that desert were part of the US, I don't know if he ever would have been inspired to write what he did, and we would be left without his rich addition to literature.
  • Considering how much land in the area would already belong to the US, I think it would be more likely that Puerto Rico would become an actual state at some point, instead of just a territory. And in that case, maybe Trump wouldn't have just thrown paper towels at them in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, but would have actually done something to alleviate their suffering.
  • The US would probably have even more imperialist policies in that alternate reality than we do in right now (considering that this alternate reality is based on the immediate effects of an imperialist policy and all). This might put a strain on our foreign relations with other countries, who would view us as too power-hungry and think we needed to be stopped.
  • However, due to our huge population, other countries would be a lot more hesitant to go to war with us. The US would be well-equipped to fight a war of attrition, letting thousands of our citizens die just to prove a point to another country that we could suffer those losses and still win a war. All it would take is one foolhardy, trigger-happy president. The knowledge that we would have such a superior army to so many other countries could fill us with hubris, and we might become bullies on an international scale, pushing around other countries just because they wouldn't be able to stop us.
  • I would like to think that because of a larger Latino population in the US, we would be less racist. But sadly, it's probably more likely that we would have just used Latinos as a scapegoat for national problems, and there would probably be some form of Jim Crow laws for Mexicans and Cubans.
  • Tourism to the Caribbean would probably be cheaper and easier if a big chunk of it were US soil. Havana would be the new Hawaii.
  • You know how the US currently has a lot of conflict between its different regions? People from the South have a completely different culture from people in California, for example. If the United States were big enough to encompass parts of Mexico and Cuba, we would have even worse regional conflicts. It would be tremendously difficult for the whole country to agree on anything having to do with culture or politics, and people who lived in, say, Maine, would probably feel almost no sense of kinship with people who lived in the Yucatan peninsula, despite the fact that they would live in the same country.
  • Congress would be even more slow and belabored than it is now, because a greater land mass and population would necessitate more members of the House of Representatives. The more people you have, the slower things are. 
  • But at least the Latinx population of the US would be more represented in politics, because as things are, despite the fact that the US actually has the 2nd largest population of Spanish speakers in the entire world, our Hispanic population is often overlooked. But if large swaths of Mexico and Cuba were part of the US, their local politicians would hopefully bring their unique needs to the forefront of national consciousness.
  • As things currently stand, there are a lot of drug cartels along the US-Mexico border. My guess is that would continue even if the border were at a different physical location than it currently is.
  • The US would probably make good economic use of all the extra land, and although a lot of it would be desert, we would probably use it for factories or something, and the Mexican desert could become the new Rust Belt.
  • At some point, the indigenous peoples of the new US states would try to have some sort of uprising to gain their political independence from the US. This already sort of happened in Mexico with the Zapatista movement, but it would be even more pronounced. Indigenous people would want control of their own land and resources, and would want political autonomy, so it's only natural that they would try to revolt. I doubt they would be super successful, but it would be a recurring point of tension in those areas.

I'm sure there would be even more changes than this, but I think this is a pretty decent start to some of the historical, economic, and political changes that would have occurred. 

-Alta

*I'm not trying to say that the whole world would be better if the US controlled everywhere, because we definitely have our fair share of problems, and if we had controlled Cuba, I'm sure we would have created a whole lot of other problems there. But objectively speaking, most countries would be better off if they avoided dictators who abuse human rights, and Castro ended up becoming a dictator who abused human rights, no matter how pure his intentions may have been in the beginning.

Question #91794 posted on 03/06/2019 3:28 p.m.
Q:

Okay, Sheebs,

Tell me all about the world of academia in Harry Potter. Are there magical universities? What fields exist beyond what gets taught at Hogwarts? What do philosophy and science and the arts look like in the magical world? What would you write your dissertation on?

-RE:#91669

A:

Dear person,

There are not magical universities, but students with exceptional magical gifts are often mentored by more experienced magical academicians. It is common for professors at the eleven wizarding schools to conduct and publish research. However, there are many other people who are not academics who also publish. This is particularly common among wandmakers, potioneers, healers, and government officials. However, intellectuals from many walks of life participate. For example, before his death, ice cream parlour owner Florean Fortescue was a frequent publisher in the periodicals Magical History and Philosophical and Ethical Issues in Magic. 

Periodicals

Speaking of periodicals, research-oriented periodicals have existed in the wizarding world since the late 18th century. They were originally established by wizards who followed topics in non-magical academics and found the format to be useful. The first seven journals were the only journals until the middle of the 19th century. With the exception of Clairvoyant and Alchemical Studies, they are now the most prestigious journals in magic. I'm hoping that this section gives you a sampling of the most active areas of magical academia.

First Generation

The Practical Potioneer. The very first magical scholarly periodical. Contains articles about potion methodology, brewing, and application. 

Transfiguration Today. Contains articles about all types of magical transfigurations. More recently focuses on non-human transfiguration.

Challenges in Charming. Contains articles about all types of magical charms. Originally had greater emphasis on magical theory, now is more application-focused. 

Wandlore. Contains primarily case studies of the creation and use of particular wands with remarkable (or remarkably unremarkable) properties.

Being, Beast, and Creature. Contains articles about non-human magical animals with emphasis on philosophical issues pertaining to the definitions of being, beast, and creature and classification of animals into categories. 

Magical Botany. Contains articles about magical plants and magical uses of non-magical plants. 

Developments in the Dark Arts. Journal that documents new forms of dark magic. Interestingly, it is typically written by anonymous authors to protect their identities. 

Alchemical Studies. Now defunct. Contained articles about magical elixirs (extraordinary potions, such as felix felicis) and the uses of the philosopher's stone and its derivatives. 

Clairvoyant. Contains articles about fortune-telling methodologies and prophecies. Now only slightly more prestigious than The Quibbler. 

Second Generation

The second generation of scholarly journals were created starting in the middle of the 19th century. They reflect increased recognition of specialized charms and spells in mainstream magical scholarship. Additionally, greater attention was beginning to be paid to theory and philosophy of magic. I've provided a list of English language journals below.

Magical Theory:

Frontiers in Magic

Advances in Sorcery

Magical Methodologies

Theory for Magicians

Magical Physics

Philosophical and Ethical Issues in Magic

Magical Mysteries

Controversies in Magic

History of Magic:

Magical History 

Modern Magical History Review

Wizards and Muggles Throughout History

International Journal of Magical History

Potions:

Quantitative Journal of Potionmaking

Studies in Potions

Potions of Non-European Origin

Properties of Potions

Elixir

Transfiguration:

Theory in Transfiguration

The Journal of Human Transfiguration

Transformation 

Issues in Animal Transfiguration

Empirical Studies of Transfiguration

Sentience and Transfiguration

Animagi

Non-Transfiguration Spell-Casting:

Charms

Non-Traditional Applications of Magic

Journal of Non-Verbal Magic

Journal of Defensive Magic

Jinxes, Hexes, and Curses

Atmospheric Magic

Incantation

Case Studies in Unintentional Magic

Healing:

Essays on Healing

Unusual Cases in Healing

Journal of Pediatric Healing

The Clinical Journal of Magical Maladies and Healing

Clinical Review of Non-Magical Medicine

Divination and Related Disciplines:

Theoretical Issues in Divination

Proceedings from the International Society of Divination and Arithmancy

Cartomancy

Progression in Palmistry

Crystal Gazing

The Astrologer

Occlumency and Legilimency:

Magic and Mind

Psychology of the Magical Mind

Magical Biology:

Magizoology

Herbology

Magical Flora

The International Journal of Dragonology

Magical Organisms of the Old World

Magical Animals and Plants (North America)

Magical Animals and Plants (South America)

Australian Journal of Magical Fauna and Flora 

Magical Microrganisms

Magical Marine Life

Muggle Studies:

Archives of Muggle Studies

The Journal of Muggle Studies

Non-Magic Peoples of the New World

Muggle Scholarship Review

Applications of Muggle Technology

Electricity

Non-Magical Engineering

Art and Literature:

Studies of Magical Portraits

Journal of Magical Art

Contemporary Wizarding Art

Runes

International Journal of Magical Literature

Magic and Language

Miscellaneous:

The Journal of Quantitative Studies in Wandmaking

Journal of Magical Pedagogy

Cultural Studies in Magic

Magical Anthropology

Studies of Squibs

Magic and Death

Rulings of English-Speaking Wizengamots

Magic and Time

Philosophy, Science, and Art

Philosophy in the wizarding world is pretty similar to philosophy in the muggle world. Metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic are all discussed by learned witches and wizards. However, there are additional questions and applications in magic. Magical metaphysics is also a common area of study. For example, how is it that accidental magic results in anything other than explosions or undifferentiated goo? Does this reflect some underlying aspect of the nature of reality? This is actually quite mysterious if you think about it. The intersection between ethics and magic are also fascinating. One phenomenon that has sparked interest in this topic is that many witches and wizards have found they are incapable of performing unforgiveable curses. 

Science has become more of an interest for wizards as muggles have become more technologically advanced. Increasingly, academics are doing sophisticated, controlled experiments to better understand phenomena. For example, many young wandmakers are systematically varying the properties of wands to determine the actual impact of different cores, woods, and lengths. 

Wizarding art, as you could imagine, is extremely cool. Many wizarding artists like to use the same techniques and methods of muggle art, such as painting and sculpting. They then enchant the results. However, there are some mediums that wizards can use that muggles cannot, such as potions. Contemporary magical art, as you might imagine, is about pushing the limits of the definition of art. For example, individuals participating in one contemporary movement of magical art are highly interested in enchantments that temporarily influence aesthetic perception. Another group is interested in art without spell-casting, similar to the muggle artistic movement of minimalism.

Dissertation Topic

This might require more than one study, but I think it would be really cool to study incantations and why they work. Why are so many of them in Latin? What is the underlying structure that causes certain words to activate certain spells? If that is already known, then can magic be activated using light, or magnets, or other sounds, or any other medium? 

-Sheebs, who is now saddened by the comparative boringness of her actual dissertation

Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Now that the new engineering building is open and everything, I realize that the College of Engineering has at least three main buildings (Clyde, Crabtree, and EB) plus a number of lab buildings like the Fletcher and the Snell. I also realized that I couldn't think of another college with that many buildings.

So which college, school, or department has the most floorspace/square footage?

-Is It Obvious which Major I'm Doing?

A:

Dear you,

Which college has the most floor space? I think the best way to determine this is with a chart! Because charts make everything better (Is it obvious which major I'm doing?) The columns will be colleges and the rows buildings. If I believe that a college has some claim to a building, then I will mark it with an X. Ideally, there would be a hard and fast rule such as a college only being able to claim a building if it houses a department office in that building, but ain't nobody got time for that (at least not busy college students).

There are a lot of auxiliary buildings that I've decided to exclude for the sake of time and personal sanity, so unfortunately office buildings, storage buildings, greenhouses and the like are not included in this tally. Anyways, without further ado let's look at the breakdown:

  Business Education Engineering Family Home and Social Sciences Fine Arts and Communications Humanities International Studies Law Life Sciences Nursing Physical & Mathematical Sciences Religious Education
Benson                     X  
Brimhall         X              
Herald Clark             X          

J Rueben Clark

              X        
Clyde     X                  
Crabtree     X                  
Engineering     X                  
Eyring                 X   X  
Testing Center                       X
HFAC         X              
SWKT       X         X X    
JKB         X X            
Life Sciences                 X      
MARB                        
McKay   X                    
JFSB       X   X            
JSB                       X
Snell     X                  
Talmage                     X  
Tanner X                      

*Note, as you can see I don't really have the MARB belonging to anyone. Pretty much every college has classes there, but who really likes it? So no one claims it.

Now for a list of square footage by building (source for building sizes):

Benson: 192,246 sq ft.
Brimhall: 40,276 sq ft.
Herald Clark: 30,879 sq ft.
J Rueben Clark: 174,970 sq ft.
Clyde:  203,575 sq ft.
Crabtree: 99,448 sq ft.
Engineering: 200,000 sq ft.
Eyring: 187,590 sq ft.
Testing Center: 26,463 sq ft.
HFAC: 292,817 sq ft.
SWKT: 133,849 sq ft.
JKB: 139,164 sq ft.
Life Sciences: 269,936 sq ft.
MARB: 43,717 sq ft.
McKay: 80,939 sq ft.
JFSB: 312,006 sq ft.
JSB: 73,815 sq ft.
Snell: 37,796 sq ft.
Talmage: 158,696 sq ft.
Tanner: 196,000 sq ft.

Now for the totals. Colleges will be listed along with the buildings they have in parenthesis. I'll start with the lowest and build up to our champion.

12th. International Studies (Herald Clark Building): 30,879 sq ft.

11th. Education (McKay Building): 80,939 sq ft.

10th. Religious Education (Testing Center, Joseph Smith Building): 100,278 sq ft.

9th. Nursing (SWKT): 133,849 sq ft.

8th. Law (J. Rueben Clark Building): 174,970 sq ft.

7th. Business (Tanner Building): 196,000 sq ft.

6th. Family, Home and Social Sciences (SWKT, JFSB): 445,855 sq ft.

5th. Humanities (JKB, JFSB): 451,170 sq ft.

4th. Fine Arts and Communication (Brimhall, HFAC, JKB): 472,707 sq ft.

3rd. Physical & Mathematical Sciences (Benson, Eyring, Talmage): 538,532 sq ft.

2nd. Engineering (Clyde, Crabtree, Engineering Building, Snell) 540,810 sq ft.

1st. Life Sciences (Eyring, SWKT, Life Science Building): 591,375 sq ft.

Life Science is the winner ladies and gentleman. Now, this is going by college to the best of my knowledge so it may be off. As far as majors go, Alta mentioned that some majors might spread across even more buildings because they have classes from several different colleges.

But, if we're willing to think outside the box a little we could find a very clear cut winner. BYU has two mottos; one of which is "The World is Our Campus". Although international studies has the smallest amount of building space ON CAMPUS, they cover a huge amount of area off campus. There's the BYU Jerusalem Center, BYU London Centre, and study abroads, internships, and field studies all across the globe. So, in a stunning turn of events INTERNATIONAL STUDIES WINS IN A LANDSLIDE!

Peace,

Tipperary

Question #91780 posted on 06/03/2019 11:12 a.m.
Q:

Dear astrophysicists of the 100 Hour Board,

Imagine I'm standing on the moon and you're standing on Earth. We're both looking up into the sky. Wave - I can see you!

Okay, now imagine that above my head is a mass hanging from a chain. The chain, which is about 238,900 miles long, stretches from me (on the moon) to you (on the Earth); on the other end, there is a second mass dangling above you. In other words, the thing that's suspending the mass above my head is the force of the Earth's gravity acting on the mass at your end of the chain. And vice versa.

Is this possible? That is, could you, in theory, have a chain that spans the distance from the Earth to the moon and has a mass on each end, the two masses balancing each other out without touching the ground and the chain held in tension by the gravity of the earth pulling on one mass and the gravity of the moon pulling on the other?

How big would each mass have to be? How high off the ground could they get before gravity was insufficient to pull the chain taut? How easy would it be to disrupt such a system? (If it helps, you can assume a weightless chain, although I would definitely be interested in an answer that accounts for how mind-bogglingly heavy a 238,900-mile chain would be. And how much force it would have to be able to withstand.)

-Not a physics major

P.S. I actually drew you a lovely ASCII-art diagram of the scenario I'm describing, as I feel like it's hard to visualize. But it turns out the Board can't render it properly. Alas.

A:

Hi!

Your question is awesome. I took the time to attempt a solution that includes a chain with mass. There's some math, so buckle up. First of all, here's the setup the way I think you have described it (there's a tl;dr at the bottom if you don't want to see this):

Original Setup.png

I've simplified your question and made the object between the Earth and the Moon a single "dumbbell" made of two masses (M1 and M2) and a solid bar of length L. Both masses are 10 km above the surface of the planet. I've arbitrarily chosen steel as the material that we're making this out of, because why not? Since it's a single piece, gravity will act on its center of mass as if it were a point mass (i.e. as if it had no shape and all its mass is in one place). The trick is to put the dumbbell between the Earth and the Moon so that its center of gravity is in a very special place: the Lagrangian point, which is the place where the combined gravitational effects of the Moon and the Earth combine together to exactly equal the centripetal force required to keep stuff in orbit. In other words, it's a place where you can set something and it'll stay there. It's right here:

Setup w CoM.png

First, let's calculate the Lagrangian, which I will call x. As I said, both terrestrial and lunar gravity have to combine to make the orbiting object go in a circle. In math-speak, that looks like this:

Calculating LaGrange (correctly).png

That's complex, so I threw it into WolframAlpha and solved it for x (inputing a term for velocity blah blah blah physics physics). The Lagrangian is about 90% of the way to the moon. So now that we know x, we need to pick masses that puts the center of mass of the dumbbell at the Lagrangian point so that it will stay there without falling toward either body. That equation looks like this:

Calculating CoM.png

Here we need to make some choices. I constrained the system by choosing M1 and the material for the cable (MC) so that those masses are known. Then WolframAlpha solved for M2 for me. I picked 1,000,000 kg for M1 and a steel cable. M2 came out as an absolutely massive number: 2.8E16 (28 quadrillion) kilograms. This huge mass is necessary to drag the center of mass almost all the way over to the moon against the placement of the first mass and the cable.

I was going to leave it at that, but this actually presents several problems. I'm going to leave out the math for the rest of this but trust me, it was impressive.

  • The fact that the dumbbell is also orbiting Earth so as to stay aligned between the Earth and the Moon makes it so that there's tons of tension on the Moon-side of the dumbbell. So much that it would tear the steel bar apart. I fiddled with the width of the cable until it was strong enough to withstand the forces and ended up with a 70- or 80-m thick cable. That's a lot, but that's what it takes.
  • That much steel weighs a bunch. The mass of the cable is now on the same order of magnitude as M2. I did a quick check and found that there is actually enough iron on the planet to make that much steel. We'd need something like one one-millionth of all the iron in the world, but it's there.
  • If the masses were spheres of steel, M1 would have a 3-m diameter. Ok, that's fine. But M2 gets up to almost 10,000 m in diameter. Not sure how we'd get it up there or get it moving fast enough to stay in orbit.
  • If you read El-ahrairah's response and click the link, you'll find a more thorough explanation of the fact that you wouldn't be able to just stand under the thing and look up at it. Because the Earth's surface is moving relative to the dumbbell, you'd fly past the dumbbell at a pretty good rate of speed (~1000 mph).
In other words, this is totally impossible and could never be done. But if we could just will a dumbbell in place, it would probably look like what I described above (more or less, the details here are likely wrong since I'm sure I overlooked something and didn't get a second opinion, but I'm pretty sure the general idea is going in the right direction. Anyone who sees mistakes or things I overlooked should definitely submit a comment.)
 
tl;dr: With a 1,000,000-kg mass suspended 10 km above the Earth, you'd need a 28-quadrillion-kg mass on the Moon side connected by an 80-m thick cable to keep it from ripping itself apart. And then you'd still have tons of problems.
 
Cool question.
 
-The Man with a Mustache
Question #91757 posted on 01/15/2019 9:46 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Today I was driving by a church building (belonging to another Christian denomination) with a "for sale" sign. It made me wonder what would happen if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever needed to sell one of its church buildings. Does this ever happen, and if so, how do they go about selling it? I can't imagine seeing a "for sale" sign in front, so maybe they'd find a private buyer of sorts; would they just sell the land and take down the building? Or sell the whole thing as is? Thoughts?

-thanks!

A:

Dear you,

Funny that you ask, but I have actually helped the Church sell buildings and land. They sell property all the time and all across the world and so your scenario actually happens quite frequently.

The Church usually has a long-standing contract with a commercial real estate brokerage in the United States who handles their transactions. When the Church sells property it is called a disposition project. They ask for an opinion of value by a licensed real estate agent or the equivalent and they match it with their internal valuation to make sure they don't list it for a price that they are not willing to sell it for. Here's a picture of a Church building in Preston, Montana that sold a few years ago (I got this picture from the commercial real estate assisting the Church at the time):

13.5.16 - 554-4823 MN Preston - Picture of sign_1.jpg

If the valuation is high enough, they will agree to sell it. This approval can take weeks or months. The real estate agent(s) involved are actually encouraged to put a sign on the property so that people who pass by the building or land will know that it is for sale. Typically the property is also listed on multiple websites for sale to attract as many potential buyers as possible. The standard process is to list the property for 30 days before responding to any offers as to give each buyer an equal chance of submitting an offer and doing some preliminary research in order to submit a reasonable offer.

Another tidbit of information that you may not be aware of is that when the Church decides to sell a meetinghouse they decommission the building. Essentially decommissioning a building involves removing the steeple, removing Church signage from the building and property, and filling the baptismal font. 

Upon receiving offers, the Church has an internal review process that can take weeks or even months to respond to buyers. It can be frustrating to buy property from the Church because the process can take quite a long time. 

One question you might or might not ask is: "Why would the Church contract with a commercial real estate brokerage in the United States even when they are selling property in Europe, Africa, or other continents and countries? Great question! Well, the Church prefers to have one point of contact for all of their transactions instead of having hundreds or thousands of points of contacts across the world. It helps the Church keep track of all their disposition, acquisition, and leasing projects straight, and it helps keeps transactions from being held over longer than normal.

Anyways, this is probably more information than you anticipated, but it's currently my job and I am loving it! Do you have any other questions regarding Church real estate or real estate in general? I'm happy to answer more questions like this!

-Sunday Night Banter

posted on 01/18/2019 9:31 p.m.
Provo has several examples of former COJCOLDS meeting houses.

The apartments at 396 100 W and the school at 105 N 500 W are examples.
posted on 01/19/2019 11:25 p.m.
You can also search the archives for another example:

https://100hourboard.org/questions/56303/
Question #91747 posted on 10/18/2018 9:36 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Does water have enough surface tension that an ant (maybe your average small, black kitchen ant) could walk across it? Conversely, how much surface tension would a liquid have to have for a human to walk across it? Is such a liquid possible?

-the mad hatter

A:

mad hatter,

Beautiful question. Just beautiful. 

Short answers:

  • no
  • 587170 mN/m
  • depends on your definition of "possible", "liquid", and how exclusively it needs to be caused by surface tension.

Explanation:

I'm not a physicist or an entomologist. If a professional were to proof this, they would likely find many errors. But I probably know more about it than you do because now I've been reading about it for like six hours. 

The potential in your first question r e a l l y depends on the ant, and I wouldn't call it "walking." Ants have a lot of different sizes and a lot of different instincts. Black kitchen ants in the western US are much smaller than the mammoths back home in Maryland.  But there aren't any species I know of that can really "walk" on water. Even bugs who are designed to travel on the surface aren't so much picking up their legs and walking, as they are pushing through the surface layer.

Maintaining surface tension is not strictly about mass. It's about weight distribution and the pressure placed on individual bonds between water molecules. Think of a needle laying on top of fabric vs the needle being stabbed through the fabric. Singular ants are often small enough not to break the surface tension of water. Their exoskeletons are hydrophobic which helps a lot. But after a few minutes the ant will sink. Their tiny legs break the surface tension because of the pressure applied at the point of the leg without being distributed. Water skeeters (or the Gerridae family) on the other hand, distribute that pressure with tiny hairs all along their legs that allow them to push through the surface layer of the water without breaking it. 

Red ants (Solenopsis invicta) have a rafting instinct to save the colony in the event of flooding. They lock their mandibles together, forming tight pockets of air between them. The air bubbles help distribute the weight to prevent the specified pressure on the water bonds. The colony can float for weeks while they wait for floodwaters to subside. So, yeah they can sit atop the surface layer but that's about it. Too much motion or release of the air pockets could penetrate the surface tension and, depending on the density of the ant, it would sink or at least get waterlogged. 

Technically, maintaining surface tension is a different phenomenon than floatation.  Floatation is a relationship between density, buoyancy, and maybe viscosity. You can get wet with water and still float. But if you get wet you've broken the surface tension. 

Basically, water skeeting(riding the surface tension) requires a certain relationship between the weight, the perimeter(or area) of the contact point, and the angle of the contact point. Human feet have many angles and contact points so it would require a liquid with enough surface tension (exerted force when stretched) to constantly out compete your weight/foot area/contact angles relationships. 

Surface tension is the force F per unit length L exerted by a stretched liquid membrane. Think of stretching a rubberband and how much force is waiting to be released. It's like that, only recognizing that such force is already being applied on your finger, and can be measured in terms of F over L. So how much force is being exerted by water when it gets stretched? Usually about 73 millinewtons (mN) per meter (m). 

Mercury has the highest surface tension relationships of any known element usually at around 485 mN/m. Converting that to pound-force you get .11 lbs/m. So mercury can support .11 pounds for every meter of contact. So a 132 pound human (such as myself) would require 1200 meters (3937 feet) of contact to maintain surface tension on a pool of mercury. I would basically need to be flattened into a very thin sheet of mass. Without being flattened out like that I would sink and bob until I reached equilibrium. That would probably submerge me partially and then flip me to have the most surface area distribution a.k.a laying flat. 

The average adult foot is about 1 meter. For simplification we won't talk about contact points and angles of that foot, or those of a foot in motion. But since walking requires one foot at a time and it is a very convenient conversion factor, we're going to use it. You need a liquid that can support 132 pounds over only 1 meter. The force of that liquid would have to be 132 pounds. Or, for the sake of comparison with mercury's 485 mN/m, it would have surface tension of 587170 mN/m. That is a very active amount of energy stored in the surface of a liquid. Like a swimming pool that is also a trampoline that also isn't defined by viscosity.

That brings me to non-Newtonian fluids. If you don't know what those are you should check out this video. Non-Newtonian fluids are about non-static viscosity. Not surface tension. These things can behave as both a liquid and a solid depending on the force applied to them. So they get the "walking on liquid" job done quite nicely. Whereas a liquid with high surface tension holds things up by applying force, non-Newtonian fluids hold things up by having force applied and becoming more solid. If you could have a liquid that was both non-Newtonian and had a high enough surface tension, the force would be applied to itself and it would act as a solid. Which actually turns out to be pretty boring because now it's just a solid. So I guess that's how we get trampolines. 

There you have it! Bonus analysis: If Jesus altered surface tension to walk on water he would have had to make up for pretty much his entire body weight in exerted force on a 1 meter foot. Scholars estimate that he was probably about 5'1 and weighed about 110 pounds. He was probably pretty muscular based on his profession, maybe with some atrophy at the time of the miracle. So he might have weighed a little more. So we're looking at maybe like a spiritual pound-force of 120?

Some other videos for your imagination:

Mercury + non-Newtonian fluid

Non-Newtonian fluid + hydraulic press

 

Babalugats

Question #91725 posted on 10/24/2018 11:46 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Runners always move to the inside when going around a curve because it's shorter.

How many miles would you save on a trip across the US (say on I-80 from SF to NYC but if you'd rather take I-10 from LA to Jacksonville, that's fine too) if you always moved to the inside of the curve of the road?

Related to that, how much gas would you save if you always drove the inside of the curve of the road?

-Yuki Kawauchi in a panda suit

A:

 Dear Yukikawhat?

What a great question. Fun fact: the outside lane of a standard track is 453 meters, which is 53 meters longer than the inside lane. Calculating that distance is relatively simple, because you just measure the straightaways, and then use the formula arc length=radius*angle. You add those up and you end up with the difference if you're good at math and putting things into calculators. Figuring out how much of a difference it would make driving on the inside is trickier though because we don't know how many curves there are, and how much we save on each curve. How will we find out? We shall guesstimate! 

Guesstimate 1: How many curves are there? 

So, to estimate how many curves there are, I will count the number of curves on a 10 mile stretch of 1-10 (Jacksonville baby!) and then use that number to estimate the total number of curves. So, this is the stretch of road I chose:

LA.PNG

Between Los Angeles and Ontario there were 26 turns over the 39.4 miles. The trip from Los Angeles to Jacksonville is 2,416 miles. So if we take 2,416 miles/ 39.4 miles * 26 turns we end up with an estimated 1594 turns on our trip.

Guesstimate 2: How much do we save on each curve? 

How much are we saving on each turn. Well, the majority of the spots on 1-10 I looked were 2 lanes and looked like this:

2laneroad.PNG

The average two lane road is 24 feet wide, but the cars will drive in the middle so the the distance between the center of both cars is more like 12 feet. The majority of turns, as you can see actually aren't very big turns. I would say that the majority of the curves you will find are only about 45 degrees, and most of them won't be more than 90 degrees. We'll guess that each curve is somewhere in the middle. We'll go with a generous 57.29 degrees because that gives us a 1 radian per curve and makes our math easier. So, now for our final guesstimate:

1594 turns * 1 radian/turn * 12 ft. radius differential per turn *(1/5280) miles/ft. = 3.622 miles

There you have it folks, it looks like cheating the inside corners will save you about 4 miles on your trip. This only works out to saving you about 0.15% of the distance. Now we could be off, but I honestly don't think we'd be off by much for three reasons:

  1. A standard 400 m track is going around curves half the time and the outside lane is only about 13% longer than the inside. So I would but the absolute maximum for any route at 13%, but that would be for driving around on winding roads.
  2. Have you ever driven accross Wyoming, Nebraska, or Arizona. Let me tell you, those roads are heckin' straight. The stretch of road I picked for our estimate went through cities, which means we probably overestimated.
  3. The downside with switching lanes, is that the inside curve often alternates, so you would have to switch lanes a lot, which would defeat the purpose a little.

So, in the end, how much does our 3.622 miles save us on gas?

3.622 miles / 20 mpg * $3/gallon = $0.54

That's right folks, 54 cents. The moral of the story here is that cutting corners doesn't pay, kids.

Peace,

Tipperary

P.S.  Enjoy your well earned cash. Don't spend it all in one place though, eh?

Question #91714 posted on 11/07/2018 6:12 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why doesn’t the Church run background checks on those who work with children?

-Concerned

A:

Dear you,

This is related to the question you asked, but it's my thesis and I think it's important to set it out out front since my answer gives a lot of reasons I don't think background checks are the right answer. In my opinion, the Church already has policies in place to prevent the vast majority of child abuse, and efforts to further prevent abuse may well be more effective if they focused on increasing compliance with Church policies and making any necessary refinements to Church policy, rather than on background-checking members.*

I can't tell you why the Church doesn't background check, but I can offer a few reasons I'd be wary of doing background checks if I ran an organization that worked with children the way the Church does. Although even a problematic method of preventing abuse is worthwhile if it is the best method, I don't think background checks are necessarily the best method. Here are a few of the difficulties checks could prevent that may contribute to their potential inferiority versus other methods of abuse prevention. 

  1. Infrastructure/Logistics: The number of people who work with children (and I assume you'd include youth) in the Church is huge. It might not seem that hard to background check a few primary teachers, right? But let's consider the number of people you'd need for a primary in a decent-sized ward. A simple count: 3 presidency members, 2 music specialists (pianist, conductor), 2 nursery, and 2 each for CTR 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and Valiant 9, 10, and 11. Assuming you have no primary subs EVER, that's like 23 people right off the bat. Then we add in 2 scout leaders and 2 activity day leaders. Then we get to the youth program and add presidencies for YW and YM (at least 3 people each), scout leaders (at least 2) and camp leaders (at least 1). Then add an adviser for each of Priests, Teachers, Deacons, Laurels, Mia Maids, and Beehives. Now we're up to something like 42 people who need to be background checked and who can never be absent from Church. Additionally, lots of these callings will be rotated frequently. On top of that, you lose a ton of flexibility if you can only use background-checked people for substitutes in Sunday classes or additional help at an activity, or babysitting during a Relief Society activity, or whatever. Further, you're going to have to repeat these background checks every few years in order to maintain the quality of information. That becomes even more burdensome.
  2. Cost and availability of checks. In the US, I think it's relatively cheap to get background checks and there are checks that are at least decent in terms of quality. However, "relatively inexpensive" adds up when it's 40+ people (at least), and when you have to do them on a continual renewing basis. However, the cost you pay to the agency (is the Church going to contract with one particular agency? Another complication...) isn't the only cost: you also will lose a lot of time cost because you'll basically need a new background check specialist or an additional clerk in every ward to help people fill out paperwork, keep on top of renewals, etc. Additionally, we're a global Church. I don't know to what extent complete, affordable background checks are available in other nations. 
  3. Legal/Liability: I speculate but do not know that by starting a policy of background checks, the Church could open itself to legal liability (or perceived liability by people trying to sue) in certain situations: what if a ward wasn't careful enough in making sure people filled out the paperwork properly? What if a ward missed someone because they knew they'd had a check done in another ward in the Stake last year? What if a ward wasn't careful enough when it chose a background check service? What if a ward ignored something on a background check that was later claimed to be relevant?
  4. Loss of willing volunteers: There are a lot of people in the Church who I think would look askance at the Church doing a background check on them. We believe in repentance, after all - why does my bishop (or ward clerk, or "background check specialist" a calling we'd probably have to invent to handle this many checks) need to know that I [got arrested for pot as a teenager, spent time in prison for tax fraud before moving to this ward, got a DUI 10 years ago, whatever]. I can imagine a decent number of people taking the stance of "Look, I do service with the children/youth as a form of service. I'm not going to sacrifice my privacy when I'm already giving up my time and adult socialization to do something I might not even really want to do."
  5. Standard-setting Problems: What, exactly, should be the standard for something that's "bad enough to keep you from working with youth"? Any crime that required sex offender registration at any point (such as public indecency or urination)? What about domestic violence? What about domestic violence in the presence of a child, or toward a child? Sexual offenses towards adults, or only children? What about non-sexual or non-violent offenses like drug use? Is there a time limit on any of them? What about stuff that happened when you were a minor? This becomes a logistical issue that the Church has to establish guidance on (or else you risk significant local variation, again possibly opening up liability or at least criticism). What if the check turns up court records where someone was accused, but acquitted? What if they lost a civil trial with a lower standard of proof but weren't guilty on a criminal case? (In case that's unclear: imagine that someone punches someone else- the criminal standard to convict them of assault is "beyond reasonable doubt" but the victim can sue them for the cost of the steak they put on their eye and have the standard to recover the money only be "preponderance of the evidence" (more likely than not.)) This becomes yet another logistics nightmare where you need a hugely complicated set of guidelines and probably significant guidance from Salt Lake to ensure consistency, and that means that you probably end up erring on the side of restricting where you might not need to and suddenly there are a lotttt of people who can't hold callings that they would be totally fine doing.
  6. False Sense of Safety: Finally, if people know that the Church generally background checks those who work with youth, they may actually fail to take appropriate cautions in protecting their own children (even though this seems backwards, it's related to the Moral Hazard problem.) Background checks on the level an organization like the Church would be doing them aren't likely to find anywhere near every case of abuse: they're mostly only going to turn up the ones that resulted in convictions. This could leave out not only people whose victims never came forward, but even cases where the victim came forward but no conviction resulted. People who don't understand this might get lax about using the Church's other, important safeguards. "Oh, it's okay if you ride home alone with Brother Johnson, he's been background-checked." "Oh, Sister Smith has been a member her whole life, I'm sure it's fine if she takes the primary class by herself; we're waiting on her background check still but she must have had one in her last ward because she mentioned working in primary there." "Oh, we'll just have the campout with Brother Franklin, after all, several of the boys are almost 18, and that's close enough even though none of the other adults can come..." etc. etc.
So why not add background checks in spite of these difficulties? The Church already has safeguards in place that, when followed, will prevent the vast majority of abuse of children without these difficulties.
 
This publication, "Preventing and Responding to Abuse" explains Church guidelines that I'd encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with and to stand up for. To summarize the relevant ones, the Church:
  • requires records be in the ward before giving a child-facing calling
  • will give no child-facing calling if note for abuse on record
  • requires 2-deep leadership
  • requires a second adult "in an adjoining room, foyer, or hall" or in the office at interviewee's request when a child is being interviewed
  • restricts adult-child sleep arrangements on overnight activities
Not every ward perfectly follows these guidelines, and that should change. I would urge people who see their ward's youth programs violating these points to raise the issue with the bishop (or stake president, if necessary). If you're asked to sub for primary, tell them you'd be happy to but you know the guidelines say you have to have a partner teacher, does the president know someone who's available, or should you run over to Gospel Principles and grab your spouse/friend? Etc. 
 
It is still sadly likely that some few cases of abuse would occur even if compliance with these rules were perfect; it's hard to come up with a set of rules that is perfect in any possible situation. However, the relevant questions seem to me to be:
 
1) Would background checking adult leaders improve compliance with the Church's anti-abuse guidelines?
 
Maybe, if people with even a non-abusive record are generally less rule-abiding and more likely to fudge or outright disobey abuse prevention rules and so you just exclude them from these callings entirely. But that's a pretty excluding way to use a background check. So, if the background check doesn't really improve the existing anti-abuse framework, 
 
2) Would background checking adult leaders prevent abuse the Church's anti-abuse guidelines don't currently prevent?
 
It's clear to me that background checks could identify some people who shouldn't work with youth, and maybe that includes people who haven't been already flagged as such by the Church. If these people are identified, maybe they don't get the calling to work with the youth. Maybe this prevents some abuse because a potential predator doesn't get a calling and so there's never a situation where they're left alone with a kid because their ward doesn't follow two-deep situations, or whatever else permitted the abuse.
 

3) And, more importantly, will background checks prevent abuse to the best amount in the best way (i.e. efficiently)?

This is the crux.
 
However, this also gets sort of unpleasant, because even though the worth of every person is infinite, the amount of resources we can devote to preventing any specific harm to that person is not. The safest way to prevent abuse of children in Church would be to refuse children any entry to Church buildings and require parents to find childcare before attending Church alone. We're obviously not going to do that because children, on the whole, benefit from Church. What's tricky is finding the exact point at which the benefit to children of decreased chance of abuse is more significant than the harm to children (or the Church as a whole) resulting from increased burdens of whatever prevention methods we use.
 
Let's take an example of a relatively simple policy: two deep leadership. This policy assumes that, with another adult watching, a predator won't risk getting caught and therefore won't abuse a child. A quick google indicates that there is something on the order of 750,000 (747408, but let's round) sex offenders in the US. That's a broad categorization that includes people who aren't necessarily a danger to children. The US population is roughly 329,000,000. That means that sex offenders make up less than .23 percent of the population. Now, the odds that any two randomly selected individuals will BOTH be sex offenders is about .05% per these numbers. And that's if we started randomly pairing people together that nobody knows anything at all about. This isn't close to an accurate representation of how things would actually work in the Church, of course, for many reasons: there may be non-offenders willing to protect offenders, which would raise likelihood of abuse, but there are also plenty of people on the sex offender registry for something like public urination who would absolutely report or prevent abuse of a child. Furthermore, we don't pair random people we don't know together to make up primary/youth callings: we have bishops to make callings, primary presidents to supervise, etc. But the point of this exercise is that we can see that a simple step like 2-deep leadership makes it very unlikely but not impossible that an abuser will have an opportunity for abuse. What we have to decide is, since there's still that remaining tiny chance, what else are we willing to do to reduce it? How far down do we need to get the number before we're happy having primary, and still able to have it from a cost perspective? Maybe if we did everything we can think of (say, 6-deep leadership with mandated teacher-student ratios, only using professional teachers who pass an annual background check and who pay a large bond to the Church that they'll lose in case of abuse, using rules that say teachers can never touch children) we could prevent abuse almost entirely (but still not totally, because people break rules and find ways), but at that point we can't functionally run the program.
 
So, we have to decide on the acceptable level of risk and then once we've got that we want to use the most cost-effective methods to get our risk down to that level.
 
In my opinion, the bulleted points above that the Church counsels for abuse prevention are relatively low-cost while being very effective at reducing risk when actually implemented. By contrast, an additional background-check requirement seems to me to add a lot of "cost" that could decrease volunteer willingness (hurting programs), cost time (hurting programs), add complexity, and still only reduce risk a little bit, assuming the Church's already-extant policies are being followed. Now, the policies are not always followed, and I think that needs to change. However, my argument would be that the more efficient way to reduce abuse is to increase enforcement of the anti-abuse policies and make any changes we need to them, rather than to add a secondary background check system.
 
Thoughts:
 
Your mileage may vary, of course. You may have different opinions (or maybe you've got evidence I'm uninformed of, my knowledge of background checks or child abuse statistics/profiling are very limited) regarding how effective background checks are or about flaws with the Church's policies or the difficulty of enforcing compliance therewith. However, I hope that my reasoning above at least shows how it's possible, in good conscience, to believe that resources are better devoted to preventing abuse through mechanisms other than a background check.
 
Child abuse is evil. We all have a responsibility to be our brother's keeper, and that includes those of our brothers and sisters who are children. I urge everyone reading this answer to review the anti-abuse policies linked to above and commit to comply with them and encourage others to do the same, while still remaining vigilant to any situations that need reporting or revising.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
~Anne, Certainly
 

*For an example of recent refinement, see the announcement of allowing a second adult in the Priesthood interview of a woman or minor. The Church's policies might not be perfect yet, and what needs to change (and how) will likely vary based on who you ask, but the Church has shown a willingness to continue to improve them as good ideas are presented.  

posted on 11/10/2018 11:47 a.m.
I live in Pennsylvania, where essentially every organization that works with children (including churches) are required to have background checks and fingerprinting performed on the adults that work with children. The background checks by the state are free for volunteers, however, the fingerprinting is around $25, which is reimbursed by the ward. Although I think it's good that this is done, it is definitely a major stumbling block to quickly getting people into callings with the Primary and Youth programs. Not because everyone is a sex offender - it just takes time and paperwork (and remembering to turn in said paperwork).
Question #91708 posted on 03/25/2019 11:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you make a Dante's Inferno style thing about the worst types of fellow student to have class with, and the appropriate punishments they should have to endure?

-Alighieri

A:

Dear Dante,

**NOTE: THIS ANSWER SHOULD BE READ AS A SHORT STORY; IT EXCEEDS THE STANDARD LENGTH OF ANSWERS AND PERHAPS WILL NOT BE READ COMPLETELY IN ONE SITTING

Yauvana wandered, lost, in the midst of a forest of homework assignments. Occasionally a paper would flutter down from some tall stack, contributing to the debris littering the ground. As she walked, she noticed a light on a hill in the distance. A hill meant escape from this dark homework forest. She hurriedly followed the light, eventually coming to the foot of the hill. Yet even as she was about to climb up, three prowling beasts leaped out, ready to consume her: a lion, leopard and she-wolf. Yauvana retreated to the gloom of the forest, feeling more directionless than ever. As she cast her gaze hopelessly around herself, a being materialized next to her. 

"Uh... who are you? I have this strange feeling that you're some famous ancient poet that I should somehow be able to recognize by sight. Like, say, Virgil."

"Nope! I'm just some random guy who went to the University of Utah instead of BYU. So, although I thought BYU was great and everything, I've been consigned to hell. I'm here because some angel sent me; they're a person you met exactly once on the frontrunner. Apparently despite not having talked with you, they're a big fan. Right then. Now that introductions are over, let's mosey on over to hell."

~~~~

 "Why is everyone screaming?" Yauvana inquired. The random guy just shot her a look that said, "We're practically in hell now. Of course everyone is screaming." Soon, Yauvana saw precisely why these people in particular were screaming. The air was filled with sharp letters, which zoomed towards their hapless victims, giving paper cuts every time they made contact. Yauvana caught one of the letters; it was a catalog of different BYU majors. 

"Oooh, these must be the people who went through BYU and never decided on a major. They didn't ever do anything bad, but they never decided on something firm to do."

Pseudo-Virgil nodded to Yauvana. "Yep." 

"Wow," Yauvana responded. "This seems like an inordinately cruel punishment for people who never did anything wrong."

"You got it! But a recurring theme of hell is that it's suddenly okay to be super vicious and cruel to others. Especially if you're righteous, because what's more righteous than reveling in another person's pain? Anyways, let's keep on moving."

The two came up to a salt water river. Pseudo-Virgil explained to Yauvana that the river was made up of the tears of people who failed their finals at BYU. All the little vials Yauvana had noticed in the past at the testing center suddenly made sense.

It was then that Yauvana noticed a looming figure rowing a boat across the river approaching the banks. Before she could ask, Pseudo-Virgil said, "That's Charon, the ferryman into hell. After all, if a figure from Greek mythology can make it into a Christian tale, he can also weasel his way into a spoof of said Christian tale." Yauvana simply shrugged. She was already living in a pretty judgy allegory, what was the occasional Greek mythological person?

As soon as they were to the other side, Pseudo-Virgil sighed and glanced back towards Yauvana, "Welcome to my home: Limbo. This is the first circle of hell, and where all the people who did not attend BYU end up. So yeah, for some reason we have people like Mother Teresa and Hitler in the same place, suffering the same fate. There's allegorical broad justice for you. Also, seems like a major oversight that people's fate after death is dependent on the type of BYU student they were, but considering we're in some weird spin off of an allegory, I wouldn't worry about it too much."

Yauvana and Pseudo-Virgil quickly passed the masses of vaguely bemused people, wondering how they got pulled into a BYU version of Dante's Inferno. Once they were almost through, Yauvana commented, "I feel like once again I should magically be recognizing people here, and then describe it as a gathering of the world's greatest writers, all while not so surreptitiously including myself as one of the world's greatest writers." 

"Whelp, missed your chance on that one, Yauvana. We just passed the actual Virgil, Dante, Horace, Homer, Ovid, and Lucan."

A great life opportunity having been lost, Yauvana and Pseudo-Virgil continued on their way.

~~~~

The second circle of hell was just... gross, Yauvana thought to herself. All its occupants were chained to their seats, with braces on their necks, preventing them from turning their faces away from the giant screen. Which meant they were trapped into watching every second of every clip of disgusting PDA playing on that screen. All of the people had pained expressions on their faces, while some were mumbling, "We were never that bad, were we? Like, our little games of footsie across other people's feet couldn't have been as terrible as that last clip... ".

"Yeah, buddy, you definitely deserve this," Pseudo-Virgil remarked. Yauvana couldn't help but agree. Not having realized just how terrible it was for literally everyone else to see them doing PDA in life, at least these people would finally understand the extent of their crimes in death.

Yauvana looked off into the distance--anywhere besides that giant screen. "Hey, Pseudo-Virgil, is that King Minos? Why does he have a tail? And how am I even recognizing this person who didn't ever exist in real life?"

"First, it's better if you just don't question all the Greek mythology that somehow found its way in here. Second, he has a tail to decree which circle of hell each person will go to. Here in hell we place a lot of trust in the judgement of fictional characters who only communicate via postmortem appendage."

Noting Pseudo-Virgil had evaded her last question, Yauvana decided to simply accept it as an otherwordly storytelling device.

~~~~

Red ink was falling from the sky, spattering on the drifts of paper below. It took Yauvana several moments to notice the people's heads poking up above all the paper. It was another moment before she realized the paper was covered in writing--they were homework assignments. 

"Wait, are these all the people who always reminded the professor of little extra assignments and quizzes?" Yauvana asked.

"You got it, " Pseudo-Virgil replied. "They were gluttons for punishment in school, and so now they get that punishment in full."

After wading through the homework piles, the pair was soon in the fourth circle of hell. Here were all the people who had loudly proclaimed all the cool stuff they had that their parents had bought for them. They hadn't really cared about their education; their parents took care of their tuition so they never worried about having to maintain scholarships. Their punishment was to repeatedly ram each other with their super nice cars, purchased by their parents. 

The fifth circle held the writers of countless angry emails to professors and TA's, explaining that they really shouldn't have to do all this dumb work, and why did they have such a terrible grade? Clearly it was completely the professor's/TA's fault.

"What are they choking on?" 

Pseudo-Virgil looked back at Yauvana, "Their own angry emails. If you look a little to your left, you can see the super angry ones wrestling with each other." He paused for a moment. "So... is there anyone here that you recognize? Like some old enemy that you'll derive a sick amount of enjoyment out of watching them getting torn to pieces? No? Hmmm... guess we'll just be on our miserable way in that case." He proceeded to lead Yauvana to the gates of a large city. She thought she glimpsed demons guarding the gate.

~~~~

 Pseudo-Virgil looked up at the gates. "Hey, would you guys mind letting us through? We have heavenly approval and everything."

The demons peered down at him and Yauvana. The biggest one held up a magnifying glass to her eye. "Did you really think you'd get through our gates with that shadow of a beard on your face?"

Pseudo-Virgil sighed. "Seriously? I just shaved this morning! It's not my fault my facial hair grows so fast."

"No persons beyond this gate with any facial hair."

Grumbling angrily to himself, Pseudo-Virgil found a nearby rock to mope on. Yauvana just nervously shifted her weight from foot to foot. Just as she was about to ask Pseudo-Virgil what they were going to do next, a glowing white figure materialized at the top of the gate. He exchanged some very pointed words with the demon while brandishing his very pointed sword. 

Looking extremely disgruntled, the demon waved Pseudo-Virgil and Yauvana through the gate.

They had just arrived to the next level of hell.

~~~~

"And here be all the mansplainers," Psuedo-Virgil announced. He had to shout to be heard over the constant blaring horns. Even then, Yauvana had a hard time making out what he was saying. Evidently the punishment here was to be forced to listen to loud annoying noises for all eternity.

Thankfully, the pair soon traveled beyond the horns. And arrived at a very pathetic football game. No matter which team anyone cheered for, they always lost. Sometimes both teams managed to lose. Such was the just desserts of violent football fans.

After passing the dejected fans, Yauvana and Pseudo-Virgil found themselves at the eighth circle. All the people here were just milling around... with their mouths duct-taped shut, and hands tied together.

"Alright, what did these people do?" Yauvana asked.

"They're the ones who pretended they were looking for a committed relationship, but were really just looking for a NCMO. Let's hurry now, Yauvana. We're almost to the final circle... Which we're going to get to by jumping through this giant well!"

"Wait, what!?"

"Don't worry about it--this is hell, what's the worst that could happen?" Pseudo-Virgil exclaimed, and then paused, "Yeah, on second thought, don't answer that. Just implicitly trust me like you've been doing this entire trip."

~~~~

All Yauvana could hear was a strange kind of slimy slithering. "What is making that noise?"

Pseudo-Virgil glanced around nervously. "You know how I told you not to worry earlier? Perhaps start worrying; punishment here is meted out via tunnel worms."

"What could anyone have done to deserve such a fate?"

Pseudo-Virgil spat on the ground in disgust before answering, "These people gained other people's confidences and then used those secrets against them. Some of them tried to get people thrown out of BYU for breaking the honor code based on some trumped up charge based only on a kernel of truth. Others live tweeted personal secrets people told them. I think you get the picture."

Yauvana nodded wordlessly.

"Uh, Pseudo-Virgil, where are we going now?"

"Sshh, we're almost there." It was then that Yauvana saw it--the biggest tunnel worm she had ever seen, or imagined.

"I thought we were going to avoid the tunnel worms!" she hissed at Pseudo-Virgil. He simply held up a hand to indicate for her to be quiet in response. Then he gestured forward. They were going to get out of hell by climbing down this tunnel worm's body.

~~~~

It was now several slimy hours later, but Yauvana finally stood blinking in the fresh morning's light. She had done it. She had traveled all the way through hell. She turned around to say goodbye, to say thank you to her guide, but Pseudo-Virgil was already gone.

~Anathema

Question #91651 posted on 09/25/2018 10 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board (especially Sunday Night Banter),

What is the difference between FHA, USDA, and traditional loans when buying a house? I kind of understand the positives of the USDA and FHA loans, but nothing I've seen has listed any kind of negative aspects to them, is there any reason that a qualifying person wouldn't want to use one of these programs?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear MNH,

This is a fantastic question! In order to give you a side-by-side comparison I created the following chart:

Different Loan Types
FHA VA Conventional USDA
+ Lower credit scores are accepted + No strict limits for credit eligibility or debt-to-income ratio + Usually offers best interest rate + No down payment required
+ Requires a smaller down payment compared to conventional loans - Have to be cleared by the VA + Usually no Private Mortgage Insurance - Limited to certain geographical areas
- Usually requires you to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) - Can usually get better rate with conventional loan - Requires higher down payment - Borrower can't have income 115% above median income for area
- Usually requires you to pay higher closing costs - Usually requires a VA funding fee     - Home has to meet USDA standards
- Home needs to meet FHA standard of living         - Usually requires Private Mortgage Insurance

To be honest, each person will need to choose a loan type based off of their individual situation. I would recommend discussing your options with an Equal Housing lender because they will be able to give you specific direction based off your financial circumstance.

If you need a recommendation for a lender to talk to, I'd be happy to offer some options. Just shoot me an email and we'll talk.

-Sunday Night Banter

Question #91590 posted on 08/24/2018 2:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm hoping to get a list of which hymns in the LDS hymn book were written by women. Just going through the authors, there's a fair amount of names that I'm not sure if they're men or women...

Can you find such a list for me? Or would someone be willing to create one?

-New Roo

A:

Dear Kanga,

I looked through the hymnbook and compiled a list of all the hymns written by women (for the purposes of this question I only looked at the author of the lyrics, not the composer, although if you also want to know about women composers in the LDS hymnbook, feel free to ask another question). When the names were ambiguous I researched the person to find out whether they were a man or a woman. There were ultimately two people who wrote some of the hymns whose gender I couldn't determine, but I noted that next to their names.

So, here you go, a comprehensive list of LDS hymns written by women (even though this whole list will be outdated as soon as they release the new hymnbooks).

  • 14Mary Ann Morton DurhamSweet is the Peace the Gospel Brings
  • 17Eliza R. SnowAwake, Ye Saints of God, Awake!
  • 22Marylou Cunningham LeavittWe Listen to a Prophet's Voice
  • 33Emmeline B. WellsOur Mountain Home So Dear
  • 35Felicia D. HemansFor the Strength of the Hills (note: the version in the hymnal was adapted by Edward Sloan)
  • 36Ida R. AlldredgeThey the Builders of the Nation
  • 60Julia Ward HoweBattle Hymn of the Republic
  • 63Carrie (Caroline) Stockdale ThomasGreat King of Heaven
  • 71Penelope Moody AllenWith Songs of Praise
  • 72written by Joachim Neander, but translated by Catherine WinkworthPraise to the Lord, the Almighty (note: I'm including it in this list because translating a song to maintain its musicality is sort of like co-authoring it)
  • 75Ada BlenkhornIn Hymns of Praise
  • 77Eliza R. SnowGreat is the Lord
  • 95written by Martin Rinkhart, but translated by Catherine WinkworthNow Thank We All Our God
  • 98Annie S. HawkesI Need Thee Every Hour
  • 100Sarah F. AdamsNearer, My God to Thee
  • 105Mary Ann BakerMaster, the Tempest is Raging
  • 122Eliza R. SnowThrough Deepening Trials
  • 124Katharina von SchlegelBe Still, My Soul (note: this one was translated to English by Jane Borthwick)
  • 128Naomi W. RandallWhen Faith Endures
  • 129Emma Lou ThayneWhere Can I Turn for Peace?
  • 130Grietje Terburg RowleyBe Thou Humble
  • 140Mary A. Pepper KidderDid You Think to Pray?
  • 143Penelope Moody AllenLet the Holy Spirit Guide
  • 154Nan Greene HunterFather, This Hour Has Been One of Joy
  • 155Mabel Jones GabbottWe Have Partaken of Thy Love
  • 164Anne StelleGreat God, to Thee My Evening Song
  • 170Annie Pinnock MalinGod, Our Father, Hear Us Pray
  • 171Zara SabinWith Humble Heart
  • 172Mabel Jones GabbottIn Humility, Our Savior
  • 184Vilate RaileUpon the Cross of Calvary
  • 186Eliza R. SnowAgain We Meet around the Board
  • 191Eliza R. SnowBehold the Great Redeemer Die
  • 195Eliza R. SnowHow Great the Wisdom and the Love
  • 197Karen Lynn DavidsonO Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown
  • 219Grace Noll CrowellBecause I Have Been Given Much
  • 220Susan Evans McCloudLord, I Would Follow Thee
  • 221Mary B. WingateDear to the Heart of the Shepherd
  • 224Josephine PollardI Have Work Enough to Do
  • 227Eliza E. HewittThere Is Sunshine in My Soul Today
  • 228Helen Silcott DunganYou Can Make the Pathway Bright
  • 229L. ClarkToday, While the Sun Shines (note: UNSURE. L. Clark doesn't have a first name anywhere that I could find, and the hymnal doesn't even have birth and death dates for them, just an approximate date of copyright for this song. With so little information I couldn't find out more about them. Based on the trends of other author's names in the hymnbook, it seems like mostly men went by simply their first initial and then a last name, but I really have no idea.)
  • 230—Lanta Wilson Smith—Scatter Sunshine
  • 231Ellis Reynolds ShippFather, Cheer Our Souls Tonight
  • 236Mabel Jones GabbottLord, Accept into Thy Kingdom
  • 249Grace GordonCalled to Serve
  • 251Fanny J. CrosbyBehold! A Royal Army
  • 253Jean L. KaberryLike Ten Thousand Legions Marching (note: UNSURE. Jean Kaberry authored various hymns, and shows up easily enough in a Google search, but literally nothing I could find says anything their gender or personal life. My guess is they were probably a woman, based on the fact that their last name stems from Scotland, and "Jean" in Scotland is a woman's name, although I suppose it's possible that they were actually a French man with a strange last name.)
  • 255Ruth May FoxCarry On
  • 256Susan Evans McCloudAs Zion's Youth in Latter Days
  • 260Hannah Last CornabyWho's on the Lord's Side?
  • 261Marilyn McMeen BrownThy Servants are Prepared
  • 263Ruth M. GardnerGo Forth with Faith
  • 266Eliza R. SnowThe Time Is Far Spent
  • 270Mary BrownI'll Go Where You Want Me to Go
  • 273Eliza R. SnowTruth Reflects upon Our Senses
  • 277C. Marianne Johnson FisherAs I Search the Holy Scriptures
  • 287—Jean L. Kaberry—Rise, Ye Saints, and Temples Enter (note: UNSURE, although my hunch is they were a woman. See the note for hymn number 253.)
  • 290Mabel Jones GabbottRejoice, Ye Saints of Latter Days
  • 292Eliza R. SnowO My Father
  • 293Karen Lynn DavidsonEach Life That Touches Ours for Good
  • 298Carolyn Hamilton KlopferHome Can Be a Heaven on Earth
  • 299Carolina Sandell BergChildren of Our Heavenly Father
  • 300Ruth M. GardnerFamilies Can Be Together Forever
  • 301Naomi W. RandallI Am a Child of God
  • 303Barbara A. McConochieKeep the Commandments
  • 304Clara W. McMasterTeach Me to Walk in the Light
  • 305Matilda Watts CahoonThe Light Divine
  • 306Marie C. TurkGod's Daily Care
  • 307Eliza R. SnowIn Our Lovely Deseret
  • 308Luacine Clark FoxLove One Another
  • 309Emily H. WoodmanseeAs Sisters in Zion
  • 310Jan Underwood PinboroughA Key Was Turned in Latter Days
  • 321Mary Judd PageYe Who Are Called to Labor
  • 325—Jean L. Kaberry—See the Mighty Priesthood Gathered (note: UNSURE. See the note for hymn number 253)
  • 329Marilyn McMeen BrownThy Servants Are Prepared
  • 334Annie S. HawkesI Need Thee Every Hour (men's choir arrangement)
  • 338Katharine Lee BatesAmerica the Beautiful

There you have it! A comprehensive list of all the hymns in the LDS hymnbook written by women! This was actually really cool to look at, and I loved seeing that some of my all time favorite hymns were written by women. Thanks for asking.

-Alta

posted on 08/24/2018 8:19 p.m.
Don’t forget Cecil Frances Alexander. She was a woman with a male name. She wrote:

There Is A Green Hill Far Away #194
He Is Risen #199
Once In Royal David’s City #205
posted on 08/25/2018 11:15 p.m.
Jean L. Kaberry is a female. (I used public records databases on <i>Ancestry</i> to confirm her gender.)
Question #91517 posted on 08/30/2018 7:48 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is West Virginia really almost Heaven?

-Jack Denver

A:

Dear Jackie Paper,

As we have all been taught, if we want to learn truths about Heaven, there is one source we can turn to with a surety:

The Scientific Method!

First, if we are to determine if West Virginia is like Heaven, we must ask ourselves: what is Heaven like? I think the following Far Side cartoon is instructive:

accordion.jpg

(Source)

From the cartoon, I posit that we can learn three important truths about Heaven:

1) There are lots of angels,

2) It is very cloudy, and

3) Everyone plays the harp.

We will now evaluate West Virginia according to these three criteria in order to determine if it is "almost Heaven."

Criteria #1: Are there lots of angels in West Virginia?

If we are to determine if there are lots of angels in West Virginia, we first must qualify what exactly an angel is. Is it any good person that got to Heaven? Is it a human-like being with wings that assists the good people in Heaven, not unlike Michael in The Good Place? Is it a mythological creature with multiple heads and only a passing resemblance to your girlfriend

For our cases, I'll assume the middle option: angels are human-like, winged beings that live in Heaven and whose purpose is to help the good souls in Heaven with all of their heavenly needs (such as frozen yogurt). 

"Well, that's all fine and dandy, Frère," you may say, "but how do we tell if any such souls inhabit West Virginia?"

Glad you asked. You see, angels are inherently good and helpful beings, meaning they cannot lie. Since they cannot lie, it stands to reason that, if you asked one of these celestial beings if they were an angel, they would have to respond in the affirmative. So how do we tell how many angels are in West Virginia?

Well, the website howmanyofme.com reports that there are 191,745 people in the United States with the name "Angel." How many reside in West Virginia? Well, West Virginia has a population of 1.816 million, which is 0.56% of the total U.S. population (325.7 million). Assuming that all the angels are distributed according to population, that would mean that 0.56% of all of the U.S. Angels live in West Virginia, which comes out to an angelic population of 1,069.

That's all well and good, but: is that a lot of angels, comparatively speaking? To get an idea, I again turned to The Good Place. When Michael addresses the neighborhood, there seem to be somewhere between 150 and 200 people in attendance; let's say the typical angel-to-person ratio is 1:175. That means that, for a group of 1,069 angels, there should be...187,075 humans.

We won't comment on that number here; instead, we'll move on to...

Criteria #2: Is it very cloudy in West Virginia?

This one is much easier, as other people have done the science for us. The Farmer's Almanac has compiled a list of the cloudiest states in the U.S., based on how many sunny days each state receives in a given year. According to them, the cloudiest state is Washington, but West Virginia isn't far behind at #6. To quote,

The Allegheny Mountains that stretch along the border between West Virginia and Virginia are responsible for much of the overcast weather in this state. Because the Alleghenies trap moisture flowing into the state from the north and west, most of the state experiences only 60 to 65 clear days per year. One city – Elkins – only gets 48 clear days a year.

Very good. We now move on to the last Criteria,

Criteria #3: Does everyone play the harp in West Virginia?

Now, you may be tempted to answer this question with some anecdotal evidence, e.g. "Well my great-grandpappy is from West Virginia and he never played the harp on account of the oath he swore when he was but a boy of twelve after a roving bard called upon his house one day and in the ensuing violence..." etc. Now, anecdotal evidence is all well and good, but is it scientific? No. So, we turn to a different method.

One does not just pick up a harp and start playing by oneself, you see. One needs a teacher. So if we can find how many harp teachers there are in West Virginia, we can take a guess at how many harp students there also are in West Virginia, bringing us to our total number of harpists. 

Before we look that up, though: how many harp students does the average harp teacher have? Let's assume that harp lessons last half an hour and each student meets with the harp teacher twice a week. Assuming that the harp teachers work from 9-5 Monday through Friday, with an hour lunch break, that gives 35 hours a week. Since each student takes up an hour total in the week, that means that each harp teacher can handle 35 students.

So, how many harp teachers are in West Virginia? After researching thoroughly, I found a grand total of...

(drumroll)

...seven.

Yeah, seven.

Hmm.

Let's try something else: I searched the Yellow Pages for harp lessons in West Virginia. I found 30 schools. Do all of them look like they teach the harp? Nope. I mean, "Steve Barker's Percussion Studio" seems like a sure bet, but "Renaissance Music Academy?" Doubtful. So let's assume that some schools teach many more students than the average harp teacher and some teach fewer, averaging out to the same number of students, 35. 

Then 30 music schools and seven music teachers with 35 students each gives...1,332 harp players (counting the teachers, of course). That represents 0.07% of the total population of West Virginia.

BUT! Never fear. We just need to expand our horizons a bit. We've been trading in teachers and students of "traditional" harps, like pedal harps or lever harps. Do you know what else is a harp?

A jaw harp.

Do you know what kind of music uses a jaw harp?

Bluegrass music.

And how many bluegrass bands are in West Virginia?

Like, a ton. And the thing about bluegrass bands is that most of them probably do not have an internet footprint. 

To determine their numbers, imagine this scenario: you are a proud West Virginian. Though you are not a member of a bluegrass band, your good friend plays a mean jug, and he invites you to a neighborhood concert that he and his band are giving on Friday. You go to the concert and listen to the band a bit; they're jamming (especially that jaw harp player). There are eight members of the band, and the concert has drawn in about 40 people. Assuming that your experience is typical of most West Virginians', that means that there is at least one jaw harp for every 50-or-so people. This gives us 36,320 jaw harps, and added to the players of other harps, we get approximately 37,652 harp players in West Virginia, or around 2% of the total population.

That's all the criteria accounted for, so now we move to...

The Conclusion.

What have we learned? We have seen that:

1) There is an angel-human ratio of about 1:1,656 in West Virgina (compared to a postulated 1:175 ratio in Heaven),

2) West Virginia has 48 days without clouds a year (whereas Heaven is always cloudy), and

3) About 2% of West Virginians play the harp (and we theorize that around 99% of the denizens of Heaven do).

Is that enough to qualify West Virginia as a Heavenly place?

Well, if we know one more thing about Heaven, it's that it is perfect, so any place trying to be like Heaven should be similarly perfect in its Heavenly criteria. By that standard, West Virginia falls short.

...

...BUT!!!

We never asked if West Virginia was Heaven: we were concerned with whether West Virginia was almost Heaven. And, thankfully, "almost" is such an ambiguous term that I feel that, given the evidence, we can firmly declare that West Virginia IS almost Heaven (Jim Gaffigan be darned). 

-Frère Rubik will defend John Denver anytime, anywhere, whether or not he's ever set foot in West Virginia

Question #91463 posted on 06/03/2019 12:12 a.m.
Q:

Dear astronomers and physicists of the 100 Hour Board,

The artistic renditions of how the other planets in the solar system would look from earth if they were as close as the moon in this article are super cool. But I have a question. How much light (and, even, maybe, heat) would reflect onto the earth from each of these planets? The artist has kept the level of light in the surrounding earth the same, as if each planet gave off the same amount of light as the moon. But Jupiter would take up half the sky, so would it in fact make the nighttime on Earth significantly brighter? Do different planets made of different materials reflect different wavelengths and quantities of light back into the atmosphere around them? If you want a fun hypothetical, I'd love for you to pick a planet or two, pretend earth is actually a moon to that planet, and try to (a) calculate how much it would illuminate the night sky and (b) speculate how life might be different on a planet that gets that much more light.

-Not Kepler

A:

Dear Nepler,

This is a great question and it requires a few calculations that I'll reproduce here. First off, we are going to assume that planets radiate very little (which is not always the case) and that all of the light that they give comes from reflecting solar radiation. The percentage of light reflected off a planet relative to the light incident upon it can be expressed as a decimal between 0 and 1 and is known as a planet's albedo. For example, Mars has an albedo of 0.25 which means that it reflects 25% of the light incident upon its surface back into space. Here is a table of known planetary albedos:

Planet Albedo
Mercury 0.088
Venus 0.76
Mars 0.25
Jupiter 0.503
Saturn 0.342
Uranus 0.3
Neptune 0.29
Moon 0.12

(Source)

Ok, that's great, but how much energy are the planets getting from the sun in their orbits? To figure this out, we have to look at the luminosity of the Sun, which puts out 3.83×1026 W (or, that many joules of energy per second). That energy spreads out as a sphere which gets larger the farther out you go, so the amount of energy that hits a given square meter of area decreases as you get farther from the Sun. To calculate how much of the Sun's energy hits a given planet, you have to imagine a sphere of radiation with the Sun at the center that has a radius of the orbital distance of the planet. Then imagine the cross-sectional area of the planet on that sphere. You can calculate the area of that planet and express it as a percentage of the total area of the solar radiation sphere. 

For example, Mercury is 5.79E+10 meters away from the Sun and has a radius of 2.44E+6 m. A sphere with the Sun at the center would have a surface area of 4π(5.79E+10)2 = 4.21E+22 m2. The planet itself only has a cross-sectional area of π(2.44E+6)2 m2 = 1.87E+13. Taking the ratio of these two will tell us how much of the Sun's energy the planet gets at that distance. In the case of Mercury, that's 4.44E-10 (or 0.0000000444% which is, of course, REALLY small). Taking this percentage of the Sun's luminosity would give you the energy incident upon the surface of that planet every second. Multiply that by the albedo and BAM, you've got yourself the total reflected energy by the planet. I'll spare you the remainder of the details and just give a final rendering of this here in lunar luminosities (that is, 1 = the amount of energy reflected by the moon).

Planet Reflected Energy
Mercury 9.6
Venus 146.5
Mars 3.4
Jupiter 261.2
Saturn 37.2
Uranus 14.6
Neptune 5.4
Moon 1.0

Now, you could do all that math again, assuming that the reflected energy is radiated in a half-sphere (because only the half of the planet exposed to the sun reflects energy) and that the Earth would intersect a portion of that hemisphere at the lunar orbital distance, but that would only give you the actual number of watts that the Earth picks up at that distance which is specificity we don't need. The ratios are exactly the same in both cases so we can look at the above numbers as being an expression of how much brighter each planet would appear than the Moon. In other words, if we were orbiting Jupiter at the distance the moon is from the Earth, Jupiter would be 261 times brighter than the Moon!

[Side note: in actuality, Jupiter's Roche limit is much larger than the lunar orbital distance. The Roche limit is the point at which external gravitational forces are greater than the internal gravitational forces of the body itself and the body crumbles apart. If we were at the lunar orbital distance around Jupiter, the Earth would disintegrate and we would all die. But let's ignore that and assume that some great celestial superglue has been applied to the planet (chemical bonds could potentially overcome the problems associated with being inside the Roche limit) and that the Earth can handle the massive tidal forces involved here.]

Of course, this would all be different if, instead of us being transported to orbit other planets, they were transported to us to be our moon (again, impossible since the gravitational disruptions would in many cases destroy the Earth, but again, pretending). Then, the planets would each be brighter or dimmer for being closer to or farther away from the Sun. I re-did the calculations in this case and came up with these numbers:

Planet Reflected Energy
Mercury 1.4
Venus 76.6
Mars 7.9
Jupiter 7,076.3
Saturn 3,419.2
Uranus 539.4
Neptune 489.5
Moon 1.0

Now, all of this feels very catastrophic, like somehow we'd all be destroyed by Jupiter-shine if it were our moon (assuming, again, that we weren't destroyed by its gravity. Which we totally would be.). But, remember that the Sun is about 400,000 times brighter than the moon. A measly 7000 times brighter wouldn't scorch us or anything. It would be very bright; perhaps bright enough to cast significant shadows. We might feel warmth from it on full-Jupiter nights. We'd see many fewer stars (perhaps only the 2 or 3 brightest in the sky), and Jupiter would take up a massive 20-degree swath of sky above us (and, not to belabor the point, we'd be dead and the Earth would be crumbled like one of those granola bars in the green packages, you know, that produce more crumbs than is physically possible? Yeah, like that.).

Now back to us orbiting planets in their current orbits about the Sun: we'd be getting different amount of sunlight if we were orbiting those planets. I'll again spare you the details (it's the same basic calculations we did before, just putting the Earth in different solar radiation spheres) and just give you the amount of sunlight we'd be getting in terms of the amount of light we get normally (i.e. 1 = the amount of sunlight we get in our own orbit). For your convenience, I'm adding a column for what would probably happen to us if we got that much light.

Planet Sunlight Status
Mercury 6.7 Dead
Venus 1.9 Dead
Mars 0.43 Dead
Jupiter 0.04 Dead
Saturn 0.01 Dead
Uranus ~0 Dead
Neptune ~0 Dead
Earth 1 Alive

In each case, the amount of sunlight we would be getting would be MUCH greater than the amount of light we'd be getting from planet-shine. Jupiter-shine tops out at 0.87% of the sunlight we'd get there. Saturn comes in at a little under 0.5%. Every other planet is negligible.

So, yeah, depending on the planet that we're orbiting (or that is orbiting us), we'd get anywhere from a few times to many thousands of times brighter light than we get from the full moon. It might give us a little noticeable heat, but the bright ones would just wash out stars, cast moon shadows, and generally make our nights brighter without much other difference. The real difference, in case you didn't pick this up from one of my many parenthetical statements, is that gravity would totally hose us and we'd all die. Space is scary and Earth is in a really lucky spot (or, alternatively, the way we've evolved to live is highly specific to this watery rock that we live on). I love our watery rock.

Best,

The Man with a Mustache  

(For those interested, here is the spreadsheet I used to do my calculations. Feel free to comment if I missed something.)

Question #91400 posted on 06/05/2018 10:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is Superman faster than a speeding Avada Kedavra? Would Superman survive an Avada Kedavra?


-Stan

A:

Dear person,

My initial reaction (and Anne's, too) was that spells travel fairly slowly - perhaps 60 mph or so. However, I couldn't find the source on the internet that gives the exact speed. That means it's speculation time!

It's certain that the speed of spells is slower than the speed of sound because incantations are heard by their targets before they hit. If magic traveled at the speed of sound (1125 feet/second) and it takes about half a second for a person to speak a three-syllable word (e.g., stupefy, protego), then to block a spell with a three-syllable incantation I would have to be at least 562 feet away from the caster (assuming I didn't start casting shield charm before the caster was done saying the incantation). There's no way anyone could hear an incantation at that distance unless they were yelling.

It seems reasonable to assume that duellers frequently stand about 10 feet apart. It would take the sound of the finished incantation about .009 seconds to travel that distance. We need the spell to take at least 0.5 seconds to travel. So the spell needs to take a maximum of 20 feet/second to travel that far. Or about 13 miles per hour. That's too slow. 

Okay, that's not good. Let's assume duellers who have any sense of caution stand about 20 feet apart. That would double the speed it would take to cross that distance in .5 seconds to about 40 feet per/second or 26 mph. Also slow.

Okay, let's pretend they stand 30 feet apart. That brings the required speed up to 60 feet per second or 39 mph. Also still slower than Usain Bolt.

We made some big, not totally realistic assumptions conducive to spell slowness (i.e., that people being don't react before the incantation is over). I don't really see the number getting much higher than 50 or 60 mph (approximately 80 or 100 km/h). There. Final answer. 

If anyone would like to submit a correction because they have a link to the quote that Anne and I were thinking about or they noticed my math is terrible, please do so.

-Sheebs

posted on 06/06/2018 1:01 p.m.
Here's a slightly less speculative answer for you. Using this video as reference: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcJl2YjFcr0)

You can calculate how fast something is moving from a video if you know the framerate of the video and the distance that the object travels.

Movies are typically shot in 24 fps, and from what I could find, the HP movies are no exception.

In this video, it takes Voldy about 37 frames to SAY 'avada kedavra'. 37 frames at 24 fps is about 1.54 seconds.

It takes the spell exactly 8 frames to hit our protagonist straight in the chest. I counted it like 20 times. It's exactly 8 frames. 8 frames/24 fps is 0.333 seconds.

We all know that speed is distance over time, so now we need the distance. I used Radcliffe's height as a reference to get a good estimate of how far apart they are in the video. Luckily we've got a nice side view. Danny is 5'5", and using that, it seems like they are standing about 25 feet apart.

The Avada Kedavra spell travels 25 feet in .333 seconds, or 75 feet per second (75.075 if you wanna get technical) or 51.188 miles per hour.

(https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/80312/how-do-we-know-the-flash-is-faster-than-superman) that link says that superman can fly 7,200,000 mph... so... Yes, Superman can fly faster than the Avada Kedavra spell... by a longshot. Could he survive it? I don't know, and trying to cross the boundaries of alien abilities and magic gets a little tricky. I vote yes.

Yay for math!

Guesthouse
Q:

Dear Yayfulness,

What's your favorite map?

-My Map Here

A:

Dear MyMap,

I know this question was directed at yayfulness, but the world can always use more excellent maps. I especially love this one from Brandon Sanderson's Oathbringer (painted by Isaac Stewart, who is awesome):

roshar_oathbringer.jpg

         Click to view the source full-sized.

I thought it was really cool that they put actual lines of latitude and longitude on the map, so being the map nerd that I am, I set out to digitize it and play with different map projections. Here's the map that I made based on the original:

Roshar_space_v3_board.png

         Click to view the source full-sized.

-Inverse Insomniac