There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven. ~Brigham Young
Question #77880 posted on 06/08/2014 8:06 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Bored,

Who's your favorite editor?

-Not Anonymous


Dear nope,

Whichever editor decides to mark this answer Editor's Choice.

-crossed fingers

Question #77657 posted on 05/20/2014 11:22 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board

I have problems with dating. Ever since I first starting dating at 16 I have dreaded going on dates, often to the point I feel sick or have to cancel the date. And its not just because I'm nervous about the date, I genuinely don't like dating. Most of the activities dates take me on are things I am absolutely not interested in or I am bad at. I wouldn't want to go bowling, go-karting, rock climbing, or paintballing with my friends, let alone with someone I just met and am trying to have a good time with. That's not the only problem, I have a hard time being assertive on dates, telling them what I want to do, or not do just because I'm too nice. This also includes when dates want to hold my hand or kiss me at the end of the night. I often just do it even though I am uncomfortable with it. I know this is an issue with me and I shouldn't do it but I feel like many girls feel this same way. So how do you make dating more palatable? How do you be assertive without coming across as selfish, needy, or rude? Dating to me seems a terribly inefficient way to get to know someone anyways most of the time, so I ask you, is there a "better" way to date?

-The Passive Questioneer who is currently dreading a date... again.


Dear you,

The cynical part of me says that nobody actually likes dating: dating involves going with a person you don't know very well to an activity where the activity isn't really the point because you're totally just watching each other and trying to see if you like each other and if you're having enough fun that you want to do another activity later. If yes, hoorah: repeat. If no, insert awkward DTR/friendzone/lack of continuing invitations. That being said, even though I've had some awkward dating experiences (who hasn't?) I find that dates don't have to be bad - even dates with guys you're not interested in. Thus, I give you, in an exceedingly and probably excessively lengthy answer,

The Anne, Certainly Guide to Having a Positive Date Experience 

0. To Date or Not To Date: That Is the Question (Since Everyone Reading This Guide Already Decided "To Be.")

Step 1 assumes that you've already accepted a date, but remember that this isn't a requirement. You say that you've had problems with boys trying to hold your hand/kiss you when you don't want them to. If this is because you're not ready for that yet, then keep reading: we'll address that later. If, however, this is because you have ended up on a second, third, fourth, etc. date with a guy in whom you are not interested because you don't want to tell him no, you may be able to prevent some of these situations by simply denying dates. Denying dates isn't always simple. That being said, we will include within this guide a nested sub guide:

The Anne, Certainly Guide for Turning Down a Date

Well, to be fair, I can't really claim credit for this. The first time I was going to turn down a date I called Kirke for advice and he told me how a girl had shut him down in such a gracious/tasteful manner that his estimation of her actually rose afterward. I have used this pattern since then, on multiple guys. It works.

0. Determine that you really don't want to go on the date. This is generally not valid on the first date. Even if you don't think you like a guy, it won't kill you to spend an hour or two eating pizza and getting to know him better. Once you've really figured out that you're not interested, though, I firmly believe that guys deserve to get it straight. They take the risks of asking us out, and it's not fair for that to be "rewarded" with excuses about our busy-ness or with straight-up disappearance/avoidance. I should comment that when I decide to reject a date I generally give a non-committal response to the invitation ("Let me get back to you on that, okay?") and then call him later to give it to him straight. In order to give it to him straight:

1. Call or meet up with him. I prefer to do this on the phone because I am a chicken. When having important conversations I like to have written out in front of me a rough outline of how I expect the conversation to go (i.e. what are the main points I hope to communicate?) If doing this in person, though, just plan ahead.

2. Say hello like a normal human being. Don't just be like "HI NO BYE." Ask him how his day was. Spend a minute or two discussing something random (the weather, his crazy class story, something that just happened to you, etc.)

3. Transition. This can be hard, but it's also fairly easy to plan ahead. A line like "Anyways, I'm calling because I didn't want to leave you hanging for too long about [this Friday/that trip to Guam/the concert/whatever]" lets the boy know that you've called to address The Elephant In The Room.

4. Simply and kindly tell the boy that you appreciate the invitation, but that you are not interested in dating him. This is really not as terrible as it sounds. You can literally use these exact words: I wanted to thank you for the offer, and I think you're great [or your positive adjective of choice, or comment that you had fun on previous dates if true], but I'm not interested in dating you.

4.b. I have never met a guy who didn't take that in a mature and responsible way. If he reacts by demanding reasons, don't feel like you need to give them. Just repeat that you're not interested and that you hope he'll respect your decisions.

5. Discuss something else for a minute or two. If you're in the same class, mention a homework assignment you're going to work on. If you're both soccer fans, bring up a recent game. Plan ahead for this so you'll have something to say. Kirke described this to me as having given him the chance to feel like he wasn't a social failure: the girl was still willing to talk to him and stuff, she didn't just reject him and then jump off the phone immediately. Talk for a minute. Show him you still think he's a decent human being and that you don't plan on awkwardly avoiding eye contact next time you see him or never talking to him again or whatever. We are big kids.

6. Say goodbye. 

7. Treat boy kindly in the future. Do not falsely flirt or force conversation if he is uncomfortable, but act as if he is a valid human being. He is. You are. 

The end.

1. Sufficient Unto the Date is the Evil Thereof

Hopefully that doesn't sound horribly heretical and overly flippant.

So you're going on a date. Congratulations! Whether you're already madly in like with this person, one of you just needed a plus one for an event, or you're actually a little wary already, this can be a positive experience. 

I think that sometimes we overstress in advance. I sure do. We (perhaps girls in particular) think way, way, WAY ahead and before they guy's picked us up we're already nervously hypothesizing about running out of conversation during dinner, tripping during ultimate frisbee, or having an awkward doorstep experience. If you find yourself focusing on a date that hasn't happened yet and find that it's making you stress, find a way to redirect your thoughts: get out a book and read, go to the Y-Serve office and knit a baby cap, clean your room, do the dishes your roommate left in the sink, whatever. Find something to do other than sit around and worry about something that hasn't even happened yet.

2. Doing Things: Going on Dates Where People Make Us Do Things We Don't Really Like

This happens. Sometimes the date involves an activity we're not super talented at or crazy about. I recently went on a date that involved rock climbing and I'm afraid of heights. Sometimes we end up in situations that definitely aren't our forte because it's what the guy took the trouble to plan. If this is the case, a few comments:

  • The boy took the trouble to plan this date and wants you to have fun. If you're really uncomfortable with an idea when it's suggested, try bringing up an alternative (Oh, I'm super afraid of heights but I'd like to do something - did you hear about that concert on Friday?). If you can deal with the plans but they're just not your favorite, just try to make the best of it. Look for the positive parts. On that note:
  • Don't overstress about doing the thing. If a guy invited you paintballing, it's probably because he wants to spend time with you and he likes paintballing, not because he expects you to be his team's MVP. What matters more than how well you do the thing is how willing you are and your attitude about doing the thing. Terrible bowler (hello!)? Laugh with him about how your goal for the night is to get to 100. Can't drive a go-kart to save your life? Drive anyway, and kid him if he doesn't let you win you might accidentally ram him. 
  • One important purpose of dates is to get to know the person. You don't have to love all of the same things, but if you can focus on making the best of the activity and getting to know the person, you can decide whether or not you want to go on more dates. As you get to know the person better and go on more dates, hopefully you'll be able to align future dates better according to both of your preferences, because you'll know more about what those are.
3. Suiting Our Tempers
David Hume said that,"He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper; but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances." 
Sometimes, despite our best efforts to keep the conversation rolling, there's awkwardness. Despite our best attempts to bowl with two left feet, we can tell he's not impressed. Sometimes we wish we were sitting at home watching Pride and Prejudice instead of on a date where it feels either like the guy is Mr. Collins or we are one of the less fortunate Bennet sisters. If this happens, chin up. Remember that you can do hard things and that keeping a smile on your face and keeping up an effort for the last hour of the date is a noble endeavor and that you determine much of your attitude towards what happens. Of course none of us are perfect at doing this, but remembering and focusing on the positive can help us survive the awkward moments of dates.
4. AWKWARD AHOY! When Your Fair Suitor Wouldst Press a Token Upon You And You Wouldst Not Receive It

When a guy wants to get physical in any way, the first thing you need to remember is that you are a valuable person and your physical affection cannot be bought or "owed" based on pizza, movie tickets, relationship status, previous number of dates, previous affection shown, or any other such status. If you don't want to do something with a boy, then YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THAT THING WITH THAT BOY AND THAT BOY DOES NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO DO THAT THING WITH YOU.

Consent in relationships is critical. We never "owe" another person a physical action we're not comfortable with. If the person you're dating is worth dating, they won't want physical affection from you unless it's something you're both ready and willing to give.

That being said, of course it can be awkward to actually turn someone down. It can be easier to just give in because hey, it's not really that bad. That's not fair to you. 

A few tips on this:

  1. If you know what you're NOT looking for, close opportunities before they open. Monitoring and manipulating your body language can show a boy pretty clearly that you're unlikely to consent to something. If you're sitting in the theater, having your arms folded or your hands clasped is a pretty clear no-go. If you pull out your keys as soon as you get to the doorstep, he might start to get the hint. If you give him a hug (which you don't have to do, by the way) and your eyes and chin are down, towards his chest, (rather than looking up into his eyes) he'll hopefully get the signal that you're not looking for a kiss. 
  2. If he goes for it anyway, speak up. This isn't easy, because nobody wants to be labeled a "prude." Parts of society would like us to think that our worth is based on sexual desirability or physical experience and that if we turn guys down, we're somehow failing what we're "supposed" to do. False. This doesn't have to be a big awkward thing, just simply state that you're not ready for that yet, or that you have rules about who you kiss/hold hands with, or whatever. ("I'm not ready for that." "I only kiss boys I'm in exclusive relationships with." "I don't hold hands on first dates." You can apologize in these sentences if that's the kind of person you are (like me) but you by no means have to: remember, there is no right to expectation here.)
  3. Consent is individual. Just because you held hands with a guy doesn't mean now he gets to kiss you (or even hold hands with you again). You never yield control of your ability to consent. If you allowed or did something that you now regret or that you're uncomfortable with for any reason, you do not have to allow it again. I was recently in a situation where I talked to a guy about dialing this stuff back since I was still trying to figure out how interested I was. He was very sweet and understanding. He didn't feel like he had a right to cuddle with me or what have you based on anything in the past. I was really impressed by how respectful he was. You know what? We deserve that, you and me. If you tell a guy you're not ready for something (whether it's something you've done before or not) he needs to respect that. If he can't, get out.
5. Let Me 'Splain. No, There Is Too Much. Let Me Sum Up.
So, basically, there are a few things I hope might help you.
First of all, remember that you have no responsibility to be in situations where you're uncomfortable. I generally think it's a good idea to give a guy a first date unless I'd feel unsafe doing so or have some other significant objection. That being said, you never have to date a guy. You never have to do a specific activity you're uncomfortable with. You never have to hold hands or kiss or even hug a guy. All of these things are yours to consent to or to deny, and you don't "owe" a guy any of them because he bought you a pizza.
Second of all, know that if you HAVE decided to go on a date, your consent continues to matter throughout the date. You never HAVE to do anything. If you've decided to do something, though, your attitude towards the activity can really make a big difference. Don't stress too much about being great at whatever "it" is. Remember that you're there to get to know a person. Talk to them. Observe them. Joke with them. Do NOT feel that your eternal destiny is dependent upon your ability to [insert activity here]. Remember that he's nervous too and that he wants you to have a good time. Don't focus on your performance on the activity that you dislike. After all, that is not the purpose of a date. Focus on the chance to spend time with a person - whether you're romantically interested in them or not. 
I hope that some of this is helpful. It's definitely hard to be on dates where some combination of the person and/or activity and/or situation is not to your preference. However, you are a valuable person worth dating and this person is fortunate to have a chance to get to know you in ways in which you are comfortable. Take the same opportunity with them.
~Anne, Certainly
Question #77505 posted on 05/06/2014 6:54 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How often do writers give a cop-out answer on questions and why? Just curious.

-The Inquisitor


Dear Inquisitor and other Readers,

I decided to make a chart that compared completed answers to cop-out answers. I did this by looking at data from the questions that posted within the past 5 days. Questions I counted as "completed" always had a direct answer to the question asked, with two exceptions. First, if a reader asked a question where the answer didn't exist, I counted those answers as "completed" if the writer indicated why there was no answer. For example, if someone asked where they could purchase an item that was no longer sold, I counted the answer as "completed" if the writer explained this. Second, I gave an exception where the answer was confidential but where the writer gave good speculation. For example, if someone asked "What is the next iPhone going to look like?", I counted the question completed if the writer gave informed speculation, because the answer is locked somewhere deep in Apple headquarters. Here's what I came up with:


Guys, that's pretty good. I recognize that there has been some discussion about the quality of our answers recently, but the data shows that we "cop-out" on only 1 in 20 questions or so. Also, keep in mind that we do this for free. We give no guarantee about our ability to find or provide answers. We try not to "cop-out" on questions, but it does happen.

There are a several things to consider when a writer is thinking about giving a "cop-out" answer. Here are a few of the things I (and I suspect other writers) think about when we consider not answering a question:

Do we have enough information?

Sometimes, we just don't have enough information from the reader to provide a reasonable answer. These types of questions come in all forms, but there are some that come in pretty frequently:

  • "Can you find this song for me? It didn't come up on Shazam, but it has [certain vague descriptions of song qualities, or perhaps a line of lyrics]."
  • "I'm having a problem. My [computer/tablet/cell phone model] keeps [unusual faulty behavior]ing."
  • "Why does [law/BYU policy/company policy] have to be the way it is?"

That's not to say we won't attempt to answer these questions. We often do. However, these types of questions are often too difficult for us to answer, and sometimes we won't.

Will it be excessively difficult to find the answer?

A common problem that makes a question difficult to answer is that the question requires an excessive amount of research. Suppose someone asked "When was the last time the library cleaned the door knob on room 3452?" How on earth are we supposed to find out? It's probably possible, but it would require a large amount of effort and work with the library to find the appropriate janitor.

Will the information be useful for other readers?

I've spent a lot of time answering questions about the Affordable Care Act. I've been happy to do this, because this is an important law that impacts many of us. It is important that everyone understand how to bring themselves into compliance with the law (or the consequences of not doing so) and how to have an informed debate on the law as part of our democracy. Since these questions are so important, I've been willing to do large amounts of research and put more work into them than I otherwise might.

On the other hand, I recently "copped-out" of answering Board Question #77483. I didn't immediately give up; it wasn't until after I had searched both the Health Center website and the Utah Department of Insurance website for some time that I finally gave up. I couldn't find any information on that exemption. However, as I said in my answer, that question probably won't impact any of our readers, unless they happen to work at the Health Center. Had the question had more relevance to our readership's ability to follow the law or purchase insurance, I might have put in more effort before giving up.

In other words, some of these other factors might be ignored (to an extent) if the answer could serve a "public service" role.

Am I busy right now?

We're human. During finals, you're much more likely to have a question get a cop-out or go over hours than at other times. Some of us are dating other people. Some of us are in major programs that require a monthly human sacrifice. Some of us have demanding jobs or internships. We are all here because we love writing for the Board, but that doesn't mean we're willing to put it above our life. 

After writing all this out, I'm concerned that some readers might think I'm discouraging them from asking a question. Personally, I would much rather have a reader ask a question that we end up not being able to answer, than having a reader scared to ask a question. But having that attitude towards questions - we'll take anything within 100 Hour Board Policy - means that there will be times we must "cop-out" of a question. We ask for your understanding when that happens.

- Haleakalā

Question #77474 posted on 05/03/2014 11:24 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Someone told me that when the Resurrection comes, all those men who didn't before feel any sexual attraction to any women, finally will feel sexually attracted to women. How much control does a man technically have over which sex (male or female) he is sexually aroused by? Is there any such thing as a man who is incapable of, in this mortal life we are living in right here and now, being sexually attracted to a woman, or sexually aroused by a woman?

-This whole love/sex thing is complicated!


Dear you,

I have never heard what you wrote regarding the Resurrection, but it seems like speculation. I'm hesitant to address that since we simply do not know and the scriptures give us little information about that.

Regarding control over which gender a man is aroused by, I don't think it is any different than the control a woman has, so let's talk about sexuality in general. It is well known that everyone's sex drive (and by this, I mean who someone is sexually attracted to) is different; we typically categorize this in broad groups under sexual orientations. Typically sexual orientations are placed somewhere along a continuum from "purely heterosexual" to "bisexual" to "purely homosexual." A person can fall anywhere along this line. Did you know that a person can be "a little bit" homosexual, in that they are typically not attracted to other people of the same sex but occasionally do find themselves attracted? That makes sense when you think about it: how can there be set sexual orientations of "homosexual," "bisexual," or "heterosexual," but nothing in between?

Yet another small but significant portion of the population is asexual people. Did you know that there are some people that basically aren't attracted to anyone and have no interest in sexual activity? It's true, and it seems about 1% of the population is asexual. This may seem like a small group, but it means that for a typical BYU ward, each time the bishop talks about marriage and dating there are one or two people sitting there thinking, "I've never been sexually attracted to anyone in my life!"

So, the answer to your question about sexual attraction is that yes, there are both men and women who are not sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex. I'm not sure if I would say "incapable" of being attracted (since we are using a continuum and not absolutes), but yes, there are such people who have never been attracted to members of the opposite sex and never will in their lifetime. However, you also asked a question about being sexually aroused by a member of the opposite sex. Sexual arousal for both men and women is a natural and automatic nervous system response to sexual stimulus. Arousal happens even in situations of no sexual attraction, such as rape, where hormones that signal arousal are released because of stimulus despite active suppression of sexual desire by the victim. I'm fairly convinced that barring anatomical or neurological problems, any person could be sexually aroused by anyone else. Because of this, I'd have a hard time saying that there are people who are incapable of being aroused by a member of the opposite sex (again, barring health problems). It might not be desired or pleasurable, but I think arousal is possible.

The remaining part of your question is much harder to answer. The extent to which we control our sexual orientation is still hotly debated, especially among religious groups. Our Church does not have an official stance on whether sexual orientation is an inherent attribute of our identity, an unchanging aspect of our mortal body, a product of our upbringing, a transient mindset based on our current situation, or simply a choice. Because general authorities have not really spoken on this topic, it is difficult to say how much of sexual orientation is based on choice. My impression is that the Brethren recognize that for the vast majority of gays their sexual orientation is not something they can choose (hence, instead of condemnation or language about overcoming the temptation and changing who they are, the Church has released lots of material to support gay members). I feel certain that in the coming years the position of the Church will be refined (as it already has been over the last decade) and we will better understand these important questions.


posted on 05/04/2014 3:12 p.m.
I have been married for threeno years, and I am asexual. I love my husband with all of my heart, and we are a perfect match, but I am not sexually attracted to anyone. Literally. Kissing (and anything beyond) just seems weird and boring and pointless, and I plain don't like it.

Like the above commenter, I too have struggled greatly with this, and have spent many long hours in prayer trying to figure out how to keep this from affecting my marriage with the Lord help.
Without going into too many details, I can say that sexual arousal IS possible without attraction, but no matter how much i try and want and pray, I cannot change who i am (or in this case, am not) attracted to. oh, how I wish I could!

Thankfully, i am married to an incredibly kind, patient and loving man who accepts me and my quirks. I do feel, though, that in the resurrection, my body with be perfected, and I will be able to feel the attraction that I am supposed to, and thus have the ability to perfect my marriage even more.

-hope my POV helps!
posted on 05/05/2014 9:41 a.m.
I appreciated Ozymandias' answer, but just to clarify some things from the last paragraph of werf's answer, here's a quote from the heading of the official Church website,

The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

And, from under the heading "An Eternal Perspective":

We believe that with an eternal perspective, a person’s attraction to the same sex can be addressed and borne as a mortal test. It should not be viewed as a permanent condition. An eternal perspective beyond the immediacy of this life’s challenges offers hope. Though some people, including those resisting same-sex attraction, may not have the opportunity to marry a person of the opposite sex in this life, a just God will provide them with ample opportunity to do so in the next. We can all live life in the full context of who we are, which is much broader than sexual attraction.

This does not necessarily mean that their same-sex attractions will no longer be a part of them, but I thought it was worth mentioning as an official part of the Church's public stance on issues related to gay/lesbian/bisexual/etc. folks.

- The Black Sheep
Question #77417 posted on 04/28/2014 2:42 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I don't know if I have ever really felt the spirit. I've been a member my whole life but I have always struggled with this. I'm also a naturally skeptical person and the more my doubt has grown, the more I find that, logically, its harder to believe. I find myself relying on the testimony of others because if people I respect believe the church is true, then it must be. However, I need/want to be able to strongly believe in the gospel for myself and and I just don't know how to do that when I feel nothing. I'm sure similar questions have been asked so even if you could direct me to answers that would help, I would greatly appreciate it!



Dear genevieve,

You're right, you're not the only one. I wonder if there is even a single person that hasn't wondered if they felt Spirit even though they have. Though I haven't really had my own faith crisis or anything, depending on circumstances in my life I often wonder how or if I really do feel the Spirit. Here are some of the thoughts I consider when I am feeling this way:

First, people feel the Spirit in different ways. Perhaps you are expecting a "burning in the bosom," which does happen to some people. But perhaps that's simply not the best way that the Spirit communicates with you. Elder Oaks once explained the feeling like this: "What does a 'burning in the bosom' mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom. Surely, the word 'burning' in this scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity. That is the witness many receive." For me, it's more of a feeling of peace or security. I'm not all giddy and happy and I rarely cry, but sometimes when I'm having a hard time and I'm reading the scriptures or praying I will inexplicably feel that everything will be okay. What are the times you're trying to recognize the Spirit? If testimony meeting isn't really doing it for you, try paying attention to how you feel when you're with your family or taking a nature walk or listening to hymns. Acknowledge how you feel in those situations and see if you feel similarly in Church settings. I have also heard that for some people it works better to believe in God in more of an intellectual way, because they don't really feel it emotionally. That may be another way you could gain a belief.

Secondly, you can have a testimony and not know it. I'm reminded of one of my favorite stories, about when Heber J. Grant was called as a stake president. When Joseph F. Smith asked Heber if he knew absolutely that the Church was true, Heber replied "I do not." Joseph then expressed concern about the new stake president to John Taylor, saying "I do not think any man should preside over a stake who has not a perfect and abiding knowledge of the divinity of this work.” President Taylor replied, “Joseph, Joseph, Joseph, [Heber] knows it just as well as you do. The only thing that he does not know is that he does know it.” The story goes on to say that Heber J. Grant went on to gain this testimony he desired, and I have hope that that can happen to you and me as well.

Until we get to that point, I think it's worth sticking to something because it's good, even if you only desire to believe it. I thought about this when reading Board Question #69051; I especially like Rating Pending's answer, in which he references a talk that suggests there are two ways of gaining a witness: the Moroni 10 way (pray and receive the burning feeling) and the Alma 32 way (plant the seeds and keep cultivating if the fruit is good). If you've only tried the first way, you might like trying the second too.

I wish I had more time to flesh out this answer. Since you said it was okay, I'll lead you to some other answers that have seemed useful to me. Check out Board Question #38872Board Question #23802Board Question #67813, Board Question #73767, and Board Question #51476.

I think it's awesome that you want to strongly believe, and I hope everything works out for you!


Question #77335 posted on 04/19/2014 12:36 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How does Netflix prevent people from being able to put the streaming output of their computers/Rokus/Wiis/etc. to the input of a dvd recorder or vcr, so that it can be viewed on a TV but the recording is no good? I assume this is the case.

-just wondering


Dear just,

For analog signals, Netflix is implementing the Macrovision Analog Copy Protection (ACP) system.  It works by sending a specific signal through the control channels of the analog connection.  When the piece of recording equipment detects that specific signal it is supposed to deny you the ability of making a recording. Specifically on VCRs, rather than deny you the ability of making the recording like on a DVD recorder, it causes the recording to become horribly distorted.  This system only applies to analog signals (like component and composite, but not things like HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI).

For digital signals, your playback devices (computer, Roku, Apple TV, etc.) may implement the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) scheme.  This is a much more advanced system which uses modern cryptography to verify devices and encrypt the signal before transmitting it.  Whether a playback device is crippled with this scheme depends on the device and the Netflix client running on the device.  I don't have a clear news article stating that Netflix is using it, but they have troubleshooting information associated to dealing with when it fails.

With ACP if your recording device doesn't implement ACP and you try to record something it will record just fine.  With HDCP if your recording device doesn't implement HDCP you'll get nothing.

Additional Commentary:

Regarding ACP, you may ask, "Why would any manufacturer implement such a stupid requirement which would necessarily increase the cost and complexity of their equipment while providing no benefit to their customers?".  I'm not entirely sure (I can't find any definitive and reputable source), but it appears the answer is probably twofold.

First, pressure from patent holders.  For instance, to produce a DVD player a manufacturer needs to license the patents required to decrypt the DVD data (same for Blu-Rays).  Suppose your company wants to make a DVD recorder that doesn't implement the ACP system.  You may suddenly find that your license agreement for your DVD players is in jeopardy because the patent holders don't want you creating an ACP-free DVD recorder.  So you are required to implement ACP in order to continue manufacturing DVD players.

Second, possible legal requirement.  Some legal requirement to implement Macrovision is commonly cited when people bring this subject up, but I have yet to see any specific reason or court case mentioned.  The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 1201 declares that it is prohibited to bypass (along with several other verbs) a copy protection mechanism. Now, From my reading of subparagraph (a)(3)(B) it looks like this restriction only applies if the copy protection method requires you to do something in order to gain access to the protected work.  This is not the case with ACP.  The work itself is completely unprotected and ACP is just a blip of information set alongside the work saying "oh, by the way, I don't want you to copy this."

Implementing ACP actually requires doing extra work to support it rather than requiring extra work to ignore it (as would be the case for ignoring the Content Scramble System on DVDs).  Furthermore, subparagraph (c)(3) seems to explicitly state that a manufacturer doesn't have to go out of their way to implement protection systems.  However, it also explicitly says that exemption doesn't hold if the product would be prohibited by subparagraphs (a)(2) or (b)(1) (which list out the prohibited behaviors).  And this, I think is the crux of the legal argument.  I'm not aware of any specific court case ruling on this subject, so I'm guessing manufacturers just don't want to have to pay for the ensuing legal battle regarding whether or not their product is still prohibited because they didn't want to implement ACP.

If you combine the very real threat of the patent licensing with the potentially expensive legal bills you end up with manufacturers just implementing ACP to get on with life.  But, there are some that don't implement it and a simple Internet search will lead you to many such products.  You can also trivially find devices that will remove the ACP signal.  ACP is more of a nuisance than anything and, as usual, it really only affects the honest customers in the first place.

As for HDCP, it has to be implemented to see the content at all.  But it is also trivially bypassed with a device that will perform the proper communication and then pass along an unencrypted signal to whatever you want.  However these devices would almost certainly be considered illegal under the DMCA per the above discussion.

But never fear, the ever-caring MPAA has detailed their preferred method of copying videos for purposes of fair use.  They say you should just set up a video camera and record it that way.

-Curious Physics Minor

Question #77324 posted on 04/21/2014 8:42 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So this exists. Would you be willing to take a break from finals and make a custom 100 Hour Board 2048 game for me? I greatly appreciated the doge version yay mentioned in Board Question #77026. I'm imagining something like "get two Laser Jocks together to finally make Katya the Patron Saint and win the game," but whatever you're in the mood for really. Pictures appreciated!

-Princess Kate (who really doesn't need another thing distracting her from finals but...)


Dear princesa,

I have a new favorite distraction.

I decided to create multiple versions, since there are so many significant past and present writers out there. So, the results are...

Enjoy, and happy finals week!


Question #77308 posted on 04/18/2014 3:42 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you come up with any clever wordplays of the following form? Two parts A followed by B where B is a translation of A into another language, but AB is a single thought that has nothing to do with B being a translation of A (allowing for changes in punctuation and spacing). For instance: We give you Ted Amos. "We give you" is of course We give you in English. In Spanish, it is te damos.



Dear you,

Can us chant, or cantus? (cantus - Latin)

Can I have a tenner? (tener - Spanish)

The store is closed for May (ferme - French)

~Anne, Certainly

Question #77208 posted on 04/13/2014 4:36 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My Question Here.I know a lot of people who don't like Frozen don't like how rebellious Elsa is in "Let it Go". They share lines from the song such as "I don't care what they're going to say" and "No right, no wrong, no rules for me".

In German though, the lines are different. They are, essentially "It's time, I am ready" and "The past is in the past" and things like that.

So what is Elsa like in that song in other languages?

- Zwerg Zwei


Dear Ice Warrior,

Here are all of the languages, according to Wikipedia.

I've tried to get the main idea of each version using a combination of YouTube videos and Google Translate. I did the best I could, considering I don't know all of these languages. All translations are available in this Google Doc. I'll be updating it with better translations, and the playlist (which I may or may not keep up to date [it'll be easier if you guys e-mail me when you find one that's been blocked]) can be found here. If the video no longer exists, I'm really sorry—YouTube seems to be on top of blocking them from countries that they don't apply to, which is unfortunate. It appears that you asked this at just the right time. There's also a nearly complete video with all of the versions found here, if that works better (and hasn't been taken down).

Arabic - The title translates to "Let Out Your Secret" and the lyrics seem to convey the idea that she's giving up her past and is instead taking comfort in snow.

Brazilian Portuguese - Translated as "I'm Free," the lyrics emphasize the fact that she's no longer trapped by what she left behind.

Bulgarian - The lyrics in this one give the image of closing a chapter of one part of her life, demonstrated in the title "I'm Putting an End."

Cantonese - SO hard to hunt down the lyrics for this one. I ended up just turning to Google Translate. If any of our readers knows Cantonese and wants to send me a better translation, that'd be sweet. Wikipedia suggests "Ice Heart Lock" for the title, and the lyrics suggest the idea that her heart was essentially tortured by holding everything in, and now she can feel better.

Catalan - "It Wants to Fly" describes the power inside of her. So she lets her power fly, subsequently deciding that that means she's not going to be good.

Croatian - Elsa definitely is "letting everything go" in this version. Mostly her fears. Also, she never gets bored of the snow.

Danish - This one is more rebellious than the English version as she declares "Let it Happen." She even says, "Goodbye to duty's tyranny, I'm free!"

Dutch - Personally, I really like this version. It better explains the struggle that she had and showing that she's creating a new beginning for herself.

Estonian - "Let it Be" is the title that Wikipedia gives, but Google Translate seems to suggest "So Be It" as a better title. This is another one where if a reader knows Estonian, they should send me the lyrics. This one suggests that she is accepting the way she is and allowing herself to use her powers.

Finnish - Wikipedia and the translation both say that the title is "It's Left Behind." This one isn't rebellious, but more a change in how she does things. Instead of saying, "No right, no wrong, no rules for me," she says, "away old rules" which to me suggests that she has a new set of rules. However, she did say that the kind girl she was is no more, so...I'll leave it up to you to decide.

Flemish - "Let it Go" is the same title as in English and portrays her power as a storm that she's finally letting loose.

Greek - "And I Forget" is interesting because it's suggesting that she's trying to forget her past, which can lead to further issues (those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it kind of thing).

Hebrew - "To Let Go" is the English translation of the title. I like this version, because it seems like she's just letting go of the tension of holding her power in.

Hungarian - This song is less of a declaration, and more of a question. She's definitely wondering how life is going to be now that she's left a big part of her world behind. The title is translated as "Let There Be Snow."

Icelandic - "This is Enough" seems to suggest that she's just done with her past and is trying to move on.

Japanese - "As I Am" puts a lot of focus on her trying to become who she "truly is."

Korean - Since I only found the translation for the pop version, I'm going off of that. But from what I got, she believes she's getting stronger and that she is okay with being lonely. Wikipedia claims the translation is "Forget Everything."

Latvian - "Let it Snow" is a really cool version. I like the line that says, "Let the peace rule, which lives in me." 

Lithuanian - "Let It Be" is again the title that Wikipedia gives, but based on the lyrics, it should be "It Doesn't Matter" instead. This version seems more rebellious than the English version.

Malaysian- "Set It Free" is a contrast to the Latvian version, as she sings, "The blowing breeze reflects the turbulence of my soul." She seems to want to set her power free to create a new version of herself.

Mandarin - "Let it Be" is really pretty much the same as the original, with the exception of the line "Let the perfection evaporate" which I think is cool.

Norwegian - "Let It Go" is unique in the line "I'm tired of all they think they have seen" which gives the idea that people's perceptions aren't always accurate, and those perceptions can hurt the one that is being misjudged.

Polish - "I Have This Power" is kind of funny because one of the phrases is "I'll inflame what smolders" which is just funny because she's a snow queen. (Yeah, I know you get the joke.) She also seems to blame other people for pushing her past the breaking point.

EU Portuguese - "It Has Already Passed" suggests that "the distance will smooth everything out."

Romanian - "It Happened" makes the analogy that "like from sleep [she's] woken up," as opposed to being angered. Unless she was a bear roused from hibernation. (I think they're actually not that angry. Whatever.)

Russian - "Let Go and Forget" seems to suggest that she was always the way she is now, and instead of holding onto the pain of that, she just needs to release it and forget about it.

Serbian - "It Ends Now" is unique because it says "my fear is now gone, so everything can make me laugh." I think a lot of times, we're too scared or too worried to let ourselves be happy, and I think Elsa realizes this as well.

Swedish - "Break Free" is different because she says "right or wrong, I'll decide." She's not saying that she doesn't have rules, but that she's going to make the choice for herself, rather than letting it be made for her.

Thai - In "Let it Go" on the other hand, she says, "break the boring rules, choose what to do as my heart wants" which, I guess is the same idea, but she's deciding already that she's going to break rules. She also says that "the good girl is worthless" which is definitely a rejection of the past.

Ukrainian - "Doesn't Matter" suggests that she had already given up, and what happened was just another thing that went wrong that in the end doesn't matter.

I couldn't get lyrics for Vietnamese ("Step Ahead"), Turkish ("Don't Mind It"), Taiwanese Mandarin ("Let Go"), Slovak ("I Let It Out"), or Slovene ("I Come To Life"), so I don't have interpretations of them.

Bonus, the Google Translate version, which tells us to "give up, give up!"

Honestly though, when you look at this many versions, they all start to blur together, so read them and make your own interpretations.

If you have any suggestions for alternate (better) translations, please send me an e-mail and I'll change it on the Google Doc.

And yes, I did listen to this song over forty times for the sake of this answer. You're welcome.

-Tally M.

Another note about the playlist: some of the videos have links in the description to the actual video. They're usually higher quality, and less likely to be taken down, so that's why I included them, even though you won't be able to listen to them straight though.

Question #77102 posted on 04/05/2014 2:48 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board old and current writers,

Do any of you share the same birthday?

-Birthday bear


Dear bear:

In my shameless quest for Editor's Choice™, I made a spreadsheet to collect the data, which was a vast improvement over the ad hoc system cobbled together. (If I do say so myself. Feel free to endorse me on LinkedIn for Leadership.)

Ace and branflakes also share a birthday in addition to the pairs of Humble Master/Optimistic. and Rating Pending/yayfulness mentioned previously. 

Board Parents Get Busy in August

As you can see, there's a huge spike in Board Writer Babies in May. (With a sample size of 61, that's a full fifth.) In that month, there was a run of four birthdays in a row, but no repeats. There were runs of three in June and December. Some sleuthing revealed that summer birthdays are indeed more common.

Read more about the Birthday Problem in the field of probability to see that a Board Birthday Match wasn't all that surprising. It only take 23 people for there to be a greater than 50% chance of two of them sharing a (non-specified) birthday. Now, if you had asked a different question: who shares a birthday with a specific day (say, my birthday!) we'd need a greater sample size—at least 253 to have a greater than even chance.

Thanks for the fun question!


Question #77007 posted on 04/01/2014 9:50 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm lame and need ideas for something to do/somewhere to stay for an anniversary in the Utah/SL County area. We did Park City last year, which was fine but nothing special. Our anniversary is the end of April, so the weather can be hit or miss. I've lived here awhile, but I don't really know what things there are to do around here! Also, we'll be moving away to grad school in the fall, so I kind of want to do a "you would miss this when you move away if you don't do it now" kind of thing, if that makes any sense.

What are some things in the area that get overlooked that would be a fun day excursion (on a Saturday) or evening event (on a Friday)? We've got an RSL game that Saturday night, so it can't be too far away or time-consuming. Also, does anyone have a recommendation of a fun bed-and-breakfast or other such place to stay for the night? We could probably spend ~$200 for a place to stay/something to do, although we could do more if it was going to be worth it.

-I'm a boring married person, but I'm ok with that!


Dear Cinnamon,

This might be weird, but one of my favorite Salt Lake activities (and, talking to others, their favorite as well!) is to tour the Humanitarian Center and Welfare Square. They're so much cooler than you would expect! Also, you get to try the cheese and chocolate milk at Welfare Square. You can either call them to schedule a tour or do what I did and call Church hosting and they set up a missionary couple to drive you to the locations and make sure people were waiting to meet you (at least I assume they would still do that...). 

I've also really enjoyed afternoon tea at the Grand America. Their desserts are divine and the coconut almond hot chocolate is one of my favorite things ever. I crave it all the time now!

If you're downtown, you absolutely have to stop by Mrs. Backers and get one of their fruit tarts. Maybe also a cupcake. They are the bakery that makes the birthday cakes for all the First Presidency. I consider that a high recommendation.

All my friends say you have to get hot chocolate at Hatch Family Chocolates. I've never been, but everyone I know who has been loves it.

Also downtown-ish is the Gilgal Sculpture Garden. I can't see any reason why you'd want to pass up an opportunity to get a picture with the Joseph Smith Sphinx.

If you decide to head more north, Maddox Ranch House in Perry is very famous for their amazing rolls (and I'm told the corn bread, but I don't like corn bread, so I've never eaten it) and steaks.

If you're going to Midway, I have a certain fondness for the shakes and the atmosphere at the Dairy Keen. You can also eat at the Zermatt (I am deeply in love with their outdoor chess set!) and swim in the hot pots.

Clearly most of my favorite activities are food-related.

For activities, you should probably go to the Tabernacle Choir Music and the Spoken Word Broadcast on Sunday morning.

Salt Lake also has a ghost tour, which I've done. It was reasonably interesting. The only truly scary part was when they took us to Ted Bundy's cellar where he murdered some women. That was a little unsettling. The rest was just interesting and historical. It starts right outside Temple Square, so you could also stroll through City Creek beforehand -- the fire and water fountain is even cooler at night.

You could see a show at Hale Center Theatre. They're starting Arsenic and Old Lace on April 25th.

If you like the outdoors, there are a lot of great hikes around Salt Lake -- easy ones like Donut Falls, Lisa Falls (my personal favorite -- it says it's for rock climbing, but there's a trail to climb up just to the left of the waterfall) or Ensign Peak and so many more!

I really like the Natural History Museum. Red Butte Gardens is always lovely, but I've only been in the summer, so I don't know what it's like in the spring.

When you were in Park City last year did you do the Alpine Slide? If not, that's something you should definitely add to your list. I've also heard there is a Park City ghost tour, but I've never been on it. If you go, let me know if it's worth it!

I haven't stayed many places in Salt Lake, just Little America and the Grand America, but everyone I know who has stayed at Anniversary Inn has really good things to say.

We can also check out the archives for more suggestions -- which I'll try to summarize here so you can have everything in one place, but the writers go into a little more detail about their personal experiences in the questions themselves.

Board Question #46125 Where Polly Esther suggests the International Peace Gardens, Kennecott Copper Mine, The Great Salt Lake (which I think smells awful and has too many mosquitoes to ever be worth it), the Children's Discovery Museum at the Gateway, wandering around the Salt Lake Cemetery, the Park City zip line, the Museum of Ancient Life and the Thanksgiving Point Gardens.

Board Question #53435 Where Hermia thinks you should eat at Hires Big H in addition to other things previously mentioned and The Black Sheep thinks you should eat at Gourmandise, Kyoto Restaurant, The Melting Pot and MacCool's Public House for Irish Fare. She also recommends you visit the Broadway Centre Theatre, and explore some downtown galleries, shops and book stores.

Board Question #40657 Where Cognoscente recommends historical sites, Temple Square, This is the Place Heritage Park, The Heber Valley Railroad and shopping downtown. And Uffish Thought suggests visiting the Salt Lake Library.

Board Question #62433 Laser Jock, Birdy and I have such comprehensive lists of awesome things to do, see and eat that I can't even summarize it here.

Board Question #69927 Where Zedability suggests checking out Explore Utah and Explore Utah Science.

Board Question #43688 Where Yellow suggests the Clark Planetarium, the Olympic Fountain at the Gateway, Capitol Theatre, Ballet West, Pioneer Theatre Company, and driving up and down Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.

Board Question #53942 Where Mico recommends Lagoon, Seven Peaks, Utah Wind Surfing, horseback riding at Sundance, Antelope Island, The Living Planet Aquarium, Bonneville Seabase Tropical Lake ("This is actually SCUBA diving and snorkeling in Grantsville!"), Inlet Hot Springs and the Utah Outdoor Activities site.

Board Question #62954 Where steen and a reader give us a few tour options in Salt Lake such as: Salt Lake City Downtown Walking Tour, Visit Salt Lake Connect Pass, Salt Lake City Tours, Salt Lake City Sightseeing Tours, Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Utah State History, Utah State Archives, and the Church History Library and Museum. All that reminded me that although I've never been there, I've heard good things about the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum.

-Marguerite St. Just

Question #76927 posted on 03/25/2014 5:36 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Recently in my first relationship and, well, I'm bad at relationships. I have a hard time just relaxing and getting to know someone better and having fun. Rather, I'm too busy being stressed bc they like me more (a fact we are both aware of), because I don't know whether or not I'm marrying them, and if we're around people I'm easily embarrassed. How do I learn to relax, enjoy, and not freak out about the future quite so much?

relationships are not my forte


Dear forte,

Disclaimer: Like you, I am somewhat recently in my first relationship. I can't say that I'm doing everything, or anything, right, or how this will work out. Hence I don't have much experience, but the things below have helped me become more comfortable with the issues you mention in your question. I hope they help you too.

First, I feel like you have some misconceptions here about the timeline of relationships. Here are some truths I've found about relationships:

No one is a failure if their first relationship doesn't end in marriage. I've seen it work in some cases, but the majority don't have love at first relationship.

Some people date for just a few weeks or months (the record I've heard is 11 days) before getting engaged. I think these stories get passed around so often we forget that some people date for years before engagement and that's perfectly fine.

And don't think that even if this relationship doesn't work out, that means you'll never marry the person. Apparently a lot of people break up and then later get back together and marry.

All this is just to show you a few examples where people didn't know what would happen in the future and everything turned out alright. That is to say that not every relationship—probably not even most relationships—progresses from first date, first relationship, engagement, marriage, baby in the baby carriage. As I learn about other people's timelines, it's amazing to see just how few people follow the "traditional" courtship. Sometimes people will say "...and the rest is history!" and we think that everything was smooth sailing from the time they met to the time they married. In truth, the "history" part usually contains a lot of confusion, fun, work, love, service, and freaking out. Hopefully learning about and gaining perspective with real relationships can help you understand that it can be fun and enjoyable despite the uncertainty. Here are some other thoughts:

Pray. Almost every night when I first started dating, and now every so often, I will talk about the relationship with my Heavenly Father. You might try praying about receiving comfort, about being calm and able to enjoy the time you have with your significant other, or about if it is right to continue the relationship. I've never received more than a feeling of "you shouldn't break up right now," but that is enough to fulfill my need for certainty until the next time I get on my knees.

Communicate. You say that your S.O. knows that they like you more. I'm hopeful that means you two communicate well. Keep this up! Or, establish good communication if you don't feel you have done so. The beginning seems to me the best time to have the awkward conversations because you know it's something new and not as committed as a more serious relationship might be. Tell him or her that you're not entirely sure of your feelings, but you enjoy spending time together. Tell him or her that you'd like to keep things low-key until you're more sure of yourself.

Set guidelines for physical affection and how you'll act around people. It might be hard for you to display physical affection when you're unsure of your feelings. This point goes along with the one above—while you're being open about everything, make sure you discuss what you're comfortable with physically. Let him or her know that you'd like to go slowly. It took me a month to be okay with kissing, and another month to actually like it. Also, I totally know what you mean by being easily embarrassed when the two of you are around people. I couldn't invite my boyfriend to ward activities for a long time because it was too weird and embarrassing and what if people teased us? I still have a hard time putting pictures of us on Facebook because what if people ask me questions I can't answer like "Are you guys going to get married?" (This has happened. You guys, if I knew we were going to get married, we'd actually be engaged.) It's hard to be proud of a relationship you're unsure of, so going slow really helps with that. Try not to compare yourself or your relationship with others (the examples above were meant to help you understand how futile comparison can be). Try going to fun events with just the two of you for a while, and then work in being around your roommates, being around his or her roommates, being at each other's ward activities, etc. As you communicate with your S.O., be honest but kind. Instead of saying "I don't want you to be there," say "I'm not ready to have my boyfriend/girlfriend at my ward prayer just yet." This shifts the motivation from being "I'm embarrassed by you" to "I'm unfamiliar with relationships and would like to keep some things the same for a while." Adding "yet" also gives the comforting feeling that someday you will be okay with it, but right now you're still progressing toward it. Plus, regardless of how you feel about the person, it's a big change to worry about two people instead of one. Your S.O. should respect your desire to continue to do some things independently.

Tell your S.O. the things you like. He or she would probably appreciate knowing the ways that they can be more attractive to you. Obviously, we're not setting out here to change anybody—you shouldn't date someone to change them, etc., etc. However, I've found that saying nice things such as "That shirt looks great on you! Do you think you could wear it to our group date next week?" or "I love it when you style your hair that way!" or "I think, to make tonight's date special, maybe we could dress up or something. I'll wear makeup and you can wear cologne or whatever you want to do," can be really helpful.

Date to learn and to serve. I'm tempted to say "Date to learn, not to marry"; however, I do believe that eternal marriage is a worthy ultimate goal. The problem is when we don't have any short-term goals, which makes the long-term goal seem vague and unreachable. As you said, dating is for getting to know someone and having fun. Make those your goals, not marriage, for now. Were you two friends at all before dating? If so, or even if not, try to at least do things for him or her out of the love you have for them as a friend. Maybe you'll come to love them as more than a friend, maybe not. That's not your goal right now. Have fun, and know that it's okay to make mistakes.

Finally, try not to worry about how you're "supposed" to feel. Hollywood really makes everything confusing, doesn't it? You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. I think the best way to learn to relax is to give it time and not try to propel things faster than they need to go. After a while, when the two of you have grown more comfortable around each other, you can revisit the concerns you mentioned. Good luck!


Question #76875 posted on 03/22/2014 10:36 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it cheapest to buy brown rice in bulk at the Asian market (500 and main), the Indian market (I know there's at least one in Provo; where is it?), or Costco? How much do they each cost?

Many thanks!!
Almost out of brown rice.


Dear brown rice, 

Wow there are a lot of different rice types! I had no idea that there were so many different varieties. 

I first tried to locate the Indian market you were talking about. My Google searches came up with Bollywood Market in Orem, but it has been closed. 

I then went to Costco...on a Saturday. Please don't do that to yourself. Ever. 

Here is the only brown rice they have at Costco, costing $1.10 per pound:


The Asian Market had more selection, including some Indian brands. 

Option #1, costing $0.80 per pound:


Option #2, also costing $0.80 per pound:


And here we have option #3, which will run you $0.98 per pound:


Option #4, costing $0.94 per pound:


And option #5, costing $1.60 per pound:


Hopefully this helps!


Question #76797 posted on 03/31/2014 9:36 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Re: Board Question #76699 I clicked on the link given in the answer. I was disappointed to find that the article only listed a salsa-like substance that was tried in the experiment. Sure, the short article also said that most dips contain bacteria. I want to know how true the notion is that double dipping doesn't contribute lots more germs, not only in salsa, but in other things like:

-Salad Dressing
-Chocolate Fondue
-Cheese Fondue
-Chocolate Syrup
-Marinara Sauce
-Basically anything edible that food can be dipped in

So, in conclusion, double dipping isn't as bad as we think in salsa, but how bad is it in other foods besides salsa and other chip dips?

-Chef N


Dear Chef N,

In order to answer your question, we decided to conduct an experiment to see if the type of condiment affected how much bacteria/fungi would grow in culture. (For all the nerds out there, this is a factorial design (2x14) in which we tried to see if there was an interaction between double dipping and type of condiment being tested.)

Chef, if you are disappointed in this, there is nothing we can do to help you.


Twenty-six homemade petri dishes were prepared. We then grew cultures in them using 13 different food items, which were:

  • Soy sauce
  • Raspberry jam
  • Peanut butter
  • Ketchup
  • Salsa
  • Mustard
  • Vinaigrette
  • Sour Cream
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Pancake syrup
  • Nutella
  • Honey
  • Mayonnaise

A small amount of each food item was mixed with saliva and placed in a dish and grown for four days. For comparison, each food was also cultured without saliva for a control. Then each saliva-mixed food and its control were compared to see if there was a significant difference.


Here are pictures of each food item and its control:

Soy Sauce:


Raspberry jam:


Peanut butter:








Vinaigrette dressing:


Sour cream:


Chocolate syrup:


Pancake syrup:









Before I say anything else, one important consideration for this experiment is that we used gelatin-based medium instead of agar, which is the gold standard. This means that certain types of bacteria are unable to survive on these homemade dishes. Also, we definitely couldn't culture anything viral.

Anyways. Although for most of the condiments the experimental condition (spit) and the control (not spit) looked similar, some of them showed pretty significant differences. The peanut butter was probably the most striking. Soy sauce was pretty different as well. Both of these foods are relatively high in protein, so I'm thinking the bacteria enjoyed that.

I only noticed green things growing on ketchup and sour cream. I'm thinking those are probably fungi, and I'm not sure why only ketchup and sour grew them. How mysterious.

Everything else looked pretty similar to me. Some of the controls looked like they grew even more than the experimental saliva condition. Needless to say, there are a ton of confounds: we didn't use standard amounts of saliva or food, I chilled the medium in my fridge uncovered and maybe there were spores floating around (EW EW EW EW), we might have breathed on them accidentally at the beginning, and so on. 

Overall, it doesn't seem to me like saliva makes that big of a difference for most condiments, but protein-rich foods seem to be better for growing bacteria. That makes sense. Keep in mind that these were allowed to grow for four days though - I'm guessing you won't leave something out to that long (if you do, cease and desist).

If you want to double dip your food, I say go for it. Just don't double dip with someone who has a cold.

-Sheebs, who the mold never bothered anyway, with help from Tally M.

Question #76788 posted on 03/17/2014 11:30 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I heard a statistic on NPR that only 2 out of 10 homes has one parent that works (I'm assuming this is for a 2-parent household). Whey is there such a high percentage of families where both parents work? I'm not opposed to both parents working, but I know that for hundreds of years only one parent worked and it seemed to play out just fine (enough money, nobody hungry etc). Are things just more expensive these days?

People tend to have much, much smaller families today (outside of Utah, generally, people have more like 1 or 2 kids), and get married later (so more money saved up). Do people just have a higher expectation of what life should be like? (Big houses, two or three really nice cars, timeshares, etc). Are we living more extravagantly? Or is the minimum wage just too small (people keep saying that)?



Dear Confused,

Your questions touch on a number of economic topics, and I would like to point out just a few things.

  • Female participation in the labor force: It is actually not true that "for hundreds of years only one parent worked." Before 1920, a large percentage of Americans had farms or were involved in agriculture. Anybody who grew up on a farm should know that this is a whole family effort. Not only did both spouses work hard, but children were also expected to significantly contribute to the farm from an early age. Also, even after 1920 and up until the 1950's, because of the lack of automation the responsibilities of the wife were vast and required much of her time. It's true that women did not work out of the home as often (except, perhaps, during World War II), but they worked nonetheless. So I don't think it is fair to state that women working is a recent trend: they have worked through most of history, and only for a few decades because of automation and high US incomes have they been able to spend less time working.
  • Real wages over time: Your question "are things more expensive today?" is significant and difficult to answer. One way to measure "are things more expensive today?" is to look at the "real wage." The real wage is the wage divided by the overall price index of the economy. Basically, if I am paid $100 and things cost on average $25 to me, my real wage would be $4. If in five years I am paid $110, but the price of things in the economy have increased to $44, then even though I am being paid more in wages nominally, my real wage has decreased to $2.50. In a very crude way, the change in real wage shows the purchasing power of the money we make. Here is a graph of real wages over time (from The Current Moment):


The red line shows real wages, which appear to be flat since 1975. This graph of real wages does not paint the whole picture and there is some debate over various aspects. For example, if you include non-wage compensation (like medical insurance, social security contributions by employers, etc.) then real compensation isn't as flat. Also, this is a good outline, but it isn't very accurate because our consumption patterns have changed. In the 50's we weren't measuring costs of personal computers or cell phones. It's just very hard to compare these things, so take it with a grain of salt.

This flat trend of real wages shows that while standards of living have risen (implying we spend more on more things), wages are only tracking this rise. That implies that families that are larger or want to have a higher standard of living than the average must work much more than others: one way to do this is to have both parents work.

This trend also simply shows the average. If you look at unskilled labor, their real wages have increased even more slowly than somewhat skilled labor (see this page)! 60 years ago a man could earn a decent living for his whole family by being an somewhat-skilled laborer (eg. in manufacturing). This is absolutely no longer the case. The only group that has seen an increase to real wage are skilled laborers. This trend will continue into the future, which is why a college education is critical for most Americans.

  • Minimum wage adjusted for inflation and effects on secondary earners: Your question of "is the minimum wage too low" probably does not play as much of a role as you might think in the discussion of two working parents. The evidence seems to show that minimum wage changes mainly affect secondary income-earning workers and teenagers. In other words, most primary workers (dads for the most part) are making more than minimum wage, so a change to minimum wage is unlikely to bump up their income to the level where it would affect the need of the other spouse to work. However, here is a graph of the minimum wage adjusted for inflation over time (source: US Department of Labor):


The red line is the minimum wage adjusted for inflation, showing that our minimum wage now is less than the minimum wage throughout most of the 50's, the 60's and 70's, and the early 80's if you adjust how much a dollar was worth then. I think there is a slight need to again increase the minimum wage for other reasons, but I don't think it will greatly affect whether both parents work, since the primary earner rarely makes minimum wage.

  • Cultural notes: After the shift to machines and automation in the early-mid 20th century, duties around the house required significantly less time. This was accompanied with a large shift from the "do-it-yourself" mindset to "now-that-it's-cheap-at-the-store-just-buy-it." Of course, there were still costs to homemaking but instead of being paid with a woman's time, they were paid with money. Around the same time, it became more culturally acceptable for women to work outside the house and many women took up this opportunity. This contributed to the shift of women into the labor force. I think we are seeing similar forces at work now, pushing women back into the labor force today.

That was a rather long answer to your question because I think it's difficult to properly analyze. In summary: yes, things are more expensive and we live more extravagantly. Wages have risen to some extent to match this rise in prices, but not across all industries and not equally among skilled and unskilled laborers. Yes, the minimum wage is probably too small (in my opinion), but that probably doesn't have much of an affect on whether both parents work. This trend will continue into the future, and that's why it is so important to get an education so you are a skilled laborer who will see a rise in real wages into the future instead of a slow and steady decline.


Question #76766 posted on 03/15/2014 12:24 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Jello sets in the refrigerator, right? But it won't set just sitting on the counter. So therefore the setting process must have something to do with low temperatures - what would happen if you put dry ice in unset jello?



Dear Fuller,


If your browser doesn't like the video, you can download it with this link (right-click, "save link as..."): Dry Ice Jell-O.mp4

For the video-averse:

Not much happens.  It bubbles and as the gel solidifies it captures the gas.  In the end you have carbonated Jell-O—which is alright.

I used one of the larger boxes of strawberry Jell-O. I added the 2 cups of boiling water and after stirring in the mix added the 2 cups of cold water. Then I added the dry ice. I added about 0.5 pounds at a time and overall used about 1.5 pounds. I'd say if you wanted Jell-O in a hurry you could use dry ice to prepare it in about half an hour (however you will probably have chunks of dry ice in your Jell-O and it will be carbonated). And you'll need to stir it around a bit during the early stages to help the dissipate the heat in the liquid. Probably wouldn't hurt to stick it in the fridge at the same time as well.

-Curious Physics Minor

Question #76547 posted on 02/26/2014 7:38 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are some sights I should see or some easy hikes in Utah I should take before leaving the state in a year? The weather has been so nice, I've been thinking of doing things outdoors, although I'd still love suggestions of good hikes for the summer! I'd especially appreciate it if you could tell me if any of the activities allow dogs and if there is any camping close by.

I feel like there are a lot of beautiful canyons I've been missing out on and I don't want to regret not doing things once I've moved away.

-February Summer


Dear friend,

Thanks for asking this question! I was able to revisit memories of some of my favorite Utah sites, as well as create an epic to-do list for this summer. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is Stego Lily's List O' Utah Nature Awesomeness:

  • Zion National Park: This is, quite easily, the most beautiful place in the state. There are quite a few easy to moderate hikes, such as Weeping Rock, Emerald Pools, and the Narrows. If you're feeling brave, you could also try out Angel's Landing. It's terrifying, but the view is phenomenal. There is camping available both in and outside the park.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park: Just all of it. I love this place. Same deal on camping.
  • Kanarra Creek Canyon: This is a really easy slot canyon outside of Cedar City. It is also absolutely gorgeous.
  • Kodachrome Basin State Park: This is just outside Bryce Canyon. It's named for the colorful rock formations that surround it. There are also some great campsites.
  • Arches National Park: You can't leave Utah without having hiked to Delicate Arch. It is such a bizarre feeling to see it in person when you've only seen it on license plates for years. I also recommend Sand Dune Arch and the Fiery Furnace. 
  • Goblin Valley State Park and surrounding canyons: I wrote about Goblin Valley in Board Question #75113, so I won't go into a lot of detail here. The canyons surrounding Goblin Valley are pretty fun to hike as well. Little Wild Horse Canyon is nice, and Ding and Dang Canyon have a lot of fun, easy, rock scrambling. There are campsites just outside Goblin Valley and within five minutes' drive of the other canyons.
  • Squaw Peak: this is a little closer to Provo. It's a steep hike, but that view is worth it. This is probably my favorite hike within a half an hour drive. There's a nice camping spot about halfway up. 
  • Stewart Falls: this is a Provo canyon classic. Don't be stupid and try to climb to the top of the falls, that is how people die.
  • Big Springs: always a nice hike. In the summer, there are a few nice meadows full of grass and flowers. There's also a beaver dam.
  • Timpanogos trail: You specified "easy" hikes in your question, so Timpanogos' summit was intentionally left off the list. However, if you take the Timpanogos trail from Aspen Grove, there are a couple of really nice waterfalls to hike to. These falls bear the ever-so-creative names of First Falls and Second falls. There is also a campsite at the trailhead that is very well-maintained.
  • Timpanogos Cave: Easy hike, beautiful rock formations, and a pretty sweet guided tour of the cave. This is worth your time.
  • San Rafael Swell: I don't actually know this area super well, but there is some nice backpacking.
  • Lake Blanche: I've snowshoed here, but I've never been in the summer. It has a nice camping area by the lake and some truly majestic mountains.
I haven't been on the following hikes, but I want to:
Most National Parks, National Monuments, and National Forests won't allow your dog on unpaved trails, though many allow dogs on leashes in campgrounds. Check out this site for more detailed information. State parks don't typically allow dogs to run loose either. However, most of the other trails I listed should allow your dog.

Board Question #62433Board Question #75431 and Board Question #63832 have some great suggestions as well.


-Stego Lily

Question #76532 posted on 03/04/2014 8:26 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have wondered for years how much faster early church missionaries traveled (walked) to and from Salt Lake City than did companies in wagons or pulling handcarts. Wagon trains and handcart companies traveled on average about 10 miles per day. That is quite slow when compared to normal human gait. According to research done on the subject of normal walking speed, most people walk about 3.1 miles per hour. A seasoned male adult traveler should be able to put in 12 to 14 hours walking per day, which would result in 37.2 to 43.4 miles distance. Assuming 1500 miles from Salt Lake to rail or riverboat transportation and traveling 6 days/week and resting on Sunday, the walking missionary should be able to make the trip in a little over 6 weeks. Can you find out what the actual time expended was? It would probably be recorded in missionary journals. Can you also investigate how the missionaries carried or obtained sufficient food for the journey? If they had to forage along the way or carry a heavy pack, that would slow them down considerably.

-dadfulness c/o yayfulness


Dear Martha,

Before I start this, I'd like to point out that I took significantly less time to answer this question than it took yayfulness to answer mine. I'd also like to apologize for errors in transcription. I was tired, it was taking longer than I expected, and I really only wanted to include pertinent information. This is not an official transcription. Additionally, one of the journal writers didn't believe in complete sentences or really punctuation or capitalization. One final apology: I didn't look at Margetts' trip back across the plains, which I'm sure was recorded. Once again, it had been an hour and a half of transcribing at that point. But this should be enough information.

Alright, so your first parameter of this question is that the missionaries had to be sent out between 1847 (the year the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley) and 1869 (when the Transcontinental Railroad was completed). But even while the railroad was being constructed, it was sort of in use, making it dependent on the year as to how far they would've had to travel.

Since our only source for this information really  is missionary journals, that's what I've turned to. Unfortunately, there are very few missionary journals from this time period that I have access to. It's entirely possible that the Church History Library has more, but since I'm in Provo and it's in Salt Lake City, I have to depend on Special Collections instead. 

Luckily, there were two resources for this. One was a microfilm, and the other was available as a microfilm (as well as available as his original journal).

Our first resource is from John Lyman Smith. He was called on a mission to England in 1855 and on a mission to Europe in 1860, both dates falling within the specified timeline.

On page 22 of his journal, he begins to record his mission to England:

April 6th, 1855 at a general conference held in Great Salt Lake City, I was appointed to take a mission to Europe. April 28th I was set apart by Elders Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith and Wilford Woodruff at my house in G.S.L. City, being ill with the rheumatism and unable to turn myself in bed. On May 7th President Brigham Young called and blessed me and said I would begin to amend from that very hour. At 2 pm I was lifted into the wagon and laid on a bed being unable to sit up. Thus I started for Europe. While going down East Canyon Creek, the wagon was overturned. I was still on a bed and unable to help myself. At Fort Bridger the horses ran away and the wagon was only saved from being dashed in pieces by the horses breaking away from it. June 20, we met Seth M. Blair’s company from Texas…We laid hands on several of them and pursued our journey to Atchison, or Mormon Grove, on the 21st. On the 22nd in company with Elder David A. Curtis, I started for St. Louis, leaving the other brethren to sell our part of the horses and wagons of our outfit. On the 26th I arrived at St. Louis in the morning. On June 27 we took steamer for Keekuk, where we arrived on the 28th.

On page 28, he records his travels back from England in 1958:

Arrived in New York March 10, and went to Burlington Iowa, remained a few days, and then went to Florence and waited one month for the arrival of the Elders from the east. On May 2, 1958, I started from Florence (Winter Quarters) for Great Salt Lake City, having been absent three years and forty five days. The last day I walked fifty(?)-five miles.”

On page 34, he records his travels to Europe in 1860:

September 22nd, 1860. Salt Lake City. At the Historian Office, I received from under the hands of seven of the Twelve Apostles, a blessing and setting apart for a mission to Europe...My cousin Jesse W. Smith, William W. Cluff, John H.? P. Johnson, and myself arranged a light wagon, one horse and harness each, provisions, bedding etc., reading for starting; and on the evening of the 25th we attended a party at the social hall under the auspices of the presidency, especially in behalf of the missionaries going east...Wednesday 26th we bade adieu, received the parting blessings of all and at two pm started for Europe. Before reaching the Weber river the company chose Claudius V. Spencer captain of travel under the direction of the Apostles three of whom were with us. Some twelve or fourteen wagons were in company. October 3rd 1860. -- We passed Fort Bridger and on the 8th crossed over the South pass. Upon the 18th we passed Fort Laramie at 2 pm. The road is lined with teams en route for Denver and the Pike's peak mines. We arrived at Florence (our old "Winter Quarters") on the 6th of November. On the 13th the Elders had all gone except Elder John T. Gerber who remained with me as his mission is to be with me in Switzerland. Brother William D. Johnson took me in his spring wagon to Omaha and we took passage by steamboat "Chippoway" for St. Joseph Mo. Where we arrived on the 18th; took railroad train for Palmyra, 192 miles, crossing river Mississippi...

On page 76, he records his journey back across the plains in 1864:

Wednesday, 27th - We arrived at Quincy at twelve noon. At six pm we ferried the Mississippi river. Here we received a dispatch that Salt river bridge and Shelbine(?) station on the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad had been burned by guerillas and we had to camp in the woods near the station. Thursday, 28th - Three trains were got in readiness and we reached the vicinity of the burned bridge at noon. We left the train and forded salt river and camped in the woods. Our luggage had to be conveyed across the river three fourths of a mile, mostly on men's backs, as only three wagons were obtainable for the heavier packages...Saturday, 20th - We all arrived at St. Joseph Mo. The last train at three pm. The roughest railroad ride I ever experienced. Sunday, 31st - After much delay, trouble and bother we left ...

Now, before I summarize all of this information, I'm going to provide for you one more source. Bear with me.

Phillip Margetts was called on a mission to England in 1857. On page 4 to page 30, he describes his journey across the plains. I've transcribed a lot of it here. Once again, I wasn't entirely sure on some words, and there are some dates where I just didn't know what to transcribe, so I didn't. (I'm sorry. It really was getting difficult to concentrate at that point.)

On the 23rd of April 1857 I started on Company with 76 missionaries from Great Salt Lake City to nearly all parts of the world, myself bound for England. This morning we started with handcarts instead of teams, hundreds of saints following us out of the City, when on the bench(?) we had the misfortune to bend our axel tree(?), sent it back to the City and in two hours we were ready to depart(?) again and traveled 2 1/2 miles of Emigration Canyon and camped for the night...

April 24th. Arose this morning and after breakfast we organized ourselves into a company...and proceeded up the Canyon and acsended the little mountain first ? and camped to noon at the willow things, after which we proceeded to the foot of the Big mountain and camped for the night where it was very cold being considerable snow.

April 25. After a very hard hill(?) we succeeded in getting to the top of the big mountain where we found about 12 feed of snow...and traveled down the mountain and ate dinner on the first crossing of Canyon Creek. We crossed the creek several times upset our cart and camped at the sixth crossing of the creek.

Sunday, April 26th arose this morning all well and ate a good breakfast than traveled along and crossed the creek ascended (?) hill and then went at a good speed and arrived at Weber river and by the end aid of the teams we crossed first late and camped on the east bank.

April 27. Arose at 4 o'clock...packed up and traveled 5 miles before breakfast. After...we went 9 miles and rested till the wagon arrived with the provisions then traveled 5 miles farther and camped. traveled today 19 miles -- all well. 

April 28th. Camp called at 4 o'clock traveled 5 miles and ate breakfast, then went over to Yellow creek for dinner after resting a short time we started again and arrived at bear river about 6 o'clock where it commenced to snow and continued all night, ell about 6 inches.

April 29th we arose this morning all well, snow almost 4 inches deep, after breakfast it commenced hailing, we traveled 6 miles and stopped for dinner as the (??) on the (?) after dinner it cleared up, we then assembled the hill and traveled 8(?) miles then camped for the night at Soda Springs.

April 30th. The ground was covered with snow this morning about 4 inches deep, after breakfast traveled to muddy and managed to get and cross without wetting my feet we made a campfire and after a good warm by our fire, we proceeded to Fort Bridger after ascending the Rocky patch, which was not accomplished without a long and a strong pull, we arrived at the fort about 7 o'clock, the day was very cold.

May 1st...ate our dinner and started from Fort Bridger at 2 o'clock traveled over a beautiful road and arrived at Smith's Fork at 6 o'clock traveled today 12 miles

May 2nd we traveled 5 miles and crossed Black's Fork 2nd time before eating breakfast this morning the water was tremendous cold ice about 1/4 inch thick the banks was likewise froze which almost froze our feet after walking 12 miles we ate dinner. we then crossed "Thames" fork were 6 miles and then camped.

May 3rd after breakfast we traveled 17 miles and crossed green river which was about two feet six inches deep...we all got over safe and camped for the night on the east bank, held a meeting in the evening...

May 4th this morning we crossed the green river cut off, ate dinner on big sapay(?) after dinner we traveled 17 miles to the next crossing of Big Sapay(?) and camped. traveled today 29 miles

May 5 traveled this morning eight miles before breakfast camped on little Sapay(?) traveled fourteen miles to Dry Sandy (?)

May 6th After breakfast we walked eleven miles and ate dinner on the "South Pass" or "Perifia Springs"(?) after which we crossed the Pass altitude (????) above the level of the sea traveled onto the first crossing of sweet water took some wagons and got a fresh supply of provisions...traveled today 22 miles

May 7th camp called at four o'clock traveled five miles on the (?) cut off before breakfast then went on twelve miles and stopped for dinner on the rocky ridge wind blowing...after which hurried on four miles and camped for the night traveled today 21 miles

May 8th this morning it was very cold traveled 6 miles...traveled today 30 miles

May 9th traveled today 28 miles

May 10th after hauling our carts 4 miles we ate breakfast on deep creek, 7 miles from "Devils Gate" after eating we hitched up and in two hours we all arrived safe at the above named place found all at the fort well...

May 11th this morning still as the devils gate after eating I repaired our cart and got everything ready for starting we left the place at 12 o'clock...then traveled 15 miles

May 12th camp called at four o'clock after traveling 4 miles we ate our breakfast on a little creek...then traveled 8 miles to willow creek this morning bro Mcintosh broke the axel of his cart which was (?) divided the food and hauled the empty cart travled ten miles and then camped for the night

May 13th we traveled this morning 5 miles to Alkaili Flats...after which we traveled 12 miles and camped for noon while eating dinner ait commenced to storm we rested 2 hours and proceeded to Platt Bridge arrived there about half past six o'clock and camped on the north side all night

May 14th after working about 4 hours in the blacksmiths shop we started down the south side of platt and arrived at muddy creek 6 miles from platt bridge ate dinner went 10 miles down the river and in consequence of thunder storm we camped for the night

May 15th traveled 6 miles and ate breakfast ...traveled 9 miles... 

May 16th traveled today 23 miles

May 17th this morning we traveled five miles and crossed the La Bonte river this day we made about 25 miles

May 18th after break fast we went over to horse shoe creek where we found Porter Rockwell

May 19th traveled 6 miles and ate dinner...Better cotton wood is 3 miles from here

May 20th. After eating breakfast we traveled through the black hills 12 miles and ate dinner on Platt 12 1/2 miles from Fort Laramie after traveling 4 miles we came to a blacksmith we then went 8 miles and arrived safe at the ferry at Fort Laramie 509 miles from the valley

May 21st Got supplies from the fort...then we traveled ten miles

May 22nd Traveled 7 and a half miles to raw hide creek ate breakfast and after we traveled for about 9 miles and camped for dinner...after dinner moved on 5 1/4 miles and camped for the night

May 23rd camp called at 4 o'clock and traveled five miles before eating breakfast, we went ten miles for dinner...traveled today about 29 miles

May 24th traveled today 29 miles

May 25th this day we made 25 3/4 miles

May 26th traveled 28 miles

May 27th made a distance of 28 miles today...

May 28th all tho we made 24 miles we crossed 10 creeks today

May 29th traveled 29 miles today

May 30th we traveled 4 miles and camped for breakfast...

May 31st traveled today 26 3/4 miles

June 1st Bro Richardson Shot 2 buffalo...traveled today 28 miles

June 2nd traveled this day 29 miles

June 3rd traveled today 30 miles

June 4th traveled today 28 miles

June 5th traveled today about 35 miles

June 8th traveled today 31 miles

June 9th traveled today 30 miles

June 10th our journey on the plains is at an end


Alright, this is the part where I give you all of the information that you actually wanted.

It looks like they actually did walk on Sundays. (In a seven day period, there is never a "rest" day. I don't know why.) It also appears that they actually did use wagons, or as in Margetts' case, they used handcarts. This gives them the ability to carry food with them on their journey, and they mention getting provisions from forts. Also, they seem to have hunted along the way, as Margetts mentions two buffalo being shot.

From Margetts' journal, it took them 28 days to get to Fort Laramie, which was 509 miles from the valley, giving them an average walking speed of 18.18 miles per day. This increased to 21.2 miles per day after they left Fort Laramie. It seems that J. L. Smith's group took a lot longer, though they were using wagons more so than handcarts, and he was ill. On his way back, however, it seems J. L. Smith walked almost the entire way. Unfortunately, he didn't provide any details as to how he dealt with food. His second trip out to Europe took about the same time that Margetts' group did.

J. L. Smith's second trip back from Europe involved him traveling with a group of pioneers, so they traveled at the same pace as a normal group. It's entirely possible that this is what happened with Margetts as well.

So. Margetts' journey took altogether 49 days and covered just over 1000 miles, giving them an average walking speed of 22.44 miles per day.

J.L. Smith's first journey took 78 days, giving them an average speed of 14.1 miles per day. His journey back took approximately 51 days, giving him an average walking speed of 21.57 miles per day. His second journey took approximately 23 days, giving him an average walking speed of 43.42 miles per day.

-Tally M.


John Lyman Smith. Papers (Typescript and Handwriting). MSS Film 920 #89. L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

I used the typescript of his journal, which was found after the Levi Savage biography on the same microfilm.

Phillip Margetts. Journal (Typescript). MSS Film 920 #56. L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

There's actually a microfilm of his journal available in the Family History department, and his papers are also available in Special Collections. 

Question #76492 posted on 03/03/2014 11:50 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I've noticed that wherever there's two water fountains next to each other on campus, the shorter one always has colder water. Why is this? Is this true for every drinking fountain on campus?

-Sensitive teeth


Dear Steeth,

Concealocanth and I decided to investigate your question in depth, because science. We divided drinking fountain water sources into four categories: high fountains, low fountains, high-volume water bottle fillers (henceforth known as "fwooshie things"), and low-volume water bottle fillers ("proto fwooshie things"). We also kept tabs on whether the fwooshie thing was on the higher or lower fountain, but it proved inconsequential.


This is a fairly standard high-low setup.


This is a high-low with a fwooshie thing attached to the low fountain.


This is a high fountain with a proto fwooshie thing.

We sampled 12 fountain sets in six buildings. Here is the table of results (all temperatures are in degrees Celsius, because science):

Fountain ID Low temp High temp Fwooshie setup Fwooshie temp
Benson 1 10 10 regular high 16
Benson 2 11 8 none n/a
JSB 1 9 9 regular low 20
JSB 2 8 19 none n/a
McKay n/a 9 regular high 20
SWKT 19 18 none n/a
JFSB 1 11 10 none n/a
JFSB 2 11 11 regular low 20
Wilk 1 10 7 proto high 10
Wilk 2 n/a 6 proto high 19
Wilk 3 12 n/a regular low 13
Wilk 4 8 8 proto high 9

And here is the mean, median, and standard deviation temperature for each type:

Type Mean Median St. Dev.
Low 10.9 10.5 3.1429
High 10.455 9 4.2276
Fwooshie 17.8 20 3.1937
Proto Fwooshie 12.667 10


Finally, here are my conclusions:

  • There is very little difference between the high and low fountains.
  • However, the high fountains do tend to be ever so slightly colder.
  • The fwooshie things and proto fwooshie things, especially the regular fwooshie things, give extremely warm water.
  • Don't use fwooshie things to fill your water bottle.
  • Seriously, don't.

-yayfulness and Concealocanth

Question #76451 posted on 02/24/2014 3:14 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So I was just looking at the Winter Olympic Medal table and noticed that all of the countries that all of the best five countries use exclusively the colors red, white, and blue.
(Norway, Netherlands, USA, Canada, and Russia.)

It's clearly a cause of correlation not causation, but I was hoping that you could help me understand what might cause it...

Also, while you have your books open:
What percentage of flags are exclusively red, white, and blue?

-Olympic Fan


Dear you,

Now that the Olympics are over, I present you with this completed spreadsheet. I found that, worldwide, approximately 23% of flags utilize exclusively red, white, and/or blue. I included "baby blue" and "crimson" color variants in this count. Interestingly, 35% of the nations competing at the Sochi Winter Games were what I'll refer to from hereon as RWB exclusive. I discussed this with others and thought about it and looked online and therefore propose the following reasons for the higher rate of competition by RWB exclusive nations:

  1. RWB exclusivity is more common among European nations, which tend to be richer and better-developed than many other regions. Many are also located in regions conducive to winter sports. Possible reasons for RWB-exclusivity in Europe include: 
    1. Trends toward tricolor flags, including possible influence from the flag of the Netherlands, the first tricolor
    2. The status of RWB as the Pan-Slavic colors.
    3. The influence on other flags of the Union Jack (used by Great Britain, clearly an influence on Australia and New Zealand, gives the United States a RWB heritage.)
  2. RWB exclusivity is less common among nations that would be less-expected to compete and win in winter Olympics, such as nations from Arabic, African, or South-American regions. Reasons for this:
    1. Pan-African use of green, yellow, black, and red, having been inspired by the flag of Ethiopia. Also has used by some South American nations.
    2. Pan-Arabian use of red, green, black, and white, based in Arabic history.
As we can see from the spreadsheet above, even non-RWB countries that do compete don't do as well (as a whole) as RWB exclusive countries. The average number of medals earned by an RWB-exclusive nation is 6.5, while the average non-RWB competitor earned only 1.2. These numbers are obviously skewed by the large number of medals won by countries like the United States and Russia.
So, there you have it. Clearly, this is a case of causation and the use of red, white and blue inspire winter athletes to greater feats of athleticism, which may explain this:

~Anne, Canadianly (who gives credit where it's due: Congrats to the US on taking second place in the total medal count (above Canada.))
Question #76369 posted on 03/03/2014 4:44 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In lieu of the Olympic Games this year, what country has the highest average medal count per capita?

-not an Olympian


Dear you,

First off, I had a few writers request that I let you know you've technically misused the phrase "in lieu of." Just so you know for future reference, "in lieu of" is used to mean "instead of." You probably meant "in light of."

So, in light of the occurrence of the XXII Olympic Winter Games, held in Sochi, Russia, I present to you Anne, Certainly's Winter Olympics Analysis.

I answered this for the last Olympics, so I re-used my methods. The spreadsheet for the Sochi Games is available here.

I analyzed the "winner" in a few different ways, and for each type of analysis, I offer two alternate versions of "winner." The first assumes that all medals are equal - getting a gold medal isn't any better than getting a bronze medal; we just want to know who has the most medals overall. The second method uses "medal points," which assigns nations 5 points for a gold medal, 3 for a silver, and 1 for a bronze (thereby assuming that gold medals are worth more than silver, and silver medals are worth more than bronze).

Per Capita:

First of all, which country has the highest medal count per capita? That is, accounting proportionally for population, which country won the "most" medals?

Here are the top five (in order):


*The United States comes in 20/26 for medals/capita and for medal points/capita. 

This method of analysis gives a clear advantage to smaller countries. It is not possible for countries like the United States or China, which have much larger populations than these, to win in this analysis because there simply aren't enough medals. For example, the population of Canada is roughly 1/10 of the population of the United States. In order to beat Canada by this metric, the United States would have had to win 250 medals or accumulate 550 medal points. This would be nearly impossible, as the Sochi Olympics only awarded 298 medals (worth 596 medal points).

Per Athlete:

Next, which country has the most effective athletes? That is, of the athletes they send, how many medals do they tend to win?


*The United States comes in 11/26 for medals/athlete and 13/26 for medal points/athlete.

This method of analysis probably gives an advantage to countries that send small teams with a few very good athletes or to countries that specialize in a few events and don't send athletes to other events. The United States, for example, is unlikely to break the rankings of this because they send a very large number of athletes to the Olympics (230, most of any country. Russia comes in second with 226, followed by Canada with 222). To match the number of medals/capita won by athletes from the Netherlands (24 medals for 41 athletes) the United States would have had to win about 135 medals. While theoretically possible, accumulating that many medal-quality athletes is going to be very difficult for any one country.

Per Dollar:

Finally, which country does the best at winning medals when we compare the amount of money the country has? The Olympics (and the Winter Olympics in particular) can be somewhat justly criticized as giving a large advantage to rich nations. Nations like the United States have significantly higher GDP/capita, which gives them a few advantages in preparing Olympians:

  • Development of infrastructure - If a child growing up in the United States (say, in Utah) decides that he or she wants to learn how to ice skate, it is much more likely that they will live within reasonable distance of an ice arena than it is that a child who wants to skate but lives in Nigeria. This means that even if there are individual citizens with inclination and funding to learn winter sports, many countries have a distinct disadvantage because there is insufficient general investment to encourage the development of such facilities. (This of course ignores the element of cultural heritage, which suggests that people in Utah would be more likely to prioritize investments on ice arenas than people in Nigeria, even if both had equal amounts of money to invest on such things.)
  • Sponsorship - Olympic sports are expensive. They require expensive equipment (like $20,000-$100,000 bobsleds) and expensive coaching. Furthermore, once athletes are trained, they must be sent to the Olympics themselves (outfitted, transported, etc.) National Olympic Committees like the USOC receive funding from individuals and businesses to sponsor the nation's athletes. The United States requires the USOC to be almost entirely privately funded, in contrast to many other nations, where the government may provide funding. The affluence of the United States means that companies eager to be "Official Sponsors of Team USA" because of positive publicity and individuals with discretionary money can provide a large financial base for sending large teams of athletes and generally supporting the Olympics.
  • Large pools of potential athletes - Again, sports are expensive. Training to be an Olympic-level athlete requires years of dedication (and usually professional coaching.) Relatively wealthy countries contain relatively large numbers of people who at least start to train in these capital-intensive sports. This gives the nation a much larger pool from which to choose its eventual elite. 
That being said, which nation seems to make the most of their money? What is the nation with the most medals for every dollar GDP?
per dollar.png
 *The United States comes in 25/26 for medals per $GDP and 23/26 for medal points per $GDP
I also have a beautiful graph for this one (and thanks to Kirke for Excel expertise):
Graph for Sochi.png
The graph evidences a trend (though not a huge one) towards more medals by countries with larger GDP per capita. It is important to note, however, that GDP/dollar may not be proportional with national spending on the Olympics. Some countries with relatively low GDP/capita (like China or the former Soviet Union) may place a high priority on winning international sporting events and therefore spend significant government funds in training athletes.
So who won?

As we did in 2012, we have a fairly clear winner: Only one country is in the top five for effectiveness by athlete, by dollar, and compared to total country population. Although the winner by straight medal count with no adjustments or considerations was Russia (followed by Norway, the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands,) this data allows us to get a better idea of how the nations are really comparing.

Congratulations, therefore, to:

Norway: All-around Winners of the XXII Olympic Winter Games


With an honorable mention to our clear runner up: Slovenia


Must be something about the red, white, and blue...1

And there you have it.

~Anne, Certainly

I recognize that there are technically three tiny yellow stars on Slovenia's flag. I think I didn't notice that during the RWB question, and I'm going to ignore it. Hooray for tiny footnotes.

Question #76347 posted on 02/09/2014 11:14 p.m.

Dear friends,

Which of the IMDB Top 250 List are currently available to stream on Netflix? How many have you seen? Are there any films there that I ought to see or that you find to be particularly wonderful?

-one of me asking for help/advice from many of you


Dear one of many,

The problem is that this list is constantly changing. Even in the few days since I started working on it, some movies have shifted position, fallen off the list, or been added. So, even now, the list I'm giving you is already outdated. It's still pretty close to the current list, though, and it's the best you're going to get. 

The 44 titles that are available to stream have been bolded. The bulk of the list--171 titles--can only be found on Netflix DVD. The remaining 35 of them are not available on Netflix, at least right now. Like the IMDB list, Netflix's selections are always in flux. 

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) DVD only

2. The Godfather (1972) DVD only

3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

4. The Dark Knight (2008) DVD only

5. Pulp Fiction (1994) Available to stream

6. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) Available to stream 

7. Schindler’s List (1993)

8. 12 Angry Men (1957) DVD only

9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) DVD only

10. Fight Club (1999) DVD only

11. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) DVD only

12. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) DVD only

13. Inception (2010) DVD only

14. Forrest Gump (1994)DVD only

15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) DVD only

16. Goodfellas (1990)

17. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) DVD only

18. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) DVD only

19. The Matrix (1999)DVD only

20. Seven Samurai (1954) DVD only

21. City of God (2002) DVD only

22. Se7en (1995)

23. The Usual Suspects (1995) Available to stream

24. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Available to stream

25. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)DVD only

26. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) DVD only

27. Léon: The Professional (1994)

28. Casablanca (1942) DVD only

29. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

30. Life Is Beautiful (1997) Available to stream 

31. Rear Window (1954) DVD only

32. American History X (1998) DVD only

33. Psycho (1960) DVD only

34. City Lights (1931)DVD only

35. Saving Private Ryan (1998) DVD only

36. Spirited Away (2001) DVD only

37. Memento (2000) Available to stream 

38. The Intouchables (2011) Available to stream

39. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) Available to stream

40. Sunset Blvd. (1950) Available to stream

41. Modern Times (1936) DVD only

42. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

43. Apocalypse Now (1979)

44. The Pianist (2002) Available to stream 

45. The Departed (2006) DVD only

46. The Green Mile (1999) DVD only

47. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) DVD only

48. Gladiator (2000) DVD only

49. Back to the Future (1985) DVD only

50. Alien (1979)

51. Django Unchained (2012) DVD only

52. The Lives of Others (2006) DVD only 

53. The Prestige (2006) DVD only

54. The Great Dictator (1940) DVD only

55. The Shining (1980) DVD only

56. Cinema Paradiso (1988)Available to stream

57. Paths of Glory (1957) DVD only

58. American Beauty (1999) DVD only

59. North by Northwest (1959) DVD only

60. WALL·E (2008) DVD only

61. Amélie (2001) Available to stream

62. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

63. The Lion King (1994)

64. Citizen Kane (1941) DVD only

65. Aliens (1986) 

66. Toy Story 3 (2010) DVD only

67. Vertigo (1958) DVD only

68. M (1931) DVD only

69. Das Boot (1981)

70. Taxi Driver (1976)DVD only

71. A Clockwork Orange (1971) DVD only

72. Double Indemnity (1944) Available to stream

73. Oldboy (2003)  Available to stream

74. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) 

75. Reservoir Dogs (1992) Available to stream

76. Requiem for a Dream (2000) DVD only

77. Princess Mononoke (1997) DVD only

78. Once Upon a Time in America (1984) DVD only

79. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) DVD only

80. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

81. Braveheart (1995) DVD only

82. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) DVD only

83. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) DVD only

84. Singin' in the Rain (1952) DVD only

85. Witness for the Prosecution (1957) Available to stream

86. Full Metal Jacket (1987) DVD only

87. Bicycle Thieves (1948) Available to stream

88. The Sting (1973) DVD only

89. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)DVD only

90. All About Eve (1950) Available to stream

91. Amadeus (1984) DVD only

92. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

93. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) DVD only

94. Rashomon (1950)DVD only

95. Snatch. (2000) DVD only

96. L.A. Confidential (1997) DVD only

97. The Apartment (1960) Available to stream

98. Some Like It Hot (1959) Available to stream 

99. The Third Man (1949) DVD only

100. For a Few Dollars More (1965) DVD only

101. A Separation (2011) DVD only

102. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) DVD only

103. Inglourious Basterds (2009) DVD only

104. Yojimbo (1961) DVD only

105. Batman Begins (2005) DVD only

106. The Kid (1921)

107. Raging Bull (1980) Available to stream

108. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)DVD only

109. Unforgiven (1992) DVD only

110. Metropolis (1927)

111. Chinatown (1974) DVD only

112. Toy Story (1995)DVD only

113. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) DVD only

114. Die Hard (1988) DVD only

115. Downfall (2004) Available to stream

116. Up (2009) DVD only

117. Scarface (1983)

118. The Great Escape (1963) DVD only

119. Pan's Labyrinth (2006) DVD only

120. On the Waterfront (1954) DVD only

121. Her (2013) 

122. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) DVD only

123. Heat (1995) DVD only

124. Like Stars on Earth (2007) DVD only

125. The Seventh Seal (1957) DVD only

126. Wild Strawberries (1957) DVD only

127. The Hunt (2012) Available to stream

128. 3 Idiots (2009) DVD only

129. The General (1926) Available to stream

130. The Elephant Man (1980) DVD only

131. Ran (1985) DVD only

132. Gravity (2013) DVD only

133. Rush (2013)

134. The Gold Rush (1925) DVD only

135. Ikiru (1952) DVD only

136. Blade Runner (1982)

137. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) Available to stream

138. My Neighbor Totoro (1988) DVD only

139. Gran Torino (2008) DVD only

140. Rebecca (1940) DVD only

141. Rang De Basanti (2006) Available to stream

142. Good Will Hunting (1997) DVD only

143. The Big Lebowski (1998) DVD only

144. It Happened One Night (1934) DVD only

145. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) DVD only

146. Warrior (2011)

147. Casino (1995) DVD only

148. Cool Hand Luke (1967) DVD only

149. The Maltese Falcon (1941) DVD only

150. The Deer Hunter (1978)DVD only

151. V for Vendetta (2005) DVD only

152. Fargo (1996) Available to stream

153. Gone with the Wind (1939) DVD only

154. Trainspotting (1996) Available to stream

155. Into the Wild (2007) Available to stream

156. Howl's Moving Castle (2004) DVD only

157. Hotel Rwanda (2004) Available to stream

158. How to Train Your Dragon (2010) DVD only

159. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Available to stream

160. The Sixth Sense (1999) DVD only

161. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)DVD only

162. Annie Hall (1977) DVD only

163. The Thing (1982) DVD only

164. Platoon (1986) DVD only

165. Sin City (2005) DVD only

166. Touch of Evil (1958) DVD only

167. Dial M for Murder (1954) DVD only

168. Diabolique (1955) DVD only

169. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) DVD only

170. No Country for Old Men (2007) DVD only

171. A Beautiful Mind (2001) DVD only

172. Mary and Max (2009) Available to stream

173. Life of Brian (1979)

174. Network (1976) DVD only

175. Finding Nemo (2003) DVD only

176. The Avengers (2012) Available to stream

177. The Princess Bride (1987) DVD only

178. Amores Perros (2000) DVD only

179. The Wizard of Oz (1939) DVD only

180. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) DVD only

181. Stand by Me (1986) DVD only

182. The Grapes of Wrath (1940) Available to stream

183. The 400 Blows (1959) DVD only

184. Ben-Hur (1959) DVD only

185. Million Dollar Baby (2004) DVD only

186. There Will Be Blood (2007) Available to stream

187. Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009) Available to stream

188. (1963) DVD only

189. Incendies (2010)

190. Strangers on a Train (1951) DVD only

191. Donnie Darko (2001) Available to stream

192. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) DVD only

193. High Noon (1952) DVD only

194. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001) DVD only

195. Gandhi (1982) DVD only

196. Notorious (1946) DVD only

197. Persona (1966) 

198. In the Name of the Father (1993) DVD only

199. The King's Speech (2010) Available to stream

200. Infernal Affairs (2002) DVD only

201. Jaws (1975) DVD only

202. Fanny and Alexander (1982) DVD only

203. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) DVD only

204. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) DVD only

205. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

206. La Strada (1954) 

207. The Night of the Hunter (1955)DVD only

208. Ip Man (2008) Available to stream

209. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) DVD only

210. The Big Sleep (1946) DVD only

211. The Terminator (1984) DVD only

212. Stalker (1979)

213. Dog Day Afternoon (1975) DVD only

214. Groundhog Day (1993) DVD only

215. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) DVD only

216. Rocky (1976) DVD only

217. La Haine (1995)DVD only

218. A Christmas Story (1983) DVD only

219. Barry Lyndon (1975) DVD only

220. The Graduate (1967) DVD only

221. Before Sunrise (1995) DVD only

222. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Available to stream

223. The Hustler (1961) DVD only

224. Underground (1995) DVD only

225. The Celebration (1998)

226. Stalag 17 (1953) DVD only

227. Roman Holiday (1953) DVD only

228. Shutter Island (2010) DVD only

229. Castle in the Sky (1986) DVD only

230. In the Mood for Love (2000) DVD only

231. Memories of Murder (2003) DVD only

232. Monsters, Inc. (2001) DVD only

233. Slumdog Millionaire (2008) DVD only

234. A Fistful of Dollars (1964) Available to stream

235. The Help (2011) DVD only

236. Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010) Available to stream

237. Black Swan (2010) DVD only

238. The Killing (1956) 

239. Three Colors: Red (1994)

240. La Dolce Vita (1960) DVD only

241. Rope (1948) DVD only

242. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) DVD only

243. Prisoners (2013)

244. The Truman Show (1998) Available to stream

245. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

246. Star Trek (2009)

247. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) DVD only

248. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003) DVD only

249. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) Available to stream

250. Before Sunset (2004) DVD only 

Happy watching! The list has inspired me to watch more movies. I'm especially excited to discover that Some Like it Hot is available for streaming--that movie is hilarious! 


Question #76246 posted on 02/04/2014 12:56 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I use a custom wax sealing kit to seal letters and notes, and to get the wax, I have to light a wax stick, which gives out smoke, particularly when I blow it out and the wick still has an ember at the top. Because of this, I worry about setting off smoke alarms.

So my question is this- how much smoke does it take to set off the smoke alarm in the average office, building, or church, and how likely is it that I'd set it off by using a small candle for the amount of time it takes to create a seal (maybe, 30 seconds?)

-Trying at class


Dear Trying,

Fun fact: when you google "How Sensitive are Smoke Detectors?" most of the results you get are people asking about smoking cigarettes (and other, more dubious materials) in dorm rooms and hotels.

To answer this question, it's helpful to understand a little bit about how smoke alarms work. Most smoke alarms work by one of two detection methods (or a combination): optical or ionization. Optical detection is triggered when smoke particles obscure a sensor or interrupt a laser beam. Ionization detection happens when smoke particles cause a drop in electric current generated by the alarm.

Overall sensitivity varies by method of detection, and sensitivity within one category of detection varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Generally, optical detectors are more sensitive to large particles, while ionization detectors are more sensitive to small particles. From what I've read, it seems that optical detectors are recommended by most professionals, as large smoke particles are usually created in the beginning, smoldering stage of the fire, before there are flames. This means that optical detectors can warn people about a fire in its early stages, giving them the best chance to put it out or escape. In addition, ionization detectors can be ineffective in areas with adequate air flow.

I found an interesting article on smoke detector technology that has some nice sensitivity graphs, like this one:


Here, lines A and B represent two different kinds of optical detectors, while line C represents an ionization detector.

This table, from the Wikipedia article on smoke detectors, gives an idea of how much smoke can obscure a detector before the alarm will sound:

Typical smoke detector obscuration ratings

Type of Detector

Obscuration Level
Ionization 2.6–5.0% obs/m (0.8–1.5% obs/ft)
Photoelectric (Optical) 6.5–13.0% obs/m (2–4% obs/ft)
Beam (Optical) 3% obs/m (0.9% obs/ft)
Laser (Optical) 0.06–6.41% obs/m (0.02–2.0% obs/ft)

Because optical detectors are less sensitive to small particles, they are less prone to go off in the event of smoke due to cooking mishaps or candle flames. I'm going to guess that the smoke alarm in the room(s) where you're sealing letters with wax is an optical detector. The smoke particles from the wax are probably small, so the optical detector is not very sensitive to them. In addition, because you're generating such a small amount of smoke, it doesn't have to time to accumulate and cause the alarm to go off. These are the same reasons that people can get away with smoking in hotel rooms without triggering the fire alarm. I'd say the chances of you setting off the smoke alarm due to sealing letters with wax is quite small.


Question #76202 posted on 02/06/2014 7:08 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

There is a bath containing 20 gallons of water at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 3 tablespoons of water is brought to absolute zero and the ice cube is dropped into the bath tub. The bath tub is in a bathroom at room temperature. How cold does the ice cube make the bath tub?

Bonus: Same question but with an average sized swimming pool

- Eric


Dear Eric,

When I picked up this question I was naively expecting to do two simple Chemistry 105-style calculations. But in doing a little bit of research, I discovered that multiple phases of ice exist which are dependent on temperature and pressure that all have different properties. For precision's sake, I decided to investigate the properties of an absolute zero ice cube.

Different properties of ice

According to this phase diagram of water, assuming that we are operating within regular atmospheric pressures, ice XI is the phase our two ice cubes are in. (This diagram is actually really cool. From looking at it I discovered that if you subject water molecules to enough pressure, you can have ice at a temperature higher than the boiling point! Weird, eh?)


Anyways. My best guess is that our absolute zero ice cubes classify as low density amorphous ice, and that therefore the density is about 0.94 g/cm^3. To contrast, the density of regular ice is 0.917 g/cm^3. The reason why they are different is because the water molecules are arranged in a different way with ice at a colder temperature having a more compact structure.

Another thing that we will have to factor into this messy problem is the fact that as the temperature of the ice increases, it takes comparatively more energy to continue warming it up. For example, at -200°C (-330°F) it takes 12.2 joules to heat 18 grams of water by 1°C, and at -11°C (12°F) it takes 37 joules to heat 18 grams of water by 1°C.


Now, assuming that it is actually possible to have an ice cube at absolute zero and the systems are closed (meaning that we are only taking into account the ice cubes and the water), I calculated the final temperature using this spreadsheet:

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 12.15.19 AM.png

The bathtub would now be 99.8°F, about 0.2°F colder than before the absolute zero ice cube.

Anticlimatic, I know.

-Sheebs, who feels like life has lost all meaning

Question #76110 posted on 01/26/2014 2:02 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,


What do I do now??

-at wit's end


Dear AWE,

This is the backspace key:


Keep pressing it until all of the undesirable characters are gone.

Also, please stop pounding your face on your keyboard. There are better stress management strategies out there.