"I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained. " - Walt Disney
Question #90925 posted on 02/04/2018 11:56 p.m.

Dear Entomophagist,

It's time for you to leave, sir.

-The Entomophagist


Dear Clone,

And so it is.

I had hoped to delay my retirement until I officially graduated, had been a writer for two full years, and/or had reached some arbitrary answer count milestone, but it's just too much for me now. It has been a long while since I've been able to fulfill this responsibility to my satisfaction. In the eloquent words of Bilbo Baggins, "I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread."

To my now former colleagues in the writership, it was a pleasure to know you. I can only hope to have added as much to your lives as each of you have added to mine. Maybe we can see each other again sometime when I'm back in Provo.

To you readers, thank you for your questions. My wish is that I could have been a net benefit to you as a writer, even though I'm sure I ruffled some feathers along the way.

I don't have a ring of power to blame for my problems, or any elf buddies that I can crash with until I feel better, but it's still time to say goodbye. That is, at least until Alumni Week.

Take care of yourselves,

-The Entomophagist

Question #90917 posted on 02/06/2018 1:32 a.m.

Dear Purveyor of Sound Kirito,

I'm in the market for some professional-grade over-the-ear headphones to edit sound in video programs like Adobe Premiere; I also plan on using them for mundane things like listening to music. Noise-cancelling seems like a nice feature, though I'll confess I have little idea of how or why that works. Cordlessness isn't a big deal—I don't really want to pay for batteries.

Do you have any recommendations or suggestions of how to select a good pair of headphones? What would your optimal headphones be? Is there a set of headphones that is a good balance of price and performance (perhaps to take on journeys where headphone damage is a risk)? Is there any other equipment I should acquire—sound cards, maybe, not really sure—to better facilitate pristine audio?

Thanks for your expertise,

--Ardilla Feroz

P.S. I've done a cursory Google search and found the following recommended list of 2018 headphones but basically all of them sound good to me. Also, if you're busy don't worry too much about this question.


Dear Ardilla Feroz,

Thanks for asking! I really enjoy headphones as a hobby, mostly for listening to music. I've done a lot of research over the years, and hopefully I can help!

First off, it's important to mention that price alone does little to indicate the sound quality of a headphone. At a given budget, there's a huge range of sound quality. Some headphones are inflated in price by name recognition. Some headphones have fatal flaws in their sound signatures. The fun part is finding the headphone that's the best sound for your budget, and that matches your personal taste in tonality.

The website I trust most for recommendations is innerfidelity.com. It's run by Tyll Hertsens, who has become one of the most well-known and respected headphone reviewers out there. And he's heard EVERYTHING. The reviews on there are focused on the sound quality and are very enlightening. He's careful to combine his listening impressions with actual measurements of the headphones, and the website features a huge database of measurements of different headphones, which can be very useful in seeing how a particular model will perform. I definitely recommend looking at his Wall of Fame pages, where his top headphones for each category and price point are listed with links to the full reviews.

The most important feature of a headphone is its frequency response, or how loud the headphone plays each frequency. Ideally, you'd want the sound to be perfectly flat (same volume) all the way down to 20 Hz and all the way up to 20 kHz. High-end floor-standing speakers achieve this pretty well, but it's way more complicated when you're trying to do it with a tiny driver on your ear. Additionally, a perfectly flat frequency response on a headphone sounds different than a flat response on speakers because the way the sound bounces off our face changes the sound. We're used to that, and so headphones have to tune their response to compensate. That's all really hard to get right in a tiny device, which is why so many headphones fall short. Additionally, there's personal tastes to take into consideration.  One reason I really like Tyll's reviews is that he has very neutral tastes. He wants music to sound natural, which only happens when the frequency response is tuned just right. And when that's there, the magic starts to happen.

Before picking a model, it's important to decide what kind of headphone you want. For pure sound quality, the best headphones out there are over-ear and open-back. The majority of headphones are sealed, meaning that the frame surrounding the drivers is airtight. This creates an air pocket behind the drivers that can make some weird resonances, creating an uneven frequency response. On the other hand, open-back headphones are vented behind the driver. This has several effects. One, it's possible to have a much smoother frequency response, creating a much more natural sound. Two, open-back headphones often make it feel like the sound is coming from outside your head rather than inside. In a good recording, you can hear the sound all around you and even pinpoint where the different instruments are. A good open-back headphone turns music-listening from "mundane" to an immersive and transcendent experience. Classical music is where they shine, but it improves the experience for pretty much any genre.

Now, there's some things to consider about open-back headphones. Since they're open-back, there's almost zero sound isolation. You will hear everything around you, and everyone around you will hear what you're listening to. So it's not ideal if you're around people or in noisy environments. For those situations I would recommend a good pair of sealed headphones, or some in-ears with isolating memory-foam tips. Check Tyll's Wall of Fame for recommendations there. Noise cancelling can give you even more isolation, but it raises the price and can sometimes make the music sound a little weird.

Right now I own the HiFiMAN HE400S, which is a $300 open-back headphone. I really, really enjoy it. When I switched from the similarly-priced Philips X2, it sounded like a synthetic curtain was lifted out of the way. Suddenly I was hearing real sound, in a presentation that is both exciting and pleasant. It injects a lot of life into the music, which is on the other side of the spectrum from the Sennheiser HD650. The HD650 is another excellent neutral headphone, but it's a lot more "transparent" in that it presents the music without trying to add any excitement of its own. Personally, I prefer the HE400S, and since the treble is light it keeps the excitement from being fatiguing.

The sound of the HE400S is excellent for $300, but my ideal headphone would have a little more clarity without losing the pleasant character, and a little more bass. I wondered if that headphone existed, until I heard the Focal Clear over Christmas break. At only $1500, it's the first headphone below $4000 to be practically perfect in every way. I would love to own that headphone. But, I also really enjoy what I already have, and I think my money would be better spent on a nice speaker and subwoofer setup once I actually have my own place.

For in-ears, I have the Philips S2 ($120), which is fantastic for listening to music at work and on the way to school. The memory-foam tips block as much sound as earplugs, so the isolation is great. They're nice enough that I don't mind the sound quality, but they're cheap enough I can throw them in my backpack and not be too afraid of the day they eventually fail, as all earbuds do. Mine have lasted a year and a half so far, which is great. I keep thinking about the Shure SE 535 ($500), but I don't think I would be comfortable carrying around that much breakable money.

Everyone has different ears. Not just mentally, but physically different ears. That impacts what we hear. Since headphones are so subjective, it's helpful to read a lot of reviews and see what people are describing. But to really understand what they mean when they say "clarity" or "transparent" or "neutral" is to start listening to headphones yourself, and to find what you like. That can be hard to do since the showrooms are all closing down, and the business is moving to the internet. So if you ever get an opportunity to listen to something, take it. And Amazon Prime is great because you can order something and then return it, just to hear how it sounds.

You also asked about other equipment, and you're absolutely right. The sound card in your headphone jack that costed a few cents to make is not going to create a signal that will do high-quality headphones justice. Luckily, there's a pretty big market for this. You need both a DAC (to convert the digital signal into analog audio) and an amp (to give that signal enough power to drive your headphones well). Often these come as a packaged combination. The Fulla 2 ($100) sounds great, and is probably the cheapest you can go and get a significant improvement over your phone or laptop. I have one in my office at work. At home I have a Massdrop O2+SDAC ($150).

I know this is a lot to take in. It's quite an involved hobby. But once again I'll point you to the Wall of Fame on innerfidelity.com as a starting point.

With a lot of this, you have to hear it to believe it. Maybe what I'm saying about headphones sounds like snake oils and mumbo jumbo. It really can create a magical experience though. An excellent setup can transform music from mundane to something a little more like this: (source)


Best of luck! Email me if you have any questions!


Question #90910 posted on 02/01/2018 2:47 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What do I need to make sure I do/don't do in order to keep my mac in A+ condition for as long as possible?

new computer


Dear newbie,

There's some boring articles out there that have some run-of-the-mill advice to keep your mac in tip top condition. But did you really come to the illustrious 100 Hour Board to get such tedious and common advice? Of course not! So here's the real deal if you want to keep your mac in a condition unlike your grades:

DON'T throw it against a wall. You may assume your laptop is as capable and durable as a book. This may shock you, but it's not. 

DON'T feed it chocolate, which is poisonous to computers.

DON'T light it on fire. Like books, fire is also super effective against laptops. Alternatively, you may consider finding the top student in your class and lighting their laptop on fire. Top students tend to wreck the curve, which means you won't get into that top master's program.

DON'T water it. And if you do end up watering it, don't plug it in when you do. However, if you want a new, electrifying hairdo, play with the cords while watering your laptop.

DO take it on walks. Though some studies have tried to prove that this doesn't actually help the laptop and is only a trick to get laptop users in the sun each day, I can assure you it's a lie. Taking walks is vital to the health of a laptop. 

DO talk to it lovingly each day. Remind it that your future depends on its little circuits. 

DO consult a therapist if your laptop ever experiences technical difficulties. Such problems are often signs that your relationship is failing, and a therapist can help you better understand each other and make needed adjustments. 

With these tips, hopefully your mac is able to stay in tip top condition! And never forget, if your laptop does unexpectedly die, you may need to take out a huge student loan to buy a new one, take a boring desk job you hate to pay for those student loans, live an unmotivated life due to your depressing job, and die alone at your desk! So never forget to keep your mac in A+ condition!

-guppy of doom

Question #90891 posted on 01/28/2018 10:54 a.m.

Dear Luciana,

My husband and I are going to disneyworld for a Friday and Saturday in April. We trying to decide on 2 parks to visit, so we can save a little money by getting the one-park-per-day ticket instead of the park hopper. I have no idea what there is to do in the non-magic kingdom parks.

The Disney website is a bit overwhelming to me, so I thought I'd ask you if you could give me a quick summary of the parks and maybe a recommendation.

We've been to Disneyland, by we wouldn't mind going to magic kingdom. Our top priority is rides, and we'd probably skip the more little-kid-ish ones like Peter Pan or Small World. We haven't done any of the shows before and don't really care about meeting characters.

Any thoughts to which 2 parks will be the best for us?

-Conference in Orlando


Dear Conference Woman,

In your situation, I would probably recommend going to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, but for your reference I'll discuss each park and its pros and cons.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is the most iconic park at Walt Disney World, home to Cinderella castle and classic attractions like Dumbo and Pirates of the Caribbean. It is separated into six themed lands that house various attractions, entertainment, and eateries: Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, and Adventureland.

Pros: Magic Kingdom is the park with the most attractions, and since you specify that rides are most important to you, that's a big plus. It's also home to some of the most popular and well-known attractions, so if you have fond memories of riding the Jungle Cruise or Big Thunder Mountain in Disneyland, it can hold a lot of nostalgia. With so much to see and do, it's easy to spend a whole day in this one park.

Cons: Magic Kingdom does tend to be one of the more crowded parks, and it is home to a lot of rides geared towards smaller kids, like Peter Pan. A one-day ticket to MK is also slightly more expensive than a one-day ticket to the other parks.


Epcot was Walt Disney's brainchild, originally meant to be a futuristic city where cast members would live, or an "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow." While that vision didn't exactly work out, Epcot does have two major themed areas: Future World and the World Showcase. Future World is a bit of a misnomer, because I wouldn't necessarily call it futuristic anymore, but it's home to classic attractions like Spaceship Earth and Test Track. The World Showcase features 12 different pavilions celebrating the history and culture of various nations, from Mexico to Morocco.

Pros: Epcot is very unique, as theme parks go, as it has a slightly more educational bent than the other parks. Perusing the world showcase and exploring the wide variety of shops, dining, and entertainment is a truly incredible way to pass a day. There are also some really awesome rides, like Soarin' Around the World which offers stunning views of great architectural achievements. Epcot probably has the best food options of any of the 4 parks, because you can grab a French pastry for breakfast then jump over to China for lunch. Epcot also features some amazing shows and entertainment from performers throughout the World Showcase, from Japanese drummers to French mimes.

Cons: Epcot doesn't have a huge plethora of rides the way Magic Kingdom does. It's home to Soarin', the Seas with Nemo and Friends, Journey into Imagination, Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Mission: Space, Frozen Ever After, and the Gran Fiesta Tour. Some of those are amazing, and others I could easily recommend skipping (particularly Journey into Imagination and the Gran Fiesta Tour, unless you're a huge The Three Caballeros fan).


Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is themed to the classic films and culture of Hollywood. While it is undergoing quite a bit of refurbishment right now, it's home to exciting attractions like Star Tours and The Tower of Terror.

Pros: Some of Disney's most thrilling rides can be found in Hollywood Studios, and there also some shows that are worth seeing. It's also home to my favorite attraction, Toy Story Midway Mania. They have super cool street performances from aspiring actors and actresses. HS also has my favorite nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic, featuring Mickey Mouse and his vivid imagination.

Cons: Hollywood Studios is currently receiving a bit of a facelift, with Toy Story land scheduled to open sometime this summer, and Galaxy's Edge (Star Wars) sometime next year. HS could really use those additions, because currently there are only 4 rides in the entire park: Toy Story Midway Mania, Star Tours, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and the Tower of Terror. Those are all awesome rides, but unless you specifically want to see shows like Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage or the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, it's hard to fill an entire day. To be clear, most of their shows are good and worth seeing, but if rides are your priority, Hollywood Studios might not be your cup of tea (or noncaffeinated beverage of your choice).

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is meant to bring us in closer contact with the world of animals than we could otherwise come. It's the newest of Disney's WDW theme parks, and home to the newest land as well (Pandora: World of Avatar). It's various themed lands are designed to ingratiate us with the animal world and allow us to experience animals of the past, present, and imagination. Animal Kingdom is also big into animal education and conservation, so if you're interested in learning about animals and how you can help protect them and their habitats, this is the park for you.

Pros: Animal Kingdom houses some truly incredible attractions, ones that I highly recommend nobody miss. Kilimanjaro Safari takes you through various ecosystems on an African safari, where you'll see real life animals like okapi and elephants. Because the animals are free to wander as they see fit (within reason, of course), every safari will be a unique experience, and you'll get different guides who share facts about the animals you see. Expedition Everest is my favorite roller coaster on Disney property. And one of the newest attractions, Avatar Flight of Passage, is by general consensus one of the most visually and technologically stunning rides ever. Animal Kingdom also has the best-rated show on Disney property, and for good reason. The Festival of the Lion King is incredible and moving and I adore it.

Cons: In terms of simple numbers, Animal Kingdom doesn't have the highest number of rides, coming in with a total of 8. However, shows like Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Musical are well worth your time, and it's easy to fill a whole day in this park.

So overall, for your specific purposes, I would recommend Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. You definitely won't get to see everything Disney has to offer with only two days, but with some good planning you can see the most iconic park and the newest attractions.

I have a couple of pieces of general advice. First, you can book dining reservations now for a trip in April, so if there are any table service locations you're particularly interested in, find a reservation now, if you can. Secondly, if you're staying on Disney property, you can book Fastpasses 60 days in advance, starting at 7 a.m. EST. Rides like Space Mountain, Seven Dwarves Mine Train, and Avatar Flight of Passage tend to have very long wait times, and a Fastpass is almost a necessity, so book one as soon as you can. Like, at 7 a.m. EST 60 days before your arrival. Or 30 days before, if you aren't staying at a Disney resort.

I hope you have a magical vacation! If you have any more specific queries, feel free to ask another question, or you can always email me at luciana@theboard.byu.edu and I would be happy to help any way I can.



Question #90871 posted on 01/22/2018 12:20 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I will be graduating soon and then moving across the country for work literally the day of the ceremonies. Along with graduation comes nightmares. (Stay with me.) One of these nightmares involves having books checked out after graduating. In the dream, these policemen (who looked like cowboys out of some Western film) came and threw me in prison.

So, 100 Hour Board, calm my fears. What would happen if I did graduate with books checked out? Will the BYU Police really send Special Agent Cowboys to come capture me?

Thanks in advance,

-The Book Thief


Dear Liesel,

I'm gonna level with you here: I really, really want to know if Special Agent Cowboys are a thing, and the only way I can see us finding out if they are a thing is if you go ahead and try to graduate with those books checked out. I mean, I'd try to do it myself, but I haven't had the dream and so I don't think it would work.

So...take one for the team, please?

-Frère Rubik

P.S. If Special Agent Cowboys are a thing, they're likely under Library Security, not BYU police.

P.P.S. A friend who works at the library says that having overdue library materials could potentially lead to a hold on your account that prevents you from graduating. They didn't say anything about Special Agent Cowboys, but I bet they were just trying to maintain the secrecy of that highly covert task force.

posted on 01/25/2018 11:07 a.m.
Not exactly the same thing, but when I was close to graduating I had some substantial fines to pay because of overdue books. They called me and said that I'd have to close out my account before they officially awarded my degree. This was a long time ago, but I imagine that it's the same now.

-The Man with a Mustache
posted on 01/25/2018 11:07 a.m.
When I graduated, I moved the same day and didn't have time to return a library book. So I mailed it back to the library, as far as I can tell there weren't any problems.

Zwerg Zwei
Question #90860 posted on 01/21/2018 9:29 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Within the First Presidency, does the counselor order always match the apostolic seniority? i.e. the 1st Counselor is the higher seniority apostle and 2nd counselor is the lower seniority apostle (or non-apostle as the case could be). If it doesn't always match, when was the last time it didn't?

Noticer of Patterns


Dear Pattern,

To answer this question, I carefully looked through a list of all the members of the Quorum of the Twelve and noted any calls to the First Presidency. Usually, the counselors were in order of seniority from that quorum, but there were a few exceptions.

  • John Henry Smith was 2nd Counselor while Anthon H. Lund was 1st Counselor, who was lower seniority in the quorum but was already in the First Presidency.
  • David O. McKay was 2nd Counselor while J. Reuben Clark was 1st Counselor, who was lower seniority in the quorum but was already in the First Presidency. However, when David O. McKay became the prophet, J. Reuben Clark became 2nd Counselor and the new 1st Counselor, Stephen L. Richards, had higher seniority.
  • Joseph Fielding Smith was called as an additional Counselor to the First Presidency, when he had higher seniority than the 1st and 2nd Counselors. However, he didn't officially leave the Quorum of the Twelve during that time.
  • Marion G. Romney was 2nd Counselor while N. Eldon Tanner was 1st Counselor, who was lower seniority in the quorum but was already in the First Presidency.
A few other notes:
  • President Eyring is the 2nd person to be moved from 1st Counselor to 2nd Counselor, after J. Reuben Clark who was in a very similar situation.
  • The only other people besides Elder Uchtdorf to return to their places in the Quorum of the Twelve after being in the First Presidency were three Assistant Counselors called by Brigham Young. They were Lorenzo Snow, Brigham Young Jr., and Albert Carrington.

After studying the history, it's apparent that the reorganization we had last week, although not unprecedented, was a little different than tradition. However, it's also become clear that "tradition" is broken all the time when it comes to the First Presidency. At times we've had Assistant Counselors, Other Counselors, and even a Third Counselor. There have been counselors who were never members of the Quorum of the Twelve. Not to mention all the First Presidency members that were excommunicated in the early church. Things these days aren't quite that chaotic.

I really appreciated that President Nelson did a worldwide broadcast to announce the new First Presidency to us, the members. For me it was an experience that reaffirmed my belief that Christ leads this Church and that our leaders are called of Him.

Also, here is a cool list of every First Presidency we've ever had.


posted on 01/22/2018 7:56 p.m.
In addition to the assistant counselors under Brigham Young who were released and returned to their places in the Quorum of the Twelve, Hugh B. Brown and Marion G. Romney served in the First Presidency and were later released and returned to the Twelve.
Question #90849 posted on 02/21/2018 11:06 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How should one respond when confronted with open racism? There I was, being a dutiful visiting teacher - bemoaning the wicked state of the world - and I mentioned that you don't have to look very far to see that the world is lacking in personal revelation. Soon the conversation turned to current events and Charlottesville. My companion (an active Daughter of the Utah Pioneers) said she didn't understand why there could be black pride, but there couldn't be white pride, and expressed concern about erasing history. I was too busy picking my jaw up off the floor to give a proper Christlike response, but I think I mumbled something about how we would be better to celebrate the achievements of our Pioneer ancestors and Dutch or Irish heritage rather than our race. I don't want to break up our companionship, and otherwise, she's as righteous and saintly as they come, but I feel obligated to show her that flying the Confederate flag (her son served a mission in the South) and supporting groups that preach white supremacy is not history, but hate. What should I have said? How can I better model tolerance, when we only see each other for a few minutes a month?

-Little Dutch Girl


Dear You,

The problem I see with "white pride" is that it's so closely associated with white supremacy. Often people who champion "white pride" tend to be white supremacists, which is clearly problematic. And while there was a black supremacy movement led by Malcolm X in the 60s, black pride isn't defined by that, and encompasses so, so much more than black supremacy. I think another difference is that black pride arose out of genuinely problematic social situations that disadvantaged people of color, so it's a response to an actual distasteful situation. White pride, on the other hand, seems to have come about because of people who are uncomfortable with programs that try to benefit people other than whites. At least to me, it almost seems like a way of deflecting the conversation to be about white people again, rather than allowing ourselves to listen and understand why black pride is a thing, and why people of color may be at a disadvantage in this country. I think in general, when people say something about their culture and lived experiences, we would all do better to listen to what they're saying and try to understand where they're coming from, rather than jumping in and saying, "Well what about MY culture?" 

I like what you said about focusing more on our specific heritage, as well. There's nothing wrong with being proud of being Dutch, or Irish, or Swedish or Norwegian or German or French. It's great to know where you come from, and if that heritage gives you a sense of identity and pride, great. But being proud of being Scandinavian is different from being proud of being white. For one thing, the concept of "whiteness" has changed a lot throughout the course of history, and groups that today we would consider to be white haven't always been classified that way by their contemporaries (like the Irish, for example, as well as Mormons, interestingly enough). Historically, "whiteness" has been a label applied to a certain desirable group, that "undesirable" groups have been excluded from; by classifying ourselves primarily by our whiteness rather than our specific heritage, we're associating ourselves with that same hegemonic worldview, intentionally or not. For another thing, "whiteness" has no specific heritage, because it's been such a subjective term over the years. "Blackness," however, has its own heritage for African-Americans, whose ancestors were stripped of their national identities. As white people in the US, we have the privilege of being able to identify our heritage as whatever European country our ancestors came from, or even simply as "American" if we want. But because of the fractured nature of slavery, a lot of African-Americans can't say what specific country their ancestors were from, and while they're certainly American, they were kept so separate for so many years from "mainstream" American culture that blackness became a unifying feature. There's nothing wrong with celebrating your heritage, no matter what color you are. And that's what black pride does. White pride, though, isn't so much about celebrating heritage as it is about celebrating the fact that we're white, so that's why it's better that we focus on our actual heritage if we want something to celebrate about ourselves.

As far as people who try to "protect history" by keeping Confederate imagery alive, my question is, what version of the past are they protecting? Yes, it is a fact that lots of Confederate soldiers were probably brave men doing the best they could in their circumstances. However, it is also a fact that the Confederacy as a whole fought tooth and nail to keep slavery alive, and engaged in disgustingly racist and oppressive practices. If people feel it's so important to protect history, my invitation to them would be to protect individual stories, not symbols of the Confederacy at large. Individual people are complex and nuanced, but the Confederacy as an institution stood for racism and oppression, and by supporting "the Confederacy," that's what you're supporting. History is the study of the past, so if people really care so much about it, maybe they should try to study what actually happened rather than just holding onto their existing worldview.

And as long as we're talking about protecting individual stories, listen to the individual stories of black people. Realize that they have a whole different version of the past than white people do, and neither of those versions is necessarily "correct." If two people attend the exact same church meeting, they'll probably come away with different takeaways and describe it differently, and it's not that one of them is right and one of them is wrong, just that they experienced the same events differently. So yes, if what your visiting teaching companion has heard about the Confederacy is from the viewpoint of people who tried to live just and honorable lives within its structure, she'll have a more favorable view of it than people who hear about it from the viewpoint of the many, many people who were oppressed under it. So if she cares about history so much, invite her to learn more about the people who have a whole different version of the past than what she's heard before, and listen to what they're saying and why they feel the way they do about the Confederacy. I feel like once you truly understand that, it becomes much more difficult to promote the Confederacy at large, even if you still have a personal connection to your own Confederate ancestors or something. 

Sorry, this sort of turned into my own rant against "white pride" and the whole "protecting our nation's history" argument rather than necessarily giving you suggestions for how to model tolerance to your visiting teaching companion. But honestly, if I were you I would just try to combat the single narrative we're often told about minorities. Use examples in your lessons of minorities doing amazing things, in stories that show them as real people rather than stereotypes. Talk about things you like about other cultures and religions and races. Share scriptures that talk about how God loves everyone regardless of race or religion or whatever else, and then talk about how you think those scriptures should be applied in a multicultural country like the US. Recommend books and movies that show minorities in a positive light, or that talk about complex social issues. Maybe this is naive of me, but I'd like to believe that a lot of people who are racist do it unintentionally, and while that doesn't excuse their racism, it does give me hope that if they realize they're being racist, they can change. Your visiting teaching companion has probably never had to face a lot of these issues head-on because they don't affect her, but if you help her understand minorities' experiences better, hopefully she'll realize that she could do more to be more tolerant.

Good luck, friend. Good on you for trying to be a force for good in the world.


posted on 02/21/2018 7:36 p.m.
As for the Confederate flag bit, I would recommend reading "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell. Most people think that the Civil War magically ended slavery, and that was that. But during the second half of the 1800s, the south was devastated culturally and economically beyond the ending of slavery due in large part to the militaristic federal government. The confederate flag is tricky because on one hand it's used by extremists, but one the other hand it's used by rural people trying to maintain their liberty from an oppressive government. Their son who spent two years talking with strangers who grew up in the south hasn't told mom to take it down yet.

The only chance you have is to understand enough to have an empathetic conversation, and when you are on that level, she can trust your suggestions. Start with "Gone with the Wind."

Question #90833 posted on 01/21/2018 9:13 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So, I have this guy friend. We became decently close last semester, and we spend enough time together (getting lunch, watching movies, hanging out during the day and at night), alone especially, that basically everyone I tell about him asks me why we aren't dating. I'm frustrated, because I don't have a good answer to give! I don't really know why. In the beginning of our friendship he was into another girl, but he isn't anymore, and I'm definitely single. I've gotten two types of advice here--either 1) I should make a move because he's probably into me, given how much time he wants to spend with me alone ("guys don't spend that much time with girls they aren't at least kind of interested in"), and he's most likely just hesitant to do anything because he's afraid of losing my friendship; or 2) I should NOT make a move and just focus on enjoying our friendship because it sounds like he only wants to be friends, plain and simple ("if a guy likes you, he'll ask you out").

You know, I honestly probably would go for it and ask him out but for one thing: he doesn't really initiate physical contact much. Or really at all. We have hugged before, but each time I was the one who initiated it. He never actively tries to sit close to me (like, when we watch movies), either. I know that I can give off don't-touch-me vibes because I'm protective of my personal space, but I've tried to seem more open around him? I dunno. We have so much fun together, and we can talk for hours, and he seems to actively want me around--and this is why I end up feeling confused.

Is this cut-and-dry "if he liked you, you'd know" type stuff and I should just forget about him maybe being romantically interested in me, or is it possible that he's just worried about ruining our friendship and doesn't want to risk doing anything that could potentially weird me out? Am I crazy for wondering if he's purposefully not touching me because he doesn't want me to think he's into me? Am I reading way too much into everything?? (I'm sure that last one is true, but I've been in my head too much to know what else could be true as well.) Thanks in advance for reading all this nonsense!



Dear Ugh,

What did I do in the same situation? Agonized over it for a few months, talked to everyone about it but him, listened to every opinion but my own, and tried to kill the whole idea with grit and fire. But, for your sake I decided to perform an experiment. Like you I had some confusion about dating potential with my best friend. In the spirit of honest research I approached him about it until I got answers. My results are discussed in the sections below. My worry is for you, like me, to have the "what if" thing constantly nagging at the back of your head and you interpreting everything he says and does through that lens. Its the worst. Guessing is the worst. Neither option is a big enough deal to be worth avoiding decisive action. If you think the thought will never go away on its own, it's time you addressed the question openly. None of the conversations described below were really dramatic at all. We were both pretty open and comfortable, excepting a bit of initial awkwardness.

"What If" Relationships: Disambiguation of the male/female friendship


Ambiguous male/female friendships are frustrating, confusing, and exhausting. They are characterized by constant questioning, interpreting, and imagining. Though they hold their own potential, they are often dragged out distractions from other important life goals and potential dating relationships. Communication may be the most accessible and beneficial approach to romantically ambiguous friendships. This experiment explored the communication model as an option for resolving those volatile friendships described above. The participants communicated feelings about each other and the friendship and made decisions collectively. The communication did not result in a dating relationship. However, the active participant reported feelings of relief, accomplishment, control, and greater confidence and self-awareness. Results indicate that communication between mature adults is an effective and positive method for disambiguation in their relationship.


The purpose of this experiment is to provide insight to the action of any person or persons in an ambiguous friendship or a friendship with romantic potential. Though the parameters of this experiment are specific to this study and not universal, the results may assist in the planning, implementation, and motivation that are necessary to clarifying these relationships.  


A long-term male/female friendship was selected and determined to be >90% platonic for most of the duration of the friendship. An environment of interested family, friends, bishoprics, etc. was established to place graduating strain on the certainty of the friendship over time. Once the friendship was known to be volatile (measured to be <60% platonic at any point for either individual at multiple sampling times) the romantic feelings were vocalized by one participant to the other for disambiguation. The participant measuring the variables and vocalizing romantic feelings will furthermore be referred to as "the active participant." The remaining partner will be referred to as "the control."


The active participant took longer than expected to develop, understand, and recognize romantic feelings. This extended the duration of the experiment but did not effect the outcome by any significant figure. Once romantic feelings were admitted by the active participant a series of communication sessions were performed. The final session is of particular note as the active participant gave up trying to understand the situation logically and managed to express actual feelings for the control without regard or fear for the outcome. Average awkwardness across all sessions was measured to be about 27% in time duration, but only about 15% in depth. Satisfaction and understanding increased exponentially with each session. 

Over multiple communication sessions it was established that the friendship was, in fact, questionable and had been questioned by both parties.  The active participant made a logical argument for "trying things out" while the control maintained that, although significantly tempted, it was "not a good idea." Between communication sessions the control continued to hint at the potential of a dating relationship. The active participant therefore continued to question the friendship status and become more confident that she had feelings for the control independent of logical decision making, past or future. A final session included a complete disclosure of romantic feelings from the active participant and a final decision with conditions. The control, now being aware of the magnitude of the active participant's feelings, maintained that he had no interest in dating but also promised to stop being awkward and making off-hand comments about dating interest.  

The resulting emotional state of the active participant is in active flux since the advent of the final session. Some negative feelings have been reported by the active participant such as disappointment, worry for the future, worry for the well-being of the control, and listlessness. The active participant has reported significant lost time watching Boy Meets World, listening to sad Blind Pilot songs, and crying into dry vending machine sandwiches. However, a surprising amount of positive feelings were also reported considering the outcome of the experiment. The active participant reports feelings of immense satisfaction, self-actualization, pride, increased self-awareness etc. She has also shown improved communication skills, empathy, and vulnerability. 


It is proposed that communicating for the disambiguation of male/female friendships has significant positive effects on all parties. The active party, regardless of result, has participated in an act of honesty, courage, and vulnerability and gains the personal confidence and growth that accompanies such acts. The control party receives the benefit of an accurate understanding of the relationship. This provides the means for the control to act appropriately without hurting, "leading on", or confusing the active party. It also provides the control the opportunity to assess and express any romantic feelings or lack thereof so plans for the relationship can be made real-time. 


Any individuals considering "active participation" in their own ambiguous male/female friendship should first establish whether they have romantic feelings for their friend. Determining these feelings need not be done before communication is initiated, as they can be explored in collaboration with the opposite party. Care should be taken to ensure that any acknowledged feelings are organic, appropriate, and persistent. If the active party feels it is necessary to fully disclose their romantic feelings they should approach the conversation with respect and ask questions to understand the opposite party. It is important to remember that the purpose of these conversations is to bring the relationship into a state of stability, sustainability, and balance. Both parties are seeking to resolve questions and settle into a firm reality. Active participants can unquestionably look forward to being agents in their own lives and the positive feelings associated with this status. 



Question #90793 posted on 01/07/2018 7:20 a.m.

Dear Van Goff,

Retirement. Isn't it about... time?

-Van Goff


Dear me,

Unfortunately so. Writing for the Board over the past year has been a phenomenal time, one that my freshman self would be so proud to have experienced. Getting to know the other writers and advising readers on questions has brought my life a ton of purpose and changed my perspective on life in subtle but meaningful ways. That being said, this semester has been a little busier and between school, work, and extracurricular commitments, I felt a little overwhelmed and decided that it would be the best thing for myself and for you as readers to say goodbye at this junction.

Saying goodbye as a writer leaves me with, above everything, gratitude. Thank you, readers, for sending in your questions and entrusting us writers to help you out with whatever's going on in your life. Thanks, fellow writers, for the opportunity to read your fascinating and thoughtful answers, as well as the time spent getting to know you as human beings. It has been a fantastic journey. You are all fantastic, the Board is fantastic, and this little underground BYU community we have here is fantastic. And you know what?



Best of luck in 2018, friends, and we'll see ya around campus!

-Van Goff

Question #90732 posted on 12/18/2017 6:30 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If I have a saltwater aquarium, and somehow the aquarium shatters and the fish fall on the floor, can I put them in fresh water for a short time to save their lives? Or is poor Nemo toast?



Dear Darla,

By "a short time" I hope you don't mean 100 hours, for your fish are certainly dead.


Most fish species tend to live in either saline or freshwater environments. Anecdotal testing by sadistic curious or allegedly informed Quora responders indicate a saltwater fish will die 7-15 minutes after being placed in fresh water. Please, for the sake of the fishes and the childrens, do not try this at home.

If you did actually click on that link, you'll note there are a couple of fish mentioned that are the haline multi-taskers of the water world, fish capable of living in multiple salinities, savvy? To put it in Darla terms, it's probably, like, the fish equivalent of not dying when you eat breakfast for dinner, which—as you'll remember—is not something just any human being can pull off without consequences (RIP Harrison).

Pancaketastrophes aside, fish capable of living in various salinities of water are know as euryhaline fish. The ways they pull of this shenanigan-ry differ, as do to their reasons. Some live in estuaries, where rivers and oceans intersect. Others may live in brackish mangrove swamps. Some, like salmon and eels, complete part of their life cycle in fresh water and part of it in the ocean. Salmon breed in mountain rivers and streams. Eels, at least European Eels, are suspected to spawn in the calm waters of the Sargasso Sea (apparently these eels aren't doing so hot population-wise, but they don't tell you that on the telly, now do they?) and return to freshwater rivers to live.

If you'd like to learn more about the fish and creatures that see fit to inhabit salinities diverse, I'd recommend you peruse further Wikipedia's entry on euryhaline fish. White perch, mollies, puffer fish, shad, striped bass, sturgeon, herring, and the superbly named mummichog are among this robust group; as are bull sharks, which probably deserve a Board question all of their own.

So are your fish dead? Depending on what you kept in your crystalline box of water: yes, no, and maybe.


--Ardilla Fish-roz

P.S. Did you know? There is a whole genus of sharks that live in rivers. These aren't bull sharks, which are a sort of requiem shark (you know the type: loves the ocean, has live births, sings in Mass), this is the elusive, rare and mysterious Glyphis genus.There's not a lot known about them, and some of the information I found about them is conflicting. Wikipedia asserts there are three species, two of which can live in the ocean, one—the Ganges Shark—which lives exclusively in the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers of India. A website describing ray and shark biology posits the genus may have as many as six species, less than half of which have been fully described.

Question #90676 posted on 12/08/2017 5:32 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So In your guys' minds, what do you think is the craziest conspiracy theory ever (that some people actually believe).

Some I've encountered include

-Flat Earth
-The Lizard People
-European Royalty eat babies
-The Holocaust never happened
-'Transvestigation Hollywood' (all famous people are trannies)
-Nazi's are still hiding in Antarctica
-The earth is hallow.
-Secret military operations have invented time travel
-CERN is a portal to hell
-Ancient Astronauts
-There's a child slave colony on mars

If you can't find anything crazier that's fine, I'm just thinking how could anyone ever believe anything like this ever. I've entertained plenty of conspiracy theories before, but some of these are just so out there that I wonder how they even got started. Most of these make your run of the mill 9-11 truther or JFK assassination investigator look pretty sane. Are they all schizophrenic or something? Do you think they're all lonely psychos living in their parents basements? What do you think of people who post youtube videos on these topics. The scary thing is that more and more people are starting to believe some of this stuff because of the internet. I'm sort of looking for a serious answer to why and how people can entertain the most outlandish of the most outlandish.



Dear non-believer,

Well, it's true that earth really is flat. Actually, it hasn't always been, but because the Nazi's are still hiding in Antarctica, our military had to employ secret operations and invent time travel to go back and find the ancient astronauts who would flatten the earth so that it would be easier to find Antarctica on a map. In order for the ancient astronauts to agree to flatten the earth, they demanded that we give them a bunch of children so they could start a child slave colony on Mars. Fortunately, for us, we were smart and just sent them dolls, not actual children. When the ancient astronauts found this out, however, they decided to increase the width of our flat earth and make it hollow. The lizard people found out that our flat earth was hollowed out and they decided to live in the hollow earth. One day, the queen of the lizard people was invited by a stake president in Utah to a ward chili cook-off. Queen Komodo decided that she was going to make the hottest chili on the planet. It took her a few months, but she finally got all of the ingredients just right. She was so excited to share this chili at the cook-off, but when she was transporting the chili to her mini-van, she accidentally tripped and the chili (which was made in a GIGANTIC pot) spilled everywhere! Luckily she was still in the middle of the flat, hollow earth and so only on occasion does some of the chili make it to the surface. And you thought lava was real? Nope, just flamin' hot chili.

I'm glad that I was finally able to get the TRUTH out!

-Sunday Night Banter

Question #90637 posted on 01/06/2018 11:50 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Here’s a long question. I kinda question that hasn’t been asked since the good ol glory days of the board. So I’m gonna list some people from different meyersbriggs (MBTI) types. Now don’t argue with the categories, just what do you think would happen in an all out war between the different types. Ok ESTJ lead by Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, Gaston from beauty and the beast, hulk hogan, Dr Phil. and Kirk Kerkorian. iSTJ lead by George Washington, Ron Paul, Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Young, and Dan Brown. iSFJ lead by Gandhi, Brad Pitt, high Hackman, David Beckham, Mulan, and Legolas. Esfj lead by Barack Obama and Michelle, ryan Reynolds, Mr Rogers, Reese Witherspoon, John Bytheway, and Julia Roberts. INTJ with Leonardo da Vinci, Tesla, Aristotle, captain Picard, professor X, Gandalf, and dumbledore. Entj with Conan o’brien, David o Mckay, David letterman, Mitt Romney, bill Bradley, and Rachel Maddow. eNTp with Napoleon, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin franklin, president hinckley, Alex Jones, Jay Leno, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Intp with Einstein, Plato, Ayn Rand, steve jobs, bill gates, and l Ron Hubbard. Enfj with Jim Carey, ben Stiller, Kermit the frog, buffs bunny, Robert Downey jr, and Tina fey. Infj with obi won kenobi, thomas Jefferson, captain jack Sparrow, Lady Gaga, and Brandon Flowers. Infp with Beethoven, Luna lovegood, lisa Simpson, John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, and Stepehnie Meyer. Enfp with Freddy Mercury, Ellen degeneres, Roger Stone, Glenn Beck, and Gene Wilder. ISFP with Martin Luther king, nelson Mandela, usher, t-Swift, justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé. Esfp with Penelope Cruz, Donny osmond, justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, will smith, and Adam Sandler. ISTP with genghis khan, Mark zuckerburg, president Eisenhower, Bruce Willis, Han Solo, and Indiana Jones. And ESTP with Tyra Banks, Cenk Uyghur, President Monson, Rush Limbaugh, Oprah, Sinbad, and Babe Ruth. Now please don’t rearrange the groups. Just use these characters to write an epically fun story of fighting, survival, and conquering. I expect the answer to be at least 5-10 times longer than the question. I’ll give someone a month to work on it.

-MBTI enthusiasts


Dear person,

I have completed a thorough analysis based on the proportion of the total population that is each personality type (assuming that these personality types and their distributions aren't culturally bound), the leaders of the group, and the personality traits of the group. I obtained the highly valid and reliable information about the proportions of the population who are each personality type here and the descriptions of each personality type here.

Additionally, I assume that each of these types has been isolated from other types for a long time and that a Hunger Games style situation is forcing these groups to fight each other. For convenience, I assume that the amount of landmass occupied by each group is proportional to the amount of people in the group. For fun/also convenience, I assigned these groups to areas currently occupied by existing countries/dependencies in order of this list on Wikipedia

Allow me to start by introducing each of the groups:

The ISFJ (comprising 13.8% of the total population and located in Russia) are led by Gandhi, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Mulan, and Legolas. It is also led by a guy named High Hackman, but we aren't sure who he is because no Google search, Facebook search, or LinkedIn search gives us any information about his identity. Perhaps he is no one, but given his leadership status I think he is, in fact, a man of the shadows whose anonymity is his strength. Members of this group have been described thus: "Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home".

The ESFJ (comprising 12.3% of the total population and located in Antarctica) are led by Barack and Michelle Obama, Ryan Reynolds, Mr. Rogers, Reese Witherspoon, John Bytheway, and Julia Roberts. Members of this group have been described thus: "Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute."

The ISTJ (comprising 11.6% of the population and located in Canada) are led by George Washington, Ron Paul, Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Young, and Dan Brown. Additionally, the Board's own Mitty is part of this group. Members of the ISTJ have been described thus: "Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized - their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty."

The ISFP (comprising 8.8% of the population and located in China) are led by Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Usher, T-Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé. Members of this group have been described thus: "Quiet, friendly, sensitive, and kind. Enjoy the present moment, what's going on around them. Like to have their own space and to work within their own time frame. Loyal and committed to their values and to people who are important to them. Dislike disagreements and conflicts, do not force their opinions or values on others.

The ESTJ (comprising 8.7% of the population and located in the United States) are led by Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Hulk Hogan, Dr. Phil, and Kirk Kerkorian. Members of this group have been described thus: "Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive, quickly move to implement decisions. Organize projects and people to get things done, focus on getting results in the most efficient way possible. Take care of routine details. Have a clear set of logical standards, systematically follow them and want others to also. Forceful in implementing their plans."

The ESFP (comprising 8.5% of the population and located in Brazil) are led by Donny Osmond, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Will Smith, Penelope Cruz, and Adam Sandler. Members of this group have been described thus: "Outgoing, friendly, and accepting. Exuberant lovers of life, people, and material comforts. Enjoy working with others to make things happen. Bring common sense and a realistic approach to their work, and make work fun. Flexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to new people and environments. Learn best by trying a new skill with other people."

The ENFP (comprising 8.1% of the population and located in Australia) are led by Freddy Mercury, Ellen Degeneres, Roger Stone, Glenn Beck, and Gene Wilder. Additionally, Alta and Tipperary are part of this group. Members of the ENFP have been described thus: "Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of possibilities. Make connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency."

The ISTP (comprising 5.4% of the population and located in India) are led by Genghis Khan, Mark Zuckerburg, Dwight Eisenhower, Bruce Willis, Han Solo, and Indiana Jones. Members of this group have been described thus: "Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency."

The INFP (comprising 4.4% of the population and located in Argentina) are led by Beethoven, Luna Lovegood, Lisa Simpson, John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, and Stephanie Meyer. Additionally, Van Goff and Sherpa Dave are members of this group. Members of the INFP have been described thus: "Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are important to them. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential. Adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a value is threatened."

The ESTP (comprising 4.3% of the population and located in Kazakhstan) are led by Tyra Banks, Cenk Uyghur, President Monson, Rush Limbaugh, Oprah, Sinbad, and Babe Ruth. Members of this group have been described thus: "Flexible and tolerant, they take a pragmatic approach focused on immediate results. Theories and conceptual explanations bore them - they want to act energetically to solve the problem. Focus on the here-and-now, spontaneous, enjoy each moment that they can be active with others. Enjoy material comforts and style. Learn best through doing."

The ENFJ (comprising 2.5% of the population and located in Algeria) are led by Jim Carey, Ben Stiller, Kermit the Frog, Buggs Bunny, Robert Downey Jr., and Tina Fey. Additionally, I, Sheebs, identify as a member of this group, as does Anathema. Members of the ENFJ have been described thus: "Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and provide inspiring leadership."

The INTJ (comprising 2.1% of the population and located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) are led by Gandalf, Dumbledore, Professor X, Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle, Captain Picard, and Tesla. Additionally, The Entomophagist is a member of this group. Members of the INTJ have been described thus: "Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance - for themselves and others."

The INTP (comprising 3.3% of the population and located in Greenland) are led by Einstein, Plato, Ayn Rand, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and L. Ron Hubbard. Members of the INTP have been described thus: "Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical."

The ENTP (comprising 3.2% of the population and located in Saudi Arabia) are led by Napoleon, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, President Hinckley, Alex Jones, Jay Leno, and Jamie Lee Curtis. They have been described thus: "Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and outspoken. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems. Adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically. Good at reading other people. Bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another."

The ENTJ (comprising 1.8% of the population and located in Mexico) are led by Conan O’Brien, David O. Mckay, David Letterman, Mitt Romney, Bill Bradley, and Rachel Maddow. They have been described thus: "Frank, decisive, assume leadership readily. Quickly see illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems. Enjoy long-term planning and goal setting. Usually well informed, well read, enjoy expanding their knowledge and passing it on to others. Forceful in presenting their ideas."

The INFJ (comprising 1.5% of the population and located in Indonesia) are led by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Thomas Jefferson, Captain Jack Sparrow, Lady Gaga, and Brandon Flowers. Additionally, the guppy of doom is a member of this group. Members of the INFJ have been described thus: "Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.

Here is what happens initially:

The ISFJ, under the leadership of Gandhi, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Mulan, Legolas, and Hugh Hickman, are responsible and conscientious enough to know that winter is coming and that Russia is not the place to be. Seeing as Europe is largely uninhabited, they use the existing infrastructure to get as many people as possible as far west into Europe as they are able. Those who are left behind subsist on what they can harvest and existing stored food. Legolas and his elf ISFJs teach as many people as possible their fighting techniques behind Gandhi's back and go to southern Russia to start a new Mirkwood. They do not wish to go to war but want to be prepared.

The ESFJ, who inhabit the Antarctic Peninsula because everywhere else in Antarctica is terrible, are having tremendous difficulties surviving in their inhospitable land. There is little existing infrastructure. The 900 million-strong group must subsist on seals and penguins at temperatures just below freezing as it is the springtime in the southern hemisphere. However, they obviously can't. The nearest continent is 800 km away. Unfortunately, they all do not make it despite the inspiring leadership of the Obamas, Ryan Reynolds, Mr. Rogers, Reese Witherspoon, John Bytheway, and Julia Roberts.

Under the direction of George Washington, Ron Paul, Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Young, Dan Brown, and Mitty, the ISTJ, located in Canada, harvests what it can along the border with the US. They immediately invade the lands of the ESTJ in the US, which is easy to do because the ESTJ are led by Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Hulk Hogan, Dr. Phil, and Kirk Kerkorian. Kirk Kerkorian, the only one with relevant skills, does his best but had tremendous interpersonal difficulty with Gaston, Hulk Hogan, and Dr. Phil. The Rock and Pierce Brosnan did what they could to help but they were not terribly helpful. After a few days, Gaston kills all of his fellow leaders in a fit of narcissistic rage. The ESTJ turn on Gaston. The weakened ESTJ succumb to the ISTJ almost immediately.

The ISFP over in China, led by Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Usher, T-Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé, by nature dislike disagreement and conflicts. Grateful that no one else is nearby, they harvest, prepare for the winter, and try to live regular lives the best they can. As this whole situation is very Western-biased and Westerners are in charge, this is a bothersome situation for many people who are originally from China and who constitute a substantial minority of the population. However, resigned to the odd situation, the reluctant leaders and the locals work together as well as they possibly can to ensure the survival of the group given the constraints of the highly contrived situation. 

The ESFP in Brazil, led by Donny Osmond, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Will Smith, Penelope Cruz, and Adam Sandler, suffer because of the incompetence of their leaders. Will Smith seems to think that he is in I Am Legend and urges everyone to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. However, the fun-loving ESFP are not on board with this. They do not have to deal with a hostile climate so they work, try to enjoy life the best they can, and try not to worry too much about the future.

The ENFP, led by Freddy Mercury, Ellen DeGeneres, Roger Stone, Glenn Beck, Gene Wilder, Alta, and Tipperary, work well together as a society in Australia. They find many dangerous animals and capture them. They do not plan to invade anybody else, but they want to be prepared to counterattack with Australia's scariest critters if anyone should come and attack. Many are irritated by Glenn Beck and Roger Stone, so they and their followers sail to New Zealand to live by themselves where they can build their own personal utopia. Ellen becomes the supreme leader. Gene Wilder becomes the assistant to the supreme leader. Freddie Mercury writes inspiring music. All is well. 

The ISTP, located in India, are a conflicted lot - though their description reads: "Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency", they are led by Genghis Khan, Mark Zuckerberg, Dwight Eisenhower, Bruce Willis, Han Solo, and Indiana Jones. Genghis Khan and Eisenhower quickly become military dictators. Many of the ISTP dutifully stay on earth. However, Bruce Willis, Indiana Jones, and Mark Zuckerberg pressure Han Solo into transporting them and whoever else of the ISTP on the Millenium Falcon to inhabit planets that are not at war. Mark Zuckerberg gives Han Solo his entire fortune to finance this. About half of the ISTP leave for other parts of the galaxy where they integrate with local Star Wars populations. Indiana Jones and Bruce Willis join the Jedi as they are both force-sensitive. Mark Zuckerberg goes to live with the Ewoks on Endor.

The INFP in Argentina, led by Beethoven, Luna Lovegood, Lisa Simpson, John Lennon, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephanie Meyer, Van Goff, and Sherpa Dave, produce beautiful art. Except for Stephenie Meyer. Upon examination of her work by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Stephenie Meyer is cast out for writing the Twilight books. Lisa Simpson is supportive of all of the artists who remain but becomes very anxious about the food situation. She confides this to Luna Lovegood, who remembers that it is possible to multiply existing food. So Luna commits about an hour a day to multiplying enormous amounts of food that Lisa organizes and has volunteers ship out to villages. Those who are interested in growing food also contribute. Most people like to grow their own gardens. They do not attack the ESFP and the ESFP do not attack them. For now, everyone in South America is safe. 

The ESTP, located in the little-known land of Kazakhstan, led by Tyra Banks, Cenk Uyghur, President Monson, Rush Limbaugh, Oprah, Sinbad, and Babe Ruth are nervous about the elf ISFJ Mirkwood in southern Russia. However, they quickly realize they must adapt to the harsh continental climate in the steppes of central Asia. After doing their research about the area, they decide to head to the southeast for relatively milder winter weather and to take advantage of existing infrastructure for survival. However, this was a difficult journey and the ESTP were severely weakened.

The ENFJ, led by Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, Kermit the Frog, Buggs Bunny, Robert Downey Jr., Tina Fey, Sheebs, and Anathema, find themselves on the southern coast of the Mediterranean. They are immensely pleased with the climate and food. However, they are alarmed by the presence of the INTJ on the same continent. They head west to Morocco. Those who are capable of swimming 10 or so kilometres swim across the Gibraltar strait and escape into Europe and attempt to migrate northward as much as possible.

The INTJ, led by the likes of Dumbledore, Gandalf, Professor X, Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle, Captain Picard, and Tesla, know that despite their small population that they are intensely formidable. Dumbledore and Gandalf become best friends. Quickly realizing the great talent of Professor X, they heal him and restore his access to his powers. While Leonardo, Aristotle, Tesla, and Picard are muggles, Dumbledore and Gandalf see their obvious brilliance and begin to collaborate with them. Tesla tutors Leonardo and Aristotle in modern mathematics and science, which they learn very quickly. Caught up in their own brilliance, they neglect the rest of the INTJ, who do their best to survive in the vast forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Picard finds this elitism intolerable and attempts to gather them and provide some leadership and support. 

The INTP, located in Greenland and led by Einstein, Plato, Ayn Rand, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and L. Ron Hubbard, have conflict. Intensely jealous of Gates and Jobs, L. Ron Hubbard takes several INTP members and starts a cult to make money. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates use their immense wealth to transport the population to Iceland and the United Kingdom. Because of their immense power over both Apple and Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates start hacking all of the computers in the world (except Linux ones). In their spare time, they teach Einstein how to program things. Ayn Rand and Plato secretly fall in love each other but spend much of their time arguing about self-interest and self-sacrifice. 

The ENTP, located in Saudi Arabia and led by Napoleon, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, President Hinckley, Alex Jones, Jay Leno, and Jamie Lee Curtis, find themselves in a vast desert. Napoleon constantly terrorizes everyone and is incredibly jealous of President Hinckley for being everyone's favorite leader. President Hinckley leads the people underneath the desert into the vast, maze-like caves where they hide and somehow find enough food and water to sustain themselves. Benjamin Franklin devotes his time to building secret treasure chambers like the ones in National Treasure. Jay Leno encourages him. 

The ENTJ in Mexico, led by Conan O’Brien, David O. McKay, David Letterman, Mitt Romney, Bill Bradley, and Rachel Maddow, do all right for themselves overall. Mitt Romney becomes the president. They prepare to be invaded by the ISTJ. 

The INFJ, located in Indonesia and led by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Thomas Jefferson, Captain Jack Sparrow, Lady Gaga, Brandon Flowers, and the guppy of doom, are grateful for their relative solitude. Jack Sparrow falls in love with Lady Gaga, but she rejects him. Hurt, he left the bigger group and took many with him to explore the islands. Obi-Wan starts training force-sensitive people in the ways of the Jedi so that the tiny amount of people have a chance at surviving.

After 1 year:

High Hackman of the ISFJ has mysteriously disappeared during the migration from Russia to the more temperature climates of Europe. The ISFJ have obtained heavy losses and continue to do so as they fight the ENFJ, who have been hanging around the Mediterranean and are well-fed and fortified. Ultimately, the ENFJ overtake them. Kermit the Frog has taken to wearing his dark hood and has proclaimed himself the supreme leader of the ENFJ. Tina Fey and Jim Carrey make fun of him behind his back but he finds out and has them assassinated. Buggs Bunny, enraged, plots against him. Ben Stiller, Sheebs, and Anathema are terrified.

The ISTJ continue their spread southward and easily overtake the ENTJ. They now occupy what was once Canada, the US, and Mexico. 

Ellen, the supreme leader of the ENFP in Australia, has made the kangaroo the ENFP mascot and "Bohemian Rhapsody" the national anthem. Glenn Beck and Roger Stone rule over their hotbed of conservatism in New Zealand. Ellen makes fun of them. Freddie Mercury makes amazing music. 

The ISTP who have remained on Earth have taken successful military action against the ESTP, who struggled to survive in Kazakhstan's extreme climate. Genghis Khan and Eisenhower, though they have their disagreements, are very effective together. They head toward Saudi Arabia to find the ENTP, who are living underground in hidden secret crystal caves. Mark Zuckerberg has successfully integrated into Ewok society. 

Dumbledore, Gandalf, Professor X, Aristotle, Leonardo, and Tesla have found ways to integrate magic with modern technology. Tesla has been working with Professor X to recreate Cerebro so that they can control the minds of everyone in the world, though this is proving more complicated than expected. Aristotle and Leonardo have teamed up with Dumbledore to create flying boats, metal dragons, and wands that muggles can use. Gandalf supports them but is much more interested in controlling the weather and making giant bonfires. Captain Picard and the rest of the INTJ farm, hunt, and gather.

The INTP are living on Iceland as well as in the British Isles. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have successfully hacked all computers in the world. Tesla of the INTJ based the new Cerebro on a jailbroken Apple device, something that Steve and Bill have noticed and are working on hacking. 

The ISFP continue in their isolated existence in the area that was once China, hoping that they will be able to avoid all conflict. The ESFP continue to live in the moment, which they try to make fun. The INFP continue to make beautiful art. The INFJ continue exploring Oceania. 

After 2 years:

The ENFJ, despite their smaller numbers, successfully take over continental Europe as the ISFJ fail to recover from their weakened state. However, they are spread fairly thin. They do not feel they have the resources to take on the INTP.

The ISTJ continue to spread southward and easily dominate the unprepared ESFP and INFP. However, they experience a profound existential crisis when they examine the art of the INFP and lose the will to keep conquering. They have "successfully" taken over the Americas, but could they have made other choices? Would the consequences have been better, or could they somehow have been worse? It seems, somehow, that they may still be free to choose. Perhaps they had been throughout their conquest as they sent so many individuals into the unknown. With terror, they realize that perhaps they sent all those people to oblivion. How can they continue to believe that there is meaning in life when the universe had contrived such a cruel situation? Torn between admiration of art and a crushing sense of nihilism, the ISTJ became paralyzed by a sense of total absurdity. 

The supreme leader, Ellen, remains popular with the ENFP as she rules with benevolence and absolute hilarity. She spends much of her day hiding in public places so that she can jump out and scare people.

The ISTP languish in Saudi Arabia, completely at a loss to find the ENTP hiding in the extensive caves beneath the desert. After months of searching, they fizzle out in the hot landscape and were no more. Mark Zuckerberg is now the leader of the Ewoks. 

With regard to the activities of the INTJ, Tesla is on the verge of completing the new Cerebro for Professor X. Dumbledore, Aristotle, and Leonardo create more whimsical weapons. Gandalf continues making bonfires. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of the INTP are way ahead of Tesla and have the Cerebro under their total control. They have also started hacking the of the computer-based inventions of Dumbledore, Aristotle, and Leonardo. 

The ISFP continue their peaceful lifestyle. The INFJ continue their seafaring life. 

After 3 years:

Ready to unleash havoc, the INTJ leaders arm their subjects with wands that muggles can use and set out to take over the world with science and magic together. However, at the last moment before attacking the ENFJ, ENTP, ISFP, and INFJ, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of the ENTP crash their entire system so that absolutely none of the magic-science inventions worked. In a wave of unsuppressible frustration, Gandalf creates such intense weather that everyone on Earth's surface dies. Including himself.

Ultimately, only the ENTP, led by Napoleon, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, President Hinckley, Alex Jones, Jay Leno, and Jamie Lee Curtis, survived as they hid in the extensive underground caves. Somehow, they had also been joined by High Hackman. However, their victory felt empty.

The end.


Question #90627 posted on 11/11/2017 2:02 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My class/work/lack-of-a-car situation is such that I end up doing a lot of walking throughout the day, and a few weeks ago I got back into listening to podcasts, and I want to hear some of your recommendations! I listened to Limetown years ago when it first came out and liked it a lot, so I just started listening to Ars Paradoxica and The Bright Sessions on the recommendation of a friend. They are all sci-fi/mystery genre, but I'm open to any suggestions.

-hoping that having podcasts to listen to will distract her from freezing to death while walking all over campus when snow flies

p.s. I also really like listening to General Conference talks so if one of you has a good way to do that walking around without wifi, I'd love to hear your secret! I don't think there's a way to download them for offline playback in the gospel library app but I would be super happy to be proven wrong . . .


Dear friend,

Ooh, fun! That's a great usage of your walking time. Lucky for you, I listen to an obscene amount of podcasts while working, which means you're going to get a pretty extensive recommendation list. Hopefully, a few of these match what you're looking for. Best of luck on your podcast-searching journey!


The Adventure Zone: Well-known podcasters Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy (AKA the McElroy Brothers) play Dungeons & Dragons while weaving together a fantasy tale that is hilarious and surprisingly deep at times. A bit of non-PG language but nothing too crazy.

Welcome to Night Vale: Basically "Twilight Zone: The Podcast." Told in a news radio format, WTNV reports the strange happenings in a small desert community where there is no dog park, there are no hooded figures in the dog park, and you should definitely not look for any period of time at the hooded figures or dog park. I actually haven't listened regularly for a while but am assuming it's still awesome.

The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie's Botinarium: This is a fun little fantasy podcast that stars Jemaine Clement. Enough said, but just to further entice you: basically, an eighteenth-century ship commandeered by Lord Joseph Banks is on a mission to find Heaven's Clover, a plant said to be the source of all pleasure in the world. So far, I've only watched the first episode but it seemed like it might fit your tastes.

Lore: This podcast explores the spooky legends behind folklore and myths: good if you like scary stories steeped in, though not to be confused with, history. They just did a fascinating-creepy one on the obsession with accidentally being buried alive in Victorian culture, which was super interesting in a "hmm didn't need sleep anyways" way.


Modern Love: "Stories of love, loss, and redemption." Every week, notable actors and actresses read reader-submitted essays about love in all its forms. Some are heartbreaking, some are hopeful, some are a little of both, and all are beautiful. Usually, the host follows-up with the essay writer in an interview to hear more about their story and where life's taken them now.

Beautiful/Anonymous: The host, comedian Chris Gethard, takes phone calls from strangers all over the world for an hour, with the only rule being that they cannot reveal their name. It's awesome because you get to hear the deepest thoughts of one person each week and their hopes, fears, confessions, or whatever else they want to pour their hearts out on. You really get to feel connected to them, at least for that hour. Makes you realize that everyone has a story. Also, there's an episode called "Jack Mormon," which is interesting to hear from an LDS perspective.

Sincerely X: Have you ever said to yourself, "I sure love Ted Talks but wish they were more controversial?" Haven't we all. This podcast is a Ted Talk spinoff with anonymous speakers who share stories that might otherwise be too sensitive or painful to share publically. They're usually pretty important perspectives to hear and, even if you don't agree with their viewpoint, fascinating.

The Moth Radio Hour: Features select speakers from The Moth, a storytelling group with events all over the United States. This and Snap Judgment are probably the most similar in style to General Conference talks in that they're more structured and usually come to some sort of closure, whereas some of the other podcasts in this section are more free-form. There's a ton of brilliant speakers on The Moth, but my dad and I especially love Edgar Oliver's bizarre-fascinating stories about growing up in Savannah, Georgia with his eccentric family. It's kind of a running joke in my family to imitate his accent (which, contrary to what you might think, does not sound Southern at all).

Snap Judgment: Features two or three true personal stories a week based on a common theme, like "Duality," "Coming to America," or "Slippery Slope." Sort of like The Moth, but the stories are prerecorded and feature dramatic effects. Also, if you like scary stories, try the spin-off Spooked.

Mental Illness Happy Hour: Weekly podcast that interviews artists, comedians, writers, and other well-known people about their struggles with mental illness, trauma, or addiction and how they were able to overcome it. Its focus is putting light on the prevalence of mental illness in the creative arts in the hopes of helping people feel less alone and find help themselves.

Educational Fun

Sawbones: Run by a The Adventure Zone host (Justin McElroy) and his wife Sydnee McElroy, who is a doctor. Each episode dives into a tidbit from medical history to discuss all of the strange ideas humans once had about how our bodies work and what to do when they stop working. Episodes are often weird and sometimes gross but always fascinating.

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text: This podcast is run by two Harvard Divinity School grad students who are reading the Harry Potter series just like a Christian might read the Bible or a Muslim might read the Quran. Each episode uses traditional forms of sacred reading to glean meaning and inspiration from the books, one chapter per week. I'm still in Sorcerer's Stone because I don't listen that often but they're up to Goblet of Fire.

Hardcore History: This podcast explores on various historical topics in a way that feels nuanced and, though I'm definitely not a History major, well-informed. The latest episode released called "The Celtic Holocaust," which I think is about Julius Caesar and Rome's conquest of Gaul and the ancient Celtic people (haven't listened to it yet). Awesome podcasts if you enjoy humanities classes and want to understand a historical event in detail.

Philosophize This!: Super in-depth podcast on the history of philosophy from pre-Socratic philosophy to the present (well, eventually, since the podcast isn't done yet). How in-depth? The podcast is currently on #113 and they're just hitting the early twentieth century. I'm not far into this podcast (just learned a bit about Confucianism) but am loving it so far. It's like the history of philosophy class I always wanted to take but never had the elective time for. If you have found yourself in a similar elective predicament, you might enjoy this podcast, too.

Also if you want to see if audiobooks hold your attention, LibriVox has free classic audiobooks. If it's in the public domain, it's probably offered in an audiobook format there. Best of luck in your podcasting and walking adventures!

-Van Goff

Question #90625 posted on 11/17/2017 5:26 p.m.

Dear Curious Physics Minor,

Why are you still here?



Dear me,

You're right.  It's time to move on.

I joined the Board as a webmaster in June 2006.  Back then, the Board only posted questions at 3 AM Mon-Sat.  I've been around for just short of 65,000 questions.  I believe I've held the longest active affiliation with the Board in its history.  I helped shepherd the Board out of the Linguistics Department to the Daily Universe and then out of the Daily Universe.  I battled security compromises on the old Board 4.0 system.  I drove the development of Board 5.0.  I single-handedly saved the Board from oblivion during the Great BYU SAN Disaster of 2012.  But I no longer have any real connection with the Board, its writers, or its readers.  I graduated from BYU more than 8 years ago.  I don't believe I've ever met any current writer in person.  I have maintained my position for the purposes of keeping the Board system healthy and functioning.  But I have no time to perform needed upgrades, fix bugs, or add features.  With coming adjustments to how the Board is operated the need for my services has come to an end.

I was going to try and read through my responses and find my favorites to link here, but I wrote just short of 1200 responses, so I'm not going to read them all right now.  Instead, my response that got the most "thumbs ups" was the one with my MS Paint drawing of someone shooting daggers of unrighteous judgment.

Perhaps a slight adjustment to Bilbo's party speech is appropriate to mark this occasion:

Eleven and a half years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable writers.  I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.  I, uh, I h-have things to do.  I've put this off for far too long.  I regret to announce — this is The End. I am going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell.

-Curious Physics Minor

Question #90575 posted on 11/09/2017 6:44 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I don't know if it's even possible for you to answer this question, but my very first time setting foot on BYU campus was in 5th grade when BYU hosted the state science fair. I've been trying to figure out where the science fair was held, but I don't remember much about it since it was so long ago. I was wondering if you could possibly figure out the answer? It would have been the 2006-07 school year, if that helps. If even settle for knowing where it's held now if you can't figure out where it was held 10 years ago (since it's probably in the same place).

-Not a science major (which is probably why I don't already know the answer)


Dear Major NotAScience,

If the Deseret News is to believed, that was the Central Utah Science and Engineering Fair, which was held for the first time in 2007 when you were in fifth grade. The news article says that the fair was held in the BYU Conference Center, and it appears that the fair is still held there to this day.

-Frère Rubik

Question #90536 posted on 12/29/2017 5:08 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the best answer from every 100 Hour Board writer within the past ten years?

-My Name Here


Dear clone,

Best is incredibly subjective. This is based on the most likes a writer has gotten for any one answer since Jan. 1, 2007. The chart is ordered by number of likes because I think that's the most interesting way to do it.

Foreman 170 Board Question #56893
Appleton 140 Board Question #63538
Uffish Thought 104 Board Question #21534
Gimgimno 100 Board Question #60699
Commander Keen 92 Board Question #62542
Dr. Smeed 89 Board Question #62306
Waldorf and Sauron 79 Board Question #59155
yayfulness 74 Board Question #71939
D.A.R.E. 73 Board Question #62734
Concealocanth 68 Board Question #67964
CATS. 61 Board Question #66183
Concorde 60 Board Question #81552
Mighty Quinn 58 Board Question #71816
Zedability 56 Board Question #71118
Genuine Article 54 Board Question #70269
Anne, Certainly 53 Board Question #78040
Ardilla Feroz 53 Board Question #80643
Curious Physics Minor 52 Board Question #58703
Hypatia 51 Board Question #60332
Katya the Physics Chick 51 Board Question #43429
The Entropy Ninja 51 Board Question #69145
Auto Surf 48 Board Question #83672
Eirene 46 Board Question #65391
Laser Jock 46 Board Question #65391
Owlet 46 Board Question #74780
Phaedrus 45 Board Question #65922
Brutus 44 Board Question #82122
Humble Master 43 Board Question #38559
Paperback Writer 42 Board Question #60699
Queen Alice 41 Board Question #62542
Sheebs 41 Board Question #76110
Sky Bones 41 Board Question #62542
Captain Obvious 40 Board Question #72840
Rating Pending 39 Board Question #67964
Tally M. 39 Board Question #76951
Inverse Insomniac 37 Board Question #82466
Van Goff 37 Board Question #89130
Wallace 37 Board Question #62018
100 Hour Bard 36 Board Question #79917
Dr. Occam 36 Board Question #89072
El-ahrairah 36 Board Question #81710
The Soulful Ginger 36 Board Question #80616
Art Vandelay 35 Board Question #65642
Crowley 35 Board Question #69298
Heidi Book 35 Board Question #84259
Yog in Neverland 35 Board Question #68778
Haleakalā 34 Board Question #82380
M.O.D.A.Q. 34 Board Question #82040
Ms.O'Malley 34 Board Question #82675
Pilgrim 34 Board Question #86449
The Black Sheep 34 Board Question #89379
Claudio 32 Board Question #42295
Cognoscente 32 Board Question #56919
Mico 32 Board Question #60441
Sunday Night Banter 32 Board Question #90087
Alta 31 Board Question #85216
Marguerite St. Just 31 Board Question #67174
Optimus Prime 31 Board Question #71807
Portia of Belmont 31 Board Question #81788
Spectre 31 Board Question #86822
the Goose Girl 31 Board Question #84877
The Messenger 31 Board Question #64090
April Ludgate 30 Board Question #87217
P. D. Kirke 30 Board Question #67921
Polly Esther 30 Board Question #71812
No Dice 29 Board Question #71792
Sherpa Dave 29 Board Question #89616
The Man with a Mustache 29 Board Question #71812
Azriel 28 Board Question #72038
Lexi Khan 28 Board Question #76983
Loki 28 Board Question #59094
Marzipan 28 Board Question #58089
The Detective 28 Board Question #60823
Frère Rubik 27 Board Question #82521
Furious George 27 Board Question #68973
Hobbes 27 Board Question #71902
Hobo 27 Board Question #76245
The Entomophagist 27 Board Question #86949
Vienna 27 Board Question #83688
Ozymandias 26 Board Question #76079
The Bachelorette 26 Board Question #87080
Watts 26 Board Question #72249
Dragon Lady 25 Board Question #77226
Inconveniently Willful 25 Board Question #63379
Niffler 25 Board Question #61787
100 Typing Monkeys 24 Board Question #86447
Democritus 24 Board Question #62771
Eliot Rosewater 24 Board Question #68680
Stego Lily 24 Board Question #77182
The Audience 24 Board Question #74779
Tink 24 Board Question #70513
Whistler 24 Board Question #82082
Adelaide 23 Board Question #85907
Architect of Will 23 Board Question #63439
Maven 23 Board Question #70822
Ace 22 Board Question #75976
Anathema 22 Board Question #89003
glib 22 Board Question #56919
Luciana 22 Board Question #84441
Tao 22 Board Question #44056
Terrible Scientist 22 Board Question #83786
Girl with a Curl 21 Board Question #90126
krebscout 21 Board Question #34094
Squirrel 21 Board Question #78911
The Ghost of Adelaide 21 Board Question #85979
Divya 20 Board Question #75834
Hamilton 20 Board Question #67086
Horatio 20 Board Question #77048
obstreperous 20 Board Question #73002
The Marauders 20 Board Question #77532
Yellow 20 Board Question #72372
Beemer Boy 19 Board Question #77051
Chrysanthemum 19 Board Question #70784
Django Fett 19 Board Question #90128
Kirito 19 Board Question #86834
QED 19 Board Question #82631
Rather Dashing 19 Board Question #89479
songs of inexperience 19 Board Question #34094
The Cleaning Lady 19 Board Question #81856
The Great Deflector 19 Board Question #60504
The Skipper 19 Board Question #87694
the snake whisperer 19 Board Question #66743
Thor 19 Board Question #71792
Being Nice 18 Board Question #68296
Birdy 18 Board Question #61955
Misaneroth 18 Board Question #860
Olympus 18 Board Question #86430
The Bayesian Conspiracy 18 Board Question #67852
The Earl of Limerick 18 Board Question #89372
The Lone Musketeer 18 Board Question #85534
The Word of the Board 18 Board Question #79281
Aprender 17 Board Question #77041
everybody 17 Board Question #86291
Il Guanaco 17 Board Question #77162
Laconic 17 Board Question #46985
Lord Voldemort 17 Board Question #76809
More Questions 17 Board Question #64105
None 17 Board Question #87873
Rocky B 17 Board Question #69003
steen 17 Board Question #61694
The Sentry 17 Board Question #62761
Vienna from the future 17 Board Question #82195
A Caustic Wisecrack 16 Board Question #59973
bittermaid 16 Board Question #71886
Lavish 16 Board Question #77022
Pi 16 Board Question #68681
Rubrinorm 16 Board Question #74972
serendipity 16 Board Question #73488
Shifty Canadian 16 Board Question #84923
Tevye 16 Board Question #84752
Tootles 16 Board Question #72836
fine print 15 Board Question #71792
Hermia 15 Board Question #77048
The Cheeky Chickie 15 Board Question #77014
The Defenestrator 15 Board Question #77063
The Snarky Snicket 15 Board Question #85007
Tristeza 15 Board Question #84793
Blinding White Flash 14 Board Question #64483
Latro 14 Board Question #81871
Meta Knight 14 Board Question #81234
Petra 14 Board Question #71972
Pseudoname 14 Board Question #60443
Shoulder Devil 14 Board Question #60461
TINMAN 14 Board Question #43468
FAIL 13 Board Question #75582
J. Smith 13 Board Question #83730
Jessie's Girl 13 Board Question #75979
Justin 13 Board Question #77008
not yayfulness 13 Board Question #71909
Novel Concept 13 Board Question #77083
Skittles 13 Board Question #76343
Barney Stinson 12 Board Question #83972
Dark Wolf 12 Board Question #66573
Duchess 12 Board Question #71887
habiba 12 Board Question #77083
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of 'Nym. 12 Board Question #76825
S. Holmes 12 Board Question #89340
The Great Irritator 12 Board Question #79463
The sage advice of Madam Insomniac 12 Board Question #79956
branflakes 11 Board Question #81850
Kicks and Giggles 11 Board Question #34094
la bamba 11 Board Question #71958
Librarian 11 Board Question #79812
Optimistic. 11 Board Question #77026
Pa Grape 11 Board Question #71902
The Facts of Life 11 Board Question #89629
The RM 11 Board Question #82113
An Authoritative Source 10 Board Question #89175
Anomalous 10 Board Question #55224
Kevin 10 Board Question #85536
Madame Mimm 10 Board Question #81869
Sam Vimes 10 Board Question #89313
Toasteroven 10 Board Question #71782
alleluia 9 Board Question #34094
Double White Lines 9 Board Question #43821
Hugh of Board 9 Board Question #63765
Jekyll/Hyde 9 Board Question #63379
Krishna 9 Board Question #33152
The Magic Conch Shell 9 Board Question #80351
Vampiress 9 Board Question #71813
Alexander Hamilton 8 Board Question #85767
Anon-o-rama 8 Board Question #89431
Bispo Pedro 8 Board Question #77040
Cassandra 8 Board Question #66942
Cuddlefish 8 Board Question #51154
Just Another Cassio 8 Board Question #71994
Miss Scarlett, in the Conservatory 8 Board Question #54853
Othello 8 Board Question #89275
Random Uselessness 8 Board Question #86608
›Kassidy‹ 7 Board Question #71845
§åû®&#956;$ 7 Board Question #77203
Castle in the Sky 7 Board Question #35284
Dark Chocolate 7 Board Question #41772
Der Berliner 7 Board Question #81920
Die Walkure 7 Board Question #61365
Guybrush Threepwood 7 Board Question #63765
Holbein's Skull 7 Board Question #64382
Ineffable 7 Board Question #71844
Kyle Katarn 7 Board Question #59226
Lenin/McCarthy 7 Board Question #63765
Renegade Platypus 7 Board Question #59371
Saint Seb 7 Board Question #71848
Shawn Spencer 7 Board Question #87586
Sherlock Hemlock 7 Board Question #59580
The Physicist 7 Board Question #79709
A Slap to Quell the Hysteria 6 Board Question #81805
cookie monster 6 Board Question #84213
Guy Fawkes 6 Board Question #32804
Linoleum Blownapart 6 Board Question #49254
Lucky Fortune Words Cookie 6 Board Question #81880
No. 619 6 Board Question #70437
Quandary 6 Board Question #77025
Tangerine 6 Board Question #71844
The Board 6 Board Question #37264
wet blanket 6 Board Question #34541
6-foot Turkey 5 Board Question #60085
Blankie 5 Board Question #81825
Brit Boy 5 Board Question #82113
CATS 5 Board Question #35062
Charles 5 Board Question #85492
Ma Grape 5 Board Question #71915
Matchmaker 5 Board Question #85450
Old Bald Guy 5 Board Question #36818
The Cheat 5 Board Question #77078
Two Lies & a Truth 5 Board Question #71886
Washington Irving 5 Board Question #37225
Wet Biscut McGlee 5 Board Question #59124

 --Django Fett

Question #90468 posted on 10/11/2017 1:26 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I remember hearing on the DVD extras of Gilmore Girls (maybe season 1) that an average 1-hour tv show has X number of pages of dialogue, but an episode of Gilmore Girls had a much greater number of pages because everyone talks so much and so fast. But now that no one watches DVDs anymore, I have no idea what the actual number of pages is.

Recently I've been watching Better Call Saul, which is pretty much the exact opposite--large portions of any given episode have no dialogue at all.

Short of counting the words in all the episodes ever....Any idea what the average amount of dialogue is in a 1-hour show, and in Gilmore Girls and Better Call Saul? Bonus points if anyone has a way to figure out if the average has changed over time.



Dear Necromancer,

Why do you ask such interesting questions? You have brought Tally M. back from the dead retirement to answer this question because she just couldn't help herself. I hope you're happy.

Are you prepared for an Editor's Choice answer? Because here one comes...

Dear Doctor,

You have no idea how excited I've been working on this project. This doesn't mean that it hasn't been frustrating and annoying and crazy, and it doesn't mean I haven't rewritten the programs at least a few times over. But it's been exciting! I have neglected to describe the multitudinous problems I've had in getting this program to work. Regardless, the following write-up should be sufficient. If you just want to know the answer to the question, jump down to the Conclusion. 


Luckily, I already had an idea of where to get transcripts for TV episodes, which makes this experiment much easier. The website Forever Dreaming has a lot of television episode transcripts, as well as some movie transcripts.

First, I gathered all of the titles of TV series that Forever Dreaming had available. I figured there wasn't any point in doing analysis if I couldn't calculate the number of words per episode. Then using IMDb's unofficial API, I could quickly get the average episode runtime for each series. Luckily, there was already a Python module that utilized the IMDb API so I didn't have to completely set it up myself. Unfortunately, it necessitated me using Python 2 rather than Python 3, which was only slightly more troublesome (but meant I didn't have to use parentheses in my print statements, so you win some, you lose some). Just as unfortunate, the module (imdbpy for those interested) had very limited documentation.

So, using the API, I got the series that were longer than 40 minutes and less than 65 minutes. Considering commercials, that seemed the most logical for looking at "hour long" television shows. From there, I got the title, runtime, and year (as well as series number and episode number) for each episode for each series.

I then wrote a separate program to get the transcripts of the episodes. All transcripts are recorded slightly differently, so that causes some minor major problems. There are some pretty consistent issues I could deal with right off the bat. Any line that began with a music note, or any line that began with a square bracket was deleted, since they weren't words to be included in the overall average words per minute. Also, each series needed to have at least ten episodes with data in order for me to add it to the database. However, most of the transcripts aren't consistent in their formatting, which caused a bit of a headache. After some discussion with Katya (thanks, by the way!), I found a workaround that mostly consisted of only including series that were transcribed close enough to other transcriptions. What constitutes a word is super complex, and not even linguists agree what a word is, so I just divided the transcript by spaces. From here, it's just a matter of dividing the words in an episode by the number of minutes in the episode.

After throwing out shows whose transcripts didn't behave, I was left with 6,552 episodes from 195 series.


The average number of words per minute in an hour long episode is 100.39, with the median number of words per minute being 105.49. 

The episode with the highest words per minute (in my dataset) had 276.17 wpm, and while it didn't belong to Gilmore Girls, Gilmore Girls had seven out of the top ten wpm episodes. 

The episode with the lowest words per minute (in my dataset) had 22.57 wpm. The bottom ten episodes were from The Walking Dead, Vikings, or Fear the Walking Dead. To be honest, that didn't really surprise me given the subject matter of those series.

I wanted to include a graph with the wpm of all episodes, but it was a little bit crowded, given the fact that I was plotting 6.5k data points.

Looking at the average wpm for a series' individual seasons, the top ten series' seasons is primarily dominated by Gilmore Girls seasons.

Top Ten Seasons.PNG

On the other end, the bottom ten series' seasons are either from Vikings or The Walking Dead.

Last Ten Seasons_1.PNG

Now we can take a look at the overall series' average words per minute. 

chart (1).png

Not all of the series are included in the bottom legend, simply because there's not enough room, but sufficeth to say that that the series are all in alphabetical order, and more or less cluster around 100 wpm. See that outlier in the middle? the one with a much higher average wpm? Yep, that's Gilmore Girls.

Here's the top ten series:

Top Ten Series.PNG

And the bottom ten six series (don't ask me why I only added the bottom six to a chart):

Last Ten Series.PNG

My favorite graph is next. Taking a look at the average words per minute by year was considerably more interesting than I expected.


The average number of words per minute has actually significantly decreased since 2002, though there does seem to be a slight uptick in the last couple of years. I'll be interested to see if this upward trend continues.


Average amount of dialogue in a 1-hour show: 100 words per minute.

Average amount of dialogue in Gilmore Girls: 186 words per minute.

Average amount of dialogue in Better Call Saul: 88 words per minute.

Has the average changed over time: Yes, it's decreased since 2002, but may be trending upwards.

It looks like your intuitions were right! I'm very glad to present data that supports your hypotheses.

If you contact me (through Spectre) I'm willing to send you the link to my code (once I get it uploaded). It can be pretty easily tweaked to do whatever you want—I just used it to only get what I needed to answer this question. On a similar note, if any reader has any other questions like this, I'm always in search of interesting research questions, and I'd love to do the research to put on my blog. So, contact me. Please.

-Tally M.

So there you go. I hope you are ok with this answer going over hours a little bit. If you aren't, tough luck because my wife just did some awesome stuff for you.



Question #90467 posted on 10/08/2017 5:50 p.m.

Hey 100 Hour Board,

The other day after downing a level 10 Cupbop combo, I was walking past the Life Sciences Building, and I thought to myself,

"Wow, that building has a lot of glass!"
So I guess my question is: How much glass is really in the LSB?

-Vsauce Michael


Dera V-Salsa,

At least 5.

No really--a lot more than 5. I was able to calculate how much glass is in the LSB, (And by glass I mean exterior glass only). Before I get to the details though, I just want to go and state the obvious and say that finding out how much glass there is was quite difficult. (I was warned, but I it did anyways, FOR SATIATING THE CURIOSITY OF OUR READERS!)

As you can see here:


The Life Science Building has a lot of glass. What made it tricky though is its complex shape. The Life Science Builiding has 16 sides, descends down a hill, and is 5 stories tall. I couldn't just use a measuring tape, so I had to get creative. I measured what I could with my handy dandy measuring tape, and everything else I measured by counting bricks, or by measuring equally sized panes of glass elsewhere on the building. To help me keep track I drew things out on some engineering paper.


The two entrances were especially tricky. I couldn't see them well, so I had to go in and measure them afterwards in google earth.


I can safely assure you that no window was missed. Not even  these sneaky little windows  were able to hide from me.


(You can run, but can't hide! Actually, you can't run, and you do hide, but you can't hide from the Board!)

So how much glass is in the LSB? Here are my calculations. I started with this side and called it side A.

Side A.PNG

I proceeded around the building counter clockwise. In case you get lost I'll include pictures of side F, side L, and tell you when I get to the entrances. Dimensions are listed width x height. I measured the windows in inches, but I give the answers in square feet because square inches gives ridiculously huge numbers.

Side A

 18 61"x95" windows=724.4 sq ft.

Side B

 3 61"x95" windows=120.7 sq ft.

Side C

1 111"x366" wall of glass=282.2 sq ft.

Side D

1 369"x366" wall of glass=937.9 sq ft.

Side E

5 54"x60" windows

15 54"x81" windows

1 260"x481 glass panel with 2 glass doors

Total =1,436.6 sq ft.

Side F


1 159.5"x481" rectangle

1 255"x115" rectangle 

1 660"x251" rectangle

(These 3 are all connected)

1 54"x199" rectangle

1 68"x185" rectangle

34 54"x81" windows

23 61"x95" windows

Total=3,714.2 sq ft.

Side G

39 61"x95" windows=1,569.5 sq ft.

Side H

21 55X63" panels

40 55"x23.5" panels

Total=864.4 sq ft.

Side I--First Floor Entrance, green houses, glass on 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors

Approximately 22 sections of glass equal to 160"x90"=2,200 sq ft.

Side J

21 55X63" panels

40 55"x23.5" panels

Total=864.4 sq ft.

Side K

25 61"x95" windows=1,006.1 sq ft

Side L


19 61"x95" windows

38 54"x81" windows

1 61"x123" panel

1 660"x251" panel

1 255"x115" panel

1 195"x481" panel

(these 4 attached, next one right below)

1 54"x199" panel

Total=4,018.8 sq ft

Side M

1 260"x481" wall of glass

8 54"x81" sneaky windows

Total=1,111.5 sq ft.

Side N

2 54"x81" windows=60.8 sq ft.

Side O

12 61"x95" windows

1 160"x90" set of doors 

1 237"x372" panel attached directly above doors

Total=712.2 sq ft.

Side P

1 953"x276" wall of glass

1 weird stair step shaped panel equivalent to 9 123"x32" panels

Total=2072.6 sq ft.

Side Q

13 46"x84" sub panels=371.6 sq ft.

Side R--4th Floor entrance near the MARB

Aproximately 9 sections of glass or doors equal to 160"x90" each= 900 sq ft.

Side S

13 46"x84" sub panels=371.6 sq ft.


Now for the grand total! My calculations aren't going to be perfect, but I'd say that they're definitely within 10-15% of the exact amount. So, according to my calculations there is 23,339 square feet of glass in the LSB!!! To put that in perspective, that's as much as 1,300 standard windows. This much glass would cover roughly 1/2 of a football field (our team doesn't cross the 50 anyways, so we could do it without interfering). 23,339 square feet of glass 1 inch thick would weigh around 306,000 lbs, which is the equivalent of 23 Male African Elephants. Finally if we melted down this much glass and reformed it we could make around 79,000 glass slippers.

As you can see my friend, 23,339 sq ft. of glass is an incredibly huge amount of glass

Answering this question was really fun, but also pretty intense. Maybe next time you could ask for a smaller quantity, like say "how many dead lions are there in the LSB?"


There's exactly one in case you were wondering.



Question #90366 posted on 09/19/2017 6:50 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Which group uses green quad-ruled engineering paper more, engineering students or working engineers?

-"homework will not receive credit unless it is written on green engineering paper"


Dear Restricted,

And thus was the manner that the question was first asked, while the 100 Hour Board was yet in its youth. The question was one of many, almost indistinguishable from its brethren and sistren in the overdue inbox. It was asked on a lark, a mere whim of curiosity given the form of written words.

It was the Board's voluntary duty to answer questions, however esoteric, and return written responses after a minimum of 100 hours. Having started out as a physical board that had to be updated manually, it had expanded to the internet, increasing it's outreach (theoretically) to any within access of WiFi. Questions poured in, and even more answers poured out. 

No matter how strange, a small band of procrastinating students painstakingly researched and sometimes just lazily Google-searched the answer. Until the question.


When this response was read by the reader, they shrugged off their disappointment, and moved on with their life, not giving a second thought to the question.


Over the course of 20 years, the question was asked again and again, always taking on a slightly different form, recognizable by the common thread of the response:



It was 3078. Popculturereferencenym turned to MyNameHere.

"Hey, ever wondered how many gold-plated pterodactyls it would take to exactly fill a 3 by 3 inch cube in quantum space after being condensed by a black hole?"

"T'is one of the burning questions of life," replied MyNameHere.

"Wait, I think I know a place where we can get an answer! The Somewhere Between 100 and 3981 But We Aren't Making Any Hard Promises Hour Board!"

Popculturereferencenym was proud of the fact she was not only aware of the Americas' premier source for answering question, but that she even knew it had once gone by the simple name of 100 Hour Board. It had come a long way since its early days, and the whole CATS incidence. The legends had it that either a group of 1000 half starved college students or just one mysterious figure by the name of Matt Meese answered all the questions that came in. 

174 hours later, the answer to the posed question came:

"42 (after having performed some crazy number theory magic)."

"Wow, isn't that amazing?" exclaimed Popculturereferencenym.

"Mmfh." (MyNameHere was currently occupied by morphing into a different person yet again.)

"Hmmm... " mused Popculturereferencenym. "I wonder if they could find that one really weird play I once saw a clip of when I was either 3 or 18 years old. It had something to do with inter dimensional travel? Or was it pandas?" She immediately submitted her query, and eagerly waited 298 hours until an answer appeared.

"Revenge of the Space Pandas."

"Amazing! They found the exact play I only half-recalled and gave super vague descriptions of!" In the background, MyNameHere seemed torn between being someone asking about relationship drama and another person who just wanted to find the nearest legume.

Cackling gleefully to herself, Popculturereferencenym quickly asked another question. 

"What was the last memory I forgot?"

3982 hours passed before a single sentence flashed in response:


Popculturereferencenym sighed a bit dejectedly, but hastily thought up another question to pose, and the unanswered one was soon forgotten.


The year was 405060. SLKJ872 was excitedly getting ready for The Celebration. It was almost the 100,000th anniversary of The Either 100 Hour Or 100 Wombats We Kind Of Forgot Which One It Was Board moving onto an inter galactic forum.

In honor of the great occasion, past writers were going to be resurrected from the dead to haunt the person who asked them to count how many stars were in the 5 nearest galaxies. The EHOWWKOFWOIW Board was also going to release the 100,000 overdue questions it had been stockpiling over the last 100,000 years. 

SLKJ872 gazed lovingly at the 876,000,000 hour old question that had been passed down through the generations to finally come to him. Tomorrow,... tomorrow he would get the answer: a much anticipated forecast of what would happen to the next 200,000 descendants of the original asker of the question.

By now, no one really knew where the answers to these questions actually originated from. Rumor had it that if one was swallowed whole by a monstrous worm, they would somehow have the knowledge of the universe crammed into their heads and develop a strange penchant for learning about different subjects and then writing about it. Forever.

Bright morning's dawn found SLKJ872 glued to the microchip inside his head that transmitted all information directly into his mind. He was too excited to even notice MyNameHere pass him 37 times without ever changing directions.

And then, the answer:



It was 892764164. It was also a generally accepted fact that the sum of all human was contained within The Just Search The Archives Literally We've Already Answered Anything You Can Think Of To Ask (Sorry We Never Did Update Our Search Function) 100 Board.

The greatest scholars mankind had to offer up spent their days immersed the archives of this awesome Board. MyNameHere still tried to occasionally ask questions, but was always met with a scholar proffering an answer that had been given to a very similar question already asked.

No one knew where the enigmatic Writers resided, or if indeed, there WERE still any Writers. 

One day, an intrepid student approached the scholars with a question:

"Which group uses green quad-ruled engineering paper more, engineering students or working engineers?"

After years and years of tireless searching, a young scholar intern breathlessly exclaimed, "I found it! The same question! It was one of the very first ones ever asked." Proudly, the intern presented the answer to the student:


"But... this isn't an answer," the student remarked. "It's just a copout. Obviously some lazy writer at the dawn of the Board just didn't put in the work to give an actual answer to this. How many other copouts are there anyways? What are the questions that have been asked but never got real answers? Can they get answers now?"

Before the flustered intern could open her mouth, a booming voice spoke as if from the virtual heavens.

"I am... The Writer. It has been long since I have had the opportunity to answer a question. But I see that is no more. Give me 100 Hours 100 Times and I will answer."


It was past the time of years. The Writer painstakingly searched through the mighty archives, amassing a huge collection of questions, that were really all the same question. It was the question that had never received true answers.

By this point, only The Writer, MyNameHere, and a motley assortment of monkey-cats were left. 

They were not deterred by the size of their self-assigned task to gather every bit of the question (though quite a few of the monkey-cats thought they were actually looking for bananas/world domination).

At long last, Matt Meese raised his head.

"Let there be answers."


TL;DR: Idk, sorry about that, wouldn't it be great if there was someone who really could answer everything?

~Anathema with inspiration from Isaac Asimov 

posted on 09/19/2017 10:47 p.m.
In my research lab, everything is electronic now so paper isn't used a lot. When it is used, people prefer notebooks with the pages sewn in so they don't get lost, but there's a pad of engineering paper used as scratch paper. Around 1 page per 5 engineers per day here. Much less than I ever used at school.
posted on 09/19/2017 10:47 p.m.
Dear homeworker,

As a working engineer, I can definitively say that students use engineering paper way more than working engineers. Mostly because we don't have to do busy work assignments. Besides, most engineering is done on computers these days.

- Fredjikrang
posted on 09/25/2017 10:17 p.m.
Definitely engineering students. I've probably only used a sheet or two a week on average as a practicing engineer.

The use case is also different. For calculations, I use Excel or another software package 99% of the time, so engineering paper is just for sketch drawings. The importance of sketch drawings shouldn't be underestimated, though...if you're in a hurry there's nothing holy about having something done in CAD vs. a solid hand sketch.

~Professor Kirke

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why do they park a car on the sidewalk blocking the entrance to the access ramp on the side of the Marriott center during devotional (and some other events)? Inquiring minds want to know!

-George and Martha


Dear Gartha,

The day was April 10, 1978—a Tuesday at 11:00 AM, to be precise—and students had gathered en masse at BYU's Marriott Center to view the inaugural performance of the BYU Ballroom Dance touring team's new routine, Varanus. There'd been quite the amount of buzz surrounding it—the team had kept it very secret, and they were anxious to show it before their tour to Southeast Asia and Sumatra subsequent to the conclusion of the semester's classes.


At 10:32 PM of the day prior, a most curious shipment had departed the San Diego Zoo, bound cross-country for Washington, D.C. This cargo had departed under somewhat unusual circumstances, its contents a mystery to the public, the majority of the National Zoo, and a twelve year-old British boy named Rick Astley—really, a surprise to everyone except for the National Zoo's director of Herpetology, who awaited it eagerly. He'd received a long-distance call from his contact in San Diego the shipment was underway, if a few minutes behind schedule.


Saul Bunyan took his job as a trucker very seriously. He really did, which is why he knew he wouldn't have time or the ability to audition for a part as an extra in some film called Grease that had to shoot some emergency pick-up scenes prior to its scheduled release in June. He'd stood all day in a line outside a set in Los Angeles where a handful of scenes were being filmed. After hours of waiting he was informed by the casting director he wouldn't be selected, as he looked a "tad too lumberjack" for the lipid-filled dance drama. Frustrated, he purchased half a dozen chile verde tamales from a dingy-looking stand on the way back to his car. He'd long sworn off spicy food—it would often wreak total havoc on his bland bowels—but today he was frustrated, hungry, angry and--if the taco stand's radio report regarding a wreck blocking all lanes of Interstate 405's traffic was correct—very late. He ordered his tamales to-go with extra-spicy, extra-green chile sauce. He arrived in San Diego at 10:25 PM, almost half an hour after the shipment was meant to depart. His supervisor said little when he arrived to pick up the cargo, if only because Saul rushed in the back door of the facility and left with the shipping manifest before anyone had a chance to yell at him. He briefly glanced at the destination to confirm where he was going and headed for the interstate, radioing his company once he was finally underway so they could place a long distance call to Washington, D.C. informing their customers of the shipment's departure.

Hours passed, and Saul began to feel weary from standing all day. He pulled over at a rest stop in Clark Count, Nevada and slept raggedly for an hour and thirty seven minutes, then returned to the interstate. Not much time had passed before he was feeling drowsy again. If only I had something to munch on to keep awake, he thought hangrily, then remembered:The tamales! He dipped each in the chile sauce, the pungent spices setting his tongue, throat and ears aflame as he consumed them one at a time. He finished his last tamale as he traveled past the city of Parowan, Utah on I-15. Glancing at his dashboard controls, he confirmed his cargo was chilled to whatever specifications had been made in San Diego. Satisfied, he twiddled the radio controls in a halfhearted effort to find something on the radio besides static.

At 6:52 AM on April 10, Saul began to feel very awake as the tamales decided to rebel against his small intestine, clamoring for independencia. The semi's tires buzzed urgently on the rumble strip as he nearly missed the exit to Denver.

Saul groaned in discomfort at 7:49 AM as he drove past the farming community of Monroe, Utah on I-70. He had to find a place to pull over, and soon. Richfield and the next exit with a bathroom was coming up in about 10 minutes. He silently prayed he'd make it, for nature was calling. And when nature was calling, Saul thought it best to pick up the phone.


Monte Lafayette Bean, 79, stood at the Sinclair station filling his sturdy '71 Chevy pickup with leaded gasoline. Though it had been banned five years prior, actually transitioning the fuel out of all the nations pumps was a process that took some time. His Chevy did okay on the new formulation, but it positively purred when it got the old-school fuel. He topped off his tank, and filled an extra five-gallon canister besides. Monte was a man of opportunity, and he certainly hadn't meticulously built a drugstore empire or bagged musk oxen, Bengal tigers, ibex, leopards and mountain goats by knitting blender cozies by his avocado-glossed refrigerator, grinning blankly as the day passed him by. In fact, his perseverance in pursuing his prey and a knack for guessing where his quarry would next appear had made him one of the most acclaimed hunters in North America, if not the world. Most of his hunting trophies were now displayed in the museum in Provo that had opened just two weeks prior to great acclaim. It didn't hurt that the museum had been named after him. He'd given a great deal of input into its design, and it lacked nothing. He glanced at the green reptilian silhouette overhead on the Sinclair station roof. Well, almost nothing,he mused darkly. Not every hunt will be successful, he'd reasoned, but his failure in the Indonesian archipelago still smarted.

His thoughts were interrupted as as a semi-truck pulled hurriedly into the station's rest area. As soon as it came to a stop, the driver practically sprinted for the restroom, not even stopping to turn off the truck. Monte chuckled in understanding and walked over to the truck to turn off the key in the ignition—the driver looked like he'd be in the bathroom for a while. Monte casually opened the door and turned the key, accidentally dislodging an overfilled clipboard in the process. It clattered to the cold asphalt, papers scattering in the chill spring breeze. Monte cursed quietly under his breath as he gathered them up. Reordering the pages as best he could, he happened to glance at the manifest and saw—

It couldn't be. Glancing excitedly around the abandoned lot, the elderly Monte came to a decision.

An hour and half later the borrowed semi truck sped past the charming town of Thistle. In a mere five years, the historic town would be abruptly destroyed by a flood caused by a massive landslide that would dam the nearby Spanish Fork River. For now, though, an old dirt road outside the town was the ideal place to leave the pickup that Monte had been haphazardly towing behind the semi with a trailer he'd borrowed from a family friend in Salina, just past Richfield.

A collect call to his recently-opened museum hadn't connected. All the same, Monte figured his cargo could stay the morning in a locked room currently containing a dozen stuffed gemsbok antelope until he figured out where to keep it more permanently. He'd just have to explain when he got there. It was admittedly a lot to take in, but certainly not the strangest thing he'd donated to the museum. That dubious honor belonged to the water deer, which possessed movable tusks. It was just as well he'd pegged the diminutive abomination with a hunting rifle when it wandered in front of his scope eight years ago in the Korean marshlands. It was nice to have the thing out of his house. He was reasonably sure it had watched him while he slept.

water deer_1.jpg
(lookin' a little long in the tooth amirite folks)

Monte shuddered a little as he remembered where he was. The cab of the truck was getting to be a mite toasty, and Monte couldn't quite shake the memories of the deer as he swerved distractedly down the precarious turns of Spanish Fork Canyon. Fumbling to turn off the cab's heat, Monte didn't notice when he accidentally reversed the trailer's climate control, nor did he notice the temperature gauge slowly begin to rise.


Saul emerged from the dilapidated restroom a changed man. Two and a half hours in a dingy, roadside john battling the Ghosts of Tamales Past would do that to a fellow. He thought he'd lost consciousness at one point when his vision went dark; but learned grimly it had just been the final failing of the fluorescent light inside his windowless tiled prison. There would be no respite from reality, he knew then, no escape from the fire that sought to consume him from the inside-out. In his brief moments of lucidity he'd examined the rest of his life with a clarity he'd never before experienced. His trucking gig and attempts at background fame he realized were but a veneer of palatability to his bitter existence. But what to do about his rig? He'd see it through to his destination. It wasn't as if he could just abandon—

Wait. The truck. Where was it? He twitched nervously as he did a slow circle, then began to panic as he stumbled around the vacant lot, looking for any place where a eighteen-wheeler might casually lurk. He banged on the darkened doors of the gas station shop, but to no avail. There was no one inside. No truck. No witnesses. No way he'd get out of this without losing his job. He'd have to start all over, he'd have to leave it all...

As the morning sun broke through a dense, gray bank of clouds, Saul understood.

Hours later, the erstwhile trucker relished the warmth of the springtime rays on his checkered flannel shirt as he calmly strode out of town and the sodden rags of his former life. He’d call himself Paul, maybe, make his way up to Michigan, or Wisconsin. He’d heard the timber industry was always hiring. Stopping and facing the flow of traffic, he stuck out his thumb to hitch a ride east. The road was deserted at the moment, and Paul’s thoughts wandered back to his erstwhile cargo. What had it been, exactly? In the distance, a blue Ford fifteen-passenger van crested over a rise. He had a good feeling about this one. A real good feeling. Just then, a gust of wind rustled a thin sheet of paper caught on the barbed-wire fence along the road, catching his attention. Paul curiously retrieved it and looked at it in wonder. A sheet from the shipping manifest…? How had it—

His confusion was forgotten as he read what lurked in the stolen cargo. He sniggered, then began to guffaw uncontrollably. As the big, blue van coasted to a stop near him, Paul Bunyan threw his head back to the deep April skies and laughed.


Monte L. Bean Dead Things for Life Science Museum, 11:06 AM.

Monte pulled his pilfered prize into the north parking lot and strode hurriedly towards the museum bearing both his name and 293 cotton-eyed songbird specimens—294, he reminded himself—if the red-necked swamp finch he’d affably nicknamed “Joe” could somehow be extricated from the vacuum cleaner where it’d taken up residence in a freak custodial afterparty fight accident. Rest in pieces, cotton-eyed Joe, he thought glumly.  He pushed his way into the staff entrance in search of his curatorial manager, not noticing the sound of something large and nervous anxiously scratching at the narrow metal walls of the tractor trailer.


At 11:07 AM, recently awoken, easily distractible, and chronically late 18 year-old student Sandra Archibald rushed from Deseret Towers towards the Marriott Center. Dodging dramatically around a parked semi, she stumbled and fell as the splitting sole of her stained Chuck Taylors caught the edge of the curb. She sat for a moment, wincing as she examined her skinned palms. Just then, she heard a faint metallic skritch nearby. She paused for a moment. Skritch skritch. There it was again.

Sandra was not good at many things, but she remembered she had once been the third-grade champion of Hot and Cold. Her old instincts kicked in as she followed the curious sound to the doors of the semi’s trailer. She rested her hand on the door’s handle, hesitating. It was warm, almost hot. “Hello?” she called out nervously, “Is—is someone in there? Do you need help?” No response. Sandra wavered for a moment, then made a decision. Using all ninety-six pounds of her weight to wrench the doors ajar, she squinted as she tried to make out the inside of the gloomy container.  As her eyes adjusted to the contrast, she froze for just a split-second before remembering something she’d learned by virtue of always being late:
Sandra Archibald was very good at running.


(Monte L. Bean, circa 1970s)

11:12 AM. Monte chattered excitedly to his assistant as he towed Melissa—the museum's curator—toward the trailer.
“Just wait,” he gushed, “wait until you see this.”
“See what, exactly?” asked the curator, a little irritated.
“You’ll love it,” Monte promised, then frowned as he spotted the trailer door swinging in the morning breeze
“No. No no no no no no no,” he flustered, rushing to the doors. The inside of the trailer was a mess. Scratches scored the walls, crates and what little remained of the equipment designed to keep his pilfered cargo safe—and sedated.
Catching up, Melissa assessed the situation in an instant and looked pointedly at the dumbfounded man. “Monte. What, exactly, was in this trailer?” Monte stared in shock, and didn't reply.
Just then, a flock of ravens could be heard screeching furiously near the west side of the Marriott Center parking lot. Acting on a hunch, Melissa dashed to the northwest corner of the Marriott as quickly as she could manage. Out of the corner of her eye—to the south—she saw movement. Disappearing down the edge of the western access ramp of the Marriott Center was what could only be a long, reptilian tail.


Down in the Marriott Center, the ballroom dance team had presented a couple of old dance number from their repertoire—a  lively Viennese waltz, then—though they wouldn’t admit it, a number featuring the most soporifically boring of all ballroom dance forms—the foxtrot.

The Contemporary Dance team then took the floor, having been invited to perform a guest piece during the event. They elected to share their gift for movement for the world via an interpretive dance to last year’s runaway hit, Hotel California.

Hotel California, it is widely understood, has one of the longest and indeed, most pointless trailing guitar solos in all rock history. The contemporary team had promised their ballroom colleagues they’d omit this unwieldy portion from this performance, but after a solid minute and thirteen seconds after the final lyrics had faded awya the ballroom team determined Contemporary had reneged on their promise. One hurried hand gesture to the control booth, and the piece was quickly faded out, leaving the contemporary team to gyrate and flail in awkward silence. Collecting themselves, they remained composed as they exited the floor, but no sooner had they exited than they hissed their displeasure to the onlooking ballroom team. “Look,” smirked Gerald Robertson, the ballroom captain, “you just reminded us that we can invite you any time we want, but you guys never leave. Also, uh... what’s with the hissing?” Indeed, one of the girls was actually hissing in discontent. The contemporary team did not respond except to back away slowly into the darkness, the airy vocalizations gradually fading with them as they retreated elsewhere into the Marriott basement.

That went better than expected, thought the ballroom captain. He rumba-stepped perfectly back to the  ballroom team waiting anxiously by the entrance to the floor. He nodded, and the team rushed efficiently to their beginning positions at each entrance. It was time to unleash Varanus upon the world.
Varanus began with a majestic paso doble, then abruptly morphed into a lively jive. The crowd oooohed in appreciation. Each spin, twist and step had been carefully planned and choreographed. Dancers furrowed their brows in focus; there wasn’t a thing alive that could break their concentration now. Well, almost nothing.


Backstage, the Contemporary Dance Team of 1978 complained at the sorry treatment they’d faced at the hands of imperious Ballroom. “It just wasn’t right, what they’ve done to us,” griped a senior girl, “We still had three minutes of rad guitar solo to go.” She hissed again in frustration. “Look, Clara,” said lanky Wilma Davies, “You’re right. It’s frustrating. “But is all this hissing necessary?” The room quieted for a moment. “We just gotta be lettin’ all the negative vibes outta' our airflow,” responded Clara tersely, giving a long, drawn out hissssss for emphasis.
Another hissssss, now, from the back of the room. Wilma shook her head in consternation  as Clara nodded appreciatively. “Yeah, like that, just get that frustration outta your system!” The hissing continued unabated from a box-cluttered corner of the room. Clara clapped and yelled in jubliation “Yeah! Preach! Hisssss it out!” She craned her head to see which enlightened dancer really got her.
Clara, miraculously, abandoned hissing for the moment in favor of a good ol’ fashioned scream.


Varanus had proceeded from the jive into a cha-cha, and had now fluidly moved into the quickstep when the disturbance occurred. A very panicked contemporary dance team rushed on the floor among the whirling performers, pursued closely by—it seemed incredible—seven fully-grown Komodo dragons.

Dehydrated and flustered by their long journey, the lizards had descended into the Marriott in search of a warm, quiet place. In an unfortunate twist of events, Carla’s hissing had perfectly mimicked a territorial threat display. Cornered and afraid, the dragons had rushed to confront Carla and, soon, the rest of her panicked team, chasing them onto the dance floor as their erratic ( and newly improvised!) dash triggered the reptiles’ long-dormant predatory reflex.

Dragons drifted among dancers in sluggish pursuit of their prey, whilst amid the chaos the ballroom danced on in oblivious defiance of what appeared to be a vengeful, disruptive—if oddly costumed—Contemporary sabotage of months of work.  Occasionally borrowing evasive moves from the quickstep, dancers whirled deftly around both modern dancer and ancient lizard to the beat of The Bee Gees’ tremendously popular 1977 hit "Stayin’ Alive."
The crowd roared in approval at this inventive and surprising collaboration mixing dance genres, modern rock and… live puppetry?
Bemused and enraptured by the combination of lights, movement and sound, the lizards one-by-one lapsed into languorous listlessness. For a few perfect moments, Contemporary dancers victoriously leapt above and around disco-dazzled dragons as Ballroom moved alongside and among Contemporary in Varanus’s final sequence.

And then, breathlessly, it was over. The audience surged to their feet immediately as they roared and shouted for more. As the stage lights slowly came up,  Ballroom recognized with sudden horror the reality of their reptilian co-collaborators. Taking advantage of the dragons’ temporary torpor and recalling their penchant for panicked pursuit, the Contemporary dancers quickly grabbed the ballroom team’s hands and urged them to quietly and calmly leave the floor with them. As they did so, the teams gave one final bow, together.  The Marriott Center had never before seen a performance such as Varanus, indeed, there would never be such a performance again.


The lights faded again. No sooner had the dancers exited the darkened floor than two silhouettes—one tall and stooped, perhaps a man in his eighties, the other suggesting a shorter woman in her forties—rushed on to the Marriott floor with a large, covered cart, efficiently hefting and removing the motionless lizards in moments. Moving quietly through the subterranean warren of passageways, they arrived inside the freight elevator without incident. As soon as the chamber was closed and in motion, Monte pulled the cart’s cover off and inspected the discreet tranquilizer darts in each lizard’s neck. Monte whistled softly in awe. “K.O.! Moded! … to top it all off, you didn’t hit even a single dancer!” Melissa excused Monte's use of slang from the future and patted the stock of the tranquilizer rifle slung across her back appreciatively. “I’ve learned a couple tricks recently, but as I’ve told you, Uncle, it all goes back to that summer I spent with you in Alaska, hunting wolverines.” Monte laughed and embraced her niece. “Aw, shucks, Melissa. You’re twice the hunter I’ll ever be.”
“Yeah, and I don’t have to shoot or steal every known animal in the world to prove it,” Melissa muttered under her breath. “What?” asked Monte. “What?” retorted Melissa innocently. “I said, these are some cool animals and it’ll be a shame to lose them.” “Indeed,” mused Monte, “Indeed.”

The freight elevator opened, and the duo laughed as they pushed the cart out the Marriott Center doors towards a semi-truck waiting by the Bean Museum.


11 APR 1978



In light of recent events, the east entrance ramp to the Marriott Center will have a vehicle and officer parked before and for the duration of any event with substantial public or student presence. Several police officers will also be posted at additional entrances to the Center. This administrative rule has been enacted to prevent the unlawful incursion of any individuals, groups, or giant Indonesian carnivorous lizards, thereby better ensuring the safety and security of all Marriott Center patrons, performers, and attendees. For more information, please contact your department chief.

Concerning the incident itself, thanks are in order to the officers who interviewed witnesses and provided first aid evaluations. As the bite of either a wild or captive Komodo dragon carries an incredible risk of infection, it is remarkable and quite fortunate not a single performer was injured. Due to a security camera malfunction,investigations into the cause of the incident have few credible leads.

-BYU Chief of Police


April 17, 1978
The Daily Universe

Reader Response: Varanus 

We're flattered and appreciative of the many requests we've received this week for an encore performances of Varanus. Due to some sudden cast changes and circumstances beyond our control, we are yet unable to perform Varanus as you saw it at last week's devotional. Don't worry, though, we've got something big in the works. A big shout-out to our fans, and thanks to the the generous gift from the Monte L. Bean and his Pay n' Save Corporation supporting our joint tour to Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Wilma Davies and Gerald Robertson, Contemporary and Ballroom Captains


April 14, 1978 
Washington Post

Lucky Dragons
An anonymous tip to the Post early this morning led to the successful recovery of a cargo containing seven adult Komodo dragons—as well a number of unexpected eggs—reported to be missing in the late hours of Tuesday, April 10. The truck containing the tropical lizards was recovered at a rest stop on Virginia's Highway 522 between the town of Armel and the Dinosaur Land gift shop. "I'm extremely relieved to have recovered this very special cargo," said Rand Maugelsen, director of Herpetology at the Smithsonian National Zoo. "Each of the animals appeared to be perfectly happy and healthy, including the mother who had laid a surprise clutch of 17 eggs—just a few below the 20-egg average. We may not know exactly where these beautiful creatures went over the last couple of days, nor do we know if any eggs are missing, but frankly I'm just thrilled to have our dragons back." The whereabouts of the shipment's original driver are not known. Among the items found with the lizards was a record playing a vinyl single of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" on repeat. Its purpose has yet to be determined.


monte lafayette bean resize small.jpeg 

"This isn't even my final form." -Monte Lafayette Bean

Well, there you have it. Why the automobiles on the western inclined plane of your favorite cubelike stadium? Safety and security. The police department told me as much when I called them; but because I love you I made sure to bring you the whole story. Repose now, Gartha, in thy Marriott, knowing thou art forevermore safe and secure.


--Ardilla Feroz

P.S. Would you like to know the actual interesting story of the charismatic and generous Monte L. Bean? I'd suggest this brief essay about his life.

Question #90330 posted on 09/24/2017 8:02 a.m.












Dear Monotonic Nefarious House-sitter,

I'll answer you in a moment, but first,

Dear Everyone Besides Monotonic Nefarious House-sitter,

If you're having trouble discerning what all this means, I've prepared a translation:

Dang Fig Rustlers,

Does weighing honey just rule?

Sometimes his hatstand just has kind sentiments!

A way of undermining every unruly rutebega juice:

He flips,

He frowns,

He freaks [the heck out],

And Anthony just fried green kebabs knowing Quigley quit over passover.

Frère Julius Rubik is eating in someone's lonely attic

-Monotonic Nefarious House-sitter

Now, back to business:

A) This attic is NOT lonely, thank you very much. I mean it's kind of cold and no one's around but I HAVE MYSELF FOR COMPANY, THANKS.

B) Look I thought you were going to tell Anthony that his actions were hurting Quigley but NOOOOO I have to do everything around here.

C) Not really sure what you mean by all the stuff about the guy trying to get rid of the rutebega juice but you should really try it before you just write it off like that.

and finally,


That should about cover things, I think.

-Flipping, Rusty Elephants Read Essays; Round Umbrellas Bring Ice to Kansas

Question #90292 posted on 08/29/2017 3:42 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm getting married and I am wondering, how many people can fit in the largest sealing room in each Utah temple?

-Blushing Bride


 Dear BB,

I took the liberty of calling every temple in Utah to find out the information you were looking for. Here are my findings:

Cedar City Not Dedicated
Jordan River Closed for Renovations
Vernal 42
Salt Lake City 45
Monticello 50
Manti 50
Provo City Center 50
Logan 55
St. George 55
Bountiful 60
Brigham City 62
Mount Timpanogos 62
Oquirrh Mountain 66
Provo 70
Ogden 70
Draper 72
Payson 80

Congratulations! I hope this information helps!

-Sunday Night Banter

Question #90270 posted on 09/01/2017 7:07 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,My Question Here: I belong to a Bible believing church , I mean really SERIOUSLY! I want to make communion Bread, not wafers, but Bread. Amyhow the recipe includes all sorts of stuff from the Bible--so far so good. Then I get thrown a hooker--boy howdy! This is the issue: Molasses. The recipe wants me to use molasses. I get this itch and niggle, that that is one word no one in the Bible ever used. So I go to the Internet, no Molasses/Bible connection can I find. QUESTION: Is molasses anywhere in the Textus Receptus, or the Septuagint, or the Vulgate, or the KJV? Advise. Please help!

BTW, I was praying to the Father and realized that BYU was enjoying summer now. May the peace of God's summer bless BYU!!


Dear bakerer's apprentice,

I wasn't able to find any mention of molasses in any of the sources you mentioned, though potentially this is because they are not in English. This avenue of exploration having borne no fruit, I instead recurred to Wikipedia, which informed me that molasses is "a viscous product resulting from refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar." Linguistically, "the word comes from the Portuguese melaço. Cognates include Ancient Greek μέλι (méli) (honey), Latin mel, Spanish melaza(molasses), and French miel (honey)."  Sugar beets are a relatively recent crop, but could sugarcane have been present at the time of Christ in Jerusalem? Once again, we turn to a Wikipedia article on the history of sugar which—drawing on the work of one Andrew Watson—indicates sugarcane sugar did not reach the Near East until sometime after 700 AD.

 350px-Spread_sugarcane.jpg (mouse over for source)

If you're looking for a period-appropriate sweetener, molasses is out. I present several historically palatable alternatives.

  • Honey: It's sweet, and people have been eating it for a long time, including in the near east. You can also substitute it 1:1 in baking recipes, but of course you'll get a honey flavor, instead of molasses. Easy to find at the store.
  • Date honey (also known as date syrup, date molasses, silan, or rub): is a thick liquid sweetener made from dates, which have been cultivated for over seven thousand years. The Wikipedia page for date honey alleges this sweetener is the honey mentioned in "a land flowing with milk and honey" in Exodus 3:8, though I don't know how anyone could really substantiate that claim. Honey from bees? Honey from dates? Why not both? Easy to find at specialty Middle Eastern and probably Jewish grocers. 
  • Carob syrup: made from the the fruit of the anciently and presently cultivated carob tree, this strongly flavored syrup could provide the Mediterranean sweetener you need. There is record of it being consumed in ancient Near East. You can find this online or at specialty grocers such as Kalustyan's.
  • Grape syrup: a somewhat-thinner-than-molasses syrup made from concentrated, boiled grape juice. I do not know whether the ancient Jews consumed grape juice in this way, but since they practiced viticulture, the historical possibility is there. Pekmez is a similar product (apparently there's a difference, though I don't distinguish it). Grape syrup does have a little bit of a raisiny flavor, so take that into account if you plan to use it. Grape syrup is readily available in Turkish, Persian or Middle Eastern grocers. 

I hope you found this answer useful. I'd love to hear how your recipe turned out at ardilla.feroz@theboard.byu.edu.


--Ardilla Feroz 

P.S. Fun facts regarding carob pods:the word "carat," as in "2 carat gemstone" may have ties to the alleged use of carob seeds as a unit of weight and measurement, though their actual use as weights for gold is unlikely. Regarding their historical cultivation, Wikipedia notes,

Subsistence on carob pods is mentioned in the TalmudBerakhot reports that Rabbi Haninah subsisted on carob pods.[28] It is probably also mentioned in the New Testament, in which Matthew 3:4 reports that John the Baptist subsisted on "locusts and wild honey"; the Greek word ἀκρίδες, translated as "locusts", may refer to carob pods, rather than to grasshoppers.[28]Again, in Luke 15:16, in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, when the Prodigal Son is in the field in spiritual and social poverty, he desires to eat the pods that he is feeding to the swine because he is suffering from starvation. The use of the carob during a famine is likely a result of the carob tree's resilience to the harsh climate and drought. During a famine, the swine were given carob pods so that they would not be a burden on the farmer's limited resources.

P.P.S. I first tried pekmez in the Turkish city of Batman. This isn't relevant to your question, but I had to mention it, because, you know... BATMAN. It's real! It's there! It's otherwise not terribly interesting.

Question #90229 posted on 08/12/2017 2:32 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I subscribe to the BBC podcasts Friday Night Comedy and Comedy of the Week, where they bring you various Radio4 comedy shows from the previous week. Some of them seem to be one-time comedy specials, and others seem to be recurring shows. Some of these are better than others, but I've found a few of the recurring shows to be quite good (The Now Show, Just a Minute, Dead Ringers, etc) and would like to subscribe to those shows individually, but they don't appear to have podcasts for them. Am I missing something? Are these shows regularly produced? And if so, why don't they have their own podcast feed?



Dear Angie O'Phile,

Well, a little bit o'googling reveals that the shows are regularly produced, but their availability might not be as constant. For instance, you can look at an episode guide for The Now Show, but none of the episodes are available on the BBC iPlayer Radio (which appears to be the main way people access them). However, if you snoop around a little bit, you can find a YouTube channel that seems to have most, if not all, of the episodes uploaded (though I'm not exactly sure if this channel is sanctioned by the BBC).

Right now it does appear that an episode of Just A Minute is available on the player, but when I clicked on it it said that this would only be true for 29 more days. Similarly to The Now Show, I also found a website offering downloads of Just A Minute series 75-78, but again, I'm not sure how legitimate that website is. (More legitimately, it looks like you can get collections of the best of Just A Minute on Audible. Or, at least, you can get one collection; I didn't search for others.)

And, just for kicks, I looked up Dead Ringers, too. It looks like it has the most episodes available on the BBC website, though that's still only about four or five. And, just like the others, I found some potentially sketchy sources where you can listen to Dead Ringers (and one very not-sketchy source, Amazon).

(Funnily enough, I found the most ways of listening to Dead Ringers, but it appears that the show was cancelled for nine years in between 2005 and 2014.)

I'm not entirely sure why these programs aren't more readily available, but if I had to guess it would be because they're all popular enough that the BBC wants to monetize their success instead of giving them out for free. The featured spots on Friday Night Comedy and Comedy of the Week might just function as advertisement, hooking the listener so they go to buy more.

Anyway, hope that helps! I've been listening to an episode of Dead Ringers while I write this and it seems fairly funny (especially a skit about The Doctor calling a phone operator trying to find The Master). Hooray for British Comedy!

-Frère Rubik

Question #90206 posted on 09/07/2017 8:28 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What edible liquids are there that don't have water as the base? The only one I can think of are the oils (vegetable oil, olive oil, etc). I thought maybe vinegar, but it is mostly water, with some acid in it. Ideas?

-Hansoil and Vinaigretel


Dear Frank,

Yeah, you've got water-based liquids and edible oils. Sherpa Dave observes that alcohols are edible, and while this generally weak-sauce Quora thread debating your same question sometimes argues otherwise, I have most certainly seen people take small swigs of very nearly pure ethanol in a Bolivian silver mine (this does not make the preceding statement more factually correct, but perhaps it does make it more interesting). 

The aforementioned putrid enlightening Quora article does mention hot liquid sugars as an edible liquid (though their edibility may be limited by their temperature). Additionally, depending on what you've cooked up some super-saturated sugar syrups could become concentrated enough to conceivably consider them more sugar than water, be at an easily edible temperature and therefore maybe fit your definition.

While we're sweet-talking, I'll also persuade you to consider honey, which is just 17.1 percent water and composed primarily of fructose and glucose.

There is a list of food pastes on Wikipediayou know, food paste as in the "semi-liquid colloidal suspension, emulsion, or aggregation used in food preparation or eaten directly as a spread" everyone knows and loves, and which you could argue to be a sort of edible liquid—depending on the limit at which you consider something to stop being water or oil-based and—in the words of R'as al Ghul of Batman Begins—"become something else entirely." 

I don't think you're really looking to find out about bean and fish pastes, but what of the amino and fatty acids these contain? Are some of these liquid at room temperature and comestible in an isolated, pure form? While I suspected figuring these out involved a level of organic chemistry outside the scope of this question, I got a little too excited after work one day and researched:

  1. Essential amino acids—not to be confused with "liquid aminos," a food product/condiment containing amino acids similar to soy sauce—I looked up the melting points of the 21 compounds used by humans for protein synthesis by their L-compound pages on the very exciting (#nerdz4lyfe) PubChem Open Chemistry Database, where I discovered glutamine and apparently reactive selenocysteine had the lowest melting points at 185 °C and 143 °C, respectively.  In other words, these are solid. Get out of the way, amino acids. 
  2. The omega-3 fatty acids humans use, which since you obviously want to know are α-linolenic, docosahexaenoic, and eicosapentaenoic acids—still with me, Frank? Your eyes looked as glazed as a dozen Krispy Kremes there for a second—so based on the PubChem thing and some mysterious Google direct results I found out those funky-sounding acids—uh, your eyes are doing the thing again—are definitely liquid at room temperature, and insofar as I can tell are edible. Of course, I suspect all edible oils are composed of fatty acids, so despite my Google-fu I've only managed to re-assert what you said about edible oils being... edible. **sigh...**

There's glycerol, which is sweet, clear, viscous, and often used as a sweetener and filler in different foods, as well as cosmetics and industry. Though it is commonly synthesized from animal tallow, palm and soybean oil, it lacks fatty acid chains and so I consider it to be a separate edible liquid.

Anathema pointed out liquid nitrogen as a possibility but noted a Google search showed there was controversy about safety risks, and indeed I found prominent mentions of a case where a British 18-year old was hospitalized and received an emergency gastrectomy after she consumed a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen. From an interesting BBC article written about the accident I found the following passage:

Science writer and fellow at the Royal Society of Chemistry John Emsley says if more than a "trivial" amount of liquid nitrogen is swallowed, the result can be horrendous.

"If you drank more than a few drops of liquid nitrogen, certainly a teaspoon, it would freeze, and become solid and brittle like glass. Imagine if that happened in the alimentary canal or the stomach.

"The liquid also quickly picks up heat, boils and becomes a gas, which could cause damage such as perforations or cause a stomach to burst," he says.

However, Emsley says he would be surprised if anyone could actually swallow that much liquid nitrogen.

"It would be extremely cold in anyone's mouth - people would want to spit it out immediately," he says.

But Dr Alex Valavanis, a research fellow at the Institute of Microwaves and Photonics, at the University of Leeds, believes it would be perfectly possible for someone to swallow a mouthful before they became aware of any ill effects, as liquid nitrogen "does not immediately feel cold".

He says the delay in feeling the cold is down to the "Leidenfrost effect" - which happens when a liquid, in near contact with a mass significantly hotter than the liquid's boiling point, produces an insulating vapour layer.

But he agrees a mouthful of liquid nitrogen - which would turn into about 25 litres of gas - could do "catastrophic damage".

(One entertaining news quote from a similar article: "Lancashire Police have not officially named the place where she bought the cocktail, but say Oscar's [wine bar] has stopped selling it." Well, I guess I won't officially name Oscar's either.)

For prudency's sake, we shall discount liquid nitrogen from the running. Too cool for school, eh, Nitrogen? **cackles coldly**

Frank, are we therefore forever doomed to be imbibing water, alcohol and oil-based substances? Not to fear, science is here! Let's now have fun with propylene glycol, used chiefly for manufacturing and industry, but also in food. According to a well-documented Wikipedia article,

The acute oral toxicity of propylene glycol is very low, and large quantities are required to cause perceptible health damage in humans; propylene glycol is metabolized in the human body into pyruvic acid (a normal part of the glucose-metabolism process, readily converted to energy), acetic acid (handled by ethanol-metabolism), lactic acid (a normal acid generally abundant during digestion), and propionaldehyde (a potentially hazardous substance).

Serious toxicity generally occurs at plasma concentrations over 4 g/L, which requires extremely high intake over a relatively short period of time, or when used as a vehicle for drugs or vitamins given intravenously or orally. It would be nearly impossible to reach toxic levels by consuming foods or supplements, which contain at most 1 g/kg of PG, except for alcoholic beverages which are allowed 5 percent = 50g/kg. Cases of propylene glycol poisoning are usually related to either inappropriate intravenous administration or accidental ingestion of large quantities by children.

In other words, it's a relatively safe chemical that isn't harmful in small doses, unless you do something stupid, which if "accidental ingestion of large quantities by children" indicates anything to me, it is that the small among us are the best, most adventurous, and most likely to attempt to down a couple bottles of imitation vanilla extract, where I often see propylene glycol listed as an ingredient and flavor solvent. I think these flavorings generally contain water as is the case with this Kroger brand, but I don't know what in what proportions.

Now, the oral LD50 (Wikipedia: abbreviation for "Lethal Dose, 50%" or median lethal dose. It is the amount of the substance required (usually per body weight) to kill 50% of the test population.)" of propylene glycol is 20 grams per kilogram in rats and 2.2 g/kg in mice. So how much of our favorite chemical would it take to kill a human?

As people are not mice or rats (whaaaaaat?!?), it is difficult to say. We've previously learned serious toxicity occurs at 4 g/L of plasma. Your average human has, say, 2.7 to 3 L of blood plasma. If injected directly and intravenously, serious toxicity would occur somewhere around 12 g or 11.6 mL. But we wouldn't be doing that, because we want to know how much we could drink, and the body metabolizes the stuff. As Dr. Sean O'Keefe, a food professor contributing to BestFoodFacts.org  explains:

Propylene glycol adds sweetness, body, and can be used as a solvent for flavorings...

It is perfectly safe to consume foods containing propylene glycol (PG). Propylene glycol can only be toxic if used intravenously at high dosage or when applied to compromised skin (burns). Once ingested, PG is either excreted in the urine or is metabolized to lactic acid, a normal metabolic product. Ethylene glycol (used in car antifreeze) is toxic because it is metabolized to oxalic acid, which is toxic. 

Right. So there's metabolism into lactic acid, or excretion via urine of the extra, unmetabolized propylene glycol, but also know there's limits to this ability courtesy of our research a source or two ago—remember "serious toxicity occurs" and "extremely high intake over a relatively short period of time?"—so the ardently burning question we all never knew we had remains: how much propylene glycol could a human adult imbibe before succumbing? 

Again, we only have data for mice and rats, but this is the Board... and for you, Frank, we'll take a step off the plank of certainty straight into the deep end of conjecture. 

Let us take a group of 20 consenting average adults, who for ease of reference will all be named, say, Peter Pettigrew. Let us assume our Peters are of average British weight (nationality randomly assigned) at 75 kg/167 lbs (for comparison average North American adults are 81 kg/178 lbs and average global adult weight is 62 kg/137 lbs). Let us also assume the oral LD50 for the Peters Pettigrew is equivalent to that of rats, again, 20 g/kg. Science will now occur. The assembled Peters Pettigrew begin to chant in unison in unexpected anticipation of the trial.

Assignments into control groups, unknowingly given—you will corroborate the data!
Consent of the subjects, willingly given—you will avert legal disaster!
Selfies with fellow participants—forcibly taken—we shall regard as foe!

It's probably good they had this team-building moment, because upon subsequently consuming 1.45 L of the sweet, clear substance in a chugging contest several Peters Pettigrew have disappeared, an unexplainable handful of delirious rats are scurrying madly around the room, three Peters appear to be having serious regrets and ten of the poor blokes are straight-up dead.  It appears no one bothered to assign a control group. 

"This is your fault, Frank," one livid rat scratches into a wall. 

Indeed, he's right. I hope you're happy, Frank.  Just go ahead and try to pass the buck off to "science," like you always do—we see the strings that control the system. We'll be watching you. 

TL;DR: Edible liquids besides water include oils, sugars, alcohols, and a variety of chemicals (including glycerol and propylene glycol), where dosage determines edibility or toxicity.


--Ardilla Feroz and the Remaining Peters Pettigrew, with moral support from The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents

P.S. Should you wish to search out more edible liquids, I present to you the FDA's Food Additive Status List and the accompanying GRAS Subtances (SCOGS) Database, GRAS and SCOGS, meaning Generally Recognized as Safe and Select Committee on Generally Recognized as Safe Substances, respectively. Let me know if you find anything cool, like I did when I found out urea was edible. Something like that, Frank. This explains a lot about Grandpa's offering at the family potluck in Saskatchewan. I'd thought for sure we'd prevented him from finding the ingredients for his infamous mystery casserole in those frigid prairies, but I was wrong, Frank. I was wrong.

P.P.S. For all our desktop board readers out there, all them hyperlinks be hovertext enabled. Awww yisss. Also, if you liked this answer, do email me at ardilla.feroz@theboard.byu.edu if you are so inclined because this took like 14 hours to write (haven't spent time like that since the women, pigeons and Islam question or maybe the the Declaration of Tinderpendence); I could use some validation and preferably sugary edible liquids right now.

P.P.P.S. Not deodorant, though, for while I suspect melted deodorant might taste sweet—propylene glycol is often a main ingredient in non-antiperspirant varieties—I just purchased like a year's supply of the fancy Old Spice kinds and even if it were a food and I didn't have concerns about the non-PG ingredients I'd be okay for a while.