"Women can tell you how many degrees (Fahrenheit and Celsius, to say nothing of Kelvin) it was outside." -Optimistic. on first kisses
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.

Question #90175 posted on 08/01/2017 8:56 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I remember the episode of The Office when the workers from Dunder Mifflin Stamford were coming to work in the Scranton office and Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) said that his secret for getting "in" with people was to quickly read them and then mirror their personality. He then is in the line of the Stamford employees shaking hands and meeting Michael Scott, and of course after about three seconds of processing in his face, he assumes a "hidely ho, okely dokely" manner and Michael expresses a like for Andy.

Do you get this type of vibe from the air-kiss-blowing, old-tweet-deleting, almost-exact-same-language-using, hypercomplimenting, new press secretary Anthony Scaramucci?



Dear Jim In Disguise,

I haven't seen much footage of The 'Mooch in action, so it's hard for me to say. I also haven't seen that episode of The Office (I haven't seen most episodes of The Office). 

However, I have been very disappointed in the internet for not making the seemingly obvious comparison between new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci...


(Source is a Vanity Fair article but it contained too much raw, unfiltered Mooch (in other words, lots of swears) to be able to link directly to it here.)

...and the robotic assassin from the final season of Samurai Jack, Scaramouche:

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 6.25.33 PM.png


The injustice of it all was just too much for me to stand, so I took it upon myself to correct this egregious oversight:

combined 1 with words.png

That's all for now.

-Frère Rubik

P.S. The names Scaramouche and Scaramucci come from an old stock character from Italian commedia dell'arte, called Scaramouche (or Scaramuccia). 

Question #90161 posted on 08/03/2017 7:20 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Zedability has retired? How did it happen? Have the plans for world domination moved on to another organization?

If it is true, thanks for all the fun, thoughtful, silly, researched, profound, and helpful answers. Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us all!

-Minions, eating treacle pie in tribute.


Dear Minions,

As the Board Writer closest to our dearly beloved Zed, I feel it is my duty to answer your questions as best I can. First off, yes, Zed has retired from the Board. This decision was the result of many events and experiences converging in her life at once. Oh yes, she claimed it was just that she got "busy" with "life" and "school" and "being a mom" but I'll tell you the tragic truth. A clandestine group to remain unnamed found her plans for world domination out and kidnapped myself and our dearest Baby Z and held us for RANSOM!

All things considered, they treated us well. We were fed decent meals and they had a really nice crib for Baby Z, and as far as being a hostage goes, I could imagine worse things to be put through, but I digress...

So anyway, Zed got together with Ardilla Feroz and Django Fett to plan a daring rescue! Ardilla did reconnaissance to discover the location of the secret base where we were being held. Upon Ardilla's return from [REDACTED], Django began working on hacking into the base's security system to open a way for them to reach Baby Z and me. Finally the three of them arrived at the base. Thanks to the great skill of Django Fett, they were able to get all the way to the apartment (I really can't call it a cell after all) where Baby Z and I were held. There was a brief happy reunion with lots of giggling from Baby Z, and then we started to make our way to the roof where we were going to steal a helicopter to escape and return to the Board Lair.

When we arrived at the roof however, the leader of the group that had kidnapped Baby Z and myself was waiting for us!

"How did you know we were here?!" Zed cried out.

"Mr. Feroz left a small pile of empty shells on the ridge over there, hazelnut I believe," the man replied. "It was easy enough to piece together that you'd try to rescue your family. Honestly though, I just got lucky assuming you would come for the helicopter for your escape."

"Told you we should've used the sewers," Ardilla commented.

"I am not carrying my baby through a sewer to escape a secret base in the middle of [REDACTED]!" Zed retorted, "and this would've worked if you hadn't insisted on bringing snacks on a recon mission!"

Then Django stepped in before things could escalate further, "As entertaining as this is, we still need to get out of here guys." And with that, we all started to run for the helicopter. 

We were so close when an agent of our kidnappers' organization stepped out from the shadows, grabbed Baby Z out of my arms, and tripped me causing me to tumble across the roof and almost fall off the edge. She carried Baby Z to the edge of the roof and held her out over open air.

"Zedability. If you want to save your daughter, you will give in to our demands. Give us your word, and I will return your child to your husband and you can all leave in peace. If you don't, I drop her."

Zed looked at me and the woman from the helicopter, trying to figure out a solution. Then she looked to Ardilla and Django, both of whom returned her gaze with worried looks. Finally she looked at Baby Z who smiled at her laughed and bit the woman's arm. The woman yelped and lurched back from the edge of the roof, allowing me to jump up, snatch Baby Z from her, and trip her myself (sweet revenge!). I ran to join the others in the helicopter and we escaped the base and returned to the Board Lair.

"Another daring rescue successfully completed!" Ardilla announced to cheers as we walked into the common area of the lair.

"It wouldn't be Tuesday without one," Spectre responded, getting a laugh from everyone but Zed who just slumped in an overstuffed armchair and sighed.

"What's up Zed?" Auto Surf asked her, "Are you okay?"

Zed looked at her and all the assembled writers, "I'm getting entirely too old for this," she said. "I love you guys, but I think it's time I retired. I'll keep in touch through Occam here."

Everyone erupted in questions, tears, and pleas for her to stay, but alas, she was adamant. Despite the cries of disagreement, she took Baby Z and walked up the stairs to enter into the Hall of Alumni to join the ranks of Past Writers like Katya, Tally M. and Rating Pending, only to return once every year for Alumni Week.

And there you have it. The Absolutely 100% True Story™ of how and why Zedability retired from the 100 Hour Board. It is truly the end of an era in the history of the Board.


~Dr. Occam

Question #90160 posted on 07/28/2017 12:52 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If the moon were made of cheese, how much milk would it take to produce that quantity of cheese?

-Mr. Morton


Dear Mr. Morton,

Oh boy, am I excited for this. I've kept myself and the other writers waiting on this answer for the past 97 hours, so let's get right to it!

First of all, there are a couple of different ways to interpret your question. When you say "that quantity", do you mean the mass of the moon or the volume of the moon? Well, I'm going to answer both of those questions. Also, what kind of cheese? When someone says that the moon is made of cheese, most people think of Swiss cheese, because of the holes, but there are so many different types of Swiss cheeses, so I'm going to pick Emmentaler, which is the cheese that most "Swiss cheese" is modeled after.

The mass of the moon (according to Google) is 7.34767309 x 1022 kg. According to Fundamentals of Cheese Science, you can get somewhere between 9 kg and 12 kg of Emmentaler cheese for every 100 kg of milk. If we pick the midpoint of those numbers, that's 10.5 kg of cheese for every 100 kg of milk. If we divide the mass of the moon by that ratio, we get 6.99778390 x 1023 kg of milk. The density of milk is approximately 1.03 kg/L, and there are 3.78541 liters in a gallon, so that is equivalent to 1.7947765 x 1023 gallons. In standard notation, just for emphasis, that's 179,477,650,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of milk.

The volume of the moon will take less cheese, but the calculations will be slightly more complicated, so bear with me. The volume of the moon is 2.197 x 1022 L. The density of Swiss cheese happens to be pretty close to the same as that of milk, 1.03 kg/L, so we can convert our 10.5 kg cheese/100 kg milk factor to 10.5 L cheese/100 L milk. So it takes 2.092381 x 1023 L (5.5274883 x 1022 gallons) of milk to make a ball of Swiss cheese the size of the moon, right? Well, no. See, the whole point of Swiss cheese is that it has holes, and I haven't factored in the porosity of the cheese. Some scientists measured the volume of the holes (technically called eyes) in Emmentaler cheese using CT scans and found that the relative eye volume cheese with the strongest eye formation was about 3.47%. So, since Swiss cheese is only about 96.53% cheese, we'll factor that into our calculated volume and get 2.019775 x 1023 L (5.3356845 x 1022 gallons) of milk. 

Finally, let's put this into perspective. The Holstein is the highest-producing dairy cattle in the world. Every year, the average Holstein cow produces 2674 gallons of milk per year, and most of the more than 9 million dairy cows in the United States are Holsteins. It would take all the cows in the USA more than 2 trillion years to make enough milk to make a ball of Swiss cheese the size of the moon, and over 7 trillion years (more than half the age of the universe so far) to make enough milk to make a ball of Swiss cheese with the same mass as the moon.

-The Entomophagist

posted on 07/29/2017 9:44 p.m.
Dear people,

One trillion is a thousand billions. The universe is about .013 trillion years old. 7 trillion years, then, is not half the age of the universe but about 538 times the age of the universe.



What's the history/origin of the last name Hardstark?

... Repeat Offender


Dear yusef,

I agree with Ento. His original response was great.

But I also agree with you because holy cow this name is hard to track down and the hunt is fascinating.

I found some related-but-not-exact things online that suggested it could be Swedish/Old Norse in origin, but this Ancestry record seemed to suggest it might be Polish. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 10.47.05 AM.png (source)

But when you search "Haroztag" nothing comes up except this entry from Ancestry, so I checked with Sherpa Dave, our resident Polsih specialist. He said Haroztag is not Polish, but it could be Jewish. He said it's also likely that the actual spelling might be "Harcsztark," since the pronunciation sounds similar and there's a history of immigrants changing names when they came to the States (though not for the reasons you might think). 

A Google book confirmed the Jewish origin of Harcsztark and listed Harzstark as another spelling. There's a lot of records for that spelling, but mostly on Ancestry where you can't see them unless you have account. I don't have an account, but luckily the library does so I went to see what I could find. There was a good number of Harzstark's born in Poland, but also a small clan that I found in what is currently L'viv, Ukraine. At the time (around 1891), though, this was Austro-Hungary, and it was also part of the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth at one point. Based on that, and more consulting with Sherpa Dave about the Slavic language family, I feel pretty confident that it's of Slavic origin. 

So, tl;dr it's an Americanized Slavic name. 

Take care,

-Auto Surf (and Sherpa Dave)

posted on 08/11/2017 8:25 p.m.
Well, Georgia Hardstark (host of My Favorite Murder podcast) IS Jewish so I believe Auto Surf did great research on this one.

Question #90095 posted on 01/06/2018 9:59 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What proportion of US legislators were NOT lawyers or doctors before they were elected? Is there any significant difference in prior-job proportions between the two parties?

-Otto Didact


Dear Otto,

This question has the dubious honor of being the longest I've ever held a question overhours. I am so sorry, but reading 535 different Wikipedia articles about every single member of Congress is (not so surprisingly) incredibly time consuming.

A note on my methods: a lot of congressmen went straight into politics after college, so in a lot of cases I had to look at what they studied rather than their previous employment. But if someone has a law degree, I still counted them as being a lawyer for the sake of this question.

So, out of the 100 members of the Senate, 51 of them have never studied/worked as doctors or lawyers. Out of the 49 who were doctors or lawyers, 44 of them were lawyers, and only 5 of them were doctors (and that's counting an ophthalmologist and an optometrist). Also, in case you were wondering, John Barrasso from Wyoming was a doctor, but also a "rodeo physician," because Wyoming.

Out of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, 61.8% of them have never been doctors or lawyers. Just like in the Senate, lawyers were much more common than doctors, coming in with 147 of them having earned law degrees, and only 19 of them having been doctors. Also, I counted a couple dentists, two veterinarians, and a couple nurses as "doctors," so that number is definitely high. 

If you wanted a composite number instead of separate statistics for each chamber of Congress, out of the total 535 members of both chambers, 59.8% of them have never studied/worked as lawyers or doctors.

There seems to be no strong correlation between party affiliation and previous employment in either chamber of Congress. And while it's true that a bunch of lawyers are in the mix, I don't know where you got the idea that there are so many doctors in Congress. After lawyer, I think the next most common profession was businessman. 

Also, fun fact, it's a little disturbing to me how many members of Congress have been arrested/convicted of various crimes.

Anyway, sorry again for how overdue this answer is. I hope it's somehow enlightening to you, because something has got to make the hours I spent combing Wikipedia worth it.


posted on 01/07/2018 5:35 p.m.
It’s worth pointing out that ophthalmologists are as much doctors as an OB-GYN, cardiologist, or ENT. They have an MD or DO, and specialize in the diseases of the eye. It’s kinda patronizing to say they’re “included” with the doctors, because they are doctors. They have the same credentials.

Optometrists specialize in vision correction. If they detected an abnormality beyond, like, dry eye, they’d scoot you off to a medical doctor (opthamologist) in two seconds to seek treatment.
Question #90080 posted on 07/15/2017 2:50 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So I was playing with toy cars with my son Twist yesterday and a question occurred to me. When I take a toy car in my hand and zoom it as fast as I can through my arm's range of motion, how fast is it actually going? Does it travel that very short distance as fast as a real car would or much slower?

-Inverse Insomniac


Dear Inverse,

Quite serendipitously, I was visiting my parents in Rubikland when this question came in, so I had access to toy cars with which to conduct my research. While looking for my old Hot Wheels, I also found these old toys, which I thought I'd share with y'all:


First, we have Hoth Luke Skywalker and Endor Han Solo, along with my A-Wing calculator. That's right: an A-Wing calculator. Can you conceive anything more nerdy awesome? I didn't think so.


Here we have a couple of Bulbasaurs. I was going to take the plush one with me when I went back to Provo, but then I realized that it is Cadet Rubik's and my plush was a Squirtle. I couldn't find the Squirtle. I was sad.


Mère Rubik calls this set "Cool Tools." I have no idea if that's what the actual brand of toys was called or if she just thought they were really cool. I suppose we'll never know.

Lastly, we have one of my most favorite toys...


...the Thing. I do not know what this thing is. It is made of solid steel and is fairly heavy. I remember that I picked it up one day and thought it was cool, but that's all I know about it. When I had it out for this answer Père Rubik saw it and said "Oh, hey, it's that thing." I asked him what it was. He said that he didn't know, but he had randomly received it from someone long ago. So we still have no idea what the Thing is. If a reader could tell me, with convincing proof, what exactly the Thing is, they would have solved a lifelong mystery for me and I would certainly owe them ice cream.

Alrighty. On to the cars:


These cars were ultimately deemed unusable for the experiment, but I have fond memories of them and wanted to share them with y'all. The dark green racer (second from left) is from 1987! The lime-green racer next to it (in the middle) is from 1982! These cars are 30 years old! It's incredible. 

Here are the cars I used for my test:


From left to right, here are the models of the cars:

Car #1: Ferrari F50

Car #2: Ferrari 156

Car #3: Dodge Viper GTS

Car #4: Renault Formula One Racer (I couldn't find any more specifics on exactly what kind of Renault F1 it is)

Car #5: BMW Z3

Now, how do we tell how fast they're going?

First, we measure my arm, from fingertip to shoulder. It's about 30 inches long. Next, I measure how high off the ground my arm is when I'm sitting on the ground, ready to race. That's about 25 inches. Using the Pythagorean Theorem, I find that the horizontal distance from my shoulder to the car in my hand is about 16.5 inches.

This last measurement is very important. For the test, I'll be moving the cars back and forth in a quarter circle, from when my arm is straight out to my side to where it's pointing straight in front of me. The distance it will travel is the radius of that circle (16.5 inches), multiplied by Pi, and divided by two. That distance ended up being right around 26 inches.

Now, for the actual test: I need to find out how long it takes me to drive the car through the quarter circle. This would be very hard to time if I were just doing it once, so I decided I would drive the cars back and forth as fast as I could for 30 seconds so as to get a nice sample size from which I could calculate the time for a single run. Here's how each car did:

Car #1: 74 "laps"

Car #2: 80 "laps"

Car #3: 84 "laps"

Car #4: 88 "laps"

Car #5: 89 "laps"

For the most part, I thought it was a pretty good method, but I did identify a couple of issues. For one, as you can see, the number of "laps" each car ran in the 30 seconds increased every time. I was actually worried that the opposite would happen; I figured that my arm would get tired and that I wouldn't be able to move it as fast, so in between each run (besides the last two) I took a break to work out calculations and eat hummus with pita chips. Apparently, that worry was unfounded. The only other issue was that a couple of times during the testing I had to start the runs over because I was so excited making the cars go vroom Vroom VROOM that I lost count of how many laps they'd gone.

To even things out, I averaged the number of "laps" between the five cars, and found that it was 83. Now, if a car can travel that distance 83 times in 30 seconds, then it can traverse it one time in 30/83 = 0.361 seconds. If we divide our distance of 26 inches by this time, we find that the car is traveling 72.068 inches per second. Making the conversion to miles per hour, we find that, on average, the car is traveling (drumroll, please)...




4.09 miles per hour.

Yeah, I know. It's a little underwhelming. I thought it would be faster! If your arms are longer and you're able to get the same number of "laps" (or more), it'll be a little bit faster, but not by much. 

But, we're not quite done. We've been looking at how fast a two-inch car can travel 26 inches; what if we scaled up the car and the distance up to real-world values, but kept the time the same? Or, in other words: if there were a little tiny man sitting in the cars we were driving back and forth, how fast would he think he was moving?

To find out, we multiply the distance of 26 inches by the factor that each car is scaled down by. It's different for each car; let's look at the BMW, which is at 1:57 scale. We multiply 26 inches by 57; that's 1484.78 inches. As before, we divide that by the BMW's time, which was 0.337 seconds. That's 4404.837 inches per second, or, in other words...




250.275 miles per hour!

The good folks at Quora tell me that a single engine plane like a Cessna flies at a speed somewhere around 130 miles per hour. Therefore, since your toy car is moving at nearly twice that speed (from it's perspective), it is completely logical and rational for you to pick it up off the ground and make it fly. We want to be scientifically rigorous, after all.


Thanks for the question! Have fun with your kids!

-Frère Rubik

P.S. For kicks, here's my scratch paper for this question, which contains all of the individual car times/speeds. If you're having trouble reading it and want to know the specific numbers, feel free to shoot me an email.

paper fixed.jpg

Question #90069 posted on 07/13/2017 6:13 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I found Lehi in the book of Judges! How many names in The Book of Mormon are unique only to The Book of Mormon?

-My Name Here


Dear you,

Abstract: 76.0-78.4% (160.5 ± 2.5 out of 208) of unique Book of Mormon toponyms and anthroponyms are not found in the Bible, not counting references to places and people also referenced in the Bible. Including individual instances of repeated names changes the ratio to 71.9-74.6% (205 ± 5 out of 280 ± 1). Uncertainty stems from ambiguity in differentiating individuals with identical names in similar time periods and doubt as to whether variations on names found in the Bible are Biblical or unique to the Book of Mormon.

Method: The researcher skimmed the entire text of the Book of Mormon in one afternoon, looking for capitalized words and determining, based on previous familiarity with the text, whether each toponym and anthroponym described a unique place or individual from those previously found. Each name was searched for in the Gospel Library app to determine whether it could be found in the Bible or not. Names for people and places referenced in the Bible (i.e. Moses, Abraham, Egypt, Babylon, Jesus Christ, etc.) as well as names of people not found in the Bible but supposedly contemporary to Old Testament prophets (Zenos, Zenock, and Ezias) were not included. Additionally, Gazelem was not included in the analysis, as it seems to refer to Joseph Smith and not any person in the Book of Mormon.

Results and Discussion:

45 unique names describing 71-73 people and places in the Book of Mormon are also found in the Bible. The complete list can be found in Appendix A of this document. The uncertainty stems from the names Lehi and Aaron, both of which could describe three or four different people, because the people named were alive around the same time. Some believe that Lehi, son of Zoram, named in Alma 16:5, is the same as the captain of the Nephite armies during the Amalickiah/Ammoron war. Additionally, the possibility exists that the Aaron mentioned in Moroni 9:17 is the king of the Lamanites mentioned in Mormon 2:9.

158 different names describe 202 different people and places in the Book of Mormon that are not also found in the Bible. The complete list can be found in Appendix B. The most common names in this group are Nephi and Laban, each of which belong to four people and one city/land. Over the course of the Book of Mormon, the frequency of Biblical names decreased. That is, the further into the Book of Mormon one goes, the more likely a name is to not be found in the Bible. This is to be expected, as the Nephite language evolved and grew further from the Hebrew spoken by the Jews over the centuries. 

Five names belonging to six people and places (Appendix C) were questionable as to whether they were Biblical or not. Those names were Isabel, Jershon, Josh, Sam, and Sidom. The name Isabel is not found in the Bible, but the origin of the Romance-language group of names (Isabella, Isabelle, etc.) is the same Hebrew word translated to English as Elizabeth. Jershon, the land where the Nephites let the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi (and later the Zoramites) live, is very similar to the name of Moses' son, Gershom. The name Gershom appears to mean a sojourner there, which is fitting for a place of temporary respite for refugees until they are able to move on. Josh and Sam both appear to be shorter versions of the Biblical names Joshua and Samuel. Finally, Sidom is very similar to the name of the river Sidon. There is evidence that the -om and -on endings in Nephite/Jaredite names are somewhat interchangeable. The strongest case for this is Shiblon/Shiblom from the book of Ether. When Moroni puts forth the genealogy of Ether, his name is recorded as Shiblon in Ether 1:11-12. However, in Ether 11, his name is repeatedly written as Shiblom. For this reason, it's impossible to know if the name of the land of Sidom was the same as the name of the city of Sidon, or if the Nephites distinguished those names.

Conclusion: Only about one out of every four names in the Book of Mormon is also found in the Bible. As expected, names found later in the Book of Mormon are less likely to be found in the Bible as well.

-The Entomophagist

Appendix A: Names found in both the Book of Mormon and the Bible

  • Aaron (three or four people and a city/land)
  • Aminadab (one person)
  • Ammah (one person)
  • Ammon (two people)
  • Amos (two people)
  • Antipas (hill)
  • Benjamin (one person)
  • David (city/land)
  • Enos (one person)
  • Ephraim (hill)
  • Esrom (one person)
  • Gad (city/land)
  • Gideon (one person and a city/land)
  • Gilead (one person)
  • Gilgal (one person, a valley, and a city/land)
  • Helam (one person and a city/land)
  • Helem (one person)
  • Heth (two people and a city/land)
  • Isaiah (one person)
  • Ishmael (two people and a city/land)
  • Jacob (three people and a city/land)
  • Jared (two people)
  • Jeremiah (one person)
  • Jerusalem (city/land)
  • Jonas (two people)
  • Jordan (city/land)
  • Joseph (one person)
  • Joshua (city/land)
  • Judea (city/land)
  • Kish (one person)
  • Laban (one person)
  • Lehi (three or four people and two city/lands)
  • Lemuel (one person)
  • Levi (one person)
  • Midian (city/land)
  • Nimrah (one person)
  • Nimrod (one person)
  • Noah (two people and a city/land)
  • Ramah (hill)
  • Samuel (one person)
  • Seth (one person)
  • Shem (one person and a city/land)
  • Sidon (river)
  • Timothy (one person)
  • Zedekiah (one person)
Appendix B: Names unique to the Book of Mormon
  • Abinadi (one person)
  • Abinadom (one person)
  • Abish (one person)
  • Ablom (place)
  • Agosh (plains)
  • Aha (one person)
  • Ahah (one person)
  • Akish (one person and a wilderness)
  • Alma (two people)
  • Amaleki (two people)
  • Amalickiah (one person)
  • Amaron (one person)
  • Amgid (one person)
  • Aminadi (one person)
  • Amlici (one person)
  • Ammaron (one person)
  • Ammonihah (city/land)
  • Ammoron (one person)
  • Amnigaddah (one person)
  • Amnihu (hill)
  • Amnor (one person)
  • Amoron (one person)
  • Amulek (one person)
  • Amulon (one person and a city/land)
  • Angola (city/land)
  • Ani-Anti (one person)
  • Anti-Nephi-Lehi (one person)
  • Antiomno (one person)
  • Antonium (one person and a city/land)
  • Antipus (one person)
  • Antum (city/land)
  • Archeantus (one person)
  • Cezoram (one person)
  • Chemish (one person)
  • Cohor (three people)
  • Com (two people)
  • Comnor (hill)
  • Corianton (one person)
  • Coriantor (one person)
  • Coriantum (two people)
  • Coriantumr (three people)
  • Corihor (two people and a city/land)
  • Corom (one person)
  • Cumeni (city/land)
  • Cumenihah (one person)
  • Cumorah (city/land and hill)
  • Emer (one person)
  • Emron (one person)
  • Ethem (one person)
  • Gadiandi (city/land)
  • Gadianton (one person)
  • Gadiomnah (city/land)
  • Gid (one person and a city/land)
  • Giddianhi (one person)
  • Giddonah (two people)
  • Gidgiddonah (one person)
  • Gidgiddoni (one person)
  • Gilgah (one person)
  • Gimgimno (city/land)
  • Hagoth (one person)
  • Hearthom (one person)
  • Helaman (three people)
  • Helorum (one person)
  • Hem (one person)
  • Hermounts (wilderness)
  • Himni (one person)
  • Jacobugath (city/land)
  • Jacom (one person)
  • Jarom (one person)
  • Jashon (city/land)
  • Jeneum (one person)
  • Kib (one person)
  • Kim (one person)
  • Kimnor (one person)
  • Kishkumen (one person and a city/land)
  • Korihor (one person)
  • Kumen (one person)
  • Kumenonhi (one person)
  • Lachoneus (two people)
  • Lamah (one person)
  • Laman (four people and a city/land)
  • Lamoni (one person)
  • Lehonti (one person)
  • Lib (two people)
  • Limhah (one person)
  • Limher (one person)
  • Limhi (one person)
  • Luram (one person)
  • Mahah (one person)
  • Manti (one person and a city/land)
  • Mathoni (one person)
  • Mathonihah (one person)
  • Melek (city/land)
  • Middoni (city/land)
  • Minon (city/land)
  • Mocum (city/land)
  • Moriancumer (place)
  • Morianton (two people and a city/land)
  • Moriantum (city/land)
  • Mormon (two people and the waters)
  • Moron (one person and a city/land)
  • Moroni (two people and a city/land)
  • Moronihah (two people and a city/land)
  • Mosiah (two people)
  • Mulek (one person and two city/lands)
  • Muloki (one person)
  • Nehor (one person and a city/land)
  • Nephi (at least four people and a city/land)
  • Nephihah (one person and a city/land)
  • Ogath (place)
  • Omer (one person)
  • Omner (one person and a city/land)
  • Omni (one person)
  • Onidah (hill and place)
  • Orihah (one person)
  • Paanchi (one person)
  • Pachus (one person)
  • Pacumeni (one person)
  • Pagag (one person)
  • Pahoran (two people)
  • Riplah (hill)
  • Riplakish (one person)
  • Ripliancum (waters)
  • Sariah (one person)
  • Seantum (one person)
  • Sebus (waters)
  • Seezoram (one person)
  • Shared (one person)
  • Shelem (mountain)
  • Shemlon (city/land)
  • Shemnon (one person)
  • Sherem (one person)
  • Sherrizah (tower)
  • Shez (two people)
  • Shiblom (one person)
  • Shiblom/Shiblon (one person)
  • Shiblon (one person)
  • Shilom (city/land)
  • Shim (hill)
  • Shimnilom (city/land)
  • Shiz (one person)
  • Shule (one person)
  • Shurr (valley)
  • Siron (city/land)
  • Teancum (one person and a city/land)
  • Teomner (one person)
  • Tubaloth (one person)
  • Zarahemla (one person and a city/land)
  • Zeezrom (one person and a city/land)
  • Zemnarihah (one person)
  • Zenephi (one person)
  • Zeniff (one person)
  • Zerahemnah (one person)
  • Zeram (one person)
  • Zerin (mountain)
  • Zoram (three people)
Appendix C: Names very similar to Biblical names but with different spelling
  • Isabel (one person)
  • Jershon (city/land)
  • Josh (one person and a city/land)
  • Sam (one person)
  • Sidom (city/land)
Question #89931 posted on 06/18/2017 11:50 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

One thing I noticed while attending BYU was how the number of times a girl gets asked out on dates correlates exponentially with physical attractiveness. One friend of mine has a very cute face and an hourglass figure. Men flock to her. Her whole time at BYU, she averaged three dates a week and had a least a dozen men actively pursuing her at a given time. I also had a moderately attractive female friend who averaged one date per month. Not a ton of action, but she did end up dating one of them seriously and last month they got married. Finally, I know another young lady who isn't that good-looking at all. She attended BYU for five years and never got asked out once. Of course, there are plenty of outliers to this phenomenon: being outgoing and flirtatious drastically increases a woman's chances of getting asked out too.

I recently described this phenomenon to a friend and fellow BYU alumna, and she said boys were too shallow. I told her that, to a great extent, physical beauty is a choice. Women can make themselves more appealing by getting in good shape, because being overweight or obese is a huge turn-off for men. She thought for a second, and told me "honestly...I think that's mostly just true for Mormon boys. I've dated non-members before and they never cared about a few extra pounds." I've since discussed this same topic with other female YSAs and they agree: LDS men have an undo fixation with physical fitness when it comes to dating in marriage.

Have any of you noticed this phenomenon? What do you think causes it?



Dear person,

When I was an undergrad, I went on one date a semester, although sometimes I went on two or three, maybe four. I am/was "overweight", but for a few years during an undergrad I had an eating disorder that made me thin. I dated much less when I was thin, a change which (so people told me) made me conventionally very attractive. Perhaps I would have dated more if I wasn't totally sick in the head. Who knows. As it turns out, I can't get into a "normal" weight range without doing things that require me to be mentally and physically very, very ill. This is likely due to the fact that I was quite obese until I left home, at which point I lost a lot of weight just by virtue of not having my family's habits anymore.

So, basically, next time you tell someone that "to a great extent, physical beauty is a choice" and that "women can make themselves more appealing by getting in good shape, because being overweight or obese is a huge turn-off for men," I hope you realize that you are talking about many things you don't understand.


PS - If you are a troll, and I think there is a good chance that you are, I regret spending all that emotional energy and vulnerability on feeding you. However, hopefully my answer is meaningful to other people out there who doesn't say insensitive things just to get a rise out of people.

Question #89906 posted on 06/16/2017 12:02 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I read this article today. (For readers who don't want to click on the link, it argues that members of the Church cannot be LGBTQ allies without supporting or condoning serious sexual sin.) What do you guys think about it?

I'm interested in your reactions generally, so feel free to talk about whatever you want to. But I'm asking in part because I feel like I'm sort of at a crossroads. I personally support the legalization of same-sex marriage; I even find myself hoping that the Church will someday embrace it the way it has embraced the extension of the priesthood to all races, although I know that's a fairly remote possibility. But at the same time part of me feels like this article has a good point, that I cannot hold such an opinion without directly contradicting God's will as revealed by Church leadership.

Is there a way around that?



Dear you,

Disclaimer: Not reading the article, though I think I've at least seen it before, if not actually read it.

How do you want to define "ally"? I mean, if we want to look at it from the standpoint of people who are really socially conservative, then they might say that the Church is "allied" with the LGBTQA movement because of things like this or this (and they might consider being an "ally" to be problematic.)  By contrast, others' definitions of "allyship" are going to vary drastically, and that's not something unique to this topic.  

For example: there are certain 'sects' of feminism who, because of my stance on abortion, would not consider me an ally to the cause of feminism (see also: things that frustrate Anne, Certainly). Similarly, an openness to consider certain restrictions on unlimited gun rights (e.g. concealed carry permitting requirements, background check requirements, etc.) can easily get one kicked out of the camp of "2nd Amendment defenders" by the definition of certain organizations or their members. A willingness to consider 'clean coal' as a viable part of the gradual transition to sustainable energy will to some mean that a person is not an ally of the environment.

So: Pray. Listen to actual counsel from the leaders of the Church, and limit as needed credence paid to the non-doctrinal and sometimes straight up wrong opinions of random people on the internet (and in real life). Consider how loving God and your neighbor should lead you to act towards a certain situation. Recall that a primary purpose of the Church is to help you become a person who can recognize and implement God's will in your life. Then do that stuff. Don't get too stressed about what people are going to label you, because people can get really unhelpful when it comes to determining who gets to use that label. While some labels may be self-defining, many aren't.

Good luck,

~Anne, Certainly

Question #89892 posted on 07/13/2017 10:50 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When I ask people about what qualifies for someone to be mature, I receive answers that make me believe that maturity is a very subjective quality. What do you guys consider to be requirements for someone to be considered mature? Are there any aspects that you as a board could reach to a consensus on? Please share!

- Hello, my name is…


Dear Francisco,

You asked for a consensus, so I did a survey. 

I should note before we get into this that this was not a great survey. Which I can say because effective surveying is a big part of my major and I've taken some classes on how to create them. And then I threw all that out the window and made this. Anyway, it is what it is. 

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 5.45.59 PM.png

Some comments:

-The two bottom responses go along with general life experience listed above; I just didn't phrase things well in the prompt. That puts the top factors as (1) Failure, (2) Age, and (3) Life experience. 

I like how failure seemed to be the most agreed upon determining factor. I don't think it by itself constitutes someone to be mature, but if lessons are learned and taken in stride it certainly can. 

-One respondent added the category of social groups. This falls in line with that one quote that Dan Clark likes to say: "[W]e become the average of the five people we associate with the most." I think this is both true and not. It is more likely that we'll be/act more mature if our main social group is more mature, but I think the phrase puts too little weight on the inner processes and strength of the human psyche. It also seems to minimize the strength of independent thought. 

-Some options that received no votes were place in the family and relationship status. 

More results:

-Out of 10 responses, 3 writers felt they were mature, 1 above average for their age, and the rest were in the "Somewhat-Kinda-Ish" spectrum, including one "I consider myself as striving to be mature, but ultimately still lacking." 

-What made them mature: foresight, accountability and responsibility, taking in account multiple perspectives, independent thought, awareness. 

-Who/what is immature: certain political or academic leaders, impulsiveness, lack of understanding or appropriateness, lack of perspective, disrespectful, need for constant external stimulation. 

-I particularly liked these responses in answer to "What do you personally define as mature?"

  • Someone who will determine what needs to be done and take the steps needed to do it.
  • Wisdom from life experience, true empathy for many people, capability for independent thought
  • Personally I define it as being able to put yourself in the perspective of others and act with others in mind, not just yourself. Also being able to handle (more meaning effectively understand/cope with) your emotions and not let them control you.
  • The ability to control emotions appropriately, see the other side of an issue, and take a long-term view when considering a situation. And acting accordingly.

More comments:

The patterns I see from the responses are mainly self-acceptance and self-awareness, which then extends to acceptance and awareness of others. Self-acceptance is not to say complacency in oneself, but more an understanding what you're working with; not denying what or where you are in your current stage of life. Self-awareness is taking a more objective look at your personality, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, motivations, etc., especially (but not always) in relation to the world around you. 

The ability to do these effectively seems to be directly influenced by self-control, and perhaps that's what we learn most in failure. I think when we fail, we can't have security in much else and we are able to control little else than ourselves; we're forced to figure out what that means and what we can do about it. 

In that sense, maturity seems to be having "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference" (source). 

On the Board (and in life), yayfulness has been a really good example to me for maturity. He's always shown proper respect and sobriety for matters that needed it, but also enjoys quality humor. He's skeptical of others' claims and even sometimes of himself, and he understands that emotions don't need to rule or define us but can be used as tools. Of course, there are many other writers who have similar traits, but I've been noticing it a lot lately with yay and felt like he deserved a shoutout. 

I hope this helps answer your query. 

Take care,

-Auto Surf

posted on 07/14/2017 1:43 p.m.
I deleted my answer without Anathema noticing, so for completion's sake: I tend to associate maturity/immaturity with self-confidence, ergo a person with low self-confidence will likely be more desperate for the approval of those around them, and thus will act more immature. I didn't post it because further thought made me think that there were other factors at work and I didn't have the time to look into them.

Peace y'all,

-Frère Rubik
Question #89888 posted on 06/17/2017 12:02 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm trying to figure out when the statue of Brigham Young just in front of the Smoot building was built. Can you help me out?



Dear layseph,

Are you ready for an adventure? Okay then c'mon vamanos. 

I first turned to the trusty internet. This Daily Universe article from 1999 explains:

"This statue was built by Mahonri Young, Brigham’s last grandchild to be born before he died in 1877. He is cast in bronze and stands seven and a half feet tall and weighs 1,300 pounds as he keeps his watch on a four foot square block that weighs 7,000 pounds. (Holy cow)

The Brigham Young statue was originally designed for “This is the Place Monument.” It had Brigham Young and both of his counselors standing in front with Young’s arm resting on the shoulder of one of his counselors. His hand was changed for the statue standing on the south side of the Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building."

(parenthetical phrases added)

So it's good. But it does not say when it was built. I had to keep going.

Deeper in the internet, the artist's Wikipedia page says he was commissioned for "This is the Place Monument" in 1939, so we can safely say it was done between then and 1957 when Mahonri Young died. The Wikipedia page for "This is the Place" says it was dedicated in 1947, so we've taken the window from 18 years to 8, but that's still a pretty big window. Unacceptable.

At this point I figured I should check out what I could find on campus. Maybe it had a plaque that you missed? 

Nope. The plaque just had the birth and death dates of Brigham and Mahonri Young, which I already knew from the internet. Drats. 

But I was already on campus so I figured I might as well use the resources that were there. Maybe the Smoot building would hold the key. I only knew that OneStop exists there, and I didn't have a lot of hope for them knowing the statue's history, but maybe they would know someone who knows. 

"Alright, I've got a good question for you," I told Spencer, the desk attendant. As I explained the predicament, he soon came to agree that it was indeed a good question. He knew the Smoot building was built in 1961 so he thought it might have been done then, but I pointed out that the sculptor died in 1957, so the timeline didn't fit. (You may see the flaw in logic here, but we'll get to that in a moment.) Spencer looked around on his computer, but when the internet failed him, too, he made a call to his supervisor. 

"Hey [supervisor]," he said. "I've got the most wonderful question for you." (I appreciated that.) The supervisor didn't know either, but he recommended the Wilk Info Desk. I had less faith in them (no offense Wilk Info Desk. It's just an obscure question. It's not you, it's me.) But I was willing to do what it took to get your answer, so off I went. 

No sooner had I stepped past the very statue did Spencer, the realest of MVPs, came running out to tell me he had found the answer. Not only that, but he had been right all along. I followed him back inside where he showed me this 2014 Daily Universe article,

"Brigham Young’s grandson, Mahonri Young, sculpted this statue as a monument in Salt Lake City. The statue was recreated and added to BYU’s campus on Homecoming Week in 1961."

Freaking 1961. Of course. Because why would they put a statue in front of a building that wasn't built yet? Right? Right. So, 1961. Thanks again, Spencer. 

Also, happy late birthday, friend 

bagg the head.jpg 
(The face is my creation but I must admit I stole the bag from Frere Rubik.)

Take care,

-Auto Surf 

Question #89835 posted on 01/14/2018 12:09 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is Auto Surf's prodigious coolness a product of nature or nurture? My own thought is that mere biology is wholly insufficient to explain such beatific wisdom distilling upon the masses, and that writing for the Board itself has made Auto Surf so bodacious. However, I seek the opinions of the omniscient. Enlighten me, O demigods of discourse! Alliterate to alleviate my consuming curiosity!

-One-Winged Angle


Dear L'angle,

Yo, I'm sorry this has taken so long. But fear not, this will be one of my last answers so it won't happen again. And in an effort to get this to you quicker, I'll leave most of my draft that I started forever ago. Here goes!

OKAY BUT WAIT I KNOW YOU. You make me blush and have me think I'm cool but you cheat because I know you so it's different. I would say if you think I'm cool you should say it [to my face], but you've learned by now that I'm not very good at responding to texts or actually making plans to do things, so I guess this is fair. 

Anyway, this works because I've been meaning to say things that didn't really fit in other questions, and now I don't have to ask my own question to say it. 

There were some questions a while ago that asked about what we liked/appreciated about other writers and I regret not writing stuff then. Subsequently, I had this grandiose plan to write about every single writer that has ever written on the Board, but 1) that's hard to track down given certain workings of the early Board, and 2) as this question is already overdue by a couple hundred hours, I apparently don't have time/ability to do all that. But there are a few that stand out, and then I'll speak of the Board generally. 

-A huge thanks to Rocky B, who introduced me to the Board many years ago, and has been great role model ever since.

-Ms. O'Malley really got me hooked with Board Question #75766. I had read it off and on after being introduced, but I remember reading her answer and just thinking something like, "That's it. This Board is a good thing and one day I want to write something this awesome and absurd." It's also been fun to follow her international and educational adventures on Facebook. 

-In another life, I would want to be Brutus and have his sign-off. It was funny, but also an effective way to remind people that we're all just people trying our best. I really appreciate stuff like that. 

-Azriel lets me follow her on social media and her son makes me smile all the time. Thank you thank you, and thank you to all the other alumni that let me see all the cool things they do post-Board life. You are consistently the best parts of my social media feeds. 

-The Black Sheep has helped me so much in learning about empathy and self-care. I have mad respect for her. 

-As part of their religious tradition, Sikhs will carry a small sword (kirpan) to protect the defenseless. I'm still learning more about this practice, but when I learned about it initially I struck that some writers use/used their mighty pen as a sort of literary sword to stand in defense of those being slighted or misunderstood. Zed and Luciana especially come to mind for that. And maybe that's a weird thing to say, but they're honestly some of the best people I know and they're amazing at providing perspective when I need it. 

-Thanks Heidi Book, Sheebs, and Anne Certainly for letting me sneak into a friendship with you even though I'm often young and dumb and you are all such huge role models for me. Thanks for seeing me as I can be and not just as my rambly self. 

-April Ludgate was one of the writers that I never got to know but I wish I had. She was fantastic, and if you browse through the Editor's Choice page I'm sure you'll agree. Maybe one day I will be as funny and articulate as her. 

-In high school there was this girl, Kelsea, who always took really cool photos anywhere she went. I was really impressed/jealous, and then one day I realized that if I wanted fun and cool pictures of things, I better do other things that sit in my room all day. I also needed to be able to see what was beautiful in the ordinary so that I would know what was even worthy of a photo. Some of the great story tellers on the Board — Ardilla, Humble Master, Dragon Lady, yayfulness (just to name a few) — helped me realize the same thing about life in general, and then about how to write it down. Thank you for being masters of your trade. 

-Vienna is the best. She's kind and caring and hilarious. It was one of her answers to an emotional dilemma that made me realize answers could get Editor's Choice even if they weren't experiments, so I tried to put the same effort into my answers that she did. She also knows how to live right

-Anathema saved me this summer and I know she's going to make a great ACME-ist/economist/supreme ruler one day. 

-Thanks to The Lone Musketeer for putting up with my oddities, being wonderful, and sharing good podcasts. I appreciate you a lot. 

-Frere Rubik, my first friend and not my enemy except when it comes to matters of food. Thanks for having my back all this time, and being generally awesome at all-thing-Board and otherwise. 

-Katya was always stellar in my eyes, and as I've gotten to know her lately, she continues to be. 

-Van Goff is someone who I likely wouldn't have met without the Board, but I'm so glad I did. I don't even know how to articulate all the reasons, but if you ever need to feel cared for, he's your guy. 

-Tipperary, I'm glad I lasted over 17,500 hours so that we could sort of write at the same time. Let's keep hanging out and practicing Spanish and being generally an awesome, zany team. 

-Sherpa Dave is way cooler than I originally gave him credit for, though just as funny as you might think. He also kind of saved me this past semester and I still don't know how to say how much I appreciated that. 

-yayfulness set one of the best examples for me on taking a new perspective. It wasn't until he retired that I realized how many of his answers I held dear, or that I used to understand the world. 

There are so many other writers that I don't have time to mention, and I've felt so honored and blessed to work with them in some way or another. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. Recently I went through a really lonely time (which included a break up and dealing with some tough roommates), and was wondering how I had made friends in the past; I realized that when I joined the Board, I just immediately grafted all the writers into my friend group. They made my college experience—and my life—so much better. In these past two+ years, I went through some of lowest and most confusing times of life (including a drug-induced manic phase months ago that I'm still working to not be embarrassed by), and I don't know if I would have made it through without the connections, friendships, and outlet the Board gave me. 

Looking back, I probably shouldn't have shared so much in so many of my answers. I definitely should have been more consistent at writing. I wish I would have gotten to know more of the new writers. There's a lot I could or should have done differently, but I'm okay with it at this point. I know I did some good, and that's enough. I feel blessed to have been a part of this weird and wonderful corner of internet. 

Finally, I wish this answer, being my last, was better, but thanks for letting me take some time to thank some of the best people I know. It's been real, everybody. 

Take care,

-Auto Surf

Question #89821 posted on 07/11/2017 12:38 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I know that the Church gives little guidance on what jobs to have, but which jobs do y'all think are the most in line with the gospel? I've thought that some might be FBI (their core values, justice, service), medical professions (healing, helping people), diplomacy (seeking peaceful solutions, bridging differences), psychology (healing minds, service), etc. What are some more and any thoughts on my list?



Dear Achoo,

Following is a list of majors offered at BYU (slightly edited for clarity--for example, I lumped all teaching majors under "education," and all foreign languages under "foreign languages"), and how they're in line with the gospel. Majors often translate to jobs, and I firmly believe that every job can be perfectly in line with the gospel, as long as it's not something like running an organized crime syndicate or being an assassin.

Also, remember that literally an job can be used to serve others, and service is very much in line with the gospel, so I think it's less about the job itself and more about what we choose to do with it that makes them in line with the gospel.

Plus any and all intelligence is of God, so anybody who does something that helps them gain intelligence brings them closer to God, something that seems very in line with gospel principles. 

Plus if people are doing things that make them happy, that's part of the Gospel plan, too--we are that we might have joy, after all.

But, without further ado, my list:

  • Accounting: Helping people/businesses keep their finances honest and above-board. 
  • Acting: Providing wholesome entertainment, which, according to "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," we should be seeking.
  • Actuarial science: Making sense of something that seems chaotic--bringing order and sense to a tumultuous world.
  • American studies: If we believe 1 Nephi 13, God cares deeply about the finding, founding, and fate of America, so shouldn't we?
  • Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Greek New Testament and Hebrew Bible): Okay, this one is literally about studying the Bible and understanding it better.
  • Animation: Satan cares a lot about the media we consume, and uses it to help distract and deviate people from the gospel path. Therefore, having more people who want to create media that can be wholesome and uplifting is so important.
  • Anthropology: Learning more about all of God's children, developing greater empathy and love for them.
  • Art: Creating beauty. And if there's one thing I get from looking at the world, it's that God values beauty.
  • Art history and curatorial studies: Preserving beauty. What good are the works of beauty that others make if nobody has access to them?
  • Asian studies: Okay, we just established that God cares a lot about America. But we also know He's no respecter of persons and loves all his children equally. Thus, if we want to become like God it follows that we need to love everyone equally. And how can you love someone if you don't understand their culture?
  • Athletic training: Helping people reach their full potential. Helping people take care of their bodies. And, y'know, our bodies are what separate us from Satan, and according to the Word of Wisdom God cares about us taking care of them.
  • Biochemistry: Understanding better how living organisms work, giving us greater appreciation for God's work and preparing us to create worlds of our own one day.
  • Biodiversity and conservation: Helping to preserve the world that God made.
  • Bioinformatics: This one has huge implications for research that can help lead to important medicines, as well as allowing us to understand more about the human race.
  • Biology: Learning about God's creations and understanding better how they work, preparing us to one day be gods.
  • Biophysics: Directly applying laws that govern creation to the living world helps us see the hand of God.
  • Chemical engineering: From what I understand about chemical engineering, it has very real, very pertinent, applications for helping the entire human race (medicine and oil are two things that I can think of that chemical engineering has a direct hand in, and both of those help us a lot).
  • Chemistry: Giving people the knowledge necessary to create incredibly useful things like new medicines or drugs.
  • Civil engineering: Creating public spaces that make people's lives easier, creating an environment in which people can feel the Spirit.
  • Classical studies: Helping us understand our own culture, which is the context in which we live the gospel.
  • Communication disorders: Helping people be heard, helping people change their lives.
  • Communications: We live in a social world. Without the ability to communicate effectively (on a personal level, but also on a more widespread, corporate level), society would fall apart.
  • Comparative literature: Understanding the world and human nature better through the use of literature.
  • Computer engineering: Creating computers that can benefit the entire world.
  • Computer science: Using technology to help others, creating things that allow pretty much every other field to function, helping the Church advance its technological goals.
  • Construction and facilities management: Organizing important projects that need to be done for the good of society.
  • Dance: Creating beauty, providing a creative and therapeutic outlet.
  • Design: Creating beauty, helping us make the most of what we have.
  • Dietetics: Taking care of our bodies.
  • Economics: Helping people allocate resources. Very few other jobs would be of any good to us as a society if we didn't have economics because we wouldn't be able to efficiently access them.
  • Education: Helping mold the younger generation, providing role models/cheerleaders for people who may be struggling, disseminating intelligence (which is the glory of God [D&C 93:36]).
  • Electrical engineering: Using technology to help others, creating things that have immediate benefits for others.
  • English: Communicating more effectively with others.
  • Environmental science: Taking care of God's creations.
  • European studies: Understanding God's children and their cultures better.
  • Exercise and wellness: Taking care of our God-given bodies, helping us reach our full physical potential.
  • Exercise science: Again, helping people take care of their bodies, as well as understanding how they work, thus allowing us to get closer to God.
  • Family history: This one seems obvious, given the emphasis the Church places on family history.
  • Family life: Families are central to God's plan. Isn't this one obvious, too?
  • Finance: Learning management skills that prepare us to become like God, learning to budget and be self-reliant in order to be in a better position to help others.
  • Food science: Using food in creative new ways so that more people have access to proper nutrition.
  • Foreign languages: Developing a greater ability to communicate with and understand God's children, learning how to cross cultural barriers, preparing for a mission.
  • French studies: Understanding more of God's children through better understanding their culture.
  • Genetics, Genomics & Biotechnology: Helping others with medical problems in a myriad of ways.
  • Geography: Gaining a greater appreciation for the earth and its peoples, learning how to connect better with others because you understand their culture better.
  • Geology: Understanding how the earth works, which better prepares us to be gods one day.
  • German studies: Getting to know God's children and their cultures better.
  • Graphic design: Creating beauty, using it to promote good things.
  • History: Understanding where we come from so we know better how to move forward and improve in our quest to become gods. And as we learn from Helaman 5, remembering is one of the most important things we can do in the gospel.
  • Illustration: Expressing creative feelings (and creating is one of the defining hallmarks of God).
  • Industrial design: Creating useful products that improve people's standard of living.
  • Information systems: Disseminating information to help other people and make their jobs easier.
  • Information technology: Assisting people who need help, improving the way things are done.
  • Interdisciplinary humanities: Becoming well-rounded in a variety of subjects, thus preparing oneself to become more like God. Understanding people better so that you're more able to help them.
  • International relations: Helping smooth relationships between countries, doing things that will help lead to peace and prosperity across the globe.
  • Italian studies: Understanding a different culture better so we can better understand ourselves and other children of God.
  • Landscape management: Helping public spaces look beautiful, utilizing resources well (thus teaching resourcefulness and gratitude for what we have).
  • Latin American studies: Understanding more of God's children and their cultures, which is in and of itself a worthy pursuit.
  • Law (grad program): Pursuing justice, upholding public values, helping people achieve their legal goals.
  • Linguistics: Understanding languages to better understand scriptures, and also to better understand other children of God.
  • Management: Developing leadership skills (essential for gods-in-training), learning how to help and motivate others.
  • Manufacturing engineering technology: Creating products that others need, learning cooperation across a variety of disciplines (which helps people learn to cooperate in real life, something that we desperately need in order to have peace and harmony in the world).
  • Mathematics: Giving us the building blocks of creation, developing clarity of thinking and establishing truth, learning the language of the building blocks of the universe.
  • Mechanical engineering: Creating products to fill important needs. Helping people develop the skill of seeing a need and filling it. Developing a sense of independently developed work.
  • Media arts studies: Developing analytical skills, working to create beauty.
  • Medical laboratory science: Researching to help improve and develop new medicines for the benefit of mankind.
  • Microbiology: Learning about God's creations and how they work, gaining a greater appreciation for the world around us.
  • Molecular biology: Understanding the building blocks of creation to help prepare us to be gods.
  • Music: Creating beauty, learning to understand and appreciate the genius of others, being able to greater appreciate our God-given senses.
  • Music dance theater: Bringing happiness to others, developing talents, providing wholesome entertainment.
  • Neuroscience: Advancing our understanding of the human brain--this leads to greater understanding of ourselves, helping us understand better who we are and how we work, greater understanding of others, and also the ability to help heal brains.
  • Nursing: Taking care of sick people, helping heal others.
  • Nutritional science: Helping us take care of our bodies.
  • Philosophy: Increasing our humility, curiosity, and awe, as well as allowing us to learn more about ways to approach God/ethics/life. This allows us to cling to the good in our Church, while celebrating truth and goodness wherever else we find it.
  • Photography: Helping people document important moments in their lives, capturing beautiful moments in God's creations, developing a sense of creativity and an appreciation for beauty in all its forms.
  • Physics: Searching for truth (God is all about truth), helping us understand the laws governing all of creation.
  • Physiology and developmental biology: Understanding how our bodies function, giving us greater appreciation for God's work and also allowing us to develop better remedies and cures for specific maladies.
  • Political science: Understanding the government better so we can be better citizens.
  • Portuguese studies: Understanding God's children and their cultures better.
  • Psychology: Healing people's brains, helping them find peace.
  • Public health: Helping take care of the public, healing.
  • Recreation management: Providing wholesome recreational activities, helping bring people together and bond over recreational activities.
  • Sociology: Understanding what makes people and cultures tick so that we can be more empathetic and loving of others and where they come from.
  • Spanish studies: Understanding God's children and their cultures better.
  • Statistics: Interpreting seemingly chaotic numbers to help make sense of the world in a new way.
  • Theatre arts studies: Learning to appreciate the talents of others and find and appreciate beauty wherever it may be.
  • Wildlife and wildlands conservation: Um, hello, preserving God's creations.
Whew, that was a long list. Even if you didn't read it all, the point is, anything you do with the intent to serve others and draw closer to God can help serve others and draw you closer to God. The Puritans believed that everybody had a "Christian calling," or a specific vocation they were meant to fill, and that no matter what it was, they could use it to glorify God. Be they preachers or streetsweepers, midwives or cobblers, they all did their specific job with the intent to glorify God. The Puritans often get a bad rap, with people only associating them with religious fanaticism and the Salem witch trials, but this is a part of their religion that I find truly beautiful and supremely applicable. Whatever job someone chooses can be their "Christian calling" if they approach it with the right mindset and intent.
If you want more LDS theology backing this up, and not just Puritan ideals, D&C 93:53 exhorts us "to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion." Not just a knowledge of the scriptures, but of absolutely everything we can, so we can use it "for the salvation of Zion." From that I infer that we can help advance the cause of Zion in a myriad of ways, even if those ways may not seem immediately apparent.
It sounds like you have a good heart, and want to pick a job that truly is in line with the gospel. The thing is, they all are, and the Church isn't going to specify any career path as being "more righteous" than another, because righteousness and gospel principles have much more to do with individuals than they do with entire jobs. Just be a good person, and things will work out.
In closing, I leave you with this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr: "No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity and has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with the painstaking excellence."
Question #89813 posted on 06/02/2017 11:38 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My roommate said that he has calf muscles of a stallion, but I didn't think that horses had calf muscles. When I tried to research it, I got very confused at the not only whether horses have muscles between their "knee joint" and their hoof, but also what is defined as a "calf muscle" (and then I wondered if "calf muscle" has any reference to baby cows). Please help!

-Anatomically Addled


Dear person,

The skeletal and muscular systems of horses are pretty different from us, although they are analogues. They have (pretty much) all the same bones, but they are shaped differently. 

The lower leg of humans are made from the tibia and fibula, and the calf muscles are gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris. 

Here is what the back leg off a horse looks like (these bones are pictured as if the horse is facing to the left):

 hindleg of horse with box.JPG

The box surrounds the horse's "gaskin", which is analogous to the human calf (both are formed by the tibia and fibula). The teeny tiny bones below that are the tarsals, which is analogous to the human ankle (the "knee joint" you are probably thinking about, which is called the "hock"). Below that are the metatarsals, which are analogous to the human foot bones. Below that are the phalanges, which are analogous to human toes. 

From what I can tell from this handy dandy Wikipedia article and from puttering around the internet, there are no muscles below the tarsals - only tendons. It seems that the muscle bodies are in the gaskin and the tendons extend below and attach to the bones, which is how horses can move their lower legs - all of the force is coming from above the hock.


Question #89799 posted on 05/31/2017 11:57 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Not sure how well you'll be able to help with this, but it is worth a try. I have a tomato cultivar I am planting in my garden this summer that is native to Italy (Costoluto Genovese) how best should I adapt my care of this plant for Utah's desert. More water? More shade? Different soil nutrients? It is alive so far, but seems rather limp and I'm worried that it is not thriving. Any advice you, or resources you have, could offer on caring for a plant that is in a very different environment than its native habitat would be appreciated!

-My Sort-Of Green Thumb


Dear Green Thumb (Sort-Of),

That sounds so awesome! When I was a kid, my family would grow tomatoes during the summer and they were wonderful. This was in Southern Utah, so I understand your problem in some ways. Our plants definitely struggled to grow in the desert environment. Keep in mind, though, that I'm not exactly a gardening expert and that you should possibly couple this advice with your own research.

Utah's climate is very different from Italy. Most gardening resources suggest considering a tomato variety more accustomed to the heat, but in this case, your best bet is to adapt the environment around the tomatoes rather than re-plant. The suggested temperature to raise Costoluto Genovese tomatoes in is around 60F, which is about 20 degrees lower than the current temperature in Utah. This could be part of the reason your tomato plant is limp. More shade could be a good idea if you can find a spot with lots of shade in the afternoon.

For tomatoes in especially hot weather, it's a good idea to make sure they get lots of sun in the morning but shade through the afternoon. If you do not have a place in your garden with natural shade, artificially construct it. If you create a shaded structure that's open to the east, your tomatoes will get sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Construct a frame around the tomatoes, then drape a shade cloth (found at gardening centers) over the frame. Many resources suggest a "50 percent" shade cloth, which will reduce heat by that percentage.

Some resources also suggest adding a mulch layer (2-3 inches) around your tomatoes to keep the soil damp. You can buy bagged mulch or create your own. Stick your finger into the soil around the tomatoes to assess wetness. If the soil is dry, your tomato isn't getting enough water. Keeping the soil moist constantly can prevent limpness, so be sure to water your plants daily or even twice daily depending on how hot it is outside. Also, avoid over-fertilizing your tomatoes on especially hot days (over 85F for most tomatoes, but maybe 75-80F for Costoluto Genovese tomatoes), because this can overstress the plant.

Good luck! I hope your tomatoes turn out okay. Let us know if you have more questions.

-Van Goff

Question #89767 posted on 05/28/2017 2:20 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What does flirting mean to you? I've always been pretty flirtatious and flirting is really casual to me. I won't flirt with someone if there's absolutely no interest, but that interest might just be in having another conversation after which the interest is gone. I sometimes worry that people are taking my flirting in the wrong way but there's no way short of asking to find out if someone thinks I want to date them. I think honesty in dating is really important so how do you be honest with such a vague definition of what flirting looks like and what flirting means?

-Shameful flirt


Dear Flirt,

What does flirting mean to me? Well I'm really bad at it in practice, but in theory, flirting is showing that you're interested in someone more intensely than you would with any random person. Let me explain with some pictures I made.

In this first image, we have a graph of intensity versus time. This is an example of how someone's interactions with people they aren't interested in might look. Therefore, the red line shows the maximum normal intensity of interest that should be interpreted as normal friendliness.


Now, suppose that this person is interested in someone. When they're around that person, we see the two tall peaks with green arrows next to them. That's flirting. You can tell because they treat that person differently than whatever other random people.


But what if there was a person whose Intensity/Time graph looked more like this?

too much flirting.png

If each of the peaks that exceeds the red line is a different person and some of the people whose peaks exceed the red line also sometimes don't, then the baseline isn't really there. It's more like this.

new baseline.png

But what if the person was actually trying to flirt with that one person with the tallest peak? Well, there's really no way for that person to tell that they're flirting, because they're not significantly more interesting than any other person. This is one potential downside to being overly casually flirtatious.


On the other hand, we usually don't see every interaction that another person has with perfect objectivity, so the opposite problem can happen as well. If the person related to the third peak in the graph above didn't see any of the other tall peaks, they might assume that they were being flirted with, when that isn't necessarily the case.

As far as knowing if someone thinks you want to date them, is that really the important question? I mean, it seems to me like it doesn't matter if they think you want to date them unless they also want to date you, and that's relatively easy to find out. If you're a guy, you ask a girl out a few times, and if says yes and reciprocates your flirting, then it's a pretty good bet that she's interested. If you're a girl, you give him plenty of opportunities to ask you out (or you ask him out yourself, that's totally fine too), and if he does then it's a pretty good bet that he's interested.

I don't think that there's anything wrong with casually flirting with people that you're interested in, as long as that flirting stops as soon as the interest is gone. And please, for the love of all that is good, if you're a girl and it takes a few dates for that interest to go away but he still asks you on another date, just tell him no. Don't just ignore him. That's just rude.

-The Entomophagist